Misbah: We are ready, morale is high

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Pakistan may only have won one of their last eight Tests, but captain Misbah-ul-Haq is confident of a good showing against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates this month.

Pakistan may only have won one of their last eight Tests, but captain Misbah-ul-Haq is confident of a good showing against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates this month.

The Proteas are the number one Test side, and Pakistan lost three-nil when the sides last faced each other earlier this year. But Misbah says they are feeling confident as they will be playing on 'home' soil.

The skipper said upon the team's departure from Lahore for the UAE: "Our preparations and morale are good. We have to forget the past and play competitive cricket in this tough series."

A big concern for Pakistan is the absence of all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, which leaves a hole in the top order and the spin bowling department. But Misbah says he's not panicking, and is sure one of the other openers will fill the void well.

Misbah added: "No doubt Hafeez is a senior player but because he is out of form it was difficult for him (to get into the team) but I am sure others are also capable to do well.

"We will use a regular opener, there will be no makeshift arrangements and I am sure that we will find another opener from the three-day match."

The opening options are not that bright, with Khurram Manzoor the most experienced with just nine Tests under his belt. Ahmed Shehzad and Shan Masood have yet to make their debuts, while Imran Farhat and Taufeeq Umar have been dropped.

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