Last chance to prove what we are, says Misbah-ul-Haq
Birmingham: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq reckons Saturday’s Champions Trophy contest against India here will be "one last chance to prove ourselves" in front of the world.
The last group B match between the arch-rivals is technically a dead rubber, but Misbah said his team "will play for the fans".
"It`s a final for us. A win against the world champions will be a great compensation. At least, the fans will be happy," Misbah said after Pakistan trained today morning under overcast conditions and a light drizzle.
The Pakistan captain refused to take the match against India as just another game.
"For us, it`s a big opportunity. Everywhere in the world the fans look forward to this game and I would like India and Pakistan to play more often for the sake of the audience. It`s the biggest rivalry in cricket," Misbah told reporters.
Misbah said there was no pressure on the team and the boys were in a relaxed frame of mind.
"We know we are out of the tournament, but I have told the boys to look at every game as their last chance to prove themselves. We will express ourselves well tomorrow," Misbah promised.
He said his team will remember the 2-1 ODI win in India this winter. "The teams are almost the same and our bowlers have the experience and belief to challenge Indian batsmen," Misbah said.
India`s batting is on a high, admitted the affable Pakistan skipper. "When you score 300 runs consistently and win your opening two games of a short tournament quite easily, a team is bound to look good, but tomorrow, we will give them a good fight," Misbah said.
Pakistan have never lost to India in six editions of this championship. They have beaten India twice in the Champions Trophy, the first time at Edgbaston in September, 2004. But Misbah said history won`t matter.
"Every game is a fresh game. The team that will take the conditions in stride, handle the fan pressure and play well shall be the clear winner," Misbah explained.
Misbah pointed out Pakistan`s bowling will be their biggest strength going into the match.
"Our top order has failed and we have been unable to build partnerships. We have always felt the pressure while batting but we can surely redeem ourselves against India this time," the captain said.