Pakistan head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq is concerned about the dip in form of three key players of the national Test side, ahead of the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka on home soil.
The Azhar Ali-led unit were clean swept two-nil during recently concluded Test series in Australia with embarrassing innings defeat in both matches.
“It is a worry for us, Yasir [Shah] and [Mohammad] Abbas are our main bowlers and some of our main batsmen like Azhar [Ali], their form is also concerning for us,” said Misbah while speaking on the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) podcast.
“When you come and play in these conditions, it’s difficult for spinners. Lyon got wickets on the last day [in second Test] also, before that he had two wickets. In Asian conditions, Yasir’s performances have always been good and we’re looking forward to him stepping up there and performing well because he’s our main match-winner,” said the former Pakistan captain while elaborating leg-spinner Yasir Shah’s performance Down Under.
Misbah also rued the fact that Pakistan batsmen threw away their wicket after getting their eye in, which was in stark contrast with the way their counterparts batted.
“Australian batsmen capitalised on their starts and made big hundreds, Warner hit a triple and we missed that. Our batsmen got set then got out, they couldn’t play big innings, otherwise the results could have been a little different,” he said. “To be successful here, we need to improve and know how to bowl in these conditions. With batting, there’s some technical adjustments that are needed here, your scoring areas change so we have to look at that in future.”
The former right-handed batsman also expected a tough challenge from the visiting Islanders in the upcoming Test series, later in December.
“Sri Lanka have a strong team, they have announced a full strength squad. Our bowling attack is inexperienced as there are some new faces after the retirements of [Mohammad] Amir, Wahab [Riaz] and Hasan Ali’s injury. The series will be tough, we will have to play good cricket. You can’t say that since it’s a home series, it will be easy for us. SL beat SA and their young bowling attack has been performing well, pace wise also they’re good. We will have to improve a lot to bring good results, it won’t be easy for us,” he concluded.
The first Test will be played at the Pindi Cricket Stadium from December 11-15, while the second Test will be held at the National Stadium from December 19-23.