NOTTINGHAM: Salman Butt has rejected claims that the extra burden of captaincy has affected his batting form that was seen at its best against Australia.
In an interview with Ďour sourcesí before the teamís departure for Birmingham to play in the second Test at Edgbaston, Butt said that he was taking his batting as normally as any other captain. ďI donít think captaincy has got anything to do with my batting form. I am feeling as normal as I was during the Australia series in which I was the top scorer,Ē he said.
Butt pointed out that not even England captain Andrew Strauss or anyone from their top-order had succeeded to score runs.
ďIf anyone claims that I have been unable to take the pressure of captaincy, they should see how many runs the opposing captain or their top-order has scored at Trent Bridge.Ē Butt, however, hoped to get back to his best in the coming matches.
He gave credit to Englandís lower and middle-order and blamed Pakistanís inability to extract good spin from the wicket for the defeat at Trent Bridge. ďEoin Morgan and Paul Collingwood in the first innings and Matt Prior in the second turned the tables on us. On other hand, Danish Kaneria failed to contribute when the pace bowlers got tired.Ē
He lamented dropped catches and missed chances, saying that Pakistanís fielding was not up to the standard.
Butt hoped that with the arrival of the experienced Mohammad Yousuf, things would improve. ďI think his experience is required to strengthen the middle-order. He is one of the best batsmen Pakistan has ever produced and his presence will be of great help. He can make things happen in batting and we are looking forward to his arrival.Ē
He denied saying anything against Yousufís inclusion in the team. ďI have never spoken against him. I respect him as a senior batsman. What I said was that it was up to the board to decide whom to call. I have nothing to do with selection matters.Ē