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Play four specialist bowlers: Imran and Wasim advise Pak

Posted By: Pti

Karachi, Feb 25 (PTI) Former fast bowling greats ImranKhan and Wasim Akram today advised Pakistan team management toplay four specialist bowlers against strong rivals in theongoing World Cup, even if it means dropping a batsman.

Imran said conditions were such in the sub-continent thatit was imperative to have a strong attack.

"I would prefer to go in with at least six bowlers, fourof them specialists because matches are only won by takingwickets," Imran said.

He said Pakistan had done well to crush minnows Kenya by205 runs and that the middle-order batsmen got the chance tospend time out in the middle.

"The win will be a great confidence booster for them butat the same time the team management must decide on how tobalance the playing eleven and their bowling attack. Becauseplaying just three specialist bowlers and depending on AbdulRazzaq to share the new ball and then on two all-roundspinners is a risky tactic for me in these conditions wherepitches favor the batsmen," Imran told Geo Super Channel.

The cricketer-turned politician said the team managementmust play at least four specialist bowlers even if they haveto drop one batsmen.

"The way they have set up the format of this World Cup, Idon''t think Pakistan should face any problems qualifying forthe quarter-finals. And to me the real contest will come inthe knockout stages before which we must have clearlyfinalised our playing eleven," he said.

Akram said he would prefer to have wicket-keeper KamranAkmal open the innings with either Hafeez or Ahmad Shehzad andYounis Khan batting at number three with Razzaq also going upthe order.

"I think Razzaq at the moment in these conditions in theWorld Cup is being wasted at the number eight position. He isnot getting enough overs to bat. Given his experience he caneasily bat up the order and that would allow Pakistan to playan extra bowler," the former captain said.

He pointed out that Pakistan could face problems if theywent in with three specialist bowlers only against strongeropponents.

"I had talks with the captain and coach and I told themplay at least four specialist bowlers. We must use ShoaibAkhtar as an impact and wicket-taking bowler and have a thirdpacer or second specialist spinner in the side."

The former captain had no doubt that Shoaib could make animpact in the tournament.

"He looked sharp against Kenya and he is still amatch-winner," Akram said.

Story first published: Friday, February 25, 2011, 15:45 [IST]
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