KARACHI: Pakistan Test skipper Misbah-ul-Haq has backed his deputy Sarfraz Ahmed as the right choice to lead the team to a bright and successful future.
Sarfraz got off to a flying start as the national side’s skipper in limited-overs formats beating the West Indies by six-wickets in the first T20 at Barbados on Sunday.
The wicket-keeper also led Quetta Gladiators in both the seasons of the Pakistan Super League.
Misbah, during the presentation of the ICC Champions Trophy at the University of Karachi on Thursday, said Sarfraz has good insight as a leader and will only improve with time.
“Sarfraz has been making good decisions as captain; playing the right combinations and utilising the players very well,” said the Test skipper.
“Overall the clarity in his captaincy is evident and if this continues then Im sure Pakistan is moving in the right direction,” he added.
The ICC Champions Trophy, which is set to be staged in England this summer, will be Sarfraz’s first international tournament as the Pakistan skipper and the 29-year-old will be leading a young side.
Misbah believed Pakistan prospects to bring the trophy home under Sarfraz’s leadership cannot be ruled out.
“You can expect anything from a young side. It plays with high determination and excitement. I believe this Pakistan team will keep improving with experience and will shine in England,” said the 42-year-old.
However, Misbah said Pakistan’s on-going series against West Indies will play a major role in preparing the side for the big tournament in England.
“The West Indies series is an important one for Pakistan. Each and every match or series gives confidence to the players,” he said.
“Winning this series will boost the players’ confidence ahead of the Champions Trophy,” added Misbah who played 162 ODIs for the country.
INDO-PAKISTAN CRICKET IS IMPORTANT
Misbah believed bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan should resume for the sake of the fans.
The two countries have not faced each other in a bilateral series since 2012, when Pakistan visited India to play three ODIs.
“Everybody knows it’s because of the political tensions the two countries are not playing cricket,” he said.
“It does not mean the Indian cricketers or fans have anything against the resumption of cricket between the neighbours,” added Misbah.
The former ODI and T20 skipper admitted beating India boosts the confidence of the Pakistan players.
“If Pakistan beat India in the Champions Trophy, the chances to beat other times and win the trophy will go high,” he said.