Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Abu Dhabi November 23, 2011

Misbah thrilled with 'outstanding performance'

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Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, has termed his side's 4-1 humbling of World Cup finalists Sri Lanka in the one-day series in UAE an "outstanding performance". Pakistan have won all their bilateral ODI series this year, against New Zealand, West Indies, Ireland, Zimbabwe and now Sri Lanka.

"It good to see us beating a top-ranked side 4-1, and I congratulate my side for this," Misbah said after the victory in the fifth match in Abu Dhabi. "I am happy because the team is improving and performing so well. The goal is to improve day by day and we want to extend the victory succession. This team has now been playing together for almost a year and a half, so it is now getting good experience and developing into a good team."

In UAE, Misbah had the experience of three former captains - Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi - to fall back on, while a number of youngsters also performed creditably. Misbah was happy with the combination of youth and experience available at his disposal.

"I am really pleased to have a mixture of junior and senior players," he said. "They are understanding their roles and responsibilities, and I am very happy with the way they are fulfilling the duty. Now you can say that it's an experienced side, and I foresee a good future for my team."

The win allowed Pakistan to climb to fifth spot in the ICC rankings, their best rating in recent times as they look to shrug off the tumultuous after-effects of the spot-fixing scandal. The depth of their bowling options gave Pakistan the edge in the series, in addition to their reserve strength.

"Our bench strength and the playing XI are outstanding, and this is the main reason team is performing well," Misbah said. "It's a tough competition in the bowling department as whoever is handed a chance to play is performing. The idea is to rotate the circle and try out every one accordingly, and so far everyone is taking the opportunity well."

Misbah backed the returning allrounder Shoab Malik, who endured a torrid time in the two chances he got, making scores of 2 and 0. "Malik came in after an outstanding performance in Pakistan [at the domestic level] but he is going through tough time and this happens sometimes in your career.

"He is batting well at the nets as well but it happens that sometimes you aren't able to score runs at the top level. But he is still a good batsman and a match-winner for the team. So he still has a lot of cricket in him and just needs one innings to get back in touch."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Lion_96 on November 27, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    top ranked team? thts wht the numbers mite say, but we r not in the top 5 at the moment, by the way we play. but give credit to pakistan, they were outstanding. but they have tougher assigments ahead uch as england. sri lanka were pathetic, and now we hear this "put the series behind us" talk. they can look to put other series behind them aswell. dont see any improvement in the foreseeable future. a gauranteed whitewash for the proteas, in tests and odis.tthey will end their drought of not winning a home test series for the last 3 years.

  • premendrasinghal on November 27, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Good performance from Pakistan but as per current form of Sri Lankan bowling we can't assess Pakistan cricket's batting.

  • AsadCricFan on November 26, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    Was Thrilled with the performance of the whole squad throughout the series, Biggest improvement was Umar Gul, he isn't usually seen as the spearhead of the pace attack and is normally just a specialist to come in the death overs and bowl his Yorkers in the limited overs format and his spot in test cricket was always in question. With the absence of two of our most talented bowlers in recent years, he has absorbed all the pressure and has mastered the art of bowling with the new ball! Obviously the performance of the new guys Cheema and Junaid has helped. It was just amazing to watch all three of them bowl in the test matches. My only complaint would be the selection of Sohail Tanvir and Shoaib Malik in the ODIs, They are a waste of space in the playing XI.

  • Rakim on November 25, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    @ABRAR-JANJUA, Umar Akmal is not a No. 3 batsman, I like his fearless approach tho. At No. 3 you need people like Dravid or Younis Khan. Responsible people. Umar just throws it away. Maybe Pak can try Asad for No. 3 spot.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 25, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    it is just an average performance...it is mainly because of the inability of Lanka...not anything great by Pak.

  • on November 25, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    i agreed with MASQ im an nazir can give a aggressive start nd mohammed hafiznd imran nazir would be perfect pair

  • on November 25, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    congratest to all pak players nd fans bt i wanna see this performance against england nd india umar akmal has a lot of talent he improved his ranking in odi batsman he stood on 11 rank he has a lot of talent i think he can be a great batsman like sachin tendulkar,ricky ponting,brian lara umar akmal god bless u my gud wishes r with u

  • ABRAR-JANJUA on November 24, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    The Positive and aggressive approach made it 4-1. Pakistan did well at the end. The big plus was Akmal's batting and even in 2nd match he brought Pakistan very close to tremendous victory.That was his counter attack which put Srilanka under pressure in both 2nd and 5th ODI. He is great player of fast bowling as well as of spin. I reckon he is best option at No 3 in ODIs and T20s.

  • on November 24, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    @raheem030766 , why the hell you want Danish Kaneria in the team, Ajmal is much much better choice along with Hafeez, did not need any one else at the moment

  • maddy20 on November 24, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    This SL team is hopeless and it is surprising to see a win against them causing so much of excitement. The real test lies ahead when the Poms tour UAE. I for one would like to see England being downed by Pak. Good luck!

  • Lion_96 on November 27, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    top ranked team? thts wht the numbers mite say, but we r not in the top 5 at the moment, by the way we play. but give credit to pakistan, they were outstanding. but they have tougher assigments ahead uch as england. sri lanka were pathetic, and now we hear this "put the series behind us" talk. they can look to put other series behind them aswell. dont see any improvement in the foreseeable future. a gauranteed whitewash for the proteas, in tests and odis.tthey will end their drought of not winning a home test series for the last 3 years.

  • premendrasinghal on November 27, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Good performance from Pakistan but as per current form of Sri Lankan bowling we can't assess Pakistan cricket's batting.

  • AsadCricFan on November 26, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    Was Thrilled with the performance of the whole squad throughout the series, Biggest improvement was Umar Gul, he isn't usually seen as the spearhead of the pace attack and is normally just a specialist to come in the death overs and bowl his Yorkers in the limited overs format and his spot in test cricket was always in question. With the absence of two of our most talented bowlers in recent years, he has absorbed all the pressure and has mastered the art of bowling with the new ball! Obviously the performance of the new guys Cheema and Junaid has helped. It was just amazing to watch all three of them bowl in the test matches. My only complaint would be the selection of Sohail Tanvir and Shoaib Malik in the ODIs, They are a waste of space in the playing XI.

  • Rakim on November 25, 2011, 20:11 GMT

    @ABRAR-JANJUA, Umar Akmal is not a No. 3 batsman, I like his fearless approach tho. At No. 3 you need people like Dravid or Younis Khan. Responsible people. Umar just throws it away. Maybe Pak can try Asad for No. 3 spot.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 25, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    it is just an average performance...it is mainly because of the inability of Lanka...not anything great by Pak.

  • on November 25, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    i agreed with MASQ im an nazir can give a aggressive start nd mohammed hafiznd imran nazir would be perfect pair

  • on November 25, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    congratest to all pak players nd fans bt i wanna see this performance against england nd india umar akmal has a lot of talent he improved his ranking in odi batsman he stood on 11 rank he has a lot of talent i think he can be a great batsman like sachin tendulkar,ricky ponting,brian lara umar akmal god bless u my gud wishes r with u

  • ABRAR-JANJUA on November 24, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    The Positive and aggressive approach made it 4-1. Pakistan did well at the end. The big plus was Akmal's batting and even in 2nd match he brought Pakistan very close to tremendous victory.That was his counter attack which put Srilanka under pressure in both 2nd and 5th ODI. He is great player of fast bowling as well as of spin. I reckon he is best option at No 3 in ODIs and T20s.

  • on November 24, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    @raheem030766 , why the hell you want Danish Kaneria in the team, Ajmal is much much better choice along with Hafeez, did not need any one else at the moment

  • maddy20 on November 24, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    This SL team is hopeless and it is surprising to see a win against them causing so much of excitement. The real test lies ahead when the Poms tour UAE. I for one would like to see England being downed by Pak. Good luck!

  • getsetgopk on November 24, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    Highest wicket taker in the WC and now highest wicket taker and man of the series here in UAE thats a real hard slap on face for those haters.

  • raheem030766 on November 24, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    Pakistan played very good cricket against Sri Lanka in UAE. However, there is still room for improvement. TEAM PAKISTAN should have won test series 2-0 but mainly for dropped catches in the first test. I am also of the view that team combination is not right. I definitely would like to see Mohammed Yusuf, Umar Akmal and Danish Kaneria in the test squad. In fact Umar Akmal should play in all format of the game as he is very talented.Whilst Asad Shafiq is a good test prospect I do not currently see him as an ODI player. Sarfraz Ahmed should be wicket keeper in the tests as I believe he is better wicket keeper/batsman than Adnan Akmal. If it is possible to have Umar Akmal as wicket keeper/batsman in the ODIs this would be preferable. Players like Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Imran Farhat, Cheema and Rehman should be retired, they are passed their best. In the ODIs I would like to see Ahmed Shehzad open the batting with Hafeez and his disciplinary issues need to be sorted out.

  • asithaSL on November 24, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Congratz Pak...!! SL, I m really disappointed...!! Hope U guyz @ least play T20 Well...

  • on November 24, 2011, 11:42 GMT

    I think It is good time to enter Internation level for Sadaf Hussain. Now he is in very good form in domestic matches. His consistency and average shows that he is an exceptional player like Mohamed Amir and Junaid khan. But Mohamed Talha only has speed. No consistency and not an exceptional player. He is very like Mohamed Sami. Now pakistan need exceptional players not just players. We can identify exceptional players by their average and consistency.

  • on November 24, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    In ODI, Younis khan will open the innings. otherwise he is not suitable for ODI. Shoaib Malik at NO.3 . My ODI team is 1.Hafeez 2.Younis 3. Malik 4.U. Akmal 5.Mishbah 6.Razzak/S.Tanvir 7.Afridi 8.Safraz 9.Gull 10.Ajmal 11.Cheema.

  • Afridipak on November 24, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    i agrred with ejaz Ahmed siddiqui Azhar ali is a very good player he should be given a chance in odi matches

  • Afridipak on November 24, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    pak squad for tomorrow T20 match should be 1 hafeez 2 farhat 3 Malik 4 Afridi 5 U.akmal(wk) 6 misbah 7 shafiq 8 tanvir 9 ajmal 10 gul 11 cheema with 9 batsman and 3 all rounders it should be a cracking Line up

  • on November 24, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    Azhar Ali can be tried in ODIs. He is a very solid batsman.

  • on November 24, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    The Team perfromed pretty well, but this is not the GOAL, this isn't the target. We as Cricket Pakistan MUST be on the top of this world.

    We surely can rank with flying colours Inshallah.

    As there is a saying "there is always room for improvement" I suggest that Mr Shoaib Malik must be retired from International Cricket and may he be appointed as Coach for Sialkot Youth.

  • MASQ on November 24, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    It is quite difficult for Captain how many All-rounders are needed for ODI and T20. M. Hafeez, S. Afridi, A. Razzaq, S. Malik (Shoaib Malik Not Sania Malik), Omar Akmal, But it is a very good sign for Pak-Cricket, they are really improving day by day. When you have top 8 batsmen in the team who can win the match single handed. Then opposition get under-pressure and frustrated. Weldone Pakistan.

  • MASQ on November 24, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    Yes, Malik is a good player, every one knows. One more chance must be given him at Bangladesh. Once upon a time he was perfoming like Hafeez, outstanding batting and brilliant bowling. We also want to see Imran Nazir back in team for such an attacking opening batsman. I think Omar Akmal is fit for keeping, because according to my observation, he is best from all of his other 2 brothers. Batting A+, Keeping B and Fielding A+.

  • Zahidsaltin on November 24, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    Well done Pakistan. Now pakistan needs to build a good T20 team as worldcup isn't far away. We need a team with full of class allrounders. Hafiz, Afridi, Razaq, and Hammad Azam, all 4 should be included in T20 team of future. It's time for Shoaib Malik to stay at home and gain his form back. My ideal team for T20 wc will be, Hafiz, Imran Farhat, Kamran Akmal, Razaq, Misbah, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Afridi, Hamad Azzam, Gul, Saeed Ajmal

  • satish619chandar on November 24, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    Malik at his best when coming in at No.3.. Unfortunately, that slot is not open now.. Then would better use different player in the No.5-6 position.. Not only wasting Malik but also preventing another player to shine..

  • khurramsch on November 24, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    yes good series win for pakistan & on 5th rank now. with banglaadesh tour coming up they have a chance to go more close to 4th or even 4th. main thing is their bowling is working & batting not that much worry. BUt they need to be focused & grouped together like they did here in UAE. 4captains in team can sometimes go wrong but hopefully they will stay together now.

  • on November 24, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    BoOm BoOm AFRIDI! \o/

  • on November 24, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    Hope for more series against Bangladesh etc since England will blow away all the wind in one series :D

  • on November 24, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    what ever but plz dont drop sarfaraz!instead i was expecting him to get bat up the order only to know that he was not playing!these aint good tactics of demoralizing your premier wicket keeper batsmen!he should be given a proper chance asking umar akmal to keep is like sending bad signals to him!and i think pakistan needs to get over imran farhat besides i dont see a place for razzak in playing 11 if you already have 3 all rounders in Malik Afridi & hafeez!

  • SamAsh07 on November 24, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    Shoaib Malik will need some more matches to get back his form (even though he has Domestic Form, that's another story), coming back onto international level after so long isn't something easy to face. Hopefully he finds his form so that we have a stable middle-order.

  • on November 24, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    i would love to see shoab malik be given an other go in the bangladesh series... he is a good player... but if he fails to perform in bangladesh tour.. then he should be axed from the side.. and youngster should be given a go... also.. imran farhat is doing well so he should be kept in the playing 11..

  • on November 24, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    Congrats Pakistan and Misbah, to climp on top 5 ranking, hope pakistan will be soon in top 3, if they play in the same way, they are playing now

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on November 24, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    Congrats Pakistan and Misbah, to climp on top 5 ranking, hope pakistan will be soon in top 3, if they play in the same way, they are playing now

  • on November 24, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    i would love to see shoab malik be given an other go in the bangladesh series... he is a good player... but if he fails to perform in bangladesh tour.. then he should be axed from the side.. and youngster should be given a go... also.. imran farhat is doing well so he should be kept in the playing 11..

  • SamAsh07 on November 24, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    Shoaib Malik will need some more matches to get back his form (even though he has Domestic Form, that's another story), coming back onto international level after so long isn't something easy to face. Hopefully he finds his form so that we have a stable middle-order.

  • on November 24, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    what ever but plz dont drop sarfaraz!instead i was expecting him to get bat up the order only to know that he was not playing!these aint good tactics of demoralizing your premier wicket keeper batsmen!he should be given a proper chance asking umar akmal to keep is like sending bad signals to him!and i think pakistan needs to get over imran farhat besides i dont see a place for razzak in playing 11 if you already have 3 all rounders in Malik Afridi & hafeez!

  • on November 24, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    Hope for more series against Bangladesh etc since England will blow away all the wind in one series :D

  • on November 24, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    BoOm BoOm AFRIDI! \o/

  • khurramsch on November 24, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    yes good series win for pakistan & on 5th rank now. with banglaadesh tour coming up they have a chance to go more close to 4th or even 4th. main thing is their bowling is working & batting not that much worry. BUt they need to be focused & grouped together like they did here in UAE. 4captains in team can sometimes go wrong but hopefully they will stay together now.

  • satish619chandar on November 24, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    Malik at his best when coming in at No.3.. Unfortunately, that slot is not open now.. Then would better use different player in the No.5-6 position.. Not only wasting Malik but also preventing another player to shine..

  • Zahidsaltin on November 24, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    Well done Pakistan. Now pakistan needs to build a good T20 team as worldcup isn't far away. We need a team with full of class allrounders. Hafiz, Afridi, Razaq, and Hammad Azam, all 4 should be included in T20 team of future. It's time for Shoaib Malik to stay at home and gain his form back. My ideal team for T20 wc will be, Hafiz, Imran Farhat, Kamran Akmal, Razaq, Misbah, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Afridi, Hamad Azzam, Gul, Saeed Ajmal

  • MASQ on November 24, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    Yes, Malik is a good player, every one knows. One more chance must be given him at Bangladesh. Once upon a time he was perfoming like Hafeez, outstanding batting and brilliant bowling. We also want to see Imran Nazir back in team for such an attacking opening batsman. I think Omar Akmal is fit for keeping, because according to my observation, he is best from all of his other 2 brothers. Batting A+, Keeping B and Fielding A+.