LAHORE - Test discarded Kamran Akmal urged nation to back team and Indian defeat doesn’t mean, end of the Asia Cup for Pakistan.

Kamran expressed these views while talking exclusively to The Nation at National Cricket Academy (NCA) on Sunday. He said it was quite hurting watching Pakistani batsmen throwing their wickets away. “It was not a 160 plus batting track, it was 130 runs track and with the bowling attack, green caps had, I was dead sure, we could have easily carve out victory.”

He said Aamir was bowling in full with pace, venom and accuracy and he bowled his heart out. Had Pakistan scored few more runs on the board, situation could have been far different and give all out credit to bowlers, who managed to take 5 wickets, defending such a small total, He added.

Kamran said Khurram Manzoor should have been hold up for weaker teams like UAE and Bangladesh. “He is staging comeback in the national team and had never played shorter version of the game before for Pakistan. He needs confidence, while team management should continue with same line up. We lack in batting and coach and players must adopt positive frame of mind. Our bowling is very strong but we also need a specialist spinner, who could turn the tables.”

He said M Sami is his all-time favourite bowler as he is performing in domestic circuit on regular basis and the way he was bowling against India was highly appreciable. “A person, who is staging comeback after long time, defending such a small total and bowling with so much passion, is by not an easy task. Sami always manages to get assistance from the pitch and relies on line and length, which always help him in adjusting to the conditions.”

Kamran highly lauds Pakistan Super League and termed it a great initiative by the Pakistan Cricket Board and said it would help Pakistan cricket, players and especially the new comers. “Muhammad Nawaz is the find of the PSL, while other youngsters also learn a great deal from the PSL. It was first edition and I am sure with the passage of time, the PSL would gain more popularity than any other top league of the world. It also took IPL quite some time before it got recognition.”

When asked about whether he is still hopeful of staging comeback in the national team and why he was ignored just because of not doing well in PSL, Kamran replied: “It was not fair to select national team only on the PSL performances. I had performed in domestic circuit on consistent basis for the last many years. Khalid Latif, Sharjeel are back in the national fold, I am quite optimistic, sooner rather than later, I would be able to cacth the eyes of chief selector Haroon Rasheed.”

When asked about whether it was Pakistan team or a provincial team picked for Asia Cup and World T/20, Kamran said in his personal opinion it was national team, while Haroon Rasheed and coach could answer about selection criteria. “My job is to perform, which I would continue to do on regular basis. I had never backed off from working hard in the nets and ready to put more efforts to get selected and would not disappoint the nation and team.”

“It is high time, head coach Waqar Younus and captain Shahid Afridi must sit together and chalk out planning for the next matches. Pakistan team can’t afford to slip any further. Now every match is like do or die for us. We can still make it to the finals and hopefully would take on Indians in the final and take sweet revenge by beating them all hands up. It is very much possible. Only thing which we need is planning and winning mentality. I still believe Afridi and company could win the day for Pakistan,” Kmaran concluded.