ISLAMABAD - Terming the decision of the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) to retain Misbahul Haq as captain for the next month's Test series against South Africa ‘right one’, former captain Zaheer Abbas said that Misbah's consistent performance had earned him such a place in the national team.
“Misbah has been consistently performing with the bat for the last couple of years and the board had no choice but to retain him as captain,” he told APP on Friday. The former batting maestro said he believed that if someone was performing well he should have not been asked to quit no matter how old he was. “It's all about performance. If you are doing well and producing the results; nobody can expel you from the team whether you are in your 20s or in late 30s or even beyond that,” he added.
He said those who were critical of Misbah’s captaincy should also give his replacement. Referring towards Pakistan's loss to a lowly-ranked Zimbabwe in the second Test at Harare in the recently-concluded series, Zaheer said that it was unfortunate to see Pakistan losing that match.
Pakistan won the first Test against Zimbabwe but the latter came back strongly in the second fixture and won the match to square the series. “Had Pakistan won the series against Zimbabwe they would have been in a better position to face South Africa in UAE," Zaheer said.
Pakistan are scheduled to play two Tests against South Africa in Abu Dhabi from October 14-18 and Dubai in the following week and Zaheer feels the series against the Protease will be tough one. He, however, said Pakistan could beat South Africa if they prepare turning tracks in UAE.
"We have quality spin bowlers in the form of Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman and Zulfiqar Babar. Turning tracks in UAE will be of great advantage for us as our trio of spin bowling can destroy strong South African batting line-up," he said.
Zaheer also asked Misbah to adopt an aggressive approach against South Africa. "If the skipper adopts an aggressive approach and all the players feel the responsibility and play a positive game I am sure they will be a formidable side,” he concluded.