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Wednesday May 12 2021

Misbah-ul-Haq wants Pakistan to put its best foot forward in upcoming England tour

Pakistan cricket head coach Misbah-ul-Haq. Photo: PCB

  • Pakistan cricket team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq stresses need to field best playing XI in upcoming series in England.
  • In virtual media talk from Zimbabwe, Haq says he is not ready for any more experiments.
  • The white-ball series against England is tough and so are other series coming up, including the T20 World Cup, says head coach.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cricket team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq doesn't want to try any more experiments with the team during the upcoming England tour.

Haq says the time has come to get "serious" and carry forward only those cricketers into the "tough" series who have realistic chances of playing for the country, especially in the T20 World Cup.

He was speaking to the media virtually from Zimbabwe.

Read more: Babar Azam's captaincy skills improving with time, says coach Misbah-ul-Haq

“The white-ball series against England is tough and so are other series coming up including the T20 World Cup. If the PSL goes ahead, we would be having an opportunity to look into backup and select the best for coming international commitments,” he said.

The Pakistan head coach said the focus will be on fielding the best playing XI in each match.

“The touring squad will contain only those players who would have a genuine case to play. But on my own I cannot take such decisions. The selection committee is to guide us. The team management only wants to have the best backup for future series,” he said.

Haq hoped for the "best" team for the England tour, saying that Pakistan included some players without a "genuine case" on the SOuth Africa tour because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We were in a trial and experimental phase, but now only the most suitable cricketers will be there for [the] England tour,” he said, admitting that there were problems in the middle-order for white-ball cricket.

“Despite the fact that we are on a winning spree, the remaining flaws must be removed at the earliest. The newcomers will have to work on their basics. Without flawless basics, they cannot develop themselves into genuine international batsmen,” Haq said.

Head coach defends Tabish Khan inclusion to team

The team head coach also defended Tabish Khan’s inclusion ahead of much-deserving Fahim Ashraf in the second Test against Zimbabwe.

Read more: Pakistan tour priority for England cricketers over rescheduled IPL: ECB

“I strongly believe in Fahim’s abilities as a true all-rounder. He has performed to the management’s satisfaction in the recent past. When it comes to Tabish’s selection, I think we did it knowing well that we can take a chance without disturbing the winning combination.”

Babar Azam has developed into a leader: Misbah-ul-Haq

The head coach was all praises for Babar Azam and his captaincy skills.

“That is the best thing that happened to the team in the recent past. Babar has developed into a real leader. He has gained confidence and developed into a powerful captain,” said Haq.