Malik asks Pakistan to bank on spinners

Updated: Feb 14, 2011, 18:54 PM IST

Lahore: Urging the Pakistani team to rely heavily on the spinners, former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik said spin bowlers would play a decisive role in the upcoming World Cup, to be jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"Already we have seen in the warm-up match between Australia and India how important a role spinners can play in this tournament," Malik, who was a shock omission from Pakistan World Cup squad, told reporters.

Malik also pointed out that since the tournament is being held in February-March, the weather at this time of the year in all three host nations would be hot and humid and the pitches would be generally slow, which will make life difficult for the batsmen.

"I would advice the Pakistan captain and coach to go with at least one specialist spinner in every match," he said.

Malik noted that if Pakistan played with at least one specialist spinner it would also help them maintain a quick over-rate and gives an opportunity to use the pace bowlers in short spells.

"The weather in Sri Lanka during the group matches is going to be hot and the pace bowlers will find it hard to bowl long spells. So the spinners come into play," he said.

The all rounder, who bowls off-breaks, said teams with the most depth in slow bowling would dominate the World Cup.

"Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are all well equipped in this department so it is going to be an interesting tournament and a battle between the bat and ball."

Malik said while he is still disappointed over his exclusion from the World Cup squad but had not given up hope of playing for Pakistan again.

"As an international cricketer one goes through such phases in life and one has to accept them and learn to stage comebacks. I am playing domestic cricket regularly so that no one can say that I have lost touch. I also keep myself fit this way."

Malik said he planned to visit all the three host countries to watch some World Cup matches.