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Pakistan’s best chance to go for clean sweep over WI: Mohsin

Pakistan’s best chance to go for clean sweep over WI: Mohsin

KARACHI: Former opener, chief selector and coach Mohsin Khan on Wednesday lauded Pakistan’s fine victory over the West Indies in the first Test at Kingston and said Pakistan must seize this opportunity to inflict a clean sweep against the West Indies and create history.

“Our bowlers and batsmen both performed well to beat the West Indies and go one up in the series, but they must realise that this is the best opportunity to go for a clean sweep against the home side since they are not at their best at the moment,” said Mohsin while talking to Dawn. “Not taking anything away from Pakistan, I don’t think I have seen a weaker West Indies side, so Misbah-ul-Haq’s men should strive harder to create history now.”

Praising Mohammad Amir and Yasir Shah’s bowling, Mohsin said both the players came into their own after remaining off colour for a few games which is good omen for the team. “Both Amir and Yasir performed as strike bowlers in this Test while they were not at their best in the past couple of series,” he observed.

“As for the batsmen, I must commend the way skipper Misbah anchored the first innings and then finished the game with a flourish in the second,” he said.

“Seasoned Younis Khan and talented Baber Azam also played superbly in the first innings although I feel that Baber, batting at key number three spot, should be encouraged by coach and captain to stay focused for a hundred to hold the innings together for which he has the required potential.”

Assessing the performance of opener Ahmed Shehzad and Azhar Ali, Mohsin said both looked tentative in the middle despite being very talented players.

“I feel that constant chop and change policy of the national selectors is taking away the confidence of some of our best batsmen like Shehzad and Azhar and Asad Shafique who seem to be suffering due to this policy,” Mohsin pointed out.

He emphasized that the selectors must repose faith in the seniors as well as the youngsters and give them a free hand and longer run which will help them give their best.

The dashing opener had special praise for Younis who reached 10,000 run mark at Sabina Park to set a new Pakistan record of Test runs. “He has been a fantastic player for Pakistan, not just as a batsman but as a brilliant fielder and above all as a very fine, disciplined human being who has earned respect of his colleagues,” said Mohsin.

Recalling his association with Younis during his days as chief selector, Mohsin said: “I vividly recall the time when I took over as chief selector in 2010. Younis was serving a suspended ban at the time after the miserable tour of Australia and was clearly suffering from depression and felt isolated. I contacted him and gave him confidence and arranged a patch-up meeting between him and then PCB chairman Ijaz Butt which worked wonders for him.

“Later, in my tenure as head coach, Younis bounced back strongly with sterling performances against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and England after I told him that he will never be dropped from the team.”

“So I feel that I definitely have a part in his success and am proud of it. I must also compliment Younis and Misbah for making the right decision to quit the game when they are still revered by public and are performing. Although their departure will create a big vaccum, they have set a good precedent to leave on a high note,” said Mohsin.

Published in Dawn, April 27th, 2017

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