Former Pakistan players have described the performance of the national side, which beat India by 85 runs in the second ODI at Kolkata to take an unassailable 2-0 lead, as one of the most clinical in recent times.
"Pakistan today completely outclassed India in every department of the game. And I would give full marks to young players like Nasir Jamshed, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan who performed with such a big heart in front of a full house at the Eden Gardens, which is not easy even for a seasoned campaigner," former captain Rashid Latif said.
"People can't imagine the pressure that Pakistani players face when they are playing at big venues like Kolkata, Bangalore or Chennai. Only those with very strong nerves can still perform. That is why I give full credit to the younger players for their outstanding performances," he said.
Teenagers and children came out on the street to dance and celebrate with some also indulging in aerial firing to show their joy even though Pakistan observed the culmination of the Muharram today with mobile and cellular services suspended in all the major cities of the country.
Former wicket-keeper batsman Moin Khan said that 141-run opening stand between Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez made all the difference in the match. "There were heavy overcast conditions at the Eden Gardens and the pitch had lot of bounce and these two batted sensibly. They relied on timing their shots rather than trying to force shots, a mistake all other batsmen made from the both sides," Moin said.
He said Hafeez had grown in stature as a captain and all-rounder in India. "I think now he is a integral part of the team. He has shown lot of maturity in these matches."
Legendary batsman Javed Miandad felt that the ODI series win over India was a big shot in the arm for Pakistan cricket. "The series win has come at the perfect time and will put our players in the right frame of mind for the coming tour to South Africa," he said. He also praised the performance of the pace and spin bowlers, saying they had bowled with great discipline in the series to make life difficult for the Indian batsmen.
Former Test captain Salman Butt said he was a bit surprised that Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni didn't promote himself up in the batting order. "I thought he should have come to bat higher and set the pace. It is never easy chasing at the Eden Gardens," he said. Former off-spinner Tauseef Ahmed said the series win would count as one of the memorable ones for Pakistan cricket. "I thought Saeed Ajmal, Hafeez and (Shoaib) Malik bowled outstandingly today and didn't panic in the middle overs," Ahmed said.
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