Pakistan news September 2, 2014

'Lack of match practice' cost Pakistan in SL - Misbah

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Misbah-ul-Haq: "Our momentum got broken because of lack of cricket" © AFP

Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, has put his team's below-par performance on last month's tour to Sri Lanka down to a "lack of match practice".

"Lack of cricket was the big thing, the players did their best, they fought well," Misbah said. "[But] our momentum got broken because of lack of cricket. There was a big gap after Asia Cup [in March] and we didn't have much match practice and that's why we looked out of sorts, we lacked match practice and we couldn't handle it."

Pakistan lost the Test series 2-0 and the ODIs 2-1 to Sri Lanka, prompting concern from the board ahead of the 2015 World Cup. Subsequently, PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan had summoned Misbah and others from the team management for meetings.

Misbah, speaking after his meeting with Khan, said: "We talked about the future and how should we plan for the World Cup. We also talked about recent series and why our performance was so bad. Overall it was a good meeting."

Misbah's own form also came in for criticism during the tour, where he averaged 16.75 in the Tests and 22.33 in the ODIs. He said while he understood his responsibility as one of the senior batsman, he couldn't afford to let the pressure get to him.

"If I take pressure it won't solve the problem," he said. "My contribution as a batsman was not there and it was a big factor, and I should do more work on my basics and try to come back into form as soon as possible. When you play as a senior batsman in the team your contribution is very important, [but] pressure is always there in international cricket and if you think too much about it, it won't solve the problem."

He also hinted at having issues with the selection process. "As a captain, I can only give my suggestions to the selectors," he said. "They listen to me but sometimes the team is not according to what you want. Obviously everyone has his opinion on selection matters but at the end, collective opinion is taken into consideration while finalising team."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • espncricinfomobile on September 4, 2014, 18:37 GMT

    First of all i am a pak fan and i must say something here to those fans who think getting to the semis of the last wc was a big achievement.

    The group stage was easy, pak was going to get through that anyway and then a relatively easy qf cs west indies, when they finally came up to a game that was difficult in india, they lost so it wasnt that big of an achievement unfortunately and to become captain, the player must perform himself aswell, afridis form is down itself whether its batting or bowling, so how can u make him captain.

  • dummy4fb on September 4, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    Dear Ms. Saba Saeed Sheikh what about 2011 World Cup. Pakistan reach semifinal in the Captaincy of Shahid Afridi… and our PM have given the match to India, did you saw that? I agree that this is team failure but when you take credit of wining then……. Now Pakistan have no time to experiment. If you remove Hafeez / SHARJEL / Afridi and more than for big tournament you have replacement?

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on September 4, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    Its about time we make a move and make Afridi ODI and T20 captain drop Misbah and we are good to go.

  • dummy4fb on September 4, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    I want to asked all who wants Pakistan Cricket Team to win that why our batsman hit the ball like woman? Why not they hit the ball powerfully so it goes out of Boundary Line. Since long I am seeing they are giving very simple catch. If they didn't have power to hit six then they should play ground shorts only.

  • mzm149 on September 4, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    1. Ahmed Shehzad 2. Nasir Jamshed 3. Fawad Alam 4. Sohaib Maqsood 5. Misbah ul Haq 6. Mohammad Hafeez / Shahid Afridi 7. Umar Akmal / Sarfraz Ahmed 8. Wahab Riaz 9. Saeed Ajmal 10. Junaid Khan 11. Mohammad Irfan

    This seems to be the right playing XI for World Cup. They should give confidence to players that they would would not be dropped till World Cup and they have to give their best to remain in the team.

  • dummy4fb on September 4, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    I MUST say there are major changes required in the Pakistan Team, let first talk about Openers. There must be a right hander and left hander combination like Ahmed Shahzad and Nasir Jamshed (which requires some more games)

    In the middle you can have player like Shoaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal, Fawad Alam

    There must be 2 special spinners in the team like Zulfiqar Babar & Saeed Ajmal which can be rotated in between depending upon the game plan.

    Fast Bowlers are key here in the form of Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan & Talha right arm fast medium

    A specialized wicket-keeper needs to be within the Team in the form of Sarfarz Ahmed

    Now comes a crucial & millionaire question the captain, i think an agressive caption to be within the team like Afridi so it upon selection Team to either select Misbah or Afridi but there is no place of Hafeez in the team as he has issues against seam bowling and pace which will b problem for him. If they plays with this combination I'm sure pak can win worldcup

  • dummy4fb on September 4, 2014, 10:42 GMT

    if dhoni have not drop sehwag, gambir, yuvraj, zaheer, nehra, har bhajan, he would never have won champions trophy and see the performance in england now, that is how a captain makes a winning combinations. every one will perform if they know that if they dont perform they will be out. i will suggest that pick misbah only as player who bat at 3. and make shezad the captain

    it is not that i am comparing, it is all about giving what role to which player

    ramiz raja= ahmed shezad amir sohail= shan masood/ nasir jamshed imran khan= misbah javed = younis inzamam = sohaib salim malik= harris sohail wasim akram= anwar ali moin khan= sarfraz ahmed aqib javed = junaid khan saqlain mushi= saeed ajmal ........ = muhamad irfan

  • THEBEAST7 on September 4, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    Afridi may not have picked up wickets OR scored heavily recently but he is the best bet for the captains post right now. If anyone can guide this team to the 2015 WC final, Afridi is the man. He came close in 2011. Pakistan has a good team. Thay need to fine tune the batting line up a bit. Drop Sarjeel. Send Akmal in as an attacking opener with in form Shehzad (IF ONLY umar akmal understand the value of his wicket and pride his place in the national team. Right now he plays like an alien)I believe Misbah should remain in the team as a specialist batsman. Alam should bat at 4. Rest will take care of itself. I still think Afridi should open the innings to rattle other bowling line ups which will help Pakistan to score real big. But with the likes of Ajmal, Hafeez, Junaid, M.Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Afridi etc, even 230 is a good score to defend (Miss you ASIF). All the best guys. A Sri Lankan supporter...

  • plumblbw on September 4, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    When I assume removing Misbah from captaincy, I'm afraid no one else is eligible. Afridi is extremely self centered, he loves to be admired, wants to be in latest advertisements and he wants to pose. If Misbah is told to attack, take it head on, bat at 3, and hit hard as much as he can, then we might make it to semis of WC. This world cup will contribute to the fall of Afridi, Younis and probably Misbah. Just like the 2003 WC made Wasim, Waqar, Saeed depart, 2007 helped Inzimam and Ross Taylor ended AbdulRazzaq and Shoaib Akhtar's over stay with 30 runs over each.

  • umars101 on September 4, 2014, 5:55 GMT

    i think pakistan should get rid of the players who take their place for granted like umar akmal, shahid afridi ,mohammad hafeez.they are like the dead wood in the team.And also we cannot change captain till world cup then the team will be in no position at all to play.Offcourse misbah has been on the defensive side but he has to go sooner or later.

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