Pakistan morale lifted by India win - Misbah
While losing the Asia Cup final was a disappointment, Pakistan could take 'a lot of positives' from the tournament, captain Misbah-ul-Haq has said. Among them, was the 'morale-boosting' win against India in the round-robin stage, a victory which meant the team got a warm welcome at the Lahore airport on arrival, being showered with rose petals despite not bringing back the trophy.
"Losing the final was a disappointment, but overall it was a very good tournament and we move on with a lot of positives," Misbah said. "I think the team put in a lot of hard work, the way we won matches. As a team the performance was terrific, but at the same time no doubt it is disappointing that we didn't win the tournament.
The match against India, Misbah said, put Pakistan in the right frame of mind for the World Twenty20. "Winning against India was important because people have a lot of expectations and have lots of interest in it. With such performances, the morale of the team is very good. In this condition, we definitely have a chance [at the World T20]."
Misbah did not take questions on his "slow" batting in the final against Sri Lanka lightly, cutting off one reporter mid-way through his question by saying: "When you are 18 for 3, even big teams also bat like we did in the final to recover."
Pakistan had lost their top three by the fourth over of the game, before Mishah and Fawad Alam were involved in a 122-run stand. Misbah made 65 off 98 balls before being dismissed, while Alam went on to remain 114 not out off 134. Pakistan reached 260 for 5, before Sri Lanka eased home with close to four overs to spare after taking a toll on Pakistan's pacers.
Misbah defended his fast bowlers, saying that the spin- and batting-friendly pitches of the subcontinent made life tough for the pacers. "It wasn't an easy tour, especially for fast bowlers. You know in Asian conditions, it's difficult for fast bowlers.
"Overall if you look, barring one or two bowlers, fast bowlers struggled. Conditions are conducive for spin bowlers and it doesn't help fast bowlers."