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

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