Pakistanâ€™s captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has brushed aside suggestions that a poor run of form might be adding to the pressure on him in the series against Sri Lanka.
The experienced batsman has averaged just 18 in his last 10 one-day innings scoring 24, 1 and 12 in the one-day series won by Pakistan 2-0.
“The pressure would be there if I was just playing in the team as a batsman. But I am also the captain and for me the most important thing is how the team is performing. After the one-day series loss to India the way the boys have come back in these matches has been very heartening,” he told a news conference.
He pointed out that on the whole the top and middle order has been struggling in the last few games but someone or the other in the team was standing up to take the responsibility to score runs.
“Yes, the fact that our middle order has not clicked that much is something we are looking into. But on a personal note I am under no pressure because I am not getting runs. I know sooner or later I will come out of the bad patch.”
He said he was very pleased with the way the new opening combination of Shoaib Malik and Imran Farhat had responded in Wednesdayâ€™s game.
“Shoaib played very well and we will now try to give these a run of five to six matches to allow them the chance to settle down in their respective roles. We got a good start today and that was the platform for our victory. Although our bowlers again responded well after we decided to field first.
“Opening has been a problem for us and we keep on just trying our different pairs and players and rotating them until one pair finally settles permanently into this role.”
Inzamam said that for a captain if the team lost even if he got runs was not of no use. “The ideal situation is that the captain should get runs and the team should win. But to me even if I donâ€™t get runs I want to see the team do well.”
The veteran of 107 Tests and 360 One-day Internationals said that Shahid Afridiâ€™s three wickets in the middle overs had been crucial for Pakistan as had been two run outs effected by Younis Khan.
“In one-day cricket if you can get quick wickets in the middle order it slows down the opposition and puts them under pressure. Our success in the last one-year has been based on the teamâ€™s ability to bounce back quickly. Which we have done against Sri Lanka.”
He said although the pitches for the series were not ideal for one-day cricket but the fact that Pakistan had still managed to win on them made this an irrelevant issue now. “Our players adapted well to the slow pitches and the humid weather conditions. But we still will have a lot of hard work to do in the Tests.”
Asked if he thought going by the low scoring matches in the one-day series, Pakistanâ€™s 201 for eight in the first game that was washed out by rains was a safe total, Inzamam said it was hard to say what would have happened in that game.
“But seeing how our bowlers have bowled in the last two games I think we would have given Sri Lanka a run for their money,” he added.More on:Inzamam, Pakistan, Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2006
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