Dean Jones started his International career for Australia in 1984. He scored 6068 runs in 164 ODI’s scoring 7 centuries. Den Jones also scored 3631 runs in Tests with an average of 46.55 in an era where fast bowling was equipped with Malcolm Marshall, Imran Khan and Michael Holding. Dean Jones is a renowned commentator now days. Recently he has done coaching of Islamabad United team in PSL 2016 along with Wasim Akram. In his recent interview he appreciated Misbah ul Haq and also explains how Umer Akmal and Ahmad Shehzad may overcome their deficiencies and may become handy for their team. We are publishing his complete interview on Cricocean.
What will you say on recent edition of PSL 2016?
It was a great tournament no doubt in it. I am really impressed the way that the management of PSL managed this tournament without prior experience. Although Master Super League was also in light limes those days but PSL really blossom and give defeat to MSL. This is the actual victory of PSL 2016. The tournament was played in UAE and Pakistanis watched it on television but still they enjoyed it a lot and participated in the tournament. This is a prof that Pakistani nation love their cricket and cricketers. At start of the tournaments the pitches were not up to the mark. But as the tournament goes on the standard of pitches also improved. All teams consists of 4 international players. The bunch of international players with local players make it a successful event.
Will you suggest some changes for PSL 2017?
I think that teams should include under 19 players instead of emerging players. None of the emerging player got good change in PSL 2016. Islamabad United is the only team in which Roman Raees and Ahmad Butt got chance and they proved their selection right. I think these young players should be given a chance in PSL 2017.
You worked with Wasim Akram in Islamabad United. Should Pakistan consider him as Pakistan cricket team coach? What is your opinion?
If Wasim has time then I have no doubt in my mind that he is the best choice Pakistan has right now. I think Wasim does not have time. He has his International assignments with star sports. Coaching is a 24 hours job. Once during Islamabad United camp Muhammad Irfan and Muhammad Sami had problems with their bowling. Wasim just gave them 15 minutes and after that they both performed very well. I admire Wasim as a great cricketer.
What is your opinion about Misbah ul Haq?
Misbah understands the ins and outs of this game thoroughly. He knows the psychology of each player very well. He also perform well under pressure. This is the reason he is a successful captain for Pakistan in recent past. In PSL final we had a target of 174 runs. All the players were in different corners of the dressing room and I was in anger to see their condition. I asked Misbah if he wants to say something to players. The team was a combination of West Indian and Pakistani players. Misbah talked to them for 3 to 4 minutes and after his address whole team gets united like a gel and chased the target. It was his inspirational speech to players that worked for us. No doubt Misbah is special.
Had you also applied to coach Pakistan?
Yes, its truth. But I think my daughters need me more. I am involved in cricket commentary for past several years. I enjoyed it a lot. What I enjoyed more than my commentary is Islamabad United coaching in PSL 2016. I think Pakistan has cricket talent and to polish it is not a difficult.
Do you think Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali should perform better in International cricket? Are they performing according to their capabilities?
If Pakistani cricketers want to perform better for their country then they should follow the example of Virat Kohli. After his debut in 2008, Kohli is considered as the best batsman for his team. He won many matches for his team single handedly and is now considered as the fittest player in the world. He is compared to Novak Djokovic in fitness. I think Asad and Azhar should also reach to this level. Virat Kohli has can lift up to 150KG of weight. He has less than 8% fat in his whole body. Pakistani players should also work on this pattern. Asad and Azhar should follow Virat Kohli as their ideal. I think Shane Watson is also very fit. He took retirement at the age of 35. I think Asad and Azhar has bright future ahead. They have capability. What they need is more fitness.
You are a big supporter of Umar Akmal. What will you say on his performance?
I think Umar should think himself about the problems and their solutions which he is facing in his career. He is an aggressive batsman then why he played in defensive mood. He has all the shots in the world. But he is only weak in defense. I think he cannot score 2 runs of 85 balls like AB deVilliars. I love this guy and I think he only needs a good coach.
Do you have same feelings about Ahmad Shehzad?
Ahmad is also not consistent during his career. He often scored 30 and 40 and gets out. What he need is to score 70 to 100. He should learn to convert his low scores in to high ones. He has talent but what he needs is consistency. If he overcomes his problem he will be a bright start for Pakistan in future.
What are your views about England v Pakistan series?
Pakistan has a great bowling lineup. They will definitely trouble English batsmen. They only have to bowl in right areas and should know their line and length. Pakistani slip fielders have to support them by taking good catches. The only concern to me is Pakistani Batting. In England ball seems a lot. Pakistani batsmen should wait for the balls and should stay at the wicket for longer periods of time. Once they get set things will be easy for them. Misbah and Younis are key figures for me in batting. While in bowling I will look for Yasir Shah and Mohammad Amir. I think England batsmen will struggle a lot against Yasir Shah.
Do you think that its will be a better time for Misbah to get retirement after England tour?
I don’t think age matters a lot. It’s just a figure. What matters is your performance. Look at an example of Garaham Gooch. He played for England at the age of 40 and was fit at that time. I saw Misbah in PSL. He looks me like a 25 year old guy. He is the fittest player in Pakistan team. As fittest as a young players. He love to play and to fight. I think if he is fit and making runs as he is, than he should play for Pakistan in test matches. He is a professional and he can make his decision very well about retirement. We should leave this decision up to him.