Misbah: ODI specialists will boost Pakistan

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Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq is confident of a good performance in the ODI series against Sri Lanka this week, despite losing the Test series, saying they have a fresh squad and some specialist players.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq is confident of a good performance in the ODI series against Sri Lanka this week, despite losing the Test series, saying they have a fresh squad and some specialist players.

Sri Lanka won the Tests two-nil, but the Pakistan ODI squad is quite different from that side, with Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez and Zulfiqur Babar available, and the skipper feels they will be valuable inclusions.

Misbah said: "We have got a specialist one-day side and that will mentally boost us in the field. Most of the players have adapted themselves according to the format and they know exactly what is required to shift their focus from Test to ODI.

"There are a lot of changes in the ODI squad and our specialist players are in really good touch and they know their role and understand what to do."

One player leaving a big hole in the side is spinner Saeed Ajmal, who is in Australia to have his action assessed after being reported for chucking. But Misbah hopes the other bowlers will fill the void.

He said: "It will be a big miss. His exclusion is crucial but at the same time it will be a chance for others to stand up and fulfill what normally Ajmal provides us.

"Everyone is capable and they have to put some effort so that we don't feel his absence."

One bowler who could provide some wickets is paceman Mohammad Irfan, who has not played in nearly a year after picking up a hip fracture. He is expected to play if Junaid Khan is not fit after his concussion.

The skipper said: "He [Irfan] is a big factor. He is the kind of bowler who can really trouble the batsmen from any team. He was fit and in good shape.

"He hasn't played any competitive cricket recently but he played some T20 cricket back home. So he can give us an advantage."

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