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Malik denies reports of rift in team

cricket Updated: Feb 02, 2012 18:28 IST
PTI
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Pakistan's embattled skipper Shoaib Malik has dismissed reports that the loss to India has led to differences within the team over his continuation as captain.

Malik, who survived a disappointing home series against South Africa and an away tour of India to be retained as captain till the end of 2008, said he was keen to make amends for the debacles next season.

"It is hurting to end the year on a disappointing note with defeats in India. But there is no truth in rumours of differences within the team," he said.

"The team has been playing as a unit and that is why we managed to draw the last two Tests in India. The seniors have been extending full cooperation and I am happy with my position as captain," he added.

Malik also said he could understand the bitter disappointment among former players and fans over the series loss to India.

"I try to take some positives out of this criticism. But everyone should realise that no captain likes to lose and neither does any team want to end on the losing side. But the fact is we lost in India because of some unseen problems."

Malik felt injuries and health problems of pacers Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami deprived the bowling attack of bite.

"It made a big difference to our performance because our bowling lacked bite. In the one-day series we fought hard and it was a close rubber. In the Delhi Test one bad session cost us the match," he explained.

Malik also rubbished suggestions that he was under any extra pressure while captaining the side.

"Every professional cricketer when he is on the field is under pressure to perform and the same is for me. And I don't think my performance as a player has been that bad as captain. But there is a need for me to be more consistent," he admitted.

Malik said he was confident that the team would learn from its mistakes in India and perform better in the upcoming series against Zimbabwe and Australia.

"I am hopeful that we will have a better year in 2008. The team has potential and is united. We just need to lift ourselves in some areas particularly in the fielding..

"We will try some new players against Zimbabwe to check the depth of our talent but the Australia series would be our real test and we need to be well prepared for it," he added.

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