Former Pakistan skipper Mushtaq Mohammad is a great fan of current national team captain Inzamam-ul-Haq but only as far as the gentle giantâ€™s batting exploits are concerned. As a leader, Inzy hasnâ€™t impressed Mushtaq much.
â€œIf 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,â€ Mushtaq told this correspondent here on Monday referring to the 2007 World Cup in West Indies.
For Mushtaq, Pakistanâ€™s ideal choice as Inzamamâ€™s successor is his deputy Younis Khan. â€œYounis 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 Iâ€™m sure the player would overcome that problem once he is given the responsibility on a long-term basis,â€ said Mushtaq, one of Pakistanâ€™s most successful captains in the seventies.
Mushtaq, who was Pakistanâ€™s coach when they reached the World Cup final in 1999, said that the countryâ€™s cricket authorities should act now if they are to assure a good outing from their team in West Indies next year.
â€œThe 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 donâ€™t believe Inzamam will have the sort of fitness that you would need from your captain in a demanding tournament like the World Cup.â€
Mushtaq, who played 57 Tests for Pakistan, is backing them to beat England this summer. â€œBoth 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.
â€œEngland, 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.â€
Interestingly, Mushtaq believes Inzy holds the key for Pakistan. â€œHe 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.â€
Mushtaq advised the team management to refrain from bringing back veteran spinner Mushtaq Ahmed for the Test series. â€œMushtaq 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.â€
He added that Pakistan should instead keep faith in Danish Kaneria. â€œDanish is improving as a bowler and I am sure he would only become better and better.â€ Mushtaq said that if Pakistan went in the Test series with two specialist spinners then England would greet them with greentop wickets. â€œEngland would play four pacers and make fast tracks if Pakistan decided to go for more than one specialist spinner.â€
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Wednesday, July 12th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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