Told players to concentrate on each match, not future: Mohsin

Karachi: Pakistan`s interim coach, Mohsin Khan has attributed the team`s recent run of success to the mantra, according to which the focus is more on short-term rather than long-term goals.

"I have told the players to concentrate on every match as it comes instead of thinking about the future. The team is now only focused on the current match and that is paying dividends," said Mohsin from Abu Dhabi.

The former Test opener was asked to take over as interim coach after leaving the chief selector`s position for the ongoing series against Sri Lanka.

The team`s success against Sri Lanka has prompted the Pakistan Cricket Board to retain Mohsin as coach for the coming tour of Bangladesh, even as they continue the search for specialist coaches.

Mohsin stepped in after Waqar Younis had resigned after the Zimbabwe tour in September due to health and personal reasons.

"I have told the players don`t plan for an entire series, take it match by match and improve and learn with each day. No team can win everyday but the approach should be to play positively and fight till the end and I am proud that the players are just not giving up even in tight situations," he said.

Pakistan have won back-to-back ODIs against Sri Lanka despite setting them gettable targets, due to which they have taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series after four matches.

Mohsin said he was pleased that the boys had responded well to skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.

"Misbah has got the boys fighting even in tight situations and under pressure and that is a very good sign," he added.

Mohsin agreed that Sri Lanka were struggling without champion spinner Muttiah Muralitharan who retired this year.

"Yes it is true their bowling is not as potent as it was when Murli was in the side. But than he was a champion bowler and won them many matches. He was probably the best spinner in the world.

"But I think the Sri Lankans now need to quickly get over the Murli era and prepare themselves mentally for the post Murli area. The one thing I admire about them is they are a very professional outfit better in that sense than even India and Pakistan.

"The only thing hampering them is their bowling is going through a rebuilding phase and they need to accept that in cricket big players come and go but the game goes on and you adjust. We had Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Saqlain Mushtaq but when they went we learnt to cope without them," he said.

Mohsin, however, admitted that Pakistan were fortunate that it had a rich bowling resources compared to others.

"We are fortunate in that sense that we have quality pacers and spinners and our bench strength has grown immensely and that has helped our performances a lot," he said.

Mohsin was thrilled by Shahid Afridi`s allround show in the fourth ODI but felt senior players needed to produce more such performances consistently.

"Afridi was absolutely brilliant with bat and ball and he inspired the others by playing on despite his injury while fielding. He showed great spirit and that is what is needed more from all the seniors... they need to set examples for the younger players," he said.

Mohsin pointed out that Pakistan not only need to win in Bangladesh but also do well against England and India early next year to cement their place as the most improved side.

"The tougher battles still lie ahead for us but like I said now we go match by match and that is producing results for us."


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