Pakistan in Australia 2009-10 January 8, 2010

Intikhab calls for separate Twenty20 team

Cricinfo staff

Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam has called for separate teams for Twenty20 internationals as a possible means of arresting his side's current decline in the Test format. Intikhab echoed the comments made by captain Mohammad Yousuf after Pakistan's defeat in Melbourne, when he said the players in the Test squad were struggling to adapt to the format largely due to volume of Twenty20 cricket they played.

When asked if a separate team for the Twenty20 format was the way to go, Intikhab told the News: "I think we will have to do that. If you play too much Twenty20 cricket then it becomes almost impossible for you to have the sort of patience and temperament that you need to shine in Test matches.

"In Twenty20 cricket all you have to do is to hit the ball out of the park. But in Test matches, it is all about staying on the wicket. It is hard work and needs a lot of character."

Pakistan lost the Test series against Australia in Sydney, as they were beaten by 36 runs in their chase of 176. They had secured a first-innings lead of 206, but their batsmen capitulated to the spin of Nathan Hauritz while batting last. Intikhab said the lack of world-class batsmen was hurting Pakistan. "You can't go out and beat top teams like Australia when you don't have any world class batsmen in your team," he said. "There is Yousuf but he is already 35 and does not have much time left in international cricket. Apart from him, there is nobody who can claim to be a world class batsman."