Misbah-ul-Haq believes future is bright for Pakistan despite crushing loss to Australia

Sport360 staff 11:00 12/11/2019
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Head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq is taking the positives despite Pakistan’s crushing loss to hosts Australia in the three-match T20I series.

The Men in Green tasted a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Aaron Finch’s men with their No1 ranking in the format now in real jeopardy. For Misbah, it was the second T20I series defeat in a row since he took the reigns of the team after their previous 0-3 reversal on home soil at the hands of Sri Lanka.

But while the results have not been the most encouraging, Misbah feels there are positives for Pakistan to take from the series against Australia.

“Obviously winning is always the priority and there is no better feeling than that of winning a match,” the former Pakistan skipper stated.

“But we also have to look at other things. When you have a settled squad, you can expect settled results. But when you are trying to change things and implement new ideas, then you have to make some sacrifices.

“Sometimes you have to bring new players in for the future and also to develop backups.”

Two players – young pacer Muhammad Musa and middle-order batsman Khushdil Shah – were handed their Pakistan debuts in the series against Australia. Meanwhile, Iftikhar Ahmed made his international comeback after a gap of three years and the all-rounder was one of the rare bright spots for the visitors with scores of 62 and 45.

“We always go into every series with the aim of winning but priorities can be different at time,” the Pakistan coach continued.

“Like in Australia, we gave young Muhammad Musa a chance. Another positive was the form of Iftikhar Ahmed. Khushdil Shah also got a game under his belt. Usman Qadir did not get a game in the series but I am sure the experience of travelling with the team will do him good. He is one of our backups.

“Overall, the experience these players have gained in Australia will help Pakistan cricket tremendously in the future.”

T20 cricket is high on the agenda of all international teams with several major tournaments approaching in the format. Next year will see the Asia Cup played in the T20 format in September before the World Cup gets underway in Australia in the month of October. There will be another T20 World Cup the very next year as well which is due to be hosted by India.

A maiden T20I fifty for Iftikhar Ahmed.

A maiden T20I fifty for Iftikhar Ahmed.

Misbah has outlined his plans to prepare the team for all three major tournaments.

“After the Pakistan Super League (2020) and our domestic season gets over, we will have a month or two before the tour of England gets underway. We will use that time to work on the squad for the Asia Cup, and the two back-to-back T20 World Cups,” he said.

“The players who are here will be part of that and so will many other new faces. The priority will be to identify our squad for these major tournaments with defined roles, while also having capable back-ups in each position.”

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