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Misbah-ul-Haq urges Pakistan to pick wicket of Cook and Root early

Misbah-ul-Haq News
Captain of the Pakistan cricket team Misbah-ul-Haq answers questions from the media during a press conference. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq doesn’t want to leave any stone unturned as they are heading into a crucial encounter against the hosts England. With the third Test match set to commence in a few hours time, he urged Pakistan players to play to their potential which will help them get an edge over the opposition.

England skipper Alastair Cook and Joe Root had done most of the damage with the bat in the second Test match and Misbah believes that getting them out cheaply will be key to success for Pakistan.

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“In every team, there are key players and at the moment those two (Cook and Root) are in really good form,” Misbah said, on Tuesday. “If you really have to put pressure on the opposition, it’s important to get their main players out because those are the two pillars of their batting.”

Mind games had already begun:

He also talked about the psychological advantage of getting them early, after all, cricket is a game that is more often won in the head. “Psychologically, that can also give you an advantage and damage the opposition if you can get them early because other (members of the England) batting line-up are struggling at the moment. That’s really important for us to just get them early and put them under pressure.”

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Misbah acknowledged that his batsmen need to convert their starts. “We need to really improve,” he said. “After getting starts, we really need to go big.”

Alastair Cook backed Gary Ballance and James Vince:

The main area of concern for England after the second Test match was the middle-order batting. Both Gary Ballance and James Vince, have found it hard to score big. However, Cook has enough trust in their abilities and backed them to come good for the team.

“Throughout my time as captain there’s always been something up for discussion and at the moment it’s the middle-order,” Cook said. “Until the guys get good scores consistently, that will be the case but they’re very good players and they got picked because of outstanding form for their counties.”

Also read – Carlos Brathwaite to feature in the second season of the PSL

“I like the way he (Vince) plays. He’s got a couple of starts and the way he handled the whole situation in a different format in the United Arab Emirates is a good indicator of how he can handle the pressure. He needs that score for his confidence and to get you guys (the press) off his back,” he signed-off.

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