‘At the moment the Indian team is better than us and there is no doubt about it’, says Zaheer Abbas

Image courtesy of: The Hindu

Abbas was appalled by Pakistan’s performance in Zimbabwe

Former Pakistan captain Zaheer Abbas has voiced his frustration towards the national team after their disgraceful series against Zimbabwe, which saw them lose an ODI and Test match.

Due to Pakistan’s slip up in the second Test at Harare, they plunged from fourth to sixth on the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test team rankings.

Abbas even went on to say that India were playing better than Pakistan.

“At the moment the Indian team is better than us and there is no doubt about it,” he said. “If we play against India regularly it will benefit our players.”

Abbas also called on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to improve their relations as both nations can benefit from it.

“I have always said that regular Indo-Pak cricket relations and ties also lead to improved relations at [the] people and government level,” Abbas said. “What is sad is that there have been instances in the past when India and Pakistan have not played each other for years after one or two series even though Indo-Pak contests generate so much interest and revenues for the Boards and players.

“I loved playing against India but unfortunately in my career I got to play just a few Test series against them. But we enjoyed good relations with some of the Indian players when we came across in England or in any other country in those days.”

The former skipper added that India is now the central hub for international cricket.

“The money is there,” he said. “India has a big market for cricket and it is good to hear that Pakistan Cricket Board officials have held meetings with Indian Board (BCCI) officials.”

However, if Pakistan and India are to play against each other in the near future, Abbas advised the PCB to reap as much of the benefits as possible.

“We should ensure that any understanding or agreement with the BCCI is also beneficial to us and it should not be like last December when we went to play in India and didn’t get a single penny from it,” he said.

With Pakistan’s batting having been a major issue over the past couple of series, Abbas also called on the PCB to hire a full-time batting coach instead of employing a batting consultant on a series-by-series basis.

“There is a definite need to have a batting coach with the current lot of players who really need to lay more stress on their game and apply themselves,” he said. “The way we played on the recent tour of Zimbabwe our quality just didn’t come through. It was disappointing to lose a Test to a weak team.”

Abbas added that his first choice for a batting coach would be Javed Miandad.

The 66-year-old also noted that Misbah-ul-Haq needed to work on his captaincy skills and approach towards matches.

“Our captains need to bring about the qualities that Imran Khan had,” Abbas said. “They need to be bold and set examples for other players. It is a captain’s job to encourage young players and motivate other seniors.

“In our days we didn’t have specialist coaches but we learnt from each other even though there was professional jealousy in the team. But in the end every player was trying to prove with his performances that he is better than others.”

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