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Dhaka Tribune

Misbah ready for anything

Update : 07 Mar 2014, 04:03 PM

Despite the in-form Shahid Afridi being doubtful for today’s final against Sri Lanka today, Pakistan skipper Misbah-Ul-Haq is still confident of a win and said his side are mentally strong and confident going into the final of the Asia Cup against Sri Lanka at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

“At the moment he's really playing well. The kind of impact he's creating on the opposition and his own team is that he should play for us. These injuries are part and parcel of the game. We're just positive about that. Let's see tomorrow how he feels and then we'll decide,” said Misbah, regarding Afridi.

“Obviously your main players make a difference to the side. We are however mentally strong. You may have seen Alam played really well in absence of Sharjeel Khan. The confidence level is very high. All the members of the team have been performing well. There is a will to win. We hope to get them in the side, but at the same time we're confident that even if they don't play, we have the boys in the bench who are capable and confident to win the game,” he added.

Pakistan have won two close matches due to Afridi – the first against India in which the hard-hitting all-rounder blasted two sixes with his side needing nine to win in the last over and the second where he thundered his way to a 25-ball 59 to turn a match which Pakistan seemed to be out of.

On the bowling front, Misbah signaled out off-spinner Saeed Ajmal, who has so far taken eight wickets in four matches, as a potential match winner. “Ajmal has the variations, the experience now to bowl under difficult situations. He responded very well. He is playing a major role in Pakistan's victories. He's leading the bowling attack. Really, we will depend a lot on Ajmal,” said the skipper.

The 39-year old captain was aware of the dangers presented by Sri Lanka’s attack – particularly fast bowler Lasith Malinga – but claimed his side was ready for the challenge.

“Everybody knows he's their main bowler. But recently we played well against Sri Lanka in the series held in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The whole team faced Malinga well, scored runs. Even did well against Malinga in the death overs. The team is confident to face him. We are not under pressure. It's about the main batsmen playing the full 50 overs to handle the situation,” he said.

For all his confidence, Misbah was stressed that he was not taking Sri Lanka lightly. “Sri Lanka are obviously a tough opposition especially in the final because they do their basics right and always fight. We really have to play good cricket. We have to be 100% up to the mark to put up a good show. We should be doing everything right, do the basics right like we have been doing in the previous games,” he said, adding that Pakistan’s performance at the Asia Cup bodes well for the upcoming World T20 Championship.

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