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Won't let captaincy burden affect my batting: Butt

July 20, 2010 11:06 IST

Salman ButtNewly-appointed Pakistan Test skipper Salman Butt has assured that he would not let the pressures of captaincy affect his own form and said he was mentally prepared for the job.

Butt said he was aware that he had been given charge of a young team, which has an average age of 25. "I know this captaincy is going to be a big challenge for me but I am prepared for it and I am confident it will not affect my batting. Infact, I have a feeling the responsibility will force me to be more consistent as a senior opener," he said.

"I was made vice-captain for the England tour so I was already ready for the challenge of leading the team when the need arose," the left-hander said.

Butt was elevated to the post of Test captain for the rest of the England tour after incumbent Shahid Afridi suddenly announced his retirement from five-day cricket following Pakistan's humiliating 150-run loss to Australia in the first Test at Lord's.

Butt, however, said that Afridi's retirement was a big setback for the team ahead of the second Test against Australia at Leeds starting on Wednesday.

"Honestly speaking, I never expected to be captaining the side in such circumstances. I never expected Shahid (Afridi) to retire after the first Test," he said.

"Afridi handled the team well after the disappointing Australian tour and he did a good job as captain. So his retirement is a setback but we need to move on," he added.

The stylish opener, who scored 63 and 92 in the first Test, said the presence of experienced coaches in Waqar Younis, Aaqib Javed and Ijaz Ahmed made up for the lack of experience in the team.

"These three really work hard with the players and their presence is a big boost for us. Waqar has been guiding us well and I am sure we will form a good combination," Butt said.

Butt was also of the view that the young players need time to settle down.

"I think Pakistan cricket has a good and secured future but we just need to be a bit patient and the positive results will start coming soon. We should avoid putting too much pressure on these young players," he said.

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