Afghanistan must play more matches against Test playing nations: Misbah

Misbah-ul-Haq also defended the last-moment selection of Shoaib Malik in the squad for limited-overs series AFP

By CricketCountry Staff

Sharjah: Feb 10, 2012

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq opines that Afghanistan must play more matches against Test playing nations, which will help them assess their progress in a much better way.

Misbah made the comment ahead of his side s one-off One-Day International match against war-torn Afghanistan, who will be playing their first-ever ODI against a Test playing country after getting ODI status in 2009.

“Once you play against Test teams, only then you can know what type of improvement is required. It’s very important that such matches are organized so that these teams can realize where they stand,” Misbah said.

“They are fighters, they have good fielders and you can’t take them easy,” Misbah was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

The one-off ODI against Afghanistan in Sharjah will also help Pakistan warm-up for their upcoming ODI series against England.

The Pakistan captain defended the last-moment selection of Shoaib Malik in the squad for limited-overs series.

“I think there was some misunderstanding. Maybe he didn’t bat well last year, but his bowling played a vital role against Sri Lanka here in Sharjah. Since the opposition is struggling against spinners and sometimes our batting also struggles, I thought Malik’s inclusion will benefit the team,” he said.

Misbah wants his side to not to rest on the laurels of the recent past and to prepare well for the upcoming matches against Afghanistan and England.

“I always say that whatever performance you have given in the past is history and one should look ahead. It’s true we won the Test series and we did celebrate it, but for us tomorrow’s match is important to mould us back in this format,” he said.