ISLAMABAD - Test discarded wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal believes Pakistan cricket team has depth and ability to bounce back in the third Test against England despite a big defeat at Old Trafford.

Talking to The Nation from UK, where he had went to attend Saeed Ajmal charity dinner at Manchester, Kamran said: “Pakistani bowlers bowled two much wayward deliveries and were badly failed in controlling the ball. They were bowling at both sides of the wicket and gave too much liberty and space to the English batsmen, who took full advantage and piled up loads of runs on the board.”

He said Aamir, Wahab and even Rahat Ali were bowling short-length deliveries and were not up to the mark. “It was almost impossible for the team management to change the winning combination and I feel the team management was right to enter the Old Trafford Test with same playing XI.”

To a query regarding changing in the opening and middle order, Kamran replied: “No! The team management must stick to the same opening combination, as only two matches are too less to judge the performance of the players. Shan Masood, Hafeez and Azhar Ali have scored loads of runs for Pakistan team and they are more than capable of doing so again and again. If provided with the much-needed backing of the captain and the team management, they can deliver.

“I would suggest Shan Masood and Hafeez should be given another go, as they can bounce back in style, but our batsmen must also realize that they can’t get back into the form by spending time on the crease and not scoring enough runs. They have to play aggressive cricket and put bowlers under sword,” he added.

Kamran said Pakistani batsmen gave too much respect to James Anderson and were highly overcautious against him, which resulted in batting collapse. “At Edgbaston, the batsmen must play Anderson with aggression and try to play on front foot, as it will help them frustrate Jimmy.”

To a query regarding out-of-sort Yasir at the Old Trafford Test, Kamran said: “Yasir is a proven stuff and in last 13 Test matches, he has bowled brilliantly and captured a great number of wickets, which itself is a record and enough to prove his world’s top leg spinner. The team management and captain must buck him up and boost his morale, as he will bounce back and once again frustrate English batsmen.” About changes in the squad, Kamran said: “The management might opt to give rest to one of the fast bowlers and give chance to a right-handed fast bowler.” About Zulfiqar Babar inclusion in third Test, he said: “I don’t think so, as there are continuous rains in England in coming days so the fast bowlers would have the advantage.”

When asked about his chances of staging another long-awaited comeback, Kamran said ever since Inzamam-ul-Haq was appointed as chief selector, one thing was crystal clear that he would take Pakistan cricket to new heights and he would not let injustice happen to any player. “I have started extra practice and I am sure the day is not far, when I will be able to get a call.”  “I have made it clear to the PCB that I am ready to play as specialist batsman and prepare to bat up the order or middle of the innings, as I have no issues in batting at any given number. If the selectors decide in my favour, I will not disappoint them and nation and will do my best to play key role in helping Pakistan team register huge victories,” Kamran concluded.