KARACHI: After Pakistan national cricket team’s unbeaten run following the one-off Test and three-match One Day International series in Zimbabwe, it brought delight to the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Chief Selector Mohsin Khan who had been heavily criticised for his selection prior to the tour.
The team featuring new faces whitewashed Zimbabwe in the three-match one-dayers after winning the one-off Test. Khan felt exonerated as it never was an easy task to attain such results against a resurgent Zimbabwe who were enjoying an excellent run after defeating Bangladesh.
“The tour so far has been successful,” Mohsin told The Express Tribune.
“Definitely, Zimbabwe were not weak opposition at home and team’s splendid performance deserves applause,” he said.
Talking about the chance they took over a tricky opposition, Khan said “we never took Zimbabwe as weak opponents but at some point we had to take chances to give new players opportunities ahead of tough series against Sri Lanka and England.”
Team now has back-ups
Pakistan rested main fast bowlers Umer Gul and Wahab Riaz along with blooding some new faces including fast bowler Aizaz Cheema and leg-spinner Yasir Shah as the chief selector said his decision paid dividends.
“If I’ll say I was not afraid that the decision would bounce I’d be wrong,” he said.
“There were some fears because we took risks, but they were taken with honesty in the team interest,” explained Khan.
“We wanted to test new faces to form a back-up pool which is my prime objective since I took over as the chief selector,” he pointed out.
“Today, I can say we have back-up of players in nearly every department.”
Aizaz Cheema provides a suitable option in case any of the regular fast bowlers are unavailable. Back-ups for the wicket-keeper, middle-order batsmen and spin departments have been developed. Players like right-hand leg spinner Yasir Shah has shown promise in Shahid [Afridi's] absence, said Khan.
The selector did point out that the team still had the task of finding best openers before it.
“[Mohammad] Hafeez is improving with each passing day but we still have not reached the target of finding the best opening pair,” lamented Khan.
Team warned of complacency
The chief selector, however warned the team of complacency in the twenty20s saying Zimbabwe had the ability to bounce back.
“It will be a different ball game, he said of the Twenty20 series.
“Pakistan team would have to work hard to beat the hosts because in this format any team can win.”
He hoped opening batsman Ramiz Raja junior who is yet to be seen in action on the tour will get an opportunity in the two-match series.
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