Australia vs Pakistan 2016/17: Retirement Completely Out Of My Mind, Says Misbah-ul-Haq
Veteran Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq has quashed all the reports linking him to quitting Test cricket and has insisted that his career is all set to extend beyond the ongoing series in Australia.
Speculations were rife about the 42-year-old’s future after he expressed dissatisfaction with his performance following the humiliating defeat in Melbourne and said he was not sure about playing in the final Test of the series.
He had said:“I always believed that if I couldn’t contribute to the team then it’s no point staying there. I haven’t decided (about Sydney) but let’s see.”
However, claiming that he made those comments in frustration and disappointment, Pakistan’s most successful Test skipper has said he is not thinking about retirement at all.
Speaking before the Sydney Test, Misbah said:“No, right now, retirement is completely out of my mind. If I do think about that, then this match here will be very difficult to play.
Meanwhile, the skipper said his team will have to treat the Sydney Test as the first match of the series and start afresh. The visitors have already lost the series and will look to salvage some pride when they take on Steve Smith’s confident side.
“We have to think of this match as the first match of the series and that it is the final also. At the moment, this is how we are thinking. I have forgotten the last four-five Tests we’ve had and now we’re totally focused on this. 2016, gone. Now it is 2017. What is gone, that is gone,” said the captain who has guided Pakistan to more victories than any other Test captain.
“I have no doubt in my mind at the moment in terms of whatever I said in that press conference, that was, you could say, frustration and disappointment,” he added.
Pakistan’s dismal form in recent months has co-incided with that of Misbah. They have lost five Tests in a row and their skipper has managed only 121 runs in them. In the ongoing series, he has scored only 20 runs, as a result, the visitors have struggled to do well. However, he is still not ready to give up and feels he still has a lot to offer.
“Honestly speaking, that can happen to anyone, at any stage in your career. Doesn’t mean you have nothing left in yourself if you’re playing. You can still come back, still score runs for your team and contribute. There could be a patch and it can come at any stage, whether you are 19, whether you are 20, 30 or 40, because cricket is like that, especially in batting department,” he said.
“Sometimes you’re playing well, seeing the ball well, not scoring runs, lack of confidence and suddenly one good innings and you’re back. Playing almost 20 years of cricket, and international cricket for 15-16 years, I can understand that could happen. Whatever I said at the time, that was also true. That doesn’t mean you can’t come back. You can come back still. You work hard. You believe in yourself,” he concluded.
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