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Younis Khan’s appointment as batting consultant highlights Misbah-ul-Haq’s failure as batting coach: Aamir Sohail

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Former Pakistan batsman Aamir Sohail in a bold statement said that appointment of legendary batsman Younis Khan as national team’s batting consultant highlights the fact that PCB realised Misbah-ul-Haq’s was not a “good enough” batting coach. The 53-year-old added that many including him had their doubts earlier as well and found it difficult to imagine a batsmen telling his problems to a head coach who also happens to be the chief selector.

Pakistan have won 6 of their 15 matches across formats under the coaching of Miabah-ul-Haq since September 2019. In their recent tour of Australia, Pakistan were unable to win a single match as they lost both their Test matches by an innings margin and also forfeited the T20I series with a 2-0 margin.

“The fact is that Misbah-ul-Haq for reasons best known to the PCB, was given the roles of Head Coach and Chief Selector, and he was also looking after the position of batting coach. Many of us commented then that this was not a good idea as batsmen who are struggling in some aspect of their batting are unlikely to share their problems with the Batting Coach who happens to be the Chief Selector and the Head Coach as well.

“In that context, Younis Khan’s appointment, whilst recognising his experience, is proof that the PCB are accepting the fact that they made the wrong decision by entrusting Misbah with so many roles. What the PCB are implying is that Misbah is not a good enough batting coach which is why they had to bring in someone like Younis Khan into the picture as a batting consultant,” Aamir Sohail wrote in his blog for PakPassion.net.

Aamir, who played 47 Tests and 157 ODIs for Pakistan, also marked that head coach Miabah-ul-Haq was a defensive captain during his playing days and he should make sure that newly appointed limited-over captain Babar Azam does not inculcate this trait from him. Under the guidance of Misbah, Pakistan have lost 5 of their 8 T20Is.

“If Babar has been identified as Pakistan’s captain in at least 2 formats of the game, then it’s incumbent upon the PCB to help him become the best captain he can be. This can be achieved by identifying any weaknesses in his leadership qualities and by good mentoring. But if Misbah is to be Babar’s mentor, then we have a problem because he was himself criticised for being a defensive captain.

“The onus is on Misbah to be honest about his own deficiencies as a captain and to make sure that Babar does not make the same mistakes he made, especially when it comes to making sure that the younger players are given good chances to ensure a brighter future for Pakistan cricket,” the Lahore-born stated.

Aamir Sohail also reflected on the future of veteran Pakistan all-rounders Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez, saying that their replacements should be looked for in case the 2020 T20 World Cup is postponed. He said that the associations of Malik and Hafeez with the team will make no sense if the marque event is postponed until next year.

“If the T20 World Cup does take place by September, then there is some logic to include both Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik in the squad until that time, as there really are no short-term replacements ready to take their place. If the T20 World Cup is moved beyond the end of this year, then it would make no sense to have both of these veterans associated with the squad and we need to look for replacements. But unfortunately, we are now in a situation where we weren’t far-sighted enough to have groomed some of our top domestic performers to avoid exactly this kind of situation in which we find ourselves in,” Aamir wrote in his blog.

Pakistan team is battling positive Covid-19 cases and trying their best to make sure that the tour of England is successful. As many as 10 Pakistan players from the 29-member squad have tested positive for the novel coronavirus till now. Taking note of these extraordinary situations, Aamir opined that England Cricket Board (ECB) should “ethically” return the favour by touring Pakistan.

“I am pleased that PCB have made the effort to honour their FTP commitment and visit England to play the Test and T20I series. I believe that such tours, especially in these troubling times, are very important and send a positive message to the rest of the world. It shows that cricket boards are ready to stand by each other in tough times, as each has contractually binding commitments with their sponsors and broadcasters.

“So, for one cricket board to go out of their way to help another as Pakistan is doing is commendable and sets a great precedence for others to follow. The ECB should repay this favour by Pakistan and make a return tour which to me is also the ethically correct thing to do on their part. However, for that to happen, the PCB will need to approach the matter in an intelligent way and negotiate the issue to the satisfaction of both parties,” Aamir Sohail stated.

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