Intikhab backs Pakistan`s World Cup selection policy

Updated: Mar 06, 2011, 19:36 PM IST

Pallekele: Pakistan team manager Intikhab Alam on Sunday rejected criticism from former skipper Imran Khan on World Cup selection issues, saying the team management is picking right combinations in best interests of the team.

Imran had criticised the selection policy, saying that Pakistan team management was taking a defensive approach by picking two frontline pacemen and two spinners, in addition to Mohammad Hafeez as spinning all-rounder and fast-bowling
all-rounder Abdul Razzaq.

"Everyone has the right to give his opinion, but we have not closed our eyes and ears. The team management is doing its homework and is doing whatever is needed in the best interests of the team," Intikhab said here on Sunday ahead of
Pakistan`s Group A match against New Zealand in Pallekele on Tuesday.

Despite Pakistan leading the Group A with three wins in the World Cup, Imran said that concerns over the batting depth had compelled selectors to take a defensive approach by picking batsmen or all-rounders down to number 8 and having only three specialist bowlers.

Meanwhile, Intikhab, ahead of Tuesday`s high-profile clash between the two teams, said that it would be challenging for Pakistan to play at high altitude hill resort of

"This place is 2000 feet above sea level and altitude affects the breathing, for which we are working hard during training," said Intikhab, who was the coach and manager of the 1992 Pakistan World Cup-winning squad.

Intikhab said the game against New Zealand, who have two wins out of three matches, is going to be tough.

"It`s a tough game against New Zealand. We won the series against them but here the conditions are different so we need to work very hard to keep our 100 per cent record intact, said Intikhab, the coach of Pakistan`s 2009 Twenty20 World Cup
winning squad.

Pakistan and New Zealand haven`t met in the World Cup since the 1999 semifinal. Pakistan won that match to reach the final. Pakistan has lost just once to New Zealand in the World Cup at Birmingham in 1983.

Pakistan beat New Zealand 3-2 in their ODI series in New Zealand in January-February.