Misbah-ul-Haq has backed the players making a comeback to international cricket by asking critics to reserve their judgments before the end of the ongoing T20I series against Sri Lanka.
Misbah, the head coach and chief selector of Pakistan, copped a lot of criticism for his decision to induct out-of-favour duo Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad into the side.
Shehzad was dismissed for a pedestrian four while Akmal perished for a golden duck during Pakistan's defeat to eighth-ranked Sri Lanka at the Gaddafi Stadium on Saturday.
Intimating his views to the media ahead of the second T20 encounter, Misbah claimed it was unfair to discard any player on the basis of just one failure.
"When the Sri Lanka team arrived, everyone was suggesting to rest the main players and give opportunities to new faces given their second-string squad. After one match, when we have tried to test our bench strength, a negative perception has formed."
"We want to give a fair chance to each player. Our main objective is trying to overcome the gaps in the side with a keen eye on the future.
"We are focusing on finding the best team combination for the T20 World Cup next year," he said.
Misbah stressed on the fact that opening batsman Fakhar Zaman was not dropped from the team but was instead rested after his two half-centuries in the ODI series in Karachi.
"Fakhar was out of form in one-day cricket before the ODIs and we selected him in the team to give him confidence. Ahmed Shehzad had performed well in the PSL, so we opted to give him a chance ahead of the in-form Fakhar.
"There is an overreliance on the top-order batsmen and a dearth of power hitting which is why we have included Iftikhar Ahmed and Umar Akmal in the side."
"When you introduce changes, you require patience and it is not advisable to be harsh on players following one match," the former Pakistan skipper reiterated.
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed struggled for fluency throughout his 30-ball stay at the crease in the first T20I, managing just 24 runs before stepping out of the crease and getting out.
Shedding light on the 32-year-old's slump in form, Misbah said: "There is some pressure on Sarfaraz and he needs a good innings to regain his confidence. As a coach, I am supporting him to play his natural game without hindrance and express himself in T20 cricket."
Misbah hoped fans would flock to the stadium to watch the remaining two games despite the T20 matches being scheduled on weekdays.
"I hope more and more fans will come to witness the last two T20s and make the historic Gaddafi Stadium house full. It is my wish and request to Sri Lanka to send its team to Pakistan again to play the Test series [in December]."