Difficult to predict who will win in final: Malik

Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik predicted a cracker of an Asia Cup final on Sunday between India and Sri Lanka but refused to name a winner.

updated: July 09, 2008 17:09 IST
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Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik on Friday predicted a cracker of an Asia Cup final on Sunday between India and Sri Lanka but refused to name a winner, saying both the teams were in fine fettle.

"The pitches are very true and even chasing 300 runs has been like chasing 250 runs. Both are good sides and favourites for the title," Malik said after his side thrashed Bangladesh by 10 wickets.

"You have asked me a very hard question and put me in a difficult position," he added jokingly.

Malik described his team's comprehensive win over Bangladesh as a "complete performance".

"This is the sort of performance we need to show more consistently but we have been making progress. It is disappointing not to make the final but generally we played well in this competition but had one bad match against Sri Lanka and that cost us," he said.

When asked whether Shoaib Akhtar could make it to the team now as the controversial pacer's ban has been suspended, Malik said this was a decision that had to be taken jointly by the selectors, board and team management.

"A collective decision is always better and we really don't know how fit he is. But we are going to have a training camp for the Champions Trophy and then we will sit down and decide what to do," he said.

Malik said he was not under any pressure as captain and assured that he would do his best for the country till his tenure lasts.

"Everyone who leads the team wants to do well."

An upset Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons was at a loss of words to describe his team's poor performance.

"The batting today was shocking. I don't know how to explain it. But when your best and most experienced batsman has a international average of 21 then I guess this is what happens," he said.

Siddons said there was no excuse for the way the batsmen batted and he was disappointed.

"The way we played in this tournament I thought in this match the players felt they were already on a flight home. I am going to sit down tomorrow and have a talk with them.

"I think our performance today is similar to what happened in Queenstown last December when we were bowled out for 93 and New Zealand got it in six overs," he said.