Inzamam-ul-Haq wants Pakistan to be more consistent
Former Pakistan skipper and current chief selector of the national cricket team, Inzamam-ul-Haq has warned Misbah-ul-Haq’s side to show more consistency if they are to be considered as a top Test side. The 46-year-old, who took up the position as chief selector after quitting the Afganistan coaching position after the 2016 World T20, revealed that his ambition is to see Pakistan top the ICC rankings in all formats of the game.
Pakistan have tasted individual success on the front with Saeed Ajmal and now Yasir Shah climbing to the top of the ICC rankings for Test bowlers. The leg-spinner’s ten-wicket haul in the Lord’s Test gave the visitors a 75-run victory helping them take a 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series, but the second Test at Old Trafford has begun in completely opposite fashion with England making a bright start to proceedings after batting first, thanks to centuries by skipper Alastair Cook and Joe Root.
Inzamam believes it is this lack of consistency in performances that Pakistan need to overcome if they are to be serious contenders for the No 1 ranking.
“We have done well in Test cricket but we have a chance of even securing top position in the Test rankings. But we need to work hard to improve our rankings in ODI and T20 cricket which have gone down since last year,” he said. “And that can only happen when we start showing more consistency and continuity in our performances. The remaining three Tests against England are a litmus test for Pakistan to show they can be consistent.”
Worryingly for Pakistan fans, Inzamam feels the outcome of the second Test which began o Friday could very well decide the outcome of the Test series.
“England is always a tough side to beat at home. Our team played superbly to surprise them at Lord’s. But with James Anderson and Ben Stokes back they can come back. The second Test will be important in deciding victory of the series,” Inzamam said.
Though disadvantaged by a lack of experience in the squad, Inzamam still expects the team to come back well in the Old Trafford Test and wants senior players like Misbah and Younis Khan to lead the way for the side.
“Most of our players don’t have much experience of playing in English conditions and this could benefit the host team,” he said. “But if the weather is warm it is good for our team. If we show the same consistency we showed at Lord’s this can be a good match for us.”