ISLAMABAD: Former captain Muhammad Yousaf believes the senior trio of Muhammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik should lead the team from the front and deliver in the Asia Cup and World Twenty-20.
He said Pakistan’s top order batting must click in Asia Cup and subsequent World Cup T20 to be held in Bangladesh and India from February 24 and March 8 respectively.
Senior batsmen have the vast experience of sub-continent wicket and must not disappoint the fans of Pakistan team which, he added, lacked a specialist spinner.
“Performance of top order batsmen Hafeez, Malik, Umar (Akmal) and Afridi will the key in our ultimate showing in these competitions,” Pakpassion.net quoted him as saying.
He said trio of Hafeez, Afridi, Malik are iconic and highly rated players in T20 brand of cricket and they must lead team from the front and deliver.
Yousaf said Umar remained in great form in PSL and he should carry his form in the Asia Cup and also World T20.
“Our batsmen should have no problems on sub-continent wickets because they play most of their cricket on these tracks,” he maintained.
“Pakistan got an impressive track record in shorter version having won the title in 2009 and twice reaching the semifinals,” he recalled.
“Pakistan is highly rated team and they must deliver for reaching the top.
We have got a good bowling attack. But despite that our batsmen’s role will be vital,” he stressed.
However, he said there is no specialist spinner in the team which is loaded with all-rounders led by Afridi and also including Malik, Anwar Ali, Imad Wasim and Muhammad Nawaz. “Specialist spinner’s role would have been very important in these conditions,” he said.
He said the pace attack of left arm quartet of Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Amir, Muhammad Irfan, newcomer Rumman Raees Khan looks very formidable.
He said that the selection committee headed by Haroon Rashid must be held accountable if their selected team failed to perform in Asia Cup and the World Twenty-20. Yousaf said the selection of Test opener Khurram Manzoor in the squad was a surprise for him.
“If there are flaws in selection, question should be asked from the selectors and they should take responsibility”.
Commenting on the selection of upcoming duo of all-rounder Muhammad Nawaz and left arm pacer Rumman Raees, he said selectors must have got impressed with their showing in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).