LAHORE – Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has urged critics not to press the panic button amid calls for him to stand down as captain in the wake of one-day international and Twenty20 series defeats to England.
Pakistan whitewashed England 3-0 in their Test series but lost 4-0 in the ODIs and 2-1 in the Twenty20 series in the UAE. "I am surprised that some people are now talking about changes in the team and questioning my captaincy after just one bad series," Misbah told reporters after his returning at Allama Iqbal International Airport.
"I don't think we need to press any panic button and I have no issues continuing as captain for all three formats."
"Yes, we need to work on our weaknesses, especially our batting and I am sure we will come back strong in the Asia Cup," Misbah said. "But I don't support big changes in the team because these players have been doing well for the country for the last one year."
Some former players and sections of the media had been critical of the defeats and called for Misbah to only focus on Test cricket. Misbah said captaincy and selection issues were the cricket board's concerns. "But my mind is clear, we had a bad series but this team can bounce back strongly and we just need to work on our weak areas like our batting," he added.
"Let's not forget this same team has been winning for the last one year against every team. One bad performance should not mean we make too many changes in the team. England played better than us in the limited over games and their bowlers hit back hard after the test defeats. The batting struggled on both sides throughout the series as the pitches were not that easy for batting," he added.
"I think we need to take this decision only after assessing our resources and if you have those resources then do that," he said. "But if you don't have quality cricketers then it will do harm. If you change for the sake of change it will not help. All those who watch are sentimental and they talk like this. You sit down and analyse and if you have a replacement for a player then you replace him. Drastic changes will not help."
The senior batsman also said that the expected appointment of Australian Dav Whatmore as Pakistan's head coach before the Asia Cup will have a good effect on the team.
"Whatmore has a great track record and he has done well with the Sri Lankan and Bangladesh teams in the past. So he comes with a strong background. He can do a lot with this team," Misbah said.
Meanwhile, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official has said that there would be no conditioning camp for the team before the Asia Cup and the players would be given a short break ahead of the tournament.
"They are no plans to hold a full-fledged camp because already some of our players are playing in the Bangladesh Premier League," the PCB official said.