Sadiq Muhammad rates Pak favourites against India

KARACHI: Former Test opener Sadiq Muhammad Friday rated Pakistan favorites for the showpiece Asia Cup T20 opener in Dhaka (Bangladesh) on Saturday.

“Our two young guns Sharjeel Khan and Umar Akmal are in great nick

and if they carry forward their PSL momentum there can be no stopping,” he told APP in an interview here.

He said India may be on the top of the ICC World T20 ranking. But Pakistan team got the firepower to topple them.

He believed that quick runs in the six over power play and keeping up strike rate of 125-150 can be very benefiting for the middle and lower order batting.

“I feel that our batsmen have capacity to come good as matches bring best out of them,” veteran of 41 Test and 19 ODIs, maintained.

He agreed that with consistent performance of Sharjeel, Muhammad Hafeez and Umar Akmal at the top will be key factor.

“Hafeez had not successful PSL. But he got the experience to stage a strong comeback,” he said.

He however said Umar and Sharjeel should be allowed play in free environment. Relaxed atmosphere in the dressing room can be fruitful, he commented.

“In my opinion the role of batsmen will be more important than the bowlers,” he pointed out.

“We got good pace-cum spin bowling attack, which can defend good or reasonable scores,” he said.

Sadiq said newcomer Muhammad Nawaz is brilliant all-rounder. But let see how he handle big international pressure.

“Nawaz should be given extended run in Asia Cup and ICC World T20 and should not be dumped after a couple of games,” he asserted.

He said all-rounder Imad Wasim is talented cricketer, which can do well with the bat.

On skipper Shahid Afridi, Sadiq said there should not be expectations from batting. But he can good and reliable as bowler. Afridi’s runs will be bonus for the team.

He said with pace spearheaded by Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Amir, Muhammad Irfan with Muhammad Sami back, can be formidable pace attack if they get going.

Sadiq Muhammad said fielding and catching holds great significance in the ultimate outcome of any match.