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