Test cricket needs modern approach: Javed Miandad

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 20 (APP):Batting legend Javed Miandad believes there was the need of versatility in the playing conditions and hours of Test cricket, saying the play should start or finish according to the climate in the countries.

The constant interruptions due to bad light in the second Test between Pakistan and England which ended in a draw, was not the greatest advertisement for Test cricket and Miandad feels that versatility and a fresh approach was needed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to remedy this recurring problem.

“The ICC needs to show some creativity and adopt a modern approach by adjusting the hours of play, instead of this rigid approach. The priorities and requirements of cricketing audiences around the world are changing and the ICC needs to take this into account before more fans are disheartened and stop watching cricket.

“There has to be versatility in the playing conditions and playing hours and I suggest that play should start earlier in some countries or finish later where possible, according to the climate.

“I see no sense in a fixed 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. day in England when play could even start at 10 a.m. Those that run the game really need to start thinking out of the box regarding playing conditions, the use of pink cricket balls, the quality of floodlights, as well as drainage and playing area covers and facilities at grounds, before cricket becomes an even bigger laughing stock,” inews.co.uk quoted him as saying.

Speaking about the performances of Pakistan’s struggling duo of Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, Miandad said Azhar and Asad have received criticism for their recent performances, but it was too soon to drop them.

“The Pakistan coaching staff needs to earn their salaries and work on restoring Azhar and Asad’s confidence and I’m sure better results will follow for both players.”

“Azhar Ali has been given the captaincy due to a lack of other candidates which isn’t the right way to go about this,” he said.

”The problem is that in Pakistan, captaincy seems to be given to individuals based upon whim and leaders are never groomed as they are in England. The result is that a Pakistan captain learns on the job instead of using his knowledge and experience, which is totally incorrect and people who have poor leadership skills are elevated into this role,” he said.

Miandad said England has regularly produced captains who have been well-groomed to do the job and this was a lesson for other nations as well. “There is something special about Joe Root and I find his attention to detail similar to that of Sir Geoffrey Boycott.

“During my playing days with Glamorgan we had a game against Yorkshire and Boycott was dismissed early. He immediately walked over to the nets and started batting again for hours because he felt he hadn’t batted long enough and needed more practice.

“He was so dedicated and I see the same traits in Root. England are fortunate to have a captain like Joe Root.”

However, Miandad thinks that Pakistan has the ability to take the fight to England and level the series. “Pakistan must not feel that they are out of this series. They made some mistakes in the first Test and lost from a winning position.

“But, as long as the Pakistani batsmen can learn from their mistakes and put up fighting totals, this Pakistan bowling attack has the edge over England’s batsmen, so don’t be surprised if this series finishes 1-1,” he said.

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