Pakistan’s spin bowling coach, Mushtaq Ahmed believes that spinners will have a key role to play in the forthcoming World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Mushtaq, himself, a former test leg spinner, said today that despite the fact that pace men usually dominated on the pitches in Australia and New Zealand he felt spinners would play a key role.
“With the passage of time spinners have become necessary attacking and containing options in every country in the 50-overs format. The reason for this is primarily because the behavior of pitches nowadays in ODIs is more or less standard with a few exceptions here and there,” he said.
Mushtaq conceded that the suspensions on bowling by Saeed Ajmal and Muhammad Hafeez would affect Pakistan’s performances in the World Cup to some extent.
“Obviously because Ajmal, Hafeez and Shahid Afridi have carried the brunt of the spin bowling for Pakistan in one-day internationals in recent years so it will make a difference.”
But at the same time, Mushtaq noted that Pakistan was not short on spin talent.
“I think the way Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah responded in the recent test series against Australia and New Zealand it shows we have talent. Now it is up to the national selectors to decide what to do for the World Cup,” he added.
While Pakistan has lost Saeed Ajmal for the World Cup as he is yet to completely work out his corrected bowling action they are still hopes that Hafeez might be cleared to bowl before the World Cup as he recently underwent an informal test in Chennai and the report is due in the next 24 hours.
If he clears the informal test, Hafeez will then be sent for the formal ICC bowling test.
Mushtaq also said that head coach, Waqar Younis had focused on increasing the confidence level of the players in the national team.
“It is one area he has focused a lot on and I think if our players play with confidence and self-believe in the World Cup than they can surprise many teams.
“But it would be a folly to just focus on preparing hard for the opening match against India and we will have to go into the World Cup with clear cut plans for every opposing team only then can we hope to do well in the tournament,” he added.
He said any match against India was always one full of expectations for both nations and hard fought.
“It is our opening game of the World Cup against India and if we do well it will serve us well in the rest of the tournament,” he said.