By our correspondent
KARACHI: Knowing well that it would be ‘tricky’ to pick from the bunch of quality leg-spinners including Shahid Afridi, Imran Tahir and Usman Qadir, Multan Sultans head coach Andy Flower believes that their wrist spinners would create havoc in the oppositions.
“These are good selection dilemmas to have and we are very excited about our wrist spinners creating some havoc in the oppositions,” Andy told reporters on Wednesday ahead of the PSL-6 which will begin here at National Stadium from February 20.
“There are some interesting selection decisions which we have to make around world-class leg-spinners. We know about Afridi and Imran Tahir, having played over a decade in international cricket and now franchise cricket. Usman Qadir is a new kid on the bloc with tons of talent and a lot of energy and is really an attacking bowler. He has been very closely associated with Mushtaq Ahmad over the years who has been a good coach, guy and mentor for him and he very much boasts his attacking manner which the wrist spinners, great spinners of Pakistan, have historically done,” Andy said.
“Its very exciting not only for Multan but also for Pakistan. We have seen him (Usman) play little bit in international T20 cricket which is very exciting watching him bowl. We got some tricky selection decisions to make. One of those decisions will be around Imran Tahir, an overseas player, so balancing, and overseas players which overseas players will be part of that equation. But its very exciting to have both the older, more experienced and confident guy in Afridi and on the other side we got a young enthusiastic and very talented leg-spinner of Pakistan in Usman Qadir who is pushing hard for a place on merit,” said Andy.
Having various options in top order Andy said they don’t have any issue about the batting order.
“Yes, we have a good number of options in the top order but there are also people in that line-up who have batted at No3 and No4 quite regularly. So we don’t have any concerns about the batting order because we have players who can adopt themselves to varied conditions,” Andy said.
Andy said that handing captaincy to Mohammad Rizwan is not a short-term decision.
“It is not a short-term decision. Rizwan has shown leadership qualities over a longer period of time. It’s not just with his form with the bat. We would like to be part of his development for his own good and also for the good of Pakistan cricket. I think all of the franchises need to keep in mind development of Pakistan cricket. Rizwan is a case in point and a particular example,” Andy said.
“Rizwan has shown that he has got leadership qualities and has shown this with his appointment as vice-captain for the Pakistan team. He has shown that actually leading Pakistan when Babar was injured. He also has some very good records in domestic cricket. He has won the T20 tournament for his province. He has got the qualities to make a very successful leader. The leadership qualities which we were looking for a new way forward for Multan,” he said.
When asked that taking captaincy from Shan may affect his confidence this season as a batsman Andy said he has the quality to overcome this issue.
“Shan is a really good young and strong man. He has overcome many obstacles in his young career. This will be another one for him. It’s not easy for him. We can empathise with him but he can go more stronger having these hurdles overcome and in this case I am absolutely certain Shan would win,” Andy said.
Under Shan Sultans has a very good last season, having made it to the play-offs.
Andy said they had a successful last season, adding, the draft this season also went well which was very important for a team’s success.
“I think our draft went well. We got some very good personnel. We have got our first practice game against Lahore Qalandars later today and we have another against Zalmi in two days’ time. That allies with a couple of practice sessions and getting how many new players some of whom we met before some of whom never played together before. It is always a challenge in any franchise competition. So bringing that group together and helping them to have confidence together, helping them to communicate with each other and obviously the captain getting to know those players and their roles. This is a very important aspect to getting the group ready for our first game against Islamabad on February 21,” Andy said.