Exclusive: Pakistan is still in the World Cup: Salahuddin Ahmed Sallu
Karachi: Former Pakistan chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed Sallu says that although the nation is dejected after Pakistan lost the match to India in their World Cup opener but all is not lost and Pakistan may bounce strongly back in the tournament.
“Emotions of the nation were high during the match against traditional rival India. Unfortunately we lost the game but it doesn’t mean that Pakistan is out of title race. Pakistan still stands the same chance just as any other team and I would advise Pakistan cricket team fans to continue to back their team in the World Cup,” Sallu, a former Pakistan Test cricketer told arysports.tv.
“However, Pakistan must raise its fielding standards. The middle order should start scoring runs and the perennial opening problem should also be solved. Save UAE, every other team in the group though it be Zimbabwe or Ireland, will put tough resistance and Pakistan should be ready to tackle that,” he explained.
He further said that Ireland players have been playing county cricket and therefore they have become a dangerous pack. “See how they overpowered West Indies and achieved a target of over 300. They are also a tough side so our team should be prepared for it.”
Ireland had defeated Pakistan in 2007 World Cup and overpowered England in the 2011 World Cup.
“Moreover, Zimbabwe has also shown that they are in Down Under to play. They have put a strong show against top title contenders South Africa. So it will also be a tough side to beat,” said Sallu, who is also an expert writer on cricket and also write for reputable newspapers.
“Although West Indies has lost their match against associate team Ireland, but they shouldn’t be taken lightly. They put a score of over three hundred and therefore can do that again when they meet Pakistan on Saturday. So the team should be ready for the challenge,” he stressed.
The former chief selector believes that Younus Khan has been criticized wrongly and he should be there in the team and play at No 3.
“Form is temporary but class is permanent and Younus Khan is that classy player, who is going through a bad patch. Virat Kohli has not been performing well in last few matches but he scored a century against Pakistan. So I don’t think dropping a player like Younus would do any good to Pakistan. He will start piling runs once his bad patch is over. He need some time to accommodate at demanding number three spot,” Sallu explained.