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Thursday Oct 17 2019

Misbah and co mull major changes before Australia tour

Head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq is resigned to ringing changes in the national team setup, with some trusted faces and some new ones set to be inducted, Daily Jang reported on Thursday.

The Misbah-led new regime is “disappointed and worried” following the team’s humiliating defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the recent T20I series.

Their concerns could manifest in the sacking of captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, with Azhar Ali a potential replacement and Mohammad Rizwan a candidate for vice captain for the upcoming Test series against Australia.

Sources close to the matter have told Jang that discussions in this regard have already taken place between Misbah and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Executive Wasim Khan.

The Test team for the series Down Under could have names such as Salman Butt, Sami Aslam, Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Rizwan, Imam-ul-Haq, Adnan Akmal, Mohammad Musa and Rahat Ali.

Meanwhile, the T20I team could feature players such as Mohammad Irfan, Usman Qadir and Zafar Gohar.

Sources tell Jang that Misbah had expressed his reservations at Sarfaraz’s leadership skills in his meeting with the board CEO.

Misbah is reportedly unhappy at Sarfaraz’s failure to take responsibility of the team’s clean sweep at the hands of an inexperienced Sri Lanka side and the players’ lack of effort in training.

He is also purportedly surprised at the behavior of Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim and Haris Sohail, all three of whom make excuses to get out of training.

Sohail, in particular, has a habit of citing pain in his knee during net practice of general training. Misbah is also unhappy with Riaz, and now understands why his predecessor Mickey Arthur had kept him out of his side until the World Cup.

The veteran pacer is reportedly not ready to meet the standards required at a professional level.