Pakistan selectors face tough job ahead of South Africa series

Caretaker chairman of PCB Najam Sethi spent a busy time this week holding meetings with Dav Whatmore, Misbah-ul-Haq and Moin Khan © AFP

Karachi: Sep 26, 2013
Pakistan national selectors will have a tough job at hands when they sit on Friday to pick the national cricket squad for the upcoming “home” series against South Africa in UAE, commencing on October 14.

Cricket fans, former players and experts have been extremely critical of the team management including the head coach Dav Whatmore, Test and One-Day International (ODI) captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Twenty20 (T20) skipper Mohammad Hafeez, besides the selectors after Pakistan lost a one-day and a Test match to lowly ranked Zimbabwe in Harare recently.

“For the national selectors it is a dicey situation because they don’t want to take too many risks against the world’s top Test team, South Africa even though conditions in UAE is expected to favour Pakistan,” a well informed source told PTI.

The caretaker chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Najam Sethi has spent a busy time this week holding meetings with Whatmore, Misbah and Moin Khan, the team manager for Zimbabwe tour.

“Sethi has held detailed discussions with Whatmore, Misbah and Moin to find out the reasons for Pakistan’s recent lacklustre performances. He is a worried man because the pressure is growing that Pakistan cricket needs to move forward with new players.”

“There have also been speculations about Misbah, Whatmore and Hafeez not giving fair chances to the players,” the source said.
However, it was more or less clear that the selection committee would retain Misbah as the captain of both the Test and ODI sides.

“One thing is clear that Misbah will be retained as Test captain and even talks off replacing him with Shahid Afridi as skipper of the One-day squad has also been put aside for this series,” he informed.

“The reason is, the chairman feels that Misbah needs to be given confidence and that he has led Pakistan ably in the past,” the source added.

Pakistan will playing two-Test series, followed by five ODIs and two T20s matches.

The source said the selectors were likely to drop Hafeez and Azhar Ali and include Umar Amin, Imran Farhat and Haris Sohail in the Test squad.

Although they are uncertain about including too many new players.

Pakistan had whitewashed the then number one Test side, England 3-0 in the UAE in early 2011.