ISLAMABAD: Pakistan batting coach Younis Khan Monday spoke highly of Faheem Ashraf following his powerful 91-run innings that helped Pakistan save a follow-on on the third day of the first Test against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui.
Talking to media, Younis said Faheem was fast emerging as a reliable all-rounder. “He has shown guts as a batsman and tried to stay at the wicket for a longer time ultimately helping the team save the follow-on. When the top-order failed to deliver, Faheem came to their rescue and stayed till the end.”
Younis added that the stage was perfect for Faheem to make his presence felt. “When he landed at the wicket, Pakistan had already consumed 50 overs. So the stage was perfect for him to show his class and ultimately he scored a much-needed innings.”
The batting coach also rued missing a good partnership at the top. “Things could have been much better with a solid stand for any wicket at the top of the innings.” Younis also praised captain Mohammad Rizwan for showing maturity in the middle.
“Rizwan has shown maturity in two back-to-back innings. Again he was at his best during the last two innings. He is fast becoming a mature player who looks ready to contribute.” Younis hoped that Rizwan would prove himself a consistent player in days to come.
“His consistency would definitely benefit Pakistan in the long run. Rizwan has performed well as a captain which definitely would go a long way in setting an example for the youngsters as they always follow the seniors especially their captain.”
He also termed Shan Masood’s loss a turning point in the innings as it was a poor performance by the top-order. “His unlucky ouster was a turning point as the top-order batsman completely failed to show the required maturity.”
Faheem was delighted to have the major contribution in the innings, saying that his effort was to stay at the wicket for a maximum period. “I succeeded in staying at the wicket. The fact of the matter is that when you stay at the wicket, runs come automatically.”
The talented all-rounder hoped that our bowlers would make all-out efforts to restrict New Zealand to a low total in the second innings. “We bowled well in the first innings and I hope our bowlers would be performing even better in the second.”
Source: The News