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Misbah-ul-Haq clears air over Sarfaraz Ahmed, says no conspiracy against him

Misbah also said that he has discussed Pakistan’s future plan of action in detail with Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani and Managing Director Wasim Khan.

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Misbah-ul-Haq
Misbah-ul-Haq. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Pakistan cricket has been rattled by the sudden ouster of long-serving captain Sarfaraz Ahmed following their heart-breaking 0-3 loss to a second-string Sri Lanka side in T20Is at home recently. The wicketkeeper-batsman has not only lost the captaincy in Tests and T20Is but also his place in the team.

While former players and supporters expressed their dissatisfaction over the way was Sarfaraz got omitted, head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq has asserted that he is not going to take things easily. He has said that the message is clear to the former captain and all players that performance only matters to be in the team.

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While announcing the Pakistan squad for the upcoming tour of Australia on Monday, the 45-year-old Misbah tried to clear the controversy over the sacking of Sarfaraz saying there is no conspiracy at play against the 32-year-old. Mohammad Rizwan, 27, was picked as the Pakistan wicketkeeper for the series Down Under that features three T20Is and two Tests starting November 3.

Pakistan will also play a few warm-up games the first of which will be a 20-over match on October 31 against Cricket Australia XI. The Men in Green are also set for a split captaincy now with Azhar Ali taking up the mantle in Test cricket and Babar Azam in the T20Is.

Misbah said in a press release that merit is the only selection criterion for team selection and the only reason why Sarfaraz was removed from captaincy is his dip in form recent times. The former Pakistan captain also said that he has discussed Pakistan’s future plan of action in detail with Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani and Managing Director Wasim Khan.

The coach-cum-selector said the door is always open for Sarfaraz and others to make a comeback after regaining form, “We have always backed Sarfaraz and he is a good enough player and has performed for the country,” Misbah said.

Pakistan to play aggressive cricket in Australia: Misbah-ul-Haq

About the upcoming tour of Australia, Misbah said the strategy for Pakistan will be to play aggressive cricket and challenge the hosts in their own den. Last year, India defeated Australia 2-1 in the Test series to become the first Asian nation to do so. Pakistan will take some cue from that.

Misbah also said that Pakistan have picked a few new bowlers in Naseem Shah and Muhammad Musa – both teenager fast bowlers — and they are capable of surprising the opponents.

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