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March 14, 2015

Misbah Ul-Haq


Q. You were part of the Pakistan team when they lost to Ireland in 2007, but what kind of influence does that have on the team's all-around frame of mind? Do you think about what happened in 2007? Because Ireland is a dangerous team.
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: No doubt Ireland is a dangerous team that could really one can just see from the performance they have given until now in this tournament. As you're talking about 2007, I think now it is 2015, so we are not looking back to that. We are focusing on tomorrow's game, that's it, and that is a must-win game for us, and that's what we're looking forward.

Q. Misbah, obviously, this is a game you have to win. What is the approach you plan to have for this match?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: I think our approach is straightforward, simple for the last three games: Go there, be positive, and especially when you are there to bowl, just try to get wickets. Try to get the other team out, and that's what we have been doing, and that's what our plan is even tomorrow.

Q. Misbah, last time you played here from then until now, do you think coming into this match that you're much more settled playing level in the case of your spinners your batsmen, your lineup? Are you a much more settled unit now?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Yeah, I think so. A win settles down a lot of things normally, and I think now everybody knows their role, especially the pacers are really bowling well. All of them are wicket takers, aggressive bowlers. And that's what we need if we are not batting well. We need some really good backing by the bowling, and all the pacers are really doing their job getting wickets, putting pressure on a position. And batsmen are also just getting into some runs. So you can say it's a much settled side, much confident side at the moment.

Q. What is the reason for this turn around during the tournament? What it was earlier, it looks now a totally changed side. Can you point out a few factors that are responsible for that?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: I don't think so. I think we were doing our things right at that time. It was just a matter of we were playing against two tougher oppositions up front just at the start of the tournament, and they played better cricket than us. That was the only reason I think, then after that we got a little, you could say, weaker sides, and we just get our momentum back and get our confidence back. So this is always in these sort of tournaments when certainly you are against tougher sides at the start sometimes to just lose your confidence and momentum. But as we get back into a winning situation, the confidence and momentum is back.

Q. There is so much talk about 1992, how Pakistan was on the verge of being out of the tournament at that point in time and then went on to win. Does 1992 inspire you at this point of time?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: You could say you could take some positives from that. We were in difficult situations in 1992, and Pakistan team is always capable of this from really difficult times, difficult situations, and this is a team which can really stand-up and perform very well. So that could be, you could say, a motivational factor for the team. But what I believe is it is totally different 1992. You can't just sit and hold that we did it in 1992 so we are going to do it again. It's totally a different story, and we have to perform. We have to go and deliver. Otherwise, just on based that we did it in 1992, so we are going to do it again, it's not going to work. It's not going to help. We have to really put our socks and we have to really perform well.

Q. You played Ireland quite a number of times in the last few years. Have you continued to be impressed by them in this tournament, and are you targeting any particular players?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: I think everybody knows their strength is their batting. They're pretty mature in their batting lineup, and they're really playing well. They are a side which is always there to compete. So you need to be really on your toes. You really need to play the best cricket to beat them.

Q. There is a general impression that the Irish team is not good against a lag spin bowler. Do you think that Yassir Shah will be spinning and you're dropping one of the boys?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Let's see. At the moment all the full seamers are really bowling well. You could say that against South Africa they were very good against pace. These seamers bowl really well, and they're just taking wickets. So it is difficult to drop any of them. What we have noticed playing in Australia is that it's really difficult once you have two spinners on your side to just bowl 20 overs of spin because sometimes just you lose that pressure which is there by the pacers, especially up front. Let's see. I mean, it's a general perception, but what I feel is the Irish are really good against spin. Some of them struggle against the off spin, the left-handers. But I think overall we notice even when we are playing in Ireland, they are playing spin really well. One match we play a tie there in Ireland and scored 277, and that match they played even (Indiscernible) really well. So it's a general perception. But what I have seen is that they play spin really well.
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