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Pakistan no longer unpredictable: Misbah

Associated Press
Mar 24, 2012 at 06:55pm IST

Islamabad: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq said on Saturday that his team has shaken off the tag of being unpredictable after winning the Asia Cup.

Over the past 18 months, Pakistan have lost just one limited-overs series — a 4-0 whitewash by England in the United Arab Emirates last month, while winning against New Zealand, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

"People should think and look at the statistics," Misbah said on his return home from Dhaka.

Pakistan no longer unpredictable: Misbah

The Pakistan skipper says his team has shaken off that tag after winning the Asia Cup.

"Pakistan have the best win ratio in the world over the last one-and-a-half years and an unpredictable team does not have such a ratio."

Pakistan defeated the host nation Bangladesh by two runs in a thrilling Asia Cup final on Thursday. Bangladesh reached the final by beating both the winners and the runners-up of last year's World Cup — India and Sri Lanka — in the league matches.

The Pakistan captain was impressed with the transformation of the Bangladesh team, which reached only its second final at any international tournament since gaining Test status in 2000.

"They played quite differently in the tournament," Misbah said. "They defeated the World Cup winners and [the] runners-up, so I think it was a very big achievement. The way they played against us in both matches, they exploited their home conditions and looked like an emerging team."

Bangladesh, who lost by 21 runs in the league match against Pakistan, were on track to surprise the 1992 world champions in the final. But Pakistan fast bowler Aizaz Cheema limited the home side to six runs in a tense last over as Bangladesh fell three runs short of their 237-run target, finishing at 234 for 8.

Misbah has been criticised for his team's defensive approach and slow batting, which can sometimes prove costly as was the case against England.

Unlike the hard-hitting Shahid Afridi or Umar Akmal, Misbah often tends to face too many deliveries in the limited-overs game, limiting his impact.

"Most of the critics are those who have not played cricket in their lives and one should not listen to them," Misbah said. "My focus is on cricket and I will try to play the best cricket for Pakistan. Once I feel I am not enjoying cricket, there's no point playing it."

Despite winning the Asia Cup, fans in Pakistan regretted not facing arch-rivals India in the final after the world champions defeated Misbah's team when they chased down a 330-run target in a league match.

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