Lahore, October 09, 2014 (PPI-OT): Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq showed confidence his team was just one good win away from regaining their form and level the three-match series against Australia when teams play the second day-night international in Dubai on Friday.
Pakistan are 1-0 behind after their 93-run defeat in the first one-day in Sharjah on Tuesday, a loss which Misbah believed showed his team needed a confidence lifting win. “It is very important to level the series in the second match,” said Misbah after team’s extensive practice session at the picturesque Dubai stadium on Thursday.
“For the sake of saving the series, for the sake of the team, the management and for our fans, its important to level the series.” Win is always very important and it is more important, more so with the World Cup coming, a win puts all the things in the right place.
It is very important that you keep working hard and don’t lose hope and that keeps you going all the time (need for a win), the confidence is important and the boys know this,” said Misbah. Pakistan are likely to replace Asad Shafiq with Sohaib Maqsood and Raza Hasan is likely to take the second spinner’s role in place of Anwar Ali.
“We are yet to decide on the combination, but Hasan is fit after suffering a shoulder niggle,” confirmed Misbah. Misbah denied his team was wary of paceman Mitchell Johnson who took three wickets in Sharjah.
“You just need to just respond what they feed you, these guys have played Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, and even Johnson before so it all about giving them the confidence, they know how to cope with bowlers they play against.
“Whatever the conditions are all good bowlers pose challenges and the batsmen need to be ready for them.” Pakistan managed to keep Australia down to 255-8 with Shahid Afridi taking three and Wahab Riaz two wickets. But batting once again let down Pakistan as they were folded on 162 in 36.3 overs.
Umar Akmal top-scired with 46 while make-shift opener Sarfraz Ahmed made 34. Misbah hoped Akmal will continue his form and show more responsibility. “Umar played well, that wasn’t an easy situation (in Sharjah), spinners were bowling well so he showed glimpses of his best and its a good sign for us as,” said Misbah of the talented yet an under-achieving Akmal. “He played some good shots.”
Misbah said all the batsmen were trying hard to get runs, including himself. “Of course, we are trying and that’s what we can do, all the coaches are working hard and are trying to give the much needed confidence. Its tough times for Pakistan batting but we must believe in each and every player, they have potential and they need confidence.”
Misbah admitted Australia have given Pakistan taste of their own medicine, with attacking spinners. “Yes, you are right we are getting that (spinners), but when your confidence is bad even a straight ball becomes difficult for you, all these players have performed before but at the moment the confidence is not there,” said Misbah.
Australia will have left-arm spinner Xavier Doherty to further attack Pakistan with spin. Vice Captain Brad Haddin admitted it was good to start the series with a win. “It’s always important to start a series well, especially in a three-match series. You don’t want to be chasing the series after the first game,” said Haddin.
“We have a couple of options now with Xavier Doherty turning back up. We were actually quite shocked at how much it turned in the Twenty20 match here. It didn’t look like it was going to turn that much. So we have got options there,” said Haddin.
Haddin said Australia will exploit Pakistan’s lack of confidence. Misbah says lack of confidence in Pakistan side? “I didn’t know he said that. That’s good. I’ll go back and tell the boys. I don’t know if they’ve seen that. If they are lacking in some confidence it’s good these games are only a couple of days apart and we can get back out there.”
Haddin said his team will think for a whitewash and with it number one ranking in one-day internationals only after winning on Sunday. “If we win tomorrow it will definitely be on the radar to get back to number one.
“But our most important thing is to make sure we front up tomorrow and continue to get better. If we’re lucky enough to get the result tomorrow then 100 per cent you’d like to get back to number one.” The third and final match is in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
For more information, contact:
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore 54600, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 571 7231 -4
Fax: +9242 571 1860