x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Malik gets his team's full support

It was not the greatest preparation for the upcoming series with India, but the Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik believes the Fortune Cup series whitewash over the West Indies will act as a catalyst come January.

ABU DHABI // It was not the greatest preparation for the upcoming series with India, but the Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik believes the Fortune Cup series whitewash over the West Indies will act as a catalyst come January. Malik wasn't sure whether he would be at the helm again with his tenure in office due for renewal in December, but he is ready for any challenges that may arise - as captain or player.

"The captaincy is not an issue for me," said Malik. "I was asked to do a job and I have done it to the best of my ability. It has never bothered me and now it is up to the administrators to decide. I just want to play and perform for Pakistan." Pakistan haven't played top class international cricket this year with teams refusing to tour the country due to security reasons. India are set to play three Tests and five ODIs in Pakistan in January and February, and there are doubts over the tour due to security worries.

Malik is hopeful the series will come off. "We have been starved of international cricket and the series in Abu Dhabi will surely help. I think we did pretty well but still have to improve all-round, and that can come only if we play at the top level." He also denied any tension within the team. "I have received full support from everyone as anyone. Even Shoaib Akhtar weighed in with his support and asked me to stick with the winning formula even when he was fit to play in the final match."

The West Indies coach John Dyson blamed the defeats to his team's inexperience. "The West Indies are under-prepared to play at this level because they come from a poor domestic structure. The inexperience showed in all three games." About the prospect of bring the experienced players lower down the order to lend balance to the batting order, Dyson quipped: "The batting spots have to be earned." @Email:apassela@gmail.com