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September 21, 2018

Zaheer urges Pak batsmen to learn from mistakes


September 21, 2018

DUBAI: It was a full-house at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium and among the many watching the Pakistan-India match – by far the biggest draw of the Asia Cup – was their former captain Zaheer Abbas.

And Zaheer didn’t like what he saw.“It was a highly unprofessional performance from Pakistan,” said Zaheer, who blamed the “poor approach of the batsmen” for Pakistan’s eight-wicket defeat against India on Wednesday night.

“I was expecting a much better showing from our batsmen,” Zaheer told ‘The News’ here in an interview on Thursday.“The conditions weren’t bad for batting and though I believe the Indians have a good bowling attack it wasn’t that great. We could have easily scored 270-280 and that would have been a defendable total.

“But our approach after opting to bat was bad, to say the least. Our batsmen were unable to push for the singles. They took one run when they could have gone for two and took two when three runs were very much a possibility.“That’s why there were so many dot balls and if you are not putting runs on the board you are bound to come under pressure.

“After a slow start our batsmen should have struck with the plan and should have tried to consolidate. But most of them threw away their wickets playing rash shots. That’s unacceptable because it’s not Twenty20 cricket. It’s a fifty over match and the least you can do is make sure that you play the full quota of overs and give your bowlers something to defend.”

Zaheer, who is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all-time, said that Pakistan should learn from how India’s batsmen especially their stand-in captain Rohit Sharma approached the run-chase.

“The Indian batsmen played very professionally. They didn’t take any risks but they didn’t shy from scoring run either. I was impressed with how Rohit crafted his innings. He rotated the strike and never wasted any opportunity score runs.”Zaheer was also disappointed with Pakistan’s feeble attempt to defend their small total of 162.

“The bad part was that you didn’t see any real will to go out there and make a match out of it. Our bowlers were unable to rise to the occasions. They were unable to put any worthwhile pressure on the Indian batsmen.”That said, Zaheer was confident that Pakistan were capable of conquering India in their next game – a Super Fours clash at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.

“There are very capable batsmen in the Pakistan team. If players like Fakhar Zaman get going then we have a great chance of beating any team.“The one thing our batsmen need to do is not repeat the same mistakes that they committed yesterday.”

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