Karachi: Pakistan’s ODI captain Misbah-ul Haq has warned his teammates against complacency after their win in the first T20 International against India, in Bangalore, saying that the home team would try to come back hard in the remaining matches of the limited-overs series.
“It is a great start by our team, but we need to be cautious and not get over-confident because there are still four matches left in the series and the Indian team will try to come back hard at us in these games,” Misbah said while going for a exhibition match to inaugurate the Benazir Bhutto Shaheed cricket stadium, in her ancestral hometown of Gardhi Khuda Baksh.
“Our team’s always dangerous when we are on a winning streak, and even before the series, the players were very keen to do well in India, as we are playing a bilateral series after five years,” he said.
Misbah will lead the Pakistan team in the three one-dayers in India, starting from December 30.
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He said that the most positive part of the team’s performance was that the pace bowlers bowled very well.
“Before the series began, we were banking on our pacers to put pressure on the Indian batsmen and they succeeded in doing that in the first T20. I hope they continue in the same spirit and rhythm for the one-day series as well,” he said.
Misbah also said that if required, any player from the T20 squad could be retained for the one-day series. His comments came after growing speculation that senior players and former captains — Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik — might be retained for the ODI series after being originally dropped from the squad.
Malik scored a match-winning half-century in the win at Bangalore.
Misbah also downplayed the clash between Kamran Akmal and Ishant Sharma in Bangalore for which both have been fined by the Match Referee. “I don’t think it is a serious incident because both teams were under pressure in the match and such things happen in pressure situations. The relations between the two teams off the field will remain good,” he said.
Meanwhile, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has praised tall fast bowler Mohammed Irfan for bowling a tight line against India in the first T20 international in Bangalore and said he would be difficult bowler to handle for the opposition batsmen.
“I am very impressed with his performance. I was amazed to see him bowling around 142 and 144 kmph at his height, and he also maintained a good aggressive line. If he keeps on bowling like this and further improves he will prove to be to hot to handle for many of the world's leading players,” Akram told a TV channel.
Irfan came back to the national side after being dropped in 2010 and returned with the figures of 1 for 25 in his four overs in Bangalore.
Akram said Pakistan displayed maturity and handled the pressure well in Bangalore — a match they won by five wickets.
He also praised contribution from captain Mohammed Hafeez and another senior player Shoaib Malik, and said the team composition should always be a blend of youth and experienced players.