Malik: Foot injury not serious at all

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Veteran Pakistan batsman Shoaib Malik says the foot injury he's been dealing with for a few weeks is not nearly as serious as it's being made out to be, and that he sat out the first ODI against New Zealand as a precaution.

Malik picked up the injury during the T20 series, whilst walking barefoot around a venue. But he says he played fine thanks to some pain killers and strapping, as did not want to miss the first ODI.

Malik said on Cricinfo: "I played with painkillers for the country. The injury was minor and I am not a 25-year-old to pull myself in caution. I am an experienced cricketer and can play with minor injuries.

"I believe that I can give my 100%, so I rather ignore minor niggles. I didn't even try to hide myself in the field and batted to my full capacity to contribute.

"I wasn't really 100% with my body but I was there in the game with my 100%. I contributed and those three T20 games were quite evident. I even wanted to play the ODI but was rested for the game lest I aggravate my injury further.

"They wanted me to hold back for a while until the second ODI, giving me ample time to recover."

Malik was given even more chance to recover when the second ODI was rained off, so the Black Caps lead the series 1-0 going into the final match on Sunday.

The batsman added of the first match defeat: "Obviously it wasn't the one we planned for but you got to give New Zealand an edge being a host. There were mistakes that could have been cut down and we did our best but it didn't go well.

"But such a tour gives you a lot of positives going ahead and this will help us. The competitiveness always gives you lessons and it allow to you assess yourself, and I am hopeful this tour is going to help us in the upcoming Asia Cup and World T20.

"Comparatively New Zealand were a better side and we need to enhance our individual performances. Our coaching staff has been emphasising on physical fitness, which needs to be improved, and I feel we are still behind the cricketing world in this aspect of the game.

"Also, if we need to compete, apart from fitness, we need to enhance our skill level to match the competition."

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