ISLAMABAD: Former Skipper Ramiz Raja believes head coach cum chief selector Misbah ul Haq should change his approach towards selection because Pakistan team needs to move forward with the youth.

Referring to the 29-player squad announced for three Tests and as many Twenty20s against England, to be played in August-September, Ramiz said he would give Misbah 5 out of 10 for the selection.

“Misbah doesn’t want to move forward without old faces and, unfortunately, it looks like that he has transferred the same thinking to the captain that you cant win the T20 World Cup without Shoaib Malik and Muhammad Hafeez,” he said in a candid talk on his YouTube Channel.

Ramiz, who scored 2,833 runs in 57 Tests, went on to add: “If you see at Malik’s stats of the last 10 years in International Cricket Council (ICC) events, he hasn’t scored even one fifty in 25 matches. Hafeez was a good all-rounder but his form is not the same anymore in the international arena. If you want to see a trailer of his performance, you can see his innings against New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup,” he said.

“Both Malik and Hafeez fielding standards have also gone down a lot but somehow Misbah is convinced that T20 World Cup and matches can be won by experience. I had agreed with him if these experienced players were world-class. Now experience has been replaced by attitude, energy and reflexes in T20 cricket,” he said and added he was also seeing aged bowlers in the selection.

“I dont want to go on individuals as it looks petty. It is also not Malik or Hafeez’s fault who have been selected. It is Misbah who needs to change his thinking. If you want to take Pakistan team forward in T20 then you have to overcome the challenges with the youth, he said and lauded the inclusion of young Haider Ali and Khushdil Shah in the squad.

“We need to shrug-off this thinking that we can only win matches with experienced players. You will see that Haider and Khushdil will prove match-winners provided the chance and confidence they are given on the tour,” he said.

On moving forward with the youth, Ramiz said: “You should declare your plans to all the stakeholders and media that we are going to do this. We will tumble but you need to hold our hand in moving forward,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2020

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