Karachi: The below-par show of Pakistan's pace battery in the ongoing World Twenty20 has left the country's former cricketers worried and they have called for changes in the line-up in the Super Eight stage starting on Thursday.
Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has advised the team management to replace the struggling Sohail Tanvir with the experienced Abdul Razzaq.
"I think it would not be a bad idea to bring in Razzaq instead of Tanvir. He can use the new ball cunningly and he will strengthen the batting as well. Razzaq is also good enough to bowl two to three overs, the same number of overs Tanvir is bowling in the tournament," Shoaib said.
Shoaib, who retired last year during the 50-over World Cup, also praised the performance of Yasir Arafat. "I have told him in Twenty20 cricket mixing up deliveries and using the bouncer effectively are important weapons for any pace bowler."
Pakistan's former Test batsman and the ex-coach Mohsin Khan advised the team to think about changing their pace line-up. "I think it would be better if Umar Gul is allowed the choice of bowling his overs in the middle of the innings with an older ball as he is most deadly when he starts getting reverse swing," Mohsin said.
Former Test captain Rashid Latif said he was expecting most of the Super Eights matches to be very close and tight. "All the teams that have qualified for this stage are now more experienced and better equipped to play Twenty20 cricket. The scenario has changed since the last World Twenty20 was held in 2010. Now teams have come prepared for this format."
Latif said that Pakistan would have to be careful while playing India and should not take the warm-up win as any indicator. "I think India has a plan for every match and every opponent. The clash with them on Sunday should be a thriller and I am still banking on our pacers and spinners to carry us through."
Former Test batsman Basit Ali felt that if Pakistan were to progress through to the semi-finals and final, Shahid Afridi would have a pivotal role to play as an allrounder. "Shahid has to bowl well in the coming matches as his overs are vital for the team. His form will decide whether Pakistan will move forward or not," Basit said.
Basit also predicted that spinners would now play a more dominant role, particularly in Colombo. "Since two matches will be played on the same day and on the same pitch, you can expect spinners to get more break now."