Misbah rues batting failure in World Cup

Shukriya Pakistan

Pakistan were bowled out for a below-par 213 in the final over after being well set at 97-2 — a trend Misbah said had prevailed throughout the World Cup.

“I think we failed as a batting unit in the whole tournament,” said Misbah, whose dismissal after scoring 34 derailed Pakistan’s innings.

Josh Hazlewood took 4-35 while Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell took two wickets apiece as Pakistan never recovered on a batting-friendly Adelaide Oval pitch.

“We just lost the way in the middle overs, we were going well at one stage but after 22-23 overs we kept losing wickets and that was the trend throughout the World Cup,” said the skipper.

Australia overcame early jitters to overhaul the target for the loss of four wickets in the 34th over to earn a place in Thursday’s semi-final against defending champions India at Sydney.

Australia had a lucky escape when Rahat Ali dropped a sitter from Shane Watson — on just four at the time — off a fiery Wahab Riaz with the score at 84-3.

“Wahab really bowled well throughout the World Cup and he was a different bowler. He showed his class again and at one stage we were pretty much in the game and the way he was bowling that catch could have made the difference.

“But that is how cricket is.”

Misbah said it was tough on the bowlers to defend low totals.

“If you keep on scoring low totals then it’s difficult for the bowlers to defend every day, especially on batting pitches like we were playing today.”

Misbah, who retired from one-day internationals after the match, pointed to Pakistan’s lack of centuries in the World Cup.

“We got only one century in the whole tournament,” said Misbah, of Sarfraz Ahmed’s hundred against Ireland in the group stages.

“This is not how you win tournaments like the World Cup. You need batsmen who can score hundreds but we couldn’t do that. I think throughout the tournament we didn’t make the totals we should have made.

“It’s disappointing to lose in the quarter-final.”

Misbah admitted batting has been Pakistan’s weak link for some time now.

“It’s always difficult when you are playing like this, batting has been a problem for the last two, three years as we are not up to the international standards.

“Fielding is another aspect we need to improve to compete at international level but it comes with fitness and we are not there. If we don’t get there we will suffer in future.”

Misbah admitted lack of international cricket is also hurting Pakistan players.

“You need more exposure, I believe. If you get more chances and exposure that could enhance your confidence and Pakistani players need more cricket.

“I have been suggesting to the Pakistan Cricket Board that we need our own league to improve the skills of the youngsters, who also need to take responsibility,” said Misbah.