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Pakistan captain Misbah ponders retirement

AAP logoAAP 30/12/2016 Michael Ramsey

Pakistan cricket captain Misbah-ul-Haq is contemplating retirement ahead of the SCG Test after failing with the bat in his side's series loss to Australia.

Misbah was again dismissed cheaply in both innings during Australia's come-from-behind triumph in the Boxing Day Test, which handed the hosts a 2-0 series victory.

Asked whether the series loss might hasten his retirement, the 42-year-old's assessment was brutally honest.

"I need to think about that because I always believed that if I could not contribute anything for the team, then there's no point staying there," Misbah said on Friday.

"This is a point where I need to just think about that, even before the next game and after the series.

"In the next couple of days I'll just think about that and decide what to do because there is no point just hanging around doing nothing."

Misbah's dreadful form this summer, scoring just 20 runs in four innings, culminated in a second-ball duck on day five at the MCG.

With Pakistan at 3-63 and in need of a calm figure at the crease, Misbah attempted a badly misjudged sweep shot against Nathan Lyon and was caught by Nic Maddinson.

Misbah admitted he had been low on confidence and that it may have affected his decision-making at the crease in recent times.

"Maybe the thought process as a batsman is not right," he said.

"That is what has happened with me, quite a few innings now in which the shot isn't on, or the wrong shot for the wrong time ... what I feel I should be playing like, I am unable to play that way."

After starting 2016 with a century against England at Lord's, Misbah's Test average for the year has fallen to just 31.94, his lowest since 2009.

But the veteran is nonetheless revered in Pakistan as someone who has taken huge steps towards unifying an often fractured team.

"I think he's had a great impact on the Pakistan team," Australian captain Steve Smith said on Friday.

"They've come a long way over the last couple of years and he's been a terrific player and leader for Pakistan. He's done a terrific job."

Vice-captain Azhar Ali, who scored a magnificent 205 not out in the first innings in Melbourne, appears the most likely to replace Misbah if he retires.

Tours of Australia have often proven to be pressure-cooker environments for veteran captains.

Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni shocked the cricketing world with his decision to retire with immediate effect following the drawn Boxing Day Test in 2014.

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