Colombo [Sri Lanka]: Pakistan bowling coach Morne Morkel feels that Pakistan spinners will make a comeback against Sri Lanka after a disappointing overall display in the Asia Cup.
Pakistan are up against the reigning Asia Cup champions who are still well-placed to defend their title if they can return to winning ways. By virtue of a superior net run rate to Pakistan, Sri Lanka are well placed to reach this year’s final and can earn a place in the decider by not tasting defeat in their final Super Four match against Babar Azam’s side on Thursday.
A win will have them qualify with ease, while a tie or no result will also see them progress as there is no reserve day scheduled for the final two Super Four matches.
Sri Lanka’s match against India was a reflection of how well the pitch will work in favour of the spinners. Pakistan’s pacers have dominated the entire Asia Cup but Morkel feels that Pakistan’s spinners are up for the task that lies ahead.
“The conditions are spin-friendly and I think our spinners are working really hard at the moment. They will be the first to put up their hands when it is needed. They are all match-winners and experienced players. They know how to make comebacks,” Morkel said in the pre-match conference.
He also reflected on the absence of their star pace bowler Naseem Shah in a must-win clash against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup, but feels it is an opportunity for the replacing players to step up and show character.
Earlier in the day, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) ruled out Naseem from the entire Asia Cup due to a shoulder injury that he sustained on the reserve day of their clash against India. Young right-arm fast Zaman Khan has stepped up to fill his shoes.
“Obviously, it is a big blow (absence of Naseem). It is unfortunate that he picked some little niggles. But what a fantastic opportunity for the guys you know coming in. After going down against India, it’s a must-win game for us tomorrow. I’m quite excited to see new guys stepping in and showing some character,” Morkel said.
The former South African pacer went on to talk about how important it is for bowlers to reflect on their performance after and the way this defeat will prepare them for the World Cup.
“After the India match, we were bitterly disappointed. For me, it is very important for the bowlers to do a bit of self-reflection, ask yourself the hard questions where did you go wrong? Yes, credit must also go to the Indian batters. They put us under pressure early.
Those are fantastic lessons for us before the World Cup. We are gonna grow from this and come back stronger,” Morkel signed off saying.