ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan Test cricketer and one of the most successful domestic coaches Basit Ali has described Sarfraz Ahmed as one of the best captains he had ever witnessed after 1992.

Basit Ali while talking to The Nation Friday said credit must be given where it belongs and in his personal opinion it was Sarfraz, who should have been given man of the match award against England in the semi-final as it was his brave and unmatched leadership, which brought the downfall of the mighty England. “The way Sarfraz led the side; his pin point decisions; his bowling changes; his grip and field placing were mind blowing. Sarfraz showed what the youngster possesses and has proved that he will be only getting better and better with time and ready to accept the responsibility of leading the green caps ultimately in the Tests as well.”

Basit said everybody had ruled out Pakistan after the opening encounter against India but critics had completely forgotten that Pakistan had a habit of doing the unbelievable things and come out all guns blazing when chips are down. “Yes I agree Pakistan committed a lot of mistakes and Sarfraz was also under enormous pressure but it was his very first match as captain of the national team against India and it was quite obvious he took lot of stick for that one mistake. But after that everybody had witnessed a completely transformed Sarfraz, a cool and calm and composed skipper, who was using his brain to make all the right decisions after the first hammering. Frankly speaking, Sarfraz had shown the guts and leadership qualities which were missing since decades.”

Basit said the way Sarfarz led the team against Sri Lanka was also classic example of his abilities to under pressure and batted superbly alongside Aamir, who also showed resilience and it was also a message to all those batsmen, who simply threw away their wickets that, it neither extra-ordinary pitch nor Sri Lankan bowling but it was poor shot selection that cost them their wickets..

He also uttered his shock over Amir Sohail’s comments and said as a former captain he should have not given such childish statement. “Pakistan team had performed brilliantly and they deserve to win and all was done due to unity and hard work and no one presented or gifted victory to Pakistan.”

About Pakistan chance against India in the final, Basit said on papers India are hot favourites and the way they completely outclassed Pakistan in the opening encounter also shifted the balance in their favour but it is past and Pakistan are presently playing mind-blowing cricket. “They are on a roll and the way they demolished England is indicating that Pakistan had picked the momentum at the right time. India will have the strength of its sound batting but it revolves around three top batsmen, Dhawan, Sharma and Kohli. If Pakistan bowlers managed to take these big three conceding 70 or 80 runs, they can easily handle Yuvraj, Dhoni and others as well. In my opinion, after watching the conditions, as Oval always suit batsmen, in case Sarfraz won the toss and opted to bowl first, Pakistan must go all out attacking and try to buy these three crucial wickets as early as possible. We have world’s best fast bowling attack at the moment. Muhamamd Aamir, Ruman Raees, Junaid Khan and Hassan Ali had formed a formidable attack. The way Hassan Ali is playing havoc with the batsmen is a delight to watch. In my opinion, Shahdab Khan should pave way for Aamir as Ruman bowled superbly and Indians are best at playing spinners. Shahdab might have almost zero impact while I feel it is ideal time to include Faheem Ashraf. He will bring that flare in the middle order, which is missing since long.”

He advised the team to play their natural game and forget about past results as the victory is not impossible.