ICL: Indian Cricket League

Malik wants to emulate Wasim


malikNew Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik said on Friday that he wants to be an aggressive leader like his hero Wasim Akram.

All-rounder Malik, who was named on Thursday to succeed Inzamam-ul-Haq, said his first priority was to boost the team’s confidence after their dismal World Cup exit.

He also blamed Pakistan’s loss to minnows Ireland on a poor wicket — a loss which sent Pakistan tumbling out of the tournament — saying that no other teams had to play on one like it.

“As a captain I consider myself to be in the mould of Wasim Akram. He is my ideal captain,” Malik said. “I am going to have an aggressive approach. I don’t like a defensive approach,” he expressed.

Fast bowling great Wasim, who led Pakistan to the runners-up spot in the 1999 World Cup, was known for his aggressive style. He retired in 2003 with 414 Test wickets and 502 in One-day Internationals (ODIs).

In contrast Inzamam, who resigned after the Ireland defeat, was sometimes criticised for being defensive.

Malik said that his favourite current captain in world cricket was New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming “because he is also very aggressive.”

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said it had chosen the 25-year-old Malik, who has played 18 Tests and 137 ODIs, over more established names to give the team a fresh start.

“I know that team morale is not very high, self-confidence is low and my job will be to get back the high positions for the team. It is still a very good team,” Malik said. “I believe in playing to win. One thing that can bring the confidence back is winning,” he added.

Malik brushed off suggestions by some former players that he could face jealousy from older members of the team. “I respect my seniors; I treat them as my elder brothers. I will consult them and I will seek their guidance,” he said.

He said that another priority would be to “get a good opening pair. Opening is a problem area for us at the moment.”

Malik has previously opened the batting for Pakistan on occasions but said that he would now play at any number. “I have never considered which number should suit me. I am a team man, I play according to situations,” he added.

He also echoed comments made by Pakistan’s new chief selector, Salahuddin Ahmad, that he would prefer specialists to all-rounders in the team.

“I believe that specialist players are required for Test matches and all-rounders are useful for one-dayers,” he said.

Pakistan, the 1992 World Cup champions, will be focusing on their one-day performances after the disaster in Jamaica but Malik said it was not all the team’s fault.

“I blame the wicket, the wicket that we were asked to play,” he said when asked about the loss to Ireland. “That sort of wicket was not offered to any other team. I also believe that our bowling on that day was not that good,” he added.

Malik paid tribute to coach Bob Woolmer, who was found murdered in his hotel room the day after the defeat. “Bob Woolmer was the best coach and a great human being. It is not easy for all of us to digest his loss, it was shocking,” he said.

Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Saturday, April 21st, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, Cricket Stars.

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