Misbah-ul-Haq: 'Beating the No 1 team is a great effort'
Sunday 29 January 2012
The breathtaking inadequacy England displayed in chasing 145 runs to win this game should not detract from the unity and flair that brought victory to a resurgent Pakistan team.
After the spot-fixing scandal at Lord's in August 2010, Pakistan cricket was in pieces. The rebuilding job effected by their captain Misbah-ul-Haq, 37, has been astonishing.
Under his leadership, Pakistan have lost only one of 14 Tests, winning seven of their last nine. Opponents may have included Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and West Indies but their superiority against Test cricket's top-ranked team was there for all to see here yesterday.
Nineteen of the 20 England wickets fell to spin. Misbah knew that with Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman bowling in tandem, Pakistan would always have a chance to win the game.
"For any team playing against bowlers like Saeed Ajmal and Abdur Rehman on this surface, it's difficult," said Misbah. "You have to play very well against them, and when you are not picking them or seeing which side the ball goes, it's really difficult.
"We were thinking that if we could just put pressure on England, we could make a match of it, so we just thought: 'Let's have a try.' The bowlers did very well and they won this for us. Even in these conditions, beating the No 1 Test team is a great effort.
"It was really difficult to play left-arm spin on this pitch. We saw when England bowled the way that Monty Panesar was spinning the ball and how it was skidding on. Some of the balls were turning and some were skidding on, so it was extremely hard for a batsman to guess what would happen."
Given what happened two summers ago, the matches have been played in a spirit of fairness and the mature, pragmatic Misbah must take substantial credit. Asked if this series victory would allow Pakistan finally to put behind them the Lord's scandal, Misbah said: "It should do. Let's just concentrate on what is happening now."
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs
Arsene Wenger 18th anniversary at Arsenal: His WORST signings XI during his time with the Gunners
18 things Wenger has still never done at Arsenal
Arsene Wenger's worst signings XI
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Nani: On loan Sporting Lisbon winger admits he may not return to Manchester United
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so