Pakistan Test and one-day captain Misbahul Haq believes that the upcoming series at Sri Lanka will be tricky as both sides have played each regularly over the past two years.
According to the 40-year-old batsman, both teams possess in-depth knowledge about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Pakistan will travel to Sri Lanka in August, where they will play two Tests and three ODIs.
“Sometimes it becomes difficult when two teams play frequently because you’re aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses which can then be exploited,” said Misbah while speaking to media in Lahore on Friday.
“However, our players are instilled with great self-belief after winning the Sharjah Test earlier this year.”
Meanwhile, the skipper admitted that Pakistan’s pace attack was relatively inexperienced, but was of the opinion that the likes of Junaid Khan and Mohammad Talha can support premier spinners Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman.
Misbah said that spin would play an important role in Sri Lanka as the last three days of a Test are dominated by slow bowlers which could give Pakistan the advantage.
As the men in green have not played a Test since the historic Sharjah triumph back in January, the skipper said that the team is practicing in a real-match scenario during the training camp to shrug off rustiness.
“We’ve created a real-match scenario during the training camp in order to prepare ourselves for Test cricket,” he said.
“The first Test is in Galle, which is Sri Lanka’s hunting ground, so our strategy will be to remain focused; the conditions suit us as well, so we’ll just need to grab the opportunity just like South Africa did [in their first Test].”
On another note, the batsman downplayed Umar Akmal’s return and said that there is no confusion about the roles of Umar and Asad Shafiq, stressing that both are the future of Pakistan cricket and have the ability to do well whenever required.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2014.
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