Asif urges bowlers to provide Amir more support

KARACHI: Pakistan will be looking to finally register a win on their so-far dismal tour of New Zealand as they go into the second T20I against the Black Caps on the back of six consecutive defeats.

Five defeats in the ODI series were followed by a similarly one-sided seven-wicket loss in the opening T20I game, with the batsmen especially to blame.

Former Pakistan pacer Muhammad Asif, though, believes the bowlers also need to up the ante; especially improving the way they work in pairs.

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“A bowler is usually only successful when he is being supported from the other end,” he said. “The combination of bowlers and the understanding between partners is really important for any bowler to succeed in difficult conditions, and Pakistan have not able to get that right.”

Asif believes his former new-ball partner Muhammad Aamir is being let down by those who are bowling from the other end.

“Aamir has the potential to take wickets and he impressed during the last year,” said Asif. “However, he hasn’t been among the wickets here because he hasn’t found any decent support from the other end.

Batsmen blamed once again for Pakistan’s failures

The 35-year-old right-arm pacer said the key is to ensure that the bowlers know their roles and that if one bowler is unable to take wickets from one end but is restricting runs then the other bowler should either do the same or take wickets, otherwise it will just undermine the work done by the first bowler.

“Amir is a key bowler but he is unable to perform well these days,” said Asif. “The bowlers should combine in such a way that ideally if there is a left-arm pacer from one end then a right-armer should be operating from the other end; especially if they both operate with the same level of aggression. If they do that then they will eventually be able to take wickets. If they get the bowling combinations right in the second T20I then they can win it.”

Batting to blame, says Sallu

Former Pakistan chief selector Salahuddin Sallu, on the other hand, believes the batsmen are to blame for the failures of the team.

“If the batsmen are unable to put up a good total then all the pressure shifts onto the bowlers to restrict runs and take wickets at the same time,” said Sallu. “That leads to mistakes and poor balls since the bowlers don’t have much margin of error. The batsmen need to put up a good total or chase down whatever they are set if Pakistan are to have any success in the upcoming two games.”

The 70-year-old urged the batsmen to ensure that there is no batting collapse. “The problem with the Pakistani batsmen is that they lose wickets one after the other,” he said. “If New Zealand claim one wicket then they are usually able to take two or three more soon after. This not only lifts up the bowling team but also hampers the entire batting effort. At least one batsman needs to anchor the innings and the other batsmen need to play around him.”


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