Saturday, 31 December 2016

Pakistani Skipper Misbah-ul-Haq Likely To Miss Sydney Test


The 42-year-old has been struggling with the bat Down Under where the hosts bowled out Pakistan for just 163 - in less than four hours - as the Aussies wrapped up the second Test by an innings and 18 runs on Friday.

The middle order batsman was dismissed for a second ball duck, bringing his total number of runs from four innings in the series to just 20.

And when asked if he would stand down for the next Test, which starts on January 3, he replied: "I need to think about that. I haven't decided about Sydney but let's see.

"I need to think about that because I always believe that if I could not contribute anything to the team there is no point staying there.

"I just need to think about that even before the next game and after the series.

"In the next couple of days I will think about that because there is no point hanging around and doing nothing."

His 71 Tests, since making his debut in 2001, have yielded 10 centuries at an average of 46.17.

Meanwhile, Australia have included spinners Stephen O'Keefe and Ashton Agar in their squad for the trip to New South Wales having taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

Their inclusion, alongside Nathan Lyon, means there will be three spinners in the 13-man squad.

Uncapped paceman Chadd Sayers and middle order batsman Nic Maddinson, who failed to perform in his first three Tests, were dropped from the squad but all-rounder Hilton Cartwright remains.

Australia's coach Darren Lehmann said Agar, who has already played in two Tests, has a genuine claim as an all-rounder.

Agar made 98 on debut against England at Trent Bridge in 2013 and Lehmann said: "He's made Sheffield Shield hundreds and obviously batted well in Nottingham.

"He's certainly got the talent to be a batting all-rounder or a spinning all-rounder, either way."

And interim chief selector Trevor Hohns added: "We have chosen a 13-man squad, including three spinners and an all-rounder to give ourselves maximum options once we see the pitch and determine what our final eleven will be.

"Both Ashton Agar and Stephen O'Keefe have performed well in first-class cricket this summer and both have bowled well at the SCG this season too so they deserve their selections here.

"Nic Maddinson has been omitted after having a taste of Test cricket, something that will definitely benefit him.

"We now want him to go back to domestic cricket and dominate to demand a return to the line-up, something we are confident he will do."

Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq said: "The ODI team has been selected keeping in mind the conditions in Australia and the performances of players in the recent ODI series against West Indies and in the domestic cricket.

"The team is a fine blend of experience and youth, and the selectors have stuck to the same combination of players selected against West Indies."

All-rounders Shoaib Malik and Immad Wasim were also picked, along with fast bowlers Mohammad Irfan and Hassan Ali, after not being included in the T est squad against Australia.



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