Friday, September 29, 2023

Pace attack gives us edge over Kiwis, says Misbah

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Head Coach Misbahul Haq Friday said that T20 series against New Zealand would be a battle of pace between the hosts and the touring party, who have more than enough resources to counter the threat posed by Lockie Ferguson-led Kiwis’ attack.

To a question by ‘The News’ scribe during a virtual interview about Pakistan’s plans to keep New Zealand pacers especially Ferguson at bay, Misbah said his team had better pace power to counter this threat.

“I have to admit that Ferguson can easily bowl over 150km/h and is considered a real threat but we have better resources than the hosts when it comes to pace attack. Mohammad Husnain, Haris Rauf, Wahab Riaz, and even Shaheen Shah Afridi has the ability to bowl quick and exciting spells. So we are one step ahead in pace bowling prowess. New Zealand will have to face even stronger threats in this regard. Definitely, such conditions will be challenge for our team so we are practicing according to the requirements.”

Recently, Ferguson ripped through West Indies’ batting in the first T20 with figures of 5-21. “Obviously when you are playing at home you enjoy home conditions and New Zealand have also some youngsters who are used to play on home pitches. Our young batsmen like Haider Ali, Khushdil and Abdullah Shafiq have all the guts to face these pacers.”

The head coach, however, admitted that Pakistan will be facing a tough task against New Zealand.

“We are facing a tough task ahead in the form of batting but chances of our victory are bright as we have a potent pace bowling attack supported by spinners.”

Misbah added that it was easier to finish three-week practice in less than ten days.

“We remained bound to our rooms for more than 18 days due to Covid-19 restrictions. Some of our players were singled out for breaches but after that incident everything went well and even our team was appreciated by New Zealand’s ministry.”

Misbah said that during initial few days the environment here was very much unfavorable that at one stage that they considered option of pulling out of the tour.

“We analyzed everything realistically and thought that whether we would be having enough time to train for the T20 series. We even considered the option of pulling out but later we decided against this option for the sake of New Zealand cricket. We are here to play and win. Our players have made sacrifices and we want to reap the benefits now by playing tough cricket.”

The head coach said it was really tough to remain in the bio-secure bubble before every series. “We should keep playing for those who are confined to their homes and need entertainment. There is a need to back these players so that they could concentrate on their game.”

Misbah hoped that Babar Azam will be learning more things with each passing day.

“It is encouraging to see Babar performing better as a captain. I hope he would learn as a captain with each series. Being captain of all formats, Babar knows the potential of every aspirant.”

Misbah was also looking forward to the series against South Africa. “The home environment would definitely help Pakistan especially youngsters so I hope that our players’ confidence would be high at that time.”

Source: The News

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