Misbah-ul-Haq missed the final ODI between Australia and Pakistan © Getty Images
Misbah-ul-Haq missed the final ODI between Australia and Pakistan © Getty Images

Oct 13, 2014

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has admitted that poor form has been a major worry for him, and it might compel him to step aside from the leadership role in the national side. Misbah has also conceded that if his poor form lasts, he may not be the man leading Pakistan in the ICC World Cup 2015.

“Yes, I have no other intention [continue as Pakistan captain]. But obviously I will have to see over the next few Tests because form and runs are very important. If I am not scoring runs and my form is not there then I can’t say I have to play. The team and Pakistan are first. If I can get my form back and score runs then I will be back but if not, then obviously, you can’t put the team in such a difficult situation and you have to decide,” Misbah was quoted as saying by The National.

Meanwhile, Shahid Afridi, who captained Pakistan in their third and final One-Day International (ODI) against Australia in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, has called upon the selectors to make a call soon on the captaincy issue.

“I think whoever is the captain, Misbah or me we should know about it. If I am to captain in the World Cup then I should know about it,” Afridi said.

Misbah has claimed that it was he who offered to step aside for the final ODI against Australia.

“I requested the management and Shahid myself that I want to step down. We have a month and a half of Tests ahead and my form was out, the team was hurting because of it and we had lost the series so I thought fine, let another guy play in my place. Instead of going into the Tests with more pressure I can focus on this little gap now to get a little fresh and hopefully get my form back,” Misbah said.

The 40-year-old continued, “Sometimes luck doesn’t favour you. Once you are set you get run out for example – I think in my last eight innings [10] I have been run out four times. Sometimes this happens. I’m not despondent about this and the good thing is that my form overall is ok, even in nets. I am picking it, middling it.”

Misbah said that the decision to step aside from captaincy from the final ODI wasn’t a tough one.

“It depends on your confidence in the team, in the management, in how the board is supporting you. The situation at this time was such that I felt anyone else who played in my place was better for the team.

“Maybe Afridi could come in with a fresh mind. For the team to win was necessary, by any means and in that scenario I thought I should not play and that Shahid leads and whoever plays in my place could be more of a help. Having that confidence in the players, management and the board, that made it easier for me,” Misbah concluded.

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