Malik hopeful of a better show in 2008

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Lahore, Jan 2 (UNI) After a disastrous 2007, Pakistan cricket captain Shoaib Malik is hopeful that his team members would come up with better performances in the year 2008.

Malik while speaking to mediapersons at the National Cricket Academy said, ''I hope my players would put the miseries of 2007 behind them and come up with good performances in the next 12 months.'' He said 2007 was very difficult for the team and there were very few positives in the year 2007.

''The last year was not very good for us but I am sure that the team will settle in the new year in which we have to play Australia and compete in various important tournaments,'' he admitted.

In 2007, Pakistan team was crashed out of the World Cup held in Caribbean in the first round where their coach Bob Woolmeer also died in suspicious circumstances.

The defeat prompted Inzamam-ul-Haq to give up captaincy and quit one-day cricket.

Malik was then made the captain of national side after first choice for captaincy, Younis Khan, refused to take over the job.

Malik to lead the Pakistan team to a one-day series win over World Cup runners-up Sri Lanka before his team reached the final of the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

''Our series win over Sri Lanka and runners-up finish to India in the Twenty20 were the bright points and if we keep that sort of intensity we can also improve our Test performance,'' Malik said.

Pakistan lost all three of their Test series, two against South Africa (home and away) and to arch rivals India in India late last year.

''It's not that we lost one-sided contests, but the notable thing was that we made minor mistakes and if we have learnt from those mistakes, which I am confident we have, then we can do well in this new year,'' Malik added.

However, Pakistan captain was optimistic about Australia's tour to Pakistan and said the scene in the country would get better with time.

''I would like to speak to them personally and tell them that we will have good security for them in Pakistan.

''India came here and there was a lot of talk then, but in the end there was no problem. It will be the same for Australia. I do not want to comment about the politics. I am a sportsman and not good at politics. But I would like to say that with what is happening in my country, it is getting under control, and it will get better,'' Malik said.

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