'This is not a time-pass series' - Malik
Shoaib Malik refuses to underestimate Bangladesh, despite marshalling a 152-run thumping win in the opening game of the five-match ODI series against the visitors in Lahore. A century from Mohammad Yousuf and 85 from the captain himself set Pakistan up before Sohail Tanvir, Rao Iftikhar Anjum and Shahid Afridi wrapped up a comfortable win over a strangely insipid Bangladesh.
Malik, however, insisted that it was dangerous to draw too many conclusions from the game. "You can't judge a team on one match alone. This is cricket where you can't take any team lightly," he said. "We set them a big target and sometimes if you get a good start, you can push the chase close. But our bowlers did really well to take early wickets to put the pressure on."
Pakistan also plans to give opportunities to players who have impressed in the domestic ABN AMRO cup, though the first target, Malik insisted, was to wrap up the series. "This is not a time-pass series for us. We are taking it seriously and we want to improve our fielding and fitness during it.
"Our first priority is to win the series. After that we will look at some of the guys who have done well in the domestic tournaments and give them a chance."
As has been the recent trend, Pakistan used a combination of Malik and Afridi for the fifth bowler duties and though both have done well against admittedly limited opposition, the ploy will need reworking in tougher environments.
"We should have a sixth bowling option," Malik admitted. "We tried this same line-up in Jaipur against India last year, except we had Fawad Alam in place of Afridi. But we need options for example if one of the bowlers becomes unfit during a match. This is still an experimental combination that we are playing."
The series moves on to Faisalabad for the second game, on April 11.