Pakistan news September 4, 2014

Moin hints at 'bold steps' before World Cup

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pakistan chief selector Moin Khan believes that losing the ODI series against Sri Lanka has "affected the mind" of the team, and that there is a need to take bold steps ahead of the 2015 World Cup. Moin said that the captain Misbah-ul-Haq's poor performances reflected that of the entire team.

Moin's comments were made after a meeting with the PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan at the National Stadium in Karachi to review Pakistan's performances during the month-long tour of Sri Lanka in which they lost the Tests 2-0 and the ODI series 2-1.

"After a long time, Pakistan team did not play to its potential," Moin said. "When the captain is not in form it reflects on the performance of the whole team and this time our captain was not in good form. Naturally it has an effect and reflects on the minds.

"Everyone will try their best to understand and as soon as possible, improve in the next series. Those who have given good performances will be retained and we will take a good look at those who have not. Time is short for the World Cup, and we have to take bold steps for the betterment of Pakistan cricket."

Though Moin had hinted at a captaincy change before the team left for Sri Lanka, he stood by Misbah, citing the "stability" Pakistan have enjoyed under his leadership.

"After a long time we have faced a dip in Misbah's form, but if you look in the past, his performances were very good. He has performed in a crisis and played an anchor role. Under him, there has been stability, so we have to look into it."

A turbulent tour for Pakistan was made even worse when their ace spinner Saeed Ajmal was reported by the umpires for a suspect action after the first Test at Galle. Moin was optimistic about Ajmal's return, but said that Pakistan were also looking at other options should the ICC ban the offspinner.

"Naturally, we have to think about it and that's what we are doing," Moin said. "In case Ajmal is banned, we definitely have to make alternate plans. So we have summoned two or three bowlers who have been among the wickets to the NCA and we will take a look at them."

Pakistan's selection committee will meet next week to finalise the squad for the team's upcoming assignments, which include a home series against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE, as well as a two-ODI series in New Zealand just days before the start of the World Cup.