Lahore: Former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail on Tuesday, said Pakistan has gained a lot out of the Zimbabwe tour, where they clean swept the hosts, but they must prepare well for the tough assignments ahead, starting with Sri Lanka series.
Pakistan outplayed Zimbabwe in one-off Test, three ODIs and two T20 matches, finishing the whole tour unbeaten. "I think Pakistan has gained a lot of confidence out of their tour to Zimbabwe because they went there under pressure. Pakistan had everything to lose in the series and Zimbabwe everything to gain. But the way Pakistan played and won all its matches the tour has been a positive one for them," Sohail said.
But the former Test opener warned that the Pakistan team should not read too much into its victory over Zimbabwe. "I say this because they have a tougher series coming up against Sri Lanka, than Bangladesh in Bangladesh and then next year they face England and India," he opined.
Sohail said the tour was also a success as it allowed the team management to groom and give exposure to some of the new players. "It is a series where we saw Mohammad Hafeez mature further into a quality all-rounder while Sohail Khan and Aizaz Cheema also emerged as capable fast bowlers," Sohail said. Sohail advised the selectors and team management to study the results and happenings on the tour and prepare for the Sri Lankan series.
"There is no doubt that for the last few months our spinners particularly Saeed Ajmal and Hafeez have done very well but Sri Lanka they play spin well and they have some good spinners so we need to focus on our pace attack for the next series," he said.
Sohail said another good sign was that the team had developed a good bench strength and whoever got a chance in Zimbabwe performed.
"Asad Shafiq didn't play in the Test but when he got a chance he scored runs."
The former Test opener, however, didn't support the move to try out Umar Akmal as a wicketkeeper in the T20 matches. "Umar's primary role is as a batsman and he still has to cement his place with some consistent performances. If they make him keep he will come under pressure and lose his focus as well," he said.