Pakistan have the batting to put BD under pressure: Sallu

Former Test cricketer and chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed Sallu said, “Both Misbah and Younis bring a wealth of experience with them, and with Azhar Ali and Asad to back them in the middle order, I am confident that Pakistan can post a total in excess of 400 in their turn.”— AFP/file 
KARACHI: Former Test cricketer and chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed Sallu has said that despite the resolute batting of Bangladesh batsmen on the first day of the first Test at Khulna, Pakistan need not fear much because they also have the services of experienced Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq who have the ability to pile up a big total in the first innings and take a substantial lead to put the hosts on the backfoot.
Talking to Dawn on Tuesday, Sallu said: “There’s not much in the pitch for the bowlers at Khulna and if we can restrict Bangladesh to around 300, Pakistan have the batting arsenal to take a substantial lead and put pressure on the hosts.
“Both Misbah and Younis bring a wealth of experience with them, and with Azhar Ali and Asad to back them in the middle order, I am confident that Pakistan can post a total in excess of 400 in their turn.”

Ruing the missed chances on Tuesday, Sallu said Pakistan bowlers unfortunately did not get much support from the fielders or it would have been a different story. “Fielding is the key in all formats and I felt that our bowlers weren’t so bad today but did not get the required support from the fielders or we would have bowled Bangladesh out for something like 200 or 220,” he said.
“You see, Bangladesh has a very average bowling attack but their fielding makes it look good. For Pakistan, the equation is reversed when catches are put down off good bowlers like Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz and the two spinners. We often lose advantage in matches due to fielding lapses and it is a problem that should be addressed on war-footing by the team coaches.”
Commenting on Junaid’s wicket-less stint on Tuesday, Sallu said: “He still looks a bit rusty coming back from his thigh injury sustained before the World Cup. But he is such a good bowler, I am sure when he gets into his rhythm, he will be a handful for the opposition in this series.”
Sallu also remained hopeful about an improved show from the Pakistan bowlers and fielders on the second day. “Mominul Haq’s wicket in the last over somewhat restored the balance and I feel our bowlers can still run through the rest of Bangladesh batting if they bowl aggressively in the first hour or two and get the necessary support from the fielders,” he commented.
He had special praise for Sarfraz Ahmed’s brilliant catch to dismiss Mahmudullah. “That was top drawer stuff from Sarfraz and is ample proof of his tremendous abilities as keeper,” said Sallu.
The former chief selector concluded by saying that he was expecting a fine Test debut by young Sami Aslam who had already made his mark with a fluent 45 on his ODI debut a week ago. “He is a player to watch since he has grown with stature with every match for Pakistan, right from his days with the U-19 side till today.”
Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2015
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