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February 20, 2015

Misbah Ul-Haq


Q. Captain, last clash, West Indies versus Pakistan, Pakistan won the series. Overall in World Cups it's been pretty much even. How are you looking forward to this clash at Hagley Oval?
MISBAH UL HAQ: It's an important game for us, and also for West Indies. We both need to win this game, so I think both teams will be looking forward for this game, mentally and physically ready for that. Obviously if we need to do well in this World Cup, I think this is an important game, and both teams need to win that, and we know that. Everybody is focusing and trying hard.

Q. Misbah, how difficult is it to start off maintaining you calm and the calm inside the team, and every time Pakistan plays a match there's some chaos inside the team? How difficult is it to maintain your own calm and calm of the team in those situations? How do you do it?
MISBAH UL HAQ: I think it's important that you should know what you are doing right and you should know what you are not doing right, and if you are not doing anything like that, it doesn't matter what news just comes in the media. It's none of our business, whatever is happening outside, out in the media. We just need to concentrate here at our own game and at the match which is coming forward.

Q. Misbah, the two important questions regarding the team composition, the position of Younis Khan and Umar Akmal's fear of wicket keeping. Any clarity on those two issues? Anything the team has decided on that?
MISBAH UL HAQ: I think you can't say after one game. We are not just panicking. Obviously we are just looking forward into all these matters very closely, and we won't really go with a composition that could really give us a chance to win the next games, not only the next game but all the games coming in this World Cup. Obviously we are just looking forward into these matters very closely.

Q. It's no secret that the West Indies don't play spin well. You played three spinners against India who do play pretty well. Planning perhaps on having four spinners against the West Indies?
MISBAH UL HAQ: We don't have four spinners. That was what we were having. We just played with that. Let's see. Let's see the final look of the pitch and then decide.

Q. Misbah, sometimes we find you as like one man standing in the Pakistan team. It has happened quite a few times. How difficult is it, and how do you do that, and how do you see the team like guiding the team forward in situations like this? That is one question. And there's a second question that it's been a while that you have been playing without Saeed Ajmal. Do you feel like his absence, like it would have been much, much better if he was there in this team?
MISBAH UL HAQ: I think whoever is doing well, he needs to continue, and obviously the guys who are not chipping in, they need to just come and just do well for the team. That's how you normally play the game. You don't want to just give up those things which you are already doing well. It's all about just focusing, going there, and then in the last game, practice game against England, there was a good partnership between me and Umar Akmal. So whenever one of the guys there and others are really just supporting him, 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. This is how normally cricket is being played. Every time all seven batsmen doesn't perform and maybe two or three just score runs and you just win the game. 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. It's very important for our team. As for Ajmal, I think he was a world class player, world class bowler, and he was really doing well before this World Cup. He was just playing a major role in our victories. It's a little bit difficult when you are used to somebody for three, four years, but I think now our pacers are really doing well in the last two, three games. They are really coming to the party in the way they are bowling, especially in the death overs, improving, so we'll have to live with that. And I think the guys should just take responsibility, and they are taking responsibility at the moment. I'd say it is not there. So we have to bowl in the power plays and the death overs and we have to take wickets, also.

Q. Misbah, obviously last year you would have played for St. Lucia Zouks in the CPL. Do you see this as an advantage because of the fact that you would now have information on some of the West Indies players that you might not have had before?
MISBAH UL HAQ: I think Pakistan played a lot of games, and after 2011 we just played the series against them. These players have been even our bowlers and all the batsmen, they just had the luxury of playing against West Indies a lot of games. We really know each other very well, and we know the bowlers and we know the batsmen. It will be a really good contest because we've got all the information and they know our players very well. I think it will be a good game.

Q. Misbah, two part question. Given how well you are batting and with your experience, have you given it a thought to come in at No. 3 to bat and stay around? And secondly, Mohammad Irfan, he bowled six very good overs to begin with against India, but after those two overstepping mornings, he was really not himself in the last four overs. Have you guys worked something out for him? Has he worked his problems out?
MISBAH UL HAQ: Starting with the second one, I think he's working hard for that. He's just practicing that, not to come inside in the practice sessions. He got three, four practice sessions before that. I hope he'll be fine in the next game. Regarding playing at No. 3, I think if you come at No. 3, still, the batsmen coming after you, they are not scoring, then what to do. And in the last game I was at No. 4, and when I was just there, it was almost 100 for two, and then we just keep on losing wickets. It's not a matter of coming at No. 3, or if we are just losing wickets at the top, then you could just say, okay, I am in form, I should just come at 3, but we were 92 for one, and then we just collapsed in the middle order, so it wasn't a problem at the top. What we are missing, I think, is that we need to just better partnership on a regular basis, whether it's at the top, whether it's in the middle order. Whoever just comes in, they just go there to pair, any pair who is batting, they need to just go develop a partnership, and that's what we missed in India's game. After losing the second wicket we just lost three wickets and nine bowls, and that really cost us the game.
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