‘Pakistan’s standard is not falling’

Team manager Moin plays down outcry following Zimbabwe humiliation.

Fawad Hussain September 16, 2013
Misbah’s captaincy has become a burning question for some of the former cricketers. PHOTO: AFP


Echoing Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) caretaker Chairman Najam Sethi who rubbished criticism following Pakistan’s loss in the second Harare Test, manager Moin Khan defended the team’s performance in Zimbabwe terming it as ‘satisfactory’.

The tourists’ 24-run defeat in the final Test that deprived them of a much-needed series victory drew heavy flak as former cricketers rued the shock loss to a weak opposition.

Erstwhile speedster Shoaib Akhtar said Pakistan ‘hit rock bottom’ by losing against the struggling side but the team management appeared unfazed with the shock loss.

Former captain Moin, who accompanied the team as manager, backed the players’ performance.

“I don’t think our level is going down,” Moin told reporters at the Karachi airport upon his return from Zimbabwe yesterday. “We didn’t play well in the matches we lost. The team lost the One-Day International (ODI) game because unfortunately we didn’t perform both in bowling and batting; we were 25-30 runs short while in the Test our batting didn’t do well. In contrast, Zimbabwe played well in these matches by exploiting their home conditions well. But, overall I will say our performance was satisfactory. There is no need to apologise as we didn’t lose any series.”

Moin backs Hafeez and seniors

The former captain backed underfiring Mohammad Hafeez, saying he hoped the senior all-rounder would regain his form in Tests soon.

“I wouldn’t say Hafeez is failing consistently. He has been performing well in the Twenty20s and ODIs.

“Yes, his Test form is concerning but I know Hafeez is keen and a hardworking cricketer who will strive to regain form in the format.”

Moin further said he was happy with the performance of the senior players who were rested for the tour. “The seniors played well, especially Younus [Khan] and Misbah [ul Haq]. I am also happy with the performance of youngsters Khurram Manzoor and Rahat Ali.”

On Dav Whatmore whose planning as the head coach is also under severe criticism, Moin said, “It wasn’t my domain. But I feel mistakes do happen. Whatmore is working on it and I hope he will rectify his mistakes in the future.”

Asad Shafiq, Manzoor and Faisal Iqbal were among the team members who returned from Zimbabwe.

Debate for change in guard in full swing

Meanwhile, captain Misbah is once again on the forefront of receiving criticism that questions his leadership qualities.

Former captain Asif Iqbal believes Misbah was a spent force in the ODIs.

“I don’t think there’s room now for Misbah in the one-day side,” Iqbal told Pakpassion.net.

“He should be replaced as captain in that format. I don’t think performances by the one-day side have been good enough recently under Misbah and a fresh outlook is needed in the fifty-over format. As far as the Test side is concerned, Misbah should continue as captain.”

Meanwhile, another former captain Zaheer Abbas also called for changes in captaincy and team management. “I think both captain and coach have been given enough time,” he said.

“Misbah has been showing individual performance. A good captain or a player is the one who helps his team win with his contribution.

“Whatmore lacks proper planning and it’s time to bring a new coach.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2013.

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Noah | 9 years ago | Reply

Zimbabwe put in an improved peformance against Pakistan after the Indian whitewash weeks back. They learnt a lot from the Indians. They had some good bowlers with genuine talent. The Pakistan team mentioned Zimbabwean conditions being helpful to the home side. That's true. The toss is key at Harare Sports club. The loss of Younis Khan in last innings on day 4 was also key. Zim was due a win in both tests and one day and it worked out that way. Maybe guys should credit a Zim-side rich on game time because there have hardly been any changes in playing personel which has helped. On a crumbled pitch Pakistan resorted to boundaries and something had to give eventually

javed qamer | 9 years ago | Reply

Pakistan did not do well in the Zimbabwe tour. reasons for that are many. Poor batting skills, bowlers not performing etc. However the howler is moin khans response that we performed well. Since Moin was the manager of the team he could not criticize the team. It is frustrating to read comments from ex players criticizing at the first opportunity. However when they come in power all of a sudden everything is fine. The journalists have to stop interviewing these faded stars and hopefully they will disappear.

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