Abdul Qadir, Pakistan's chief selector, says new captain Younis Khan will be given "enough room" in selection matters. Disagreements between the selectors and team management have been an issue in the past few years, but Qadir says he doesn't mind involving the captain and coach as long as the "best team is selected".
Qadir said Younis, who took over from Shoaib Malik last month, will be consulted along with coach Intikhab Alam. "We will give Younis enough room," Qadir told the News. "As captain, he is our general in the field and should have a say in selection matters.
"We are all on the same side, aren't we," he said. "All of us are working to ensure that Pakistan give their best on the field and that target can only be achieved if we work together." During the recent series against Sri Lanka, the team management had been given the final say in selecting the playing XI.
Qadir said a provisional squad of 20 to 25 players will be announced later this week for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka, which begins on February 22. He said he had taken inputs from the other selectors - Saleem Jaffer and Shoaib Mohammad - and Alam. Batsman Faisal Iqbal and allrounder Fawad Alam are likely to be named in the provisional squad. Qadir said players on the youngsters would be given a chance in the two-day warm-up game against Sri Lanka prior to the Tests.
Pakistan will also conduct a pre-Tests camp from February 14 in Karachi. "I won't even call it a camp," he. "It would be more like a get-together of the players. It will give them and the team officials a chance to sit down and plan for the series."
Pakistan were shot out for 75 in their embarrassing defeat in the third ODI in Lahore, and Qadir said they needed to plan against an attack that includes Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis. "We will have to devise strategies to face their bowlers, who are very good and to tackle their world-class batsmen," he said. "We want to select a strong squad for the Tests and I'm confident we will do that."