Pakistan ‘well-balanced’ to face Afghanistan spinners: Rehman

LAHORE: Newly appointed Pakistan head coach Abdul Rehman believes that his side is perfectly balanced and has all the bases covered to face the spin challenge from Afghanistan in the upcoming T20I series between the two teams in Sharjah.

In his first media interaction on Tuesday after being named as the national team’s head coach for the upcoming three T20Is, Rehman thanked Pakistan Cricket Board management and its chair Najam Sethi for giving him the opportunity.

“It’s an honour for me to be the head coach of Pakistan. It’s a great opportunity for me, I will try to give the best of my capabilities and create a difference in this series ” said Rehaman.

Rehman, who has a vast coaching experience under his belt in domestic cricket, including Pakistan Super League, stated he was not under any kind of pressure since he worked with almost every player of the squad on different occasions.

“We have some really good youngsters in our squad and all of these are coming after performing in the PSL so I think we have the all bases covered” he added.

Talking about his position in the interim coaching setup where he is joined by former Pakistan stars Umar Gul and Mohammad Yousuf as bowling and batting coaches respectively, Rehman said, “No one will be dictating anyone. We have to work together and move along collectively”

Moreover, head coach Rehman believed that the opposition had some really good spinners at their disposal but the well-balanced Pakistan side would be able to counter them effectively.

“We have a combination of youngsters and seniors. And all of them have faced Afghanistan players in the PSL.”

“Their (Afghanistan’s) spin bowling is quite strong, although their batting is not as strong as their bowling. But we have a talented batting lineup and a well-balanced team to face their spinners”

It may be noted here that Pakistan selected a young-looking team to play three T20Is against Afghanistan under the captaincy of Shadab Khan as the key players, including all-format captain Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi were rested.

The three T20Is will be staged in Sharjah on March 24, 26 and 27.

Pakistan Squad: Shadab Khan (c), Abdullah Shafique, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Zaman Khan.

Reserves: Abrar Ahmed, Haseebullah, Usama Mir

READ: Afghanistan recall ex-captain Nabi for T20I series against Pakistan