Ex-Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq believes that the national team “need a little bit of a spark” ahead of their World Cup clash with England.
Misbah’s comments come after Pakistan were absolutely demolished in their World Cup opener against the West Indies.
Pakistan were skittled out for 105 after being put in to bat first and the West Indies proceeded to win the match by seven wickets with 218 balls to spare.
Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam were the top scorers as they both made 22 runs, while Wahab Riaz chipped in with a quickfire 18 at the end.
Mohammad Hafeez was the only other batsman to reach double figures as he made 16.
“Pakistan are mentally very down at this time. They need a little bit of a spark, the kind they had when they won the Champions Trophy in England in 2017,” he told the Gulf Times. “They started off badly, but after winning one match everything clicked for them and their confidence level and efficiency went up. So I feel they have to do well in the first three matches, otherwise it’s going to be very difficult for them to reach the semis.”
England will have the upper hand going into their match against Pakistan as they beat the men in green 4-0 in a five-match ODI series prior to the World Cup.
“I think Pakistan came second to England by a small margin and because of their own mistakes,” Misbah said. “They missed the simplest of chances while fielding, which I think is not acceptable even at the Under-13 level. Pakistan’s bowling has always been good, but it’s the batsmen who have done well recently. If we can improve our bowling and fielding, then I think Pakistan has a good chance of making it to the semis.”