Misbah hits back at Chappell’s ‘harsh comments’

Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq defended Pakistan against remarks made by former Australian captain Ian Chappell, saying they were “uncalled for and unbecoming” of someone as reputable as Chappell, ESPN Cricinforeported.

When Pakistan lost the third and final Test of the series in Sydney on Jan 7, Chappell in an interview to ESPN Cricinfo said that Australia’s cricket board should reconsider inviting Pakistan for Test series in the future unless the team improves its performance and provides some sort of challenge to the home side.

“Pakistan have now lost 12 Test matches on the trot in Australia, and somebody’s got to give them a kick up the bum,” Chappell had said. “Cricket Australia have got to start saying ‘listen if things don’t improve we will stop with the invites’.

“You can’t continue to [play poor] cricket. You can’t bowl poorly, have conservative field placings and field sloppily and expect to play decent cricket in Australia.”

In a rebuttal published as a column for cricket.com.au, Misbah said, “Australia themselves have been on the losing side in the recent away tours. They were clean swept by a Sri Lanka side that did not have Mahela Jayawardena or Kumar Sangakkara and some of their players didn’t even have 10 Tests to their names.

“In the recent past they have been whitewashed by us in the UAE and in India,” the captain added.

“If we apply Chappell’s comments to Australia, does that mean if they continue to get whitewashed on the subcontinent on a regular basis then they should also not travel there?” Misbah asked.

“The comments do not make any sense or suit a cricketer of his stature,” he further said in the column.

The 73-year-old had also slammed Misbah’s defensive captaincy, saying that a lot of Pakistan’s struggles were because of no inspiration from the leader. “A lot of their struggles were because they had no leadership. There was no inspiration from Misbah, so things have got to change in Pakistan,” he added.

Chappell also expressed his views on Misbah’s future as a captain. He insisted that if he would have been in the selection committee then it would be an end of Misbah’s era.

“If I had anything to do with the selection then that will be it for Misbah as the captain, but in Pakistan they do some very strange things, so I wouldn’t bet on it,” he stated.

The Misbah-ul-Haq-led side were whitewashed in the recent three-Test series against Australia, thus disappointing those who had hoped to see a closely-contested series in the light of Pakistan’s impressive form in the UAE.

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