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Misbah-ul-Haq wants more say in Pakistan selection

Misbah-ul-Haq's team had a disappointing tour of Pakistan recently © Getty Images
Misbah-ul-Haq’s team had a disappointing tour of Pakistan recently © Getty Images

Karachi: Sep 2, 2014

Pakistan‘s embattled test and one-day captain, Misbah-ul-Haq today hinted that he wants a more telling role in selection matters. The 40-year-old senior batsman told reporters at the Gaddafi stadium after a meeting with Shaharyar Khan, the Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), that the selected team was always what he wanted.

Misbah, who has been captain since late 2010, was asked whether he would like to have more say in selection matters as in other countries like India and Australia the captains dominated in selection of teams. “I think you should ask this question to someone but as a captain I can only give my suggestions to the selectors they listen to me but sometimes the team is not according to what you want,” he said.

“Obviously everyone has his opinion on selection matters but at the end collective opinion is taken into consideration while finalizing team,” he added. Misbah has come under increasing fire since Pakistan lost the recent test and one-day series in Sri Lanka where his own contribution with the bat was minimal.

Misbah, who has been a prolific scorer for his country in the last two years with 880 runs in his last 10 tests at an average of 55, struggled in Sri Lanka scoring 67 in the two lost tests and 67 in the three one-day games. Asked if he was feeling the pressure because of his own form and criticism about his captaincy, Misbah said he never took pressure because this was part and parcel of international cricket.

“It is no use taking pressure because it is not a solution to your problems. You learn to adjust accordingly. But yes I feel myself that I didn’t contribute with the bat as I should have done in Sri Lanka and that was one of the reasons for our poor performances. I know that when you play as a senior batsman you are expected to contribute runs which didn’t happen this time. I know I have to get back to my basics and work out my batting issues and get back into form,” he said.

Misbah put down Pakistan’s lack of any cricket for nearly three months after the Asia Cup and World T20 in Bangladesh for the defeats in Sri Lanka. “Comparatively Sri Lanka played continuously after the World T20 but we didn’t even have any domestic cricket so lack of cricket was one reason for the poor show.

“I think we lost our momentum and continuity because of this break and now we will work hard on getting it back before our next series we have time to address our problems in batting and bowling.” Misbah, however, refused to put the blame on the new team management and support staff for the debacle in Sri Lanka.

“The support staff always tries to facilitate you and help you but I think it is unfair to criticise them after just one series. They need time to settle down and we need to be patient with them.” He also said that Pakistan had some good young players and with time they will learn to take more responsibility. “Some of them are already taking responsibility but in cricket everyone has to go and someone replaces him and I think our youngsters when the time comes will settle down eventually,” Misbah said.

Asked about the preparations for the World Cup 2015, Misbah said Pakistan’s key to success would be to go to Australia and New Zealand and adjust to the different conditions quickly. “We will be going there a few days in advance so we will have time to adjust to the conditions that is what international cricket is about.” Misbah also dropped a clear hint that the World Cup squad would come from the current lot of contracted players.

“When central contracts are given out for six months or a year it is an indication you have finalized your pool of players for this period and you look towards them. I think our pool of players for the World Cup are also clear maybe with a odd change from outside,” the Pakistan captain further added.

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