|Improvement needed in every department: Misbah|
05 September 2012
Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq has no regrets on the team composition in the final One-Day International (ODI) against Australia, saying the playing-eleven was selected based on their strengths, according to ESPNcricinfo.
Pakistan chose to play four spinners and one fast-bowler in the decider, changing a winning line-up that took part in the second ODI in Abu Dhabi. Batting second, Australia fought back 159 for five in the 36th over to overhaul the 245-run target with 18 balls to spare.
However, Misbah said replacing Sohail Tanvir with Shahid Afridi – who missed the second game due to injury – was not a mistake even though the all-rounder made just seven after being promoted to number three and went wicketless in his 10 overs that cost 62 runs.
“Spinners are our strength,” said Misbah. “Moreover, everyone knows that the Sharjah track is slow and so players struggle against spin, so we went in with only one pacer. I’ve already said that [bringing in Afridi] was because we wanted to strengthen our spin department, and he bowled okay in the first game.
“So, that is why we included him and went in with one fast-bowler. [When batting] we promoted him up the order so that he could get some time to settle in, but unfortunately he could not get runs.”
Pakistan were also let down by poor fielding with dropped catches of David Hussey, culprit being Afridi, and Glenn Maxwell by Azhar Ali.
However, Misbah said, it was not just their fielding that needed improving.
“I think we have to improve in every department of the game, especially with finding the right combination of fast-bowlers — an area in which we are really struggling.
“We have to improve our batting in the Powerplays because if you keep losing wickets, that is only going in favour of the other team.”
The team’s feeling great: Clarke
On the other hand, Australia captain Michael Clarke was a pleased man. While he managed the second-highest tally among runs in the three-match series, much more pleasing would be Australia’s ability to deliver in pressure situations, despite including young players in the team.
“The feeling around the group is a great feeling at the moment, especially after losing 4-0 to England,” said Clarke.
“The guys should be really proud. It was a tough victory against a very good one-day team in Pakistan.
“We worked really hard before coming on this series. We were up in Darwin as a team and worked hard against spin bowling. We found conditions so different to what we tried to prepare for up in Darwin, especially in the heat.
“I’ve never played in the heat and humidity like this. The most pleasing thing is the whole series was won by the whole team, it wasn’t one individual player.”
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