Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2011-12 November 10, 2011

We are ready for Malinga - Misbah

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, has admitted that Lasith Malinga's arrival will add incisiveness to Sri Lanka's attack, but believes his side is ready for the challenge. Speaking ahead of the limited-overs leg of the UAE series, Misbah stressed on Pakistan's strong track record against Sri Lanka's unconventional yorker specialist.

"It creates a difference when Lasith Malinga's there because everybody knows he's a very good bowler, but we're ready for that," Misbah said. "We've played a lot of games against him and I think our guys have played him very well.

Malinga comes off a stunning run in Mumbai Indians' victorious Champions League T20 campaign, where he picked up ten wickets - all bowled and lbw - in addition to scoring crucial runs down the order. He is just one wicket away from 150 ODI wickets, and is poised to become the fastest Sri Lanka bowler to reach that landmark. Pakistan, however, have had a measure of success against him, losing only 10 wickets in nine prior outings, at an average of 47.66 each. Five of those wickets, though, came in a match-winning spell in the last outing between the two sides.

"It's an edge for them to have Lasith Malinga in the side, but if we look at our side we have Shahid Afridi and some other very good cricketers too," Misbah said. "Of course, it's a different ball game [after the Tests] but the guys who are coming back have played a lot of one-day cricket and they know what to do, so we're ready. Sri Lanka is a very good team but our team is ready to do well and we're just focusing on the one-day series now."

Afridi's return to the Pakistan side, after calling off his 'conditional' retirement under the Ijaz Butt regime, is the other subplot that has generated interest in the lead-up to the series. Afridi has said he wants to put his controversial exit behind him, and focus on contributing to the side. Abdul Razzaq also makes a comeback, adding firepower and bowling variety to the side.

Misbah also believes the conditions at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium - venue of the first three ODIs - will favour his side.

"The atmosphere, the stadium - it's really good to play here," he said. "Normally you feel the heat playing in the UAE but in this stadium in particular, the way it's built, it's really good for the players and you don't feel that heat. The atmosphere's really good with the way the stands are built, everybody loves to play here and it's a real plus point for our team."

Though Pakistan have the momentum following the Test series win, Sri Lanka coach Geoff Marsh believes his side are the favourites for the ODIs. World Cup finalists Sri Lanka are rated second on the ODI table, while Pakistan are sixth.

"We like to think we've got the edge but we've got to go out and prove that," Marsh said. "We believe we're a very good one-day side but once the game begins, then we've got to go out and play good one-day cricket. We know we've got to play really well to beat them."

Sri Lanka's preparation for the series has been marred by chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis' recent criticism of the players and support staff, but Marsh played down the issue.

"Of what he wrote on Cricinfo? I only read the first couple of lines, I didn't read the rest," Marsh said. "It's something that got written but I don't know about it.

"I'm really enjoying my job. The Sri Lanka players are a great bunch of lads and they all work really hard. They've set long and short-term goals and we are working towards reaching them."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 12, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    @BravoBravo your hyped team bite the dust!

  • Dhump on November 11, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    With all due respect, Malinga started with 2 wides, and bowled 2 no-bowls in the first over. That means even he knows he is not that good against Pakistan and that his confidence is shaken. If it will be Pakistan losing wickets, it would be to another bowler. Enough said.

  • HamidYakub on November 11, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    The match in which malinga took 5 wickets against pakistan that match was luckyly won by Sri lanka in that match afridi played innings of his life with composed century sri lanka was lucky that time that afridi got cramps and still afridi score wonderful century than he got out of a very good ball and an exceptional catch from afridi.If Afridi played according to his potential then it will be very diffuclt for sri lanka to won.Best of LUCK to PAKISTAN and AFRIDI IN SHA ALLAH you won

  • on November 11, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    i m goin to stadium for todays match...yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee......hope to see som gud fight between both pak and sri..

  • ScareCrow93 on November 11, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    We are ready for Malinga means they are afraid of him.. :D

  • satish619chandar on November 11, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    Interesting.. Pakistan have a history on both sides.. they can decode any bowler as they did against Mendis.. They can struggle against any team.. Thats the simple reason why many ppl still follow Pakistan cricket inspite of all the mayhem on and off the field.. They are too good team but never short of distractions.. It was only during the Imran captaincy, he kept everything away from the players.. They were champions during that period!!

  • on November 11, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    Pakistan is the strangest team I have ever seen.They have the BEST talent in the World and they have nothing to show except 20/20 title. I wonder why.

  • on November 11, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    If Pakistan plays with their strengths then they can beat any team..

  • on November 11, 2011, 3:38 GMT

    asad shafiq should open. Farhat, no way!

  • johnathonjosephs on November 11, 2011, 3:36 GMT

    Rankings don't mean anything, but also the stats for Pak playing Malinga well doesn't mean anything. Last couple of times Malinga played against Pak, he was not a good player and was just beginning. Malinga's test record says he averages 32-33 runs per wicket, but I feel that if he continued to play tests starting from early last year and continued until he retires (4-5 years), I feel that average would be around 25-26, given his new form and lethality. Pakistan better not take Malinga lightly. He is not the same bowler he was before and is one of the most lethal bowlers in the world today

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 12, 2011, 3:54 GMT

    @BravoBravo your hyped team bite the dust!

  • Dhump on November 11, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    With all due respect, Malinga started with 2 wides, and bowled 2 no-bowls in the first over. That means even he knows he is not that good against Pakistan and that his confidence is shaken. If it will be Pakistan losing wickets, it would be to another bowler. Enough said.

  • HamidYakub on November 11, 2011, 10:22 GMT

    The match in which malinga took 5 wickets against pakistan that match was luckyly won by Sri lanka in that match afridi played innings of his life with composed century sri lanka was lucky that time that afridi got cramps and still afridi score wonderful century than he got out of a very good ball and an exceptional catch from afridi.If Afridi played according to his potential then it will be very diffuclt for sri lanka to won.Best of LUCK to PAKISTAN and AFRIDI IN SHA ALLAH you won

  • on November 11, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    i m goin to stadium for todays match...yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee......hope to see som gud fight between both pak and sri..

  • ScareCrow93 on November 11, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    We are ready for Malinga means they are afraid of him.. :D

  • satish619chandar on November 11, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    Interesting.. Pakistan have a history on both sides.. they can decode any bowler as they did against Mendis.. They can struggle against any team.. Thats the simple reason why many ppl still follow Pakistan cricket inspite of all the mayhem on and off the field.. They are too good team but never short of distractions.. It was only during the Imran captaincy, he kept everything away from the players.. They were champions during that period!!

  • on November 11, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    Pakistan is the strangest team I have ever seen.They have the BEST talent in the World and they have nothing to show except 20/20 title. I wonder why.

  • on November 11, 2011, 4:16 GMT

    If Pakistan plays with their strengths then they can beat any team..

  • on November 11, 2011, 3:38 GMT

    asad shafiq should open. Farhat, no way!

  • johnathonjosephs on November 11, 2011, 3:36 GMT

    Rankings don't mean anything, but also the stats for Pak playing Malinga well doesn't mean anything. Last couple of times Malinga played against Pak, he was not a good player and was just beginning. Malinga's test record says he averages 32-33 runs per wicket, but I feel that if he continued to play tests starting from early last year and continued until he retires (4-5 years), I feel that average would be around 25-26, given his new form and lethality. Pakistan better not take Malinga lightly. He is not the same bowler he was before and is one of the most lethal bowlers in the world today

  • BravoBravo on November 11, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    SL has been a very good cricket team. They declined in their competitive approach as they were playing too much cricket with IND, somewhere between 2007-2010. It seems like everyday there is a cricket match going on between SL and IND, it became so boring that time that one of the Cricinfo editor suggested that most of the centuries scored during these matches (SL vs IND) should be taken off the records . However, SL helped IND to get their #1 ICC ranking ( a joke) in test during those boring matches. SL will regain their poise and winning habits once they start playing with other non-hyped and competitive teams. Malinga is good for IPL, he has already been spoiled by substandard IPL matches.

  • on November 11, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    Every one told Sri Lanka bowling attack is week.But If Malinga Come it become very strong.we will see what is happen today.Good luck Sri Lanka..........

  • on November 10, 2011, 23:34 GMT

    lol...Pakistan played Malinga well ? rubbish Pak dont have world class batters to handle Slinga...In WC Malinga didnt play against them..Last match against them he took 5 for...Sometimes bowlers can go 2,3 matches without two many wkts and that doesnt mean the opposition worked him out..If Malinga bowl the way he bowled to Ausiies , Pakistan will be in big trouble...

  • on November 10, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    PAKISTAN IS THE BEST TEAM IF THE PAKISTANI PLAYERS PLAY THEIR BEST GAMEE .. UMAR AKMAL AFRDI AND RAZZAK CAN KILL ANY TEAM ALONE ON THEIR DAY

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:43 GMT

    every thing happen tomorow,see which side is good?

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    Srilanka are definitelty going to loose because of weak bowling attack.

  • hassan13 on November 10, 2011, 17:17 GMT

    I am hoping Malinga is in ripper form so we can be done with farhat forever. And good on Marsh to just ignore the unprofessional chief selector! Sri lanka is still a good team. They just need someone in their bowling pool to click and bring back sameewera for tests and they will be fine.

  • on November 10, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    best of luck for ODI's Pakistan team :) give in your best efforts INSHAHALLAH you will be succeeded.

  • hassan13 on November 10, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    I am hoping Malinga is in ripper form so we can be done with farhat forever. And good on Marsh to just ignore the unprofessional chief selector! Sri lanka is still a good team. They just need someone in their bowling pool to click and bring back sameewera for tests and they will be fine.

  • zavahir on November 10, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Geoff- Like your predecessor stated there are a lot of distracters in SL. It can be anyone, even a selector. This is part of the package but the cricketers and the fans will stand by you. All the best !!!

  • Bullet_Drive on November 10, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    Hmmm.. yes we generally play Malinga well.

  • Dhump on November 10, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    I just saw that last match details where Malinga got 5 wickets. Only bowler who did good was Akhtar, while the support bowlers, get this, were Asif and Aamir. Opening batsman, was Salman Butt. I think we can take the kindly credit away from Malinga against Pakistan, seeing how he got 4 wickets in 8 matches before that. I would be worried about Sangakara, Jayawardene and Angelo Matthews though, they are lethal batsmen in one day format.

  • salman_0902 on November 10, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    The ICC raking don't mean anything. Pakistan is a much better side compared to those silly rankings.

  • Stark62 on November 10, 2011, 16:00 GMT

    He shouldn't be much of a threat because Pak have played him really well in previous encounters.

    He will be hard to get away at the depth but if you can hit him in his first 6 overs for 30 runs because he does struggle with the new ball.

  • on November 10, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    BOOM BOOM Is fit for Malinga!!!

  • on November 10, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    I think Pakistan need to play Asad shafiq as a opener & leg spinner Abdur Rehman instead of Syeed Azmal. this will give the varity bowling attack. my best 11.... Md. Hafiz, Asad Shafiq, Unis Khan, Umar Akmal, Misbaul Haq, Shoeb malik, Shahid Afridi, Abdur rehman, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan.

  • mits6 on November 10, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    Malinga is Dale Steyn of shorter format.

  • maddy20 on November 10, 2011, 15:35 GMT

    Regardless of how things played out in tests in ODIs SL wil have the upper hand. Thissira and Mathews are a lot more competent in this format and the return of Malinga means bad news for Pakistan.. It will be closely fought but SL will win 3-2.

  • on November 10, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    Pakistan will win

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  • on November 10, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    Pakistan will win

  • maddy20 on November 10, 2011, 15:35 GMT

    Regardless of how things played out in tests in ODIs SL wil have the upper hand. Thissira and Mathews are a lot more competent in this format and the return of Malinga means bad news for Pakistan.. It will be closely fought but SL will win 3-2.

  • mits6 on November 10, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    Malinga is Dale Steyn of shorter format.

  • on November 10, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    I think Pakistan need to play Asad shafiq as a opener & leg spinner Abdur Rehman instead of Syeed Azmal. this will give the varity bowling attack. my best 11.... Md. Hafiz, Asad Shafiq, Unis Khan, Umar Akmal, Misbaul Haq, Shoeb malik, Shahid Afridi, Abdur rehman, Umar Gul, Junaid Khan.

  • on November 10, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    BOOM BOOM Is fit for Malinga!!!

  • Stark62 on November 10, 2011, 16:00 GMT

    He shouldn't be much of a threat because Pak have played him really well in previous encounters.

    He will be hard to get away at the depth but if you can hit him in his first 6 overs for 30 runs because he does struggle with the new ball.

  • salman_0902 on November 10, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    The ICC raking don't mean anything. Pakistan is a much better side compared to those silly rankings.

  • Dhump on November 10, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    I just saw that last match details where Malinga got 5 wickets. Only bowler who did good was Akhtar, while the support bowlers, get this, were Asif and Aamir. Opening batsman, was Salman Butt. I think we can take the kindly credit away from Malinga against Pakistan, seeing how he got 4 wickets in 8 matches before that. I would be worried about Sangakara, Jayawardene and Angelo Matthews though, they are lethal batsmen in one day format.

  • Bullet_Drive on November 10, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    Hmmm.. yes we generally play Malinga well.

  • zavahir on November 10, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Geoff- Like your predecessor stated there are a lot of distracters in SL. It can be anyone, even a selector. This is part of the package but the cricketers and the fans will stand by you. All the best !!!