DUBAI: Newly-appointed Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf called for unity from his side on Saturday ahead of their tough three-Test tour of New Zealand, saying it would be a double test for his players — on and off the field.
“My main target is to unite the team because our religion also teaches us to unite for a cause and the New Zealand tour will be a tough task for us,” Yousuf told a foreign news agency.
The 35-year-old batsman replaced Younis Khan who opted to rest following Pakistan’s 1-2 defeat in the one-day series against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi earlier this week.
Pakistan won the two-match Twenty20 series 2-0 on Friday. The team flies to New Zealand from here on Sunday where the first Test opens in Dunedin on November 25.
“I am sure all the players realise their duties,” said Yousuf, who has previously captained Pakistan in four Tests and three one-day internationals. “For me all the players are equal and I will treat them on an equal basis.
“We will definitely miss Younis as batsman but I have asked the selection committee to bring in Misbah-ul-Haq as replacement who has the experience to handle the conditions in New Zealand.”
Misbah was dropped for the limited over series against New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and could not find a place in the Test squad as well.
Yousuf said seaming conditions in New Zealand will test his batsmen.
“Conditions in New Zealand will be difficult and with the ball seaming a lot it will be a real test for our batsmen but I am sure that the players will stand up and play to their potential,” said Yousuf.
“We know New Zealand will be tough in their conditions, and with a world-class bowler in Daniel Vettori they will put a lot of pressure on us so it will be a matter of how to handle pressure,” said Yousuf, himself a world class batsman.