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Azhar Mahmood lauds Pakistan players' attitude during England tour

Azhar Mahmood was all praise for Sarfraz Ahmed's leadership in the T20I
Azhar Mahmood was all praise for Sarfraz Ahmed's leadership in the T20I
©REUTERS / Action Images

Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood lauded the attitude displayed by the players of the national team  during the recently concluded tour of England.

Pakistan drew the Test series 2-2 and lost the One-Day International series 4-1 but bounced back to beat the hosts in the lone Twenty20 International.

Praising the captaincy of Sarfraz Ahmed in the T20I against England, Mahmood believes that Pakistan put on a much-improved display after the third ODI.

According to Mahmood, the Pakistan players need to be praised for the way they kept fighting throughout the tour and also lauded their work ethics.

“The body language was very good in this match and Sarfraz Ahmed led the team very well,” said Mahmood in his blog for PakPassion.net.

“To me, that was simply a continuation of the attacking attitude which Azhar Ali had put into action as captain in the last two ODIs.

“Mickey Arthur and the rest of the coaching staff told the boys that you have to go out there and play positive cricket and that was definitely achieved.

“The players deserve a lot of credit for that match and the efforts they put in and for their much-improved show in the last 2 ODIs compared with the earlier games.

“The boys throughout the tour never let their heads drop, their attitude was spot on and their work ethic was evident and they kept on going throughout the tour so they deserve high praise for their efforts.”

Mahmood recently served as the bowling coach of the Pakistan team in the limited overs formats and said that he enjoyed working alongside Mickey Arthur and Steve Rixon.

Expressing his confidence in Arthur’s ability to bring a positive change in Pakistan’s cricket, Mahmood said that the 48-year-old is the right person to coach Pakistan.

“I enjoyed working with Mickey recently.

“He's very positive and wants to take Pakistan cricket forward and to the top and make some positive changes.

“I learnt a lot from working with him and Steve Rixon.

“Mickey wants to make changes to the mindset and the attitude of the players and instil an aggressive mindset into the players.

“He wants his players to go out there and express themselves.

“He also wants the players to be very fit and I believe he is the right man for the job.

“His training sessions were very structured, short and sharp and there was none of this practising for hours on end.”

Speaking about his future involvement with the Pakistan team, Mahmood said that he is eager to continue in his role as a bowling coach.

“I've really enjoyed the responsibility of the role in England for the Limited-overs matches and of course would like to continue the role.

“We will get a clearer picture in the next few days as to whether I will be in the role for the series against West Indies in UAE.”

Pakistan’s next assignment is the campaign against West Indies in the United Arab Emirates where they play three each of Tests, ODIs and T20Is between 23rd September and 3rd November.

© Cricket World 2016