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April 9, 2021

Pak vs SA: ODI series win big boost for Babar’s captaincy, says Misbah

Sports

April 9, 2021

ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan are going into the four-match T20 series against South Africa following the victory in One-Day series, head coach Misbahul Haq Thursday admitted that stakes were even higher for the shortest version of the game where even 200-run target on a normal track is reachable.

In a virtual chat with media from South Africa, Misbah said that his team’s spirited performance in the ODI series would go a long way in making the unit a formidable one.

“The game has changed altogether these days. If you are playing T20 on a normal wicket, then you need to score at least 200. In some cases, even 200-run target is not safe. Likewise, in ODI cricket you should target 350 for the opponents to chase. There is no survival if you score less than 200 on a good track in T20s. Pakistan led by Fakhar Zaman came closer to the target against South Africa in the second ODI and the same happened with us in the third One-Dayer. South Africa batsmen stayed in the hunt till the last.”

Misbah praised his top-order and pace attack for successful campaign in the One-Day series.

“The top-order backed by pace attack has helped us a lot, however, we are not getting runs from middle and lower-order. We have to add 20-30 more runs in setting the target for others in ODIs.”

Pakistan became the first Asian nation to win two ODI series in South Africa.

“It is a big boost for Pakistan cricket. Victory sparks fresh spirit and enthusiasm in the team,” Misbah added.

The head coach also termed the series win a big boost to Babar Azam’s captaincy. Babar has got the required confidence level with the series win. I am really excited and hopeful that the win would go a long way.”

He reiterated his early plan of making Pakistan one of the top three teams in all formats.

“That is my ambition and I think we are moving in the right direction. We have got a lethal pace attack. Skipper Babar is consistently leading the team from the front. Despite all-out efforts made by the South African pacers during the series, Babar stayed composed and contributed to the team’s cause in a splendid way. Now he looked more confident as a captain.”

Misbah, however, was worried about middle-order, saying that due to this reason the management picked Sarfaraz Ahmed for third ODI. “We knew the wicket at Centurion will be helping the spinners. The scenario changed altogether with top-order managed to play 40 overs upfront.”

The team head coach added that even when some of the key players of South Africa were not there in the third One-Dayer, they had the capability to perform. “The South African backup players are capable of performing at their own grounds where they play day and day out. We have also got an inexperienced team in these conditions, yet I am pleased to see Pakistan winning the series and setting up the tone for future ODI series.”