Sri Lanka v Pakistan, 2nd Test, SSC August 13, 2014

'Have to be on our toes every session' - Misbah

Misbah-ul-Haq has said Pakistan are ready to square off against Sri Lanka and insisted that his team is capable of bouncing back hard. Pakistan haven't won a series since beating England 3-0 in the UAE in 2012 and after the Galle defeat last week are facing another winless series.

"We did play well [in Galle] but we weren't consistent," Misbah said at the pre-match press conference in Colombo. "We played well in patches and lacked the consistency in every department so what we are going to do is to ensure we are on our toes in every session. Our batsmen did score runs in the first innings and are still in form and in good shape. There are things that need to be improved and we will ensure that we will go hard to pull this one our way."

In Sharjah earlier this year Pakistan, who were trailing 1-0 in the three-match series, came back hard to beat Sri Lanka and square the series 1-1. Pakistan are looking to repeat that here, by starting the Test afresh and forgetting the result of the first Test. "Every game is a new game regardless what happened in the previous game so we are looking forward to win this one to level the series," Misbah said.

"We obviously need to improve in every department as there is always room for it. We are concentrating on the present and forget what was in the past, whether it was good or bad, because after all we have a new day ahead with a new game that will be entirely different. I think this time we will ensure that we are on the money throughout the game."

Mahela Jayawardene will retire from Test cricket after the second Test at the SSC, where he has scored 2863 runs in 26 Tests, the most by any batsman at a single ground. He averages 77.37 with 11 hundreds, including his highest score of 374 against South Africa in 2006. His record against Pakistan isn't dazzling but Pakistan are still wary of him.

"Plan against Jayawardene is simple," Misbah said. "Get him out as soon as possible and spoil their party. But at the same time we know how good he can be at his home ground. He is a class player and particularly at his own ground he is a different man. He has scored ample runs and he could be dangerous, so as a team we obviously would want to take him down."

Pakistan are traditionally known for their bowling strength but the attack struggled to take wickets at Galle. Misbah admitted this played some part in their defeat but wasn't too concerned. "We shouldn't blame our bowlers as it is about the conditions, as it happens when you have purely batting conditions. And Sri Lanka are well aware of their home conditions and similarly the conditions in UAE are quite close, so this is the reason I think when you are playing in the hands of batsmen and the bowlers struggle."

In Galle, Misbah underbowled left-arm spinner Abdur Rehman, who only sent down 39 overs in the first innings compared to 59.1 from Saeed Ajmal. Rehman didn't bowl at all in Sri Lanka's second innings. "There is no particular reason or strategy not to bowl with Rehman," Misbah said. "It is all about when a team is already doing well with one of their best bowlers so we have to go with it. He wasn't at his best of rhythm so that is the only reason I didn't bowl him otherwise he is a very good bowler."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. @kalson

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  • Dummy4 on August 14, 2014, 7:23 GMT

    @Junaid Abbasi nothing is STRANGE about Hafeez's exclusion he has been struggling for quite some time now and Ahmed Shehzad had a great series against SL in the UAE averaging 45 nor is Hafeez such an impact player that his inclusion will change our fortunes its good to try young players,if you have to replace one of the openers replace him with another youngster like Shan Masood not someone who has been given a 100 chances like Hafeez or Farhat.@gghdtyWho should Fawad replace?Agreed he is a good player but that is not enough to include someone.You need to have someone in the team playing in his position whom he should replace.Asad and Azhar do not deserve to be kicked out.Misbah?Younus?Gentlemen selection is not the problem.This is Pakistan's best team at the moment face it.Dont know why people start blaming the selectors for every defeat.For every player there are atleast 2 replacements and for every replacement there are thousands of supporters.I believe this team is the best we have

  • ESPN on August 14, 2014, 0:05 GMT

    Being on the toes made it lose the match, keep your feet in the ground then the match is won!

  • Ranil on August 13, 2014, 20:16 GMT

    Pakistan's strength is their bowling & with Ajmal having issues he won't be at his best.Sri Lankan team is bubbling with confidence with Sanga at the top of the batting league again & he is facing his favourite team on a SSC pitch & Herath weaving his simple magic wonderfully all these point to an easy win for Sri Lanka.

  • Dummy4 on August 13, 2014, 19:52 GMT

    HAFEEZ made three centuries in odi's against srilanka & One Century in Test , Still his service was not taken despite he has batted best with srilankan bowlers, Strange strategies ! It was not South Africa, that hafeez will get out with steyn ! STRANGE & very wrong Pakistan strategies ! management will have to pick teams from series to series ! Hafeez bats his best with sri lanks , yet dropped ! management and waqar will have to learn things quickly, world cup is ahead !

  • Dummy4 on August 13, 2014, 18:27 GMT

    Is something wrong with Misbah physically. He looks so thin and lean on this tour. Has he lost weight on purpose?

  • nauman on August 13, 2014, 15:29 GMT

    Still hard to understand why the best possible team isn't playing. Fawad alam is the present day Javed miandad in consistency and temperament and Pakistan crickets psychi desperately needs him to feel good and fight good. If you don't play your best cricketers and try grooming youngsters in tests , you will develop a sense of wanting cause these youngsters just don't have the fighting spirit , they haven't learnt it. Fawad Alam HAS IT .

  • MUHAMMAD on August 13, 2014, 14:03 GMT

    I am pretty sure we'll lose again. Still can't get over the fact that we lost the first one after scoring 451 in the first innings. Ajmal is not clicking in. When he does create chances, we do what we have always done. We drop them.

  • Atif on August 13, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    At the current strength, Pakistan are likely to lose the second Test as well. There is no firepower in the batting and no consistent penetration in their bowling. Sri Lanka will win the Test comfortably.

  • Dummy4 on August 13, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    That is right. test match is for 5 days.and you have to take each session separately and try to win session wise. Pakistan made same mistake in last test on 5th morning by just sitting and thought it will be a draw. On these flat and slow wickets its really hard for bowlers to create chances. But when they do you can not afford to give 2/3 chances batsman. So fielders will have to stay awake and active all the time.

    should make couple of changes. Khurram is doing nothing since 146 vs SA. This will be a flat wicket so Azhar can open and pak can bring in umar akmal in playing 11. Talha was not up to mark so he should be replaced. though rehman also did nothing but there is no other spin option.

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