ISLAMABAD - Former chief selector and spin bowler Iqbal Qasim believes that Pakistan team still have chance to create history by winning the Test series against West Indies.

In an interview with The Nation, Qasim said: “It is true that West Indies team is also highly inexperienced and not as strong like as it was, but they had the advantage of playing at their own conditions and toss was another vital factor, as pitches become very uneven and it is almost impossible for the team chasing targets to achieve the task easily.”

He said credit must be given to Misbah and company for winning the first Test. “According to me, Misbah didn’t do any favour to youngster Shadab by including him straight into the Test squad. It also put extra pressure on Yasir Shah, but thanks to Almighty, Yasir performed exceptionally and didn’t take the pressure, otherwise, if there was any other bowler, he would have also suffered.

“Shadab has just started his international career and it was too early to induct him in the longer version of the game. Let Shadab with the team, provide him exposure and let him play T20 and ODIs for the time being, as it will help him as well as the team. He is future of Pakistan cricket and he is bound to excel but only with proper training and exposure, which will turn him into the best in the business,” he added.

Qasim said Pakistan team would suffer badly after Misbah and Younus, as both would retire after the third and last Test against the West Indies. “I feel if the PCB convinces Younus, he may stay as he is super fit and scoring loads of runs and Pakistan team can’t afford both the senior players bow out at this important stage. Younus is backbone of Pakistan batting so he should stay for at least one year or so.

“Sarfraz is doing well in T20 and ODIs, but pressure is clearly on him, as he is not ready as yet to take over all three formats. I personally feel a senior player like Younus should be given important responsibility for the time being,” he added.

He said Pakistan still had great talent in shape of Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, but it’s never easy to replace the best players like Younus and Misbah. Younus is no doubt one of the best players the international cricket has ever witnessed. The young guns will struggle and especially some high-profile series are coming thick and fast, so the PCB must ensure at least Younus prolong his career, which will give youngsters ample time to adjust and cement their places and will also help them learn from the veteran.”

The team management should have avoided putting extra pressure on Yasir, as already people were talking too much and giving Shadab too much weight, which had put a lot of pressure on Yasir. “Coach and captain must keep on trusting Yasir for longer version, as he is the best which he proved in the second Test.”

He said Aamir was nowhere near what he was six years back, as he had lost pace and venom and looked quite rusty. “Aamir is showing some glimpses of his past form and may return to full form with a passage of time. He needs to deliver quickly as he was hurriedly rushed into the national team and now he is struggling as lot of pressure was put on him. M Asif was a great bowler, but there is no comparison between Aamir and Asif, as age factor is with Aamir. Asif is also doing well at domestic level and he should also be given chance along with Salman Butt, who have been piling runs and Pakistan team also needs an experienced opener like him.”

When asked about PCB chairman Shahryar Khan terming Misbah better captain than Imran Khan, Qasim said: “There is absolutely no comparison between the two. Imran always led from the front, he was brave and bold skipper, and never afraid of losing, while Misbah had taken over captaincy at very difficult time, when Pakistan cricket was under tremendous pressure and spot-fixing was haunting Pakistan cricket. Misbah used his experience well and did a fantastic job, his records are also good, but I can’t say Misbah or Imran was better than each other.”