Misbah in reckoning for ODI captaincy
KARACHI:While T20I vice-captain Sarfraz Ahmed may be the frontrunner for the soon-to-be vacant captaincy role of Pakistan’s limited overs team, there is another wild thought making the rounds among the corridors of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) — get Test captain Misbahul Haq to lead the ODI side again.
As crazy and far-fetched as it may seem, some PCB officials are seriously considering the idea of asking Misbah to come out of limited-overs retirement and take the mantle of the ODI squad.
The same Misbah who bid farewell to the 50-over format in 2015 following years of criticism regarding his slow approach is now a candidate for the role he was previously considered inadequate for.
Under Misbah’s 50-over successor Azhar Ali, the Pakistan team has been subpar at best. Similarly, things haven’t been much different under T20 skipper Shahid Afridi either, with occasional highs and frequent lows.
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As a result of the incumbent leaders’ inability to steer their teams to the right track, former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif feels it is not a bad idea to ask Misbah to reprise his captaincy role in ODI format at least, if not in both the limited-over formats.
“Pakistan have tough tours of England and Australia this year so for me it’s a good idea to recall Misbah and make him the ODI skipper,” Latif told The Express Tribune. “As far I’m concerned, I think we need someone else and not Azhar to lead Pakistan in ODIs. Sarfraz would be a good choice in the future, but for now, Misbah is the best option. Moreover, there is no senior figure in Pakistan’s dressing room thus Misbah has a role to play there as well.”
Time is of the absolute essence for Misbah, who at 41 is no spring chicken, and could bow out from five-day cricket as well after this year’s hotly-anticipated tour of England.
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Meanwhile, former Test player Shoaib Mohammad has backed Sarfraz to lead the Men in Green in limited-overs as he believes that the wicketkeeper-batsman has the best brains at the moment in Pakistan cricket.
“Everyone knows that Sarfraz is the best choice to lead Pakistan and even the great Imran Khan agrees with this notion,” Shoaib told The Express Tribune. “We all can see the potential but apparently the PCB can’t. The board should look at his leadership qualities on the field instead of worrying about his fluency in English.”
He further added: “This is about Pakistan cricket team and not about a school and I feel the best ‘cricketer’ should lead the side. I’m also in favour of bringing back Misbah, but only as a father figure so that he can help Sarfraz settle because seniors always give a hard time to first-time captains in our national team.”