We have to improve our game in remaining ODIs: Misbah
CHENNAI: Pakistan ODI skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said his team was “lucky” on Sunday to overcome India in the first One-day International and they need to work harder and improve a fair bit to tame the hosts in the second match on Thursday.
“We were lucky to win because India gave us a tough time after being in a tricky situation,” said Misbah in the post-match press conference.
“They lost five wickets early but still went on to make 227 and we couldn’t chase it down easily. So I think we have to improve a lot of things. To win the next match, we will have to work hard and improve a fair bit,” he said.
“We have to really improve our fielding, our death over and Power-Play bowling. After these ODI rules specially, we will have to be tighter in our play,” said Misbah.
“When two batsmen are set, it is difficult to bowl to them like it was to Dhoni. So we will have to come up with plans with four fielders, how to block the batsmen. Also we have to improve our batting performances,” he added.
“Nasir and Younis batted excellently for us but I will also make a special mention of Azhar. In the first six overs from (Bhuvneshwar) Kumar, the ball was swinging a lot. Seeing off the first 10-12 overs was the base for our victory and after that, Younis showed his experience,” Misbah said.
“At that time, we were in a spot. The partnership and increasing the run-rate by Jamshed and Malik was the turning point of the game.”
Junaid Khan was another important contributor for Pakistan as he scalped four top-order wickets early on to put pressure on India and his captain Misbah said he expected the young pacer to deliver.
“We were expecting him to bowl well because Junaid has bowled these kind of spells before. The conditions helped, there was moisture in the pitch and he is a seam bowler and he met the expectations and bowled the kind of spell we had been hoping for,” Misbah said.
Misbah also backed Ajmal, who has been lacklustre so far, saying the spinner always delivers when it matters.
“I think there is no issue. There has been a bit of a gap, so maybe it is a factor but he is a match-winner. At any time, in this situation if he doesn’t perform, it’s okay but he always performs in difficult situations. That is more important for us,” he said.
According to the new rules, one new ball will be used at each end, bowlers will be allowed two bouncers an over, there will be no bowling Power Play, the batting Power Play will have to be completed before the 40th over, and at no stage in the innings will more than four fielders be allowed outside the 30-yard circle. Asked about his feedback, Mishbah said:
“It is difficult for the bowlers, especially at the end in the last 10 overs, it is almost semi-Power Play. Spinners bowling and then bringing in the non-regulars is difficult. To adjust to the rules, it will take time for teams, captains and even bowlers.”
He also praised the Indian bowlers for putting pressure on the Pakistani batsmen till the end. “I think they were bowling well and these sort of situations when you try to finish it early, it is really difficult.”—Agencies