Pakistan news March 26, 2013

'We need to improve a lot' - Misbah


Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has called the results of the South Africa series a disappointment and accepted that his team needed significant improvements. He was speaking after the Pakistan side returned home from a two-month tour of South Africa. Pakistan lost the ODI series by 3-2 and Test series by 3-0, though the team managed to win the two-match Twenty20 series 1-0, after the first match was washed out.

The biggest concern for Pakistan has been the batting as no batsman proved consistent enough. The team reached South Africa 10 days ahead of the first Test to get used to the conditions but struggled to find their feet. They lost the first Test by 211 runs, the second by four wickets and the third by an innings and 18 runs with batting regularly failing against a top-quality South Africa attack. In ODIs, they performed a bit better but remained inconsistent with Misbah being the top scorer for Pakistan, collecting 227 runs at 56.75.

"The tour was disappointing," Misbah said, on arriving at the Lahore airport. "We struggled throughout the Test series and it's an alarming situation, we need to improve a lot in various aspects. We couldn't do much in the Test series but recovered well and were better in the one-dayers. We played irresponsible shots and we need to address our batting problems."

Several of Pakistan's key players couldn't deliver. Mohammad Hafeez was clueless against Dale Steyn, Shahid Afridi was erratic, Younis Khan failed in the limited-overs matches and Umar Gul was below his best. Hafeez managed to score 43 in six Test innings, and 118 in five ODIs, Younis scored 184 in the Tests and 116 in ODIs while Afridi, who was picked as a legspinner failed to take a wicket, though he clubbed 126 runs in the ODIs.

Misbah, however, refused to single out any particular player and left it to the concerned authorities to pass judgement on the performances ahead of the Champions Trophy. "Everyone has seen who did what (in South Africa) but it's the board and the selectors who will gauge the performances of the players and they will look into the future."

Responding to a question, Misbah brushed aside any off-the-field clash that affected the team in South Africa. "There was nothing like that (in-rift) and it isn't a reason for the performance. We should accept that they were the better side and played better than us and at the end of the day, they won."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nasir on March 28, 2013, 22:26 GMT

    I fail to understand how Umar Akmal our highest world ranking ODI batsman fail to make it into the ODI team !!! Afridi needs to go he loses more matches for us than he wins. Nasir Jamshed needs to be given more of a chance although he has not scored I think he has got the best technique in the team. Sohail Tanvir needs to also be given a chance rather that wahab riaz ......

  • Farhan on March 28, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    Wait What? I thought Pakistan is the PERFECT team :O. According to their fan they've the most talented batting line up and their bowlers are the BEST. If that is true how come Misbah says Batting is weak :O?

  • Emran on March 28, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    I am surprised why now suddenly Misbah realised Pakistan batting is weak. Pakistan batting has been weak and inconsistent eversince Imran Khan's tenure ended. It only clicks once in a while against weak bowling attacks especially on flat surfaces. Against quality bowling in bowler friendly conditions I have not seen it perform for a longtime now. Gone is the era when Pakistan batting used to perform against quality oppositions like West Indies at their best in the 80s. I dont see any batsman in the current team of the stature of Miandad, Rameez, MudassarNazar, Saleem Malik and the great Imran Khan himself. They were all fighters and didn't gave up easily. Their body language showed that they are there to win. Even Sallem Yousif who was not all that talented and was a keeper used to go out and fight it out against the best. They were all there to win the game so much unlike the current team who are mostly mentally defeated even before the match starts.

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    Old with the old and in with the new!! - Pakistan need to get rid of the old guard..

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    pakistan need to replace old players with young talents like ahamed shehzad, shehzab hussain, umar akmal, harris sohail, fawad alam,asad shafiq, Sharjeel Khan. too many chances given to imran farhat, younis khan, wahab riyas. these players are talented but not consistent enough to play for pakistan. selector must think future of pakistan.

  • mohammad on March 28, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    @ Asif Kidwai. You check all the comments in last 2 years written here. You will see more than 75% supports Razzaque's inclusion. You are a pathetic biased looser for afridi, the biggest failure of 2013. My team : Ahmed Shezad, Nasir, Haris Shoail, Asad, Fuad alam, Umar Akmal, Misbah, Hafeez, Razzaque, Ajaml, Junaed, Irfan, plus a wicket keeper. No place for old spent forces . Ajmal the Captain, no more Hafiz. Misbah retained for middle order stability, no more captainship. How many years will it take for Misbah and company, to improve a lot with old spent forces and flat track bullies? Please give us a break.

  • asad on March 27, 2013, 22:02 GMT

    @Moin Pakistan may have rocked under a bowler captain but they won the world cup under an alrounder captain (Imran Khan) so I think Hafeez should become captain cuz he has experience of captaincy from T20s and we are actually a pretty strong T20 team under his captaincy. Also Hafeez is younger then Ajmal and probably has more years of cricket left.

  • Naveed on March 27, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    @anas. Is there anybody left who u want to include lol

  • shahid on March 27, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    Our selection masters are probabely bhang counsumers. They have no authority or may be no ability to use it. They select a team according to captain and coachs liking only. One should ask then why are you there, let the captain choose the team. Then they are weak enough to oblige others like miandad and ilyas. Why do they pick faisal who has got 52 international matches and could never do better than an average of 24. PCB and its selectors are ruining it. What is wrong with Fawad Alam, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail and Usman Sallahuddin that you select faisal?

  • shahid on March 27, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    The worst batting drought. Not a single batsman able to play long innings axcept Younis who rarely perform these days. A batsman of international standards should at least score a 100 every 6 matches, try evaluating present batsmen on this scale.

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