KARACHI: The resounding win in the first two T20I matches against the West Indies not only sealed a series victory for Sarfraz Ahmed’s men but also earned them accolades from some of the greats of the game.
Sarfraz has started his captaincy stint in the shortest format with three wins in three games, dominating both of last year’s World T20 finalists.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, who won the man-of-the-match award for his breezy unbeaten 46, thanked his teammates for an all-round effort en route to a 16-run win on Saturday night.
“It was a total team effort,” he said. “Conditions were tough because of the dew. The ball was slipping but we finished it well. Khalif Latif batted well, Imad Wasim and Mohammad Nawaz impressed. I promoted myself and played positively. Credit also goes to Shoaib Malik for finishing the innings.”
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‘All-round performance’ impresses Afridi
Shahid Afridi, who was replaced by Sarfraz in the captaincy saddle after an embarrassingly early World T20 exit in India, also praised the team.
“Congratulations to the side, a brilliant all-round performance led to the series win and the entire team deserves this success which was set-up by a fine bowling performance,” Afridi told The Express Tribune. “The team gelled well together and combined to deliver a big win against the T20 world champions. Their performance was a treat to watch.”
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Need to develop killer instinct: Tauseef
Selector Tauseef Ahmed was also impressed by Pakistan’s performance but the former Test off-spinner feels that the team can improve further by being more ruthless.
“It’s a superb team effort, we combined very well the first game we chased at a canter and in the second one we defended the total admirably,” he said. “There are still weaknesses; we lacked the killer instinct to an extent and allowed West Indies to make a comeback with the bat in the final few overs of both games.”
Youngsters eager to impress, says Nadeem
Former Test spinner and member of the newly installed Pakistan Cricket Board cricket committee Nadeem Khan observed that the change in leadership has renewed the spirit and attitude of the players.
“The team played like a unit and the brand of cricket was positive throughout in all departments,” he said. “The finishing touch needs to improve though.”
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Nadeem heaped praise on left-arm spinner Imad Wasim, while stating that pacer Sohail Tanvir will need to keep producing quality performances if he is to retain his place in the team considering the competition for places.
“Imad is a tremendous talent just because his attitude is so positive and his performance stood out,” said Nadeem. “Tanvir bowled well yet I don’t see a role for him in the longer run unless he performs consistently. So Sohail will have to be on his toes all the time and perform with the bat also.”
Nadeem also observed that Sarfraz’s success as a captain was adequate proof that grooming a captain from a young stage is always beneficial.
“Sarfraz always had more chance of success since he has been groomed into a captain and he has proven that he’s ready for captaincy demands at the international level,” he said.
Waqar says team’s sum bigger than its parts
Legendary fast-bowler and former Pakistan head coach Waqar Younis also expressed his happiness at the win, hinting that the new team devoid of any big names was better than a ‘team of greats’.
“Better to have a great team than a team of greats. Congratulations to PCB and Sarfraz and young determined team green, let’s make it 3-0”, tweeted Waqar.
Courtesy : Express Tribune