'Pakistan have a bright future', claims Misbah-ul-Haq
Pakistan cricket team's head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq was under tremendous pressure before the Test series at home to Sri Lanka. He suffered extreme criticism due to Pakistan's T20 series whitewash at the hands of Sri Lanka and a very unsuccessful tour of Australia where they failed to win even a single game.
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But after winning the Test series 1-0 against Sri Lanka at home, Misbah seemed extremely happy with the way Pakistan had bounced back from the Australian Tour and looked hopeful for better performances in 2020. The former skipper was quoted as saying by TOI,
Going further, we have to improve a lot of things in both red-ball and white-ball cricket. This team has enough potential and new boys are also making their way in international cricket. There's certainly a bright future ahead for us.
Misbah was highly impressed with the way Babar Azam has performed, scoring hundreds in the Test series against both Australia and Sri Lanka and being a consistent performer in all three formats in 2019.
The emergence of Babar Azam as a mega star across all formats is very good news for Pakistan cricket. He remained number one in T20I cricket and is in the top ten batsmen in the ODI cricket. He played some brilliant innings in the World Cup and ended the year by establishing himself as a Test batsman with scintillating performances in Australia and two centuries against Sri Lanka in Pakistan.
Misbah was criticised for picking an inexperienced seam attack consisting of youngsters like Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah for the tour of Australia as they failed to live up to their expectations Down Under. However, they came back strongly in the Sri Lanka series and Misbah believes that more encouragement will help them reach another level altogether in international cricket. He remarked,
Naseem got a five-for in the last Test against Sri Lanka. Shaheen bowled well in the World Cup and he showed glimpses of being a Test bowler in South Africa, and bowled really well in Australia and here in Pakistan against Sri Lanka. We will hopefully bank on these two promising fast-bowlers in the future.
He further added,
Overall, we are on the right track. The more we play the longer format, the more we will improve. We need to do a lot of work in white-ball cricket ahead of the all-important ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.