Pakistan have maintained their top Twenty20 International (T20I) ranking despite being whitewashed by Sri Lanka in three-match series in Lahore.
The Green Shirts [Rating 274] lost five rating points after the series defeat against the Islanders [Rating 241] who have gained one position and are at number seven in the rankings now.
After the Twenty20 International (T20I) series whitewash against the Islanders, speculations about Sarfaraz’s role as captain has run rampant across media outlets and social media channels across the country.
The PCB, however, has decided to continue with Sarafaraz Ahmed as captain of the Twenty20 International (T20I) side for the series against Australia.
Sarfaraz’s batting form is also a cause of concern for the board as he has not been able to consistently notch up good numbers with the bat, in the recent past. He registered scores of 24, 26 and 17, respectively, during the recently concluded T20I series against the Islanders without much impact.
According to sources, the governing body and the team management have taken this decision owing to top-ranked Pakistan’s good performance in previous series; however, Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal are likely to be dropped once again from the team.
It has been learnt that veterans Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez will presumably replace Ahmed Shehzad and Umar Akmal – who failed to perform against the Islanders in the recently held T20I series in Lahore.
Pakistan’s head coach-cum-chief selector, Misbah-ul-Haq, wants PCB to name captain for a long period of time rather than on a series-by-series basis. But the team and Sarfaraz’s individual performance is preventing the board from taking this step.
If Pakistan team fails to improve under Sarfaraz’s captaincy, during Australia T20Is starting on November 3, PCB is likely to hand over the reins to Babar Azam for Bangladesh series.
Pakistan’s T20I squad will be announced after the completion of first round of the National T20 Cup – scheduled from October 13 to 24 in Faisalabad. Furthermore, former skipper Azhar Ali is being considered to lead Pakistan once again in Test matches for the tour down under.
Let it be known that Pakistan will play three T20Is and two Tests in Australia from November 3 to December 3.
Australia v Pakistan, T20I Series Schedule:
First T20: November 3, SCG
Second T20: November 5, Manuka Oval
Third T20: November 8, Perth Stadium