Sri Lanka’s Atapattu praises Pakistan, Misbah

DUBAI, November 13, 2011 (AFP) – Sri Lankan batting coach Marvan Atapattu on Sunday praised the Pakistan team as one of the best in the recent past and likened their captain Misbah-ul Haq to his country’s former skipper Arjuna Ranatunga. Atapattu’s praise came after Sri Lanka were thrashed by eight wickets in the first one-day here on Friday to go 1-0 down in the five-match series, which followed Pakistan’s 1-0 win in the three-Test series.

“They looked very fesh from the start and they are a very good side, having lots of allrounders and have options,” said Atapattu. “This Pakistan side is one of the best I have seen in the recent past having played against their best teams in my days.”

Atapattu, a former opener who played 90 Tests and 268 one-day internationals, was full of praise for current Pakistan captain Misbah.

“Misbah is a very cool and calm character and what I saw in the Tests was very impressive, he handles things well and is somewhat like Ranatunga and he has the patience to wait until he achieves what he wants to,” said Atapattu of the 37-year-old.

Misbah appointed Test captain in October last year — two months after the spot-fixing scandal in England — has not lost a Test series since and is uniting a