Sports

ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Former Test cricketer Hanif Muhammad has urged the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) to immediately appoint a new batting coach for Green Shirts, calling the performance of Pakistani batmen “hopeless”.

On Saturday, India beat Pakistan by five wickets in the Asia Cup Twenty20 match, played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Bangladesh. Only two of the Pakistani batsmen reached double figures that include Khurram Manzoor (10) and Sarfraz Ahmed (25).

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Hanif, who was considered one of the best batsmen in the world, said Waqar Younis, former fast bowler, cannot teach batting to the players and therefore there is a dire need of appointing a new batting coach for the team. “The batting coach should be from Pakistan as he can manage the players well,” Hani told Associated Press of Pakistan.

The octogenarian cricketer added: “In the opening against India, Pakistani batsmen batted poorly therefore the bowlers were unable to defend such a low total.

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“Our bowlers bowled magnificently but were unable to defend such a defenseless total,” he said while adding that 130-150 would have been a defendable score.

Hanif, who was named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1968, said Khurram Manzoor should have been sent to open instead of Muhammad Hafeez. “Hafeez is good as one down and should have been sent at his number,” he suggested.

It was bad luck that skipper Shahid Afridi got run out otherwise he would have scored. “Afridi is a very good captain and is respected all over. People get sad when Afridi is dismissed on the field,” he further said.

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However Hanif, who scored a famous 337 against West Indies in a six-day Test at Bridgetown in 1957-58, predicted that the Asia Cup final would be played between Pakistan and India.

“Pakistan will make a comeback in the tournament and I feel the final would be played between Pakistan and India.”