Former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has questioned the decision of the Pakistan team management of including pacers Mohammad Hasnain and Shaheen Afridi in the 15-member squad for the ongoing World Cup.
Notably, Hasnain and Afridi were part of the Pakistan team for the ODI series against England ahead of the showpiece event. Shaheen Afridi took 5 wickets from 4 matches whereas Mohammad Hasnain scalped 3 from 2 matches. The duo failed to save Pakistan from being humiliated with a 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Englishmen.
However, in the ongoing World Cup, Hasnain has not featured in any of the six games of Pakistan so far which has forced Misbah to raise questions over his presence in England.
“I’m really surprised that they picked Hasnain in the 15 if they were not confident to play him. Even they have not played him against England, so I don’t know why he’s there,” he told ESPNcricinfo ahead of Pakistan’s game against South Africa at Lord’s.
Misbah was also critical of Afridi’s performance so far in the ongoing tournament and said that the 19-year-old has not been able to bowl in the right areas.
Afridi played against Australia on 12 June but was expensive as he conceded 70 runs in the game which Pakistan lost by 41 runs. The left-arm pacer was again included in Sunday’s match against South Africa which Pakistan won by 49 runs. He gave away 54 runs in his eight overs and picked up the solitary wicket of David Miller.
“Shaheen was struggling even in the last series. He was not putting the ball in the right areas,” Misbah said.
“Against Australia, where the conditions were very good, he was the one who actually gave a start to Australia – he was short, he was full at times, he did not hit that length,” he added.
With five points from six games, Pakistan are now at the seventh spot in the points table. They face New Zealand next on Wednesday 26 June. After that, they play Afghanistan and Bangladesh on 29 June and 5 July, respectively.
(With inputs from IANS)