Afghanistan v Pakistan, Asia Cup, Fatullah February 27, 2014

'Batting mistakes almost cost us game' - Misbah

Karthik Krishnaswamy

'Very important win for us' - Misbah

Pakistan's captain Misbah-ul-Haq has expressed his concern over the performance of his batsmen, after a series of rash shots from them had left his team tottering on 117 for 6 against Afghanistan. Speaking after Pakistan's 72-run win, Misbah said their mistakes could have cost Pakistan the match, had Umar Akmal not rescued them with a century.

"I think at one point the match had almost gone out of our hands," he said. "If Umar Akmal hadn't played that innings, we would have had a lot of problems. As a batting unit, I think if we continue to repeat the same mistakes, it will be a big problem for us. We have a very important match against India coming up now, so we have to avoid making these kinds of mistakes. We have to take responsibility, especially as a batting unit."

Asked if he was thinking of shuffling Pakistan's batting order to try and prevent these mistakes, Misbah said he would back his batsmen to pick up their performances.

"These things happen," he said. "If you see the last series, our top three made us win the whole series against Sri Lanka. No. 4, 5 and 6 didn't even get to bat much in that series. So I think, they are good players and in good form. Yes, two matches have gone and they have struggled, but I hope that in the next matches, which are important ones for us, someone of them will step up and make important runs for us."

Since his debut in 2009, Akmal has been the leading run-scorer in wins at the No. 6 position in ODIs. Asked about his record at that spot, Misbah said he was pleased with Akmal's success as a finisher.

"I think he has been doing well for Pakistan," Misbah said. "You could say he could have done slightly better than this, but from the last year and a half, I think he's really doing well at that number, finishing games for Pakistan and scoring runs at crucial stages. I've been really happy, especially with the way he played today. I think that's what we want him to do, to finish games for Pakistan."

Misbah praised Afghanistan's bowling and fielding, when asked if the Associate team had presented Pakistan a tougher challenge than he had expected.

"Afghanistan is always like that," he said. "They have a decent bowling attack and a very good fielding side, and I think they proved it today. They bowled very good lines and they were very disciplined. Their fielding was supporting them. I think they are an improving side and they can really put you under pressure on a given day."

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Muhammad on February 28, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    Pakistan needs a proper pace bowler against India instead of 4 over Bhatti or Anwar. So Talha should come in playing XI. Pakistan already has 3 spinners. We should play with our strength which is our bowling without any doubt.

  • Reza on February 28, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    If Hafeez & Alfridi are expected to bowl then Hafeez should bat at 7 and Alfridi at 9 - If he doesn't like it then he know's where the door is. Let's hope the bowlers are being coached to become reliable batsmen like every other Test Team in the World.

  • Android on February 28, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    @zahid: kamran is not part of this squad. he is selected for t20wc not asia cup so he cant come in. only batsman left on bench was fawad alam.

  • ramdin on February 28, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    Next match sharjeel out,make hafeez to open and bring fawad alam at 1 down.Maqsood has to go as well.bowling of Anwer Ali & Bilawel both is concern,the balance is not good at all

  • shahid on February 28, 2014, 0:50 GMT

    Take Sharjeel and Maqsood out and play Kamran Akmal ad Fawad Alam against India. The youngester won't be able to absorb the pressure of it.

  • asad on February 27, 2014, 22:41 GMT

    "Asked if he was thinking of shuffling Pakistan's batting order to try and prevent these mistakes, Misbah said he would back his batsmen to pick up their performances."

    This is a big problem. From our top 3 Shehzad is the best, Sharjeel is new so he still deserves a chance & Hafeez is the worst. I know Hafeez scored centuries against SL but that was on easy pitches & was a once in a lifetime achievement for him. Misbah needs to understand that team comes before friends & Hafeez should either be dropped or moved down the order. I think Misbah should only back the young guys who débuted recently & have showed talent not guys like Hafeez who can't bat & have had 10 years of experience.

  • FAROOQ on February 27, 2014, 22:17 GMT

    Hafeez and Afridi should be considered only as bowlers. Kamran comes in as wicket keeper batsman in place of Sharjeel. Hafeez bats at 6. Everyone moves up one place with Sohaib coming in as one down.

  • Android on February 27, 2014, 22:07 GMT

    Well played Akmal. Your innings will be rated higher than Kohli's in record books.

  • Android on February 27, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    regarding umars position, i think we need him in middle order. we need some one who can finish games and hit if required and also to build innings if top order collapse.

    however can move just 1 up at 5. that can be done if hafeez moves from that no3 spot. thats messing whole batting order. he should be opening or playing at 6 or 7. no3 is definately not his thing. that can move every 1 up and umar akmal can play at 5 or even 4 if misbah stays at same and we find some one dependable at 6.

    umar has good success at no6. very surprised by this stat of most runs in wins at no6. it is a crucial position.

    but he should control his extra bit of aggression/ habbit to get carried away when everything look fine. played 91+ games now so among seniors now. should take responsibility more and try to finish games. need sensible approach.

  • M.G. on February 27, 2014, 20:58 GMT

    I can't see how pak is gonna survive the next two games with such a wobbly batting line up!!! How many times do you expect your bowling and fielding units bail you out from these super hyper neighbors in the cup???

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