Series win ‘boosting’ but we need to be ‘more consistent’: Misbah

 Series win ‘boosting’ but we need to be ‘more consistent’: Misbah

AZHAR KHAN

LAHORE

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has said that a series win always boosts the team’s morale but there is a dire need to be more consistent to produce better results. 

In a virtual media talk with the reporters here on Thursday, Misbah said that the ODI series victory against South Africa is a huge booster for the national side, which still need to get better at handling the panic situations. “A series victory is always a big boost for the team but we need to be more consistent and learn how to handle panic situations in a better way. 

“Our top order did play well against the hosts during the ODI series, but we need a connection between the top order and the lower order, which needs further improvement and morale boosting to help the side in not only making a huge totals on the board but also help the team chase the big targets,” he added. 

The head coach said that Pakistani skipper Babar Azam is polishing his captaincy skills gradually and his individual performance is also commendable. “Babar Azam handled the situation very well in South Africa and controlled proceedings and counter attacked despite whatever the hosts threw at him and this will help him in his decision making in future as well. 

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“Babar will get better strategically as a captain. I am hopeful he will be a successful captain and batsman in all formats. He has cricketing sense and he will learn with experience,” Misbah said, noting that Babar was now scoring runs consistently in all conditions.

He further said: “Our batsmen are also struggling against spin, which is the area of concern for us and we need to work on it as well. Keeping in mind that we have two World Cups in India in the next three years, it is a major contributing factor on how well we bowl spin and play spin as well. “Our main target is to be in the top three consistently in world rankings. We would love to keep on winning series overseas like coming tour to England and the World T20 Cup in India.”

Misbah said that the team had got a lot of positives from the ODI series win and one of them was that all-rounder Faheem Ashraf has brought balance to the bowling attack. He also admitted that the selectors and team management need to utilize the services of opener Fakhar Zaman, who scored two back-to-back hundreds in the second and third ODIs, more in all formats. 

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“Fakhar Zaman has his own way of playing and is mentally very strong and effective. He is not a conventional sort of player he plays apart from the book. He is a world class player. “Most importantly he is an impact player and when he gets runs he has a big bearing on the result. We saw this in the Champions Trophy as well. We need to utilize him more in other formats as well. We need to back him more in terms of form,” he added. 

The head coach said that they didn’t want to miss an opportunity to invest in a new player for the 2023 World Cup. “We need a strong permanent connection between the top order and lower order.” He also said senior wicketkeeper, Sarfaraz Ahmed played in the final and deciding ODI because of his experience and because of the pitch conditions.

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