Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq said on Saturday he and his teammates are fully pumped up to win today’s final one-dayer against India in Jaipur to end a disappointing series on a winning note.
“We want to win the last One-day International (ODI) and make a strong comeback in the rest of the tour,” Misbah said at a press conference on the eve of the day-nighter to be played at the Swai Mansingh Stadium.
Pakistan have already lost the series after going down in the previous game in Gwalior and the defeat has come soon after they fell in the Test and ODI series against South Africa at home last month.
Misbah, 33, agreed that the losing streak is putting pressure on Pakistan. “When you lose two-three series on a trot, it does affect the players and the pressure builds on the team. But cricket goes on. We are trying to win and only that way can we change things,” he said.
Misbah rejected the impression that since India’s World Twenty20 win over Pakistan, the gap between the two sides has grown quite big.
“Losing this series 1-3 doesn’t mean there is a huge gap between the two teams. Apart from Gwalior, matches have been close in the series. It doesn’t mean we are playing poor cricket. We also have a young captain and some changes have taken place in the side. Let us see how we do in the next few months,” he explained.
He believed that Pakistan will have a good chance to finish the series at 2-3 if India actually opt to rest some of their senior players.
“It will definitely make a difference if they don’t play some of their senior players. If their winning combination doesn’t play we will get some psychological advantage. We hope that we can win this match before the Test series and get some confidence ahead of it,” he added.
Misbah was unsure which opening combination Pakistan will play in the last ODI after having regularly experimented with their openers in the previous games. “This depends on the conditions. In Kanpur the wicket was slow and looked like it will spin so we played Afridi as opener. If the conditions are normal then we will go with our normal batting line-up,” he revealed.
Misbah defended his bowlers, who have so far failed to impress in the series. “In think India-Pakistan series are usually high scoring ones and the wickets also suit the batsmen. Past one-dayers have also been high scoring affairs. So the bowlers do give away runs,” he continued.
After a solid international comeback in September’s World Twenty20 event, Misbah has failed to score a single fifty in the three Tests and nine-dayers he has played after having replaced former skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq in the squad.
When asked whether he justifies replacing a batsman of Inzamam’s calibre, he said: “I feel it is unfair to compare me with the person I replaced in the team. I am coming in at number six and get 10-12 overs. I am trying to improve with every match and want to convert my 30s and 40s into 60s and 70s”.
Misbah, who has just 207 runs from 7 Tests at 17.25 and is so far without a hundred or a fifty, said that he is chipping in with some useful contributions but agreed that he is not finishing matches.
“Yes, that is in my mind that I am missing out. In each match I go out there, I seek to improve from my previous performance,” he added.
He defended fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar’s below par showing in the series saying, “He has come back after a long break. Everyone knows that it does take time to regain fitness and rhythm. He is still working hard and I’m sure he will improve,” he expressed.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Sunday, November 18th, 2007 and is filed under General, Cricket.
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