Pakistan women team needs pace bowlers, says Saleem Jaffar

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By our correspondent

KARACHI: Pakistan women cricket team bowling coach Saleem Jaffar feels that the country needs a much-needed boost in its pace-bowling zone.

“Our fast bowling zone mostly relies on only two pacers Diana Baig and Fatima Sana and effort is being made to bring in more fast bowlers because I feel that we need pacers,” Saleem told reporters here on Monday ahead of the Pakistan-Sri Lanka ODI series which will begin here at the Southend Club Ground from Wednesday (tomorrow).

“And we will look if there is any such batting all-rounder who can bowl medium pace. Sadaf is very good and we are working on her and are trying to improve her bowling,” said Saleem, also a former left-arm Test pacer.

Saleem was confident that his side would also win the ODI series against Sri Lanka.

“We have seen weak points of Sri Lanka which will field almost the same side which featured in T20 series. Our team has a bit edge at home conditions. Our spin is very good and our batters are much better than Sri Lankan batters and we are hopeful to also win the ODI series,” Saleem said.

Pakistan the other day sealed the T20I series 3-0.

“The ODI series is a part of the ICC Women Championship and I think two more teams including Ireland and Bangladesh have now been added and this has made the competition much tougher. And we will have to focus more. These ODIs are very important for us and we have to remain in the rankings as its very important before the next World Cup. We are more focussed on these matches and its important for us to win these games,” Saleem said.

Saleem was happy with the way Pakistan played in the T20 series.

“If you see the weather is too hot but the credit goes to the players who are doing hard work in fiedling, bowling and doing their best in training sessions. Its good that the team played as per plans in the T20 series,” Saleem said.

“Batters and bowlers did well. In this series it was seen that the seniors did well and Bismah and Nida had a solid role. Leggie Tuba Hassan, who made her debut in T20 series, was declared as player of the series. Its good now and we are getting good product. Our spin department is very fine and we also rely on that,” the coach said.

“We also made some experiments in the last game by bringing in some new players, made changes in batting order and overall it was good series,” he said.

Saleem said that they had focussed on dot balls.

“We had planned for T20 series to concentrate on dot balls. We told bowlers to do more dot balls. If you do dot balls batters will give you wickets. In T20 series you have seen that our bowlers have improved dot balls ratio from 45 percent to 55 to 60 percent.

And we also stress that our batters should play less dot balls. And this plan will also be executed in ODIs,” Saleem said.

“In T20I we had planned to achieve the target on the board. Had such a score been 125 to 130 then we would have planned our chase accordingly. Its not the case that we achieved our targets with more difficulties. Women cricket is slightly different from the men’s and its targets are also small ones. These are low-bounced and turning wickets and its not easy to manage slog here,” Saleem observed.

“Gull Feroza is a new player and we are bringing new players which is part of the players development. She is very good player. Yes in the first game she did not have more idea due to heavy wind but in the second match she managed a fine stroke but was held brilliantly. But she is a new prospect and will develop with the passage of time, said Saleem when asked that opener Gull Feroza who made her debut in the series failed with the bat.

“Coach is also working on hard-hitting batter Ayesha Naseem and when her skills will be developed then she will also be used in ODIs as well,” he said.

Saleem hoped that now women cricket is also going to be more competitive and new players are coming.

He said that due to cultural barriers Pakistan’s women are a bit behind the lots of the rest of the world but now some encouraging signs are seen with support coming from parents and soon they will also touch the world level.

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