ISLAMABAD (DNA): Former Pakistan greats have heaped praises on the current ODI skipper Sarfraz Ahmed for leading the national team to a brilliant victory in the semifinal against the tournament’s favourites England.
“I think he has done brilliant captaincy in the semifinal. The way he took decision to change a few players prior to the match and the way he made bowling changes spot on was excellent,” he told after Pakistan thrashed England by eight wickets at Cardiff on Wednesday.
Misbah noted that in the semifinal Pakistan captain was ahead of the game. “Sarfraz was clear in his mind. He just won the toss and said we will field first. Afterwards they (Pakistan team) executed their plans very well. The kind of performance they gave was wonderful to watch. They were relaxed and played a perfect game in the semifinal. That is what we were just looking for,” he added.
He also appreciated the game awareness of left-handed opener Fakhar Zaman, who is playing his debut tournament saying that he was improving and the good thing about him was that he was learning his mistakes. “He wants to take on even the world’s top bowlers,” he said.
He said the management took a very good decision to include Fakhar in the team adding that due to his batting the entire Pakistan batting lineup would get a breathing space. “If you give a good start of thirty to forty runs to your team, then you make a momentum and it becomes easier for other batsmen to score runs throughout the innings,” he added.
Former captain and wicketkeeper Rashid Latif praised Pakistan team for pulling off a brilliant victory against England. “The credit goes to team management, coach Mickey Arthur and captain Sarfraz Ahmed,” he said while talking to a private news channel.
However; he regretted that the selectors took too long to include the highly talented opener Fakhar Zaman in national team. Responding to a question, he said, “The left-arm pacer Muhammad Amir should be part of the team in the final if he gets fully fit, whereas besides him there should be three more pacers in the team.”
“Hasan Ali lifted the team very well in the semifinal and he will become a formidable bowler in the coming future,” he said. Former off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq said the win was a result of the prayers of the whole Pakistani nation. He said Sarfraz very aptly
utilized his bowlers in the semifinal. “This is the time to encourage our youngsters who have showed tremendous performance,” he said. To a query he said he would prefer to drop Shadab Khan in the final and include Muhammad Amir in the team.
Former Test cricketer Muhammad Wasim lauded the selection committee for bringing-in new talented players. “I am very happy with the way Junaid Khan has performed. We can also win matches without Amir,” he said and added credit also goes to bowling coach Azhar Mehmood.
He was of the view that the winning combination should not be disturbed and Pakistan should go in the final with the same outfit that beat England in the semifinal. Meanwhile, Pakistan Women team captain Sana Mir while hailing Pakistan men team’s performance in the semifinal said that Pakistan performed well in bowling, fielding and batting.
“This is a very convincing win,” she said expressing the hope that in the final Pakistan would once again produce a superb performance.