KARACHI: Former captain and current chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said on Saturday that the Pakistan batsmen should have played with a positive approach in the second innings of the ongoing first Test against New Zealand at Christchurch instead of blocking everything which has not really paid off.
He stated that while the bowlers had brought back the team into contention, batsmen’s negative approach has put the team in a precarious position. Openers Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam put up a 21-run opening stand in 21 overs which was extremely defensive cricket from the two players. Sami made a 57-ball seven while Azhar took it to another level as he consumed as many as 173 balls for his lacklusture 31.
“When you play 170 balls and don’t score much, the pressure obviously gets to the team,” said Inzamam while talking to Dawn at the National Stadium in Karachi.
“I’m saying this as an ex-cricketer as I was in a similar position several times but got out by playing positively. I think the players needlessly went into a shell and played too many dot balls.
“However, I’m hopeful that the team will do well as the tour progresses. Pakistan did well in England and this team has showed the spirit of staging a comeback.”
He also claimed that the track record of Pakistan outside Asia is better than the rest of the continental teams including India and Sri Lanka. “If you look at the history of Asian teams outside the continent, Pakistan have been the best Asian team as we have registered many victories in away tours.”
The selection committee has been under the pump for fast-tracking of Mohammad Nawaz and youngster Babar Azam into the Test side despite the latter scoring back-to-back centuries against West Indies in the three-match ODI series.
Several top performers of first-class cricket — Naeemuddin, Usman Salahuddin, Asif Zakir, Akbar-ur-Rehman — have been overlooked despite consistent showing whereas Babar have been given a run.
“As far as Babar is concerned, the team management feels that he can do well at number three in Tests as well after his exploits in ODIs thus he is being backed. He is future of Pakistan cricket and we’re investing in him,” the 46-year-old expressed.
When inquired about why Asad Shafiq was demoted so quickly at a time when he alongwith Azhar are being considered as replacements of Younis and Misbah at three and four, Inzamam said that Asad has a long career ahead of him and he will certainly be given a long run at number three in the future.