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HindustanTimes Wed,17 Sep 2014

Cricket

Misbah admits Pakistan game in 'alarming' state
AFP
Lahore, March 26, 2013
First Published: 14:48 IST(26/3/2013)
Last Updated: 14:51 IST(26/3/2013)

Skipper Misbah-ul Haq on Tuesday admitted Pakistan cricket was in an "alarming" condition after the team suffered several heavy defeats on a disappointing tour of South Africa.

A miserable Pakistan were thrashed 3-0 in Tests and lost 3-2 in the one-day series, despite fighting hard, losses which Misbah attributed to poor batting.
"Those were disappointing series," Misbah told reporters on the team's arrival back home early Tuesday.

"We were better in the one-dayers but couldn't do much in the Tests and it's an alarming situation where we need improvement in a lot of things."
Pakistan's batting flopped against a high quality South African pace attack led by Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander. They lost the first Test by 211 runs, the second by four wickets and the third by an innings and 18 runs.

In between the Tests and one-days, Pakistan managed to win a two-match Twenty20 series 1-0 after the first match was abandoned due to rain.
Misbah, who was the team's leading batsman with 227 in the one-day series, admitted it was the batting that let the side down.

"I think our batting struggled throughout the tour, whether it were the Tests or one-days but the pitches were such that even a top quality batsman like Hashim Amla (of South Africa) also struggled (in a few matches)," said Misbah.

"We also played irresponsible shots and we need to address our batting problems."

Misbah dismissed reports in the Pakistani media of a rift between him and Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez.

"We didn't lose because of any rift, we must admit that South Africa were the better team in both the formats," said Misbah, who turns 39 shortly.

He refused to analyse player performances after former greats called for a clean out to prepare for the 2015 World Cup.

"It is up to the cricket board and the selectors to gauge the performance of the players. I can't do that, everyone has seen who has performed," he said.
Pakistan will now compete in the eight-team Champions Trophy in England in June.


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