Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Pallekele, 5th day

Misbah encouraged by youngsters' show

Sa'adi Thawfeeq in Pallekele

July 12, 2012

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Asad Shafiq and Adnan Akmal added an unbeaten 81, Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 3rd Test, Pallekele, 5th day, July 12, 2012
Asah Shafiq made a century, while Adnan Akmal batted with a broken finger to eat up valuable time on the fifth morning © AFP
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He bowls his outswingers and inswingers to the batsmen and surprises them with bouncers sometimes. It's good to have this sort of bowler in the side especially on wickets that are not suited for him. He's a big find for us Misbah on Junaid Khan

Since taking over as Pakistan captain in mid-2010 when the team was in disarray after the spot-fixing scandal, Misbah-ul-Haq has converted the side into a powerful Test outfit. Pakistan drew or won the next seven series, but Sri Lanka have finally handed Misbah his first Test series defeat as captain.

"A loss is a loss and whenever you have a lost a series, it's not good for the team," Misbah said, after the draw in Pallekele that confirmed a 1-0 series defeat. "We were hoping for a better result after we lost the first game. Everybody tried well, the team fought hard but then you may say that we were not lucky enough to win again. That happens, but I am really happy with the effort that everybody put in."

Despite the defeat, Misbah wasn't too downcast. "The positive is the way the young guys have performed. A plus for us is the way Asad Shafiq batted; Azhar Ali is becoming a real strong lad for us. In difficult situations both these players performed well for us. The way Adnan Akmal played today with a fractured finger is a good sign. Junaid Khan is a big plus. After the first game Hafeez's form became good, he batted well with Taufeeq Umar."

Misbah had a special word of praise for Junaid, who got the ball to move both ways and troubled Sri Lanka's batsmen throughout the series. "It wasn't easy especially on the SSC wicket and on this wicket also after the first day it was almost flat. The way he bowled, his bowling sense, was really good. He bowls his outswingers and inswingers to the batsmen and surprises them with bouncers sometimes. It's good to have this sort of bowler in the side especially on wickets that are not suited for him. He's a big find for us."

Junaid ended with 14 wickets in the series, a contrast to his fast bowling colleagues, Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema and Mohammad Sami, who collectively could pick up only two wickets. "We have to look for some others to really help us in the fast bowling department," Misbah said. "Unfortunately it wasn't a good series for other fast bowlers they were a bit unlucky they could not just pick wickets, that's why we could not finish the Test matches. We have to improve our bowling department and our catching. We were not good even in the one-day series and even in the Test series."

When asked whether there would be any backlash back home because Pakistan had lost the series, Misbah said, "You can't control it, there are some guys who are always looking for negatives, but I am really happy the way the team fought back. Winning and losing is part of the game, we were really nowhere in the first game. There is a psychological advantage for our team we played both the last two games with real good control. It's a real positive for me, [though] I don't how the people feel about that."

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Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (July 14, 2012, 9:33 GMT)

PAK needs to learn from Black Caps to improve Fielding

Posted by dmqi on (July 14, 2012, 3:43 GMT)

Well, first test was lost due to poor umpiring and poor batting by pak. 2nd test Pak win was deprived by rain. 3rd test was also affected by rain, it could have gone either way. Misbah's bad luck that is that he did not win the toss in test 3. Not a bad series at all. Mahela just got lucky to win the series.

Posted by   on (July 13, 2012, 19:15 GMT)

I was really happy with the teams performance as Mahela said in the post match presentation "Pakistan are ranked number 5 but with there armory they should be much higher in the ICC rankings" I'm sure with the young guns in our time Pak will continue to rise in the test rankings.

Posted by Desihungama on (July 13, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

Misbah didn't lose the series as Captain Pakistan and Hafeez did.

Posted by   on (July 13, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

A satisfying performance by Pakistan.......they were a bit unlucky in 1st test........and the upper hand in next two games.........

Posted by hani2 on (July 13, 2012, 10:32 GMT)

Pakistan should immediately get rid of all the repeated failures of the past 10 years. Like Sami, Imran farhat and Faisal iqbal. Selectors should also keep check of Mr. Guls preformance. He just seems to have no competition, and is playing every match, despite of performing horribly.

Posted by SamRoy on (July 13, 2012, 9:54 GMT)

Mohammad Sami should never play another test match for Pakistan. His bowling average is similar to Javed Miandad's batting average which means he is a pathetic test bowler with no control. He is similar to India's Ajit Agarkar; ok in ODIs, horrible in tests but the management's darling. Has already played way too many tests than he should have.

Posted by smartguy786 on (July 13, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

Well done azahr ali and asad, they are becoming my fav players ..... the rest of the oldies retire.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (July 13, 2012, 3:57 GMT)

PAK improved in this series in both batting and bowling. They got to do a lot in Fielding. SL has to find 2 good fast bowlers otherwise they cannot compete at the TOP level. I think PAK improved a lot more than that of SL. Tissara and Kula are ODI allrounders not good for TESTS. SL really need over 140 K 2 fast bowlers.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2012, 23:52 GMT)

Although TEAM PAKISTAN lost the test series 1 - 0, I am very pleased with the performance of the youngsters. Azhar Ali played well in the ODIs as well as test matches and now Asad Shafiq is also making significant contribution. Junaid Khan bowled superbly. TEAM PAKISTAN need to introduce more youngsters in the team and in particular players like Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad and Hammad Azam. My test XI would be: 1. Ahmed Shehzad, 2. Hafeez / Taufeeq, 3. Azhar Ali, 4. Umar Akmal, 5. Misbah, 6. Asad Shafiq, 7. Hammad Azam, 8. Adnan Akmal / Sarfraz Ahmed, 9. Wahab Riaz / Umar Gul, 10. Junaid Khan. 11. Saeed Ajmal. It may be time for Yunus Khan to retire and make room for a youngster and future of pakistan cricket.

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