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Pakistan’s inconsistency, a hurdle in becoming the best team: Zaheer Abbas

ISLAMABAD: Asian Bradman Zaheer Abbas believes the lack of consistency in performance, was a big hurdle for the Green-Shirts, in becoming one of the best teams in the world.

“Pakistan team lacks consistency, which is a big hurdle on the way to becoming one of the best teams in the world. We don’t want to be known as a team, which only performs well against weak opposition,” quoted him as saying.

Abbas, was disappointed to see Pakistan lose the Test series against England and especially the first match.

“Pakistan should have won the first Test after taking a first innings lead of more than 100 runs. I was extremely disappointed to see Pakistan lose that match. I won’t take names but Pakistan team made mistakes and had to pay for it in the end,” he said.

The former International Cricket Council (ICC) President said that Pakistan team needs more players like Babar Azam in order to become a competitive side in world cricket.

Abbas, who scored 5,062 runs in 78 Tests, was satisfied with Azam’s performance in the recently concluded Test series against England. “Babar did fairly well in the Test series and looked confident while he was batting. I hope Pakistan produces more players like Babar Azam so that the pressure is not entirely on one player,” he said.

He also shared his thoughts on Azhar Ali’s future as Test captain.

“This is board’s decision to continue Azhar as captain. After playing much cricket, Azhar should be mature by now and understand the importance of scoring runs and leading from front as it will have a positive impact on the entire team,” he said.

Abbas, who scored 2,572 runs in 62 ODIs, also backed middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq, who failed miserably during the series, to come good with if he made a slight technical adjustment.

“Asad has a good technique but, like most players, he is weak on the balls moving away from him. He needs to make a slight adjustment in his stance by keeping his shoulder towards the bowler rather than being chest-on as it could make a huge difference,” he said.

Abbas, was also happy to be inducted in the ICC Hall of Fame, after recently becoming the sixth player from Pakistan to bag that honour.

“It is a big honour for me as well as Pakistan. I was hopeful was being inducted in this list eight or nine years ago but everything happens for a reason and I’m still very happy,” he said.

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.