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Hafeez’s captaincy made the difference: Qasim

KARACHI:Former spinner and selector Iqbal Qasim hailed Hafeez’s captaincy and praised the all-rounder for learning from previous mistakes and taking bold decisions to rectify them.

“It is a great achievement for Pakistan, and all credit goes to the brilliant performance by Hafeez,” Qasim told The Express Tribune. “He has proved to be not only the right choice [as captain], but also the best experienced player in the line-up. He smartly learnt from the mistakes that Azhar made [in the previous ODI] and also adopted the right decisions taken by the Aussies to allow Pakistan to register such an important win.”

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Qasim further added that Hafeez utilised Junaid Khan to perfection which led to the Australia batting line-up coming under pressure from the onset. “Hafeez not only used the right blowers at the right time, he used Junaid at the best moment and that made the difference as Australia’s top-order got under pressure. That changed the momentum of the match.”

He also added that no matter how big a team is, if their top-order is disturbed then the team automatically comes under pressure.

Qasim heaped further praise on Hafeez for using spinners at a time when the tempo of the game needed to be slowed. “Hafeez used the spinners, including himself, extremely well. He introduced Imad at the most opportune moment to slow down the tempo and when the bowling came under pressure in the last 10 overs, he used the combination of Malik and Imad to restrict Australia to a low total.”

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Hafeez led from the front and put up a strong opening partnership with Sharjeel and Qasim believes that opening stand laid down the foundation for Pakistan’s win. “The partnership of Hafeez and Sharjeel played a key role in boosting the morale of the team. A strong opening partnership is what was missing in the first ODI.”

He further added, “Today every batman was able to reach double figures and that is because of Hafeez who led from the front and gave confidence to his team which is the real job of a captain.

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Qasim went on to suggest that Hafeez has given the team management a tough task as they now need to decide whether to reinstate Azhar as captain when he returns from injury or continue with Hafeez. “The team management should let Hafeez lead in this series. Azhar needs his rest and needs time to recover,” he said.

Qasim also praised the selectors for making a right choice in selecting Hafeez over Kamran Akmal for the ODI squad. “Hafeez has proven to be the right choice. Not only is a good batsman but he also did really well with the ball and that is what Pakistan needed badly. Kamran would have been a good choice but Hafeez is certainly better.”

courtesy : express tribune

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