Pakistan in Sri Lanka 2014 August 2, 2014

'Need to stop Jayawardene' - Misbah

ESPNcricinfo staff

Misbah-ul-Haq has said that Pakistan will need to keep a check on Mahela Jayawardene's scoring in the upcoming two-match Test series in Sri Lanka. The series will be Jayawardene's swansong from Tests.

"If we are to win the series in Sri Lanka, we have to ensure that their top batsmen, particularly Jayawardene, are not allowed to get many runs," Misbah said on his departure from Karachi. "I have a lot of respect for what he has achieved but we are going to Sri Lanka to win the two-Test series and we know how important it is for us to not allow their senior players to score."

Pakistan last won a Test series in Sri Lanka in 2006. That was also the last time they won a Test in Sri Lanka. They have toured the country twice since then. In those two unsuccessful tours, Jayawardene managed 267 runs from 12 innings at an average of 26.70. However, the Pakistan bowlers were made to toil by Kumar Sangakkara, who amassed 821 runs at an average of 102.62 in the six Tests.

"It is going to be a tough series because Sri Lanka have been playing lot of Test and other cricket. But we have prepared hard and I have confidence in our bowlers," Misbah said.

Saeed Ajmal was the second-highest wicket-taker over those two tours with 29 wickets, only one behind Rangana Herath, and will have the onus of leading the bowling group on the spin-friendly pitches in Galle and Colombo.

"Our spinners have traditionally done well in Sri Lanka but we are banking on our pace bowlers as well," Misbah said.

Pakistan have not won a Test series under Misbah's leadership since beating England 3-0 in 2012 in the UAE, and he will be nearly 41 when the 2015 World Cup arrives, but the captain said he wasn't thinking too far ahead. "I just want to focus on the match at the moment because that is important. No one knows what will happen after one day so why think about the World Cup," he said. "I take it one match at a time and carry on from there. And I am under no pressure because of the captaincy debate."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 9, 2014, 7:03 GMT

    Misbah no need to stop mahela he will automatically stop after this tournament. we miss u grate maheala.......

  • Dummy4 on August 8, 2014, 18:21 GMT

    Hope Pakistan's batting performance in 'so called tough batting conditions' answered, lets see how game progresses on 4th and 5th day! Keeping fingers crossed

  • Mohammad on August 5, 2014, 20:17 GMT

    After performing poorly against South Africa,the Sri lankans certainly would be prepared to pounce upon Pakistan by using their favored conditions.Meanwhile,Pakistan mustn't underestimate the ability of lankans and do something exceptional to outfox them at their own home soil.Hopefully both the test and ODI series would be exuberant to watch with some plentiful excitement.

  • Sriram on August 5, 2014, 10:49 GMT

    Interesting phase for Lanka, with Jaya gone after these 2 tests, they will have a new look test team, some youngsters have done well although bowlers fitness is a worry. When Sanga and Herath hang thier boots, its going to be a long road to recovery something that Windies, Aus, Eng, Ind and to some extent Pak and SA have gone or going through.

  • Sachitra on August 5, 2014, 3:59 GMT

    this is purely a tactical comment from Misbah cuz as we all know Jaya's days are over, he is nothing more than a liability now. Hope SL understand this

  • Samir on August 5, 2014, 2:23 GMT

    Common Srilanka, Show Zero Mercy to Pakistan and win everything against them!!!

  • mohammad on August 4, 2014, 14:36 GMT

    Poor old man, Who is going to stop Sanga and about half dozen good SL batsmen in their own known pitch? Then who will score runs for your team besides 2-3 dependable batsmen? As usual it will be a tough series between two friendly teams. Always enjoyable.

  • Sachit on August 4, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    Misbah and Younis with bat and Ajmal with bowl should really perform

  • Imran on August 4, 2014, 10:29 GMT

    Misbah is diverting attention away from his batsmen. By concentrating on opposition and his strength in the team of bowlers. Truth is Pakistan will have to bat for 350+ scores and their malnutritioned batsmen have not got the temperament, ability and responsibility to do that. Sri Lanka would have to lose the tests, rather than Pakistan winning it.

  • karthik on August 4, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    Misbah playing the mind game by not mentioning about sanga.Obviously his main focus should be on sanga and mathhews as both of them are in their peak..I think srilanka will have problem in chosing the right pitch. Chosing a spin friendly or seamer friendly pitch will backfire srilanka as pakistan have strong spin and seam attack. I think batsmen friendly wicket help srilanka to gain some advantage as srilankans batting look more stronger than pakistanis.

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