Instagram


The Cricket Paper

Cricket Scotland

Sohail Speaks Yasir's Blog Fazeer's Focus

User Tag List

Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Debut
    Apr 2013
    Venue
    Karachi
    Runs
    21,489
    Mentioned
    934 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)

    "Azhar Ali is a big-match player, he'll perform well on the big stage against England" : Asif Iqbal

    Former captain of Pakistan Asif Iqbal was known in his time as the 'man of crisis' for his ability to stand firm and lead his side out of impossible situations. He last played for Pakistan in 1980 and retired with an admirable record of 3575 runs in 58 Tests, scored against some of the top bowling attacks of his era.

    In an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, Asif Iqbal spoke about how impressed he was with the spirit of camaraderie in the Pakistan Test squad, Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq's importance to Pakistan's batting, Shadab Khan's suitability for Test cricket and why he feels that the inexperienced Pakistan team can give a good account of themselves against England in the upcoming Test series.



    Name:  aa.jpg
Views: 14800
Size:  94.1 KB


    PakPassion.net: You recently met some members of Pakistanís Test squad. What were your impressions of this group of players?

    Asif Iqbal:
    I recently met about seven of the players from the Pakistan Test squad and let me tell you that what really stood out for me was the camaraderie amongst the players. Whilst they appeared friendly and at ease with each other, there was also a strong element of respect for their leader and Pakistan captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed. It was heartening to see that the players had great respect for Sarfaraz and another point here is that an environment like this where players are so comfortable in each otherís company and in tune with each other, also helps in bringing out good performances from the players which is great for the team. I also noticed that there was a lot of joy and satisfaction in the performance of their teammates so instead of feeling envious or jealous of another playerís success, there was a definite feeling of pride at watching their colleagues do well which augurs well for the future of this side. One must give credit to the captain and also to the team management for inculcating this sort of positive attitude in the team and encouraging an environment which promotes such excellent team values.


    PakPassion.net: How important a role will Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq play for Pakistan in the upcoming Test series against England?

    Asif Iqbal:
    Both players will play crucial roles for Pakistan in the upcoming Test series. Whilst Asad Shafiq had a great game against Northamptonshire and did well in the first innings in the Test against Ireland, Azhar Ali did not got the runs that we would have liked him to score. But I am not worried about that at all. A good player can be out of form in one or two games but if he has the talent and the class then he will undoubtedly come out on top sooner rather than later. Azharís scores in warm-up games and the one-off Test against Ireland may not be to everyoneís liking but always remember that he is a big-match player and he will perform well on the big stage against England.


    PakPassion.net: Have Pakistan been lax in their succession planning in the way they are struggling to find replacements for Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan?

    Asif Iqbal:
    I recall that in our playing days, similar questions were asked about how Pakistan would cope when the likes of Imran Khan and Javed Miandad retired but we managed alright. After that era, we heard that we would have problems when Saeed Anwar retired and so on. Moving to our current situation, I do not believe that itís the case that we donít have replacements for Misbah and Younis. It's just a case of it taking longer to get such talented players like the two retired batsmen. Remember that players like Zaheer Abbas also took time to establish themselves in international cricket and similarly the future replacements for Misbah and Younis will take some time to learn the ropes.


    PakPassion.net: But do you feel that there is talent in Pakistan which can fill the gap left by these two marvellous batsmen?

    Asif Iqbal:
    I have no doubt about the talent available in Pakistan today. In fact, I take off my hat to these youngsters as the amount of different types of formats they play in todayís world of cricket is remarkable. And to add to that complication, they are unable to play any series at home and spend most of their playing time away from their country, yet they continue to play with resolve and have shown some good results. They are the number one team in T20Is and have also won the Champions Trophy recently so yes, they may have a period of adjustment because of Misbah and Younisí retirements, but they need to be given credit for their effort.


    PakPassion.net: The presence of inexperienced players in the Pakistan squad for the current tour must be a source of concern for you?

    Asif Iqbal:
    There has been some talk of Pakistan's squad having too many young and inexperienced players. I understand that in this squad, there were 5 players who were yet to play Test cricket at the start of the tour, but my view is simply that you only get experienced players in your squad, when you allow them a chance to play in the first place. Only when the new players are offered an opportunity to play will they gain experience. One must also remember that Pakistan teams of the past have performed exceptionally well whenever they have toured England. Based on the records of our visits in the past, I would not be surprised at all if the same group of youngsters who are being criticised for being too inexperienced will shock all and play really well during this tour. However, if it so happens that we donít do well, then we must not be too hard on our players as this is a good learning experience for them.


    PakPassion.net: Is Shadab Khan ready to take on the role of Yasir Shah who is absent due to injury?

    Asif Iqbal:
    I very much think so. In fact, I feel that Pakistan are lucky that despite the unfortunate loss of Yasir Shah, they have a ready-made replacement for him in the shape of Shadab Khan. He may lack experience in the longer format of the game, but I feel that in terms of talent he is as good and maybe better than Yasir. I have high hopes that he will perform well for Pakistan in the upcoming series. Shadab should play in the Test series against England as I feel he is good enough to play for Pakistan and he can perform an effective role for the team.


    PakPassion.net: Do you expect spin to play an important role in the outcome of the series against England?

    Asif Iqbal:
    The reality of the matter is that the weather plays an important part in the outcome of games in England. Test matches held in this part of the year are played in conditions which are not conducive to spin bowling. Having said that, if Pakistan play their matches in weather such as what we saw recently in Northampton, then Shadab could play a big role in Pakistanís success.


    PakPassion.net: Imam-ul-Haqís selection caused some controversy but do you feel he is capable of proving his detractors wrong?

    Asif Iqbal:
    Imam seems to have already replied to his critics with some good scores in both warm-up games and in the Test against Ireland so not much needs to be said about that. Personally speaking, I have always been a strong advocate of sportsmen who when confronted with criticism simply respond to their critics by performing well on the field of play. They donít need to come on television or speak to the media about the criticism levelled at them. A good performance on the field is all the response that is needed by Imam and he has done that to some extent. It is not his fault that he is the nephew of Inzamam-ul-Haq. The fact is that he is good enough and that is why he was chosen for the team and we hope he well do that in the coming days.


    PakPassion.net: Can Mohammad Amir justify the faith put in him by the Pakistan think-tank?

    Asif Iqbal:
    There is always pressure on Amir to perform as he is clearly the spearhead of our bowling attack. Looking back a bit to the 2016 tour of England, where Amir made a comeback in Tests, he was terribly unlucky that so many catches off his bowling were dropped. This must have made a huge impact on his confidence but it seems that people have forgotten about that. Amir remains our best bowler and I know that when Azhar Mahmood spoke about wanting more from him, he was referring to lack of wickets and not the lack of effort which Amir cannot be faulted for. As I said, I firmly believe that he is our main bowler, and God Willing, he will perform well for Pakistan.


    PakPassion.net: England must be favourites as they have home advantage?

    Asif Iqbal:
    It's no secret that each home-side has an advantage when playing on their own turf. If you look at England, they played in Australia recently and lost 4-0 to the hosts and then later on, also lost in the away series against New Zealand. The fact is that every team starts as favourites in their home-series and so will be the case when England play Pakistan in the upcoming series. However, our young players are a very capable lot and to tell you the truth, I will be surprised and disappointed if they donít do well.


    Follow PakPassion on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

  2. #2
    Debut
    Feb 2017
    Runs
    3,400
    Mentioned
    85 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    PakPassion.net: You recently met some members of Pakistanís Test squad. What were your impressions of this group of players?

    Asif Iqbal:
    I recently met about seven of the players from the Pakistan Test squad and let me tell you that what really stood out for me was the camaraderie amongst the players. Whilst they appeared friendly and at ease with each other, there was also a strong element of respect for their leader and Pakistan captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed. It was heartening to see that the players had great respect for Sarfaraz and another point here is that an environment like this where players are so comfortable in each otherís company and in tune with each other, also helps in bringing out good performances from the players which is great for the team. I also noticed that there was a lot of joy and satisfaction in the performance of their teammates so instead of feeling envious or jealous of another playerís success, there was a definite feeling of pride at watching their colleagues do well which augurs well for the future of this side. One must give credit to the captain and also to the team management for inculcating this sort of positive attitude in the team and encouraging an environment which promotes such excellent team values.
    Excellent to read this. Not surprising to hear his comments about Sarfraz. This is what Sarfraz is known for unless one has an agenda.

    This young team is very likeable and thats why I am so positive about our future unlike our past teams. We had a much more talented team in 90s till early 2000s but results? 0 trophy wins and quite often in the news for wrong reasons.
    Last edited by SarfiBabarHaris; 15th May 2018 at 21:53.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  3. #3
    Debut
    Oct 2004
    Runs
    89,504
    Mentioned
    1558 Post(s)
    Tagged
    14 Thread(s)
    I love the way Asif refer to Pakistan team as "us" ; just shows how he feels for Pakistan and his confidence in their abilities is something we should all learn from
    Last edited by hadi123; 16th May 2018 at 11:10.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  4. #4
    Debut
    Jan 2005
    Runs
    14,733
    Mentioned
    10 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Azhar deserves credit as he has done well over the years but lets see if he can turn it around.

    Asad Shafiq should be dropped simple.

  5. #5
    Debut
    Oct 2010
    Runs
    10,909
    Mentioned
    149 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Pakistan face a daunting task ahead of them as they prepare for their two match Test series against England starting May 24, having won only two of their last 11 Test matches. The series will also be a telling point of Sarfraz Ahmed’s captaincy that got off to a shaky start in the longest format of the game after they were beaten by an inexperienced Sri Lankan side 2-0 in UAE.

    One of Sarfraz’s latest inclusions to the team, debutant Imam-ul-Haq, whose selection to the team was overshadowed by his relation to Pakistan’s chief selector, his uncle Inzamam ul Haq, put up an unbeaten 74 to deny Ireland an unlikely Test debut victory on the fifth day of the Test at Malahide on Tuesday.

    The winning knock will certainly help ease the pressure off the left-handed batsmen, who can further stake his claim for a spot in Pakistan’s Test side that will face England in two Tests at Lord’s from May 24 to May 28 and Headingley from June 1 to June 5 and possibly repay the faith with sturdy performances in England.

    And former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal, who has accumulated 3575 runs from his 58 Test appearances against some of the finest bowling opposition in the history of the sport, certainly seems confident of the 22-year-old’s abilities.

    “Imam seems to have already replied to his critics with some good scores in both warm-up games and in the Test against Ireland so not much needs to be said about that,” Iqbal said speaking to PakPassion.net.

    “Personally speaking, I have always been a strong advocate of sportsmen who when confronted with criticism simply respond to their critics by performing well on the field of play. They don’t need to come on television or speak to the media about the criticism levelled at them.

    “A good performance on the field is all the response that is needed by Imam and he has done that to some extent. It is not his fault that he is the nephew of Inzamam-ul-Haq. The fact is that he is good enough and that is why he was chosen for the team and we hope he will do that in the coming days.”

    Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir, who is expected to lead his team’s bowling attack against England despite the recurrence of his “chronic” left knee problem, recently claimed his 100th Test wicket against Ireland.

    After retiring off just 3.2 overs on the third day, Amir made a swift comeback on Monday, the second last day of the historic Test to reach the landmark figure despite being banned for five years by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for his involvement in a spot-fixing scandal during a 2010 Test against England at Lord’s.

    And now, after making his return to the international stage two years ago, the 26-year-old will be expected to better his record against the hosts, which saw him claim 11 wickets in Pakistan’s tour of England in 2016, a four match series that was drawn 2-2.

    “There is always pressure on Amir to perform as he is clearly the spearhead of our bowling attack. Looking back a bit to the 2016 tour of England, where Amir made a comeback in Tests, he was terribly unlucky that so many catches off his bowling were dropped,” said Iqbal.

    “This must have made a huge impact on his confidence but it seems that people have forgotten about that. Amir remains our best bowler and I know that when Azhar Mahmood spoke about wanting more from him, he was referring to lack of wickets and not the lack of effort which Amir cannot be faulted for. As I said, I firmly believe that he is our main bowler, and god willing, he will perform well for Pakistan,” he added.

    Pakistan’s record against England in England has not been the best in recent years. They have drawn two and lost two series since the turn of the century; their last Test series win in England coming in 1996.

    And Iqbal while admitting that the hosts hold the home advantage highlighted their poor record in their last two Test series and said that Pakistan’s next gen are capable of causing an upset.

    “It’s no secret that each home side has an advantage when playing on their own turf. If you look at England, they played in Australia recently and lost 4-0 to the hosts and then later on, also lost in the away series against New Zealand,” said Iqbal.

    “The fact is that every team starts as favourites in their home-series and so will be the case when England play Pakistan in the upcoming series. However, our young players are a very capable lot and to tell you the truth, I will be surprised and disappointed if they don’t do well.”

    Talking about the role of spin playing an important role in deciding the outcome, he said: “The reality of the matter is that the weather plays an important part in the outcome of games in England. Test matches held in this part of the year are played in conditions which are not conducive to spin bowling. Having said that, if Pakistan play their matches in weather such as what we saw recently in Northampton, then Shadab could play a big role in Pakistan’s success.”

    Sharing his opinion on the loss of batting greats Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan and on replacing the lost generation, Iqbal said that players of such caliber are cultivated over time and so, young players must be allowed the same courtesy to take over from the greats.

    “I recall that in our playing days, similar questions were asked about how Pakistan would cope when the likes of Imran Khan and Javed Miandad retired but we managed alright. After that era, we heard that we would have problems when Saeed Anwar retired and so on,” said Iqbal.

    “Moving to our current situation, I do not believe that it’s the case that we don’t have replacements for Misbah and Younis. It’s just a case of it taking longer to get such talented players like the two retired batsmen. Remember that players like Zaheer Abbas also took time to establish themselves in international cricket and similarly the future replacements for Misbah and Younis will take some time to learn the ropes,” he explained.

    “I have no doubt about the talent available in Pakistan today. In fact, I take off my hat to these youngsters as the amount of different types of formats they play in today’s world of cricket is remarkable. And to add to that complication, they are unable to play any series at home and spend most of their playing time away from their country, yet they continue to play with resolve and have shown some good results. They are the number one team in T20Is and have also won the Champions Trophy recently, so yes, they may have a period of adjustment because of Misbah and Younis’ retirements, but they need to be given credit for their effort,” he ended.

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/crick...Hj71aueZN.html

  6. #6
    Debut
    Jun 2008
    Venue
    Moscow, Russia
    Runs
    28,505
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Too late to ditch Azhar and Shafiq now.

  7. #7
    Debut
    Aug 2010
    Venue
    Sheffield
    Runs
    27,455
    Mentioned
    868 Post(s)
    Tagged
    12 Thread(s)
    I like Asif Iqbal, comes across as well informed and not another ex-player with an axe to grind. Good comments all round.

  8. #8
    Debut
    Oct 2004
    Runs
    89,504
    Mentioned
    1558 Post(s)
    Tagged
    14 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Markhor View Post
    I like Asif Iqbal, comes across as well informed and not another ex-player with an axe to grind. Good comments all round.
    He absolutely loves 'his' team - real feel of ownership when you talk to him. This is exactly the kind of support a team needs from older players and not caustic jibes sitting on TV.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  9. #9
    Debut
    Nov 2017
    Runs
    313
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    He absolutely loves 'his' team - real feel of ownership when you talk to him. This is exactly the kind of support a team needs from older players and not caustic jibes sitting on TV.
    You have talked to him?

  10. #10
    Debut
    Oct 2004
    Runs
    89,504
    Mentioned
    1558 Post(s)
    Tagged
    14 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by BaankeJi View Post
    You have talked to him?
    Yes the interview was with him.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  11. #11
    Debut
    Jan 2005
    Venue
    A Hong Kong Pond
    Runs
    9,116
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Good to hear from Asif. Hope he is in good health.

  12. #12
    Debut
    Mar 2016
    Runs
    655
    Mentioned
    30 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Brilliant interview with very good answers. One of the very few former players who don't come in and start bashing and cursing their very own team.
    The only thing to which i don't agree with is, I don't think Shadab is as good as Yasir in Tests yet. Yasir can hold up an end and strangle the batters with consistent line and length for hours, Shadab loses the plot and starts overusing his googly which becomes predictable. Plus his lack of use of flight won't fetch him much wickets against either I believe.

  13. #13
    Debut
    Mar 2016
    Venue
    Sheffield
    Runs
    18,808
    Mentioned
    273 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Sensible comments.

  14. #14
    Debut
    Oct 2004
    Runs
    89,504
    Mentioned
    1558 Post(s)
    Tagged
    14 Thread(s)
    Lot riding on Azhar to deliver ; lots of talk about him being a key performer for Pakistan.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •