ISLAMABAD - Former chief selector Iqbal Qasim has said that England have 60 percent chances of winning the Champions League semifinal against Pakistan.

Talking to The Nation, former left-arm spinner Qasim said: “Frankly speaking, England are a complete professional side, they have at least 4 quality all-rounders and they are playing superb modern day cricket. They overcame their mistakes and according to me, they are the best ODI team in the world these days.”

He said other teams learnt from their mistakes and never hide things under victory. “Pakistan did manage to beat South Africa and then, after surviving anxious moments, finally overcame Sri Lanka, but the victory was achieved after real struggle. Had Sri Lankans held on to simple catches on offer, things could have been far different. We must completely discuss the issues, the green caps have been facing since long. It makes no sense of keeping taps when hard-fought victories are achieved.”

Qasim said it was the responsibility of the team management, coach and captain to sit together and discuss in detail the problems being faced by the team and their shortcomings and how to overcome them. “For how long Pakistan team will rely on prayers and bowlers to chase down even modest targets, as it is not the way and style which was expect from a top Test playing nation.

“I am really surprised to watch Pakistan batting was badly struggling despite getting a superb start by new batting sensation Fakhar Zaman, who played fearless cricket and showed the seniors how to bat in normal conditions. Despite getting such a perfect start to their run-chase, other batsmen simply throw it away. It was hard to believe the way Pakistani batsmen were just gifting their wickets,” he added.

The former cricketer said the way Pakistan managed to restrict Sri Lankans to a very decent total was due to superb bowling especially by the fast bowlers, which was missing since long. “Aamir bowled with lot of pace and venom, while Junaid Khan was simply mind blowing. It was slap on the faces of those, who almost destroyed Junaid’s career. It was huge injustice to such a fantastic and wicket-taking bowler, who had the habit of taking wickets up front, but he simply shut his critics mouths up with his sensation bowling display.

“It was nice to watch Faheem Ashraf was finally given a chance to represent the country. I don’t know why the team management is reluctant to take bold decisions. I thought Faheem should have been in the playing XI against India as well, as he showed signs of quality all-rounder in the practice match against Bangladesh,” he added.

Qasim said: “I still believe senior batsmen have to deliver now, as it makes no sense of consuming 50 odd balls and scoring 15 to 20 runs and it puts extra pressure on the batsmen. Sarfraz and Aamir batted not only superbly but they also showed how to rotate strike, which is very important for every team and batsmen as it is key to success. Chasing less than 5 runs an over was very simple, you need to score singles with an odd boundary.

“Hafeez, Azhar, Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik must fulfill their potential and score quick runs. I feel Pakistan should give chance to Haris Sohail, he could strengthen not only middle order but can also score fast runs as well. I feel Sarfraz should change batting order, as Azhar, Babar Azam or Hafeez should make way for Haris and in case Pakistan need leg spinner, Shadab Khan must bring in. I fear Faheem Ashraf might become causality, as team management is not making decisions based on ground realities. I am confident enough Pakistan can beat England, but for that they have to play very well, commit less mistakes, enter with aggressive frame of mind, as crowd, conditions, pitch and morale in English camp will be sky high,” he added.

“It will be ideal time for green caps to give England a shocker as they are capable of doing so. Despite having 40 percent chances of winning against England, if Pakistan team handles the pressure and utilise their options well, they can win the semifinal,” Qasim concluded.