Pakistan’s Test and ODI captain, Misbah-ul-Haq has said it is not fully confirmed about his captaining the side at the 2015 World Cup with a lot depended over his batting form which is to be improved. Misbah dropped himself out of the third ODI against Australia in the UAE, which Pakistan lost to concede the series 3-0, and Shahid Afridi led the team in the game.
“Yes, I have no other intention,” Misbah told The National when asked if he still feel himself as Pakistan’s full-time ODI captain. “But obviously I will have to see over the next few Tests because form and runs are very important. If I am not scoring runs and my form is not there then I can’t say I have to play. The team and Pakistan are first. If I can get my form back and score runs then I will be back but if not, then obviously, you can’t put the team in such a difficult situation and you have to decide.“
The PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan had said on the day of the third ODI in Abu Dhabi that Misbah had not been asked by the team management to not play, and said that the decision was taken on his own. Shaharyar said Misbah still had the board’s backing and the decision to continue as captain or not was up to the player.
“I requested the management and Shahid myself that I want to step down,” Misbah said. “We have a month and a half of Tests ahead and my form was out, the team was hurting because of it and we had lost the series so I thought fine, let another guy play in my place. Instead of going into the Tests with more pressure I can focus on this little gap now to get a little fresh and hopefully get my form back.“
“It depends on your confidence in the team, in the management, in how the board is supporting you,” Misbah said when asked if the decision to step aside was a tough one to make. “The situation at this time was such that I felt anyone else who played in my place was better for the team.“
“Maybe Afridi could come in with a fresh mind. For the team to win was necessary, by any means and in that scenario I thought I should not play and that Shahid leads and whoever plays in my place could be more of a help. Having that confidence in the players, management and the board, that made it easier for me.“
Pakistan will now be playing two Tests against Australia in Dubai and Abu Dhabi from October 22 and 30.