Misbah wants to focus on team's own strength

Misbah wants to focus on teams own strength

When he came for the Press conference before the start of Monday’s second Test against New Zealand in Dubai, Misbah used his words as carefully as he picks his runs.



By Rituraj Borkakoty (reporter/ Chief Sub Editor)

Published: Sun 16 Nov 2014, 11:34 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:11 PM

Misbah-ul-Haq address the media during the press conference.- Photo by Rahul Gajjar/ Khaleej Times

Misbah-ul-Haq address the media during the press conference.- Photo by Rahul Gajjar/ Khaleej Times

Dubai: Not for nothing has Misbah-ul Haq survived the rigours of international cricket with such ease. The Pakistan captain with an unflappable temperament looks refreshing fit for a 40-year-old.

When he came for the Press conference before the start of Monday’s second Test against New Zealand in Dubai, Misbah used his words as carefully as he picks his runs.

“I have always believed that one should not worry about the opposition. I certainly never do. Our focus is on our own team,” the Pakistan captain said after attending a net session on Sunday.

“ It’s always about the basics in Test cricket. We need to put runs on the board and when it comes to bowling you bowl a disciplined line. That’s what we will try to do again. We have already seen in the three Test matches that even an inexperienced bowling attack can do wonders when you put runs on the board,” Misbah revealed the secret behind his team’s stunning form during a period in which they outthought and outclassed Australia in the two Test series in the UAE and then put the Kiwis to the sword in the first Test In Abu Dhabi.

Even Mohammed Hafeez’s hamstring injury didn’t seem to worry him much. “Hafeez has an issue with his hamstring. We have to see how he feels. Maybe we have to decide at the last moment. Right now we are not thinking about his bowling action (Hafeez has been reported for his action). We hope to have him as a batsman, but as I said that will depend on his fitness.”

Misbah looks very pleased with the way the team has bounced back from the disappointing limited-overs series against Australia. “The kind of momentum the team has, I just hope that it continues to perform at a very high level. Our batsmen have got the runs and bowlers have taken wickets. So things are very positive. But yes, it’s never nice to lose an in form player to injury. We have already lost Ahmed Shehzad and now we have to wait over Hafeez’s fitness.

“But we also have two good openers in the team in Shan Masood and Taufeeq Umar. Masood is a very good player. He got runs in the practice match against New Zealand. He was also very impressive in his first Test match against a quality team like South Africa. He showed good temperament against bowlers like (Dale) Steyn and (Mornie) Morkel. I think with more experience he will develop into a fine player.

“Then Taueef is another player with good experience. He averages around 39 in Test cricket. So we are confident.”

Misbah won the toss three straight times (twice against Australia and once against New Zealand) and he opted to bat each time. But the middle-order batsman who equaled the iconic Viv Richard’s record of fastest Test century in the second innings of the second Test against Australia in Abu Dhabi said he is not worried about the prospect of batting second on a slow wicket.

“If you bat first, it gives you a big advantage on these wickets. But if you look at the three Test matches that we have played here so far in the UAE, we have also batted really well in the second innings on a third day or a fourth day pitch. So we are confident that we can cope with the slowness of the pitch if we have to bat second.”

rituraj@khaleejtimes.com


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