Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq is confident that his batsmen will be able to overcome the threat posed by Sri Lanka left-arm spinner Rangana Herath in the two-Test series starting on Wednesday.
Herath has often proved to be a thorn in Pakistan’s side having taken 65 of his 237 Test wickets against them in 15 matches, more than against any other country.
“He is one of the leading wicket-takers of Sri Lanka at the moment but the confidence level of all our batsmen is very good against him,” Misbah told reporters on Tuesday.
“Ours is more or less the same batting order and the same guys who played in the last series, everybody is confident about playing him.
“In the last series played in the UAE which ended in a 1-1 draw, Herath took 14 wickets at an average cost of 36.64.
Pakistan has not won a Test series in Sri Lanka since 2006.
“We tried our level best to get ready for this series, we had a good training camp in Karachi before we came here everybody is ready for the series,” Misbah said.
Pakistan have not played Test cricket since the last series against Sri Lanka ended in the UAE in January.
“We worked hard on our fitness, before Ramadan we had a tough fitness camp and everybody is in good shape,” he added.
“All the players are fit that is what Waqar (Younis) as coach wants from us.
“He really wants to focus on fitness and fielding it really brings something special to the team.”
Misbah said his team were experienced in Sri Lankan conditions having played a lot of cricket there.
“You could say these conditions are not much different from Abu Dhabi and Dubai but in Galle especially, there is a little bit of seam movement and movement in the air that’s something the seamers are really interested in,” said Misbah.
“You need to bowl well and as a batsman you need to negotiate the seam bowlers really well.
“Good spinners also get help on these pitches.
“Both teams fancy these sorts of conditions but everyone knows that in their own conditions, Sri Lanka are a really good team, so you need to play hard, disciplined cricket to come good against them,” he said.
Misbah said one of the key Sri Lankan players they will be targeting is batsman Mahela Jayawardene for whom this will be his final series before he quits Test cricket.
“He is one of the best batsmen in the world so we don’t want him to score runs because if an experienced player like him scores runs it will be difficult for you as an opposition to raise your game,” said Misbah.
“We will be really focusing on that and try our level best to get him out early.” …continued »
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