Legendary batsman Zaheer Abbas feels that Pakistan’s chances of winning the Champions Trophy, to be held in England and Wales next month, will solely depend on their batting performance.

Abbas, who played for the English County team Gloucestershire for 13 years, scoring over 1000 runs almost every year and cracking his highest Test score of 274 against England at Edgbaston, said: “Pakistan’s drawback is in their batting department and for long our batsmen have not been doing well. If our batting clicks, then we have a chance.”

When Gulf News asked what quality is required to be successful with the bat in England conditions where he was considered an expert, Abbas said: “To be successful in England, one should bat with a lot of determination. If you know the ball is going to seam and swing, you have to play late. It’s the key to be successful on English wickets.”

To a query as to who among the present Pakistan batsmen have got the ability to adapt to English conditions, Abbas candidly said: “Frankly, I cannot name anyone in the present team who has got that ability. Mohammad Yousuf, during his playing days, applied the same method that I employed to play in England.”

Elaborating further on Pakistan’s batting and their drawbacks, Abbas said: “The biggest problem of our batsmen is that they do not know how to stay for long at the wicket. They need to bat according to the situation and if the batsmen do not know how to defuse the pressure from the opposition, then you are bound to be a failure. There is no need to hit sixes and boundaries to break the opponents. The best way to shatter the opponents’ rhythm is by taking quick singles like Australians do and then use the loose balls for sixes and fours.”

Abbas, who won the sobriquet ‘Bradman of Asia’ for his phenomenal scoring, said: “One should learn never to surrender his wicket and keep taking singles. When you settle down, you will be able to see the ball bigger like a football. Placing the ball is a great art and if you can place your shots through gaps where fielders are not there you are bound to score runs.”

Abbas felt the hosts were the favourites to win the Champions Trophy. “England has a great chance and so has South Africa. Indians are also doing well and Pakistan’s chances will depend on their batting.”

Abbas also appealed to the cricketers to focus on game than money. “If their focus is on money and not cricket, then they are bound to fail. When money is damaging the game it should be controlled. It is important to find out why only Indians and Pakistanis are involved in spot fixing. Cricket should never suffer due to someone’s mistake and those players should be punished.”