DUABI - Former Pakistan cricket team captain Zaheer AAbbas fully lauded young and dynamic left-handed batsman Haris Sohail and termed him future bright prospect of national team.

Talking to The Nation, Asian Bradman Zaheer said: “It was a treat to watch how did the youngster handle the pressure very nicely. He also bowled beautifully, which shows tremendous ability and determination the young lad possess. In fact, Haris turned the entire complexion of the match in Pakistan favour.”

“Pakistan was almost down and out in the first ODI in Dubai, and no one was ready to give even an outside chance to green shirts to score victory, when Pakistan team had lost six wickets with only 124 runs on the board. But the way Haris handled the pressure and remained cool, calm and focused, is a perfect example, how the youngsters should follow him,” he added.

“I fully endorse the way Afridi batted, as it was completely different Boom Boom I had witnessed since long. He pasted his innings well and not played even a single rash stroke and also guided Haris Sohail. Afridi has proven his critics wrong by playing such a patience knock, so he deserves full credit for playing sheet-anchor role in helping the country reach home safely,” Zaheer said.

“Now Haris has showed his class, but I must urge him to be more focused and try to cement his place in the team. He must carry on the good work and should not relax rather play some better innings than this one. Consistency holds the key, so he must adopt to the situation and try to give consistent performances to ensure his place in the team. He could turn into perfect all-rounder, which Pakistan team badly required especially under these circumstances when Saeed Ajmal is already not available, Hafeez is also stopped by ICC from bowling due to suspected action.

“Pakistan team can’t afford leniency, as the world cup is just round the corner. Haris has to fill the vacant shoes of not only Ajmal but also of Hafeez, if Hafeez is not cleared for bowling,” he added. Zaheer said Sharjah wicket always supported batsmen and one should also not forget the dew factor. “The team chasing targets always get the upper hand and bowlers find it really difficult to control the ball. I personally feel Pakistan team should go for fielding if wins the toss.” Reply to a query regarding team combination for the second ODI, Zaheer replied: “The same combination should be picked for the second ODI. There is no need of changing the winning combination as it makes no sense.”

“Pakistan team has done hard work and earned crucial victory in the first ODI, now they need to carry the momentum and not to let Kiwis off the hook. The national team must enter the match with clear-cut frame of mind and winning mentality. Pakistan has a more balanced and competitive side and has the luxury of rotating the squad, as replacements are quite good as well. I think Pakistan should win the match if aggressive approach is adopted,” Zaheer concluded.