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Recent record gives Pakistan edge over Sri Lanka - Misbah

Umar Farooq

May 18, 2012

Comments: 54 | Text size: A | A

Misbah-ul-Haq plays one square on the off side, Pakistan v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Mirpur, March 15, 2012
Misbah-ul-Haq: "The burden on me has been eased, and I can now focus on two formats." © AFP
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Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan's Test and ODI captain, has said that his team's recent record against Sri Lanka gives it the edge leading into the tour slated for June and July.

"Sri Lanka is always a difficult team to play against, especially in their back yard," Misbah said on the sidelines of Pakistan's preparatory camp in Lahore. "Obviously we have to be at our best in all departments, because they always come hard at the opposition. But our record against them gives us the upper hand, and our confidence level is high."

In their last series against Sri Lanka, in the UAE in October-November 2011, Pakistan won in all three formats. In the three-Test series, they won 1-0, took the ODIs 4-1 and won the one-off Twenty20. They also beat Sri Lanka in the one game the teams played against each other in the Asia Cup in March. However, the previous time the two teams played in Sri Lanka, Pakistan lost the Tests 2-0 and the one-dayers 3-2.

Misbah said Pakistan's improvements on the fielding and fitness fronts would help them this time around. "I think we have shown a lot of improvement in fielding and fitness in last couple of years," he said. "Every coach in the past, whether it was Waqar Younis and Ijaz Ahmed, everyone did a good job [with those disciplines] and now Julien [Fountain, the fielding coach] is doing a great job."

For the Sri Lanka tour, Pakistan have picked specialist players in each format, meaning Misbah has missed out in the Twenty20 squad, and the captaincy was handed over to Mohammad Hafeez. Misbah reiterated that he will be available in the shortest format, should Pakistan require him.

"It [Twenty20] is a format that is widely played in the world and I will keep on playing it," he said. "As far as [ending] my international career is concerned, I think that decision has to be taken by the PCB."

"Obviously the burden on me has been eased, and I can now focus on two formats. But if you are enjoying playing cricket, you can easily cope with it [playing all three formats too]."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Sinhaya on (May 20, 2012, 19:20 GMT)

@sobersfan, what nonsense. Sri Lanka has a great batting lineup. You dont know any cricket. Dilshan, Sangakkara, Samaraweera, Mahela Jayawardene, Prasanna Jayawardena, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews are true world class batsmen who can win matches for us! No ordinary batting lineup can win test matches against the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked test teams, which Sri Lanka recently did comfortably!

Posted by swingstowin on (May 20, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

Whats with predicting the end results? I dont think the quality of two teams in question allows that! All I know it will be a good series and i hope there are no wash outs!

Posted by ExplicitPlatinum on (May 20, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

I don't know about you guys but I'm anxious of seeing Umar Akmal scoring a century or two in the series. The T20 team should be: 1.) Mohammad Hafeez 2.) Ahmed Shehzad 3.) Khalid Latif 4.) Umar Akmal 5.) Haris Sohail 6.) Shahid Afridi 7.) Hammad Azam 8.) Shakeel Ansar/Sarfraz Ahmed 9.) Umar Gul 10.) Saeed Ajmal 11.) Mohammad Sami ODI team 1.) Mohammad Hafeez 2.) Ahmed Shehzad 3.) Umar Akmal 4.) Shahid Afridi 5.) Haris Sohail 6.) Misbah ul-haq 7.) Hammad Azam 8.) Sarfraz Ahmed 9.) Umar Gul 10.) Saeed Ajmal 11.) Rahat Ali Test team 1.) Mohammad Hafeez 2.) Ahmed Shehzad 3.) Azhar Ali 4.) Younis Khan 5.) Umar Akmal 6.) Misbah ul-haq 7.) Sarfraz Ahmed 8.) Umar Gul 9.) Rahat Ali 10.) Saeed Ajmal 11.) Junaid Khan

I have chosen the best possible squad with everyone having the ability to give the best results. I have chosen players who were chosen for the tour only.

Posted by AMAZINGFAN on (May 20, 2012, 2:54 GMT)

@sinhaya,he scored only one century in aus and u r calling him as a world class batsman.sangakara is the only great batsman in that sl lineup but he is in worst form of his life. mahela is a good player in sl but whene he goes outside the sub continent he can't put bat to ball.ajmal will run through this ordinary batting.pak will win this series easily.

Posted by Sinhaya on (May 20, 2012, 1:41 GMT)

@sobersfan, you dont know what is test cricket! To win test matches you got to be at your best in all sessions. ODI or T20 occasional wins by minnows may be flukes but never will test match wins be flukes! I know very well that for an anti Sri Lankan like you, all Sri Lanka's test match wins ever since we got test status in 1982 are flukes! Also, forgot how Sangakkara score 182 at Hobart in 2007 and dismissed controversially? Forgot how Prasanna Jayawardene scored a ton at Cardiff test match last year? Forgot how Dilshan scored 193 at Lord's test match last year? Forgot how Chandimal scored a ton at Lord's last year in the 3rd ODI? Yeah they are school boy work according to you! Sri Lanka has an excellent batting lineup.

Posted by Sinhaya on (May 20, 2012, 1:37 GMT)

@getsetgopk, besides telling Misbah is over defensive, fact was that in the last SL Pakistan series in UAE, the wickets for the tests were way to slow sluggish making run scoring hard. Taking wickets too was hard. So chasing 162 in 20 overs on the last day would have been tricky. Both sides scored slowly in the tests because big shots meant you risked your wicket. Yes Russell Arnold ate his own words that day. But then of course remember Kepler Wessels said at the start of our series in SA that "even our 2nd XI can beat this Sri Lankan side" only to be humiliated in the Durban test. Yes from what you say, then dont count the chickens before they hatch. This will be an exiting series.

Posted by Sinhaya on (May 20, 2012, 1:26 GMT)

@sobersfan, you dont know what is test cricket! To win test matches you got to be at your best in all sessions. ODI or T20 occasional wins by minnows may be flukes but never will test match wins be flukes! I know very well that for an anti Sri Lankan like you, all Sri Lanka's test match wins ever since we got test status in 1982 are flukes! Also, forgot how Sangakkara score 182 at Hobart in 2007 and dismissed controversially? Forgot how Prasanna Jayawardene scored a ton at Cardiff test match last year? Forgot how Dilshan scored 193 at Lord's test match last year? Forgot how Chandimal scored a ton at Lord's last year in the 3rd ODI? Yeah they are school boy work according to you! Sri Lanka has an excellent batting lineup.

Posted by LastLaugh_PK on (May 20, 2012, 1:12 GMT)

@SylhetiBangladeshiCricketExpert4u: Lo and behold! The Bengali Guru has spoken, the teams should not even play since he has already spelled out the final results. Both teams should accept the result given by him because he is the most knowledgeable person in the world and is also a Nostradamus on his off-days.

Posted by SylhetiBangladeshiCricketExpert4u on (May 19, 2012, 22:00 GMT)

I m Pretty Sure at The End of the Series u Will See in Test- Sl-2 Pk-0 Odi-SL-4 Pk-1 T20 Sl-2 Pk-0....Srilanka is way ahead of pakistan when they r playing at home

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (May 19, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

@Sinhya,why do u always refer to same script time n again,why do u harp on same line about jst one rain affectd tst match,ths z part n parcel of intrnatnl cric,n 4 ur infrmatn about d same series,99.99 pakis had d opinion that it should have ben clean swept,bt thanks to ovr.defencive misbha n we won it 1.0,i dn't know on what grounds u n some othr considrng sl a balancd side as u have 1,or 2 clas players n nthng else,our pak batng z as strong as any othr team among top 2 teams as far as playng on spin tracks z concernd,time gona prove ths time as wel,as we have dominatd ur far more strongr sl sides(murali,vas,zoyca,playng) at your backyard about more than 60%,i thng it would prov far more easier,lovng one's own country z difrnt whil acceptng reality z difrent,once again no personal offence as u R our brtherly frnds n would remain as such no mater whoevr wins

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