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Former Pak skippers advise Malik to cement his place in team

Some former Pakistan captains advice Shoaib Malik to concentrate on cementing his place in the team by taking advantage of the let-off he got from the Board.

cricket Updated: Dec 16, 2007 17:43 IST

Some former Pakistan captains have advised Shoaib Malik to concentrate on cementing his place in the team by taking full advantage of the reprieve he got despite the recent series defeats.

Malik's captaincy and form have been widely criticised and former captain Imran Khan has lashed out at the board for retaining him as captain even after the miserable performance of the team against India.

Former skippers Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, Rashid Latif and Mushtaq Mohammad thought that Malik was lucky not to lose his captaincy following the series defeats against South Africa and India.

Miandad said Malik should know his responsibilities and concentrate on his own performance.

"There is always a great responsibility on the shoulders of the captain and if he can't perform or look after his fitness then the team always faces problems like it did in India," Miandad said.

"I don't blame Malik for anything as he didn't ask for the captaincy. But at the same time he must now start realising he has to learn to take the pressure and fulfill his dual role properly."

"When I was the captain I always assessed my own form and when Imran was available I used to make way for him as captain and concentrate on my batting and own form," he said.

Miandad said Malik should become his own judge as far as his form and captaincy were concerned.

"Nothing comes before the national interest and the board must also realise that captaincy is not the only issue in the team. There are other problems which also need to be looked into," he added.

Zaheer Abbas said that a captain's performance and form reflected in the team's overall showing.

"When the board has decided to retain Malik as captain we must back him completely. We have the example of South African captain Graeme Smith before us. He also failed initially but his board kept on supporting him constantly. We must also support Malik and encourage him.

"But he also needs to concentrate on his form and fitness and set an example for others with his own performances," he said.

Latif felt there was a need for the board to think about having separate captains for Tests and one-dayers as both forms required different tactics and attitude.

"The captain must be a positive and aggressive person and lead the way with his own attitude. We need to start playing with more conviction and self-belief."

Mushtaq Mohammad said the players must learn from the Indian tour and start preparing for the forthcoming series against Australia.

"I think nowadays how you perform against the world champions is the only criteria to judge a team's form and if we plan well, we have the players to beat Australia. But consistent selection is also required," he said.