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Pakistan need to exorcise their demons of Colombo: Iqbal

November 20, 2012

HYDERABAD: Chief selector Iqbal Qasim is of the view that Pakistan need to recover quickly from their last defeat to India in the ICC World T20 if they are to overcome their arch-rivals in their tour to India next month.

Pakistan lost to India in the super-eights match at the World T20 in Colombo and PCB’s national selection committee chairman said that failure to recover from that defeat will continue to haunt them in the series which features two T20 matches along with three One-day Internationals.

“Pakistan need to come out of that defeat to India,” Iqbal told Dawn at the Niaz Stadium on Tuesday where he was present for the trials of the Hyderabad region for the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy and National T20 championships.

“It is imperative that we forget about that or it will be very difficult for us to face the Indian side on their own home ground.

“Apart from that, there will be a lot of pressure on us as they will have the backing of a vociferous home crowd while there will also be a lot of media hype during the tour.

“We will need to show a lot of character — we will need to play like lions.”

Iqbal added that if players want to be selected for the tour to India, they will have to come through existing structure of selection but avoided hinting at any possible team combinations.

“The Indian bating line-up is very strong so it is pretty obvious that we will need a strong bowling attack,” he said. “We’ll also need to improve on our batting and fielding.

“The batsmen need to show a lot of consistency while we seriously need to look into the fielding department where we have a knack of dropping catches.”

Iqbal was hopeful that star all-rounder Shahid Afridi would be able to regain his form for the tour along with pace spearhead Umar Gul while he also hinted at a possible comeback for Younis Khan — bur for the tour of South Africa which follows the Indian tour.

“Younis has played well on the domestic circuit and he could be considered for series against South Africa,” he said. “He would be very helpful to Pakistan there.”

He said that he hasn’t discussed the selection issues with coach Dav Whatmore and skipper Mohammad Hafeez but added that the players’ performances are being evaluated.

While some players are yet to feature in the ongoing President’s Trophy, others would get a chance to show their mettle at the National T20.

“We don’t have a lot of time but the selection will be done after looking into all aspects of their game,” he said.

Meanwhile, Iqbal said that players from interior Sindh are finally getting chances to play cricket at departmental levels while adding that NBP would hold an inter-club cricket tournament next year in Hyderabad.

He later proceeded to distribute cash prizes amongst players of winning senior and junior teams of inter-district regional cricket tournaments 2011-12 at a ceremony organised by the District Cricket Association (DCA) Hyderabad.