SYDNEY – After Pakistan ODI skipper Azhar Ali’s injury in the first game, standing captain Mohammad Hafeez took the reigns and got all the praise for his aggressive and proactive captaincy in the second match of the series.
Resultantly, Pakistan restricted Australia to mere a 220-run total on 300 + wicket and later chased down the target with six wickets in hand.
But, in the third ODI, despite getting early wickets, Pakistan could not stop Australia from pursuing a defendable total of 263 on a bouncy and pacy pitch.
A no ball-wicket of Handscomb and then a dropped catch by Nawaz can be blamed, but Pakistan were not aggressive enough in the middle part of the innings which allowed Smith and Handscomb to take the game away.
Losing the game by seven wickets, Pakistan are on the backfoot again with Australia leading 5-match series 2-1.
The news is that regular skipper Azhar Ali has recovered from the injury and will be available for the fourth game.
After his return, who will lead the captain of the team? Well, the question was answered by Hafeez himself who said ‘has no plans to take over and Azhar will be captain again when gets fitness back.”
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) January 20, 2017
However, Chief Selector Inzimam ul Haq has hinted that unfit and underperforming players will find themselves out of the squad soon.
He was speaking to media on Friday.
While responding to a question, Inzimam said that every player must perform to stay in the squad.
He also questioned the fitness of players. “Our players lack the fitness level required to compete at international level and we need time to overcome these problems,” he said.
The former skipper said that Azhar Ali would lead the team again after gaining fitness.
“We will also introduce a rotation policy for fast bowlers to keep them fresh and fit,” he added.