Misbah justifies selecting Usman Qadir over Zahid Mehmood for Zimbabwe series

Zahid was instrumental in Southern Punjab’s run to the final of the National T20 Cup

Misbah justifies selecting Usman Qadir over Zahid Mehmood for Zimbabwe series PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Pakistan’s head coach-cum-chief selector, Misbahul Haq, has opened up on his decision to pick Central Punjab’s leg-spinner Usman Qadir ahead of Southern Punjab’s Zahid Mehmood for the upcoming limited-overs home series against Zimbabwe.

Misbah’s decision to pick Usman over Zahid received backlash on social and conventional media, bearing in mind the latter’s impressive performance with the ball, in crucial matches, during the recently concluded National T20 Cup.

Zahid claimed 12 wickets in nine matches at an economy rate of 8.51 and was instrumental in his team’s run to the final of the event, while Qadir bagged 10 wickets in similar number of appearances.

“Zahid Mehmood is mature and has more control, at the moment, as compared to Usman Qadir but if you look at the variations of both spinners, Usman is ahead of Zahid. Also, we have invested almost a year in Usman. We took him to Australia and he was also part of Bangladesh home series,” Misbah said while speaking on PTV Sports.   

“Even the other selectors also agreed that we should first give Usman another chance and see how he goes. He has potential to go on and become a better bowler, which is why he was selected for the series,” he added.

Zimbabwe have already arrived in Pakistan for the series. The three One-Day Internationals in Rawalpindi are set to be played on October 30, November 1 and 3 and will begin at 12pm local time, while the first ball in the three Twenty20 Internationals, to be played at Gaddafi Stadium on November 7, 8 and 10, will be bowled at 3.30pm.