"Babar Azam is ready to play long innings in Test matches" : Misbah-ul-Haq


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    "Babar Azam is ready to play long innings in Test matches" : Misbah-ul-Haq

    Misbah-ul-Haq at a presser:

    On T20Is

    Itís a completely different format. T20s are over. We didnít play like we should have played but Test cricket is totally different. Totally different set of players. And the way we have played the practice matches here, that has given us a lot of confidence. Boys have adjusted well, batted well, bowled in the right places according to the conditions. First [practice] match was outstanding for both departments. Fielding too was excellent and the slip catching was outstanding, so I think that has given a lot of confidence to this team. The boys are understanding these conditions really well.

    Sometimes it happens in T20s ó we were playing over there [in Pakistan] and then we came here and we couldnít adjust here right away. But I think now the team is looking a lot better and is managing the conditions well and hopefully we will continue that.


    On Babar Azam

    He is very important. I think how he is playing right now, the most important thing as a batsman I think is how confident you are. Especially after South Africa, the type of innings he played on those difficult pitches in the series Pakistan played there ó he played good attacking cricket and after that heís a totally changed batsman. I think the conditions here for batting are much better than they were over there [in South Africa] and at the moment how he has batted in the two practice matches, the T20s and even how he is batting in the nets, you can see the confidence and technically he seems very improved. I think he will be key especially with this confidence. Hopefully he does well, it will be very important for Pakistan.

    I think there is evidence that the pitch was very difficult for our three-day game. The bowling was very good, almost the top four bowlers playing for Australia A. So I think it was a bit of both there, [Babar] played good shots against the bad balls and where he had to respect the bowlers he also did that. You can see a lot of maturity in his batting, itís not all aggression, aggression, aggression but itís quite a balanced approach. The type of long innings he played, he is ready to play that sort of innings in Test matches.


    On Steve Smith

    Every top-class batsman in the world has a blind spot. Whenever the ball is pitched there, as a bowler youíre always interested. I think whatís important for us is how consistently we can bowl there. At the moment, our bowlers are executing the plans really well. Hopefully we can build that pressure especially early on in the innings we have to be as disciplined as possible bowling in those areas. No matter how good the batsman is, I think itís a matter of consistencyóthat we bowl the maximum number of balls in those areas where the batsman has to respect the bowleróand build pressure and try to get them to make mistakes.

    Obviously then it comes to other plans, what to do once the batsman is set, planning against a player throughout the innings and type of form Steve Smith is inóno doubt he is a batting genius but we will try to execute our plans well and try to get him out.

    Obviously Naseem [Shah] is a fine, young bowler but at the same time, cricket discipline remains the same. No matter how quick you areóif you execute your plans well then you have a chance. Hopefully it will be a good contest between our bowling and Steve [Smith] and our batting and their bowling.


    On David Warner

    I think these are the top players in the world. And obviously everybody has some weaknesses and we got bowlers who know where we can exploit. Obviously they are watching those videos, they know where to bowl to David Warner, but itís a totally different story when youíre playing in England and when youíre playing in Australia. We know how good David Warner is in Australian conditions so again I think we know the lines and lengths, but itís a matter of going in and repeating and replicating those practices in a game scenario.


    On batsmenís blind-spot

    I think all the batsmen you talk to, any batsman in the world, the area where you have to defend a ball, that is the six to eight metres spot where you have to play top of off-stump. Thatís the area from where if itís happening, that creates a great chance and if itís not happening you have less chances of doing anything with the ball. Itís about consistency and against the top players in the world if you miss those areas, that specific length and line, then they are good enough to just cash on that. So you have to be very, very disciplined. Just keep the ball there and if thatís happening youíre already in the game. Then it comes to plan B or plan C, if itís not happening, then where you are going to attack them.


    On Pakistan Test bowling line-up

    While you have the pressure of never having won [in Australia], you also have an opportunity. I think when the youngsters come over and they have never experienced losing in these conditions. I think one advantage of this is that they are ambitious and they also want to grab this opportunity. They want to do what Pakistan has never been able to do here beforeósomething that would be historic. I think how theyíre bowling and the type of energy they haveówe call them inexperiencedóbut the type of bowling theyíre doing so far doesnít show inexperience. They are bowling in the right areas accordingly to the conditions, their energy is up, they are bowling with good pace and thereís nothing negative on their mind. So I think these are the things which give you hope that this team, and this bowling unit, can do well and theyíve been doing well so far, hopefully we will just continue.

    In each condition, every bowler has a role. Spinners are important and so are fast bowlers.

    These are the good signs for us that a young bowling attack like thisóthey are understanding what they need to do. Itís big pressure when they go in a Test match, thatís a big learning for them. If they can replicate that in the game scenario and in the years coming by, these fast bowlers will be a great asset for Pakistan.

    These pitches are hard enough but I still believe if you get good pace behind the ball and you just put it in the right areas you can create chances. The way Naseem [Shah] is bowling at the moment; and I think Shaheen is very important with the new ball especially. He gets some movement in there and Naseem also, so we hope they can do it but obviously need to very, very disciplined.

    Shaheen was missing in the T20s because of the injuries and rehab and he was getting ready for the Test matches. He is totally a different bowler, and the way he swings the ball with his height, puts the ball in the right areas; and Imran Khan [Sr] is a different bowler; Abbas; these guys were not there in the T20s series. The way they are bowling at the moment, like Naseem Shah, they are confident, they are just putting it in the right areas and getting enough from the wicket, thatís why I think Iím pretty confident that they can do this.


    On Imran Khan Sr

    I think he was always a hard worker. Good record as a Test bowler. Has not played much but the games he played for Pakistan, I think he was good, especially since he played most of his games in Asia. I think the change that came in Imran Khanís bowling--he is more fit at the moment, his comeback spells are very good, pace is a bit up than last time and he is consistently bowling in the good areas. Thatís something I think we need against an experienced batting line-up like Australia. Because in Australia itís not about just pace and bounce, itís about putting the ball in the right areas and keep challenging the technique of the batsmen and I think heís good with that. Hopefully if he bowl like he has been in the nets and the way he did against Australia A, then we have a good chance to put pressure on Australia.


    On the upcoming Sri Lanka Test series in Pakistan

    Looking forward for that. Always believed Pakistan being a top cricketing nation, people love cricket there, they just want to see international cricket live and obviously few tours and teams are coming there but they miss teams like Australia. They want these top teams to be touring Pakistan. It would be great for Pakistan cricket and it will be great for international cricket because whenever there are international tours like that, it actually just pulls the crowd and youngsters love the game and in future will start playing the game. So I think it will be great for Pakistan cricket and international cricket.


    On World Test Championship

    I think itís important for you as a team and a player to just concentrate on whatever youíre playing. Every game is important for us as a team and obviously these two Test matches are huge. Whenever you come to Australia and England, you perform well in these conditions as a team, especially a young team, that gives you huge confidence. Then four Test matches at homeóI think looking forward if we can just do well here and then go there and perform well then obviously these things will just take care of themselves. Because you just want to play good cricket and you want to win. Thatís the at-the-moment goal, how to deal with these two Test matches.

  2. #2
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    So naseem shah is definitely playing??

  3. #3
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    Very little talk of Abbas at all in that interview. Seems to suggest Imran will play. God help us

  4. #4
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    I'm not worried about Babar being able to play long innings, its just whether he will get support from other batsman.

  5. #5
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    Misbah has a lot more love for Shaheen now than he did before he was coach it seems. Good to see!


    Keep up with PakPassion and all things Pakistan Cricket on your favourite platforms

  6. #6
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    Go boys!

    Time to revive our cricket and leave the darkness behind, especially in Test cricket.

    Taking wickets in AUS is a huge challenge, with zero movement and flat runways.

  7. #7
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    Maybe Yasir will be sitting out this one

  8. #8
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    @Hawkeye please bro.
    Seeds of the batting have been sowed pre misbah era. We saw glimpses in the SA tour which you fail to see.
    Don't start trying to give misbah too much credit if this goes well


    If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got #improve

  9. #9
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    Misbah is a fine speaker. Thats all I need to say here.

  10. #10
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    Misbah surely inherited the 'smooth talking at presser' culture from Mickey. I am sure 'Proud team, hate losing' is coming soon at your nearest presser.

  11. #11
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    I really wish they go out with a 4 man pace attack. Yasir is useless on these wickets. Ifti will cover the spin work for the day.


    "You aren't a failure if you fail, you are a failure if you don't get up to try again" - Imran Khan.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince of Pakistan View Post
    I really wish they go out with a 4 man pace attack. Yasir is useless on these wickets. Ifti will cover the spin work for the day.
    Going by misbah press conference and how yasir bowled in practice match. I reckon he will go for 4 pacers

  13. #13
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    I expect Babar to be the top scorer. This man is in good form.

    If he fails, Pakistan will probably be in trouble.


    Bangladeshi Guy

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