Yousuf's defection increases burden: Misbah

Pakistan vice-captain Misbah-ul-Haq has admitted the defection of senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf to the Indian Cricket League is a big blow to the team.

updated: January 18, 2009 13:42 IST
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Pakistan vice-captain Misbah-ul-Haq has on Sunday admitted the defection of senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf to the Indian Cricket League is a big blow to the team and said it has increased the pressure on him in the middle order.

"Yousuf has been performing and scoring runs for the team for so many years. There is no doubt about his class and it is obvious you miss a batsman of his caliber and experience," Misbah said after a training session of the Pakistan team.

However, he admitted that life has to go on and that others have to now chip in.

"These things happen in cricket and one has to find replacements. There is more responsibility on me now but they are also other good batsmen in the team like Shoaib Malik," Misbah said.

He made it clear that Pakistan would not be taking the Sri Lankan's lightly despite their recent batting slump, including the one in the tri-series final against Bangladesh in Dhaka this week.

"Their batsmen have struggled in recent tournaments but they still have some world class players in the top order and they generally do well in Pakistani conditions so we will not take them lightly at all," he said.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena and vice-captain Kumar Sangakkara have struggled for form in recent months with both averaging 21.

Misbah pointed out that Sri Lanka had won the Asia Cup in Pakistan last year and two preceding Test series as well. "They remain a formidable one-day side and even though they don't have Chaminda Vaas they have some other good bowlers in their team so it will be a good series," he said.

Misbah said the fact that Pakistan players had been playing regularly in domestic cricket for the last few months would help them ease back into international competition.

"When you are constantly playing cricket it helps you a lot and you are in the right mode. We have a very good pace attack and it will be a good contest against their batting line-up," he added.

Misbah also said it was good for the team that fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar was back and fit and eager to play the series.