Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik is determined to improve his team's rankings on the ICC chart to close the gap with India.
"India, Australia and South Africa are the top teams now-a-days and we need to chase them but to get close to them we need to beat all the other teams and I am happy we are doing that despite lack of international cricket opportunities last year," Malik said.
He said if Pakistan got regular international competition he was confident it would soon challenge the top teams in the world rankings.
"Playing this series against Sri Lanka is a big turnaround for us because unless you play international cricket you don’t know where you stand in the rankings," he said.
Malik, who was making efforts to improve his communication with his team mates, said he believed competition was always healthy for any side.
"Look today Shoaib Akhtar is playing because we are fielding four pacers against Sri Lanka in the one-day series but if we decide to play just three pacers then one has to be dropped and it is good to know we have such good bench strength," he said.
Malik also said he was ready to back all his players including the senior players like Akhtar.
Akhtar had had a challenging comeback to the one-day team against Sri Lanka failing to take a wicket as yet but Malik pointed out that it was never easy for any bowler specially a genuinely fast one to comeback after such a long gap.
"He has been working hard and that is enough for me. He will slowly get back to his best and we know that he is a match winner," he added.
He also made it clear that he was now trying to include the feedback of all senior players in team issues.
"The idea is it is always good to have several viewpoints on team matters and we are doing that.”
Malik also welcomed the Board’s decision to allow the captain and coach to select the final playing eleven.
"My contention has always been the captain is there out on the field and he and the coach know best what is required for a particular match. So it is a positive move by the board," he said.