Hopeful Misbah backs Sarfaraz as Pakistan limited-overs captain

While Pakistan finalises on a Test captain, Sarfaraz Ahmed will continue to lead in limited-overs with Babar Azam as his deputy.

Pakistan’s new head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq said that he was hopeful of working well with Sarfaraz to take the team forward.   -  FILE PHOTO/ REUTERS

 

Wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed has been retained as Pakistan’s ODI and T20I captain ahead of the forthcoming series against Sri Lanka.

Pakistan’s new head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq said that he was hopeful of working well with Sarfaraz to take the team forward.

Misbah also announced that batsman Babar Azam would be the vice-captain of the national team in the shorter formats.

Asked whether Sarfaraz had been appointed just for the series against Sri Lanka or on long-term basis, Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani said one should not read too much into it and speculate.

“We have a new management and we are looking at finding the right balance,” Mani said on Friday.

Mani also revealed that Misbah and PCB chief executive Wasim Khan were already looking into the issue of Test captaincy.

READ| Pakistan captain Sarfaraz still counting on Sri Lanka coming

“Since we don’t have Test matches immediately we have announced captain for white-ball cricket and due process will be followed for naming captain of red-ball cricket. Misbah and Wasim will make their recommendations to me,” he said.

Sarfaraz has been Pakistan’s captain in all three formats for the past two years. Pakistan won the Champions Trophy in 2017 under his leadership.

Asked about Sarfaraz’s performances, Misbah said, “Overall if we assess Sarfaraz’s performances, I still believe the team has done well. He has led the national under-19 team and now senior team in last three years, I think we are doing the right thing.

“Our T20I performances have been outstanding but in ODI we have been up and down and we need to be more consistent. But we can’t just blame the captain or one individual, that is wrong. When your main players are out of form and don’t perform, the team can’t win. In cricket, 11 players have to play and perform.”

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Misbah wants to support the captain in decision-making and help him reduce the mistakes.

“I have been captain and sometimes as captain, you need to be pushed as you tend to underestimate yourself and forget your role as a player in the team. That is the area I will work with him and ensure he does not underutilise himself. If he performs, it will help the team,” he said.

Misbah said he was not worried about the criticism over his appointment as head coach and chief selector. “I think a person has to just focus on his job.”

Mani said the PCB has decided on a team manager and an official announcement is due in two days.