Date: Feb 28, 2015
Q. Misbah, the way the team is placed at the moment, quite similar to 1992, so is the team seeking inspiration from that performance and Imran Khan as a leader? As you, you're also leading from the front, how is that going along?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Yeah, at the moment I mean, we have to really focus on our performance. We need to win the next game, especially after what happened in the first two games, it's really important for us. There have been a lot of talks about 1992. You just focus on what you are doing here, and I think that is more important for our team, especially in the next game. I think everybody needs to really pick themselves up and try to win this game, and then we'll see how it goes. Because every time you just come and perform well, and you just win a game, it could really give you a big confidence as a team as individuals.
Q. What are the positives you've taken from the two matches so far?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Oh, you can say that the team has been under pressure the last two games, big games. Both of the teams really locked us down in the first two games. So we really have to come up good, play some good cricket and try to win this game because I think we were pretty average in the first two games, so we really need to improve our performance as all three you could say, areas of the game.
Q. Misbah, obviously things haven't gone to plan so far. So what is the mood in the camp right now?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: I think all the team is focused. They're trying really hard. As I already said, when you've lost two games in a row in a World Cup, a bit of pressure on the team and the players, but I think this is a chance for us to just get our confidence back. Zimbabwe is a very good side, everybody knows that they can really come good on any given day. But I think it's our chance. We should just improve our performances, and try to win this game. That is the only way. If you improve your performances, if you win a game, that could really change the mood of the whole team.
Q. Is it tough though within a team environment to hear the reaction from former players, ex-players, et cetera, back home? Is it tough to keep the young players upbeat? Do you have to lean on the rest of your senior players to do that?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Yeah, it's always like that. We used to say that we are with the team all the time, but we never do it. You could say it's always like that in Pakistan. We are always with the winning team, but when our team is in difficult times, we're here. But the real supporters, you could say, supporters, they are there. They've got belief in the team, still supporting the team, so that's what we need. I think as the management, as senior players, as captain, this is our duty here to just really motivate those guys, youngsters to keep doing good things and just be focused. Always it's like that. You can just turn to things like that. If you're positive, you are thinking you can do it, you have that belief that is the only way to just come out of these difficult times. That's what we are trying to do. We're working hard. We are working on the mental aspects also. So let's see how it goes.
Q. Just like what we were discussing about the 1992 World Cup, what kind of inspiration do you draw from a leader like Imran Khan and you, yourself draw some kind of inspiration? Is there dressing room talk about what he thinks. What's he mean to the team and especially for you as the leader that he was?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: I mean, the important thing is the important lesson is never give up. That's what you need to do as a player and as a team. That's what Imran Khan usually says about 1992. Even when the team was in difficult times, they never gave up. They just kept trying, kept trying, and kept trying. At last they just managed to do what they really wanted to do in that World Cup. So, that's what we are trying to do. Until we are here, we are playing cricket, we just have to do the things and we have to work hard, and that's what we're trying.
Q. You said the team was pretty average in the first two games. Where do you think the Pakistan team was lacking? And what have you done in the last week to make sure that you are up to speed?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Yeah, I think in the first game, especially against India, we just what happened with us, even with the West Indian game, we just started well in the bowling. But in the middle overs we couldn’t manage to take wickets. We couldn’t manage to push on and take wickets and that's what happened. Both of the teams just scored 300 runs, and then it was really difficult throughout the World Cup when some of the teams score 300-plus runs, it's really difficult to chase it down. So that's what we need to do. We just have to press all the time, even in the middle overs, to get batsmen out. So just make sure that the teams don't reach 300 if we are bowling first, and then batting and the field men especially. That is the most important thing. We need to take our chances, especially the catches, if we really want to be in the game all the time, and batting needs to be professional. We need to score big runs, and if one of your top four batsmen could just really play 40 overs or go to the end, you have a fair bit of chance to win the game.
Q. I don't know if you watched AB de Villiers yesterday, but in the six balls he faced, there were only seven dot balls. In the first 20 overs against India, you had 77 dot balls. Is that something you spoke about, you need to rotate the strike more?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Yeah, it's very easy to say there are a lot of dot balls, but that sometimes happens. When sometimes the team is really bowling well, it could be difficult or tricky for you to rotate the strike. This is what we are just trying to work out. We are just working on that, trying on that. But this is how Pakistan team is normally. And West Indian and Pakistan teams normally relying on boundaries. This is what we're trying to rotate the strike a little bit more. That could really ease on the pressure. Then it's less need to just take risks for the boundaries.
Q. As a captain, prior to the start of this tournament and the build up to this tournament, you probably had a completely different idea of what your bowling lineup would be, with injuries and other aspects to that, is it difficult for you as a captain to know what capabilities and what circumstances your bowlers that you have to play with now are given circumstances on the field?
MISBAH-UL-HAQ: Sometimes it's really difficult for you because we were as a team playing totally with a different set-up. We were relying much on spin and different bowlers, especially Junaid Khan was just playing the last two or three years. He was a main bowler for us. But I think at the moment the way these three seamers are bowling, they're really bowling well. Especially they've improved the last three, four games with the way they're bowling with the new ball, the way they're bowling with the new ball, the way they're bowling in the death overs, I think you could say one of the best attacks in terms of pace the way they are bowling and the middle overs we were lacking that. We're not just getting those sort of wickets due to some poor fielding. You could say missed a couple of bowlers in that. But I think, I still feel that these bowlers are good enough and on a day if luck fills them, they can really go through any batting lineup.
Photo, audio and transcript Courtesy ICC