Resting five seniors to test bench strength right: Akram

Last Updated: Oct 18, 2010, 18:20 PM IST

New Delhi: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels India is on right track in its preparations for next year`s World Cup and resting five senior players to test bench strength in the ODI series against Australia was a right decision taken by the selectors.

"The decision to drop five senior players for ODI series against Australia has been a brave one. Sehwag and Gambhir are the best opening duo in the world and Sachin is like old wine, getting better every day. More than the batsmen, the decision to rest Zaheer and Harbhajan will definitely impact the bowling attack. But I am sure this is for a justified cause. Even if India lose the ODI series against Australia, there will be nothing to worry," Akram said.

"Indian cricket is surely on the right track. The Test series win against Australia justified their status as world number one and I must laud the national selectors for doing a good job in picking a balanced side for the two matches," Akram wrote in his column.

Akram said at a time when Pakistan`s selectors were groping in the dark, their Indian counterparts were taking some wise decisions which will impact the future.

"At this stage, all nations must be planning for the World Cup early next year and I think, India seem to be making the right moves," said the legendary fast bowler.

He said India`s bench strength is now well established and because of that the selectors rested five seniors players against a strong team like Australia.

"India`s bench strength has been well established now and this is a great sign. Even a few years ago, Indian selectors would not have dared to rest five of the best players in the country against Australia," he said.

"India are by no means a weak side (even without five senior players). Folks like Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh are good enough and Australia will not have it easy. This is a great opportunity for youngsters like Saurabh Tiwari and Shikhar Dhawan to prove themselves. I am sure, at the end of the New Zealand series, the Indian selectors will have a problem of plenty," said Akram.

Akram feels his former fast-bowling partner and current Pakistan coach Waqar Younis should be given more time to bring results to the side.

"My heart runs out to Waqar Younis, who, I am sure, is under pressure to retain his coach`s post. Waqar has been trying hard with the team but the results have not come the way he would have liked. Teaching skills is not everything in Pakistan cricket. It`s about managing people and Waqar has to learn the tricks for his survival. He must be given at least two more months to manage the players. Waqar deserves this cushion," he said.

"The selectors need to do a better job while picking teams. The captain and coach must be involved and official high-handedness should be shunned. I feel (PCB chief) Ejaz Butt`s administration has been worthless and the Pakistan Board must have a sensible man in the chairman`s hot seat."

PTI

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