Misbah-ul-Haq

Misbah-ul-Haq was the only batsman who put up a substantial performance against West Indies © Getty Images

Birmingham: Jun 11, 2013

Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq is baffled by his team’s batting failure, which has left the side struggling to stay alive in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 after two successive defeats.

Having lost their tournament opener to the West Indies, Pakistan then went down to South Africa by 67 runs here last night.

They now face arch-rivals India in the must-win game on Saturday. Pakistan would not just have to beat India but also pray that results of some other matches go in their favour.

Chasing 235, Pakistan were all out for 167 and Misbah felt it was very much a gettable target.

“It was a gettable total but batting failed. The batsmen were in good form in the practice games but I don’t know what has happened. The pitch was a little slow, but we could have chased it,” Misbah said after the defeat on Monday night.

“It was a good bowling effort. It was simple, you needed 4.5 runs an over. We could not knock it around. The 15 overs were poor and in the middle overs we did not rotate [strike].But still we should have chased,” he added.

Disappointed with the batting collapse, Misbah said none of the batsmen justified their selection in the team and all of them need to take responsibility.

“The players need to take responsibility. If you are not delivering as a player, the team will suffer. At the moment, no one is justifying his place in the team. No one is getting runs,” he said.

“You think about selection after the tournament. We thought these were the best six batsmen in Pakistan when we came here. Again, it is about application and batsmen applying themselves. All the responsibility lies with the players. It’s really difficult when your batting is performing like that. It’s really disappointing,” he added.

Pakistan skipper, who top scored for his side with a 55-run knock last night, wanted his players to “forget about these two games before meeting India”.

Misbah said though the batting was not up to the mark, Pakistan’s bowling and fielding have been good.

“I think the positive is our bowling. They really, really are bowling very well. Our fielding is really improving. That is the biggest positive. But as a batting unit, I think you can say it’s totally lost,” he said.

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