UAE series: Pakistan hope talent bears fruit

Misbah wants improved batting; Australia aim to tackle spin better in 2nd ODI today.

News Desk August 30, 2012

A woeful batting performance by the top and lower order has been Misbahul Haq’s prime concern as he gears up to level the series against Australia when the second One-Day International starts in Abu Dhabi today.

The Sharjah pitch saw Pakistan lose three wickets for 40 runs before Misbah and Asad Shafiq consolidated. Umar Akmal continued the good work with Asad but a spectacular collapse, in which Pakistan lost their last six wickets for 38 runs, gave Australia an easier total to chase. While Pakistan’s fielding and bowling remained impressive, taking the match to the penultimate over, the total was just not enough.

Misbah, who admitted batting let the team down, wanted the lower order to step up after Pakistan picked seven batsmen in their line-up but still failed in that department.

“Our lower order is not contributing,” said Misbah. “We are losing matches because we are not scoring runs there and that is why we had Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal.”

Afridi’s batting has been a concern with a haul of just 26 runs in his last five outings while Kamran, who made a comeback after more than a year, also made a scratchy four off 14 before a soft dismissal. But what will also concern Pakistan is the poor form of vice-captain Mohammad Hafeez, who has managed just 24 runs in his last five innings, including two ducks.

Meanwhile, Australia will have their own set of worries. Captain Michael Clarke was wary that improvement was needed to negotiate the Pakistan spin trio of Saeed Ajmal, Afridi and Hafeez, who took all six wickets to fall while keeping the scoring in check.

“Playing spin bowling is an area of our game that we need to continue to improve,” said Clarke. “It’s something that we’ve focused on when we’ve played away from home. There’s enough there for both fast-bowlers and spin [on the Abdu Dhabi pitch]. I’d love to see somebody in our top four go on and make a big score, make a hundred.

Clarke also praised George Bailey for a responsible innings that took Australia past the finish line in the first ODI. A big difference between the two sides was the maturity of players lower down the order including the innings of Bailey and Glenn Maxwell.

“The most pleasing thing was that George was there at the end. These days in one-day cricket, a lot is spoken about your strike-rate. George wasn’t concerned about how many balls he was facing. He’s the T20 captain and I know he’s looking forward to hopefully winning that World Cup in Sri Lanka.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2012.


S | 10 years ago | Reply

@Maria lol @kukkri ...good team!! But i will but Umar A in place of Asad

Sheikh Salman | 10 years ago | Reply

I think he mean bearing fruit from Farhat, Malik and Cheema and somewhat Sohail Tanveer and Muhammad Hafeez in ODIs .. PCB is lost its mind.. Investing more than 10 years on Farhat and Malik still they didn't perform.. Players like Rahat Ali, Hammad Azam didn't get enough chances when tough tour arise they make new player a scapegoat like Umar Ameen is a prime example for that. He was selected to tour England in tough batting conditions than he was dropped and in UAE they bring back Farhat.. Why is this hypocrisy..

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