It is a brave decision: Mohammad Yousuf on Australia setting Pakistan 351-run target in 3rd Test | Cricket News

LAHORE: Former captain and batting coach, Mohammad Yousuf has described Australia’s decision to declare and set Pakistan a victory target of 351 runs in the third Test as “brave” and “bold”.
Australia skipper Pat Cummins on Thursday declared their second innings at 227-3 shortly after tea on day 4 to set Pakistan a tricky target of 351.
“I wouldn’t say they took a decision out of over-confidence. I think it is a brave and bold decision and one which is good for cricket and Test matches,” Yousuf said in a media interaction on Thursday.
At stumps, Pakistan were 73 for no loss, still needing 278 runs in a minimum of 90 overs left in the series-deciding third Test.
“My opinion is he took a bold decision to give us a 351 runs target as a first step. We will also take a second step and try to win the match. But whatever the outcome of the match it is good for cricket and Test cricket,” Yousuf said.
The former captain said that Pakistan would definitely try to win the match on the final day.
“Look it is a fifth day wicket and it will be a big challenge for the batsmen but the way we started confidently today and the batsmen played their shots I am hopeful we can end this match with a victory,” he added.
Yousuf also made it clear that Pakistan had planned to try to win the second Test in Karachi but the dismissal of Babar Azam forced them to change their plans and play for a draw. “But the way we batted for 171 overs it was a moral victory for us.”
Yousuf said he has advised the batters to take it session by session and just try to be in a strong position in the final session so that one can try to go for a win.
The former top batter said overall he was satisfied with the performance of the Pakistani batsmen, despite the two batting collapses in the series which he put down to some exceptional reverse swing bowling by Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.
Yousuf said he was expecting Australia to take an overall lead of around 380-390 before declaring and in his opinion they have declared 6-7 overs earlier.
He said he has advised the batters to keep their batting simple in the face of strong reverse swing spells by the Australian bowlers.
“My advice to them is to just try to play for the inswing and let the ball come onto the bat and not lunge towards it. And play with a short stride,” he said.