Misbah New Zealand`s main target: Southee

Updated: Mar 06, 2011, 20:02 PM IST

Pallekele: New Zealand pace spearhead Tim Southee today hoped that his bowlers would come good against in-form Pakistan batsman Misbah-ul-Haq in their World Cup group A match here on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old Misbah, who scored 203 runs at an average of 67.66 in the recently concluded New Zealand series which helped Pakistan secure the series 3-2, has scores of 63, 83 and 37 in the three World Cup matches so far.

"He (Misbah) has obviously been having a great period not just against New Zealand but also in the World Cup. Hopefully, we have learnt from the way we bowled against him in New Zealand and we can work on a couple of things to try and put an end to the form he is in," said Southee.

"He`s playing exceptionally well along with the likes of Shahid Afridi and they have a couple of guys who are standing up in key moments in games," he added. The 22-year-old Kiwi pacer said his team had put behind the disappointment of losing against Australia earlier in the tournament and were focusing on their game against Pakistan.

"It`s been mixed results so far, we`ve had two convincing wins but obviously you can`t dwell on the loss to Australia. We learnt from that game and moved on and we showed that in the game against Zimbabwe," said Southee, who has claimed seven wickets in this World Cup so far.

New Zealand defeated Kenya and Zimbabwe both by 10 wickets but lost to three-time defending champion Australia by seven wickets. The Kiwis are on four points from three matches and placed at fourth spot in the table behind Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia.

Southee said he is happy to be part of the playing eleven and doing his bit for the team.

"You`re never really safe in a side where you have guys like Kyle Mills coming back and playing outstandingly. It`s good to have that competitiveness amongst the bowlers and to be there. That`s a healthy thing but I guess your spot is never cemented in the side," he said.

New Zealand toured India and Bangladesh last year but the Kiwis failed to win even a single match but Southee said even though they didn`t win, the team learnt a lot.

"We played a lot of cricket on the subcontinent and although the results didn`t go our way and weren`t that great I think we learnt a lot on those tours," he said.