In an interview with the Dawn former Pakistani player Abdul Qadir heaped praise on the Pakistan team for winning the first Test against England at Lord’s but at the same time warned them not to get carried away with the moment.
Qadir also said that English selectors committed a huge mistake by not selecting James Anderson, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan and Adil Rashid.
“I think England lost the first Test as they picked a weak side, considering Pakistan as an easy victim. The morale of England was high as they had beaten India and Sri Lanka in the previous series. They ultimately had to pay the price in the shape of the defeat.”
The former leggie added, “I would like to warn Pakistan that England will not give more them time to relax in the remaining three Tests. Our players should play the next games with fresh minds without getting complacent.”
Calling the win a team effort, Qadir heaped praise on skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, leg-spinner Yasir Shah, wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed, middle-order batsman Asad Shafiq and medium fast bowler Rahat Ali.
Misbah-ul-Haq, who was playing his first Test at Lord’s, hit a brilliant century in the first innings in tough conditions to help the visitors post a decent total on the board. Qadir said that the 42-year old had silenced his critics with his brilliant knock and deserved lots of respect.
Yasir Shah, who was the man of the match, claimed ten wickets in the match and was one of the main reasons for Pakistan’s win. Qadir said that the English batsmen have traditionally struggled against the leg-spinners and praised Shah for reading the conditions well.
“The English team always finds it difficult to face a leg-spinner and Yasir took most of the wickets by varying his pace without using a googly,” he said.
Rahat Ali destroyed the English top order in the second innings by taking three quick wickets while Sarfaraz Ahmed played a vital cameo in the second innings to help Pakistan take a healthy lead.
“Rahat could have taken five wickets had Misbah not introduced Amir back into the attack to grab the last two wickets in the second innings.
“I believe Misbah wanted to boost Amir’s morale by giving him a chance to take some wickets. Overall, it was a good strategy,” he said.
While he seemed satisfied with Pakistan’s showing in Tests, he was worried about the team’s performances in the limited overs format.
“In Test cricket, Pakistan is already enjoying the third ranking but the real problem will be in the limited-overs series where no Misbah and Younis will be playing,” he concluded.
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