Pakistan is all set to face a daunting task when they will fly to England for two Tests later this month, as the record of Men in Green’s is dead-alive here, having won only two Tests of their last 11 matches.
It would not be only a test of the entire young Pakistan squad but also Sarfraz Ahmed’s captaincy to earn success in the UK without their Test legends Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq.
There will be so many pressure and expectation on pace superhead Mohammad Amir, who drastically failed in their last England tour in 2016, but former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal is confident that he will do for the nation and will be a vital cog for Sarfaraz in England series, starting from 24 May at The Lord’s.
Iqbal told PakPassion.net, “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.”
He further added, “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.”
Commenting on the controversial national selection of Pakistan’s chief selector Inzamam ul Haq’s nephew debutant Imam-ul-Haq, Iqbal said, “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.”
He added on the same, “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 leveled 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.”
Meanwhile, former captain admitted that Pakistan’s record is not well in England, won their last Test series here in 1996, but he is confident that the young brigade will do well this time. He also admitted that England has their home advantage and favorites against Pakistan, but still believe that the touring side can make difference here, saying, “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.”
He signed off by saying, “The fact is that every team starts as favorites 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.”