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Misbah justifies selecting Usman Qadir over Zahid Mehmood

LAHORE: Pakistan’s head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul Haq has said that leg-spinner Usman Qadir has the potential to go on and become a better bowler.

Misbah 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 Twenty20 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 a sports channel.

“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 said.

Zimbabwe cricket team has already arrived in Pakistan for the series. The three ODIs were set to be played in Rawalpindi on October 30, November 1 and 3, while the three Twenty20 matches would take place at Gaddafi Stadium on November 7, 8 and 10.