x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Captain Misbah positive on Pakistan's future despite Sri Lanka losses

'Our junior players did very well in the Tests. Ali, Shafiq and Junaid have done well in the series and with their performance we can say that our future is secure'.

Misbah-ul-Haq listed out Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali and Junaid Khan as the positives.
Misbah-ul-Haq listed out Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali and Junaid Khan as the positives.

LAHORE // Captain Misbah-ul Haq said yesterday that Pakistan's future was secure with the emergence of promising young players despite losing the Test and one-day series on their tour of Sri Lanka.

Pakistan lost the five-match one-day series 3-1; lost the three Tests 1-0; and split the two-match Twenty20 series. The Test defeat ended Pakistan's unbeaten run of seven series since losing to England in 2010.

"Defeats in the one-days and Tests are disappointing," Misbah said on the team's return home yesterday. "We could have won the one-day series but our fielding let us down in the last two matches."

Pakistan hired former Australian batsman Dav Whatmore as head coach and Englishman Julien Fountain as fielding coach earlier this year, but their fielding has still been weak at times.

"The Test defeat was also unfortunate. But the performance of young players like Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq and Junaid Khan assured Pakistan has a good future," Misbah said. "Our junior players did very well in the Tests. Ali, Shafiq and Junaid have done well in the series and with their performance we can say that our future is secure.

"In difficult situations these players performed well for us. The way Adnan Akmal played (in the Pallekele Test) with a fractured finger is a good sign. Junaid is a big plus."

Ali scored two hundreds in the Tests, while Shafiq hit a match-saving century in the final Test at Pallekele which ended in a draw.

Left-arm paceman Junaid took 14 wickets in the three Tests, including five-wickets hauls in the second and third Tests.

Twenty20 captain Mohammad Hafeez said team's loss in the first T20 match was due to inexperience. "We had a number of new players in the Twenty20 so the first match was lost because of inexperience but we came back well to win the second game," Hafeez said.

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