After New Zealand whitewash: Misbah expecting easier time out in Australia

Believes better batting conditions, hosts’ inexperience might play well into Pakistan’s hands

Our Correspondent December 01, 2016
Pakistan’s Test batsmen were found out by the moving and bouncing ball in New Zealand, but Misbah hopes that will not be the case in Australia. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Test captain Misbahul Haq is hoping for better tracks in Australia as Pakistan look to quickly put the debacle of a whitewash in New Zealand firmly behind them.

The visitors suffered heavy defeats in Christchurch and Hamilton and were found out in all departments.

They suffered an eight-wicket defeat in the first Test and lost the second Test by 138 runs after a dramatic collapse saw the visitors losing all their wickets for just 99 runs, after a 131-run opening stand had steadied the ship in the second innings.

Pakistan will now face Australia in three Tests and five ODIs.

Misbahul Haq ready to face ‘inexperienced’ Australia

Misbah, who missed the second Test in Hamilton due to death of his father-in-law as well as due to a suspension for slow over-rate, hoped his team will bounce back.

“It’s going to be a challenging series but the team has the potential to bounce back,” he told reporters at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore yesterday.

Pakistan’s most successful skipper believes the conditions, as well as the young players in Australia’s side, mean the Men in Green might have an easier time out in Australia than they did in New Zealand.

“I feel the conditions and the pitches in New Zealand were very difficult but tracks in Australia would be better,” he said. “Australia have many inexperienced players, who can be exploited, but the team will have to work hard as even a new Australian player is a force to be reckoned with in familiar conditions.”

After 2-0 defeat to NZ, Pakistan drop to fourth in Tests

The veteran batsman defended the fast-bowlers, who failed to live up to expectations in helpful New Zealand conditions.

“We cannot blame the bowlers after just one series defeat,” he said. “These are the same players who did so well in batting-friendly wickets in the UAE and England.”

‘Australia series only focus’

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan has requested Misbah to stay as captain till the end of 2018 but the 42-year-old said he was just focusing on the upcoming series rather than making any grand plans.

New Zealand win second Test by 138 runs to clinch series 2-0

“Our team has gone down [in the ICC rankings] after three consecutive defeats,” he said. “I am just thinking about ways to lift the team again. The future of my captaincy is not in my mind.”

Misbah also dismissed the notion that he will decide about his future on the basis of the results in Australia.

“I have no fitness problems,” he said. “If the team needs me, I am ready to continue but if my services are no longer required then I am ready to quit.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2016.

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