Saqlain eyes clean sweep against Windies in Multan

Abdul Mohi Shah
Sunday, Jun 05, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s head coach Saqlain Mushtaq is eyeing a clean sweep against West Indies, pointing out that the Green-shirts will have to play the best brand of cricket to beat "tough opponents".

Talking to the media on Saturday, Saqlain said his team would go all out for a clean sweep in theforthcoming ODI series. “We know well that we have cricketers capable of beating the best in the world. I have to admit that West Indies have got a powerful outfit, yet I am confident that we can win the ODI series 3-0.”

At the same time, the national cricket team head coach called on his charges to play cricket at their best. “Every player is charged up to play his best cricket. Pakistan will have to play their A game to beat the West Indies. I am sure that every member is capable of that and ready for the top-quality cricket game.”

He admitted that heat would be a huge factor in the series. “Multan’s heat is a vital factor. Our support staff is taking measures to counter the heat element. For a professional sportsman, it is important to give his best in all conditions.”

Saqlain hoped that his team would be seen taking on the Caribbean team in the most professional manner. “Look every team has got its strength. We have our own and the West Indies have their own. Our cricketers have gone through the required rest period. Now they are charged up to perform and make the best use of the coming opportunity.

The series is part of the qualification round for the 2023 World Cup. Therefore, looking at the importance of the series, I am confident that every cricketer would show his class,” the former off-spinner said.

Replying to a question on Hasan Ali, Saqlain said he was a bit tired in recent times. “Now he is fit and ready for the series as he has gone through the required rest period,” he assured.

The head coach spoke highly of Babar Azam as a leader and a player. “His contributions for the team have been of top quality. Babar is a quality leader and a player,” he said.

He did not underestimate the West Indies team at all. “They are arriving here following the series against Holland. So, they are in-form and definitely in good shape. We haven’t worked on the strategy as yet, but we will be doing that shortly."

Saqlain admitted that there had been examples where Pakistan got off to a slow start in the series played in the past.

“We would try to overcome these flaws. If ever we have got off to a slow start, we would try to remove these by playing aggressive professional cricket. I am hopeful that my team is ready for that. All and all it would be an interesting series where you would see some quality brand of cricket."