image_20130107170241

Misbah-ul-Haq top-scored for Pakistan in the final ODI against India where the visitors lost by 10 runs © Getty Images

New Delhi: Jan 7, 2013

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq praised the Indian fielding unit and admitted that India’s brilliant effort in the field made a small total of 167 look difficult to achieve in the third ODI at Feroz Shah Kotla.

“We had a great chance, especially after restricting them to 167. But India were outstanding with their bowling, fielding and in exploiting the conditions. Their pacers and spinners did equally well. The best part of their performance was their fielding. It was phenomenal and they must have saved at least 30-35 runs in the field,” Misbah said, as reported by bcci.tv

Misbah, who top-scored for his team with 39 runs in the third ODI, said conditions were extremely difficult for the batsmen at Feroz Shah Kotla.

“When our innings started, we realised it wasn’t easy to bat on that track. The singles were not easily available, the spinners were getting the ball to turn and bounce, and pacers were seaming it. Forget scoring runs, it was difficult to even survive on this wicket,” he said.

“I think Nasir’s and my wickets were the turning points. If we hadn’t lost one of those wickets and stayed on for a bit longer, it could have been an easy match for us.”

When asked about his strike-rate of 47.56, Misbah said that the wicket, conditions and the potency of India’s bowling didn’t call for playing to take risks and play shots.

“When I got out, we needed three runs per over. All you needed to do was to bat out the overs, and we would have won the match. It was not like we were chasing seven an over here. You would have realised later on why I batted slow,” he said.

“With the damp weather, dew and cold, none of the batsmen barring Nasir Jamshed and MS Dhoni could score many runs. So, it won’t be fair to judge the batsmen’s performance from this series,” Misbah added.