KARACHI – Former cricket team captain Shoaib Malik has said that it is absolutely unfair to make any comparisons between the captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
During a talk show on a private TV channel, the seasoned batsman was asked what he thought about the pressure being exerted by critics and some former players to replace Misbah in Pakistan and Dhoni in India following their teams' defeats to Sri Lanka and England respectively.
“Every captain has a bad series but I would not compare these two at all,” he said, adding that there was no comparison because Dhoni has won every major International Cricket Council (ICC) title which Misbah has not done. Shoaib said that Misbah was a good captain and had performed well as a batsman but the Pakistan Cricket Board has needed to take a final decision on the captaincy for the World Cup 2015.
He said that the selectors need to identify from now who should lead the team in the World Cup including Misbah. Because a decision has to be taken now and this would also give the chosen captain a lot of confidence and boost, he said. Shoaib, who has been sidelined by the selectors after the World T20 in Bangladesh but emerged as a top player in the recently-concluded Caribbean Premier League for eventual champions Barbados, said the same principle should apply for the players.
Asked if he was disappointed at not being part of the selectors' plans for the World Cup, he replied, obviously he wanted to play in the premier event. “What I say is whoever the selectors have in their minds regarding the World Cup, they should decide now and form a combination from now because they need to prepare for this mega event which is not going to be easy,” he added.
“We need to have consistency in the team selection leading up to the World Cup because that is how we will be able to form a strong combination,” he said. The former captain who also helped Hobart win the Big Bash T20 title in Australia said that he had already committed to playing for the Australian side in the Champions League in India next month.
Shoaib said that Pakistan had lost the Test series in Sri Lanka because they didn't try to change their strategy against the bowlers. According to him, the same approach cost India in England. The Pakistani batsmen failed to devise a proper strategy to play Rangana Herath in the test series, he said. “After failing against him in the first Test they should have change their approach and played more positively in the second Test," he said.
He said that perhaps the reason for his success as a batsman in the Caribbean Premier League was because he knew in advance which position he would be batting on. “I am not blaming anyone but perhaps I think when I play for Pakistan my batting position or role in the team is not made clear to me,” he said.