Pace Bowlers Need To Deliver In South Africa - Misbah
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has called for his fast bowlers to 'stand up and be counted' as they take on South Africa, a team with arguably the best pace attack in the world.
Matching an attack which can choose from Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Vernon Philander and Rory Kleinveldt will be no easy task during a three-Test series which gets underway in Johannesburg on 1st February.
"Until now our spinners have come through for us now it is the turn of the pace bowlers to deliver," Misbah told Reuters in an interview.
"I am confident that players like Umar Gul and Junaid Khan will be our strike bowlers and we have a good spin backup in Saeed Ajmal," he added.
"South Africa has one of the best pace attacks in the world so we have to stand up and be counted. If we can post decent totals in the Tests I know our bowlers will deliver."
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As well as Umar Gul and Junaid Khan, Pakistan have picked Mohammad Irfan and uncapped Ehsan Adil as additional quick bowlers and it will be up to the team management to find the right balance between experience and youth if they are to get a result against a South African team that ruthlessly beat New Zealand with a minimum of fuss.
However, Pakistan will not be daunted by the prospect of taking on the world's best side. Last year, they beat England - the then top-ranked side - 3-0, and Misbah hopes he can channel the same sort of team spirit that helped them overcome Andrew Strauss's men.
"No one gave us a serious chance of beating England but we did that because we have gelled well as a team. That will be our main strength in South Africa despite their formidable batting and bowling resources."
Misbah has a strong record as captain of the Test team, only having lost one of the 17 matches he has skippered but he expects this series to be his toughest challenge yet.
"This series is one of the biggest challenges of my captaincy tenure but I am confident that we can pose a serious threat to South Africa," he said.
"The coming series is very important for Pakistan cricket because we have mostly played our cricket in South Asia or the UAE since 2010.
"The last few years have been a big challenge for Pakistan cricket and the players have come through well most of the time. But this is a tour where we have to play our best cricket."
© Cricket World 2013
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