Karachi - Pakistan's chief of selectors and manager Moin Khan Thursday called for bold steps to lift the team's performance ahead of next year's World Cup following a disastrous tour of Sri Lanka.
Pakistan lost the two-match Test series 2-0 and went down 2-1 in one-day internationals on last month's tour, a failure which Khan said will affect World Cup preparations. "Naturally it has an effect on their minds," Khan told reporters after meeting Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman as part of a review of the tour.
"Time is short for the World Cup and we have to take bold steps and we will take bold steps in the betterment of Pakistan cricket," said Khan. "Everyone will try his best to understand and as soon as possible improve it in the next series," said Khan, warning that underperforming players could be under threat. Pakistan next play Australia and New Zealand -- both in United Arab Emirates -- from October to December.
Asked if Misbah-ul Haq should be changed as one-day captain, Khan said: "That is not my domain. If my feedback is sought, only then will I say." Khan said the team had enjoyed stability under Misbah but acknowledged the skipper was in poor form. "After a long time, Misbah's performance has slid. If you look in the past, his performance was very good, his being an anchor role, and he has performed in crisis," said Khan.
Misbah has come under fire for poor show on the tour, managing just 67 in the two Tests and the same number of runs in the three one-day internationals. At 40, Misbah is not the man for the future but PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan backed him to lead the team in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in February-March.
Khan backed newly-appointed head coach Waqar Younis and the support staff, which also included former Zimbabwe opener Grant Flower as batting coach. "He has his contribution but we have to give him time, his plans have clarity and he has been working on every individual," said Khan. Fast bowling legend Waqar was appointed for a second stint as head coach in May, after leading Pakistan to the semi-final of the 2011 World Cup during his first spell.
A pressing worry for Pakistan is star spinner Saeed Ajmal, currently being investigated for a suspect bowling action. Ajmal was tested in a biomechanical lab in Australia last month and if he is banned, Pakistan's bowling attack will be severely weakened. Khan said the selectors had been scouring Pakistani domestic cricket and identified "two or three" possible alternatives.