Pakistan v England 2011-12 January 20, 2012

'England No. 1 because of home advantage' - Miandad


Javed Miandad, the former Pakistan captain, has questioned England's status as the No. 1 side in the world Test rankings after their defeat inside three days against Pakistan in Dubai.

Miandad, one of England's most redoubtable opponents in his playing days, always relishes a chance to revive battles of old and he did so again when he suggested England's rise to the top of the rankings owed much to home advantage and took little account of their perennial weakness in Asia.

"I don't believe much in rankings because it doesn't give a clear picture of the team's overall performance in the world," Miandad said. "England is mainly the top side without playing in Asia and you must give credit to Pakistan that they have been playing with no home advantage and still they are winning. England are now the No. 1 team because they had the home advantage and never lost in their backyard."

Miandad, who made 260 against England at The Oval in 1987 as Pakistan piled up 708, freely admitted that victories against them had a special piquancy.

"I always feel an extra sense of satisfaction when Pakistan beat England or Australia - it always carries a special importance," he said. "Practically everything clicked against England. A circle that includes every aspect of the game rotated smoothly. Batsman scored runs; bowlers did accordingly to the expectations."

"We experienced a very bad time in 2010 and because of that our cricket was suffered a lot. Our victories always were overshadowed by the controversies. But the victory against England was a special one."

More criticism of England's performance came from Abdul Qadir, a former Pakistan legspinner and selector. He expressed surprise that England had lost in such an "unprofessional manner".

"I was never expecting that England could go that low, to be packed up in just three days," Qadir said. "The most pathetic things I observed about the England batting was that on the first day, when fast-bowlers were supposed to take wickets they were exposed by spinners and later on in the second innings, when the spinners were supposed to dominate they fell into the hands of fast bowlers.

"This is a buzzer for the English think tank, about their strategy. It's like they didn't do their homework and that fact was exposed cheaply. I always deemed England a very professional side but the way they played [casts] doubts [on] my views about them."

Waqar Younis, Pakistan's former fast bowler and coach, said that the spot-fixing scandal had made the players stronger and was a driving force behind their consistency over the last 18 months.

"I'm really proud of the way they've responded to all the criticism and scepticism that they had to deal with after the spot-fixing scandal," he said. "The players were determined to show everyone what Pakistan cricket is all about after the scandal. They realised that the only way to respond to the crisis was to perform well and let the results speak for themselves."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Zaccharia on January 23, 2012, 23:52 GMT

    Miandad must have forgotten about England winning a series in Australia. When was the last time Pakistan did that?

  • Sagayaraj on January 23, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    Too early to say this. Now Pakistan is trying some mind games. If England batsmen avoid few bad shots, they can occupy crease longer. When India was no.1, rankings didnt matter. When India lost No.1 ranking then it got huge importance. I dont know why nobody likes India when they are playing well.

  • Farooq on January 23, 2012, 11:07 GMT

    As pakistani, well done pakistan but i always support england after pakistan in cricket. Pak team should not carried away with this only one win.....england is no doubt a very good side and stage is been set for cracker in Abu Dhabi.....every team has weaknesses and england had their lets c what world no. 1 side has to offer us.......

  • Andrew on January 23, 2012, 3:10 GMT

    England deserves to be #1 end of story. How long they stay there is uncertain as they have 3 tough Asian tours inside 12mths. Losing in Asia doesn't make them unworthy, just not great. Whilst India were bagged as a weak #1 side, they did add to their credibility by drawing the Saffas in Saffaland. However 7 straight away losses has dumped them badly! It will be interesting to see how it all pans out, I wish Aamir could play for Pakistan, then we would have Oz & Pakistan on the upward swing coming up against a yo-yo Saffas & a strong England at the top of the "real" ratings. India will continue to rate well as they play at home exclusively for the next 12 to 18mths!

  • narsimha on January 23, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    STILL FEW FANATIC ENG supportares are not prepared to cometo the reality that their team is pathetic in this part of the world , my coments are basaed on their pathetic past performance , specially in india for the last 2 decades , they gloath the last ashes win in aus , but the conditions in eng-aus are almost similar , however no demeaning to their wins , in that metter india did far better in its erlier tours in eng,aus compared to these teams performance in our place during the last decade

  • Sajjad on January 22, 2012, 19:25 GMT

    @ very careful what you say about let me know which country you are from and I will show you the stupid from your players....if you are from india than i dont have to further say anything as ind has never produced a good player

  • adarsh on January 22, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    lol my stomach is hs started to ach laughing after reading some comments above... they say pakistan is winning on foreign soil lol... nd ind only wins on home soil.. ha ha it"ll bw grt pleasure if anyone on earth cn make me understand d difference btw pakistan and uae pitches... flat pitches just like everyehere else in the subcontinent.. pakistani shud say this when they start winning in green swinging nd bouncy wickets like in eng or aus... so dnt be too cozy abt dat pak fans..

  • Mark on January 22, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    I agree with you Gerard Pereira. England are a good side, like Australia and South Africa are now but are nowhere near a great side. When ever they get a bit of success in sport the English media builds em to ridiculous levels like they do with their football team. Anyone who is knowledgeable about Cricket knows that England is unproven in the desert in the Middle East or in Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka. Personally I think this England team will get hammered in Sri Lanka because the current England batsman haven't got the technique or the skill to play spin bowling well (I expect Herath to be man of the series their like Ajmal here) like their Pakistani or Sri Lankan counterparts who are wonderful players of spin bowling. I mean I really enjoyed the way for example the Pakistan batsman in particular Younis Khan handled Graham Swann, wonderful use of the feet and great batting technique! However England's strength is they have a good bowling attack in England but not in Pak,Ind,SL.

  • Yusuf on January 22, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    As a Pakistani supporter, I do not think one should read too much into one loss by a team coming off a long layoff from test cricket. What if England turns around to win or draw this series? Then all this slamming of England will sound silly. Do understand though that this may be a rejoinder to Bob Willis's sore looser comments about Ajmal's action.

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2012, 9:47 GMT

    I agree with miandad. Most teams have played and won matches on their home grounds. Pakistan has been winning on foreign grounds.

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