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Last update: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 07am
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Miandad calls Azhar Ali to show leadership against Aussies

imageISLAMABAD: Former batting legend Javed Miandad fears Pakistan five-match ODI series against Australia starting in Brisbane from Friday, wont be an easy one and the green-shirts would have to play with all their might to save them from going into the qualifiers of the World Cup 2019.

Pakistan is in serious danger of failing to qualify directly for the ICC CWC 2019 in the United Kingdom as it currently sits on eighth position in the ODI Team Rankings. Pakistan is at eighth position with 89 points two behind Bangladesh and two ahead of the West Indies.

To, at least, maintain its pre-series ranking points, Pakistan needs to win one match of the series, while victories in more than one match will earn it crucial points. If Pakistan wins two matches, then it will join Bangladesh on 91 points but will be ranked behind its Asian rivals by a fraction. In the scenario of Pakistan winning the series, it will move ahead of Bangladesh and, as such, will enhance its chances of qualifying directly for the event.

Talking to APP, Miandad said our teams morale and confidence is low down after the Test series loss against Australia. We lack technique, stability and approach in all three formats which needs to be addressed, he said.

He advised the players to play for the country like a team.

Any individual performances wont matter in the series unless we win it.

ODI Captain Azhar Ali should lead the team from the front as all that matters in and off the field is the captaincy, he said.

Responding to a question, he said Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) must think about Test Skipper Misbah-ul-Haqs replacement as for how much time can he linger on. We must think about the future as Misbah can stick only to one or more series but not permanently, he said.

Former International Cricket Council (ICC) President Zaheer Abbas said Pakistan can only do well in the ODI series if it forgets its previous Test series loss. Players must not think about the Test series loss and should move on with a fresh start, he said.

Responding to a question, he said Sarfraz Ahmeds absence must not haunt the team and the players should play with full confidence.

Speaking about Misbahs retirement after the Test series loss, he said its up to the board and Misbah to clear out things about the future.

Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2017