Australia v Pakistan, World Cup 2015, 3rd Q-F, Adelaide March 19, 2015

Still have the bowling to trouble Australia - Misbah

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Five things Pakistan need to do to beat Australia

Two days after the cricket world farewelled Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara from ODIs, two Pakistan seniors will begin the final phase - perhaps the final day - of their ODI careers. Misbah-ul-Haq has announced he will play only Tests after the World Cup. Shahid Afridi has said he will also step away from the format in which he made his name, even if at times, retirement has seemed like a state of mind for Afridi, more than a state of being.

They are perhaps contemporary cricket's odd couple; often invoked in the same breath, each is construed to be what the other is not. Yet, as they move to the cusp of retirement together, they will both reflect with pleasure on their careers, and be joined in keeping emotions in check, Misbah said.

"The biggest satisfaction is that we gave everything to our team and country," he said. "Whatever we had, we put our efforts together. This World Cup is still not over, and we'd really like to win tomorrow's game and go further. That's what, you could say, our desire and dream is.

"You just take it as a normal game. Go there and try to hit your basic stride and try to give 100%. That is the only thing you can do. If you just think about this game further than that, you are putting yourself under pressure, and I'm not going to do that, and even Shahid is not going to do that."

As ever, Pakistan's bowling appears to hold the key to their success. Michael Clarke identified the opposition quicks as particularly dangerous to his team's World Cup hopes, and while Misbah agreed - stating Pakistan had a "bowling line up which can really go through any team" even without Mohammad Irfan - he also emphasised the importance of a positive approach.

"I think Australia always just plays aggressive cricket, and if you want to really be up there against them, you also need to play good, aggressive cricket," Misbah said. "If two teams are playing aggressive cricket, you still have a chance. There is still a chance you could win with a defensive approach, but we're looking forward to playing attacking cricket.

"You can't say now Irfan is out of this competition, so we just can't play Australia. We've got other bowlers who are good enough, equally good enough, and they are also performing really well. All three of the seamers are up to the mark - even the fourth one. Yasir Shah is a bowler that can really put pressure on the opposition. So we've still got that sort of team, that sort of talent, that sort of bowling line-up, that could really put Australia under pressure."

As a captain, Misbah has largely veered toward the dependable, rather than the mercurial. He suggested Pakistan's strategy would not radically change, as he used the example of another team's slew of surprise changes as a cautionary tale. "Sometimes as you try to do things the way Sri Lanka tried to do in the quarter-finals yesterday, and they just got trapped into that. So sometimes simple things, basic things if you are doing them right will really help you, especially in crunch situations and matches."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2015, 9:39 GMT

    but they dont have the fielders to catch :(

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2015, 8:01 GMT

    Lol Pakistan supporters,,,see the performance of your team

  • abdulmustan202 on March 20, 2015, 3:26 GMT

    I hope Pakistan team perform well. I wanna listen Pakistan beat Australia with 8 wickets.

  • M on March 20, 2015, 3:08 GMT

    Maxwell is gonna crush them. I would prefer them and not Aus

  • Dummy on March 20, 2015, 3:00 GMT

    Yes misbah eleven can do that. We pary for our team and also today is Friday. May Allah help our team and pak win.ameen

  • Sarfaraz Ali on March 20, 2015, 0:54 GMT

    INSHALLAHA pak will beat aus

  • Cricinfouser on March 20, 2015, 0:48 GMT

    Pakistan has no chance today. You can speculate all you want...australia will show their might!

  • Dummy4 on March 19, 2015, 23:18 GMT

    Good luck Pakistan you can win it !!! Best wishes from a West Indian.

  • Vijaychandar on March 19, 2015, 23:14 GMT

    Good luck. Go Pakistan!!! You guys can do it. Best wishes from India

  • Arif on March 19, 2015, 21:09 GMT

    If Yasir plays Pak will win,otherwise Australia are very good against pace bowling

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