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Team Green will bounce back in NZ ODI series: Former Chief Selector

KARACHI: Pakistan’s former chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed Sallu said that Sarfraz’s men will bounce back in the five-match ODI series against New Zealand as they did in the ICC Champions Trophy last year.

Salahuddin said, “The first two ODIs were hit by rain and were decided on Duck-worth Lewis method, so we can’t really say what would have been the outcome of the matches if the full 50 overs were bowled. However, New Zealand does seem to have a clear upper hand as there players Martin Guptill, skipper Ken Williamson, Matt Henry and Colin Munro are in great form while their bowlers Trent Boult, Tim Southee and spinner Mitchell Santner are well backed by their superb fielding.”

He added, “Having said that, I am not willing to write off Pakistan team just yet, as I feel that they have the ability and the talent to bounce back handsomely, like they did in England last year. After the heavy defeat against India, no one was tipping Pakistan to comeback strongly and beat South Arfrica, England and Sri Lanka to reach finals in the ICC event which they did. And the icing on the cake was the magnificent victory over India in the final. So nothing is impossible in cricket and I feel with a bit more discipline in bowling and aggressive batting, Sarfraz’s men can tame the Kiwis.”

Sallu also praised the youngsters Hassan Ali and Shadab Khan, “If youngster like Hasan and Shadab can do it, and that too from a hopeless position that Pakistan was in, I am sure the top order can do it too by applying themselves in the initial overs.”

While talking about the senior players he said, “We have two very experienced players in Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez who could hold the innings together and accelerate when needed.”

Currently Pakistan is 2-0 down in the five-match series, talking about the upcoming 3rd ODI former Test player said, “The third ODI is crucial as it would be series decider if Pakistan lose, so they should regroup and perhaps make a few changes to bring in Haris Sohail in place of out of form Baber Azam and Amir Yameen perhaps for Ruman Raees. No matter what, Pakistan must come out full guns blazing at Dunedin to beat the Kiwis and remain in the contest. I wish team the very best.”