Pakistan v England, 1st Test, Dubai, 3rd day January 19, 2012

Misbah hails 'confidence-building win'

Misbah-ul-Haq did not,after his side's crushing defeat of England, sound like a man about to get carried away with his success, and with good reason
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Misbah-ul-Haq might be extolled as a great Pakistan captain after his side's crushing defeat of England but did not sound like a man about to get carried away with his success. With good reason; only ten months ago, he was condemned as an old man whose time had gone after he was made the scapegoat for Pakistan's defeat against India in the World Cup semi-final in Mohali.

Even allowing for Pakistan's recent improvement, a 10-wicket victory against England in the opening Test in Dubai had to be Misbah's finest moment. "It's a big victory for us against the No. 1 side in the world, a confidence-building win," Misbah said, with no trace of emotion. "But we can expect a tough time from England in the next Test. That is something that makes you No. 1. They have quality cricketers. Their bowling attack are fighters and they will come back hard."

Misbah's World Cup crawl was viewed by some as inexplicable, but many saw it as a failed attempt to bring stability to a subsiding Pakistan innings. There was a reminder of that reputation for slow scoring on the second day, when he edged Pakistan into a position of authority with great deliberation. He made 52 from 154 balls, an innings of old-fashioned virtues, but nobody will be questioning his approach now.

"There were runs to be had if you applied yourself," he said. "At one stage England were bowling very well with the new ball. We were just concentrating on survival and looking for a lead of more than 100."

Not too many cricketers would have had the strength to recover from that World Cup defeat, especially since it was to India. But against all the odds, at 37, he has proved himself what the former Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson always said he was: the sharpest cricket brain in the Pakistan side, something altogether more substantial than his predecessor Salman Butt.

It is because Misbah is a captain of substance that he will recognise more than most that Pakistan's victory, for all the delightful variations of Ajmal, owed much to England's ineptitude. Pakistan were efficient, but England surely cannot bat as badly again.

Extraordinarily, Pakistan have an air of stability when, in fact, they are clearly in transition. Mohsin Khan is a successful yet interim coach and the man identified to replace him, Dav Whatmore, has been in as yet unresolved talks with the PCB - just the sort of thing to tempt a less orderly Pakistan side into endless conjecture at best, divisions at worst.

Misbah, though, seems to have held things together. "I am asked about the coaching situation so many times," he said. "It all depends on what the PCB decide. Waqar Younis worked hard with the team and the performances [under him] were very good, and now Mohsin's team is performing very well. Whoever comes [in], it is for our betterment and we will have to adjust."

Alongside Misbah, the ruler, sat his talented court jester, Saeed Ajmal, bathed in smiles after his match figures of 10 for 97. He is the bowler whom England must conquer if they are to fight back in this three-Test series.

Ajmal provided the banter that his audience wanted to hear. Firstly, there was the little matter of his 'teesra', which had not lived up to his pre-match billing. To come up with a fourth one would require a lot of hard work, he suggested, so he would concentrate on three for now. And he would have got more than 10 wickets, but he was just trying to help Umar Gul get five as he had not managed it for a long time.

Misbah offered some pertinent observations about his action and the whisperings that surrounded it the moment the England roadshow came to town, as if oblivious to the fact that he underwent stringent testing by the ICC in 2009 when he was stripped to the waist, reflective markers were put all over his arm and he was filmed from every angle by high-speed 3D cameras.

"He is cleared by the ICC already," Misbah said. "He's been playing four or five years in international cricket, he has played in county cricket. Nobody said anything. We should just admit that he is a good bowler. He has some great variations."

It is a jolt to recognise that a Test between Pakistan and England has passed off without incident. It might well be the case that Pakistan had reached such a low point in its cricketing history that it demanded a significant reassessment.

"The spirit of the game was wonderful from both teams throughout the match," Misbah said. "Both teams are focussing on cricket and want to build a good relationship. Nothing happened on field. You haven't seen any gestures - like rude gestures. Everyone was just concentrating on giving hard a time to each other with their batting or bowling."

The hard times were entirely England's. The good times remain with Pakistan. Misbah has supervised a crushing Pakistan victory. To do it once is impressive. Whether Pakistan are capable of maintaining their tempo for the final two Tests, though, remains in question.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 22, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    Great win over the no 1 team is remakable. so it is strange that lower ranking team beat high ranking team easily. what is the seacrat ?.it is pakinstan is not lower ranking and whithout talent.they are trapped by match fixers and the traitors as like sulman but. so all this is the reason that match fixer are in jail. so investigative journalist mazar mahmood is deserve million dollar reward that he did it, that even the icc anti corruption unit could not.

  • Ahsan_Shere on January 21, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    @Soofi Sheeraz: I think you also don't follow cricket, Saeed Ajmal has two 10 wicket hauls in his career so far, 1st against WI in providence now against England, never against SL or Ban.

  • SaleemSabir on January 21, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    "only ten months ago, he was condemned as an old man whose time had gone after he was made the scapegoat for Pakistan's defeat against India in the World Cup semi-final in Mohali". Come on David, can't an Englishman praise some one without showing his real rasict side, i have been reading your articles and i always find them biased and untrue, to bring in the world cup semi final on the day when your team was humiliated and shamed in three days, shows what sort of person You are, Grow Up Man, Otherwise the readers will Simpy stop taking any notice of you................. well done Pakistan you realy deserved it and Best of Luck England we need a good Series and hope to see a better performance from you in the next matches....

  • on January 20, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    @AidanFX totally agree.... i expect england to come back solid and that will improve not only england but pakistan... i think pakistans win has painted over the cracks... they need to keep improving we need better batsman to come in....

  • Naikan on January 20, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    Misbah's comment on coaching is very relevant. If the coach is largely left without real power to interfere in team selection, then a cricketer of good standing and ability to vibe well with the players is all that is needed for the subcontinent. Taking a high profile coach from elsewhere might actually be working against the team. I feel that the most impartant aspect is that the coach should be able to strike a cordial, friendly but equal relationship with the players. The team physio also needs to be similar but of course very knowledgable in a practical way.

  • Naikan on January 20, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    I am not surprised with the result. A few weeks ago in articles on England's no. 1 test rank, I had predicted that England would not find their matches against Pakistan as easy as they did against India. For pure test skills, Pakistan has an excellent group of bowlers to draw from. If it had not been for the spot fixing scandal, Pakistan probably has the best collective bowling outfit. Evenso, I feel they are a formidable set. The main reason is the bowlers target taking wickets and not containment. That aspect is a must. Unfortunately the popularity of the short forms of cricket in India (Oneday and T20) has transformed most of the frontline Indian bowlers into containment skill bowlers. But containment will not work for long periods like a 5 day test. To put it shortly if Pakistan hold on their nerve and do not have further problems like spot fixing then I envisage them to be either no. 1 or 2 in a short time under Misbah's leadership.

  • SRT_GENIUS on January 20, 2012, 21:45 GMT

    @ Pro-CricketXpert: You really crack me up! really funny (+5). LOL!

  • dapervez on January 20, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    Great win Pakistan, Very well played game and in the right spirits, I am really impressed with the current team as well as the Captaincy, there are quiet a few calm and intellegent heads in the dressing room now mainly Misbah and Hafeez (a.k.a PROFESSOR) and i guess they have brought a calm in the team a word that is not often associated with the Pakistan team.

    As far as these generalizations and name calling for a team goes I agree with some posters that it is going too far. I personally think it is a great time for cricket where there is no One dominant team and that every one is playing at a level playing field. With that said we should give more importance to cricket and hope the plague of match fixing was a thing of the past (atleast in the international scene).

  • on January 20, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    I still think that we have got very weak batting line up we need to fix number 3 and number 6 batting position though this batting can work in UAE and subcontinent but it will fail just like Indians in Eng SA and Aus.Openers are good and they should be given long run before separating them .I think Azhar ali and asad shafiq has to improve their batting very soon otherwise M Yousaf is still in waiting .I am satisfied with bowling department and i am confident that if we get M Aamir in next few years our bowling department can become invincible for few years say atleat 5 years and Test matches are won by Bowling not Batting.For the next match in abu dhabi my playing 11 will be 1.hafeez 2.taufeeq3.azhar4.younas5.misbah6.umar7.adnan8.wahab9.ajmal10.gul11.junaid

  • premendrasinghal on January 20, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Teams like India, SL and PAK cannot be assessed on the basis of two or three good games we have seen them in past that they are incapable in maintaining their performance for long time

  • on January 22, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    Great win over the no 1 team is remakable. so it is strange that lower ranking team beat high ranking team easily. what is the seacrat ?.it is pakinstan is not lower ranking and whithout talent.they are trapped by match fixers and the traitors as like sulman but. so all this is the reason that match fixer are in jail. so investigative journalist mazar mahmood is deserve million dollar reward that he did it, that even the icc anti corruption unit could not.

  • Ahsan_Shere on January 21, 2012, 18:11 GMT

    @Soofi Sheeraz: I think you also don't follow cricket, Saeed Ajmal has two 10 wicket hauls in his career so far, 1st against WI in providence now against England, never against SL or Ban.

  • SaleemSabir on January 21, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    "only ten months ago, he was condemned as an old man whose time had gone after he was made the scapegoat for Pakistan's defeat against India in the World Cup semi-final in Mohali". Come on David, can't an Englishman praise some one without showing his real rasict side, i have been reading your articles and i always find them biased and untrue, to bring in the world cup semi final on the day when your team was humiliated and shamed in three days, shows what sort of person You are, Grow Up Man, Otherwise the readers will Simpy stop taking any notice of you................. well done Pakistan you realy deserved it and Best of Luck England we need a good Series and hope to see a better performance from you in the next matches....

  • on January 20, 2012, 22:54 GMT

    @AidanFX totally agree.... i expect england to come back solid and that will improve not only england but pakistan... i think pakistans win has painted over the cracks... they need to keep improving we need better batsman to come in....

  • Naikan on January 20, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    Misbah's comment on coaching is very relevant. If the coach is largely left without real power to interfere in team selection, then a cricketer of good standing and ability to vibe well with the players is all that is needed for the subcontinent. Taking a high profile coach from elsewhere might actually be working against the team. I feel that the most impartant aspect is that the coach should be able to strike a cordial, friendly but equal relationship with the players. The team physio also needs to be similar but of course very knowledgable in a practical way.

  • Naikan on January 20, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    I am not surprised with the result. A few weeks ago in articles on England's no. 1 test rank, I had predicted that England would not find their matches against Pakistan as easy as they did against India. For pure test skills, Pakistan has an excellent group of bowlers to draw from. If it had not been for the spot fixing scandal, Pakistan probably has the best collective bowling outfit. Evenso, I feel they are a formidable set. The main reason is the bowlers target taking wickets and not containment. That aspect is a must. Unfortunately the popularity of the short forms of cricket in India (Oneday and T20) has transformed most of the frontline Indian bowlers into containment skill bowlers. But containment will not work for long periods like a 5 day test. To put it shortly if Pakistan hold on their nerve and do not have further problems like spot fixing then I envisage them to be either no. 1 or 2 in a short time under Misbah's leadership.

  • SRT_GENIUS on January 20, 2012, 21:45 GMT

    @ Pro-CricketXpert: You really crack me up! really funny (+5). LOL!

  • dapervez on January 20, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    Great win Pakistan, Very well played game and in the right spirits, I am really impressed with the current team as well as the Captaincy, there are quiet a few calm and intellegent heads in the dressing room now mainly Misbah and Hafeez (a.k.a PROFESSOR) and i guess they have brought a calm in the team a word that is not often associated with the Pakistan team.

    As far as these generalizations and name calling for a team goes I agree with some posters that it is going too far. I personally think it is a great time for cricket where there is no One dominant team and that every one is playing at a level playing field. With that said we should give more importance to cricket and hope the plague of match fixing was a thing of the past (atleast in the international scene).

  • on January 20, 2012, 15:57 GMT

    I still think that we have got very weak batting line up we need to fix number 3 and number 6 batting position though this batting can work in UAE and subcontinent but it will fail just like Indians in Eng SA and Aus.Openers are good and they should be given long run before separating them .I think Azhar ali and asad shafiq has to improve their batting very soon otherwise M Yousaf is still in waiting .I am satisfied with bowling department and i am confident that if we get M Aamir in next few years our bowling department can become invincible for few years say atleat 5 years and Test matches are won by Bowling not Batting.For the next match in abu dhabi my playing 11 will be 1.hafeez 2.taufeeq3.azhar4.younas5.misbah6.umar7.adnan8.wahab9.ajmal10.gul11.junaid

  • premendrasinghal on January 20, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    Teams like India, SL and PAK cannot be assessed on the basis of two or three good games we have seen them in past that they are incapable in maintaining their performance for long time

  • AidanFX on January 20, 2012, 12:39 GMT

    The whole "playing at home - playing away thing" is getting out of hand - so much circular reasoning and over use of the words... Eng are now labeled "Green Top Bullies" (series isn't over yet so very premature) - Pak beat Eng this Test and someone says "Pakistan need to win overseas to gain credibility" - hang just give them credit for winning this game - worry about how they do overseas when they go there. "India are flat track bullies" - whilst Aus are also now "green top bullies" - this whole nonsense is getting out of hand. People there can be some validity to these arguments - but am personally sick of the overuse 'table tennis' back and forward use of these arguments to suit ones bias. People conveniently rubbish a person's century or 5 inns / 10 match wicket haul if it is player they don't like. A lot of this attacks against country teams are from sour fans or those who favor other teams. Every single article someone uses this stupid often ill-informed attack.

  • on January 20, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    its a good victory for pakistan ,but we need to remeber that pakistan is playing in UAE where the weather is suitable for them and more ever their spin atack is best in the world becuase of haffez saeed and abdulrahamn and at the same time england is poor in playing spin bowling.if pakistan wants to win the test series their batsman need to put the score on board other wise england will be very alert in their batting in coming match.and pcb please get rid of imran farhat -for one day u can call imran nazeer who is good fileder and hard hitter and 100 time better than imran farhat- and please give chance to umar akmal to play in test also

  • on January 20, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    Misbah deserves a lot of credit and applause for this victory. He has really calmed the ever nervous team. And as far as his own performance is concerned, why do his critics forget that he came into the scene as a T20 specialist. So its not that he cant play aggressive. He is a true champion who has not only killed his natural instincts viz famous lobbed sweep over square leg, only for the betterment of pak cricket. there is a lot of method n thinking in his controlled aggressiveness. And the last thing. PAKISTAN WON BY 10 WICKETS WITH 2 DAYS TO SPARE! THATS A BIG ACHIEVEMENT IN ITSELF. HATS OFF! HATS OFF

  • on January 20, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    @shamlaatu I like the idea of "Imran-Lillee" trophy as when Pakistan is playing it is almost always dominated by bowlers.

  • wrenx on January 20, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    @ Pro-CricketXpert Not sure what you're on about here, what's the strike rate got to do with it?? The match still had 2 days left in it. If you're talking about the need to push the pace, then I'd agree, it can be a problem, such as Asad Shafiq's woeful innings in the first test against Sri Lanka in 2011 - his snail-paced striking at number 6 really cost Pakistan an opportunity to win (+ the dropped catches!). But in Misbah's case, I'd take an almost-certain 50 from him at number 5 over the occasional big knock every time. You forget, he's the one who always gets a partnership going, whoever's with him out in the middle.

  • likeintcricket on January 20, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    There may be some players who are more gifted and talented than Misbah like Afridi and Umer Akmal, but his captaincy is the best thing happens to Pakistan's cricket after Imran's world cup. I am following the cricket for many years when T20 was not even in the picture and 1-days were just started and I know this is the best way of playing cricket within your limitations. I still remember the days when players like Yousuf and Inzamam were in the team and they still struggle to win against Bangladesh at home. I am proud of every member of this hard working team and very excited with their future but I still want to remind them that this is just a start. Until they win something in Australia, England and SA they cannot call themselves the best side.

  • madans on January 20, 2012, 10:18 GMT

    its a great win for pakistan , well done , misbah had missed twenty20 world cup in the intial tournament , actually pakistan team selection board has missed a great batsman , at age 37 he is doing excellent , so with this, if misbah had selected at his age of 26 or 27 , he might have been one more Inzimam ul haq , for pakistan. well done misbah , thrasth england wish you all best .

  • on January 20, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    well done Pakistan, a thoroughly deserved victory. Happy for Misbah as he seems to be very underrated as both player and captain by his own fans. Umar Gul bowled superbly in the second innings, as did Saeed Ajmal in the first. England's batsman can do with watching how Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar started their innings together. Subcontinental cricket is all about doing the right things and patience. Pakistan gave England a lesson in every department. Two spinners in the next test please England - 15 of the 20 wickets Pakistan took were by spinners. I think there is a lesson in there

  • Happy_AusBang on January 20, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    To be fair England are "green top bullies" as someone said. It is easy for their bowlers to take wickets and score runs in conditions that suit them. A little outside their comfort zone and they are gone. On wickets where bowlers and batsmen have to work harder they struggle. Pakistan, on the other hand, although better in playing under their own conditions like any other team, have beaten England a few times in the opposition's conditions.

  • on January 20, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    As good ol' walt said ...O Captain! My Captain!

  • on January 20, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    @asrar chowdhury dude last person to get 10 for happens to be ajmal i think u dont follow cricket it was in last series against BD or Sri lanka that ajmal got it. By the way i dont knw about others but to me he is the number one bowler just look at his numbers and the skill he possess it was a batting belter bro English team and some of them for example Bell just didnt know how to bat against him so i dont know what you talking about when u say he needs to prove?

  • JINNAH0001 on January 20, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    one to two big wins for PAK ....... will smash "controversy" resentment in Pakistan and the other worlds too for the next 5 years . ThAT'S fOr SurE !!!!!

  • on January 20, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    You don't become unbeatable when you are No.1, I think that has been proven time and again. My sympathies are with India who are being criticized for being beaten away while other teams prove to be as shaky on alien pitches as anyone. I believe that India will give tough time to the Aussies and Englishmen at home. Best wishes to India from a Pakistani!

  • StarsnStumps on January 20, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    "Alongside Misbah sat his talented court jester" ... really David? r u so disappointed that ure gonna try and ridicule ajmal now ... that man is no court jester he is our valiant knight!!!

  • on January 20, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    I hope the media doesn't hype Pakistan's victory. I would love to have the 'under dog' tag and do the talking on the field. Great win by Pakistan, MashaAllah.

  • on January 20, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    Yeah great win against the no.1 ranked team. But be assured that England is going to come really hard at them in the next couple of matches. Once the english batters get an understanding of this pitches pace and bounce they could start scoring very heavily, and then their bowlers may also come to the party.

  • Ahsan_Shere on January 20, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    I rate him higher than every other Pakistan captain, even higher than Imran Khan because Imran had a great team to carry out results with all time greats Miandad, Wasim, Waqar, Mushtaq & himself. Earlier he had Abdul Qadir to look after spin department before Mush. On the other hand Misbah deprived of Yousuf, Aamir & Asif. This land is renowned of producing great players, not great leaders and having such a cool & wise head, it always worth mentioning. Critics won't leave you, saying something & doing it are two poles distant things, so let them talk & do what you are doing Mr. Captain Cool.......Hats off!!!!!!!!

  • donda on January 20, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    I still say that Misbah approach to play for draw and then go for win is perfect for test matches in any conditions. Test matches are not always to win and it is very important to not lose but draw a test.

    This was just first test against high profile team and pakistan won it, we need to just think about this win for one day and now move on and concentrate to draw remaining two test matches with good bowling and long batting.

    I am still not happy with Pakistani batting effort, Younas khan needs to play long and long enough that pakistan reach 450 or 500 in an innings. Younas khan needs to understand that he is the main batsman in pakistani team and he needs to score 137 instead of 37.

    Let's hope pakistan win or draw this series and we all enjoy good cricket.

  • on January 20, 2012, 6:05 GMT

    i agree with asrar chaudhary . lets begin the celebrations when or if we win the series. If our captain be cautious then so should we but a great performance by the pakistan team lets hope they play even better in the next tests.

  • bill-iqbal on January 20, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    Misbah is a true leader; he may just be the next Imran Khan. Keep it up...

  • mrgupta on January 20, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    I think this victory by Pakistan has given happiness to not only Pakistanis but also to Indian fans, we badly wanted to shut these English mouths. Well done Pakistan!

  • csowmi7 on January 20, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    @kreativemart With all respect to Misbah Ul Haq who i think is a great ambassador of the game tendulkar>>>>>misbah :P. its not his problem Pakistan couldnt hold their catches.

  • csowmi7 on January 20, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    @kreativemart dream on. India beat u fair and square in the world cup and are the rightful champions. No use pondering about the past. But credit to the pakistani players and saeed ajmal for putting on such a great performance against England. Shows the character and resilience of your team.

  • on January 20, 2012, 2:49 GMT

    great and balanced article wout ne over d top favorism n yeah well done Pak team..nw dat sud also add sm sting 2 d subcontinent sides when d oder 2 r gettin so badly beaten

  • dan_loves_cricket on January 20, 2012, 2:32 GMT

    well done pakistan!!!! you guys rock...best wishes from Sri Lanka.but be aware,England team is not a bad one at all...keep it going!!!!

  • AvidCricFan on January 20, 2012, 1:43 GMT

    This is a good win for the Pakistani team in home-like conditions. The pitch was typical subcontinent track. Hope this team is capable for performing better in England and Australia than what the Indian team has done in England and Australia. Only time will tell.

  • goldeneye075 on January 20, 2012, 1:14 GMT

    Well Done Pakistan, you deserve this win !!! As a sri lankan, I hail pak power. After the sri lankan series I was truly ammazed by them, and i was waiting eagaliy to watch ENG vs PAK, where I did thought pak would have the upper hand. I would rate current Team as one of the best teams going around to take the number 1 possition in TEST rankings. Misba's captaincy is a very important for them to be united as a team, the only negative thing about him is some times he is too negative, but saying that , it's just a miner thing..... as long as PAK is winning... ;-)

  • sermadali on January 20, 2012, 1:12 GMT

    Finally we were in strong position since day 1 very seldom we have seen from Pakistan…. But they did this time.. I do have problem with some Pakistani people .with all the odds and sazish against Pakistan we were in the Semi of world cup …… and Allah ka sukar ha We are doing fine In Test match against all the odds all the senior players like Inzamam, Shoaib , Yusuf is gone with no cricket being played at home ground. And Our bad manage Cricket board on our side. Even all the foreign Media was with England nothing mention abt Pakistan team.We as people never give credit or at least praise our team yes when we loss every 1 is against Pakistani team. We should praise Pakistani team beating No. 1 team in test cricket. Insha Allah we will work hard wins the series. Message to Pakistan Team you guys work hard and keep the pressure ON…. To English

  • cricket_lover777 on January 20, 2012, 0:43 GMT

    All credit to Misbah and his boys. Picking up 20 English wickets for just around 350runs on a flat pitch is remarkable. Pakistan is a very good test side because they have bowlers who can pick up 20 wickets under whatever conditions. Like I have been saying for years, your a good side if you have wicket taking bowler. Not saying that batsmen are not important; but you can only win if you have a good bowling side.

  • Love-Pak on January 20, 2012, 0:38 GMT

    Adnan also have missed Swann's stumpin, both these mistakes have cost atleast 60 to 70 runs. No doubt Adnan did bat well but frankly speaking Sarfraz is better wicket keeper and batsman then Adnan and he has proven that 2 years back on bouncy pitches in Australia. People like Amir Sohail and Waqar Younis in commentary talking against Asad shafiq and wants to bring Umer Akmal in his place, this is clear baised opinion as they always have against most of the players who don't belongs to one particular province. Asad just have made a century last month against Bangla Desh, Umer is a good palyer for oDI nad T20 but he lacks consiitency and technique in the Test match.Some one also need to ask also what was the crime Fawad Alam (century on his debue in Sri Lanka)and Khurram Manzoor 977 runs in his last innings 2 years back in Australia)have commtitted for which they were thrown out of the team and never again given chance. Bitter but true facts.. :)

  • Love-Pak on January 20, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    If Pakistan wants to be true champion team then they have to perform well overseas too beside palying well in sub continent like England, Australia and South Africa. No one wants to ake any credit away from Misbah and his current team for getting this great victory over England but we need to be realistic as well. I don't think batsman like Toufeeq Umer Azhar Ali etc will be able to perform well in seeming and bouncing pitches overseas because they have flaws in their techniques,.They are good batsmen on flat tracks but Pakistan will need better batsmen to replace both of them when Pakistan will tour overseas. Another point i wanna raise is that, no doubt Misbah is doing good leadership in test matches but he is getting too old and slow, he is already 37. To be frank he should be replace by Afridi as captain in ODI and T20. Wahab is much better bowler then Cheema and Sarfraz is much better keeper then Adnan(he reminded us his brother kamran in this match by dropping Pror's catch and

  • on January 20, 2012, 0:24 GMT

    Pakistani players and Pakistan as nation should not get carried away with this win. Don't get me wrong, this is a WONDERFUL win for our team and this will build a lot of confidence but we should never take England lightly. Like Misbah said in his interview, they are going to come back, and come back very hard this time. They have a reputation at stake and they'll be looking for blood in the next test match.

    Give England time to get used to the sub-continent conditions.

    Pakistani players and PCB should look forward and actually work on normalizing their relationship with ECB. Put trust back in our relationship and more importantly, respect for each other. What's happen in the past is not going to happen yet again.

    As a nation, we should not start name calling any English commentators regardless what they say about our boys. If our team is performing in the field with the bat and the ball then that's enough. No wait, that is MORE THAN ENOUGH.

  • ModernBlitzer on January 20, 2012, 0:07 GMT

    "Pakistan were efficient, but England surely cannot bat as badly again"...eh? How does he know that? In the test match itself they batted worse in their first innings. Bias...

  • on January 19, 2012, 23:58 GMT

    Pakistan should only worry about winning or drawing second test since by the third test English team will start feeling homesick.

  • on January 19, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    OUTSTANDING WIN BY PAKISTANIS. YOU GUYS ROCKED! AUSTRALIA CRUSHED INDIA IN THREE DAYS , AND NOW PAKISTAN CRUSHED ENGLAND IN 3 THREE DAYS. IT COULD BE MORE SWEETER IF PAKISTAN WON IT BY AN INNING. BUT THATS OKAY THAT CAN BE ACHIEVED IN ABU DHABI IM SURE. ALL THE BEST MEN IN GREEN.... YOU ARE SUPERB!

  • on January 19, 2012, 23:51 GMT

    Well done guys... Keep it up..

  • Deepfreezed on January 19, 2012, 23:46 GMT

    lawn green bullies have no answer. What will the Eng blame this defeat on? What happened to the greatest spin bowler in cricket? Why was he leaking runs?

  • on January 19, 2012, 23:17 GMT

    congrt team pakistan bt dont forget 1 thing dont loose your head wen u will go on overseas tour

  • wrenx on January 19, 2012, 23:05 GMT

    Congratualtions Misbah! No better way to atone for the WC mess by doing what you do best, and showing the world that they have underestimated you at their peril. It goes to show, there's no one single model for captaincy that should be universally approved of; Afridi had his own frenetic style that was perfect for a big tournament like the World Cup, and Misbah hasn't put a foot wrong since he took over the test and one-day sides. Captain dependable - I'd take a sold, guaranteed 50 from Misbah in every innings than the slim possibility of a match-winning century any day. Hope he keeps his fitness at a high standard, and can stick around for as long as possible, until a Mohammed Hafeez or even a Junaid Khan can learn the skills needed for captaincy.

  • JustIPL on January 19, 2012, 22:50 GMT

    Now we want asian ashes b/w india and pakistan in UAE. I am sure it will be in line of ICC and BCCI's preference to make money but it will be real entertainment for the cricket lovers. A batting lineup of the calibre of england which is no doubt the best batting lineup of the world could muster below 200 scores so watching other batting lineups facing pak bowling will be highly interesting. UAE conditions are not pakistan home conditions but pakistan bowlers have made it look like home condition.

  • haq33 on January 19, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    STOP CRITICISING M I S B A H!!!!! Important point to remember - IF he played frivolously and carelessly worried about his strike rate, then others would lose confidence in him and themselves and then make mistakes. It is his JOB to instill confidence in the rest of the batting order. If he batted like some people want him to bat, I promise you that the ones batting with him would have thrown their wickets away for single figures. The grit and grind from the rest of the team to enforce those extra precious runs all comes about due to Misbah's determination - or "Azzam" as I believe the English call it (!).

  • on January 19, 2012, 22:00 GMT

    @jonathonjosephs England beat Australia 3-1 (ohhh the horror...) and I don't know if Pakistan really consider Dubai their home ground...

  • on January 19, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    To the Indian Fans: Thats how we Roll... ROFL.... Thats how we beat the Number 1 side in the world... !!!

  • on January 19, 2012, 21:30 GMT

    ''Misbah-ul-Haq did not,after his side's crushing defeat of England, sound like a man about to get carried away with his success, and with good reason'' this will be the key not getting carried away....

  • babarzia on January 19, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    Can some one, somehow please research old archives of english newspapers and inform us what the English media was saying about reverse swing (and wasim and waqar) when they did not understand it???

    Please can crici info do this research and enlighten us.

  • JG2704 on January 19, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    All credit to the guy. He has led the side away from a very dark time and now they have just thrashed the number 1 side in the world under his great leadership

  • JG2704 on January 19, 2012, 20:15 GMT

    @ Pro-CricketXpert on (January 19 2012, 18:39 PM GMT) - How do you work that out? If all the Pakistan batsman scored at a 75% SR and all scored the same scores , the only difference would have been that the match would have finished earlier but by the exact same scoreline.If he had tried to up the scoring rate he may have got out 30/40/50 runs cheaper. It's not rocket science.

  • on January 19, 2012, 20:11 GMT

    I think no matter how much the praise to the Pakistan is done, seems to be less because the pressure under which Pakistani cricket has been for the past year was just immense and then coming out and beating a side which is ranked number 1 in the world with 10-wickets is just too good ! ...

  • shahbazhussain on January 19, 2012, 20:10 GMT

    @Pro-CricketXpert, something is better than nothing! Why people dont thank Almighty Allah for putting the team back on winning track. Test cricket is not for playing like Warner, that was an innings bhi Warner that you see in decades. if you go to warner and ask him will you play again like that? He will definitely shake his head and give you some reasoning why he does like that. Why Afridi quit the longest format because he cant concentrate playing for long. Playing for 25 overs is not as easy as hitting 10 fours. The TEST cricket is a real test of your temperament and skills that makes you play like a gentleman rather a fool guy getting nothing in hunger of all. Hats off for Mishbah on his fine performance. I even dont mind his WC semi-final innings. It was even better than Tendulkar's innings. If anyone from top order had clicked with him, the 29-run defeat would have been converted into Pakistan's finest victory and given is the precious crown of all time!

  • Tanvir110 on January 19, 2012, 20:10 GMT

    slow and steady wins the race.......

  • Shah-Ji on January 19, 2012, 19:43 GMT

    Dear Fan Rahulbos

    When did You see any defensive approach while Pakistan Fielding. Like a good Captain Misbah plays as per available sources. He is always very offensive in bowling ,always trying to take wickets. Rarely I have seen him placing defensive fielding in a test match.

  • on January 19, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    I wish that Pakistan sweeps the series. It is indeed very sickening to read reports by the experts suggesting that it was England's fault to loose the test. Wow! Very little credit and that too with hesitation and caveats is given to Pakistan team. In my view England lost more than Pakistan won, however, I still see a lot of haughtiness in the English attitude. David Hopps and Dobell are not doing much to enhance their reputation as neutral writers. The bias, the prejudice and the inclination to pull down Pakistan's performance is very obvious. Surely, they both need to learn a lesson in humility.

  • on January 19, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    Thats y we are saying "PROUD TO BE A PAKISTANI".....

    Indian cricket fans coments on our team ...

    "Very well done Pakistan. Proud of you all. I don't want to say Congratulations to Pakistan. I want to say Thank you to Pakistan. Can't thank enough for the happiness your team has given to many Indians like me. This victory of Pakistan is no less than India beating England. Jai Ho Misbah. Jai Ho Ajmal. Jai Ho Gul. Jai Ho Hafeez. Jai Ho Pakistan - from India. Cricinfo please publish.

  • johnathonjosephs on January 19, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    Wow, Tests finishing within 3 days are becoming the norm now... That said, who is on the top of the Test Rankings? Very confusing now. England beat Sri Lanka 1-0, England beat Australia in the Ashes 2-1, England beat India 4-0, and England lost first game badly 1-0 (so far). Aus lost to England, but is going to whitewash India 3-0 (so far) and have beaten Lanka 1-0. Pakistan have beaten England 1-0 and Lanka 1-0. So judging by this, I'm very confused to say the least. It looks like Pak>England> Australia> Sri Lanka> India? Actually I think that whatever country is in its HOME CONDITIONS win. Hands down. English commentators must be scratching their heads " But the pitch is soooooo Flat, how did England get bowled for 150 twice?" But it isn't flat sir, Umar got a 4 wicket haul and Ajmal a 10.... Its called HOME CONDITIONS.

  • on January 19, 2012, 19:18 GMT

    Pakistani Cricket Fans: Please do not start the celebrations yet. Ajmal has more to prove. If he fails to prove in the next two Tests, then who will back him up? Also: don't expect the English batting to be bowled out cheaply consecutively in the next two Tests. They will fight back. Good luck to Ajmal, although I think it is too early to call the cards on Ajmal. For the time being enjoy and relish the 10/97. When was the last time a Pakistani bowler got ten in a match? Anybody?

  • dockhaul4 on January 19, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    Pakistan will win the series

  • Rahulbose on January 19, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    It will be interesting to see how Misbah approaches the series after going ahead 1-0. He has shown a defensive streak and might look to draw remaining games.

  • on January 19, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    FIRST: Where credit is due- Misbah-Ul-Huq has achieved something that has always seemed impossible to achieve in a Pakistani Cricket Team- DISCPLINE. Raw, molten talent has always been inabundance in Pakistani Cricket. Harnessing has always been a challenge. SECOND: England bowlers have exposed there are flaws in the Pakistani batting line up. If England's batsmen can pull their socks up and get their act together then as Misbah has said "[Pakistan] can expect a tough time from England in the next Test". Misbah's and Pakistan's REAL TEST is in the next two Tests. England will fight back. How well Misbah can marshall his resources will be something to see. For the time being- savour the joy. Wake up tomorrow. Both Teams start from an empty slate. Hope to see an exciting series in the Arabian desert that for some bizarre reason is being termed as the 'sub-continent'.

  • shamlaatu on January 19, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    It's time that Australia puts an end to the comedy show called "Border-Gavaskar Trophy" and play some REAL TEST CRICKET by inviting Pakistan for a yearly battle of skills under the instigation of "Imran-Lillee" or "Warne-Ajmal" trophy.

  • iBilal on January 19, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Misbah is exactly the kinda pill, Pakistan cricket needed. A cool and calm captain, gracious in defeat and humble in success. A sharp-minded cricketer who brought Saeed Ajmal into international cricket. As I can rely on Misbah, Pak team wont be complacent and wont gloat about their emphatic win today. Certainly a great leader, who let Gul try for his 5-fer and didnt care about beating Eng with an innings, since Gul was leaking lot of runs. Hats off to you teamMisbah

  • on January 19, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Misbah - as Geoff Lawson said the best cricketing brain in Pakistan - solid cricketer who displays a non-emotional pragmatic approach and an average of 70 plus as captain!!

  • Pro-CricketXpert on January 19, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    There is no value of Misbah's 52 of 154 balls in this victory as that effort only allowed england to get back into game. Had he scored at a better strike rate pakistan could win with an innings margin.

  • on January 19, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    For sure brits are good but the credit must b given to pakistan for such an emphatic victory. This victory was result of improving belief in their own capabilities

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  • on January 19, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    For sure brits are good but the credit must b given to pakistan for such an emphatic victory. This victory was result of improving belief in their own capabilities

  • Pro-CricketXpert on January 19, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    There is no value of Misbah's 52 of 154 balls in this victory as that effort only allowed england to get back into game. Had he scored at a better strike rate pakistan could win with an innings margin.

  • on January 19, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Misbah - as Geoff Lawson said the best cricketing brain in Pakistan - solid cricketer who displays a non-emotional pragmatic approach and an average of 70 plus as captain!!

  • iBilal on January 19, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    Misbah is exactly the kinda pill, Pakistan cricket needed. A cool and calm captain, gracious in defeat and humble in success. A sharp-minded cricketer who brought Saeed Ajmal into international cricket. As I can rely on Misbah, Pak team wont be complacent and wont gloat about their emphatic win today. Certainly a great leader, who let Gul try for his 5-fer and didnt care about beating Eng with an innings, since Gul was leaking lot of runs. Hats off to you teamMisbah

  • shamlaatu on January 19, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    It's time that Australia puts an end to the comedy show called "Border-Gavaskar Trophy" and play some REAL TEST CRICKET by inviting Pakistan for a yearly battle of skills under the instigation of "Imran-Lillee" or "Warne-Ajmal" trophy.

  • on January 19, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    FIRST: Where credit is due- Misbah-Ul-Huq has achieved something that has always seemed impossible to achieve in a Pakistani Cricket Team- DISCPLINE. Raw, molten talent has always been inabundance in Pakistani Cricket. Harnessing has always been a challenge. SECOND: England bowlers have exposed there are flaws in the Pakistani batting line up. If England's batsmen can pull their socks up and get their act together then as Misbah has said "[Pakistan] can expect a tough time from England in the next Test". Misbah's and Pakistan's REAL TEST is in the next two Tests. England will fight back. How well Misbah can marshall his resources will be something to see. For the time being- savour the joy. Wake up tomorrow. Both Teams start from an empty slate. Hope to see an exciting series in the Arabian desert that for some bizarre reason is being termed as the 'sub-continent'.

  • Rahulbose on January 19, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    It will be interesting to see how Misbah approaches the series after going ahead 1-0. He has shown a defensive streak and might look to draw remaining games.

  • dockhaul4 on January 19, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    Pakistan will win the series

  • on January 19, 2012, 19:18 GMT

    Pakistani Cricket Fans: Please do not start the celebrations yet. Ajmal has more to prove. If he fails to prove in the next two Tests, then who will back him up? Also: don't expect the English batting to be bowled out cheaply consecutively in the next two Tests. They will fight back. Good luck to Ajmal, although I think it is too early to call the cards on Ajmal. For the time being enjoy and relish the 10/97. When was the last time a Pakistani bowler got ten in a match? Anybody?

  • johnathonjosephs on January 19, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    Wow, Tests finishing within 3 days are becoming the norm now... That said, who is on the top of the Test Rankings? Very confusing now. England beat Sri Lanka 1-0, England beat Australia in the Ashes 2-1, England beat India 4-0, and England lost first game badly 1-0 (so far). Aus lost to England, but is going to whitewash India 3-0 (so far) and have beaten Lanka 1-0. Pakistan have beaten England 1-0 and Lanka 1-0. So judging by this, I'm very confused to say the least. It looks like Pak>England> Australia> Sri Lanka> India? Actually I think that whatever country is in its HOME CONDITIONS win. Hands down. English commentators must be scratching their heads " But the pitch is soooooo Flat, how did England get bowled for 150 twice?" But it isn't flat sir, Umar got a 4 wicket haul and Ajmal a 10.... Its called HOME CONDITIONS.