Pakistan’s head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq on Monday said that the T20I series win over Bangladesh gave his side some breathing space.
The world number one side headed into the three-match on the back of two consecutive T20I series defeats at the hands of Sri Lanka and were playing to save their ranking.
They went on to win the three-match series 2-0 as the third game was abandoned due to rain.
“Obviously you play for the win and for it, you keep on trying all the time,” Misbah said. “This victory was important for us to get breathing space and now you obviously have to see where you are lacking and which area you can strengthen yourself. Otherwise being under pressure, you are always running after many things and sometimes it’s really hard to catch up. So, it’s good for me, for the team, for all youngsters that we are relaxed and got a little confidence-booster. Now we can focus better going forward.”
He said that winning was the most important thing for the side. “When you lose back-to-back series and even before we had a poor run losing T20I games, so it was really important for our confidence to win. Obviously, the credit should be given to our bowling – the way our young bowlers never gave Bangladesh a chance to sneak in to get into a position to pose any threat. So, overall it’s a good performance and for Pakistan cricket it’s good. For the World Cup, we still have plenty of time – the PSL and then more international games, so we will have more challenges and difficult situations coming up to get ourselves prepared.”
Speaking on the inclusion of veterans Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez for Bangladesh series, Misbah said that it raised some questions. “I never really talked about ending someone’s career or why we are not considering them. But, sometimes you do look around and check your resources and do an experiment to see where you stand. So, after two series we have realised that we cannot go all-out with youngsters and we need experience. So, obviously Babar [Azam] did back them and, as expected, their experience did work for us. So, the doors are never shut”.
The head coach claimed that he has no problem in selecting a player who is fit and is performing well.