ABU DHABI: The One-Day International (ODI) series is in the bag but Pakistan plan to go all out today in Abu Dhabi hoping to beat Sri Lanka and go fourth in the rankings.
The win will ensure a 4-1 scoreline, one that follows a Test series win, and will give the team the momentum it needs for the one-off Twenty20 and the series against Bangladesh and England that follow.
While Mohsin Khan, Pakistan’s interim coach, was pleased and wanted to end the ODI series on a winning note, he also hinted at trying out the bench strength for the last match.
“We’ll take the match seriously,” Mohsin told The Express Tribune in Abu Dhabi. “The team’s in good spirits and we just need to carry on the hard work to continue getting the good results. We cannot afford to be complacent as it may derail our progress.
“We’ll give untried players a chance but a final decision will be made after assessing the pitch and the conditions.”
Misbah lauds former captains’ support
Misbahul Haq, who was named Pakistan captain for all three formats following Shahid Afridi’s retirement earlier this year, lauded the support he got from the three former captains playing under him – Younus Khan, Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik – and ruled out any hard feelings.
“Playing with those three in the squad is a beneficial situation for me,” said the captain.
“I get plenty of advice on the field from them whenever I need and that is a good thing for me as well as the team.”
The captain also confirmed that his side was looking to win the match in order to climb up the rankings.
While Misbah also aimed for a 4-1 win and has few worries going into the last game, his counterpart Tillakaratne Dilshan has a mountain to climb. Not helping will be the exclusion of Mahela Jayawardene – the highest run-getter in the low-scoring ODI series – who has been ruled out of the two remaining limited-overs matches.
Razzaq injured, to fly home today
Pakistan suffered a huge blow for the tour of Bangladesh when recalled all-rounder Abdul Razzaq was ruled out of action for three weeks after injuring his shoulder in the UAE.
Razzaq, who was overlooked for the fourth One-Day International against Sri Lanka, will be flying home today and will miss the limited-overs series against Bangladesh later this month.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2011.
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