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September 27, 2020

No major changes for series against Zimbabwe, says Misbah

Sports

September 27, 2020

LAHORE: Chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq Saturday indicated that there may not be wholesale changes in the Pakistani team for the home series against Zimbabwe.

Talking to media here, he said that the team is already composed of young players and there might only be minor changes. “The Pakistan team is already composed of young players,” he said, adding: “It had lost two senior players right after the World Cup.

“[In fact], we might change a thing or two to make the team even stronger,” he said.

Saying that the Zimbabwe home series is important, Misbah stressed that the priority at the moment is to win, to qualify for the World Cup and to form a strong combination for the mega event.

The Pakistan cricket team last played an ODI match against Sri Lanka in Karachi in October last year and will now play an ODI match against Zimbabwe on October 30. This will be the first time that Babar Azam will lead Pakistan in One-day Internationals.

“We should keep in mind that the points earned from the ODI series would count towards World Cup qualification,” Misbah said.

He also underscored that finding new combinations and creating able back-ups were among his priorities.

“This is a good opportunity for the new captain and the other players as they will benefit from playing and winning in their own country to increase confidence and with this series we have to start preparing for the future,” he said.

The head coach of the national team said that victory is always important for a team, whoever the opponents. “That is why, we will field a balanced and strong team,” he added. “Winning boosts the team’s confidence,” he said.

Misbah said that after the 2019 World Cup, two senior players were not available, so the ODI team had already been changed. “Whatever we do, we have to do with the mega event in the mind. We are trying to make a combination with a clear mind until the cup,” he said.

Misbah said that it is important to get in the habit of winning. “After the Champions Trophy 2017, we could not maintain the momentum. Now is the time to bring back that belief and maintain that continuity.

“Something went wrong in the T20 format but I have confidence in the players that we will play good cricket consistently in ODIs and T20s. We played good brand of cricket in England but this could be further improved.”