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March 3, 2015

Misbah Ul-Haq


Q. Misbah, you must have a completely different outlook on your team after the victory up at Brisbane, a much happier captain no doubt.
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Yeah, of course. A win is always good for the confidence of the team, so everybody is feeling good about this, and looking forward for tomorrow's game.

Q. The pool as it stands at the moment now, this is assuming you get the result tomorrow against the UAE, it really is a very open pool, and yourselves, depending on how Ireland do today, everybody could be in and around four points and there could be three or four teams battling for those last two places in the pool behind South Africa and India. Again, all to play for still?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Yeah, it's an open pool. Anything can happen, and every game is important in this pool, no matter who is playing today and who is playing tomorrow and who you are playing against. Mainly you could see that all the teams are still interested, and that's really interesting for us, also. But we have to focus on just going there, improve our performance and try to win the games, and I think that's the simplest way we have to just think.

Q. Five bowlers delivered for us at Brisbane, so hopefully we'll have five again taking the field tomorrow at the team combination? Has that been worked out at all? Obviously you have some poor memories of this venue. Do you think the five bowlers formula will work?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: I think so. If you see that the pitch is more suitable to batting, you need to have five bowlers. I haven't seen the pitch yet, but at least one thing that is working well in favor of us, we should stick to that strength, and that's what we are looking forward. That's bowling.

Q. Misbah, when the top order is not functioning as you would have liked in all these matches, what do you do? How do you shake up things? As a captain, as a team management, how do you change things around?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: What you can do, I mean, you have to just think positive even if somebody is not performing well at the top. Cricket is a game of uncertainties, and sometimes you've got four, five poor innings and suddenly you just have a hundred. It's like that, and our batsmen are capable of that, even in the top order they are capable of doing that. We are looking forward to just giving them a lot of confidence, and they are practicing, working hard in the net. Let's see this pitch especially. Let's time amateurs played really well here, so he might be feeling a little bit more confident in playing here. These are the only things that you can just share with the guys and just give them confidence and just be positive all the time. Whenever you just go there, it's a new inning, it's a new game, so think about what you are playing at the moment.

Q. No injury issues with them?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: No injury issues.

Q. Misbah, do you have your eye on the net hundred as well because you were pretty down below over there and probably it will all come down to the net hundred. You didn't score a big win against Zimbabwe, so will you go for a big win tomorrow?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Yeah, I think that is another question. It all depends how we just start that, and once you had a good start, even while you were bowling or batting, then you could just capitalise on that, and that's what we are eyeing against Zimbabwe, as well, but then we couldn't have a good start and then we struggled even just to win the game. It's really important for us just to go about the game like we need to start well, whatever we are doing, and then if we have that game, if we have control of that game in our hand, then we can just push for that net hundred.

Q. Also Irfan, he didn't sort of live up to expectations the first two matches. He did bowl well but didn't take wickets, but against Zimbabwe he took a lot of wickets. Do you think he'll be a new bowler in the remaining matches, like he'll be performing the way he did against Zimbabwe?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Yeah, I think he bowled really well, especially to some extent, but I was thinking that in the first two games, a position knows that we just have to see Irfan off because after the first 15 overs, 10 overs, he's not bowling until the powerplay, until the end of 30th over or 40th over, but in the last game it was totally a different scenario because we've got four front line seamers, and opposition knows that we have to just score runs. These guys have to handle them. That's why I think it gave a little bit more confidence to Irfan, also. He knows that he got the backup bowlers. He just went all out, so that really helped all the bowlers.

Q. Misbah, because of circumstances as a team you have spent a lot of time in the UAE. Do you know much about their team?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Yeah, we know most of their players. They've been playing with our players even in Dubai, most of our players played the league games and their domestic games there. I think they know our players very well and we know them very well. Obvious plans against each other.

Q. Misbah, Brisbane to Napier to Auckland all in a matter of six days and playing three matches. Is the scheduling a little too harsh on you guys given that the other teams often have five days in between?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Yeah, the next six days is going to be really tough for us. That's how it is. I mean, we're just having a lot of days off before that, even seven, eight, nine days in between the games, and now these are important games, and almost we have to travel in every game, and in six days we have to play three games. That could be really challenging for us, but we have a job in our hand so we have to do it.

Q. Whenever you talk to a Pakistan fan we all say, in '92 we were in a similar situation. So this '92 idea, does it keep recording on the team? Does it get discussed, and do you take confidence from that?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: I think it's a totally different scenario, different situation. Obviously just take some of the motivation from that situation, but what is important for us now, we just have to play well, and that's the simple scenario for us. Don't just fall into 1992 that we did it, so we're going to do it. I mean, we have to do it. We have to if we want to go into the next round. We have to really perform even tomorrow and then against South Africa and then against Ireland. These are very important games for us. If we are unable to perform in one game, we could be out of this tournament.

Q. Misbah, just your thoughts on should I say UAE is more like a stepbrother to Pakistan given it's also your home country matches? Would you like to give some thoughts on what has the UAE meant for Pakistan cricket team, especially after the fact that international cricket has been stopped playing in Pakistan?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Yeah, it's really important for us because whatever we did in the last four years, I think UAE played a wider role in Pakistan's cricket. We just achieved so many things there, whitewash to England and whitewash to Australia in test matches there. We won against Sri Lanka, also. We played most of our cricket in UAE, so you could say that's home for us, and whatever we are achieving, whatever we did in the last four years, that's due to UAE, and that played really a big part, an important part in Pakistan's cricket.

Q. Misbah, about the top order, it seems like you have a very methodical approach. Do you think perhaps the time is now there to make a change, perhaps inspirational change in batting order since the regular openers are failing spectacularly here?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: I mean, whatever is happening is just happening in a couple of deliveries. We are losing against in first over, in second over, so you can't say much about that. But obviously we are thinking about that because we can't just go there the whole tournament like that and find ourselves out of this tournament. I think it's a serious thought, and we're going to have a team hitting today, and let's see.

Q. Misbah, how much of an impact is the conditions traveling from Australia to New Zealand and how is it taking a toll on your performance?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Yeah, especially in the span of six days, if you have to play three games, it could be difficult for any team, especially the weather is totally different. We were in Brisbane, that was humid, hot, and here it's better, so that might help us because it's not so severe. But it's really difficult to play three games in six days, but now we have a job at hand, so we have to deliver, and that's very important for us. We have to win these games.
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