Misbah-ul-Haq says cold Delhi conditions made it difficult for Pakistan

Chasing a paltry 168 for win, Pakistan were bowled out for 157, thereby handing India a face-saving win in the three-match series © PTI

By Sabi Hussain

New Delhi: Jan 6, 2013

Blaming the cold weather conditions responsible for his team’s 10-run loss to India in the third ODI here, Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq today said the Kotla pitch changed its behaviour as the fog descended on the ground which made the run chase “very difficult”.

“The weather made all the difference. Survival became difficult as the fog descended on the ground. The pitch which looked like a batting track changed its behaviour as the temperature dipped,” Misbah said at the post match press conference.

“When we started the run chase, the Indian seamers got the movement and swing, the spinners got the required turn and bounce. It’s not only about survival but the chase became all the more difficult. When they batted, only Mahendra Singh Dhoni could manage to score runs, when we batted it was opener Nasir Jamshed. Apart from the duo, no other batsman from both the sides could score runs,” he added.

Chasing a paltry 168 for win, Pakistan were bowled out for 157, thereby handing India a face-saving win in the three-match series.

Misbah said Pakistan had not experienced such colder conditions in the sub-continent while playing an international match.

“It was very cold. We played under such conditions during our domestic T20 league back home and when we were preparing for the India series. The conditions were same but not in the international matches in the sub-continent. It was very difficult to bat on. It would be difficult for the Indians and England in the coming series to play under such colder conditions,” he said.

“I did not expect such type of moisture. With fog descending, it became difficult to bat on. So, weather played a crucial role,” he added.

Misbah said India‘s bowling and fielding made all the difference even as the visitors lost a golden opportunity to inflict a series whitewash on the home team.

“We missed the chance to clean sweep the series. The chance was there but Indian bowlers exploited the conditions well. Their fielding was great as they saved at least 30-35 runs. It was an exceptional bowling and fielding effort,” he insisted.

The Pakistan skipper said his own and in-form opener Nasir Jamshed’s dismissals derailed their run chase.

“We lost both the wickets at wrong time. That made the difference.”

Asked why Kamran Akmal opened the batting in place of regular Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah said, “He was injured. His webbing between the fingers got split. He would not have batted at all but he took the pain killers and came to the team’s rescue. He needs further treatment and hopefully would be fit in three four days.”

Reflecting upon the series, Misbah said he was satisfied with the outcome of the short tour.