KARACHI: Former test batsman Basit Ali is predicting a return to form by Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq in the first test against Australia in Dubai that starts on Wednesday because he has put on some weight.
The coach of the Sui Northern Gas team that is led by Misbah in domestic cricket said the veteran batsman shed 10-kg at a fitness camp in June and that led to his poor form in Sri Lanka in August and in this month’s one-dayers against Australia.
“I told Misbah that at the age of 40 he shouldn’t have lost so much weight and that it would affect him at the crease. Now he has put on seven-kg and he should be back to form in the tests,” Basit, 43, told Reuters.
“The loss of weight affected his batting focus in the hot and humid conditions in Sri Lanka and the weather is the same in the UAE,” added the 43-year-old who played in 17 tests and 50 ODIs.
Basit said Misbah, Pakistan’s leading run-scorer in tests and ODIs since becoming captain in 2010, became lethargic after shedding so much weight. “His shots were not going through but now that he has put on weight you will see him scoring runs,” he added.
Misbah has denied his weight loss had anything to do with his poor form.
The second and final test will be played in Abu Dhabi.