Victory against Kangaroos historic mark: Zaheer


Former Pakistan cricket team captain Zaheer Abbas termed the team’s victory against Kangaroos as historic mark and beyond the expectations.

In exclusive interview with The Nation, Zaheer said: “The entire team must be given credit for the extraordinary performance against the world’s best team. It was not extraordinary turning track, nor the wicket was helping the bowlers a great deal, but credit goes to Pakistani bowlers, especially Zulfiqar Babar, who produced one of the finest bowling performances, I had witnessed since long.”

Zaheer said: “It was a treat to watch Zulfiqar bowling with such authority and dictating terms to the Kangaroo batsmen. Clarke is well known for his batting abilities against spinners, but he was totally cornered by the sensational bowling display of Zulfiqar.”

“Nobody was expecting Pakistan to perform such a brilliant way against Aussies especially after getting thrashed by Sri Lankan’s and losing ODIs against Australia. But it was a superb team display, under the dynamic leadership of Misbah, as critics were criticising Misbah and demanding his resignation, but he proved his critics wrong by leading from the front,” he added.

“I didn’t witness such batting skills, Misbah had shown in the past. He had a point to prove to his critics and he did that in great style. He deserves all the credit, as it was not an easy task to play against a team like Australia in such a successful way,” Zaheer stated.  When asked about Younus Khan’s exceptional performances, Zaheer said: “I have no words to describe Younus’ masterful knocks, as he has proved that he is still the best and only reliable batsman and can single-handedly shoulder burden. He not only scored loads of runs for himself but also helped the likes of Ahmed Shahzad, Azhar Ali and others to a great deal. His presence also gave extra cushion to Misbah, which allowed him to play freely and scored two centuries in as many innings in the last Test.”

“Younus has class and will to excel at the top, and he proved it through his superb batting display. I want to express my heartiest felicitations to Younus for scoring three centuries on the trout,” he added.  “I must like to congratulate entire team, selectors, PCB and Misbah for inflicting whitewash on Aussies after 32 years long and hard wait. It was made possible by the team effort and extraordinary bowling by all the bowlers. This victory will also be long remembered as Pakistan was without the services of spin magician Saeed Ajmal and pacers Umar Gul and Junaid Khan. Pakistan achieve this victory with completely fresh and debutant faces, Zulfiqar, Yasir Shah and Imran Khan bowled their hearts out, and made this victory possible for us. Nobody could have thought and given Pakistan even outside chance of drawing the Test series instead of defeating mighty Australians with such heavy margins,” Zaheer said.

“Now the first task of beating Australia is achieved, and it is my advice to the team management and players not to be complacent. In my opinion, Kiwis are slightly better side than Aussies, are better batting side as compare to Aussies, so Pakistan must not relax and try to put same pressure and play as a unit. The team can’t afford to expect favors from Kiwis as they are highly professionals and must have completed their homework, I am sure on the other hand Pakistan team management should also chalk out different strategy against Kiwis,” he added.

“World Cup is fast approaching, so Pakistan team should carry the momentum, although the pitches will be different in Australia and helping the bowlers more than the batsmen but even then, back-to-back victories will boost the players confidence and help them perform well in the mega event. Pakistan team is more than capable of beating any top side so they must continue good form against Kiwis and try to win the series against them to enter the World Cup in great style,” Zaheer concluded.