Sharjah: Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq hopes the fact his team haven’t beaten Australia in a one-day series since 2002 will motivate them during the tournament that starts on Tuesday.
Haq, soon after arriving for his first practice session at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium yesterday following his delayed arrival in the UAE, said: “Whenever there is such a kind of challenge it charges my team in an extra way. We need to put in extra effort and combine to beat an opponent who we have not beaten for some time.
“We couldn’t give the kind of performance that we wanted in the last two series [in Sri Lanka and against England in the UAE]. So it’s a good chance for us to stage a comeback.
“The conditions suit us, players are focused and hence we have a good chance to stage a comeback.”
Talking about his team’s poor performance in the series against Sri Lanka, Haq said: “I think we lacked in batting and sometimes we couldn’t finish the game. Our lower middle order batting collapsed in two matches. We had lapses in the fielding and death overs. So we have to bat and field properly.
“One match we lost because they batted well in the last few overs when it was a winning match for us. We have to cover those areas.”
But Haq is not bothered about the pressures of high-profile contests. “Pressure is always there because we are going to play against a top team. If we win then we have the advantage and it will help us in the future. It also helps us improve when we play a top team,” he said.
“They [Australia] are one of the top teams. It is difficult to beat them because they are a fighting team in all conditions of the world. They have good players who put up the best fight and so in total they are a difficult opponent.
“I don’t think we will rely only on our spinners but we have to also bat well too. Our fast bowlers too can play a big role through their reverse swing here.”