Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq is determined to snap his side’s losing streak in Tests when they tour Sri Lanka next month.
Not only have Pakistan not played Test cricket for six months, but they have also failed to win any Test series since they beat England in the United Arab Emirates at the beginning of 2012.
“There is some rustiness and this is why we are playing as many as practice matches here to find some flow,” he said. “We are trying to get maximum batting practice and have been trying to tune ourselves for the last three days and simulate match scenarios. After all we are professional and we have to deal with whatever is coming our way so we have to manage and we will manage and will be ready by the time the series starts.”
Ul-Haq also pointed out that Pakistan hit rock bottom when they were crushed 3-0 by South Africa last year.
“When we went to South Africa [we] got under pressure after losing there but things have improved a lot so far,” he said. “We have started to win matches and that is very important though we are yet to win a series. But there is also a reality that we are improving – our batting is looking good. We will try to repeat the same [last test in Sharjah] performance.”
Ul-Haq also noted that it important for Pakistan to win the first Test against Sri Lanka, which will be held in Galle from August 6 to 10.
“Sri Lanka mostly plays its first Test at Galle, it’s their hunting ground, first Test is always important and our effort will be to remain focused and get prepared ourselves,” he said. “The conditions suit us, it’s a good opportunity for us, and there is a chance of result there. They [Sri Lanka] lost there against South Africa so they will be under pressure too and there is a possibility of them bouncing back hard.”
Ul-Haq added that he had no problem with the national selectors’ decision to include Umar Akmal in the Test squad for the first time after nearly three years and retain Asad Shafiq as well.
“There’s no confusion, whatever the decision is it’s the selectors’ decision,” he said. “Umar Akmal has been playing well in one-day cricket and has ample experience under his belt. So such in-form players are good can be used (straightaway) because they are not new and they have no pressure on them. Asad Shafiq is a promising player. He has given good performances in Tests and both are the future for us.”