ISLAMABAD   -  Former Pakistan cricket team captain Salman Butt has advised Sarfraz Ahmed to remain calm and try to get the best from his players against South Africa in the ICC Cricket World Cup match to be played at home of cricket The Lord’s on Sunday.

Talking to The Nation, Salman said: “I had suggested prior to the much-hyped match against India, that Pakistan should have batted first in either case. If they had won the toss and they must have not given India opportunity to bat first, as it would have been suicidal attempt for green caps. When Pakistan played with two spinners, it was clear that they would defend total, but to surprise of many, they didn’t and gave India a comfort zone.

“Had Pakistani batsmen batted sensibly and tried to play full overs, the things could have been much different. Anyways, now it is history. I strongly suggest Sarfraz must not take too much pressure of the reminder of matches and especially against South Africa and try to play their natural cricket,” he added.

He said: “Pakistani batsmen must try to play full overs, as they are not utilising full quota of overs. The batsmen have to play sensibly and not try to hit big shots. We have witnessed in the world cup so far that the players, who try to play aggressive cricket, were losing wickets and their teams fail to post decent totals.

“It doesn’t apply on big teams as they have freedom and liberty of having so many natural strikers of the cricket ball, who can make the difference any time. I seriously think that the changes are imminent in green cap for a very important match against South Africa. I think the team management may opt to give rest to Hassan Ali and give chance to youngster Muhammad Hussnain, as it is the time, the youngster should be given a go and his extra pace may do wonders for the team,” he added.

Salman said: “I think Hassan Ali should be given rest, as he is out of form and badly struggling to make any sort of impact. I think out-of-form Shoaib Malik should also meet the same fate and should pave way for Haris Sohail. Shoaib Malik should have announced his retirement in the middle of the World Cup, as he could get axe from the coming match.

“I think our openers have to bend their backs more and try to rotate strike. As long as they manage to sneak singles, hit one odd boundary and play sensibly, I think they can pose serious challenge to South Africa, which is also struggling in the World Cup like Pakistan. They also fail to live up to expectations, but every day is new one and the team, who manage to control emotions, enter with a different game plan and manage to execute it is bound to succeed,” he added.

The cricketer stylish opener said that as a cricketer, he knows it hurts, when boys are not performing. “The masses have set huge expectations from their national heroes and I know, the players also want to contribute, but sometimes luck is not at your side. The green caps have lost against Australia after recovering well, while they also gave tough time to India.

“Now Pakistan team has to win the remaining matches by beating even tougher opponents to make way to the last four. It’s a tricky situation and it is not up to Pakistan team management and skipper, how they get best out of their players’ morals are down, but true champions show their class. Pakistan have fair chances of beating South Africa as if they play according to their potential, they will have bright chances of winning the match. I hope they will bounce back and fight for a place in the semis,” Salman concluded.