Adapting to the new ODI rules will be very difficult: Misbah

Chennai: Adapting to the new ODI rules will be "very difficult" for both the bowlers and captain in the beginning of a match, Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said here on Saturday.

"It is a very difficult scenario. At the beginning, both for the bowlers and the captain, it will be difficult to adapt because for a long time, this (the old) format has been in vogue," Misbah told reporters on the eve of the first one-dayer against India.

Under the new rules, one new ball will be used at each end, bowlers will be allowed two bouncers an over, there will be no batting Power Play, the bowling Power Play will have to be completed before the 40th over, and at no stage in the innings will more than four fielders be allowed outside the 30-yard circle.

"To adapt will be difficult, there will be changes in the game -? the way the batsmen play, the tactics of the bowlers and slowly, bowlers, batsmen and captains will come to grip with it. But at the start, it will definitely be difficult for everyone concerned," Misbah added.

The match between the two neighbours would be the first occasion when the new rules would be implemented.

Asked how would they about in the three-match series, Misbah said his side will have to play positive cricket.

"One thing we thought before coming here is that we have to play good positive cricket. It has been apparent during the T20s that for the first time, the Pakistan team is playing without pressure.

"Hopefully, we will play the same way in the ODIs, be it in batting or bowling, play with the same kind of aggression."

About playing in this cricket-crazy country, he said the Pakistan team has always enjoyed the "thrill" of being involved in a match with India here.

"It is always good to play in India, in whatever part we are playing, because the people here really love watching cricket and specially India-Pakistan, we have always enjoyed the thrill, the people`s interest.

"It is good to play in an atmosphere like that. And I think without Sachin (Tendulkar)... Everybody misses him, especially the Indian team because he is such a legend and he has performed so well over the years. 49 centuries in this particular format...I think Indian team is going to miss him," Misbah said.

On his absence from the T20 series, he said, "I am very much a part of the side, we discuss a lot about the game, even about the T20 format and what Pakistan need to do, what the team should be. I think it's all just sharing of thought between the players and the management, so it doesn't matter."

And about the importance of having seniors in series like these, he said, "They are pressure games and Younis Khan is the guy who has always performed well against India. He knows what sort of demands there are when playing against India, playing in India.

"He can just convey those to the younger players and they can benefit from that. I think seniors can just perform with the bat and also give advice others. It's always good to have senior players.

According to Misbah, aggression has to come out through performance rather than just gestures.

"I think I have always maintained that your aggression should come out through your performance. There is no point in saying anything. Our bat and ball must do the talking. That is the message about your aggression. If you talk and don't perform, then there is no use of aggression.

"My message to all the players is to focus on your performance. If you have to show aggression, do it by bowling at 140-150, or by playing good strokes and making a big score, take a good catch or make a good run out."

Misbah defended Saeed Ajmal who conceded quite a few in the T20 game.

"Everyone can have one bad day. That day is over. ODI cricket is different. In T20 cricket, any bowler can get hit. When a batsman tries to hit out, any bowler can get hit. The kind of bowler he is, he always bounces back.

Misbah said the best part about the team is that the batsmen are performing.

"(Shoaib) Malik is with the team. (Mohammad) Irfan is also with the team. We are satisfied with the way we played in the T20s. The best thing is that the batting line-up is performing well, so we are satisfied with the team.

On opener Mohammad Hafeez, he said, "The confidence and the strike-rate with which he is playing... He is middling the ball brilliantly and the kind of confidence he has got will play a key role for us in this series.

Like many, Misbah also felt that the Indo-Pak series is bigger than Ashes.

"I think everybody knows the importance of this series. It is really a big series, the followers of this series are more than the Ashes series.

"I think it is always tough when you play after such a long time and that's why I keep saying these series should be played on regular basis. After these T20s games, everybody can see how important these matches are between India and Pakistan for world cricket."

He said that the whole squad is fit.

"Everybody is fit, no injuries whatsoever. About the planning, every tactics change according to the requirement of the game. Hopefully, it is a full game but if it is not, we will just reconsider and rethink our plans."

Asked about Pakistan's age-old tradition of producing fast bowlers," Misbah said, "Maybe genetically they are strong. You need more and more hard work to get wickets on those sort of tracks."

And about his captaincy, he said, "I think it is part of my personality. I haven't worked hard on that. I just remain like that.

Coach Dav Whatmore called Misbah 'captain cool', term which was first coined for current India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

"He is pretty much captain cool, isn't he. MS and Misbah, outer surface, pretty much calm, but don't know what goes on inside."

Whatmore said he was looking forward to a long tenure with the team.

"I am very comfortable working with the Pakistan boys, it has been terrific. Nine months and I look forward to a much longer relationship. I definitely inherited a talented bunch who played some really good cricket but on occasions, the level of cricket hasn't been really so good.

"What we wanted to do was to play more consistently and to realise our potential in a developing environment at the moment.

The Aussie, who is already thinking about the 2015 World Cup, said he has no problem with anyone as long as they are performing.

"It's fair to say that some of the guys are very experience and that's a good thing but as long as you are playing well, I have no problem. I am pretty sure every side in the world will say the same thing. Our form is good, it doesn't really matter.

And if you are free of injuries, it doesn't really matter how old you are. When you are place is taken, it should be taken by somebody who is better. Or if your form is gone, as we saw recently with Ricky Ponting.

"What we have is a good bunch of experienced players and yes, we have one eye on the World up in a couple of years."


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