Pakistan looking to improve: Misbah

While Misbah-ul-Haq was obviously delighted with the win on Sunday, he didn’t lose out on the bigger picture.

After restricting India to 227/6, Pakistan scored a six-wicket win to go 1-0 up in the three-match ODI series. “It was really good to win the match because the first game is always important,” Misbah told reporters. “So whenever you win the first game, it really boosts your confidence and you are ahead of the other team.

“Today we were lucky (to win the toss and bowl first) but even then, India gave us a tough time in this situation. They lost five wickets early but went on to make 227 and we couldn’t chase it down easily. So I think we have to improve a lot of things. To win the next match, we will have to work hard and improve a fair bit,” he observed.

Further dwelling on areas to improve, Misbah said: “We have to really improve our fielding, our death-over and Power Play bowling. After the new rules specially, we have to improve the bowling in the last 10 overs and Power Play. When two batsmen are set, it is difficult to bowl to them like it was to MS Dhoni. So we will have to come up with plans with four fielders (outside the circle) as to how to block the batsmen. Also we have to improve our batting performances.”

Pakistan had two star performers in their win. Left-arm seamer Junaid Khan, who ran through Indian top-order with 4/17 first spell, and opener Nasir Jamshed (101 n.o.) but man of the match award went to Dhoni, who struck an unbeaten 113. Misbah played down the issue. “Man of the match is decided by the jury. At one stage, it looked as if India would get out for 125 but Dhoni’s was a brilliant innings. I was expecting Junaid to do so because he has bowled these kinds of spells. Given the conditions -- moisture in the pitch – and him being a seam bowler, we expected that he would bowl well. He met the expectations and bowled the kind of spell we had been hoping for.”

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