Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq believes that the ODI series win 2-1 in South Africa is a big boost for the team but his side still needs to have more consistency and get better at tackling panic situations.
Babar Azam-led Pakistan recently thrashed South Africa at their home conditions in the three-match ODI series and clinched the series 2-1 on Wednesday (April 7). Now, both teams are set to play a four-match T20I series starting from Friday (April 10) in Johannesburg.
Speaking during a virtual media interaction on Thursday (April 8), Misbah said: “A win is always a big boost for the team but we need to have more consistency and learn to deal with panic situations. We need a connection between the top order and the lower order.”
He further pointed out that Pakistan didn’t have a strong lower-order which’s one of the big demands in modern-day cricket to get a big total, saying: “We saw in the third ODI that even after getting 320 runs the match went down to the wire so it is important for us to ensure we have good finishes in matches.”
The coach further admitted that Pakistani batsmen need to address their struggle against spin, “keeping in mind that the two World Cups in India in the next three years.”
Misbah further noted, “It is a major contributing factor on how well we bowl spin and play spin as well given the conditions in India. We want to reach a stage where we remain in the top three consistently in all three formats. The goal is to be in the top three consistently in world rankings. Would love to keep on winning series overseas like coming tour to England and the World T20 Cup in India.”
On Babar Azam’s captaincy in the ODI series in South Africa, former Pakistan captain said: “Babar handled the situation very well in SA and controlled proceedings and counter attacked despite whatever the South Africans threw at him and this will help him in his decision making in future as well.”
The coach continued, “He will get better strategically as a captain. I am hopeful he will be a successful captain and batsman in all formats. He has cricketing sense he will learn with experience.”
Misbah also stressed that Pakistan needs to utilize Fakhar Zaman – who hit two back-to-back hundreds in the 2nd and 3rd ODIs, more in all three formats of the game.
Hailing the opener, the head coach noted: “Fakhar has his own way of playing and is mentally very strong and effective. He is not a conventional sort of player he plays apart from the book. He is a world-class player.
Most importantly he is an impact player and when he gets runs he has a big bearing on the result. We saw this in the Champions Trophy as well. We need to utilize him more in other formats as well. We need to back him more in terms of form.”
He signed off by saying that the Pakistan team didn’t want to miss an opportunity to invest in the new players for the 2023 World Cup as they “need a strong permanent connection between the top order and lower order” ahead of the marquee event in India.
(With PTI Inputs)