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Sports

Web Desk
November 19, 2019

Misbah-ul-Haq shows the positive side of Pakistan's inexperience

Sports

Web Desk
Tue, Nov 19, 2019
Photo: File

Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq on Tuesday threw his weight behind his young Pakistan charges, and argued that their inexperience does not necessarily have to be a negative against the mighty Australian side in the upcoming Test series.

With multiple teenage pacers and several first-timers at his disposal, Misbah, who also doubles as the team’s chief selector, has brought a side that on paper looks no match for the hosts — especially when far more experienced and star-laden Pakistan teams in the past never managed to do the same.

However, Misbah says the fact that his starlets do not have any experience of losing in Australia, that in itself is an advantage.

“These youngsters do not have the experience of losing in Australia. They are ambitious and want to grab the opportunity and do what has never been done before,” he said in a press conference with the first Test in Brisbane less than 48 hours away.

Besides, Misbah said, that the way his teenage pacers — Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi and Muhammad Musa Khan — have been bowling so far, “their inexperience isn’t showing.”

“They are bowling in the right areas and with energy, and so far we’ve not seen anything negative,” the bearded trainer said.

'There is evidence that Babar can deliver big'

Misbah singled out Babar Azam as “a very important member of the team”, and explained how the experience of South Africa help him develop into the batsman he is.

“As a batsman, the most important thing is confidence. After the tour of South Africa, he has become a completely changed batsman. The pitches there were very difficult. Compared to that, the conditions here, I think, are much better. Technically, he is vastly improved.”

Babar, the world’s top-ranked T20I batsman, has yet to fully flourish in the longest format — something Misbah says could change soon.

“There is evidence [that he can bat for long periods]. The three-day pitch against Australia A was very difficult and their pace attack was almost top level. He punished bad balls but showed the bowlers respect when the situation warranted. He batted very maturely instead of just showing aggression, aggression and aggression. I think he is ready to play big Test innings,” he said.

'Smith is a genius but everyone has their blind spot'

Misbah termed Australian batsman Steve Smith a “genius”, but said that every batsman is vulnerable to a certain delivery, which they will try to bowl and exploit.

Every top class batsman has a blind spot — an area where he has to show respect — where when the ball falls, the bowler is in business. So it depends how consistently we can hit that spot against Steve Smith and force him into mistakes. He is a batting genius of course, but we will try and carry out our plans.