Misbah-ul-Haq’s squad announcement for the ODI series against Sri Lanka came a couple of days back. Hence, here is a look at a few takeaways from his press conference.
Nawaz Selected To Keep Imad On His Toes?
Misbah indicated very clearly that Mohd. Nawaz has been selected with a plan which is to prepare him in a manner where apart from his bowling, he is also able to bat effectively down the order.
Media reports suggested friction between captain Sarfraz Ahmed and Imad Wasim during the ICC world cup. Moreover, Imad’s injuries have also been a source of concern for PCB since long. Therefore, it seems as if Misbah and co. have decided to prepare his backup in order to keep him on his toes and get the best out of him.
Fakhar Zaman Survives
Media reports suggested that Fakhar Zaman wasn’t fully fit and thus, was likely to be rested for the series. With Abid Ali in the squad and with Ahmed Shehzad pressing for a comeback; Fakhar Zaman has most likely played it safe while refusing to rest.
Misbah defended left hander’s place in the side by explaining that he is an impact player and a talent that must not go wasted. Nevertheless, it is understood that Fakhar has survived for now but he will have to show form to retain his place.
Waqar Has Had His Say?
Misbah does not have a great history of judging and selecting good fast bowlers. For most part of his career he kept selecting people like Rahat Ali; something that made way for a lot of criticism when he was still the captain of Pakistan.
So, it was no surprise when Mohd. Hasnain despite featuring in the world cup was not included in the central contracts. His sudden inclusion during Misbah-ul-Haq’s squad announcement now suggests that Waqar Younis has played a part in convincing the chief selector to pick the teenager who is perhaps the quickest fast bowler in the country right now.
Misbah during the press conference too suggested that Waqar was working with Hasnain to gauge and improve his fitness levels.
Misbah Cautious About Mohd. Hafeez’s Omission?
While Mohd. Hafeez has clearly been dropped; Misbah was cautious while explaining that the right hander hasn’t been picked so that he was able to complete his CPL contract.
Iftikhar Ahmed’s selection ahead of Umar Akmal then, suggests that Pakistan is looking to prepare “Professor’s” back up. Nevertheless, the think tank seems cautious because they are not sure if the back up plan will work and if they will have to reconsider their decision.