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It is a chance to prove ourselves: Misbah

The Pakistan captain feels that his side has the bowling capacity to contain India

It is a chance to prove ourselves: Misbah - Cricket News
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.
Because Pakistan is now effectively out of the tournament, do you think it has taken something out of this Pakistan‑India tie, which was billed as the match of the tournament? Do you think it has taken a hit?
I think it's still a very important game. Everybody knows that India‑Pakistan is always a game most of the viewers are looking for because the audience, especially in India and Pakistan, you can say more followers of cricket, and they always want to see India and Pakistan playing each other. I think still it's an important game for both teams and both teams want to win that game.
 
The talk is that India's batting is very strong, so how effective and have you worked out a plan for your bowlers to check their strength?
I think these bowlers have already played against India, and we were there in India before for the series, and they have bowled to most of the batsmen, bowled effectively, so I think it's in the back of their mind, also. They're confident about that and they are very much capable of just doing that. So I think that will help them. That will help us as a team, because lately we did well against India.
 
Your team is out of the tournament, but that makes your team less dangerous or more dangerous against India?
I think as per tournament there's no pressure on us now, so it's one game. It's a chance for us to just prove ourselves, go there and just get something back. So I think as a player, as a team, there should not be any pressure on us. We should just express ourselves and go there and just try to win that game.
 
Pakistan by your own admission has been disappointing in the tournament so far. If you were to beat India do you think everything at home among your home supporters would be forgiven, the fact that you haven't made progress in the tournament but you've defeated the old enemy, so to speak? Would that go down well enough with them for everything else to be redeemed?
To some extent I think it is because this game is very important. But disappointment will remain somehow, because every team wants to win a championship whenever you are there to participate in that sort of tournament. It's the second biggest tournament in the world, ICC tournament, and you need to just go ahead in these sort of tournaments.
 
But still I think it's a big game, so it will really matter if we can win that.
 
And it would be great compensation, wouldn't it, if you were to win?
I think so because people really want to win, especially in Pakistan and India. Whenever we play each other it's like a final for everybody.
 
You said before that the time to review the selection of the side would be once the tournament was over. With that in mind, might this be the last opportunity for some players in the side to show that they warrant selection?
Regarding selection, I think it's totally up to the selection committee because they really were looking at the performances of all the players and the team, also. So I think players should not worry about that at international level. You always think every game is the last game, and just try to give your best shot. So this is what I think we can do. Don't worry about what's going to happen. It always happens in your life; if you just think about these things, I think you can perform. Take it as an opportunity, go there and just prove yourself how good you are.
 
Pakistan has beaten India recently but during that time India was really struggling and they were coming off the back of a very disappointing Test series against England. But recently they have been doing well and their openers are especially in very good form. Do you believe that will change the dynamic of the contest?
Of course they are in good confidence, but still, I think if you can just get the breaks at the top order, still you feel pressure because if your players are in good form, especially in top order, scoring runs and can get one or two early wickets, still a team gets under pressure. So we got bowlers that can really help the position. We hope that we can do that.
 
After being out of the tournament and you have got a very big match tomorrow, you look relatively calm and composed and relaxed. My first question would be what did the team do in the last four days? How did you manage with the back‑to‑back defeats, and how do you compose your players for such a big match?
As I already just said, you look at the players every game as an opportunity. Tomorrow it's a big opportunity again for the players to just prove themselves. It's the last chance you can say for us in this tournament to prove how good we are. So we don't have to just think about the result; go there and try to give your best shot. That is the only thing which I am just telling to all the players and the coaches and all the sporting staff, just telling the players that, and I think these players are experienced enough, good enough that they can just understand this.
 
So this is the only way you survive in international cricket.
 
Last time you played India was almost six months ago. The last six months where do you think the Indian team has gone from those ODIs to the Champions Trophy? What are the transformations you've seen in the Indian team?
I think they've made some of the changes, and those changes are really working well for them. The won against Australia, that gives them a good, you can say, confidence booster. That's why they are really performing well here. They started well here in especially warm-up games and then they played two good games in Champions Trophy. I think that's always when you start performing well, and when your top order just starts scoring runs, you always feel comfortable.
 
So that's why they are confident at the moment, because they have been doing well for the last six months.
 
But again, I think every game is a new game, so everybody ‑‑ every team playing that, every player playing that has got chances to prove, chances to do well.
 
There has been some criticism about your batting, perhaps the rate at which you batted. How do you respond to that, and all along what has been the problem with the batting, the whole team?
I think the problem when you lose early wickets, that's the problem sometimes. You really have to make up for that, and in that you can't just play freely. That's the reason. And once your batting is not in confidence, you're losing wickets at the top, and then even your lower order is just struggling, and obviously pressure is on for the players who are also in form. That might be the case with me, also. Sometimes if wickets just keep on falling at regular intervals, it really stops you from playing your own game. Whenever there are partnerships, somebody is playing well with you, you can really then put your foot on the accelerator and you can really push the other team back. So it's really important for us. We need to understand that if one of the batsmen is playing well, hitting well, then I think the other needs to rotate the strike, give him chances, more chances to face the bowling. That's one area I think we need to improve in the next game.
 
You have a series coming up against West Indies. There are a lot of criticism back home. This is very normal with India and Pakistan when you lose, people ask players to be sacked, coaching staff to be sacked. What are you taking back from this tournament and how confident are you going forward to West Indies?
Well, after this performance clearly everybody can see where we need changes and what we need in the future playing against West Indies. Changes should be done very sensibly, you just make a combination, see what you need in the team, how you can improve your combination, how you can improve your batting lineup especially, and just try to build a good combination.
 
if you do things, even in these sort of circumstances, you can't just take decisions in a panic situation. Just think about it, plan it, how we're going to go about the future. I think the biggest plus here for us is our bowling lineup, especially the fast bowlers, and we've got two of the best spinners that are really performing well. It's good to see Nasir Jamshed start scoring runs.
 
There are a few things which really are going well in this tournament, but still I think the batting is an issue, so we need to just think about that, how we have to go further in the future.
 

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