Pakistan counting on seniors to bounce back


Bangladesh won their first one-day international against Pakistan in 16 years before going on to make a clean sweep of the three-match series to sour Azhar Ali's first assignment as Pakistan's ODI captain.

Rubbing more salt into the wound, the hosts comprehensively won the subsequent one-off Twenty20 international and will be high on confidence in the test series.

“Lowest point and very embarrassing to be honest,” former captain Ramiz Raja told ESPNcricinfo after the team's fourth successive defeat on the tour.

He found the team's limited overs approach “a throwback to the 80's and 90's” and blamed the coaching staff, led by his former team mate Waqar Younis.

“I was hoping that the situation would improve but there is hardly any new direction given by the new coaching staff,” said the cricketer-turned-commentator.

Raja was particularly disappointed with Saeed Ajmal who returned from a bowling ban because of an illegal action and managed only one wicket in three of the four matches, bleeding runs heavily.

“He is clearly a bit uneasy and uncomfortable, lacks confidence. It will be difficult for him to bowl at the level he was bowling for Pakistan a year back,” Raja said.

Pakistan lost four players through injuries in the limited overs series and will expect Misbah and former captain Younus Khan to shore up their batting line-up.

Raja, however, reckoned Bangladesh would fancy finally beating Pakistan in a test after going down in all eight previous meetings.

“I think Bangladesh should be relentless as this a golden chance for them to create history,” he said.

“The pressure is on Pakistan... It's going to be difficult as things can't change dramatically as the coaching staff is the same; most of the players are same.

“Pakistan have been hit by losses and injuries and it's going to be a real challenge.”

The team continue to battle injuries with paceman Rahat Ali being ruled out of the test series after sustaining a hamstring injury.

Pakistan have decided against seeking a replacement as leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who missed the ODI series with a hand injury, has recovered and is available for selection for the first Test.

Dhaka hosts the second test from May 6. – Reuters

Original source: Pakistan counting on seniors to bounce back