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Malik eager to take on Bangladesh

On the eve of the first ODI against Bangladesh, Shoaib Malik, Pakistan's captain, was glad his side was getting to play some international cricket after Australia deferred their visit to Pakistan.
"It is good to play cricket rather not playing and after the postponement of the Australia team's tour to Pakistan, we will be playing Bangladesh in a make-shift series and for us it is satisfying that we are playing international cricket rather than not being part of it," Malik told APP.

It's been a little more than two months since Pakistan last played international cricket, when they thrashed Zimbabwe by a 5-0 margin, and Malik was keen to get things rolling. "We have been deprived of high-quality international cricket after the postponement of the Australian tour and now it's time for the team to re-start its journey from where it left by experiencing the flavour of competitive cricket.

"The team was in a lay-off for a few months and playing Bangladesh we will know where we stand and definitely this series is a tough challenge for us like any other top cricket competition," he said. "For us it a serious cricket affair and as a captain my ambition is to maintain winning ways in this event."

Malik said Bangladesh should not be labelled as underdogs. "I do not believe in this phenomenon [of the underdog], look at the track record of Bangladesh they are known for their giant-killing acts and we do not want to a victim of a similar fate.

"It is time to gear up for a cricket activity which demands a higher display of skills and hard work and we must avail this home series for the build-up of our team for the coming events like the Asia Cup and Champions Trophy in the next few months."

Meanwhile, Malik wanted younger players to be given a run in the series. "We successfully did this experiment against Zimbabwe in a home series and we should induct a few young players in the side to replace the injured or out-of-form players."