ISLAMABAD: Shoaib Malik got a vote of confidence from team coach Intikhab Alam, who said he had no doubt that the all-rounder should continue to captain Pakistan. “I am crystal clear in my mind that Malik should continue as captain,” Alam told The Associated Press on Friday. “His attitude has changed toward other players in...
ISLAMABAD: Shoaib Malik got a vote of confidence from team coach Intikhab Alam, who said he had no doubt that the all-rounder should continue to captain Pakistan.
“I am crystal clear in my mind that Malik should continue as captain,” Alam told The Associated Press on Friday.
“His attitude has changed toward other players in the team and I think that's a good sign,” he added.
Malik was made captain last year after Pakistan's unceremonious first round exit from the world cup in the West Indies and his contract is due to expire on December 31.
“Malik is still learning but he will gradually be more confident if his captaincy tenure is extended,” Alam said.
Alam was one of Malik's critic before he replaced Australian Geoff Lawson as coach. In September Alam said the Pakistan Cricket Board should look for new captain, possibly hardhitting batsman Shahid Afridi.
“Let's be honest, we don't have captaincy stuff in the present lot,” Alam had told AP at the time.
However, Alam said that after he was appointed coach and had long meetings with Malik, he found a changed Pakistan captain during the three one-day internationals against the West Indies in Abu Dhabi last month.
“I admit that I had criticized Malik a lot, but he is a changed person now, who believes in himself and his team players,” Alam said.
In the recent domestic tournaments, Malik successfully led his teams, Sialkot Stallions and Punjab Stallions, to victories in the twenty20 tournament and five-team one-day events respectively.
“He showed a lot of guts in batting, bowling and leading his side,” Alam noticed.
“He has a good thinking cap and I think he should be given an extended run.”
The PCB is going to analyze Malik's performance before either retaining him or appointing a new captain for next month's proposed test and limited-overs series against Sri Lanka in Pakistan.
Malik has led Pakistan in two test series and lost both since he was elevated to skipper last year. Despite losing to South Africa and India in Test series in 2007, Malik set a new Pakistan record of 12 successive victories in one-dayers when Bangladesh and Zimbabwe played back-to-back series here earlier this year.
However, foreign teams have refused to tour Pakistan this year because of security concerns, meaning that the national side will end 2008 without playing a single five-day game.
“Now that's not the fault of Malik if we couldn't compete against
stronger teams this year,” Alam said. “I firmly believe that against Sri
Lanka he will give a good performance if he retains the captaincy.”