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PCB summons Misbah, Waqar for review

Umar Farooq

September 1, 2014

Comments: 88 | Text size: A | A

Misbah-ul-Haq during a practice session on the eve of the Asia Cup final, Mirpur, March 7, 2014
Misbah-ul-Haq still enjoys the confidence of the PCB chairman © AFP
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PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan has summoned Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq and the head coach Waqar Younis to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Tuesday for a review of the team's performances in Sri Lanka. Shaharyar will meet the team manager Moin Khan in Karachi on Wednesday. Pakistan lost the Test series 2-0 and the ODIs 2-1 to Sri Lanka, prompting concern from the board ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

ESPNcricinfo understands the meetings will be on a one-on-one basis. Misbah has Shaharyar's backing for the captaincy ahead of series in the UAE against Australia and New Zealand, but the PCB could reduce the 10-man coaching staff. Moin's dual role as manager and chief selector is also under scrutiny.

The pool of players that traveled to Sri Lanka remains the nucleus of the World Cup probables but the PCB is concerned about team unity, which according to one official, had deteriorated. With less than six months to go to the tournament, the PCB is reluctant to make major changes, and Moin had said Misbah would stay captain until the World Cup. However, ESPNcricinfo understands some players are not in favour of such a view.

The PCB persisted with Misbah as captain despite Pakistan being whitewashed 3-0 in South Africa in 2012-13, and performing poorly in the 2013 Champions Trophy in England. This was largely because of his prolific form in 2013, when he was the top-scorer in ODIs. However, he is 40 now, and his form has not been as good in 2014.

There has been speculation in the media that a lobby is trying to bring about a change in captain, with Shahid Afridi being proposed as the favourite. Afridi's form, however, has been poor. He has been wicketless in his last six ODIs and his batting is unpredictable.

Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf was one of the voices advocating Afridi as captain. "If the captaincy remains with Misbah you can't expect improvement in results," Yousuf said. "He has been the captain for four years and has not been able to find a proper combination. I think it is imperative we have Afridi, who is aggressive and can lead in a better way."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

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Posted by   on (September 4, 2014, 15:44 GMT)

The one thing I will say about Shahid Afridi is that he is an inspirational leader. No question he is not technically strong, and when his form is poor, it is quite poor, but when he's on, nobody wishes to face him. His record as captain is average-he has a career winning percentage of 54%, which is not elite, it's barely average.Yet, he rallied a team that was thought to have no chance to a strong performance at the 2011 World Cup. If made captain again, can he rally this team again? I can't help but notice that he has a tendency to show up impressively in tournaments, never mind his out of tournament record.

Posted by   on (September 4, 2014, 11:58 GMT)

I MUST say there are major changes required in the Pakistan Team, let first talk about Openers. There must be a right hander and left hander combination like Ahmed Shahzad and Nasir Jamshed (which requires some more games) In the middle you can have player like Shoaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam There must be 2 special spinners in the team like Zulfiqar Babar & Saeed Ajmal which can be rotated in between depending upon the game plan. Fast Bowlers are key here in the form of Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan & Talha right arm fast medium A specialized wicket-keeper needs to be within the Team in the form of Sarfarz Ahmed Now comes a crucial & millionaire question the captain, i think an agressive caption to be within the team like Afridi so it upon selection Team to either select Misbah or Afridi but there is no place of Hafeez in the team as he has issues against seam bowling and pace which will b problem for him. If they plays with this combination I'm sure pak can win worldcup

Posted by THEBEAST7 on (September 4, 2014, 5:02 GMT)

Afridi may not have picked up wickets OR scored heavily recently but he is the best bet for the captains post right now. If anyone can guide this team to the 2015 WC final, Afridi is the man. He came close in 2011. Pakistan has a good team. Thay need to fine tune the batting line up a bit. Drop Sarjeel. Send Akmal in as an attacking opener with in form Shehzad (IF ONLY umar akmal understand the value of his wicket and pride his place in the national team. Right now he plays like an alien)I believe Misbah should remain in the team as a specialist batsman. Alam should bat at 4. Rest will take care of itself. I still think Afridi should open the innings to rattle other bowling line ups which will help Pakistan to score real big. But with the likes of Ajmal, Hafeez, Junaid, M.Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Afridi etc, even 230 is a good score to defend (Miss you ASIF). All the best guys. A Sri Lankan supporter...

Posted by Resultpredictor on (September 3, 2014, 16:18 GMT)

Neither Misbah nor Afridi is best to captain Pakistan team. Both are in worst phase of their career. No one can save Pakistan sinking ship.

Posted by Aroundthelegsgoogly on (September 3, 2014, 13:46 GMT)

Why doesn't Mohammad Yousuf come back and captain?

Posted by   on (September 3, 2014, 11:49 GMT)

@getsetgopk I respect your point of view, but we have to accept that we do not have best players in the world. We have good bowlers and if there is some one better in domestic level why proceed with same players. We have to make a systemic way for the junior players who are performing in domestic level to be given not only central contract or included in the national team but one should have to make a decision that they will get fair chance to play for Pakistan. Some players are given chance to debut against South Africa and some debut against Bangladesh and this factor is always neglected. and there are also examples of some extra ordinary players who didn't even got the chance to play for Pakistan. So what I am trying to say is no matter what is the teams combination or teams strength we should make proper system for the fresh air to come.

Posted by   on (September 3, 2014, 2:41 GMT)

Misbah must be removed as captain. Every person who wants Pakistan to win wants Misbah to be removed as captain. I think if Misbah is sincere with Pakistan cricket then he shud himself step down as captain but he wont as he if he does then he will get too insecure abt his position in the team considering his current batting form. Experts say it is not easy to regain form for a batsman who is in 40s!

Posted by   on (September 3, 2014, 2:35 GMT)

Almost everyone wants Misbah to be removed as captain because of his defensive approach. The chairman PCB shudnt get stubborn and remove Misbah as captain for the good of the team. I think Younis is the best choice we got, other opti9n cud be Afridi. We will see Afridi batting with sense & responsibility if he is made captain. Its going to be a difficult choice as Younis is making a comeback in the ODIs and it is yet to be seen how well he doea but Im pretty sure Younis will do well as he is great batsman. The other captaincy option Afridi is in a very poor bowling form. He currently isnt justifying his place in the team. I just hope he doesnt take long to regain his form. Apart from captaincy we need Sarfaraz in ODIs as he has shown great form in test matches and also bcoz we need a regular keeper. Umar Akmal is another concern in the team. He is very talented but he is wasting it. I think he is trying to be 2nd Afridi in batting which we cannot afford!!

Posted by send2waseem on (September 2, 2014, 23:37 GMT)

Batting order must be adjusted. As World Cup would be in Australia and New Zealand, Afridi or Hafeez should be taken out. I would prefer Hafeez in final 11 for World Cup. Final 11 and batting order should be: 1- Umar Akmal, 2- Ahmed Shehzad, 3- Fawad Alam, 4- Misbah, 5- Maqsood, 6- Sarfaraz, 7- Hafeez, 8-Ajmal (Raza if Ajmal is out), three fast bowlers.

Posted by t20cric on (September 2, 2014, 16:58 GMT)

I would like if PCB decided to take Misbah's captaincy. I know they said he would be captain for the world cup but it wouldn't be the 1st time they've gone back on their words. It would benefit them if Fawad Alam is given captaincy or they can take a big risk & give it to Ahmed Shehzad (and hope that he can become like Graeme Smith). I wouldn't want Afridi to get the captaincy since he is also at the end of his career & he's not in the best form. Moin Khan should also be asked about the failure of the team since he is manager & selector. This means that he has a lot of control over team Pakistan. I don't think Waqar Younis shouldn't be blamed so much cuz its only his 1st tour as coach. I think under him our fast bowling will quickly be back to normal but the main problem is batting. With this batting it will be tough to even get to the quarter finals. On top of that we have over-defensive captain Misbah who won't let us get far.

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