Misbah recalled because Younis unavailable - Mohsin

Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq scamper through for a single AFP

Pakistan recalled Misbah-ul-Haq to the Test side and installed him as captain primarily because Younis Khan was not cleared for selection by the PCB, the chief selector Mohsin Khan has said.

"We needed a senior player to strengthen our batting line-up," Mohsin told the News. "Our first choice was Younis Khan but we didn't get any clearance [from the PCB], after which we discussed the option of recalling Misbah and decided to go for it."

Another factor that went in Misbah's favour was his non-controversial record and fitness, despite being 36. "In a team where many of the players have had serious disciplinary problems, Misbah is one guy who has a neat and clean background," Mohsin said. "He is a thorough professional and one of the fittest players in our country, which is another big plus point.

"I know that Misbah has just managed to score runs on and off in his international career but he is the kind of player who can click anytime. He has done well in the Pentangular Cup and the National One-Day Cup which is a good sign."

Pakistan had dropped both Misbah and Younis following the winless tour of Australia in 2009-10. While Misbah was cast aside because of poor form, Younis was banned along with several other Pakistan players on disciplinary grounds. Younis appealed against his punishment, like the others did, and was cleared as well, but the PCB have not picked him in the squad since.

Misbah's appointment and Younis' omission was criticised by some former Pakistan players. "Younis' omission is a case of ego problem," former selector Iqbal Qasim told AFP. "Not selecting him despite his ban (being) overturned is (an) injustice and is definitely a loss to the team. This can only happen in Pakistan that a player who was not in the team is given the captaincy besides being recalled after a gap."

"Why did they drop Misbah if he was able enough to lead the team," former legspinner Abdul Qadir said. "But since there are previous examples of players appointed captains from nowhere, we will have to accept it."

Misbah will lead Pakistan in the two-Test series against South Africa in Abu Dhabi in November. He becomes the fourth man, after Mohammad Yousuf, Shahid Afridi and Salman Butt, to captain Pakistan in Tests in 2010 alone.