KARACHI - Former Pakistan captain M Yousuf on Sunday advised Misbah-ul-Haq to promote himself to number three in the Test format in order to address the batting problems of the team. "Look, he is our in-form batsman, and is scoring runs. I don't understand why he is reluctant to bat at number three. If he does that it means Pakistan has more chances of getting strong starts from the top and it will release pressure on the lower order batsmen," said Yousuf.
Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka on Sunday by nine wickets in the second Test of the three-match series. It was Pakistan's seventh defeat in their last 12 Tests since 2012 raising questions over the contribution made by Australian head coach, Dav Whatmore, to the team since taking over in March, 2012.
However, Misbah has been consistent while batting at number five in the Test side, and scored 97 in the second innings at Dubai. But Yousuf, who played 90 Tests and scored 24 centuries, felt Misbah's negative mindset was affecting the team. "I think he doesn't want to bat at number three because his technique is fallible against fast bowlers," Yousuf said.
The former captain stated that Misbah might have been scoring runs since last year but he was far from a perfect player as far as his technique was concerned. "His mindset is also not right for the team and it has trickled down to the other players specially the youngsters. He will only come to bat lower down when the ball is softer," he said.
Pakistan's former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar also cricticised Misbah for not doing enough work with the younger bowlers in the series. "Throughout the Test I thought there should have been more communication between the captain and the bowlers because tell me how much experience do bowlers like Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali or Bilawal Bhatti have," Akhtar said. "Such bowlers need to be guided properly by their captain who should be more proactive."