Attack South Africa with three spinners: Zaheer Abbas APP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan batting legend and former captain Zaheer Abbas has hailed the cricket board’s decision to retain Misbah-ul-Haq as captain for the Test series against South Africa, terming the 39-year-old’s recent performances as exemplary.

“Misbah has been consistently performing with the bat for the last couple of years and the board had no choice but to retain him as captain,” Abbas told APP on Friday.

“It’s all about performance. If you are doing well and producing the results, nobody can expel you from the team whether you are in your 20s or in late 30s or even beyond that,” the maestro added.

He said those who were critical of Misbah’s captaincy should also realise that there were no suitable replacements for the Mianwali-born skipper.

Abbas, however, admitted that Pakistan’s recent loss to the unranked Zimbabweans had put a major dent in the team’s confidence ahead of the challenging South Africa series.

“Had Pakistan won the series against Zimbabwe they would have been in a better position to face South Africa in UAE,” he said.

Pakistan are scheduled to play two Tests against South Africa in Abu Dhabi from October 14-18 and Dubai, the following week.

The former captain was, however, optimistic about Pakistan’s chances provided they attacked the Proteas with spin.

“We have quality spin bowlers in the form of Saeed Ajmal, Abdul Rehman and Zulfiqar Babar. Turning tracks in UAE will be of great advantage and our trio of spinners can destroy the strong South African batting line-up,” he said.

“If the skipper adopts an aggressive approach and all the players feel the responsibility and play a positive game I am sure they will be a formidable side.”