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Pakistan must play with positive mindset at SCG to regain confidence: Zaheer Abbas

LAHORE: Former Test batsman Zaheer Abbas has advised the Pakistan team to play with high spirit and postive mindset in the third and final Test against Australia in Sydney while avoiding the mistakes the tourists committed in the first two Tests Down under.

“Pakistan need to play with the right combination and great spirit to win the last Test in order to regain their confidence, which might have gone down after losing the first two Tests,” Zaheer told reporters here on Monday.

Pakistan were beaten in the Test series after they lost the second Test in Melbourne by an innings and 18 runs owing to a stunning last-day batting collapse. Earlier, the tourists had lost the series opener at Brisbane’s Gabba by 39 runs while chasing a mammoth 490 for victory.

Commenting on Pakistan’s bowling that was found wanting in the first two Tests, Zaheer said: “Our bowlers have to bowl economically, which they could not do in the first two Tests. If a bowler earns two or three wickets while conceding around 100 runs, the opponent team can easily build a strong total.”

Zaheer, a former president of the International Cricket Council, said the Sydney tracks traditionally helped fast bowlers on the first day and, later on spinners.

He said while there were news reports indicating that Pakistan might include slow left-arm orthodox spinner Mohammad Asghar as the second spinner alongside frontline leg-spinner Yasir Shah, again the most important factor would be fielding.

“If our fielders drop catches, no bowler can succeed,” he said.

Pakistan, Zaheer insisted, had to perform in all three departments to record a consolation win and take a good start to 2017 while lamenting the fact that the tourists’ batting could not survive the last two sessions of the final day of the second Test.

Earlier, Pakistan, who were chasing a record 490 in Brisbane, went down fighting due to their own blunders from a position where they could have won it.

Zaheer said Pakistan should have won the series against Australia, noting the home team was not that strong,” Zaheer said while answering a question.

When asked whether captain Misbah-ul-Haq should quit Test matches due to ageing factor, Zaheer reckoned a cricketer was always in the best position to decide on retirement.

“The PCB should not take a decision on Misbah retirement, as it will not look sensible to remove a captain who recently elevated the national team to No.1 in Test cricket, and was adjudged Pakistan’s best captain,” Zaheer added.

Misbah became Pakistan’s most successful captain, leaving behind in the process legendary skippers Imran Khan and Javed Miandad. In the six-year period of captaincy during which Pakistan played all their home series at neutral venues of the UAE, Misbah’s men competed in 52 Tests, winning 24, losing 17 and drawing 11.

Prior to Misbah’s six years as captain, Pakistan featured in 48 Tests, winning just 12, losing 22 and drawing 14.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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