Mohammad Hafeez: Don't have problem playing along side Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik

Mohammad Hafeez, who is expected to be dropped from Pakistan’s Test squad, said he will gracefully accept the decision of the selectors © AFP

Karachi: Sep 26, 2013

With Shoaib Malik and Abdul Razzaq expected to make a comeback to Pakistan‘s Twenty20 (T20) and One-Day International (ODI) sides, national T20 skipper Mohammad Hafeez has made it clear that he does not have any problem playing along side the senior cricketers.
“I have always said that I would respect the selectors and the team that they give me. As a captain, it is up to me to get the best out of the players that I am given. And the fact that we have moved from nine to the second spot in the Twenty20 world rankings is evidence from the fact,” Hafeez told reporters in Lahore.
Both Malik and Razzaq had recently met with the caretaker chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Najam Sethi and are believed to have complained that they had not been given fair chances by Hafeez and Misbah-ul-Haq, who is one-day and Test skipper.
Razzaq, out of favour since last September, had openly blamed Hafeez for his ouster from the team.
Hafeez said he was mentally prepared to be axed from the Test squad, which will take on South Africa in a two-match “home” series in the UAE, starting on October 14.
The senior player, who has struggled with the bat in recent Tests, is expected to be dropped from the Test side and Hafeez said he wouldn’t complain and accept the decision gracefully.
“These things happen with every player and one has to accept it and work harder,” Hafeez said.
Insisting that lack of First-Class cricket has added to his problems, Hafeez said he himself was disappointed with his batting form in the longer version of the game as he managed to average just 12 in five Tests this year as an opener.
“But I personally believe that I just need one big innings to get back into the groove and establish myself in Test cricket,” he said.
Hafeez also said despite trying his best, luck had not been favouring him.

“It’s not a matter of technique, the ball is coming on to my bat but I am not able to play a big innings. It happens with any big cricketer.”

He added that Pakistan playing less Test matches and not at playing at home like other countries had contributed to his woes.

Hafeez, however, admitted he was satisfied with his form in other formats of the game and hoped the selectors would keep that in mind while taking a decision.

The 32-year-old is currently the captain of Pakistan’s T20 team. He scored 665 runs at 23.75 as a T20 opener but his batting average improved after he was dropped to No. 3 this year and at this position he has averaged 52.00 in four matches.

When asked if he would like to bat down the order in the Tests as well, in order to find his rhythm, Hafeez said, “It’s not my job to decide whether to bat lower down the order. I am always ready to play at whatever position the team management wants me to play. It’s the management’s decision.”