‘Salman will bounce back in Tests’

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

KARACHI: Pakistan’s chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed Sallu on Tuesday defended the national team’s vice-captain Salman Butt in spite of the player’s unimpressive performance in the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 tournament in South Africa saying that he will regain his form in the forthcoming Test matches.

Salahuddin, a former Test cricketer, said that Salman is a good batsman and suffered a bad patch during the tournament where Pakistan lost in the final against India on Monday.

After a series of poor outings, Salman was dropped from the playing line-up in the semifinal and the final of the 12-nation tournament. He was replaced by rookie all-rounder Fawad Alam in the semifinal and later Yasir Arafat was selected ahead of Salman in the final.

Salahuddin Sallu defended the decision to include Salman in the Twenty20 squad saying that the Lahore-based batsmen batted superbly in a series of Twenty20 matches at home this summer.
“Salman was one of the most prolific batsmen in those practice games and in fact he was the only one who scored a century in one of the matches,”
said Sallu.

He said that Salman would regain his form in the forthcoming Test series against South Africa starting with the opening Test here at the National Stadium from October 1.
“Salman is a very talented young batsman and I’m sure that he would get some runs and regain his confidence in the Test series against South Africa,”
he said.

Sallu praised Pakistan’s performance in the ICC World Twenty20 and said that in spite of losing in the final, the national team did a great job in South Africa.
“Our team played really well and it was a bit unlucky that it didn’t win the world title,”
he said.

Sallu praised the performance of Misbah-ul-Haq, the middle order batsman who almost helped Pakistan win the final against India.
“There was a lot of criticism against the selection of Misbah but the batsman has proved that he was the right choice,”
he said.

The chief selector also hailed the performance of newcomers Sohail Tanvir and Fawad Alam in the tournament.

“Sohail and Fawad have showed us that if given a chance our young cricketers have the guts to do well even against the world’s top teams,”
he said.

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