ICL: Indian Cricket League

Inzamam does not impress Mushtaq much as captain



Former Pakistan skipper Mushtaq Mohammad is a great fan of current national team captain Inzamam-ul-Haq but only as far as the gentle giant’s batting exploits are concerned. As a leader, Inzy hasn’t impressed Mushtaq much.

“If I were in charge of Pakistan cricket, I would have replaced Inzamam as the team captain with a younger and fitter player at least a year before the World Cup,” Mushtaq told this correspondent here on Monday referring to the 2007 World Cup in West Indies.

For Mushtaq, Pakistan’s ideal choice as Inzamam’s successor is his deputy Younis Khan. “Younis has almost everything you need in a good captain. He is young but has enough experience. He is energetic and has a great cricketing mind. He may appear a bit immature at times but I’m sure the player would overcome that problem once he is given the responsibility on a long-term basis,” said Mushtaq, one of Pakistan’s most successful captains in the seventies.

Mushtaq, who was Pakistan’s coach when they reached the World Cup final in 1999, said that the country’s cricket authorities should act now if they are to assure a good outing from their team in West Indies next year.

“The World Cup is just about eight months away. It is time for the (Pakistan) Cricket Board to act fast. They should go for a new captain because I don’t believe Inzamam will have the sort of fitness that you would need from your captain in a demanding tournament like the World Cup.”

Mushtaq, who played 57 Tests for Pakistan, is backing them to beat England this summer. “Both teams are facing major injury problems but I believe that Pakistan have an edge. They have almost all their key players apart from Shoaib Akhtar with them and have come to England after a series of Tests wins at home and abroad.

“England, in contrast, are without most of their front-ranked players. Their morale is low following some back-breaking losses against Sri Lanka earlier this season. That is why I would put my money on Pakistan to win the Test series.”

Interestingly, Mushtaq believes Inzy holds the key for Pakistan. “He may not be a good captain but Inzamam is a great batsman, there is no doubt about that. He has scored some good runs and I am expecting our batting to revolve around him in England.”

Mushtaq advised the team management to refrain from bringing back veteran spinner Mushtaq Ahmed for the Test series. “Mushtaq is way past his prime and recalling him would be a big step backwards. With the World Cup not too far away, our team should look towards the future.”

He added that Pakistan should instead keep faith in Danish Kaneria. “Danish is improving as a bowler and I am sure he would only become better and better.” Mushtaq said that if Pakistan went in the Test series with two specialist spinners then England would greet them with greentop wickets. “England would play four pacers and make fast tracks if Pakistan decided to go for more than one specialist spinner.”
Source:The News

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