KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) junior chief selector Basit Ali has backed Pakistan to win the third and final ODI on Saturday at Auckland if they play at their level best.
Basit felt that even though hosts New Zealand are playing top cricket at the moment, the visitors can cause an upset if they pull together and play ‘fearless’ cricket.
However, he added that there seems to be a lack of harmony in the camp and the players seem to be playing for themselves, in order to ensure that they stay within the side, rather than for the team.
“Pakistan can still beat New Zealand despite being blown away in the first ODI and I expect them to come back hard in the third ODI, provided they play fearless cricket for the team,” said Basit.
The former right-handed batsman added that the players lack confidence due to the constant chopping and changing going on in the team. “So many changes have been made that the players have lost all confidence,” he said. “All they are trying to do is put up individual performances, and that isn’t helping the team. I believe that our batting and bowling are good enough to win us any match on our day.”
The second ODI was washed out on Thursday due to heavy rain, meaning that Pakistan can no longer win the ODI series. A series-levelling win is their best-case scenario after a 70-run defeat in the first ODI in Wellington.
New Zealand won the preceding T20I series 2-1, beating Pakistan in record-breaking fashion in the final two matches after losing the first game.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2016.