Pakistan can clean sweep experience-less Sri Lanka: Rashid Latif

Former skipper said national team faces big challenge to grab the eighth spot to qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy

APP July 14, 2015
Former wicketkeeper thinks Pakistan can benefit from the absence of Sangakkara and Jayawardene. PHOTO: FILE/AFP

KARACHI: Former skipper Rashid Latif has said that Pakistan is capable of making a clean sweep in the five-match One-day International series against Sri Lanka.

"If Pakistan carry forward the momentum they picked from the final Test and first ODI, they have got bright chance to make it 5-0," he told APP in an interview on Monday.

He said Pakistan has hugely benefitted from the retirement of Sri Lankan top batting duo of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.

"Sri Lanka, at the moment, is lacking in experience in the absence of Sangakkara and Jayawardene," he said.

He, however, said Pakistan is facing a big challenge to grab the eighth spot to qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy being staged in England after Bangladesh stunned South Africa to cement seventh spot in the ICC ranking.

Read: Rashid Latif suggests Pakistan, India day-night clashes for Tests’ survival

Pakistan team will be battling with the West Indies during the tri-series in Zimbabwe to grab the eighth spot.

He said Pakistan's catching and ground fielding has visibly improved and if they don't drop catches and maintain the standard it can help them in their goals.

Rashid opined that Pakistan team management and players must keep a close eye on their grey areas if they wanted to make a 5-0 clean sweep.

He said Azhar Ali's team was showing fighting qualities which was good sign.

"Consistency is the key and Pakistan batters and bowlers must maintain that habit," Rashid commented.

Pakistan thrashed Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the opening one-day in Dambulla with over four overs to spare. The two teams will clash in the second match at Palekelle International Stadium on Wednesday.

Rashid said Hafeez really performed well with the bat and ball which was encouraging.

"Yasir Shah can be Pakistan's trump card if used well and tactically handled," he remarked.

He said the started well even without their strike fast-bowler Wahab Riaz.

"Our team is looking good and for achieving more success they must be focused," he concluded.