The recent resignations of Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis from their respective coaching roles has once again ignited controversy surrounding the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The duo had insisted that they weren’t consulted during the selection of the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Later, the side’s captain Babar Azam was also reported to be unhappy with the squad — however, the PCB has since denied any such concerns.
In an exclusive conversation with Varsha Singh for indiatv.in, former Pakistan spinner Danish Kaneria talked about the issues surrounding Pakistan cricket, their squad and the much-awaited clash against India on October 24.
Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis resigned right before the T20 World Cup. Will this impact the side’s performances in the tournament?
Undoubtedly. Misbah and Waqar were appointed on a four-year contract and their departure right before the T20 World Cup isn’t good for the side. I think it was a wrong decision. If they had some problems, they could have discussed them with the PCB officials and waited till the end of the tournament. It is irresponsible and cowardly.
Babar Azam has said that Indian team will be in pressure on October 24 (when India play Pakistan in T20 WC). How do you see this statement?
It could be a mental strategy, I don’t think it is overconfidence.
Babar Azam was reportedly not happy with the Pakistan squad for the T20 WC. However, the PCB later clarified that there are no such problems. Do you think there are some differences between Babar and PCB?
I think there might be some problems because Babar wanted Sharjeel Khan or Fakhar Zaman in the side. He also wanted Sarfaraz Ahmed in the place of Azam Khan. Shadab Khan is also struggling with form. The middle-order isn’t very good and Shoaib Malik is also not in the squad. They also selected Asif Ali and dropped Haidar Ali, so there were a lot of decisions which might have caused problems for Babar.
Is this the ideal Pakistan squad for the T20 World Cup?
This isn’t an ideal squad, it is the worst squad. The PCB selection committee picked Azam Khan, which for me, doesn’t make much sense. Sarfaraz Ahmed should’ve been in the squad, Shoaib Malik should’ve been in place of either Asif Ali or Khushdil Shah. Fakhar Zaman should have also been in the 15-member squad.
I would also select one of Usman Qadir and Zahid Mahmood. The latter is performed impressively of late and he is young. I would’ve also kept a combination of a left and a right-arm spinner, instead of selecting two lefties.
Now that the PCB management has changed, do you think Mohammad Amir should be called back in international setup?
I don’t think so, the doors for him are closed. There are many talented pacers in the side. Shaheen Shah Afridi is in the team, so I don’t think Amir has a chance.
Which team looks stronger ahead of the October 24 clash between India and Pakistan?
India will have an edge because they would be coming straight after the IPL, so they would know the conditions better. Pakistan’s major problems are in their middle-order – only Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan are reliable in their entire batting lineup. Even in bowlers, apart of Shaheen and Hasan Ali, the performances haven’t been that good. India have power hitters, they have a very impressive team.