Don’t lose focus: Former Pak players to Butt & Co.

Karachi: Former Pakistan cricketers expressed happiness over the national team’s second Test win over Australia at Leeds but cautioned the players to not lose their focus and improve in the batting department.

Pakistan’s former captain Javed Miandad said that the team still needs to pay lot of attention to their batting.

“The bowlers did a wonderful job. But the batting still wobbled and I think it is the batting that has weak spots and they should be sorted out,” Miandad, who is also director-general in the cricket board told a news agency.

Miandad paid rich tributes to captain Salman Butt stating he had led the team well and Pakistan appeared to have found a good future Test captain.

“The team deserves all the accolades it is getting but let us not lose focus because we have another tough series coming up against England,” Miandad stated.

Former captain Zaheer Abbas also noted that while the bowlers had bowled remarkably well to exploit the helpful conditions on the first day, the batsmen were still not confident enough.

“The batsmen need to develop the ability to play long and big innings in Test matches. We struggled in the run-chase so the batting still needs to be sorted out,” Zaheer said.

Former captain, Moin Khan said that he also remained concerned with the batting department.

“It is a moment of joy that we have finally broken Australia’s winning streak and it is clear Salman Butt has the temperament to lead the team well,” Moin said.

“But the batsmen are struggling in English conditions and this was obvious today. This victory does not mean that we should forget about having Younus Khan and Muhammad Yousuf in the team.”

Moin said Pakistan had found some good talent but they needed to be groomed alongwith senior players.

Chief selector Mohsin Khan said that the victory over Australia had come like a breath of fresh air for Pakistan cricket.

“We desperately needed this win and I think the boys fought remarkably well and kept their nerves to win a close match. I pay rich tributes to the bowlers who put us in a position to win the match,” Mohsin said.

He said the performance of the youngsters showed that Pakistan had good back up talent in all departments of the game it just needed to be given proper chances and exposure.

“The selectors have been trying to give chances to new players and our plan appears to be working but there is still lot of hard work to be done,” he said.

Former Test pacer and national selector, Salim Jafter said that the credit for victory went to Salman Butt.

“He took the captaincy at a difficult time and did well. He handled his bowlers well and had gelled the team. I think we have found a good Test captain and he must continue for a while now.”

“Jaffer said the bowlers had shown why Pakistan’s main strength was bowling. But I think the Australians showed why they are a top side even after being bowled out for 88 they fought till the end and that is a spirit we need to develop in Pakistan cricket.”

Former captain, Rashid Latif noted that the team had always done well when the captain was performing as a player.

“The good thing is that Salman Butt is in form and he has scored runs and that makes a difference,” he said.



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