KARACHI: Pakistan’s chances of winning their Test series against Sri Lanka on their home ground for the first time in eight year hinges on the performance of the batsmen and their mindset. These views were expressed by former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif on Monday. “Pakistan batting have always been vulnerable and if they played well and clicked together with their full potential they have a chance to upset Sri Lanka,” he added. However, he said, it would be big challenge for them against a well balanced and experienced combination of the home team. He said the Pakistan batsmen may be cautious as they would be vying for selection in the Pakistan team for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
“This cautious approach in Test matches may benefit as well as prove otherwise in the interest of the team,” he commented. “In this scenario, mindset of our batsmen will be crucial in the outcome of the series,” he said.
Rashid said the Pakistan team management had experienced persons and players must show quick adaptation with them for achieving the desired results. He favoured using Ahmad Shahzad and Khurram Manzoor as the opening combination. “Ahmad is an attacking batsman while Khurram graft his innings which is good.” he added. He rated Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan as backbones of the team’s batting. “I want attacking mindset from Misbah as captain as well as a batsman. This will be a good impact on his team,” he pointed out.
He rated Pakistan bowling above their batting. However, he said Saeed Ajmal would not be major threat for the Lankans as they had played a lot of cricket against him. “Ajmal should be more positive and should bowl over the wickets with line in the middle and off instead of containing line like in one-dayers. “Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali and Muhammad Talha are not very experienced but can prove a threat for Lankan batting at times. He said Jayarwardene and Kumar Sangakkara were the key figures and pillars of Sri Lanka batting. “And if our bowler got them early, Pakistan can put pressure on them.” Rashid said left arm spinner Ranagna Herath could pose a problem for Pakistan batting which he had done in the past as well.
It is all very well to try and tell yourself captaining your country in an ICC Cricket World Cup is ...