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Lahore: Jul 25, 2014
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq said spin would be a key factor in his side’s upcoming tour of Sri Lanka as he looked to Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman to beat the islanders. The last time the two teams met was in January at the neutral venue of Dubai with Pakistan edging the One-Day International (ODI) series 3-2 but tying the Tests one apiece.
Pakistan fly out to Sri Lanka on August 2 and start the first Test at Galle four days later. ”In Sri Lanka spin plays an important role, the moment third, fourth and fifth day arrives spin has a major role, I think we have lots of chances and if we play to our potential we have lots of chances to win,” Haq said.
Pakistan’s last tour of the island nation finished in a 1-0 defeat in two Tests and 3-1 in five ODIs, with one match rained off. Batting has been Pakistan’s major worry over the past few years especially after the retirement of greats like Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf.
But Haq, who has won 12 of the 27 Tests he has captained, said he was more confident than in the past thanks to the appointment of new batting coach Grant Flower of Zimbabwe. ”Whenever a coach comes in, he helps you out, he tries his best, but in the end you have to perform as a player as a batsman, as a batting unit we should be more responsible and should apply those things which he is giving in training,” he said.
The two-Test three ODI series in Sri Lanka is the start of a busy period for Pakistan, who are set to host Australia and New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from October to December. Haq said the hectic schedule was ideal preparation for next year’s World Cup. ”We are trying to play maximum international cricket so that’s good that before World Cup we will be playing against Australia and it will benefit the team,” he told reporters on the last day of a training camp.
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