Misbah targets Jayawardene

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Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has acknowledged the importance of successfully combating Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene, ahead of this month's Test series in Galle and Colombo.

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has acknowledged the importance of successfully combating Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene, ahead of this month's Test series in Galle and Colombo.

The veteran Jayawardene, who boasts a prolific record at the two venues, will retire from the longest format of the international game at the end of the tour. He recently scored a fine ton against South Africa at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground.

"If we are to win the series in Sri Lanka, we have to ensure that their top batsmen, particularly Jayawardene, are not allowed to get many runs. I have a lot of respect for what he has achieved but we are going to Sri Lanka to win the two-Test series and we know how important it is for us to not allow their senior players to score," said Misbah.

"It is going to be a tough series because Sri Lanka have been playing lot of Test and other cricket. But we have prepared hard and I have confidence in our bowlers. Our spinners have traditionally done well in Sri Lanka but we are banking on our pace bowlers as well."

The Tests will be followed by three ODIs, which will give Pakistan the opportunity to prepare for next year's World Cup in Australasia. They have been pooled with India, West Indies, Zimbabwe, United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Ireland at the 2015 limited-overs showpiece.

"I just want to focus on the match at the moment because that is important. No-one knows what will happen after one day, so why think about the World Cup. I take it one match at a time and carry on from there. And I am under no pressure because of the captaincy debate," added Misbah.

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