The Adaptation Of The Speed And Rebound Of The Key For The Pakistan'is A Success - Misbah-ul-Haq > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - Adjusting to pace and bounce key for Pakistan's success - Misbah-ul-Haq
Pakistan haven't won a Test match in Australia since the SCG fixture in 1995-96 and have also struggled to put up good performances in limited-overs games Down Under in the recent past. The Asian country has generally found it difficult to adjust to the conditions on offer.
Ahead of the visitors' practice game against Cricket Australia XI on October 31, Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan head coach, acknowledged that they have to acclimatise to the conditions quickly in order to compete in the upcoming three-match T20I series and two-game Test rubber.
Over a period of time, visiting sides' batsmen have struggled to adapt to the extra bounce on offer in Australia. Meanwhile, pacers too have to look at bowling slightly shorter lengths and hit the deck to take advantage of the extra bounce. "The conditions are totally different than when you play in all other parts of the world," Misbah told reporters in Sydney. "So you need to adjust to that pace and bounce especially in the batting unit and obviously when you're bowling, because in Asian conditions your biggest strength is your spinners.
"You have to bowl slightly differently here, the lengths are different, even the lines are different for the pacers here. So these are the challenges we are looking at ahead of this series. We want to address those and the kind of talent we have, if we can be disciplined in all departments, I think we can produce good results," he added.
Misbah, who was unanimously appointed as the head coach, began his tenure with Pakistan losing all three T20Is versus an under-strength Sri Lankan side at home. Subsequently, Sarfaraz Ahmed was sacked as Pakistan's captain, with Azhar Ali taking over the leadership of the Test side and Babar Azam named as the T20I captain.
Misbah acknowledged that the Australia tour would be a tough challenge for the newly-appointed captains, but backed the duo to take the side forward. He also noted that experienced bowlers like Imad Wasim and Mohammad Irfan can help Babar in order to execute the plans.
"Sometimes it's a challenge for the captains. Azhar has already captained in Australia. He's a bit experienced, he knows, and he's played a lot of Test cricket. Babar is new, and so it will be really important for me to pass on advice. The team also needs to support him and execute plans.
"Some of the bowlers who have experience can help him too. Imad Wasim is there, Wahab Riaz is there, Mohammad Irfan... they can really help him, setting the fields, having their bowling plans executed properly. Obviously it's a new thing, new experience for him but I think all these challenges will help him get stronger and be bigger in stature."
Pakistan's squads for the tour have quite a few new faces, with Usman Qadir, the son of Abdul Qadir, being one of them. The promising legspinner, who has represented Perth Scorchers and Western Australia, seemed to have ambitions of playing for Australia. However, on the back of his solid performances for Central Punjab in the National T20 Cup, Pakistan decided to pick him for the T20I series. Misbah, on his part, observed that Usman's experience of playing in Australia was one of the main reasons for his inclusion.
"The last couple of years now, we've just been playing Shadab Khan, who's been slightly out of form. There are very few legspin options in Pakistan. A few of the youngsters have come up just in this season, and Usman Qadir is one of them. He played the T20 tournament there and he bowled well. We picked Usman because he has experience playing in Australia, knows the conditions and with his height, especially, gets little bit more bounce also.
"I think his variations, the flipper and the googly for example, gave him a bit of an advantage. That was the reason behind his selection. We need to develop someone in that department, so that we have a back-up for Shadab, especially before the World Cup," Misbah said.
Pakistan have also included a couple of young tearaways, Naseem Shah and Muhammad Musa. Naseem, the 16-year-old, who has made it into the Test squad, is renowned for bowling at a good burst of pace and has already snared 17 scalps at an average of just over 18 in first-class cricket. Naseem, who missed the PSL 2019 due to a back injury, is also back to full fitness. Meanwhile, Musa, the 18-year-old, has been selected in both the Test and T20I squads.
"He's bowling well (Naseem Shah). Especially in the four-day competition that's going on, first-class, he's bowling well. The good thing about him is he's bowling well in all spells. He's now playing his fourth first class game of the [Quaid-e-Azam trophy] back home, and in all spells he's bowling quick. His control with the ball is also good. I'm looking forward to him bowling here in Australia where the conditions will also give him some assistance in getting pace and bounce. Everybody is excited to get him in the team.
"There is always the surprise that plays a part in selection but again you need to bowl well in Australian conditions. Only pace is not going to favour you. The good thing with him is he can bowl in good areas also. At Under-19 levels he bowled really well with the new ball and the old ball and he's doing that in first-class cricket, too. Looking forward, if he can just put the ball in the right areas at that pace, it could be a surprise package."
Pakistan will play the first of the three T20Is at the SCG on November 3.
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