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Misbah lauds pacers

Calcutta: The Pakistan bowling attack is much sharper than what the Indians have. It was once again evident on Thursday, as India were bundled out for 165, chasing a 251-run target.

Captain Misbah-ul Haq rightly said the pace trio of Umar Gul, Junaid Khan and Mohammed Irfan played a crucial role in Pakistan’s series triumph.

“We got the edge for the quality of our bowling… The Indian batsmen are struggling for quite a long time. But I think our bowlers exploited the conditions better. Normally, we get flat pitches here in India… But the pitches in Chennai and here were challenging for the batsmen,” Misbah said at the media conference.

“It’s mainly because of our fast bowlers’ spell in the middle overs that we won the match here. We thought 290-300 would have been a good total, but 250 was a fighting total. But it was important to bowl well as 250 was not a winning score,” he added.

“I really feel happy for Pakistan... The happiest thing was that before the start of the series, we were struggling in our fast bowling department, but here, all the three fast bowlers did really well. It’s a positive thing. The way we are playing as a team is quite an achievement,” he said.

They have already won the series and even a loss in the last ODI, to be played in New Delhi on Sunday, wouldn’t take anything away from their superb show in India. But Misbah would still want to have a 3-0 score and is thus against too much experimentation in the final one-dayer. “A win against India is always big... We had lost to them in the World Cup. This is a big win and a 3-0 margin will be a big achievement,” Misbah said.

He also credited coach Dav Whatmore for bringing about a change in the team’s approach. “He is working hard with the team... He has changed the attitude of the team. He is backing the captains — (Mohammed) Hafeez and myself, and also the players… Things are getting better under him,” he said.

Reflecting back on their preparations for the India tour, Misbah said: “We always tried to be strong mentally... It was important to rope in a psychologist to get the side out of the mental barrier,” Misbah said. Dr. Maqbool Babri as was appointed the team’s psychologist ahead of the tour to India.

About the foreign coach vs domestic coach debate, Misbah said: “Whoever maybe the coach, he’s there to improve the side. It depends on the players’ attitude how well they will work under him.”

Praising Nasir Jamshed, the centurion, he said: “It’s happy to see a youngster show maturity… He is trying to bat 50 overs. There is talent no doubt, but he is showing amazing temperament which is the key. He has a bright future,” Misbah said.