Adelaide: A distraught Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq today admitted that he is clueless about how to stop the Indian juggernaut that has been rolling in the World Cup since 1992. "I don't know. This is happening. You can't do anything about that. I think they are playing well. Today, it was a thoroughly professional performance from them. They batted and bowled well, so full credit to them," Misbah said at the post-match press conference.
Now that the match was over, the 40-year-old veteran did not want to dwell too much on the India game. "I think the game is gone now. So we have to just concentrate on the next one. Every game we lose is hard, especially in the World Cup. You need to win the games," Misbah said. The captain admitted that his team might have been affected by nerves while facing India in a World Cup match.
"I think it might be. As everybody knows, they are very good batsmen, some of the top batsmen in the world. I think they really played well today. And the kind of talent that they have, they showed it today. "I think we could not really manage to score, our batsmen could not really convert their starts, and some of them just got out early. We need to learn. Like good players, we need to just carry on, go there and just try to do the job for the team. At the moment, even today, I think the guys were doing it before in the practice games, but I think we just lost three quick wickets in the middle, and from there on we just lost the way," he explained.
Misbah admitted that the team missed the fifth bowler and might have to revisit the move of opening with Younis Khan. "Let's see. Actually, with these field restrictions, we are not actually getting the balance right because we need a fifth bowler. So that's why sometimes you have to just sacrifice another batsman. Let's see in the coming games. We'll just think about that."
Misbah wasn't really happy about the bowling performance of his team during the first 40 overs of the Indian innings. "I think it's all about just taking wickets. We could not just manage to take wickets, even at the top, and then even in the middle overs, and when you are not taking wickets, it's very difficult to restrict opposition. But still, I think our bowlers did very well in the last session. Especially, the last 10-15 overs, they bowled really well.
It was looking that they were going to score 340, 350 but were restricted India to 300," he said. But Misbah felt that 301 was an achievable score in Adelaide Oval and it didn't happen due to some poor batting. "The target of 300 was pretty chaseable for the kind of pitch it was. The ball was really coming well on to the bat. But I think it's all about having partnerships and just finishing the games. But we just lost wickets on a regular basis, and three wickets went just like in six, seven bowls. That really hurt us."
Misbah lauded the Indian seamers on their good job.
"Yeah, I think they were bowling well, but still, those were not the balls -- we would have just survived those balls, because I think it was a little bit of, you could say, pressure. We should not have lost those wickets." Misbah now expects the team to move on and win the next few games.
"I still think the way we played in the last two warm-up games, we can really go on and just win the upcoming matches, because still, the confidence is not that much down.
"I think it's important for us to just concentrate on the upcoming games, which we are going to play, because if you just keep on thinking about the game that is gone now, then it's really difficult for you to perform well. So we need to win the upcoming game and perform well. That's the only way to stay in the tournament," he concluded.