Intikhab feels for Indian bowlers

Kolkata, (Mail Today): The number of hats that Intikhab Alam has worn over the years speaks volumes about the experience he possesses. Not only was he the first captain of Pakistan in ODIs, a national coach and manager, but was also appointed coach of the Indian state of Punjab.

In Kolkata as an ambassador of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Alam feels the problem with the current Indian team is the bowling.

“You know when a team has a more or less fixed playing XI over a period of time, the bench strength is hardly tested. As a result, when the seniors go out, they leave a huge void which needs time to be filled. I do agree that this is the most inexperienced bowling outfit I have seen when it comes to India, but then you’ve got to give these youngsters time to settle down,” he said.

While critics have torn down India captain MS Dhoni after the team’s repeated failures, Alam feels that he should be left alone for a while.

“I think Dhoni has been a great captain and at a time when the team is going through transition, you can’t keep winning. Winning and losing is a part of every sport. But Dhoni needs to be left alone and I am sure he will come back stronger,” the 70-year-old ex-player said.

Commenting on Nasir Jamshed, who seems to be fast growing into a composed opener that Pakistan has been looking for, Alam said: “He has been in the domestic circuit for a while now, but he has had injury issues. I am glad that he has put those days behind him and I think he is doing a great job. The best part about his game is the technique. I think he has a very bright future.”

On the India-Pakistan encounter, Alam said that India-Pak series can never tire fans of both countries and that he would like to see more matches between the two countries in the near future.

“India inviting Pakistan to play a home series is a great gesture and I hope that we can keep the bond going and play more series in the future. More importantly, the move has actually helped revive Pakistan cricket after teams refused to travel to the country post the 2008 attack on the Sri Lankan players. I hope that India now agrees to travel to Pakistan and plays a series there as the fans back home too deserve to be a part of this high-voltage clash,” he said.

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