Misbah-ul-Haq asks batsmen to take advantage of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel's absence

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

Karachi: Jun 9, 2013

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq urged his batsmen to take full advantage of the absence of South Africa’s top pace bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel when the two teams clash in a crucial ICC Champions Trophy game on Monday.

Steyn has not yet recovered from a side strain while a quad strain brought a pre-mature end to Morkel’s campaign.

“Whenever a team loses its top players it is always a setback for them. Like it is for South Africa. But as far as we are concerned the batsmen must take advantage of this situation,” said Misbah.

Misbah who stood out with 96 not out against the West Indies in a poor Pakistani batting display said that it would be a close match.

“Both teams have recently played against each other in Tests and One-day series so we know each others strategies well. But the difference is Steyn and Morkel are not available to them. But we must keep in mind that their replacement bowler, Morris has done well on subcontinental pitches in the IPL recently,” he said.

Misbah said Pakistan would not be underestimating the South Africa attack at all.

“It is not a question of underestimating. It is question of trying to take advantage of the weak links in your opponent’s side. That is the way to look at it professionally,” he said.

Misbah said that the batting needed to click here onwards if Pakistan was to advance in the Champions Trophy.

“The batting was poor against the West Indies. We cant afford to repeat that again. We need to put up good totals for our bowlers who have always done a good job for us. They bowled well against the West Indies as well.”

“It has happened to us many times in the past so we are used to this situation and we are not taking any extra pressure because of this,” he said.

The senior player also made it clear that he was disappointed at missing out on his maiden one-day hundred against the West Indies but was more upset over the loss.

“It would have been great to get the hundred as every batsmen looks forward to scoring his first hundred in one-day internationals. But on second thoughts if we had won the match it would have been more valuable for me as a captain and player.”

Misbah said Pakistan would look at the pitch conditions before deciding on any changes in the team but hinted Abdul Rehman could be tried out, as spinners appeared to be doing well in the tournament.