More of the same: Unchanged squad announced for New Zealand Test

Thursday, November 6th, 2014 4:19:16 by

KARACHI: The national selection committee, led by chief selector Moin Khan, has decided to go with the 16-man squad that recently whitewashed Australia for the first Test against New Zealand.

The Test will be played from November 9-13 at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi and it comes as no surprise that the team management, skipper Misbahul Haq and selectors feel that a settled squad in the Test format was the key to Pakistan’s success in their recent 2-0 triumph against Australia.

When Misbah was questioned after the team’s triumph about what other aspect, other than teamwork, was essential to the series win over Australia, the skipper named a settled Test squad as the second most important aspect. “Another important aspect of our achievement against Australia was the settled Test squad in terms of the batting,” Misbah had told The Express Tribune. “We’ve continued to back the likes of Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali in bad times and they delivered when it mattered. Younus [Khan] and I have been playing with them for some time now, while Ahmed Shehzad and Sarfaraz Ahmed have gelled well too. If you look at the T20 and ODI squads, there has been constant chopping and changing but that hasn’t been the case for the Test team and that has worked out well for us.”

Meanwhile, Moin explained that the selectors wanted to ensure that there is consistency in the side, which will lead to more stability and strengthen the team’s unity and combination. “We’re proud of Pakistan’s achievement in the series against Australia, which has been acclaimed locally and internationally,” said Moin. “It was a heroic performance, led by the experienced duo of Younus and Misbah, admirably supported by the youngsters, and brought about by the good training of the support staff, including Waqar Younis, Grant Flower, Mushtaq Ahmed, Shahid Aslam, Brad Robbinson and Grant Luden.”

However, Moin was quick to add that Pakistan must put the success against Australia behind them and switch their focus onto the series against New Zealand. “It will be a fresh start and we’ll need to keep the momentum going,” he said. “Obviously, this is another opportunity for the youngsters to test and hone their skills in international cricket against a highly talented side.  There is no change to the side from the Abu Dhabi Test against Australia to ensure that there is consistency in the team, which will bring about more stability and strengthen team unity and combination.”

Moin had been under the radar for having the dual posts of chief selector and team manager but will continue to occupy both posts for the time being as PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan — who has often claimed that he is against officials keeping dual posts — clarified that the former captain will not be removed in between the tour and any decision will be taken once the series is over.

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Karachi News Sources -2

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