ISLAMABAD - Former chief selector and head coach Mohsin Khan feels that lack of combination can cost Pakistan cricket dearly in the Champions Trophy 2017.

Talking to The Nation, Mohsin said: “I am shocked that since long, team management failed to make a proper combination in One-Day Internationals as well in T20 Internationals. In my personal opinion, West Indies series was golden opportunity for team management to formulate a well-settled combination. Pakistan team doesn’t have opening pair and even the middle order is also fragile one.

“Nobody knows, who is in and who is out. In Champions Trophy at England, where pitches and weather play important role, Pakistani selectors have picked 8 to 9 inexperienced players, as it looks like mission impossible for them to stand any realistic chance of doing well against the best in the business,” he added.

Mohsin said Pakistan chances mainly depended on English Summer. “If the summer is good, Pakistan will have outside chances of registering favourable results. But if the summer is bad, Pakistan team will struggle badly and will need extra efforts from both bowlers and batsmen to cope with the conditions.

“Pakistan team doesn’t have great history in England. Our batsmen always struggled hard against seaming deliveries and it might happen again. I am a bit surprised that chief selector Inzamam’s selection was questioned by head coach Micky Arther. In my opinion, Umar Akmal is a brave batsman and can be the game changer for any team, but surprisingly, he was sent back on the basis of fitness level. Inzamam and others were never known for their fitness levels, so I feel Umar could have played very important role not only in batting but also in fielding,” he added.

He said ever since Azhar Mehmood was with the team as bowling coach, the bowlers were given a real bashing even by minnows like Bangladesh, who posted massive score in the warm-up match. “Pakistani think tank must take it very seriously. On the other hand, the batting coach also did nothing for the last three years and failed to produce a single batsman. He also couldn’t rectify errors in batsmen’s technique. I don’t know what is the purpose of wasting huge national kitty on useless persons.”

He said Pakistan had to enter the Champions Trophy with full preparations both mentally and physically and with proper game plan. “Faheem Ashraf looked highly confident and he might prove to be an asset for the team and country in future. But it is too early to say anything as he has just played one side match and that too against Bangladesh, but signs are positive.

“I was a big advocate of having at least 2 to 3 all-rounders in the team, as they play very important role in helping the team achieve the task. Both the bowlers and batsmen have to perform responsibly. The bowlers have to bowl very well to restrict the opponents to a low target, which can provide batsmen a realistic chance of chasing down the target,” he added.

The former coach said: “The coach and team management have to sit and discuss in detail how to utilise young guns, as inexperience can be main hurdle between Pakistan and Champions Trophy. On the other hand, if utilised carefully, these young guns can play vital role, as they will play fearless cricket, which will prove beneficial for green caps.

“My best and sincere wishes are always with team Pakistan and I hope and pray the team will excel and bring the coveted trophy to Pakistan for the very first time, as Pakistan never won the Champions Trophy before and our track record is also not very good. But I wish in this holy month of Ramazan, the team perform a miracle and bring joy for the nation,” Mohsin concluded.