ISLAMABAD - Former chief selector and head coach Mohsin Hassan Khan termed Pakistan team balanced for the three-match ODI and three-T20 Internationals against New Zealand.
Talking to The Nation, Mohsin said: “Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has given a strong and clear message to rest of the squad, whom in recent past, the PCB had labeled as match winners and important ones, like M Irfan and Junaid Khan, but with the return of tainted M Aamir, Irfan is completely ignored and others should be prepared for their turn.”
Criticising the way of Waqar Younis’ coaching, Mohsin said: “I am worried about the way Waqar had mishandled Junaid Khan and others. His personal liking and disliking had not only cost him as head coach, but also inflicted huge damages on national team, which is now lying down at number 9 in ICC ODI rankings and number 6 in T20 rankings.
“The players are highly talented, but they are not being utilized properly. If the selection criteria is made simple and only merit must be given importance, I can assure, the green caps are more than capable of sitting in top three in all the three formats in the ICC rankings,” he added.
About Umar Gul’s comeback, Mohsin said it was a good omen for Pakistan cricket. “I sincerely hope Gul performs well and cement his place in the squad. His absence had cost Pakistan team dearly, as they didn’t even have a single bowler, who could bowl depth overs. I am amazed Irfan was selected for ODIs, while he was ignored in T20Is.”
He said the team was quite balanced and now the real test of Waqar’s abilities started. “If Waqar picks up the right combination and utilized his bowling and bating options accordingly, I am sure Pakistan will perform well. The batsmen must be used according to the situation as New Zealand has done remarkably well against all the opponents including the mighty Aussies and it will take extra efforts to tame Kiwis. The green caps must enter with a game plan, positive frame of mind and with winning mentality.”
About T20 captain Shahid Afridi, Mohsin said: “As we all know, Afridi is a natural striker of the ball, he can’t perform in 10 matches on the trout. He can only perform in 3 or 4 matches out of 10, but he is a match winner and whenever he leads from the front, Pakistan team always dictates terms. As a captain, he should be more patient and must put extra efforts.”
To a query regarding extension in coach Waqar’s contract, Mohsin said: “Waqar doesn’t deserve extension, as he destroyed the national team, even teams like Bangladesh inflicted whitewash on green caps. The PCB is in best position to explain why Waqar was granted extension, now it is the golden time, Waqar must prove his worth and not let down the PCB and the team.”
To another query regarding Waqar’s outburst against him, Mohsin replied: “I don’t want to comment on that. It is not my caliber to reply to childish accusations leveled by the super flop coach. Former PCB chairman, media and masses are fully aware about Waqar’s record and what I had done for the country in the time of need. At a time when the team’s morale was at its lowest ebb, I was the one who took them from lows and transformed them into winning unit.”
When asked about Umar Akmal’s saga, Mohsin said: “The PCB is in a fix, and doesn’t know direction and always passes on the burden to the players. In my opinion, it is the PCB who should be put under radar rather than players have to suffer the brunt. The PCB has made national team a laughing stock, and they must be put under scrutiny, rather than the players.”
About realistic chances of Pakistan team doing well in both ODIs and T20 internationals, Mohsin said: “Playing combination, game plan and Waqar’s approach hold the key to green caps’ results. If the team was selected on personal liking and disliking, like we had witnessed so many times in the past, it would be a lost cause, but if commonsense prevails and Waqar sets aside his personal ego, I am sure Pakistan team is more than capable of beating Kiwis at their own backyard.”