Lahore: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq although admitted that Sri Lanka's bowling has weakened with the retirement of the likes of Muttiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga but said that they remain a potentially dangerous side and could not be taken lightly.

"No doubt Sri Lanka's bowling has been weakened with the retirement of Murali and Malinga but they remain a formidable side and it would be foolish on our part to underestimate them at any time in the upcoming series," Misbah said.

The captain also noted that the Lankans have introduced some talented new bowlers and the upcoming series will be a closely fought contested.

"If you look at both sides they are evenly balanced, so it is going to be a tough series. The islanders may have struggled in recent Tests but they have world players in their ranks," he noted.

Misbah, who won the overseas Test player of the year award after scoring 632 runs in six Test matches in the last 12 months as captain, said he was optimistic about his team.

"We are without some senior players but we still have a good combination. Our strength is our spin attack. I am hoping for sporting tracks in the Tests and want those to be result oriented because the only way we can improve our rankings is by winning matches and be positive," he said.

Misbah also rubbished that he was too defensive and not positive in his approach as captain.

"I have evolved as a player and as a captain in the last one year and I am learning every day. But as captain my job is to ensure we don't perform badly and if we are in positions to win matches we should go for the kill and think positively."

Pakistan and Sri Lanka are scheduled to play three Tests, five ODIs and a T20 International in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai. First Test will be played in Abu Dhabi from October 18.

Thereafter, Pakistan will take on England in January-February next year.

Misbah said he was confident that his team would do well as the players have been improving with every series.

"We have to do our things right," he said. Sri Lanka have not won a Test in their last 11 outings, since beating India in Galle in July 2010 when world bowling record holder Muralitharan made his final appearance.

This year, Sri Lanka lost an away series against England 1-0, before falling to Australia by a similar margin at home.

Pakistan, however, have beaten New Zealand, drawn with West Indies and won a lone Test against Zimbabwe in the last one year.

The 37-year-old Misbah, meanwhile, backed the use of the Umpires Decision Review System in international cricket, insisting that the system had added value and been effective for all teams.

"No technology can become perfect without test and trial and the same rule applies to the UDRS as well. But it has definitely been helpful for teams as well as umpires."

Insisting that umpires were human beings and prone to mistakes, Misbah said, "It is a good thing that we have a system where the players can ask for review of decisions."

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has secured sponsorship to have the UDRS for their upcoming series against Sri Lanka and England.

The PCB's decision of having the UDRS came on the same day as the ICC's announcement that it was scrapping the mandatory rule of having member boards use the technology in their bilateral series.

"But the purpose is that this system adds value to the sport. Teams are now learning to make correct use of the reviews," the captain said.

Misbah added that the Pakistani players had also learnt how to use the reviews correctly, especially the bowlers and wicketkeeper.

The ICC has now made the UDRS optional and reverted back to its original rule of allowing the participating nations in a bilateral series to decide on using the system.

(Agencies)