ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, CMC – Basit Ali said he still favours Pakistan to win their ongoing Test series against West Indies, although they suffered a huge setback following their defeat in Barbados.
The former Pakistan batsman, now chairman of the Pakistan junior selection panel, said the 106-run defeat at Kensington Oval in the second Test which ended on Thursday was a wake-up call for the side and they will now have to rebound strongly for a historic victory.
The Pakistanis came on the tour with the strong expectation of winning a Test series on Caribbean soil for the first time, but the Windies drew level 1-1 in the three-match rubber in Barbados after they lost the first Test by seven wickets at Sabina Park in Jamaica, making the third and final Test, starting on Wednesday at Windsor Park in Dominica, the decider. “I am sure, Misbah-ul-Haq and team management will learn from their mistakes and enter the series decider with a positive frame of mind,” said Basit.
“Pakistan should enter the third Test with all guns blazing and win the series for the sake of Misbah to pay tribute to one of the highly successful captains Pakistan cricket has ever witnessed.”
He added: “I seriously feel that the toss holds the key in determining the outcome of a Test match in the West Indies. The team, which wins the toss, I feel, it has bright chances of winning the Test matches.
“It was [the] batsmen, who were at fault [in the second Test] and allowed the West Indian bowlers too much liberty and respect. Otherwise, Pakistan could have chased down the target, but the pitch also played a significant role and helped the West Indies bowlers a lot.”
Basit also said critics should withhold their condemnation about the team selection, following the team management’s decision to introduce young leg-spinner Shadab Khan in Bridgetown.
“I feel Shadab is extremely unlucky not to take at least four or more wickets, as the pitch was ideally supportive of his bowling,” said Basit. “Probably, he had put a lot of pressure on himself, otherwise, he was bound to succeed. “The bounce on West Indian pitches is uneven and it will take extra effort for the batsmen to spend time at the crease and spinners are bound to dominate, unlike the pitches of the 1990s, when the West Indian fast bowling greats use to rip apart the world’s best batsmen.”
“Only those bowlers, who use seam to the best of their abilities, succeed in bagging wickets in the Caribbean, otherwise, only spinners can take huge advantage. I must give credit to Misbah for taking bold and wise decisions, even though his decision of including Shadab may have backfired.”