Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st ODI, Harare August 27, 2013

'We misread the pitch' - Misbah

ESPNcricinfo staff
  shares 33

Misbah-ul-Haq has admitted he "misread the pitch" at the Harare Sports Club in their seven-wicket loss to Zimbabwe in the first ODI. Misbah had won the toss and elected to bat on what he thought would be a good pitch for the team batting first.

Even though they were cruising at just under five-runs per over till the 38th over with eight wickets in hand, they only managed 244. Pakistan won both Twenty20s last week on the same ground after batting first after they lost the toss on both the occasions.

"We misread the pitch. It was looking like it was going to be slow in the second innings, but I think it was slow in the first innings and played better in the second," Misbah said.

Misbah gave Zimbabwe the credit for chasing a competitive target of 245 with 10 balls to spare. Their top order scored nearly three-fourths of the runs and handled Pakistan's spinners deftly as Mohammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi went wicketless.

"I think Zimbabwe really deserved it," Misbah said. "They played really well and played better than us. Specially the way their openers batted, there was no panic in their batting line-up and they did it comfortably. The way they bowled and batted, they really took the game away from us. They are a much improved side, especially in home conditions, they are a better side. I think we have to go back and think where we went wrong to really improve our batting, bowling and fielding."

Misbah stated that their total of 244 was not enough and that their bowling and fielding let them down. Pakistan fielded five bowlers, but their bowling struggled as they failed to break Zimbabwe's opening partnership.

"I don't think it [244] was enough, you can't say it was a fighting total on this pitch," he said. "Maybe we fell 30 runs short. Still, you need to bowl and field very well but we were missing something in the bowling line-up, especially with the new ball and our fielding wasn't up to the standards.

"Opening bowlers are our strength - both of them [Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan] give us breakthroughs in the first 10 overs with the new ball, but we were struggling and not getting wickets at the top so that is where we are missing [something]. I think it is really important to get wickets at the top to put the opposition under pressure."

Pakistan are not playing a second-string side on this tour, the way India did earlier this month when they were led by Virat Kohli, even though they play South Africa and Sri Lanka later this year. Misbah defended the selectors' decision of naming a full-strength squad for the current tour instead of giving youngsters a chance.

"In Pakistan people feel that we should win these matches and a lot of people were saying that you should try youngsters and this and that," he said. "Almost 60% of the players are already new in this team, they are just making their way into international cricket, they are playing regularly at the moment. This team is already relatively new and we played with our full strength. We got the team here, we played with our full strength and we lost.

"I think we have to change this psyche because in international cricket all the teams are good enough. And specially if you are playing in their own conditions, you need to be 100% focused and you need to be 100%. Otherwise, if you give them just a little bit of chance, they can do these sort of upsets. We need to just come back strongly and play our A game, our best game then you can really win these games."

The remaining two ODIs of the series will be played on Thursday and Saturday on the same ground before the two-Test series starts next month.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 29, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    Pakistan is on right track now, youngsters are there to prove. their selection and seniors need to play a governance role. one loss can brings many good victories. :-P

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    In-spite of Misbah being the backbone of Pakistani batting, I have lots of doubts on his captaincy skills. This is not the first time we have seen such inept captaincy from the man. Back in 2012, he misread the pitch in the final game against SL and dropped Ajmal for Sami. Later Sami conceded 16 runs in the final over of the match and conceded the series. Then this year against SA, twice he won the toss and put SA in on batting belters and surprisingly went in with 2 seamers. On both occasions SA hammered more than 300 runs resulting in massive losses. Along with this, his selection criteria is also very dubious. Guys like Umar Amin and Harris Sohail who are best suited to bat at number 3/4 are being sent at the end to score quick runs which is not their game. So IMO even when are testing out new players, they are just being played to fill up the numbers rather than getting the maximum out of them. Bad captaincy combined with spineless batting is the major cause of downfall.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    Well said Furqan Javaid, its one game Zimbabwe batting clicked and performed admirably our lower order performed below par and we lost one game not a big deal. Well done Zimbabwe congrats on a well deserved win.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    why so much criticizing team pakistan ??we lost simply just because of accelerating after 30 + overs & in that period lost quick wickets .nothing 2 worry ,team will bounce back & win the series .Now ,My question to all those who are saying that selectors did not give chance to young stars??see the team properly then say any thing ,we already have lot young stars including nasir,ahmad,amin,haris,junaid.4 young batters out 0f 6 .now want what??

  • POSTED BY shamlaatu on | August 28, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    lol yeah... blame it on the pitch.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 28, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    Pakistan has v good coach around them but dey r not utilizing his presence. .hafeez shd captain d team n misbah shd take a role of sr batsmen. . dey have everything rite dey got rite team but nothing is operating accordingly

  • POSTED BY Smiling on | August 28, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    I don't know why they bother to have Whatmore as coach when they give him no say in anything. How frustrating it must be for him especially when they go against his advice...like bowling first. It's like giving a top of the range Ferrari but no driving allowed.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    Yeah as saw Awesome Hitting by Misbah in the last Over, He is so skilled in doing that in last overs, before that he shifts the duty to all other batsmen who are new on crease,

  • POSTED BY keptalittlelow on | August 28, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    Totally ineffective Pakistan think tank, I dont know what Mr.Whatmore is doing. He sends Misbah to utter old lame excuses after every shameful defeat. Nasir Jamshed has been tried long enough, please replace him now.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    Expected excuse from Misbah "misread the pitch" in almost all the lost matches

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 29, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    Pakistan is on right track now, youngsters are there to prove. their selection and seniors need to play a governance role. one loss can brings many good victories. :-P

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    In-spite of Misbah being the backbone of Pakistani batting, I have lots of doubts on his captaincy skills. This is not the first time we have seen such inept captaincy from the man. Back in 2012, he misread the pitch in the final game against SL and dropped Ajmal for Sami. Later Sami conceded 16 runs in the final over of the match and conceded the series. Then this year against SA, twice he won the toss and put SA in on batting belters and surprisingly went in with 2 seamers. On both occasions SA hammered more than 300 runs resulting in massive losses. Along with this, his selection criteria is also very dubious. Guys like Umar Amin and Harris Sohail who are best suited to bat at number 3/4 are being sent at the end to score quick runs which is not their game. So IMO even when are testing out new players, they are just being played to fill up the numbers rather than getting the maximum out of them. Bad captaincy combined with spineless batting is the major cause of downfall.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    Well said Furqan Javaid, its one game Zimbabwe batting clicked and performed admirably our lower order performed below par and we lost one game not a big deal. Well done Zimbabwe congrats on a well deserved win.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    why so much criticizing team pakistan ??we lost simply just because of accelerating after 30 + overs & in that period lost quick wickets .nothing 2 worry ,team will bounce back & win the series .Now ,My question to all those who are saying that selectors did not give chance to young stars??see the team properly then say any thing ,we already have lot young stars including nasir,ahmad,amin,haris,junaid.4 young batters out 0f 6 .now want what??

  • POSTED BY shamlaatu on | August 28, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    lol yeah... blame it on the pitch.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 28, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    Pakistan has v good coach around them but dey r not utilizing his presence. .hafeez shd captain d team n misbah shd take a role of sr batsmen. . dey have everything rite dey got rite team but nothing is operating accordingly

  • POSTED BY Smiling on | August 28, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    I don't know why they bother to have Whatmore as coach when they give him no say in anything. How frustrating it must be for him especially when they go against his advice...like bowling first. It's like giving a top of the range Ferrari but no driving allowed.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    Yeah as saw Awesome Hitting by Misbah in the last Over, He is so skilled in doing that in last overs, before that he shifts the duty to all other batsmen who are new on crease,

  • POSTED BY keptalittlelow on | August 28, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    Totally ineffective Pakistan think tank, I dont know what Mr.Whatmore is doing. He sends Misbah to utter old lame excuses after every shameful defeat. Nasir Jamshed has been tried long enough, please replace him now.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    Expected excuse from Misbah "misread the pitch" in almost all the lost matches

  • POSTED BY Chaudry_Cricket on | August 28, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    What sort of a pathetic and inept team managment do we have who consistently 'misread the pitch' we heard this excuse in South Africa, England (champions trophy) , West Indies and now in Zimbabwe.

    Why Misbah don't you admit that you are a spineless captain, you will always prefer senior's over youngster's and that Dav Whatmore is nothing but a namesake coach who sit's around doing nothing.

    On top of that he says the fans need to change their pschye ... Well then explain to us why you took a full strength team and still lost.

    Misbah is probably the worst captain to have graced pakistan cricket.

    (In no way am I bashing his batting I am just stating that as a captain he is rubbish).

    We need to change the team management Zaheer Abbas should be made batting and head coach with Wasim or Waqar as

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 9:07 GMT

    Misbah just wants to be not out every innings, that's why he himself plays defensively and puts pressure on the other batsmen to hit out, even if he is a tailender. Yesterday also he waited till the last over to hit it out himself.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    Worst Batting Performance By Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY spant on | August 28, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    Very lame excuse about the pitch! When, a full strength Pakistan is playing with Zim, anybody will expect a Pak win, irrespective of toss!!!

  • POSTED BY ObliviousMesse on | August 28, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    We dont need 3 to 4 Misbah in our team, everyone in trying to be Misbah. Misbahlogy completely failed he is one of the worst and defensive captain in the history of Pakistan. He should be kick out from the Pak ODI team otherwise whole team will be Misbah XI rather than Pakistan XI.

  • POSTED BY harrdstone on | August 28, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    No body ever says it but very slow batting by Misbah puts others under pressure and they get out. See Pakistan scored only 67 in last 15 overs while he was in throughout and well set.Even during the power play from 35-40 overs Paks only scored23 runs while he was batting. He only hit out in the last over to make his own strike rate respectable.In all matches lost by Pakistan while Misbah scored well , his slow batting was the cause whether it was yesterday or the Indo-pak match in the world cup Every body would say he scored 80 but nobody says why in his presence Paks did not score 100 in the last 15 overs or 40 in last 5 overs against a team like Zimbabwe.therefore his innings was useless in the context of the match.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    misbah, hafeez, afridi & ajmal have played more games. rest 7 havent played much games. junaid has 32. so i dont know wht people mean by youngsters?

    this was very young team. the question is are these really ready for international level? in this odi only 3 old players stood up. misbah,hafeez, ajmal.

    Umar amin & sarfraz havent done anything in batting sofar in odis.

    Nasir is i think out of form. he had good india series but after that he is poor.

    People talk about Strike rates or playing too slow, most of these youngsters have an average SR in List A games in their career. & we term them aggressive players just because once or in t20 format they scored some runs.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    But they were in very good position. 179/2 in 37th over . should have been more. the problem was batting. apart from misbah & hafeez no one else stood up. 13 overs were enough for afrdi, haris, umar amin & sarfraz to do some batting. Our youngsters are not up to the mark. ahmed & nasir were also too slow. nasir is out of form and havent done much since india series.

    Even these youngsters(ahmed, nasir, umar amin, sarfraz ) have average domestic Strike rates. only maqsood has 97. and haris in mid 80. rest are in 70s . sarfraz is a worst batsman than ajmal. poor planing by pcb to send every potential inclusion to U23 event including Rizwan. Maqsood should be playing in odis.

  • POSTED BY SyedArbabAhmed on | August 28, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Despite Zinbabwe's very bad fielding, Pakistani dismal batting & apathy in bowling cost Pakistan the 1st ODI against Zimbabwe, I wonder y @iamAhmadshahzad & Nasir played tht slow

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 6:52 GMT

    sarfraz 6 of 18 in last 7 overs was the difference..

  • POSTED BY Rohit... on | August 28, 2013, 6:26 GMT

    "Misbah stated that their total of 244 was not enough and that their bowling and fielding let them down. " ... Really... Fielding let you down... When was Pakistan's fielding up to the mark? I can understand that 244 was not enough (Though Pakistani bowlers could have still defended it).. & bowling let you down... But Fielding ??? Are you dreaming??? Pakistan fielders share the 8th position with SL when the teams were ranked according to their fielding standards... Even Ireland has maintained better fielding standards than Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Simply put, bowling has been saving Pakistan for a long time. Batters expected that this sub par score will be defended by the bowlers, who usually live up to expectations. This time bowling was just okay nothing great and Pakistan lost, YES against Zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY mhk21 on | August 28, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    yeah i thought that too as the pitch got better that was evident on how easily they were playing the most dangerous bowlers in the world .... but still that is a naive comment against Zimbabwe that they misread the pitch ....everybody knows the more early you play in the morning the more the moisture is in the pitch which aids fast bowling and then as the sun shines hard the pitch becomes good for batting ....

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Come on guys, have some sportsman spirit. Winning & loosing is part of the game. Pak has to try youngsters & I think playing against teams like Zimb was best to try their young players. You cannot try them against Aust, SA, Ind etc. So try to have spirits. Zimb is good team, so one should appreciate their win. InshAllah Pak will bounce.

    Apart from above, I find Haris & Maqsood to have sound technique & I hope they have little luck to get into Pak team.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    Instead of trying few youngsters Pakistan sent their full strength team to Zimbabwe so that they can win all the matches...Dark day for pakistan cricket....it would have not hurt so much if they would have lost with their second sting team... They have the talent but don't have the temperament...that's why a full strength team lost to a struggling zimbabwe...hats off to Zim and all the best for the rest of the tournament...

  • POSTED BY shaik nasir on | August 28, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    zim win the match..against weak team (misbah,afridi,ajmal,hafeez).....Shame on cricket and who is playing cricket ....i saw the match..they play very very very slow...nobody deserve a place in this team....cheap perfomance....kick oout to hafeez afridi misbah sarfaraz nasir jamshed ....even if pak win the series i dont think this team will qualify for group matches in world cup 50 overs...even iam india ...i ever never see this kind of cheap perfomance...wat grt batsman & bowlers to born in pak... pak cricket will be vanish very very soon...if like this happen...

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    say you misread zimbabwe...

  • POSTED BY sohaibahmad on | August 28, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    Against Zimbabwe also you need to depend on the pitch? I guess your team isn't reliable enough.. simply speaking

  • POSTED BY Sachit1979 on | August 28, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    Sorry saga of Pakistan batting continues. No batsman other than Misbah is ready to take responsibility.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    When you bring in player like Sarfraz Ahmed in place of Umar Akmal then this will happen. Sarfraz scored 7 in 18 balls in last 7 crucial overs. Umar had 50+ avg 100+ strike rate in WI. I wish more success for Zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    shame on you to pass this comment that "you misread the pitch" my friend your opponent was zimbabwe not the england or australia..... 244 in 50 overs match against zimbabwe..... yukhhhhhhh

  • POSTED BY ParvezM on | August 28, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    The problem with this Pakistan team is that at least two bowlers are playing on their past reputation. Afridi performs once in a while and Saeed Ajmal is on decline. The wicketkeeper should feel lucky to be in this teams as well. Batting depends too much on Misbah. Fortunately Hafeez scored after a long gap. Overall, they need to bring Abdur Rahman in place of Ajmal and bring some youngster from Under 19 to get rid of Mr Afridi.

  • POSTED BY hamqad on | August 28, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    "We misread the pitch?". That is absurd. I can understand If you loose to India and make that excuse. But against Zimbabwe? Misread the pitch or not, you cannot make any excuses for loosing to Zimbabwe. I know this sounds arrogant, but its the truth. If a coin toss is the only difference between Pakistan and Zimbabwe, then we might as well pack our bags and go home.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY hamqad on | August 28, 2013, 1:09 GMT

    "We misread the pitch?". That is absurd. I can understand If you loose to India and make that excuse. But against Zimbabwe? Misread the pitch or not, you cannot make any excuses for loosing to Zimbabwe. I know this sounds arrogant, but its the truth. If a coin toss is the only difference between Pakistan and Zimbabwe, then we might as well pack our bags and go home.

  • POSTED BY ParvezM on | August 28, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    The problem with this Pakistan team is that at least two bowlers are playing on their past reputation. Afridi performs once in a while and Saeed Ajmal is on decline. The wicketkeeper should feel lucky to be in this teams as well. Batting depends too much on Misbah. Fortunately Hafeez scored after a long gap. Overall, they need to bring Abdur Rahman in place of Ajmal and bring some youngster from Under 19 to get rid of Mr Afridi.

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 1:41 GMT

    shame on you to pass this comment that "you misread the pitch" my friend your opponent was zimbabwe not the england or australia..... 244 in 50 overs match against zimbabwe..... yukhhhhhhh

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    When you bring in player like Sarfraz Ahmed in place of Umar Akmal then this will happen. Sarfraz scored 7 in 18 balls in last 7 crucial overs. Umar had 50+ avg 100+ strike rate in WI. I wish more success for Zimbabwe.

  • POSTED BY Sachit1979 on | August 28, 2013, 2:49 GMT

    Sorry saga of Pakistan batting continues. No batsman other than Misbah is ready to take responsibility.

  • POSTED BY sohaibahmad on | August 28, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    Against Zimbabwe also you need to depend on the pitch? I guess your team isn't reliable enough.. simply speaking

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    say you misread zimbabwe...

  • POSTED BY shaik nasir on | August 28, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    zim win the match..against weak team (misbah,afridi,ajmal,hafeez).....Shame on cricket and who is playing cricket ....i saw the match..they play very very very slow...nobody deserve a place in this team....cheap perfomance....kick oout to hafeez afridi misbah sarfaraz nasir jamshed ....even if pak win the series i dont think this team will qualify for group matches in world cup 50 overs...even iam india ...i ever never see this kind of cheap perfomance...wat grt batsman & bowlers to born in pak... pak cricket will be vanish very very soon...if like this happen...

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    Instead of trying few youngsters Pakistan sent their full strength team to Zimbabwe so that they can win all the matches...Dark day for pakistan cricket....it would have not hurt so much if they would have lost with their second sting team... They have the talent but don't have the temperament...that's why a full strength team lost to a struggling zimbabwe...hats off to Zim and all the best for the rest of the tournament...

  • POSTED BY on | August 28, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Come on guys, have some sportsman spirit. Winning & loosing is part of the game. Pak has to try youngsters & I think playing against teams like Zimb was best to try their young players. You cannot try them against Aust, SA, Ind etc. So try to have spirits. Zimb is good team, so one should appreciate their win. InshAllah Pak will bounce.

    Apart from above, I find Haris & Maqsood to have sound technique & I hope they have little luck to get into Pak team.