Pakistan news September 2, 2014

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

ESPNcricinfo staff

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."

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