New Delhi: To make a mark in the World Cup, the Pakistani team needs to rally around senior players Misbah-ul-Haq and Younus Khan.

As Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan played the match against Sri Lanka, former Pakistani skipper Wasim Akram feels for Pakistan to stay in the race for WC, the duo need to hold the team and hit hard.

“It really heartens me to see the senior boys doing their jobs. Younus is an intelligent man and so is Misbah. Both have played a lot of ODIs and if Pakistan have to roll on, then this pair has to hold the innings together, every day,” Akram says.

The highest wicket taker for Pakistan in one-day cricket, Akram also praised Shahid Afridi for good captaincy.

"Afridi is showing signs of maturity. His decision to bring back Akhtar when Mahela Jayawardene was batting was a top move. In my book, Akhtar cleaning up Jayawardene with a gem of ball that nipped back was the turning point of the match. For, if Jayawardene survived, Sri Lanka would have had a great chance to chase and win," he wrote.

But Akram was not happy with performance of stumper Kamran Akmal and paceman Umar Gul.

"Kamran Akmal's wicket-keeping was very shabby and that denied the young spinner Abdur Rehman a couple of much-needed wickets. Surely, the team management will be speaking to Akmal. These errors can prove costly in big games," he added.

Pakistan face Canada on March 3 in their next Group A match.

(Agencies)