Multan Sultans’ coach Tom Moody refused to accept his side was overly relying on senior batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik in the Pakistan Super League, hoping opener Ahmed Shehzad also kick in for the team.
Moody shot in denial when asked about over-reliance on the duo, “You obviously had not seen Sohaib Maqsood bat so I don’t agree,” said Moody of Maqsood’s 85 against Peshawar Zalmi.
“Sangakkara has had an outstanding tournament but we do have some very good players in and around Sanga and Malik and as I said Maqsood has batted well and Ahmed Shehzad has got himself in on a number of occasions but has not managed to kick on but we hope that he will take control, kick on and get a big score for us.”
Multan has lost two back to back matches to Quetta and Lahore, the last on Friday. But Moody, also a former coach of Sri Lanka and double World Cup winner for Australia (1987 and 1999) denied any complacency crept in.
“We recognize that Lahore had a difficult tournament to date, we also recognize that they have some serious match winners in their team. We need to continue to perform so that we can have momentum through the whole tournament so complacency doesn’t spring to minds,” said Moody, whose team won the first three matches in the PSL.
Moody reasoned the change of ball shifted the momentum against his team, derailed from 92-1 to 114 all out by Lahore paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi’s 5-4 in 3.4 overs.
“The game shifted dramatically after the first half or just before the first half, the back half of the batting becomes difficult. The ball became soft and also was reversing and it was hard to get the ball away all that down to the changed ball after Sangakkara hit that six early on, I think that was the fourth over. The change ball as a replacement was not as hard and new as we were using.”
Moody praised Afridi as a future prospect.
“Look, he had a good day out today, there is no question. he had difficult first three games and was out of the side. he had a good day and conditions were favouring him that he took advantage of,” said Moody of the 17-year-old left-arm paceman.
“He certainly to me a is an exciting prospect, he is tall and has got some pace and will get quicker and has the spirit of batting that I like. He certainly one to look out for future and to nurture. At that age, he will have some challenges whether they be physical or the higher the grades he plays, but he certainly the one to nurture.”
Moody hoped Multan’s paceman Umar Gul, who took a career-best 6-24 against Quetta in a lost cause, will recover from a knee injury which ruled him out of the Lahore game.
“Unfortunately Umar Gul knee has a quite considerable swelling but we are managing that 24×7 so we are certainly hoping that as the tournament unfolds he will be back and available for selection,” said Moody.
Moody also disagreed two dropped catches by Saif Badar in the Lahore game typified the way Pakistan players field at international level.
“If you look at the opposite side, the way Ahmed Shehzad fields. he is a high-class fielder. Sadaf has fielded well in the tournament but yes he dropped a couple chances today and you could argue that they were costly with regards to the outcome of the match.
“No one needs to drop a catch, he is trying as hard as anyone to improving whether it’s batting or fielding. he is an exciting fielder, and you can expect him to take those catches more often than not.”