Misbah upbeat ahead of Caribbean challenge in World Cup
CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – Skipper Misbahul Haq said they were looking closely at their line-up, particularly at experienced opener Younis Khan, who made six against India, and Umar Akmal, who was preferred to specialist wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed in the opener, against West Indies in the World Cup match on Saturday.
Misbah’s has been in good form with the bat himself with 76 against India and 91 not out in a warm-up match against England. On Saturday, though, he said he would be looking for a few other Pakistani batsmen to stand up.
“It doesn’t mean that all the time it should be me. It should be two other guys out of six or seven batsmen that are playing,” he said. “We’ll be looking forward at the guys who are not at the moment performing. We know that they are good enough players, and they can just come to the party in the next games.”
West Indies skipper Jason Holder is expecting plenty of entertainment against Pakistan. West Indies and Pakistan are both former world champions, both lost their best spin bowler before the tournament and both suffered losses in their campaign openers. Both sides also have shown the ability over the years to be brilliant one game and abject the next, although it has been a while now since West Indies displayed much brilliance.
The Caribbean islanders suffered a humiliation in their World Cup opener, losing to Ireland by four wickets at Saxton Oval in Nelson on Monday. That came on the back of a shellacking from England and a narrow victory over Scotland in the warm-ups.
“We can’t let our defeats get us down,” Holder told reporters at Hagley Oval on Friday. “Obviously we lost a game against Ireland and it was a pretty tough loss, but if we get ourselves down, it’s hard to pick ourselves back up, so we just tried to keep the mood going. “We’ve obviously addressed a few issues, which we have. We didn’t bowl particularly well in the last game, so that’s a big concern for us (but we go) into tomorrow’s game with full confidence.”
Holder is hoping to have tall spinner Sulieman Benn, who missed the Ireland game, and all-rounder Darren Sammy available despite both experiencing back stiffness. Pakistan opened their campaign with a more acceptable, if no less hurtful, 76-run defeat to neighbours and reigning champions India in Adelaide last Sunday.