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Captain, coach happy with team's showing

Karachi, July 13: Pakistan captain Moin Khan and coach Javed Miandad termed the four-month tour as highly successful

14-Jul-2000
Karachi, July 13: Pakistan captain Moin Khan and coach Javed Miandad termed the four-month tour as highly successful. "The victory in the tri-series would have been a perfect icing on the cake. But fact of the matter is that after having touched rock-bottom following defeats to Australia and Sri Lanka, the team played splendidly," Miandad and Moin told reporters at the Quaid-i-Azam International Airport here on Thursday.
"The performance of the players showed their mental toughness and ability to lift themselves from the scratch," Moin said.
Miandad defended Pakistan's defeat in the tri-series saying the players had been playing non-stop cricket for the last eight months and might have stalled.
"It is very difficult to play consistently for such a long period. Until the Tests, things were great for us. But unfortunately all the batsmen ran out of form when the one-dayers started.
"But for the team, winning the Asia Cup for the first time was a great achievement. We looked invincible because the batsmen posted huge totals on the board," Miandad said.
He felt that Wasim Akram's absence in the one-dayers also made a difference, a view on which Moin agreed. "Wasim is the best user of the new ball. His form was excellent.
"It's not that Pakistan is a one-man team but fact of the matter is that Wasim is too good a player. It's really difficult to plug the gap when he is not around," Moin observed.
Miandad felt that victory in Sharjah was the perfect topic which lifted the morale of the team. "We defeated South Africa twice, a thing which we had not done in the previous 14 meetings. Naturally that victory helped the players believe in their abilities."
Moin said the point that needed to be highlighted was that the team comprised mostly on youngsters who excelled against tough oppositions and in testing conditions.
"Imran (Nazir), Yousuf (Youhana), Abdur Razzaq, Azhar (Mahmood), Arshad (Khan) are relatively new to international cricket. But they played like experienced professionals.
"I believe the key to Pakistan's success was the form of Inzamam-ul- Haq who played a role which Miandad used to play during his heyday. He carried the innings on his shoulders and rest of the players revolved around him," he said.
He added that the presence of Javed Miandad as coach was an added bonus. "Things which Javed Miandad can tell, very few could. His presence was a great influence for the players."
Moin and Miandad, nevertheless, admitted that still a lot of work has to be done. "There are areas which we have to improve, like fielding, batting with heads down and curtail the extras we concede."
The two agreed that too much cricket was being played by the Pakistan cricket team but said previous commitments have to be honoured. "Preferably, the players like rest between the series' and minimum travelling. But these tours were finalized long time ago."