Karachi, April 2: Pakistan's former star batsman Mohammad Yousuf has attributed India's recent Test series defeat in New Zealand to fatigue and brilliant effort by the home team's fast bowlers.
World number one India lost the Test series 0-2.
"New Zealand has always been a tough side at home and they have only gotten better in recent years and don't forget they have some top pace bowlers who are not easy to handle in their own conditions," Yousuf said.
"New Zealand just played much better cricket than India and sometimes I feel there is so much cricket being played these days that it is inevitable that even the best players will get tired and fatigued at some stage."
He observed that even Kohli seemed fatigued in New Zealand. "It can happen to anyone when you play so much cricket. That is why I agree in modern day cricket fitness is paramount for players.
"In our days we could manage. But my belief is that if a player is not fit he just can't give a performance to his potential."
Yousuf lashed out at Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq for recalling senior players Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. "I just don't understand why give so much responsibility to one man and I don't see any planning in the way Misbah is handling things.
"Why recall Hafeez and Malik when their records in places like Australia is clear. It is a step backward for Pakistan cricket." He praised batsman Babar Azam and said he is destined for greatness. "Babar is a class apart from the others right now. That is why he is in the ICC's top five rankings in all three formats. Personally I have not seen a finer batsman in Pakistan than Babar since I last played for the national team," Yousuf said on GTV News Channel.
Yousuf, 45, who played 90 Tests and 288 One-day internationals, said when he played he was lucky to be in the company of batsmen such as Salim Malik, Ejaz Ahmed, Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul-Haq.
"These were all players who scored runs everywhere in the world and watching them and playing with them also turned me into a better player," Yousuf said.
The former star added that it is not wise to compare Babar with Indian swashbucklers Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who have already achieved a lot in international cricket.