Pak vs SA: Misbah hints at changes in squad for Rawalpindi Test against South Africa

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RAWALPINDI : Pakistani head coach Misbah ul Haq on Tuesday said that if the conditions demanded the team will be bringing in some changes in the squad for the second Test against South Africa.

During a media briefing after a practice session at the Pindi Stadium, the coach said that they would follow the horses-for-courses policy rather than sticking to the same old mythology of retaining the winning squad.

Best team to bat against Proteas

“We would make sure that the best team is fielded against South Africa for the second Test. Though it is too early to say anything on the final combination, we would not be afraid of making any changes in the team if some need arises.”

Acknowledging that the conditions will be different while playing at the Pindi Stadium, Misbah said: “No doubt Pindi and Karachi stadiums have different conditions. We are monitoring the situation and will decide on the final combination once we inspect the final shape of the playing surface.”

Misbah added that team’s management would not hesitate to drop a bowler (spinner) who would be of no use in these conditions.

Pitch conditions

Touching upon the pitch conditions, Misbah hoped that dry conditions would help the curators get the wicket suitable for the hosts.

“We have had some fine dry spells here. Hopefully, things would turn up to our liking.”

“Any bowler who would be of no use on this pitch could be dropped for a better option. What we want is to put up the best efforts to win the Test and retain supremacy in the series. We would do what will be the best for the team.”

The head coach said the team was even ready to counter the best spin attack from South Africa. “Shamsi could not play the first Test. Let’s see how he would go on to perform here if selected.”

‘Rauf bowling brilliantly in the nets’

Praising Haris Rauf for bowling brilliantly in the nets, the former captain said: We have given him a long run and he came out good. He is bowling some fine spells even with an old ball in the nets and is improving with each passing day. He is talented and a good future is ahead of him. If there is a need to add one pacer in the team we even can consider him.”

Speaking about Hassan Ali’s selection, he said that he would be needing some time to get into the best shape.

“No one can deny his utility in the team. He can be utilised in the team as a fielder, bowler, and batsman. We are also using Shaheen Shah Afridi very carefully as putting extra pressure on him would be a risky affair.”

Opening pair

Expressing concerns over the opening pair, Misbah said that the management wanted to give an extended run to what was available.

“Yes, it is unfortunate that we haven’t got a settled opening pair as yet. The same has happened in New Zealand. We are trying to give our openers a longer run and want to get the best out of them.”

Regarding reports on the possibility of losing his job as head coach after the series, Misbah said he was only focusing on his present-day responsibilities.

“I never take pressure as few things always remain beyond our control. I am only focusing on the series and right now on the second Test. I don’t want to take extra pressure.”