ISLAMABAD - Former International Cricket Council (ICC) president Zaheer Abbas backs Sarfraz Ahmed to lead Pakistan team in all the three formats as it will help in longer run.

Talking to The Nation, Zaheer said: “Sarfraz is young, energetic and fearless captain and takes bold decisions at right time. Although he made a few mistakes and also couldn’t deliver as a batsman as well as wicketkeeper in the recent series, yet it is bound to happen, as the pressure of captaincy is not easy, but I am sure Sarfraz is the best choice to lead the green caps, as he is already T20 and ODI skipper and it will be easier for him to understand players and utilise them to the best of his abilities.”

Zaheer said he must congratulate skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, a she led the side fantastically. “Misbah is one of the successful captains Pakistan cricket has ever produced and he also scored runs on crucial occasions . For me, he did a great job and my heartiest facilitations for Misbah for achieving one after another milestone. I also want to say a big thanks to backbone of Pakistani batting former captain Younus Khan, who was a great servant to Pakistan cricket. One needs lot of passion, determination, ability and stamina to play so long for country and he had all those abilities.

“Younus also deserves big appreciation for becoming the first cricketer who scored 10,000 runs in Test cricket for Pakistan. It was not an easy task, but Younus did it with passion and dedication and proved his mettle in cricketing world. Both Misbah and Younus were great players and had together rescued green caps on a number of occasions. Now both have retired and Pakistan team will definitely miss their services for a long time,” he added.

He said Pakistan is blessed with immense amount of talent as Babar Azam and Azhar Ali are playing very good cricket and both have to shoulder the burden of Misbah-Younus, while Sarfraz Ahmed is also very useful with the willow. “I personally feel that now Babar and Azhar have to bat with responsibility, as Misbah-Younis are not easy to replace, while the selectors have to dig deep to find natural batting talent. Test cricket is different altogether as it is a test of stamina, patience and nerves, and the stronger you are, the more you will excel.”

Commenting on West Indies tour and performances of the bowlers, Zaheer said: “Yasir Shah and M Abbas bowled superbly. Yasir is a match winner, but the way Abbas showed talent and aggression and took key wickets, it is really heartening, which shows that he is a bright future prospect for Pakistan cricket. Abbas has to show maturity as it is a real test of his abilities because the team is going to play against top Test playing nations. The batsmen should have to bat sensibly and shoulder the responsibility, as the way they had simply thrown away wickets, it could cost Pakistan team dearly. For how many years more we had to depend on bowlers to win matches for the country.

“It is coaches duty to work in the nets, watch videos of batsmen and ensure to remove minor flaws from their technique. At this stage, no one can coach players and the coaches can only help the players in making them realize their mistakes and never commit same mistakes. Pakistan team has the depth both in batting and bowling to cope with situation, but they only need to take responsibility to achieve the targets,” Zaheer concluded.