KARACHI: Former cricketers heaped praise on young Hasan Ali and the experienced duo of Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez following the trio's impressive performances in Pakistan's seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the opening T20I at Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Thursday.
The Men in Green built upon their impressive 5-0 whitewash of the Islanders in the ODI series with yet another commanding display in the 20-over opener as they opened up a 1-0 lead.
Hasan was once again a key performer, claiming three wickets in the romp and earning a rave review from former all-rounder Abdul Razzaq.
“Hasan has kept his performances up in all formats," Razzaq told The Express Tribune. "He became the number one bowler in ODIs and is now doing good in T20 too. His aggressive bowling has helped the team in all formats, which makes him the team's best bowling option of late."
Razzaq feels Hasan's consistency is highly contagious as it urges others to follow suit.
“His heroic performances have also boosted the morale of other bowlers like it did in the case of Usman Khan Shinwari, who bagged a five-wicket haul in an ODI and two scalps in his first T20I," he said. "If these two bowlers keep their form up then Pakistan can do well against other top cricketing nations too."
Former chief selector Sallahuddin Sallu, meanwhile, was more impressed with the veterans' feats.
“The way Malik and Hafeez handled the situation after the team lost three quick wickets was good to watch," he said. "They give young players the motivation to push themselves harder."
Despite Hafeez being recently reported for a suspect bowling action, Sallu believes the man nicknamed "Professor" still looks in good bowling shape.
“Hafeez looks in good shape and taking wickets will help him too," he said. "I hope he has started working and concentrating on correcting his action as he is an asset for the team."