Karachi: Pakistan’s former chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed Sallu said that Pakistan should have beaten South Africa when its top players were not there in the crucial encounter in Birmingham during Champions Trophy.
“Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis didn’t come with the team and star pacer Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel were also not there because of injuries. So the South African team was weakened and Pakistan had a good chance to bounce back in the tournament after losing the first match to West Indies,” Sallu told PPI.
“However, it was disappointing to see Pakistan waste such a good chance to make a recovery in the important tournament. It is also very disappointing to see Pakistan nearly elbowed out of the tournament after playing only two matches,” he said.
Pakistan lost the first match to West Indies by two wickets and on Monday, lost its second match to South Africa by 67 runs. Pakistan must pray that West Indies beat India and South Africa with a good margin. And on June 15, the team must overpower India by good margin to create some chances for itself for making it to the semifinals of the tournament.
West Indies has won its match against Pakistan and if it beats India and South Africa and then Pakistan beat India, then West Indies will qualify while the second semi-finalist would qualify from this group on better Net Run Rate after registering one victory each. However, chances are very low for Pakistan to make its place in the semifinals now.
Although Sallu praised skipper Misbahul Haq for scoring in both matches, but he said that Misbah should have encouraged other batsmen to stay on crease with him.
“Misbah should be appreciated for scoring runs when others failed. However, he plays slow innings and subsequently builds pressure on players when they come to join him,” Sallu said.
Sallu said that individual performances cannot win matches for the team and concerted performances from the players were needed, where the team failed.
He said that tour selection committee should have been ruthless and it should have replaced low performing players after the first match.
“The team management and the players didn’t learn from the mistakes team did in the first match and they repeated the same mistakes, which was pathetic to see,” he said.