Pakistan to show more faith in youngsters after disappointing India tour
KARACHI: More than half of the Pakistan team that will take on Zimbabwe in a five-match one-day series at home next month will consist of rookie players.
‘The News’ has learnt that the decision to induct fresh legs in the Pakistan squad on an ‘experimental basis’ is a part of a planned drive by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) which wants the team to recover quickly from a disappointing tour of India.
And they believe the best way to go about it is by getting rid of some of the relatively experienced players, who have been giving a below-par performance in recent outings. According to a top PCB official, the Board chairman Nasim Ashraf has given clear instructions to the national selection committee to start looking for junior players good enough to graduate into the big league.
The official, who requested anonymity, also revealed that the PCB top brass has made up its mind to carry out a thorough post-mortem of the team’s performance in India where it lost the one-day series 2-3 and also failed to give the hosts any worthwhile fight in the three-match Test series, which it currently trails 0-1.
“The PCB chief will soon be calling an emergency meeting to discuss the reasons why Pakistan were unable to live up the expectations in India,” said the official. “The meeting will be attended by some of the Board’s top officials, the national team management and the coaches working for the National Cricket Academy (NCA),” the official added.
He said that the meeting is also aimed at finding a solution for the current shortage of reliable bench players. “Everybody saw Pakistan’s performance in India and it was hardly impressive, apart from a few success stories,” said the official.
The PCB, which was expecting Pakistan to show more improvement after a forceful showing at the inaugural World Twenty20 championship in South Africa this September, is quite concerned over the fact that their team flopped against South Africa at home, where it lost both the one-day and Test series, and then against India in the away tour.
Top Board officials are particularly unhappy with the performance of some of the experienced players and now want youngsters to be given a bigger role. They want the national selectors and the team officials to work together and find more reliable openers and are also calling for a substitute wicket-keeper as regular stumper Kamran Akmal continues to spill catches.
“We are all convinced that there is a need to bring in more youngsters in the side. And we also believe that the series against Zimbabwe will be the perfect event to give ample opportunity to newcomers,” the official explained.
PCB officials are pleased with the impressive performances from players like middle-order batsman Misbah-ul-Haq, medium pacer Sohail Tanvir and all-rounder Fawad Alam in India and are of the view that the team needs more new blood in its preparations for next year’s Champions Trophy in Pakistan and more importantly the 2011 World Cup to be held in the sub-continent.