Pakistan coach Misbah-Ul-Haq has opened up on Tabish Khan’s inclusion for the second Test against Zimbabwe in Harare. Tabish Khan spent a staggering 18 years in first-class cricket before getting the chance to don the whites for Pakistan. Tabish Khan might have delivered mediocre returns on debut; however, Misbah-Ul-Haq defended the veteran’s selection, saying they did it without compromising their strengths.
Pakistan surprisingly included Tabish Khan by leaving out Faheem Ashraf, a proven batsman in the lower-order and capable of playing counter-attacking knocks. Ashraf is also known for breaking partnerships out of nowhere. Nevertheless, the 36-year old Tabish Khan picked up only the only wicket of Tarisai Musakanda in the first innings in Pakistan’s innings and 147-run win. Furthermore, Khan went wicketless for 46 runs in 11 overs in the second.
Misbah-Ul-Haq underlined that they allowed Tabish Khan to play without lessening their strengths. The former Pakistan captain asserted that Faheem Ashraf’s spot in the side is not doubted as he has been a proven performer; however, they will continue to experiment across formats.
“Against Zimbabwe, we gave Tabish Khan a chance without compromising on our strengths. Faheem Ashraf is a great performer and there is no danger to his place in the side. We continue to give opportunities to players in the white-ball format as well,” Misbah stated as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
Misbah-Ul-Haq concerned about Pakistan’s middle order in limited-overs cricket:
Misbah-Ul-Haq saw encouraging signs across Pakistan’s African sojourn as all the players contributed in winning in tough and different conditions. The 46-year old hopes to continue the momentum in England, where the men in green will play three ODIs and as many T20Is in July. But Misbah expressed concerns about Pakistan’s middle-order in the white-ball arena and highlighted the need to do something about that.
“We had great results in both series. Winning in different and tough conditions was important for the team. The openers performed well during the Test series against Zimbabwe. Fawad and Azhar Ali also made centuries. We performed better in the field as well. Hasan Ali performed extraordinarily. We would like to continue this momentum in England. We are just concerned about our middle-order in white-ball cricket. We have to do something in that regard,” he added.