KARACHI: Pakistan made history with their first five-match series whitewash of Sri Lanka as well as the first-ever in the UAE and former national pacer Muhammad Sami is full of praise for the Men in Green.
The five wins leave Pakistan on a run of nine consecutive ODI wins, following on from the four that saw them claim the Champions Trophy. During the series, Hasan Ali claimed 14 wickets to claim not only the man-of-the-series but also the number one spot in the ODI bowlers’ ranking. Imamul Haq and Usman Khan Shinwari also put in memorable performances with a debut century and one of the fastest five-fors in ODI history respectively, while Muhammad Hafeez once again reached the summit of the ODI all-rounders’ ranking.
“This was one of the best series Pakistan have ever played, with every player performing for the team,” Sami told The Express Tribune. “Everyone played for the team and that was incredible to see.”
Sami was particularly happy with the way the team bounced back from a woeful Test series that they lost 2-0. “Pakistan were unable to do well in the Test series but came back brilliantly to win the ODI series 5-0.”
The Karachi pacer felt good team selection needs to be credited for the team’s performances. “There are many players performing in the domestic circuit but the ones included in the team were the right ones for the job,” he said.
Sami also praised fellow fast-bowler Hasan. “When he first made his appearance in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), he wasn’t praised as much, but credit goes to him for improving so much in such a short time,” he said. “His hard work and dedication to improve is clear. Shinwari on the other hand also showed why he is such a spectacular talent, and as Sarfraz rightly said, he finished the match in the first five overs.”
Yasir Hameed satisfied with openers
Former Test opener Yasir Hameed is happy with the players Pakistan have up the order. “The openers are doing their job really well,” he said. “Openers can provide the impetus needed for a win. Babar Azam is playing superbly and so is Fakhar Zaman, who does need a bit more practice in UAE conditions though.”