Misbah-ul-Haq likely to contemplate Test future after PSL

Misbah ul Haq, who is keen on leading defending Pakistan Super League (PSL) champions Islamabad United, will assess the plan for his international future towards the end of the tournament, according to an ESPNcricinfo report on Tuesday (January 24).

“The idea is to assess myself how badly I want to play cricket,” Misbah was quoted as saying by the website. “I think in this one month I will make my decision to quit or at least give a certain date. I could easily have quit after England series in UAE (in November 2015) but that wasn’t the right way,” he said.

The Pakistan Test skipper has been under pressure following back-to-back series defeats in New Zealand and Australia. The 42-year old has also been under the scanner after an array of low scores in the series Down Under and was particularly criticized for his shot-selection during the series in which he ended up with a best of 38.

“In the middle order where I bat, it is important for me to bring stability whatever the situation. If we are four down then being an experienced batsman I should go and anchor partnerships and try to rebuild. The idea always is to take the team to a respectable total on which our bowlers can give a fight,” he reasoned.

“But I feel angry when former players who have played the game at highest level, whose understanding about the game is even better than mine, still target my batting,” he added.

Misbah, who led Pakistan to the No. 1 position in Test cricket, albeit for a brief while, also said that he is someone who believes in putting team’s priorities first.

“You sometimes don’t see your own achievements and personal gains. You also have to think about the team you have built, you have to see where it stands at a certain stage. Otherwise it was easy for me to retire after taking Pakistan to number one. I don’t really think about my personal gains and I knew I had more to lose from Australia and New Zealand, but I think that wasn’t a right way to think about.

“I had to stand there and give youngsters a message that you have to face the music in tough situations, face the challenge. That was my thinking behind and I am sure (critics) will come up with another narrative to disagree with me. No matter that you lose, but accept the challenge. Don’t run off. And at least give them (youngsters) the encouragement, stand behind them,” Misbah added.

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