Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sharjah January 15, 2014

Misbah demands better application


Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, wants his side to put in extra effort to win the final Test against Sri Lanka in Sharjah. Pakistan are down 0-1 and are hoping to square the series before going into a nine-month Test drought. This is Pakistan's fifth series since trouncing England 3-0 almost two years ago, but they are yet to record another series win.

"It's a do or die situation for us," said Misbah. "We have to put some effort and get the result we want to level the series and there is no other option for us. We really need to be proactive and really need to put a good show."

The pitches have been a concern for Pakistan during the series as Misbah and spinner Saeed Ajmal rued the lack of home advantage. The surface at Sharjah looked flat and once again became the focal point. Though Misbah was reluctant to comment on pitch, he did tip the surface to be result-oriented. A fair assessment considering there has been only one draw in the five matches played here. Pakistan have won two of their three games at Sharjah.

"In my opinion this looks a good pitch and I think you get spin on the pitches here and the team which plays better and shows patience will have more chance," he said. "We get some strange results here but you really need to apply yourself more effectively and play better disciplined cricket. Whatever we need to do in terms of strategies and in terms of our abilities, we have to apply hard."

Pakistan have persisted with the same combination in the first two games despite Rahat Ali's place under serious question before the Dubai Test. He has bowled more than 100 overs in the series for just two wickets with limited impact.

"Nothing can be done if we let pressure take over, if we feel worried and panic, then it will not help," Misbah said. "We will try to improve in areas where we didn't do well and we should improve on areas where we struggled so we have worked on them and will try to improve them"

Pakistan are struggling for stability in their top order, which has been a major concern. Their line-up is heavily reliant on Misbah along with Younis Khan but the Pakistan captain backed his batsmen to perform. "It happens in Test cricket, if you look at the previous Test, it was a seaming pitch in Abu Dhabi and our top order did well," he said. "But it happens and you can't say after one match that there are so many problems, two innings can go bad for anyone and the new ball is always difficult to face. So we are not worried about that very much."

"I think they [Sri Lanka] bowled really well, they bowled within their limits and the conditions were like they used to play in Sri Lanka, a bit of movement was there but full credit to them, they bowled good lines and lengths and that was the key for them."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Arif on January 16, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    Why does Pakistan keep persisting with Hafeez. He would not find a place in any international team... Asad Shafeeq does not have the class that was expected of him. Nasir Jamshed and Ahmed Shahzed, once very promising have been hamstrung by Misbah's "tuk" philosophy... its looking pretty dismal for them especially after the bowling has stopped baling them out. But please start off by getting rid of Hafeez.

  • Shozib on January 16, 2014, 4:41 GMT

    Shan Masood, Nasir Jamshed, Haris Sohail, Younis Khan, Misbah Ul-Haq, Aamer Sajjad, Mohammed Hasan, Abdur Rehman, Junaid Khan, Nasir Malik, Mohammed Tahla. my idea of the line up mix of experience and unexperience will better prepare paistan for the future i reseachred this from cricinfo pakistans domestic players :)

  • Darshil on January 16, 2014, 2:44 GMT

    What is happening right now is that pakistan bowling is not clicking as it usually does. In general, when indian batting fails… they get humiliated and likewise, when pan bowling fails, they do to. Indian batsmen have always covered for weak bowling and pak bowling has always covered for their batting.

  • asad on January 15, 2014, 22:10 GMT

    Our batting really needs to improve or else we will be humiliated in the Australia series. Pakistan need to recognize who is a test player and who isn't in order select the right guys and build a team with at least a half decent batting line-up. In a team where a young guy makes a huge century on debut and to this day maintains excellent FC stats, Fawad Alamo is still not too old so he should get picked. Then we also have a batsman who has good FC stats but is used as a keeper and a finisher very often even though he is not up to these responsibilities. Umar Akmal could become a good test player and learn to pace his innings so that his batting improves in other formats as well. Then we also have other guys like Harris Sohail and Sohaib Maqsood who could do very well in test cricket as well. Besides including many of these guys it would also help if Misbah could be more attacking in the rare moments when Pakistan is on top in a test.

  • Dru on January 15, 2014, 17:54 GMT

    I think Pakistan are focusing too much on the pitch and how can Misbah possibly come to the conlusion that the seam friendly are similar to those in SL! I must agree that the batting has been held up by Misbah and Younis and some of the other guys simply have to fire.

  • Dummy4 on January 15, 2014, 17:23 GMT

    Its not Pakistan's problem that their batting is not clicking.. the problem that they are facing currently is after a lot of years for the first time their bowling is looking average.. without any application.

  • Dummy4 on January 15, 2014, 17:18 GMT

    You reap what you sow! Pick players with domestic averages of 30s and get this kind of batting results. Give an Extended run to FAWAD ALAM and HARIS SOHAIL already.

  • shabih on January 15, 2014, 16:32 GMT

    1)Khurram Manzoor 2)Shaan Masood 3)Azhar Ali 4)Younis Khan 5)Misbah 6) Md Hafeez 7)Sarfarz 8)Rahman 9)Ajmal 10)Talha 11)Junaid This should be the playing eleven.

  • Android on January 15, 2014, 16:29 GMT

    I wonder when our batting will ever perform. It's ridiculous and has been pesting us for so long, its depressing. Selecting players with average domestic averages will never help. Time and time again we have found out that international averages and first class averages don't differ much. Yet we never seem to learn, Hafeez has no age on his side neither the technique but we still end up selecting him. It really would do Pakistani cricket a world of good if we don't select players above the age of 29. Fawad Alam still has enough time in his career left, Shan Masood has a fine technique, Azhar Ali has proven to be a man for the future along with Asad Shafiq. Selecting these players and giving them a consistent run in the team will be a day to celebrate for.

  • Dummy4 on January 15, 2014, 16:24 GMT

    select the right team. have to change 2 of 4 batsmen who have failed ( asad/hafee/khurram/shehzad) and rahat as well. the real concern for pakistan was top3 and Asad. with little contributions from these 4, a lot was required from Misbah-younas. In this squad they have only 2 options in battig department: Shaan & Azhar. I think both should be given chance. Khurram has been exposed. he will get out the same way. His technique can work in 1 out of few but not in all games. Ahmed and Hafeez were selected on Limited over performance but it is proved that it is totally different game.

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