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'Not worried about my future as head coach' - Misbah-ul-Haq
Pakistan News

'Not worried about my future as head coach' - Misbah-ul-Haq

Misbah-ul-Haq has denied any feelings of insecurity and anxiousness regarding his post as the head coach of Pakistan's national side as he confirmed the entire focus was on the upcoming series against South Africa.

Misbah's contract with the PCB is set to expire next year but his tenure has been placed under scrutiny for a failure to regularly register wins. He already resigned from the chief selector role in October 2020 with his successor Mohammad Wasim making wholesale changes to the team in his first assignment.

"I am not satisfied with the performances and you obviously want to improve," Misbah told reporters in a press conference on Sunday.

"All the focus is on the series and we will be hoping to rectify our mistakes and prevail here. The boys are putting in the effort and this is the main concern, I'm not worried about the future," he stressed.

Misbah was summoned by the PCB Cricket Committee earlier this month to review the disappointing New Zealand tour. Although he survived an axing from the board, he will be subject to another review following the home series against South Africa.

“We have always played our cricket under pressure, what people have to say doesn't really matter since there is no guarantee and no surety," he stated. "The main thing you learn is how to respond to your job in hand and fulfill the responsibility given to you."

In addition to Waqar Younis and Younis Khan in the backroom staff, Misbah is being assisted by Saqlain Mushtaq and Mohammad Yousuf, currently coaches at the National High Performance Centre, in preparation for the South Africa clashes.

The decision to rope in the two has raised questions about a possible disruption in the chain of command but Misbah is confident this is not the case for the players.

"There has been speculation about their inclusion in the staff for the series that the board has forced them in. But this is all baseless, and they have been inducted on my suggestion," he clarified.

"Saqlain was brought in because the conditions are expected to assist spin and he can work with the new slow bowlers. And the reason why Yousuf joined us is that our coordination is good.

"Younis Khan is overseeing the batting department and the coaches are communicating amongst ourselves so we can keep a tab on every player. There is no confusion with the presence of multiple coaches here."

Pakistan's last Test series win against South Africa came in 2003 and they lost to them in their previous red-ball assignment on home soil in 2007.

While none of the players who participated in that fateful series are with the Proteas team now, Misbah is still cautious about dismissing the tourists and rated them as worthy opponents.

He believed Pakistan had the edge, though, given the fact that most players would be familiar with the conditions due to their experience in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

"Overall, South Africa possess a decent side with plenty of fast bowlers who can utilise reverse swing. Most of their players also play in the IPL so they are better equipped with countering spin. But this is the right time for us to better our record against them," he reckoned.

"The biggest advantage we have is Karachi recently hosted the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy so most of our players are well aware of the conditions. This is a good opportunity for us but at the same time, one needs to be wary that the pitch has a tendency to become flat in Pakistan generally, which is also beneficial for the opposition."