PALLEKELE - Vice-captain Misbah-ul-Haq Friday vowed Pakistan would support Kamran Akmal after his horror show against New Zealand, saying the fumbling wicket-keeper was mentally tough. New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor benefited from two astounding let-offs by the 29-year-old keeper to hit a career-best 131 not out and help his team to a thumping 110-run win in their Group A match in Pallekele on Tuesday. "I think everyone should support him. He had three good matches but dropped two against New Zealand, so he is trying hard now and we are confident that he will make a good comeback," said Misbah.
After Kamran's hiccups, Pakistan were considering handing the gloves to Umar Akmal, Kamran's younger brother, who has kept in the past. But Umar hurt his finger during practice on Thursday, although team management said it was not serious as scans had revealed no fracture. Misbah said Kamran has faced such problems in the past.
"He has faced such situations before too. Our full support is with him because the wicket-keeper is a key member of the team and we are sure he will do better," said Misbah.
Pakistan have six points from four matches and a win over Zimbabwe on Monday would guarantee their place in the quarter-finals. "I think the main thing at the moment is to keep focused on our next game. We must restore our confidence level which was shaken in the game against New Zealand, and I have every hope from my team to make a comeback," said Misbah.Besides the wicket-keeping woes, Pakistan are also trying to address batting problems, mainly affecting the top order.
"We are especially focused on the top order in practice because they got out early in the previous games and didn't get much practice with the new ball." Pakistan are also considering the option of using Kamran as opener and including Asad Shafiq in the middle order.