Misbah-ul-Haq’s ambitious plans of leading the young turks into a difficult tour to Australia backfired spectacularly as they were whitewashed in both the T20Is and Test series. The former Pakistan captain had taken over as the head coach and chief selector of the national team after Mickey Arthur and Co were released of their duties in the aftermath of ICC World Cup 2019.
Before this, Pakistan had done well defeating Sri Lanka in the ODI series at home but was beaten 3-0 by a second-string Lankan team led by Dasun Shanaka, despite Misbah recalling the experienced duo of Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal. Another player that Misbah invested in was Iftikhar Ahmed who had come in with a lot of promise, as the all-rounder was nowhere is sights despite making his ODI debut way back in 2015. However, he has been dropped for the upcoming Sri Lanka Test series at home.
Misbah-ul-Haq says dropping Iftikhar Ahmed was a difficult decision
Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has insisted that batsman Iftikhar Ahmed is still part of his plans despite being dropped for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. He admitted that dropping Iftikhar was a “difficult decision”, especially as he did well in the Twenty20 series against Australia. The right-handed batsman had scores of 1*,62* and 45 in the three 20-over matches against the Kangaroos.
He has been replaced in the Test squad by Fawad Alam, who himself will wear the whites after a decade. “Iftikhar has been performing well, in white-ball cricket he has done well and he made runs in Australia too. It’s a difficult decision but you can only keep a limited squad. We aren’t discarding him for good, when we feel we need him in future, we can select him,” Misbah-ul-Haq was quoted as saying by PakPassion.
The upcoming Test series is a historic one given that it will be after 10 years a Test-playing nation is visiting the country for a full series. The two Tests will be held in Rawalpindi from December 11 to 15 and Karachi from December 19 to 23. Meanwhile, Karachi Kings retained Iftikhar for the upcoming PSL season despite being dropped by the Pakistani team management.
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