Southampton: Respected and credible voices of cricket which commentated during Pakistan’s Test series against England, backed the national team’s performance despite their 1-0 defeat against the hosts.
Nasser Hussain, Shane Warne, Michael Holding, Michael Atherton, and Isa Guha, while summarizing the series, recalled their favorite moments, spoke about the quality of cricket played by Pakistan in these unprecedented times, players that impressed them the most and about the emerging duo of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah.
Former England captain hailed Pakistan players after they went up to Zak Crawley, who scored a career-best 267 in final Test and termed it as the best moment of the series.
“It has been great that the Pakistan team have come over. Can you imagine having to make that decision to come over to England, which was full of coronavirus? They have played pretty well,” he said.
“The best moment of the series for me was when the Pakistan players went up to Zak Crawley to congratulate him on his double hundred. All the legends on the balcony stood up and congratulated him and even Wasim Akram in the commentary box gave him a little clap,” he added.
“The series has been played in good spirits and it is great to have Pakistan. They have always been a great team: one minute up, next minute down. But they are very watchable,” he concluded.
Former West Indies’ pacer, known as ‘whispering death’ identified the national team’s mistakes during first but has been immensely impressed by Shaheen and Naseem.
“I thought they should have won the first Test match. They made a couple of mistakes in the field, but I have been really impressed with the fast bowlers, the young fast bowlers. One is 20 (Shaheen) and the other is 17 (Naseem),” he said.
“Remember the two ages together and they are still younger than James Anderson.So, give them some time, they certainly have some talent. They will develop and they (the team) will have a good pair of fast bowlers for the future,” he concluded.
Legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne thinks that Pakistan is going in the right direction under the leadership of Azhar Ali.
“They are such an exciting team to watch. They are well captained by Azhar Ali and it was lovely to see the spinners, especially, Yasir Shah, doing well and the young fast bowlers, the 17-year-old (Naseem) and the 20-year-old (Shaheen),” he said.
“I think it is a very exciting time for Pakistan cricket and they are a very good side,” he added.
Michael Atherton was grateful to Pakistan and West Indies for coming in England and playing competitive cricket throughout the summer.
“They have played competitive Test match cricket throughout. They (Pakistan) are not going to go away with a series win, but I think the cricket has been very competitive throughout.
“The highpoint would have been a hundred by Azhar Ali, a brilliant 141 that showed his character and resilience in difficult circumstances and they clearly have got some good young fast bowlers which should see Pakistan going well in the future.”