Islamabad, Jun.19 (ANI): After numerous controversies that the national cricket team has witnessed in recent times, things seem to be changing for the better, which was evident from the spirited performance of the players in the match against hosts Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup, believes former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram.
Akram highlighted that even though Pakistan lost the opening game of the Asia Cup, there were many positives that emerged from the loss.
"I can see a few positives. Skipper Shahid Afridi's 76-ball 109 run against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup opener probably hints at good things to come. After a long time, I saw Afridi playing a responsible innings. Even if it came in a losing cause, the knock was full of character," The Daily Times quoted Akram, as saying.
The former left-arm fast bowler said that Afridi's innings would put confidence in both the selectors and other players that they have a captain who can lead by example.
Commenting on maverick speedster Shoaib Akhtar, who returned to the international stage after a long lay-off in the Dambulla one-day international, Akram said he is happy to see that Akhtar has proved his critics wrong through his performance.
The Rawalpindi Express bowled intelligently to complete his quota of 10 overs, bagging 3 wickets in the match, but didn't looklike the same Akhtar who used to torment even the world's best batsmen with his ferocious pace and bounce.
"The 35-year-old pacer not only justified the trust laid on him by the captain but also won the hearts of many of his fans. But as coach Waqar Younis pointed out, this is not the best we have seen of him. Akhtar has to be fit and consistent and that will help the team," Akram said.
However, he was not all that impressed from the two young batsmen, Shahzaib Hasan and Umar Amin, who made their debut in the match.
"I must admit that opener Shahzaib Hasan did not impress me. I saw him in the 2009 Twenty20 World Cup and felt the 20-year-old needed a little more time," Akram said. (ANI)