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Misbah mulls over a policy to prevent premature Test retirements
Pakistan News

Misbah mulls over a policy to prevent premature Test retirements

Misbah-ul-Haq has expressed his concern regarding the drain of fast bowling talent from Pakistan's Test side in light of the premature Test retirements of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz.

Amir took a permanent sabbatical from the longer version of the game in July, voicing the need to efficiently manage his workload in line with Pakistan's white-ball requirements and commitments with T20 franchises.

Wahab, on the other hand, announced a break from red-ball cricket ahead of the domestic Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in September.

The decision taken by the two veteran seamers has drastically affected Pakistan's bowling reserves, forcing the selectors to opt for several young quicks.

Pakistan have thus failed to produce quality bowling performances in Test cricket of late as they faced a hammering at the hands of Australia in the recently concluded tour Down Under.

Misbah, Pakistan's head coach and chief selector, has hinted at a possible Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) policy in the future aimed at stopping players from taking the escape route from Tests.

"We are thinking deeply along these lines and are contemplating a policy on this matter," he told reporters in Karachi.

"This can be a big problem for Pakistan in the future because when you invest in these players, you expect them to give back but they do not fulfill their commitment and this is not right.

"Your resources are consumed, you give them opportunities thus we need a certain policy to make sure these players are available for Pakistan."

Amir's case, in particular, has received extra attention since he was brought into the mainstream following his five-year ban due to spot-fixing.

He was fast-tracked into the team and became a regular across formats and eventually ended his Test career after representing the national side in just 36 games.

'Babar Azam's batting is the biggest positive'

Pakistan are ranked No. 6 in the World Test Championship table, as they grabbed 20 points courtesy of a draw in the Rawalpindi Test against Sri Lanka.

Their winless run in Tests, however, has extended to seven games on the trot and Misbah believed inherent deficiencies in the bowling attack was the key reason explaining their underwhelming display.

“We require a lot of effort in the bowling department since we faced quite a bit of difficulty trying to get all 20 wickets during the series in Australia.

"You can’t win a Test match if you are unable to dismiss the opposition.”

He also claimed a dearth of Test fixtures aggravated the problems plaguing Pakistan's Test unit.

“Teams that play a lot of cricket and play at home tend to have an advantage in the World Test Championship. When you play less cricket, you have fewer opportunities and we face this problem.

"We aim to get back in the race by triumphing in whatever number of matches we play," Misbah added.

Despite testing times in Pakistan cricket painting a bleak picture, Misbah identified Babar Azam's prolific run in Test cricket as a major positive.

“Babar Azam’s batting is the biggest positive. The way he has stepped up in Test cricket and conjured a masterful century in the first game, we can see a big shift in his batting.

"He is now excelling in Test cricket after dominating the white-ball formats.”