Misbah: I’m not the definite World Cup skipper

Pakistan captain Misbahul-Haq says it’s not a certainty that he will lead the side at the World Cup in February, but that it depends on his form closer to the time.

Misbah sat out the third ODI against Australia, which the Aussies won by one run to whitewash the series, because he felt his poor form was damaging the team. He hoped he’d be able to find his feet in the Test series.

When asked if he wanted to be the skipper, Misbah told The National: “Yes, I have no other intention. But obviously I will have to see over the next few Tests because form and runs are very important.

“If I am not scoring runs and my form is not there then I can’t say I have to play. The team and Pakistan are first.

“If I can get my form back and score runs then I will be back but if not, then obviously, you can’t put the team in such a difficult situation and you have to decide.”

The batsman confirmed that he had chosen to sit out the match, rather looking to give Shahid Afridi the opportunity to lead the side and see if a chance in captaincy inspired a victory. He added that he wasn’t worried about being shut out in future.

He said: “I requested the management and Shahid myself that I want to step down. We have a month and a half of Tests ahead and my form was out, the team was hurting because of it and we had lost the series so I thought fine, let another guy play in my place.

“Instead of going into the Tests with more pressure I can focus on this little gap now to get a little fresh and hopefully get my form back.

“Sometimes luck doesn’t favour you. Once you are set you get run-out for example – I think in my last eight innings [10] I have been run out four times.

“Sometimes this happens. I’m not despondent about this and the good thing is that my form overall is ok, even in nets. I am picking it, middling it.

“The situation at this time was such that I felt anyone else who played in my place was better for the team.

“Maybe Afridi could come in with a fresh mind. For the team to win was necessary, by any means and in that scenario I thought I should not play and that Shahid leads and whoever plays in my place could be more of a help.

“Having that confidence in the players, management and the board, that made it easier for me.”