Misbah-ul-Haq blames lack of international exposure for Pakistan's poor performance

Misbah-ul-Haq (above) backed the Faisalabad Wolves, who have lost both their matches, saying barring him and spinner Saeed Ajmal, the side lacked in experience © IANS

Mohali: Sept 19, 2013

Under-fire Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq says that lack of international cricket back home was having a negative impact on team’s performance.

Pakistan suffered a humiliating Test defeat at the hands of minnows Zimbabwe and now Faisalabad Wolves have been eliminated from the Champions League Twenty20 Qualifiers after back-to-back defeats.

“When there is no international cricket happening and when you are not seeing any players playing, there are not even side matches being played, no opportunities, it has an impact. When you play in your country, the confidence one gains from performing there also helps in performing away from home,” Misbah said at the post-match press conference on Wednesday night.

When asked if he feels overburdened or under pressure, Misbah replied, “Sometimes, it happens that your team is not responding, unfortunately, like this time batsmen in Pakistan team are struggling. As far as Faisalabad team is concerned, we are an inexperienced side and don’t have big names in batting, sometimes it happens.”

Misbah backed the Wolves, who have lost both their matches,saying barring him and spinner Saeed Ajmal, the side lacked in experience.

“Obviously when you lose games, you are disappointed, but I think its a good experience for the team as most of the guys haven’t played any international cricket. (After playing here) they got to know what sort of demands there are at the international level and I think it’s a big ask for them to come straight here and perform.”

Misbah said it was imperative that all batsmen perform as an individual cannot do much in team’s win.

“When contributions come from all side, it is good for the team. When all players contribute, team earns more victories. With one player alone you can do nothing,” he said.

The Pakistani skipper also rued absence of an IPL-style league back home.

“I think if league starts in Pakistan, it will bring competitiveness among players, I think it is very important.

Exposure and skills improve only when you play cricket in such a competitive environment.

“It is unfortunate for Pakistan that no such league is being played there. We will have to think over it very soon.

Players from around the world play IPL and different leagues in their own countries.

“As a result, one can see a visible difference in the players, especially in Indian cricket, how young players are coming up, how they are maturing fast, how they are able to play under pressure,” he said.

Asked how he guides his young teammates, Misbah said,”We tell them how to improve skill but I think mental side is very important and that’s why Saeed Ajmal and I are all the time working with that. We tell them how to just absorb pressure, how to just cope with international level players. Just focus on the ball and bat, don’t see the big names, but again I think there is nothing like experience. If you don’t have experience, you really struggle.”