Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq believes that overall spinner Usman Qadir is better than Zahid Mahmood.
There has been a lot of debate about whether Pakistan should have picked Mahmood for the New Zealand tour based on his performances in the National T20 Cup and ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
In the National T20 Cup, Mahmood, who played for Southern Punjab, took 12 wickets in nine matches at an average of 24.83.
As for the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the 32-year-old is the third-highest wicket-taker with 45 wickets in eight matches at an average of 23.42.
Despite this, Misbah insisted that picking Qadir was the right move, especially as Pakistan have invested a lot in him.
“You can only play in a team and can take 15 or 16 in a touring squad, you just can’t pick all the domestic performers for [the] national team,” Misbah told former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja in a video released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) as quoted by Geo Super.
“Zahid and Usman’s performances were not very different from each other. We had invested on Usman as he was coming through a proper channel; I believe he has more variations than Zahid.
“Zahid in terms of control is better but in terms of spin, bounce, googly, flippers, leg-break, I think Usman is a better option. That’s why we played him. We could have picked only one of them.”
Pakistan will play three T20 Internationals and two Tests in New Zealand, with the series beginning on Friday and concluding on January 7.