Recently appointed head coach Misbah has been in the headlines ever since his appointment, which in itself was a unique and a positive change against the outdated pattern of appointing separate head coaches and Chief Selectors. The job is now merged into one and Misbah is the holder of it. This was followed by the hype of the series against Sri Lanka on home soil, to which many senior Sri Lankans rejected to play in Pakistan because of security reasons. Nonetheless, the series will move forward according to plan with 3 ODIs in Karachi and 3T20s in Lahore, starting from 27 Sept onwards.
The side includes Sarfaraz Ahmed (captain), Babar Azam (vice-captain), Abid Ali, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, HarisSohail, Mohammad Hasnain, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Usman Shinwari and Wahab Riaz.
The absence of Hassan Ali was a surprising one to which Misbah clarified in his press conference:
Hassan was originally part of the squad but he felt a back spasm yesterday. According to the physiotherapist, he cannot be a part of the team right now. Let’s see how soon he can get fit
Regarding the dipping form of Fakhar Zaman, Misbah was also confident with his selection has he stated
No doubt his (Fakhar) performance has gone down, but still his average is around 47 in ODIs. He’s an impact player. He is such a player that if he plays 10 overs, you have a chance to win the match. Instead of wasting him, we should see how we can utilise him in the future.
Captaincy is retained by Sarfaraz Ahmed and vice captaincy is in the hands of Babar Azam. This was a special surprise move but Misbah is satisfied with Sarfaraz’s captaincy and the only complaint that he has is with his participation in the batting line-up and hopes to improve that aspect of the captain’s game.