Monday Jun 28, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's T20 series against England will be the benchmark to judge the strengths and weaknesses of the Green Shirts ahead of the all-important T20 World Cup in October, says Pakistan cricket team head coach Misbah-ul-Haq.
England could be rated as one of the best white-ball teams in the world, he said, adding that England are the 50-overs-a-side champions and runners-up of the T20 World Cup.
"For Pakistan, the T20 series against England will be a test case. By the end, we would be in a better position to judge where the squad stands, what are the strength and weaknesses, and what more we have to do till the start of the T20 World Cup,” Haq was quoted as saying by The News.
Pakistan were not sure about their middle order, he admitted. “We are not sure about the number 5 and 6 positions which sometimes could be the key. Sohaib Maqsood and Azam Khan are there. Sohaib has been drafted in the side following his exceptional performance in PSL 2021. There are a few other options available-let us see what would be in store. We are looking forward to a compatible series. Whenever we tour England, we enjoy our cricket,” he said.
The head coach was all praises for pacer Shahnawaz Dahani. “He [Dahani] will be there with us for the red ball cricket. But hopefully, we would have him for every format provided he goes on to show his talent in days to come. He definitely has a big future ahead of him.”
Haq said Younis Khan will be missed on the tour.
But he said what happened is something between the Pakistan Cricket Board and coaches and he is not going to be drawn into it. "He [Younis Khan] always has a good impact on youngsters but now whatever we have got we have to continue with it,” Haq said.
Pakistan are on their sixth tour to England in as many years and will be playing one-dayers and T20 cricket. “Playing ODIs ahead of the T20 series would give us a good picture as to what would be in store for us for the T20 series.”
The team head coach is looking forward to seeing spectators on the ground for the motivation of players.
“We came here last year too, there were no spectators altogether. Now things have changed and crowd presence would add extra spice. We are going to start our preparation from Monday and hopefully would be in best of shape by the time the series starts.”