Pakistan in New Zealand 2009-10 November 21, 2009

Misbah's future to be decided after first Test

Cricinfo staff

The future of Misbah-ul-Haq as a Test batsman will be decided after the first Test in New Zealand as Pakistan's selectors decided to observe the team's performance.

Mohammad Yousuf, the stand-in captain for the three-match series, had earlier called for Misbah to step up and fill Younis Khan's absence. However, chief selector Iqbal Qasim this week said that Yousuf had not approached the PCB about a possible replacement for Younis. The PCB had been waiting for the return of chairman Ijaz Butt from London, and after a meeting on Friday it was decided that a call be taken only after inspecting Pakistan's performance in Dunedin.

"Seventeen players are [already] in New Zealand. We want to first watch their performance in the opening Test and then we'll consider the option whether to send Misbah," Qasim told the Dawn.

Misbah, 35, was left out from the squads in all three formats for Pakistan's series of ODIs, T20Is and Tests against New Zealand in the Middle East and New Zealand. His form has been poor in all three formats over the last year, in contrast to 2007, when he reignited his dormant international career in sensational fashion at the World Twenty20 in South Africa and then on a tour to India.

The Dawn also reported that Qasim said an unusually large 18-man Test squad would be trimmed to 15 for the series in Australia after the New Zealand trip.