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‘Performance is last word’

Chennai: Aggression on the field, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq feels, should be displayed through performance and not by getting into heated exchanges with rival players.

“I have always maintained that your aggression should come out in your performance. There is no point in saying anything verbally,” said the Pakistan skipper on the eve of the first India-Pakistan ODI on Sunday.

“Your performance must do the talking. If you only talk and don’t perform, then that’s not aggression. My message to all the players is to focus on your performance.

“If you have to show aggression, do it by bowling at 140-150 kmph, or by playing good strokes and making a big score, or taking a good catch or effecting a good run out. At the end of the day, the performance is important, not what you say to the opposition players,” said Misbah.

Asked about the three-match series which begins on Sunday, Misbah said his side will play positive cricket. “One thing we thought before coming here is that we have to play good cricket. It was apparent during the T20s matches that for the first time, Pakistan were playing without pressure. Hopefully, we will play the same way in the ODIs,” he said.

Misbah is known as someone who never loses his cool. “It’s a part of my personality, it comes naturally,” he said. At this point, Pakistan coach Dave Whatmore interrupted and laughingly said: “He is also the captain cool… Isn’t it?”

Misbah felt adapting to the new rules would be a challenge for both the teams. “It is a very difficult scenario at the beginning, both for the bowlers and the captains, It will be difficult to adapt because for a long time, this (old) format was in place,” Misbah said.

Misbah, who was not the part of the T20 squad, said Pakistan always enjoyed playing in India. “It is always good to play in India… There is a thrill in whatever part of India we play. People here love watching cricket, especially the India-Pakistan series.

“It is good to play in an atmosphere like that. Of course, there will be no Sachin Tendulkar. Everybody would miss him, especially the Indian team because he is a legend,” Misbah said.

His absence from the T20 side, Misbah argued, was a blessing in disguise.

“I can say that I have come here fresh for the one-day series. But even then, I was very much the part of the T20 side.”