'Moin could have the Lehmann effect on Pakistan'

Published February 24, 2014
“Moin must be given a longer tenure however. No one can achieve anything in two weeks or two months.” -Photo by AFP
“Moin must be given a longer tenure however. No one can achieve anything in two weeks or two months.” -Photo by AFP
“I’m sure with Moin Khan as the head coach we would go all out.” -Photo by AP
“I’m sure with Moin Khan as the head coach we would go all out.” -Photo by AP

Former Pakistan Test cricketer and chief selector Sallahuddin Ahmed ‘Sallu’ has backed newly-appointed coach Moin Khan to have the ‘Darren Lehmann’ effect on Pakistan, adding that with the former wicketkeeper in charge, Misbah-ul-Haq’s men would take on a more aggressive approach to the game.

“When Darren Lehmann took up the reins there was a change in the Australian ranks right away. Moin is a fighter like Mushtaq Mohammad and Imran Khan,” Sallahuddin said while speaking to Dawn.com.

Lehman, who took over from Mickey Arthur before the start of last year’s Ashes in England, guided Australia out from the depths of misery to their 5-0 rout of Alastair Cook’s men when they visited Australia for the return leg.

Sallahuddin was of the opinion that Moin, who was appointed after Dav Whatmore’s stint ended earlier this month and under whose captaincy Pakistan won their first Asia Cup title in 2000, would also push Misbah to take on a more hands-on approach on the field.

“Abdul Hafeez Kardar had two world class players, Hanif Mohammad and Fazal Mahmood and with them he was able to beat top sides. Kardar was a great captain, so it’s about channeling your resources. Similarly, Moin will provide that, albeit as a coach. I’m 100 per cent sure Moin will transform Misbah into a much more attacking captain,” he added.

“Moin must be given a longer tenure however. No one can achieve anything in two weeks or two months.”

According to Sallahuddin, the new fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad would have his work cut out.

“Pakistan’s weakest link is their fielding, and in my opinion Julien Fountain did not really make a difference. If you look at teams like Australia, South Africa and England, their fielders are so sharp it makes their bowlers look even more difficult to contend with.”

He said bowling coach Mohammad Akram, who got an extension to his contract, had left much to be desired.

Commenting on the upcoming Asia Cup, Sallahuddin said the conditions in Bangladesh were to Pakistan’s liking and they were strong contenders to defend their title. However, he expressed his disappointment at the exclusion of veteran batsman Younis Khan from the Cup squad.

“I was very disappointed that Younis was left out of the Asia Cup squad. He is the kind of player who the team revolves around and we need his presence in the team. Sarfraz Ahmed’s exclusion was also baffling. Not everyone is a Dhoni or Gilchrist. He is a natural keeper and has shown great ability as a batsman. His performance in the Sharjah Test [against Sri Lanka] warranted a place in the squad.”

The former Test batsman, giving his views on Asia Cup’s biggest draw, the Pakistan-India clash on March 2, said Misbah’s men “must go for the kill.”

“I’m sure with Moin Khan as the head coach we would go all out. Unfortunately, the previous coach was happy to settle for draws. But India’s morale is down, they lost in South Africa and then suffered a 4-0 drubbing in New Zealand. But they are still the team to beat and Pakistan must be attacking.”

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