ISLAMABAD - Former fast bowler and inventor of reverse swing Sarfraz Nawaz has said that the national team has bright chances of inflicting defeat on hosts England in the upcoming series.

Talking to The Nation, Sarfraz said: “Pakistan team needs collective efforts to achieve this goal. Although it will be little tough yet highly possible, keeping in mind, England have very ordinary lower middle order and it will not tough task for Pakistani bowlers to rip through English tail enders.”

About the selection of squad, Sarfraz asked about the criterion of selecting the players, whether it was domestic cricket performance or international matches. “On what grounds, a highly stylish batsman like Fawad Alam was ignored, who have scored loads of runs in domestic circuit. Fawad is a left-handed batsman, which Pakistan team badly needs in the middle order, as we don’t have enough left-handed batsmen.

“Dropping Ahmed Shahzad and Umar Akmal also don’t make any sense. One thing is quite certain, Ahmed Shahzad was dropped just to adjust Shan Masood, who is a very close relative of a high-ranked influential government servant. Ahmed was playing quite well and in England, experience counts a lot. Sami Aslam and Shan Masood will struggle to cope with fast and seaming conditions,” he added.

Sarfraz also expressed his surprise over inclusion three injured players in the squad. “Three players M Hafeez, Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar were injured during the training camp, but all of a sudden, from nowhere and reasons best known to PCB chief selector, they were declared fully fit and were also selected for the highly-important tour.”

The former pacer said Sohail Khan’s induction was a good decision as he would be more than handy with the leather, because he was a right-handed bowler and could play more than handy role. “Imran Khan is also right arm fast bowler, but I believe Sohail can prove himself a successful one, as he can swing the ball both ways. There will be a huge pressure on M Aamir, as he has to come up with wonders both on and off the pitch, as entire British and international media will be seen in focusing on Aamir. They will try their level best to deter Aamir’s focus and use every trick in their pocket not to let Aamir settle down, but I believe Aamir can come up with all cylinders blazing and shut his critics’ mouths with his match-winning performances.”

Sarfraz said Pakistan had advantage of having two world class spinners in shape of Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar. “Both are not only highly experienced, but also have the habit of destroying any given batting order. Yasir can be game changer for Pakistan, while English bowling will revolve around Anderson and Broad, who don’t have any quality spinner and their lower middle order is also quite fragile. Pakistani team has the likes of Misbah, Younus, Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali, while tail enders can also contribute useful runs.”

Questioning the players’ conditioning camp at Abbottabad, Sarfraz stated: “I am astonished, why the PCB doesn’t understand simple thing. There is a lot of difference between soldier and athlete. The players have a lot of opportunities to take rest during the matches. Like lunch, tea, water break and rest in between the overs, they don’t need to go through such high-profile fitness training. But it was good, as now the players have realised about their fitness levels and they will try to enhance it.”

“Umar Akmal should also be included in the squad. It seems the PCB has developed personal issues with certain players and it has nothing to do with on-field performances. Pakistan team will badly miss likes of Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad especially in the ODIs and one-off T20 International. I personally believe it will be ideal time for green caps to stamp out their authority and carve out victory against English team. They must not waste this opportunity and go all-out attacking,” Sarfraz concluded.