ISLAMABAD   -   Former PCB chief selector and Test cricketer Iqbal Qasim looks highly optimistic about Pakistan cricket team’s chances against Australia in the ICC Cricket World Cup match to be played today (Wednesday) at Taunton.

Talking to The Nation, Qasim said: “If India can beat Aussies with such bowling attack, then why can’t Pakistan cricket team repeat the same against Kangaroos. India posted 352 runs against Australia and we have to do the same. Our batting line is also very competent and has the services of youth and experience. If Fakhar and Imam provide solid start and ensure rotation of strike, Pakistan can post the 350 plus total.

“I feel India won the match against Australia due to nerves and clever captaincy by Kohli and I expect same from Sarfraz. The way Indian openers see off initial overs and kept the scoreboard ticking, same approach is required from Fakhar and Imam, while Babar Azam and Hafeez can bolster innings in the middle overs. Hafeez is enjoying good run after playing well against England while Shoaib Malik and Sarfraz are the backbone of Pakistan batting, if they stay at the crease and score few runs, Pakistan can easily post 350 plus total,” he added.

Qasim said: “As we all know Aussies are very good when it comes to play fast bowlers. I suggest Sarfraz and head coach should ensure best fast bowling combination and the bowler, who is weak link in the team, should pave way for Imad Wasim, who has habit of taking wickets at crucial stages of the match. The logic of going with winning combination is outdated so one has to keep in mind conditions and how pitch is prepared. For me, Hassan Ali should be replaced with Imad.”

The former cricketer said: “I feel Pakistan team had golden opportunity of beating Sri Lankans, but we can’t have any control on weather. I think even one point is not bad. Pakistan and Australian have played against each other on a number of times and they know each other’s weaknesses and strengths well. Although Aussies will be on a high after inflicting whitewash on green caps in UAE recently and that too without Warner and Smith, but they must also remember that Pakistan had also fielded a relatively weak and inexperienced side and given rest to regular skipper.  “We have a lethal bowling attack. Aamir was looking very good in the last outing against England, while Hafeez and Shoaib Malik not only bowled well but were also amongst the wicket-takers. They took away much of the burden from the shoulders of skipper and provide him options, which were missing. I strongly recommend Sarfraz to use both Malik and Hafeez, as Aussies are not known to handle spinners well,” he added.

“I want to request Prime Minister Imran Khan to check what PCB top management is doing in England and what is the purpose of prolonging their stay in UK? I think they just want to ensure hefty TA/DAs, which amount to $500 to $1,000 daily.

 There is a dire need to save this money so it is PM’s national and moral duty to introduce ruthless accountability, rather than a burden on national kitty. All the irrelevant persons must return home without any further delay,” Qasim concluded.