ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former legendary all-rounder Imran Khan said “nobody can stop Pakistan from winning the World Cup” if they manage to qualify and beat Australia in the quarter-finals.
Imran said if there was one venue where the Greenshirts could beat Australia, it was Adelaide. “Adelaide is a slow pitch and Pakistan's best chance of beating Australia is in Adelaide,” he said, while talking to a private news channel.
Advising Misbah-ul-Haq to drop a fast bowler and give a chance to Yasir Shah, Imran said: “Previously Yasir was playing against India who are excellent spin players…Yasir should be playing against Ireland.”
“If there is a wicket in Australia that helps spinners, it is Adelaide,” he added.
Pakistan will play against Ireland in their last group match on March 15 (Sunday) at the Adelaide Oval.
The former World Cup winning captain said he was aware that Australians are experts at playing pace bowlers, adding that had he been in Misbah’s place, he would have played a spinner.
“I was the first one to play a leg-spinner — Abdul Qadir — in World Cup,” he said.
Imran rated seven-footer Mohammad Irfan as the “most dangerous” bowler of the tournament. “Play Irfan to take wickets and not to save runs,” he said, recalling that Wasim Akram used to give extra runs by bowling no-balls and wides but regularly provided breakthroughs.
He did not hesitate to appreciate the brave batting-style of wicketkeeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed. “Sarfraz should have played in earlier matches as well … He is a specialist wicketkeeper and a brave batsman too,” he said.
Analysing Pakistan’s earlier defeats in the tournament, Imran said Misbah's team put up a weak performance against the West Indies, adding that it was a defensive team selection.
“A defensive mindset looks to win games by saving runs, while an attacking mindset looks to win games by taking wickets,” he said. “Misbah now understands what he needs to do — which is to have his best four batsmen upfront.”