Pakistan’s Test and ODI captain Misbah-ul-Haq has warned his teammates to be wary of traditional rivals India, who he feels will be a different side after the return of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“Dhoni is a big stabilising force for India and his return means that Pakistan will have to work much harder to get that win over India tomorrow,” he told reporters in Lahore.
India and Pakistan will lock horns in a marquee clash of the ICC World Twenty20 in Mirpur on Friday.
Misbah said it will be a completely new game irrespective of the fact that Pakistan had defeated India in the Asia Cup recently.
“I wouldn’t read much into India’s results in the Asia Cup because T20 is a different format and requires a different approach. Dhoni’s return is a big boost for them as he has lot of experience and has led them wisely. He knows how to get the best out of his players,” he said.
Misbah pointed out that Dhoni himself is a terrific T20 cricketer.
“I think Pakistan will need to focus a lot more on team work than individual performances to beat India after Dhoni’s return. The good thing is that the conditions in Bangladesh are good for the Pakistani batsmen and they should be comfortable batting first or even chasing,” he added.
Misbah said the current edition of the World T20 was going to be a tough task for Pakistan since other teams had also now come well prepared for the competition.
“Both Australia and West Indies are going to be tough for Pakistan and India in the group stages. But the good thing about our team is that once we get going and the confidence flows, Pakistan can beat anyone in the world,” he stated.
Misbah was sidelined from the T20 format by the Pakistan board in 2012 and was replaced by Mohammad Hafeez as captain, but he had continued to play in the format at domestic level and done well.
Misbah, 39, said many of the players of other teams were also in their thirties or older and this just showed that now T20 cricket was not all about youth.
“I still enjoying playing T20 cricket and I will continue doing so at the domestic level but from here I can only wish Pakistan team best of luck,” he said.