Karachi: The conditions in the New Zealand is similar to that of England where Pakistan won Champions Trophy last year so there’s a need to reevaluate strategy, senior batsmen start taking responsibility and at least win the last match against New Zealand, says former selector Salahuddin Ahmed Sallu.
“I have a strong believe that our team has the talent to perform in these conditions. I don’t think the conditions are that difficult as the result shows. We did well in England in Champions Trophy. I think the conditions in New Zealand is similar to that of England, except the former is more windy, which gives some edge to bowlers,” Sallu told PPI a day prior to the last match of the series. Host New Zealand has so far outclassed Champions Trophy winners and is leading the five-match ODI series 4-0. “The players received a lot of perks following Champions Trophy title triumph from the board. It has been unprecedented in Pakistan cricket. It’s now players’ turn to return with their performance,” he said. Sallu added that the team has everything at its disposal – head coach, bowling coach, batting coach, analysts etc.
However, he said that the present lot is the best available players and added that criticizing only captain Sarfraz Ahmed was a bit harsh. “Whenever a team wins, it’s due to team effort. The same goes when the team loses. A single player shouldn’t be criticized for a bad performance from the team,” he added.
He further said that the present team might be having good batsmen but they have not been performing as finishers as Pakistan’s Javed Miandad and Inzamam-ul-Haq were and Australia had Michael Bevan. “When a player can score 60, he can convert it into a century. That is what is needed from a senior batsman when team is struggling to perform,” he said. He said that senior batsmen need to take more responsibility and anchor inning when others are struggling. Moreover, when team is struggling, it also provides youngsters to prove their mettle and be recognized. Sallu said that experiments such as sending Fahim Ashraf to open were not a good one. “Opening is a specialized job. Just like wicket-keeping. I don’t think it could be helpful.”
However, Sallu added that the series was not completely dismal for Pakistan as there were some good moments too for Pakistan. “Hafeez scoring 60 and 80 and Shahdab Khan picking three wickets in a span of around ten runs was something good.” He further added that he believe Pakistan has enough potential to win the last match and not let New Zealand whitewash. “I believe and I want our team to bounce back in the last match. I am also hopeful that they would be able to do that.”