Form, fitness, performance sole criterion for selection: Misbah-ul-Haq


LAHORE JAN 28 (DNA) :  Head Coach and Chief Selector of the national cricket team Misbah-ul-Haq said that form, fitness and performance were the criterion for selection for senior players and doors were open for all to make a case for selection.

Addressing post match press conference after the 3rd T20I was abandoned due to rain at the Gaddafi stadium here, he said, “I had never said that it was curtains for the seniors like Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez,” adding, “After losses against Sri Lanka and Australia we realized that the team needed senior players and the idea was backed by the captain Babar Azam.”

To a query, the Head Coach said there was no evil in selecting senior players if they were useful for the team.

About the series win, Misbah-ul-Haq said the series victory against Bangladesh was a confidence booster which would help the team and the management to concentrate on the future course of action, adding that the pressure of continuous defeats did not let teams draw up plans and effected performance adversely.

He said victory meant a lot to him after losing two T20I series and poor run in the format while he praised the young Pakistan bowlers for containing Bangladesh batsmen, adding that it was good for Pakistan cricket.

About grooming young players for T20 World Cup (WC), he said there was a lot of time for the preparation of WC, adding the PSL5 and some more cricket was ahead which would provide enough preparation to the team.

On the question of finding power-hitters in the team for T20 cricket, the head coach said PSL was great importance to find players who could play leg-spinners and mystery spinners well in the Australian conditions during the upcoming T20 World Cup 2020, adding that Pakistan players had not played some spinners well during the ICC Cricket World Cup in England last year while two spinners were being used by teams in Australia recently.

About team combination in the T20 WC, Misbah said a pool of good performers from the PSL5 would be invited at a camp after April 24 as the team had no international cricket during the months of May and June 2020, adding that the players would be picked among them who would have an opportunity to make their mark in the Asia Cup before the T20 WC.

He said Asif Ali was a power-hitter but he was dropped from the team after poor form, adding that the best eleven would be selected for the T20 WC 2020.

Misbah-ul-Haq, to a query, said the Pakistan team had decided to check its bench strength and play all players including Usman Qadir, Ammad Butt, Khushdil Shah and Mohammad Musa in the last T20I against Bangladesh but the weather did not allow them the chance.

To a question, Head Coach and Chief selector said his role as Head coach of the Islamabad United would provide him a better opportunity to watch performances of all players of the opposing teams closely and it would help Pakistan cricket.