Misbah-ul-Haq believes the conditions will play to Pakistan’s advantage
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq believes if the national team were to pull off a series win over Australia, it would give them a much-needed spark of energy and confidence going into the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20.
In 2002 Australia were defeated 2-1 by Pakistan, and since then Pakistan have failed to record a series win against Australia, but ul-Haq is confident that his squad can get the job done.
“Of course, whenever there is such a thing it charges the team in an extra way, its needs an extra effort to combine and beat an opponent who we have not beaten for some time,” ul-Haq said.
All-rounders Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik are the only two members on the current Pakistan team that defeated Australia back in 2002, however ul-Haq stated that all the players were focused on defeating an opponent who are dangerous in all conditions.
“Australia are one of the top teams, it’s difficult to beat them because they are a fighting team in any conditions of the world, they have good players who put up the best fight and they are a difficult opponent,” ul-Haq said.
When asked whether Pakistan will have a spin-only mindset since the pitches in the United Arab Emirates are spin-friendly, ul-Haq said: “I don’t think we will only rely on spinners, we have to bat well and fast bowlers are very important for us because the ball reverse swings.”
After being defeated in their past two ODI series, 3-1 in Sri Lanka and 4-1 here in the United Arab Emirates against England, ul-Haq noted that it was important for the team to register a series win just before the ICC World Twenty20.
“I think its important for both the teams also for Australia, for us it is very important because after this is the World T20, we couldn’t give the kind of performance that we wanted in the last two series, so its a good chance for us to stage a comeback,” ul-Haq added.
With Australia never having played in the hot and humid conditions of the United Arab Emirates, ul-Haq believes Pakistan can use this to their advantage.
“Definitely, conditions suit us but our players are focused because they know teams can adapt quickly and we have to be at our best to beat Australia, we are going to play against a top team and if we win then we have advantage and it will help us in future. It also helps you improve when you play a top team and you remove your flaws,” ul-Haq said.