Karachi:Pakistan captain Younus Khan's decision to play in the crucial Champions Trophy match against India despite a fractured finger inspired the team to the convincing victory over the arch-rivals, believes chief selector Iqbal Qasim.
"It was a courageous decision and it sent out the right message to the players. Younus led from the front," the former Test spinner said on Sunday adter Pakistan humiliated India by 54 runs in a Group A match last night in Centurion. "Younus took a gutsy decision. It just shows how much he cares about the team doing well," he said.
Qasim said he was hopeful of Pakistan's chances in the ICC elite event and said the team had the potential to break its jinx of never winning the Champions Trophy.
"Not every player can perform in every match and not all 11 players can perform in all matches. But if we get two or three key performances in each match like Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf delivered against India then there is no reason we can't win the tournament," the chief selector said.
He made it clear that the selection committee would continue to back the senior players as long as they produce results for the country.
Experienced Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq and Malik's places in the team have been in doubt after the trio's unsatisfactory performances in Sri Lanka recently and then against the West Indies in the opening match of the Champions Trophy. Qasim said hailed he and his colleagues decision to induct of new blood like Mohammad Aamer and Umar Akmal in the team.
"Aamer I think is an outstanding find. The confident manner in which he bowled in such a high pressure match and also got the wicket of a world class player like Sachin Tendulkar indicates he has a very bright future ahead of him," he said.
Although India is facing a do-or-die situation against Australia in their second group match tomorrow, he feels Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men are still very much in the tournament and there is a strong possibility of encountering them again at the later stages of the event.
"India is still not out of the tournament and if things go right we could end up facing each other in the final. So it is necessary for the team to continue winning matches and playing with confidence," Qasim said.