Chairman of the Pakistan junior selection panel Basit Ali feels that the recent shock loss in the 2nd Test cannot damage Pakistan’s quest for the historic Test series win in West Indies.
Misbah ul Haq and his men suffered an epic collapse in the second Test at the Kensington Oval, Barbados and lost the match to give away the series lead which they had earned early on.
“I am sure Misbah-ul-Haq and team management will learn from their mistakes and enter the series decider with a positive frame of mind,” said Basit.
Pakistan is yet to win a Test series on the Caribbean soil. They had a great start to their sojourn with a seven-wicket win in the first Test at Jamaica.
However, West Indies ensured that the series remained alive and kicking by posting a stunning 106 run win to make the third and final Test, scheduled to kick start on Wednesday at Windsor Park in Dominica, as the deciding rubber.
Ahead of the match, Basit had stated the toss will be a crucial factor in deciding which side will get the upper hand. He also highlighted the emotional quotient which is attached to the match. The third Test will be the last time Pakistan’s legendary duo Misbah ul Haq and Younis Khan will play for Pakistan. They announced their retirement before the start of the series.
“Pakistan should enter the third Test with all guns blazing and win the series for the sake of Misbah to pay tribute to one of the highly successful captains Pakistan cricket has ever witnessed.”
“I seriously feel that the toss holds the key in determining the outcome of a Test match in the West Indies. The team which wins the toss, I feel it has bright chances of winning the Test matches.
“It was [the] batsmen, who were at fault [in the second Test] and allowed the West Indian bowlers too much liberty and respect. Otherwise, Pakistan could have chased down the target, but the pitch also played a significant role and helped the West Indies bowlers a lot.”
Young leg-spinner Shadab Khan faced the critic’s attacks following the loss. Bowling along with senior pro, Yasir Shah, he was only able to pick unimpressive figures of 1/90 and 0/55 in the match. Many felt the 18-year-old did not use the advantage which the pitch offered.
Basit, however, came to his defence and vouched that the youngster will do better in future.
“I feel Shadab is extremely unlucky not to take at least four or more wickets, as the pitch was ideally supportive of his bowling,” said Basit. “Probably, he had put a lot of pressure on himself, otherwise, he was bound to succeed.
“The bounce on West Indian pitches is uneven and it will take extra effort for the batsmen to spend time at the crease and spinners are bound to dominate; unlike the pitches of the 1990s, when the West Indian fast-bowling greats use to rip apart the world’s best batsmen.”
“Only those bowlers who use seam to the best of their abilities succeed in bagging wickets in the Caribbean, otherwise, only spinners can take a huge advantage. I must give credit to Misbah for taking bold and wise decisions, even though his decision of including Shadab may have backfired.”