Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has announced that the national team have to limit the number of runs veteran Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene scores in the upcoming Test series, which gets underway on August 6 in Galle.
Ul-Haq’s comments come after Jayawardene made a spectacular 165 in the first innings of the second Test against South Africa in Colombo.
“If we are to win the series in Sri Lanka, we have to ensure that their top batsmen, particularly Jayawardene, are not allowed to get many runs,” ul-Haq said. “I have a lot of respect for what he has achieved but we are going to Sri Lanka to win the two-Test series and we know how important it is for us to not allow their senior players to score.”
Pakistan last won a Test series in Sri Lanka in 2006. In fact, that was the last time they won a Test match against Sri Lanka.
The reason for that is wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara. In their last two tours of Sri Lanka, Pakistan’s bowlers have been made to work extremely hard by Sangakkara, who accumulated 821 runs at an incredible average of 102.62.
“It is going to be a tough series because Sri Lanka have been playing lot of Test and other cricket,” ul-Haq said. “But we have prepared hard and I have confidence in our bowlers.”
While Sri Lanka is known for its spin-friendly pitches, ul-Haq noted that he will be banking on his pace attack to inflict some damage as well.
“Our spinners have traditionally done well in Sri Lanka but we are banking on our pace bowlers as well,” he said.
When asked if he will play in the 2015 World Cup, ul-Haq said: “I just want to focus on the match at the moment because that is important. No one knows what will happen after one day so why think about the World Cup. I take it one match at a time and carry on from there. And I am under no pressure because of the captaincy debate.”