NOTTINGHAM: Former captain and Swing Ka Sultan Wasim Akram has termed Pakistan’s epic win against England in World Cup match as “best birthday gift ever” for him.
Pakistan defended 348 to beat England by 14 runs in World Cup game at Trent Bridge on Monday, the day when the former captain and one of the greatest fast bowler celebrated his 53rd birthday.
Talking to Geo’s segment “Swing Ka Sultan” the fast bowler said that this victory was much needed and it will give team Pakistan the confidence they wanted for long.
“I turned 53 today and there can’t be any better gift on my birthday than this. This is best present I have ever got in my life,” Wasim said while expressing his feeling on the team’s win.
“We needed this victory as a nation and as a team. This will provide us much needed confidence. Winning against the home favorites will surely boost the morale,” he added.
Pakistan had lost 11 consecutive matches, including their World Cup game against West Indies, before taking on England.
The 11 matches included four games against the hosts played before the World Cup. Wasim feels that World Cup is a different ball game and the pressure of pinnacle made the difference.
He also praised Pakistan’s winning combination and insisted that there’s no need to change the combination in next game, against Sri Lanka, at Bristol.
“I think Pakistan played with a perfect combination today, at first I wasn’t in favor of dropping the fifth bowler but then I realized that the fifth bowler Imad Wasim is more or less similar,” he said.
“I don’t think that there is any need to change the winning combination. I reckon winning combination should stay,” Wasim highlighted.
He highlighted that additional batting option provided batsmen to express themselves and play with free mind.
Praising Mohammad Hafeez’s batting, Wasim said that the all-rounder batted comfortably because he knew that there was enough batting after him in the line-up which allowed him to play freely.
“Hafeez played confidently because he knew that there were batting left after him too,” he added.
However, despite the win, Wasim highlighted that there are still areas which Pakistan needs to improve. Specially, the fielding.
“We need to improve fielding, people like Imam, Fakhar and Babar should be supremely athletic fit. You need to learn from mistakes, even after wins. Improve fielding,” Wasim said.
“InshaAllah, Pakistan will carry on the momentum. There were minor mistakes and I hope team will learn from that too. It’s a long tournament and I hope momentum will continue,” the former captain hoped.
Talking about team’s unpredictable nature, Wasim said that this is what makes Pakistan team attractive for everyone.
“These ups and downs of Pakistan team are beauty of this team. I haven’t been able to understand the reason behind this unpredictability in 25 years then how you can or anyone else would understand it,” Wasim said.
“You can’t define this team, one moment up, the other moment down but that’s what makes Pakistan team exciting team. And this unpredictability makes everyone follow Pakistan team,” concluded.