ISLAMABAD -  Former Test player and junior selection committee chairman Basit Ali has termed Shadab Khan as future star and also lashed out at those, who are criticizing the youngster.

Talking to The Nation, Basit said: “According to me, Shadab is extremely unlucky not to take at least 4 or more wickets as pitch was ideally supportive for his bowling, probably, he had taken lot of pressure, otherwise, he was bound to succeed.”

He said one must remember he had predicted well before start of the Test series that West Indian pitches start reacting oddly. “Bounce is uneven and it will take extra efforts for batsmen to spend time at the crease and spinners are bound to dominate, unlike of 1990s pitches, when the West Indian fast bowling greats use to rip apart the world’s best batsmen.”

The former cricketer said the bowlers were not successful on these tracks. “Only those bowlers, who used seam to best of their abilities, succeed in bagging wickets, otherwise, only spinners were bound to take huge advantage. I must give credit to Misbah for taking bold and wise decisions, no matter, his decision of including Shadab backfired, but he also made huge gamble by including M Abbas, who, according to me, is arguably the best fast bowler of first 10 overs in Test matches after the great Australian pacer Glenn McGrath and M Asif.

“I seriously feel that toss holds the key in West Indies in determining the outcome of a Test match. The team, which wins the toss, I feel, it has bright chances of winning the Test matches,” he added.

Basit said he technically backed PCB chairman Shahryar Khan’s statement regarding legendry Imran Khan and Misabh’s captaincy. “In cricketing sense, Shahryar is right, because Imran had not one, two or three but had countless match winners at his armoury. Mostly bowlers help the teams win matches not batsmen. Imran has the liberty of having Abdul Qadir, Mushtaq Ahmed, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younus, Iqbal Qasim, Tauseef Ahmed, who were all match winners, but when we look at Misabh, he had not a single match winning bowler, as when he took over the captaincy, Pakistan cricket was rocked by spot-fixing scandal, but Misbad steadies the sinking ship of Pakistan cricket.

“Imran was natural skipper and born leader, while Misbah was accidentally made skipper. I feel only Abdul Hafeez Kardar, Mushtaq Muhammad, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Salim Malik and M Hafeez were natural leaders, while remaining all were accidentally made skippers,” he added.

Basit said one thing was quite sure that Misbah had faced lot of undue, unwanted and uncalled for criticism, while his services were not given that appreciation, which he deserved. “Misbah steadied the sinking ship of Pakistan cricket with his tireless leadership and superb match-winning performances. Pakistan had done well under Misbah while the West Indies series is not over yet. It was although batsmen, who were at fault and allowed West Indian bowlers too much liberty and respect, otherwise, Pakistan could have chased down the target. But pitches also played significant role and helped West Indies bowlers a lot.

“I am sure, Misbah and team management will learn from their mistakes and enter the series decider with positive frame of mind. Pakistan should enter the third Test with all guns blazing and win the series for the sake of Misbah to pay tribute to one of the highly successful captains, Pakistan cricket has ever witnessed,” Basit concluded.

 

MOHSIN ALI