LAHORE: Pakistan’s former Test captain Zaheer Abbas has suggested the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to adopt England as a neutral venue for its home series as the UAE was not serving the purpose well.
He was talking to journalists about Pakistan’s dismal performance Down Under here on Friday.
“Our bowlers failed to restrict Australian batsmen in the first Test, which was necessary keeping in mind our batsmen’s unreliability on fast and bouncy tracks.
“We also dropped catches and did not even appeal for dismissals on some occasions. We just failed to perform in all the three departments of the game,” Zaheer said.
“A total of 400 plus is always considered a big total. Though our fast bowlers took four wickets, they could not bowl accurately with decent line and length. They should have tried to restrict the Australians as our batting line-up was weak.
“Our fast bowlers even failed to take advantage from the lively pitch while bowling first,” he added.
Asked why junior batsmen were blamed for poor show when seniors like Misbah and Younis failed to perform, Zaheer, who was ICC’s former president, said everyone had to go through a bad spell in his life and his batsmen and bowlers had to improve their performance.
The former captain was of the view that head coach Mickey Arthur, who is an Australian, must have known the psychology of Australian players and should have guided his players accordingly.
He also said batting coach Grant Flower should have improved old problems of Pakistan batsmen as he had passed a considerable time with them.
When asked the PCB was considering changing the UAE because of high cost and looking to adopt Bangladesh, England or South Africa as its venue for home series, Zaheer said the PCB should replace the UAE with England as it would help Pakistan batsmen and bowlers get familiar with lively playing conditions.
He added Bangladesh was not a suitable option as it had the same Asian environment and slow wickets. He felt that English conditions would help Pakistan better than South African conditions.
“In England, our team will also find a good number of fans who live there,” the former batsman said.
Asked that in current cricket home advantage played a vital role in winning matches, Zaheer said South Africa recently defeated Australia in Australia which proved that the team which played better always came out victorious.
He lamented that Pakistan’s performance had been on decline after attaining the No.1 Test status.
To a question, he said Pakistan had squared the four Test series in England just because the home country did not prepare traditional fast and seaming tracks.
Asked if Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal who played well for Wapda in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy, which ultimately became champions for the first time, deserved a chance in the Pakistan team, Zaheer said every player who performed well at domestic level should be given a chance.
“I don’t consider Salman and Kamran old because Misbah and Younis are still playing in old ages,” Zaheer said.