Pakistan v England, 3rd Test, Dubai, 4th day February 6, 2012

Pakistan rewarded for smart rebuilding

After the events of 2010 Pakistan cricket could have withered away, but due to a combination of determination and desire they are now flourishing
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Perhaps the darkest hour really is just before the dawn. By the end of Pakistan's tour to England in 2010, the team's reputation was in shreds. Beaten on the field and discredited off it, it was surely the lowest ebb in the history of Pakistan cricket.

From the rubble of that episode, however, a new Pakistan has emerged. A Pakistan that is no longer hindered by infighting or individual agendas. A Pakistan that, in the tough times, pulls together rather than splitting apart. A Pakistan team rather than a collection of talented individuals.

If the events of 2010 had not occurred, it is quite possible that either or both Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal, the undisputed stars of this series, would have been unable to force their way into this team.

It is quite possible that Misbah-ul-Haq, a man who had been left out of a preliminary 35-man squad that year, would not be in this team, let alone the captain. It is quite possible that younger players such as Azhar Ali, Adnan Akmal and Asad Shafiq would have been unable to enjoy a prolonged opportunity to establish themselves in this team. It is quite possible that Younis Khan, a batsman whose class shone out in this third Test, would have drifted out of the international game having been banned by the PCB after allegations that he had been partially responsible for infighting within the team. It is quite possible that Umar Gul, whose four-wicket burst on the last afternoon was overdue reward for his outstanding work throughout the series, would have been squeezed out of the side. And it is quite possible that Ijaz Butt might still be chairman of the PCB.

Pakistan cricket could have imploded. They could have bemoaned their ill-fortune and become embroiled in regrets and recriminations.

Instead they rebuilt. They took a long, hard look at themselves and decided that change was necessary. They appointed an experienced captain, they kept faith with a few youngsters who they believe can enjoy a long future in international cricket and they identified a group of players who showed the skill and character to combine as a team when times grew tough.

The appointment of Misbah as captain, in particular, was wise. He is not a flamboyant man, nor a great orator or particularly charismatic. And he is a worthy rather than great batsman.

But Pakistan have had plenty of charismatic captains. Plenty who have been blessed with more natural ability. Plenty who have looked good in front of the camera. It did not always serve them well.

Misbah is not that sort. He is not much interested in the limelight or the glamour. Or soundbites or flash innings. He is interested in developing a winning culture and nurturing a team spirit that can bring pride back to Pakistan cricket. He is interested in winning, not the trappings of success.

Pakistan have the foundations of something quite special at the moment. Whatever happens, they need to retain faith in the people and policies that have brought them so far, so fast

His calm leadership has served Pakistan well. They started with a drawn series against South Africa - no mean feat - before Misbah lead them to wins over New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, with just the aberration of a drawn series against West Indies as the only setback. Now they have completed the fifth series (in three-match series or more) clean sweep in their history. Not only that, but they have done it against the No. 1 Test ranked side. In this game they also illustrated their unity and tenacious spirit by becoming just the sixth side in history to win a Test having been bowled out for under 100 in the first innings of a match and the first to do so since 1907.

And remember: all these matches are away from home. Due to security concerns, Pakistan remain unable to play in their own country. It remains remarkable that the PCB are thinking of appointing a new coach, Dav Whatmore, in replace of the interim, Mohsin Khan. What more could they have asked of Mohsin?

It will not always be like this for Pakistan. They will face sterner tests in less helpful conditions and results may not always go their way. But they have the foundations of something quite special at the moment. Whatever happens, they need to retain faith in the people and policies that have brought them so far, so fast.

Now let us reflect for a moment on what might have been from an England perspective. Let us imagine that, instead of just suffering a bruise, Ian Bell's arm had been broken when he was struck by a throw-down from Graham Gooch just prior to this series. He would have been sent home and missed the mauling that he and his team have just received. Bell's series record - just 51 runs at an average of 8.5 - just might prove career threatening.

But had he been absent, you can bet that, right now, he would be lauded as the potential saviour of English cricket. In his absence, his reputation as a great player of spin would have risen sharply. It would, we now know, have been nonsense.

Bell's experience has been a microcosm of England's in this series. Approaching it with a glowing reputation, he and his team have received the rudest of awakenings. They may remain, according to the rankings, the No. 1 Test side in the world, but the title has a hollow sound now. Besides, if South Africa defeat New Zealand by a 3-0 margin, they will have usurped them.

England's travails against spin are clear to see. Ajmal's doosra remained a mystery to them; Rehman's control complete. Together the pair claimed 43 wickets in the series at an average of 15.6 apiece. They bowled beautifully.

But it is the self harm that will smart most from an England perspective. Even on the last day of the series several England batsmen played a large role in their own downfall: Alastair Cook, playing across the line; Jonathan Trott, top edging a desperate sweep; Kevin Pietersen, punished for a fault in his technique and, most frustratingly, Stuart Broad, who picked out the fielder at long off with an obliging drive.

Batting against opposition of this quality is difficult enough without such self-inflicted damage. Yet perhaps self-inflicted is the wrong phrase. It does not adequately convey the pressure applied by Pakistan, or the skill of their bowlers to maintain that pressure, or the ability of their captain to ensure his team remained disciplined and patient.

But England could have made Pakistan fight harder for their wickets. They showed some improvement from the first Test to the third, but their much-vaunted middle-order - Bell, Pietersen (who averaged 11.16) and Eoin Morgan (who averaged 13.66) - must take much of the responsibility for this, the seventh series whitewash in England's Test history. It is inevitable that there will be calls for players to be dropped.

England can learn from Pakistan's approach. They can learn from the technique and temperament shown here by Azhar, who resisted for almost nine hours to set up this victory. They can learn from the determination and patience shown by Misbah in Abu Dhabi and the footwork and skill of Younis in this Test. They can learn, most of all, the balance between attack and defence and the need for calm and confidence. But if the tourists blame the DRS, unusual bowling actions, or simply ill fortune, they will, in the long term, delay their progress.

Pakistan rebuilt from a severe setback in 2010. Now it is England's turn.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on February 8, 2012, 1:36 GMT

    Hopefully when people look back on this as history, Misbah will receive a massive credit for his actions. Clearly the best captain Pakistan has had since Imran!

  • on February 8, 2012, 0:48 GMT

    Well, I was highly critical of Dobell, but he have shown his skills, lessons for all, very nice article - well done!

  • on February 7, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    can anyone explain me how england got 3 reviews instead of 2 in their 2nd innings Strauss, Prior and in the end Monty referred their decisions to third umpire?????? i am confused that was that umpiring error or something else

  • on February 7, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    Resurgence of Pakistani cricket is undoubtedly owing to the astute leadership provided by Mishba Ul Haq.Calm and cool headed captain who has been successful in securing the wholehearted co'operation of his Teammates.All the players have been fashioned to perform to the best of their ability.More importantly Misbah has gelled the Team to perform as a unit.Unity,cordiality and brotherhood that prevail in the dressing room are the result of his attitude towards his Teammates and the manner in which he handles the issues ensuring that there won't be dissent and discontent among the players.It is not fair not to appreciate the contribution of Mohsin Khan,who as the interim coach,has ensured the smooth progress of the Team.Misbah Ul Haq and Mohsin Khan together have steered the ship of Pakistan cricket to calm waters.Despite the wonderful job done by Mohsin Khan,it is my humble view that he should give way to Dev Whatmore,who is an internationally recognized coach and is highly talented.

  • h.m.u.f.c on February 7, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    i am impressed by this artical

  • on February 7, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    @vamshi_teamindia so england will come down to 5 then i guess india will be well below as they lost 5-0 to the no 5 ranked team ;)

  • SaleemSabir on February 7, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Good article......! a fair analysis of the situation.........! welldone Pakistan , but dont forget with this sort of batting Performances 99 all out on the first day of the test match , surely you cant say all is well ... they need to see the problems in facing a swinging seaming first day attack on lively pitches..... you will only prove yourselves once you win in Australia in their home grounds... remeber England has done that and they should never be discredited for that... well Played both teams and i realy liked the Spirit among the players... no heated exchanges ... no slurs passed.... no confrontations.... test Cricket at its best...

  • on February 7, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    Congratulations to all lovers of cricket for watching excellent and technically different teams performance in this series. We all saw the emergence of strong Pakistan on map of cricket world once again. As we are to be blamed for our own down fall. Once again our cricket managment is trying to derail the progress achieved with hard work, unity and decipline in the side. This is possible because of warchful eyes of our coach Mohshin Hassan Khan. I think nobody in the world will replace him. but as in the past we always go for big names in selecting team, appointing a coach and appointing a manager through political influence. PCB has issed a statement that the appointment of coach will be decided after the England series. But reason best known to our PCB, they finalised appointment of foriegn coach. Once again they decided to disturb winning combination. I pray to almighty Allah to protect us from evil design of hidden hands.

  • Shujaat56 on February 7, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    Many Many Congrats to Misbah and his team for making each and every Pakistani Proud.. Its a day we all had longed for,... and definitely a leap ahead for Pakistan after a very dismal decade... the performances since the 1999 world cup final have been ordinary in Tests as well as in One Dayers.... the worst being the 2007 world cup outing in the first round at the hands of Ireland.... followed by the death of the then coach, Honourable Mr. Bob Wolmer.... and afterwards the 2010 episode of spot fixing... but u must say, this is a show of character, by a team composed of a mix of young and old players.. and this lad Misbah!! i think he has a wonderful brain between his ears.... Great Job done mate!!! Keep the Flag Flying High!!!

    p.s.. thanx a lot cricinfo.. you guys are simply the best when it comes to commentating online...... (y)

  • KhalidKhan.Jeddah.Arabia on February 7, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    MUHAMMAD AAMIR HAS INDEED GOT THE PUNISHMENT FOR HIS MISTAKE.HE IS TO BE FORGIVEN.HE'LL BE A HUGE EXAMPLE FOR THE YOUNGSTERS IF HE COMES BACK TO THE NATIONAL COLORS, THEY'LL LEARN THE CLEAR CONCEPT OF MAKING MISTAKES & GETTING APPROPRIATE PUNISHMENTS. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO HARM TO BRING HIM BACK TO TEAM PAKISTAN ONCE HE SERVES THE BAN. HE HAS BEEN A VERY RARE TALENT & ONE INSIGNIFICANT MISTAKE DONE BY A TEENAGER MUST NOT RUIN THIS TALENT AT ALL.HE'LL BE A TREAT TO WATCH AGAIN WHEN GLOBAL BATSMEN WILL HOP ON HIS THUNDERBOLTS.HE WAS LURED INTO THIS MINOR MISTAKE BY SOME SEASONED CROOKS. THE PROFESSIONAL CHEATS SUCCEEDED IN CHEATING SOME TALENT OUT OF PAKISTANI CRICKET-FOLDS BUT NOW THEY'VE THEIR FINGERS VERY HARDLY CROSSED DUE TO THE INTEGRITY & GRIT SHOWN BY THE SAME DISINTEGRATED CRICKETERS AFTER THAT SPOT-FIXING SAGA. COME BACK AAMIR… WORLD CRICKET NEEDS YOU MORE THAN PAK.CRICKET TEAM…GOOD LUCK TO YOU…WE ALL WISH YOU WELL & WELCOME BACK SOON IN-SHA-ALLAH...KHALID UMAR KHAN…JEDDAH/KSA

  • Meety on February 8, 2012, 1:36 GMT

    Hopefully when people look back on this as history, Misbah will receive a massive credit for his actions. Clearly the best captain Pakistan has had since Imran!

  • on February 8, 2012, 0:48 GMT

    Well, I was highly critical of Dobell, but he have shown his skills, lessons for all, very nice article - well done!

  • on February 7, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    can anyone explain me how england got 3 reviews instead of 2 in their 2nd innings Strauss, Prior and in the end Monty referred their decisions to third umpire?????? i am confused that was that umpiring error or something else

  • on February 7, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    Resurgence of Pakistani cricket is undoubtedly owing to the astute leadership provided by Mishba Ul Haq.Calm and cool headed captain who has been successful in securing the wholehearted co'operation of his Teammates.All the players have been fashioned to perform to the best of their ability.More importantly Misbah has gelled the Team to perform as a unit.Unity,cordiality and brotherhood that prevail in the dressing room are the result of his attitude towards his Teammates and the manner in which he handles the issues ensuring that there won't be dissent and discontent among the players.It is not fair not to appreciate the contribution of Mohsin Khan,who as the interim coach,has ensured the smooth progress of the Team.Misbah Ul Haq and Mohsin Khan together have steered the ship of Pakistan cricket to calm waters.Despite the wonderful job done by Mohsin Khan,it is my humble view that he should give way to Dev Whatmore,who is an internationally recognized coach and is highly talented.

  • h.m.u.f.c on February 7, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    i am impressed by this artical

  • on February 7, 2012, 14:24 GMT

    @vamshi_teamindia so england will come down to 5 then i guess india will be well below as they lost 5-0 to the no 5 ranked team ;)

  • SaleemSabir on February 7, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Good article......! a fair analysis of the situation.........! welldone Pakistan , but dont forget with this sort of batting Performances 99 all out on the first day of the test match , surely you cant say all is well ... they need to see the problems in facing a swinging seaming first day attack on lively pitches..... you will only prove yourselves once you win in Australia in their home grounds... remeber England has done that and they should never be discredited for that... well Played both teams and i realy liked the Spirit among the players... no heated exchanges ... no slurs passed.... no confrontations.... test Cricket at its best...

  • on February 7, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    Congratulations to all lovers of cricket for watching excellent and technically different teams performance in this series. We all saw the emergence of strong Pakistan on map of cricket world once again. As we are to be blamed for our own down fall. Once again our cricket managment is trying to derail the progress achieved with hard work, unity and decipline in the side. This is possible because of warchful eyes of our coach Mohshin Hassan Khan. I think nobody in the world will replace him. but as in the past we always go for big names in selecting team, appointing a coach and appointing a manager through political influence. PCB has issed a statement that the appointment of coach will be decided after the England series. But reason best known to our PCB, they finalised appointment of foriegn coach. Once again they decided to disturb winning combination. I pray to almighty Allah to protect us from evil design of hidden hands.

  • Shujaat56 on February 7, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    Many Many Congrats to Misbah and his team for making each and every Pakistani Proud.. Its a day we all had longed for,... and definitely a leap ahead for Pakistan after a very dismal decade... the performances since the 1999 world cup final have been ordinary in Tests as well as in One Dayers.... the worst being the 2007 world cup outing in the first round at the hands of Ireland.... followed by the death of the then coach, Honourable Mr. Bob Wolmer.... and afterwards the 2010 episode of spot fixing... but u must say, this is a show of character, by a team composed of a mix of young and old players.. and this lad Misbah!! i think he has a wonderful brain between his ears.... Great Job done mate!!! Keep the Flag Flying High!!!

    p.s.. thanx a lot cricinfo.. you guys are simply the best when it comes to commentating online...... (y)

  • KhalidKhan.Jeddah.Arabia on February 7, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    MUHAMMAD AAMIR HAS INDEED GOT THE PUNISHMENT FOR HIS MISTAKE.HE IS TO BE FORGIVEN.HE'LL BE A HUGE EXAMPLE FOR THE YOUNGSTERS IF HE COMES BACK TO THE NATIONAL COLORS, THEY'LL LEARN THE CLEAR CONCEPT OF MAKING MISTAKES & GETTING APPROPRIATE PUNISHMENTS. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO HARM TO BRING HIM BACK TO TEAM PAKISTAN ONCE HE SERVES THE BAN. HE HAS BEEN A VERY RARE TALENT & ONE INSIGNIFICANT MISTAKE DONE BY A TEENAGER MUST NOT RUIN THIS TALENT AT ALL.HE'LL BE A TREAT TO WATCH AGAIN WHEN GLOBAL BATSMEN WILL HOP ON HIS THUNDERBOLTS.HE WAS LURED INTO THIS MINOR MISTAKE BY SOME SEASONED CROOKS. THE PROFESSIONAL CHEATS SUCCEEDED IN CHEATING SOME TALENT OUT OF PAKISTANI CRICKET-FOLDS BUT NOW THEY'VE THEIR FINGERS VERY HARDLY CROSSED DUE TO THE INTEGRITY & GRIT SHOWN BY THE SAME DISINTEGRATED CRICKETERS AFTER THAT SPOT-FIXING SAGA. COME BACK AAMIR… WORLD CRICKET NEEDS YOU MORE THAN PAK.CRICKET TEAM…GOOD LUCK TO YOU…WE ALL WISH YOU WELL & WELCOME BACK SOON IN-SHA-ALLAH...KHALID UMAR KHAN…JEDDAH/KSA

  • on February 7, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    In my opinion, one of the major factors in the revival of Pakistan cricket has been the departure of Ijaz Butt. Had he still been around, the result would still have been 3-0 but in England's favour.

  • Chuck_Nunchuck on February 7, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    To all those people saying England would be fine and possibly win against Sri Lanka and India..dream on....I bet they would find difficult to tackle any local spinners, forget about the professional spinners. Besides truly UAE wickets werent rank turners nor spinning wickets as youd find in India or SL. Try your luck mate!!

  • Nerk on February 7, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    Pakistan has always had the talent to win, sometimes they have just lacked the character. This current team shows that character, a desire to work hard and well. It takes hard work and determination to win a low scoring series like this, and Pakistan wanted it more. All positive stuff from Pakistan, and good luck from Australia. Hope to see you soon!

  • RandyOZ on February 7, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    England finally show their true form. Terrible cricketing nation for over 100 years, held up for a brief moment by a couple of imports. Now they are back down in the doldrums where they belong and Oz is back to number 1. Order has been restored!

  • serious-am-i on February 7, 2012, 10:57 GMT

    Nice article. I always said Pakistan is going to beat England 3-0 and it has come true. It sad though, both SriLanka and India are struggling to find a spinner who would rip apart the English batsmen else the same could have been noted in both Sri Lanka and India. Because of the no.of matches Eng is playing in sub-continent it will come as a better side when it tours India and I will not be surprised if they lose series by 1-0 or even manage to draw the series. Winning the series is too far ahead for them in Indian sub-continent. Pak looks really good out there, the best thing is the hunger to win. May be when teams take on the no.1 side there is an additional hunger to beat them but yeah Pak deserve the credit. As far as Eng goes KP has been out of form for a long while, the blitz we saw against India was nothing as India had a toothless attack. The only one who troubled them was Zaheer and he was out from the very first innings. Let us hope other Asian teams take this as inspiration

  • Muh.Zubair on February 7, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Well done Pakistan. We are proud of you.

    You have proven that "action speaks louder than speaking".

  • ste13 on February 7, 2012, 9:23 GMT

    Great lesson for India, England and Australia - stop being arrogant, just play cricket. By the way, England should do better in Sri lanka, but on this form will be trashed in India.

  • nickydude on February 7, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    Although, congratulations on a well deserved whitewash. This is wher the prob starts- One series win & overboard celebrations started.!!

  • on February 7, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    England has to believe themself that they can play Srilanka and India better as they have already experienced high quality spin bowlers against Pakistan

  • on February 7, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    Reading the comments here lot of people has said Eng do well against SL and India since SL and India dont have good bowling attacks now - specially SL without Murali, Malinga, Vass, etc. Well it might could be that but SL still have Mendis (after a injury), Randiv, Senanayke, Sachithra Pathirana, etc. few new bowlers are emerging for them hopefully. If SL batting can click with big scores then SL can really challenge Eng in same way as Pak has done. Anyway hats off to Pakistan - they really played some great cricket consistently for a long time now. Congratulations.

  • honestno2 on February 7, 2012, 6:45 GMT

    Don't we deserve some real entrainment? Its quite some time now since we saw International Cricket, Hockey or any good sporting event and festival who is attended by big names. Irrespective of whom to be blame in this matter but the fact is we the ordinary people of Pakistan remain the worst sufferer of war against Terrorism.

    Despite all this I am sure Good days will come sooner or later. And that day is not far when I with my friends will be in a long and wild queue to buy tickets to watch our heroes with my naked eyes.

    Cheers

  • Behind_the_Wicket on February 7, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    Nobody could damage Pakistan Cricket , Terrorism , Darrel Hair , News of the World or any other thing but one thing is very true England Team is didn't do any thing bad with Pakistan only ( Johnthan Trott v Wahab Riyaz ).Strauss is gentleman captain and I never see a lame excuse from him like Dhoni ( Dhoni is my fav't cricketer but his excuses,I don't like).Best of Luck for both teams

  • on February 7, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    The UN team has some donkeys in their team and outside as well in the commentary team.

  • Mithusdp on February 7, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    Wonderful report!! But I still believe that England has the best batting line up ever and presently probably one of the best among other country. The real fact is that the extaordinary bowling from PAK spinners and the pitch of UAE. I am sure that they will do better in SL. Best of luck to them and congratulation to pakistan to their biggest win ever!!

  • on February 7, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    Pakistan this is win you can and should be proud of you have brought the so called World no 1 team they have shown that if our(India) ranking was flawed as is their but its a long way for them to called best team in the world they have to win outside subcontinent and even against us (India) their batting is to weak and outside subcontinet spinners wont have that much affect this is just the start for Pakistan but at this time an India Pakistan match will be a cracker of a match

  • on February 7, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    When England play India, there will be no DRS, so again batsmen will start coming really far forward & playing with their pads... again we will probably see a boring draw or 2... even an england win perhaps, since India does not have quality spinners anymore... in fact, Monty & Swann are better than any Indian spinner at the moment.

  • Rahul_78 on February 7, 2012, 5:48 GMT

    Do not underestimate the impact of DRS in the series. A record setting 40+ batsmen were adjusted LBW. DRS has taken away the main defensive shield of thrusting ones pad in front of a bat with big stride from batsmen. It has made it mandatory for the batsmen to play the spin with bat which brings into equation the Technic, footwork and understanding of flight and spin on batsmen's behalf. English batsmen have been found wanting in all these departments. Having said that PAK bowlers have been outstanding and brilliantly supported by Misbah who set in out fields through out the series. On current form of PAK bowlers even Asian countries like India and Sri Lanka who have been traditionally good players of spin bowling will struggle to put on good scores.

  • homesamigo on February 7, 2012, 5:46 GMT

    I'd just like to say congratulations to the Pakistani cricket team and to all the Pakistan cricket fans. I would also like to thank cricinfo for the fantastic over coverage of the series. Finally, as a Pakistani fan, I would like to thank all the comments of support from the non-Pakistani cricket fans because after all, what we experienced in this series was a major achievement not only for the Pakistani team, but for cricket in general and hopefully that will attract more people to the game. It would be great to see how England fares against Sri Lanka - one of my favorite teams!

  • venkatesh018 on February 7, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    I think England will do much better against India and Srilanka this year. This demolition will steel them to be a much more fighting unit.

  • vamshi_teamindia on February 7, 2012, 5:44 GMT

    ENGLAN WILL COME TO NO.5 WITHIN NO TIME..............THEY DONOT DESERVE THE TOP SPOT!! NOT AT ALL SURPRISED BY THE RESULT...........

  • CSKcricketfan on February 7, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    ahhh...welll....now what have people like Geoff Boycott, Graeme Swann and other English players got to say about the number 1 test team in the world. When India got whitewashed in England the above mentioned stated that India were never worthy of their number one status and that they cant play well in overseas conditions blah blah blah....well now its the other way round for their own team. What answer do these ppl have? I think from now on anybody who comments about India should think twice or may be several times before coming out with their opinion. Well done Pakistan!! Its good to see that Test Cricket is becoming unpredictable nowadays.

  • on February 7, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    fantastic. . . . . . . . absolutly fantastic . . . . . . . dobel a true cricket loving writerl

  • jeetkaigeo on February 7, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    @ england Welcome to the Subcontinent....GraveYard for England

  • StarsnStumps on February 7, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    What is interesting is that if u go just 2 years back to the time when Misbah was being appointed captain the criticism that the PCB and Misbah received, he was too old, he wasn't even in the selected 35 etc etc ... the critics included Wasim Akram, cricinfo writers and many fans along with me.

    But Misbah has made us eat our words. But I think the problem still remains, he is aging so is Younis, we seem to have found middle order replacements but there is a problem with aging batsmen especially when they travel as India can testify. I therefore am not overly optimistic about the future but am only hoping that these guys make me eat my words when they travel. And I will gladly eat them just as I do now for criticizing Misbah and his appointment as captain.

  • on February 7, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    Let Now india play pak in neutral venues like England, australia, south africa, so that aquality players and youngsters from both emerge

  • Belltower on February 7, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    Bell was warnes bunny in 2005 and 2007, so he being a fine player of a spin was based on batting in England against average spinners. Harbajhan away from india is hopeless and I doubt any of the other spinners he has played well against are of great quality. Ponting is known as a fine player of spin but on the real turning pitches in India he has really struggled to be a success. The england team keep talking about the final frontier, will beating Sri Lanka be enough or are they required to also beat India away to pass the final frontier. They should beat Sri Lanka as Australia accounted for them even though we were in a real trough. India will be a test but India are struggling and with the next test a while away a couple of greats may retire and then untested players will need to takeover. England have a settled team and if they gain some confidence from the games against SAF and Sri LAnka they may be able to get on top of a brittle india

  • pakistantrumpcard on February 7, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    THANK YOU for writing this article! FINALLY someone is giving due credit where it is deserved! As far as my green team goes, REACH FOR THE STARS, WE ARE RIGHT BEHIND YOU, like we always were :)

  • on February 7, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    @OptimusPrimal and others who think India and SL dont have bowling attack as good as Pak , i agree to it but you should not forget that at the same time both countries have batsmen who more than make up for the deficiency created by their bowlers , esp. Indian batsmen are surely going to be very very difficult for English bowlers.Looking forward for another couple of whitewashes for England :)

  • ankh on February 7, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    Due credit must be given to Misbah and Mohsin Khan, having said that, the only reason Pakistan has risen to these heights is because the team has gotten rid of the likes of Akmals, Butts, Asifs and Maliks who would sell the team and country - for a few dollars more.

    Put them back in the team and we are back to square one.

  • Naseer.HKG on February 7, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    What a turn around from a year ago, A tight slap on the face of bigot English media and some of the English players who were whispering their "Reservations" about playing Pakistan team after the events of last year. perhaps Ian Botham's mother in law was on a vacation when the English team was being hammered by a bunch of guys who have played their HOME matches out of their country like orphans for over 2 years. Bravo to the boys and team Pakistan, Mohsin khan with all due respect had nothing to do with these wins, as his role was just a supportive one, He is not a qualified coach and should not be appointed as a long term coach of Team Pakistan.

  • on February 7, 2012, 4:20 GMT

    I alkways said get rid of Ijaz Butt and you will see Pakistan back in the limelight. It happened. Whitewashed England, the No.1 team in the world. Now PCB should reward them. But will it happen? Remember Ijaz Butt was related to the president !!!!!!!!

  • Harry_Kool on February 7, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    @Fred Karmally. Have to disagree with you on "England hate to lose in their own country." First of all EVERY country hates to lose on their own turf, but the pommies have been beaten probably more times than any other country over the past 30 years, at home & actually take it better than all other countres. They almost never offer an excuse & always compliment the other side, I have seen this through numerous Ashes campaigns. And I see it in this series too, no excuses, just Pakistan was too good.

  • cricketmylife2012 on February 7, 2012, 3:34 GMT

    in my opinion England will do a lot better in Sri lanka and India. the reason being,they dont have the quality spinners as Pakistan have.

  • satish619chandar on February 7, 2012, 3:17 GMT

    Good article.. The best thing Pakistan did is, they allowed their youngsters to gain faith and had more clarity in selection.. They could have been very tempted to play Umar Akmal in place of Asad after first test but resisted it well and Asad just proved it with a couple of very good innings.. All because, they have a deadly bowling attack which can shine and allow the batsmen to take extra time to score the runs.. The Aussies score at good rate to allow more overs to their bowlers.. Pakistan took reverse route where they have a good bowling attack which allows batsmen extra time.. The batsmen have a good amount of patience to wait and score and not get bogged down and get out to break shackles.. Good days are ahead for Pakistan cricket wit calm and composed team.. Hope they dont change anything and allow the team to prosper.. Current management looks the best..

  • Vijay_R1965 on February 7, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    HA HA HA HA.. Bangladesh and Zimbabwe would've fared much better. Wait a minute, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe did fare much better in their recent series against Pak, they avoided whitewash..

    Number 1 team being whitewashed.. Sounds familiar??? Every team is a king in its own environment. I'm eagerly awaiting the response from the two biggest hacks of English press, Scyld Berry and Mike Selvey.. Those two jokers were so over the top in dissing India when they lost 4-0 last summer.

  • jasonpete on February 7, 2012, 3:07 GMT

    @hhillbumper,hardly one test match England won against subcontinent teams leaving aside Bangladesh in the last 10 yrs period,it's a shocking stats.every year when they get beaten,they talk about learning ,but actually it's not happening.It was clear,when England whitewashed in odi against India,everyone said its just an odi series and England only care about tests but nothing learnt since then or even before that in 2008. It's a first series after England reached no.1 and all English media and fans kept on calling them as world beaters.Australia done better job compared to England ,which they beat full strength Indian team here,they won in srilanka as well.Atleast India hold on to no.1 for nearly 18 months but I guess for England it's going to be very soon in couple of months. Australia and southafrica play better in subcontinent conditions but England just won one test in combined series of srilanka ,Pakistan and India in 10 yrs time,ya sure they are accepting and still learning????

  • on February 7, 2012, 2:44 GMT

    Well done Pakistan. We have to work on our weakness like batting, catching and our ability to play on pitches of South Africa, England and Australia. The top 4 teams are just 10, 9 , 3, and 3 points ahead of us respectively and hence reaching the top slot within this year seems very much possible. I hope Pakistan chalk out a comprehensive strategy for achieving this goal and stay united, focused and motivated. In the end, my congratulations to all Pakistanis and all non-Pakistan well wishers :)

  • on February 7, 2012, 2:35 GMT

    Sri Lankan fan here. For ages our asian cricketers have been called flat track bullies and all that stuff. I'm glad that the pitches were more sporting ones this time around in UAE compared to the ones that we've seen there before. I'd also like to add that if Pakistan actually played this series in Pakistan, they might have not got this result as the pitches over there are pretty much roads. This is a lesson to all the asian teams. You don't need dusty turners to win games. I hope the boards will focus on pitches like these in the future and more people will come to watch Test cricket. Well done Pakistan, keep going, I hope you get to that number one spot. You deserve it!

  • pampou on February 7, 2012, 2:11 GMT

    iNDEED A MEMORABLE VICTORY, ONE THAT THIS TEAM SHALL BEAR IN MIND FOR LONG TIMES TO COME. HOWEVER THEY STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO AND SHOULD BE ABLE TO PERFORM IN DIFFERENT CONDITIONS WHERE THERE IS MOVEMENT AND SWING. THEY NEED TO WORK HARD AND CONTINUE PLAYING AS THE UNIT THAT THEY HAVE DISPLAYED IN THIS SERIES.

  • on February 7, 2012, 2:00 GMT

    what goes around, comes around! Pakistan can produce talent like Amir, Asif week in week out. What we need is unity and the result is for everyone to see. Excellent victory boys!

  • balajik1968 on February 7, 2012, 1:50 GMT

    Younis Khan played well, but let us not underrate Azhar Ali's knock. He showed tremendous patience, and an understanding of the art of innings building. This is something the other Pakistani batsmen and the aspiring players in their domestic circuit will do well to emulate. I just hope that people don't go about saying, Pakistan has won quite a few series, so now the batsman should start attacking. It is this very patience which has paid dividends for Pakistan. One or 2 more players with Azhar Ali's patience and Pakistan could have a very solid batting order. One more thing Pakistan should'nt do is try to bring back Amir before he serves out his ban. This could just create problems within the team. Let them go on as quietly as they are now, groom a replacement for Misbah, a guy just as sober as him, and Pakistan may have a fine team by the middle of this decade. Pakistan have done the hard work, they now need to do more of the same, they need to be patient.

  • civildiscourse on February 7, 2012, 1:24 GMT

    I heard George Dobell on Switch Hit right before this series started and he didn't seem to know much about the Pakistan team, just the basics from his research. Now having watched the team in action it seems like we have a new fan of the current team and its nice to have people from other countries who sincerely admire the Pakistan team and wish it well.

    What the team needs now is some batting bench strength. As is usually the case with Pakistan, the bowling stock is pretty good. Gul, Junaid, Riaz, Cheema, Ajmal, Rehman, Afridi, Hafeez, Yasir Shah etc. But in the batting department, apart from the ones who started, only Umar Akmal is good enough to play at international level currently. We need more young batsmen coming through. Hopefully Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq will encourage youngsters to buy into the crease occupation brand of batting.

  • on February 7, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    Asian power :) well done Pakistan .... from a Sri Lankan

  • on February 7, 2012, 0:51 GMT

    Nice article. I agree with CricketingMinds on Adnan Akmal not being international quality, need to groom a new and more talented keeper. I also agree with BeReal00 on the fact that the stretching your foot forward and padding the ball to play spin method being effectively removed from the game is a positive. Good luck to England for the upcoming tour in India, I feel England still possess enough ability to win in the subcontinent, just not against the Pakistan bowling attack at the moment.

  • binojpeter on February 7, 2012, 0:32 GMT

    Pakistani players played with passion and hunger for win maybe for all the humiliation that they received in previous 2 tours to England (2006 ball tampering; 2010 match fixing). This clearly shows if team play united towards one goal with a passion, it will be very hard to beat such a team, even be it a better team on paper.

  • on February 7, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    Well Done Team Pakistan and Wish you all Good Luck in One Day Series also. May God Bless You All

  • OttawaRocks on February 6, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    Congrats Pakistan - from an India fan in Canada. Keep it up and good luck in future test series!

  • on February 6, 2012, 23:44 GMT

    England hate to lose especially in their country, and when it looked like that was going to happen (and while I fully blame the two best bowlers in the world at that time, Aamir and Asif, for their succumbing to the temptation and entrapment by a sting operation, I see a little bit of justice being done to those who were not totally blameless. Look what happened to NewsofWorld ... Pakistan suffered enough humiliation before that too, with the fake ball tampering scandal that led to the resignation of one of the finest players in history, Inzamaam ul Haq. What goes around comes around.

  • cricketmylife2012 on February 6, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    indeed it was a great achievement. These days there is no single team which can claim that they are number one. Those days are gone where a team can beat everyone irrespective of home grounds. The biggest lessions to learn is that if you reach that position, be honest and stop bringing politics into the game and treat every cricket playing nation equally. Don't abuse the power and be just. If you don't do that you can be digraced very quickly.

  • RohanMarkJay on February 6, 2012, 23:34 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster the ashes win count for nothing? I am sorry, but aussies were beaten fair and square by England. Aussie arrogance is only matched by England arrogance at times. That is why I will always support England against Australia. I am sorry for me Aussie team and its one eyed supporters are a hard bunch to like. So in any Ashes contest its England all the way for me. By the way very well played by Pakistan, aussie cricket fans should keep out. I am sure England will thump you again next time they meet Australia.

  • on February 6, 2012, 23:30 GMT

    great article.. fantastic... loved each n every word. full of truth...

  • noplay on February 6, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    Congratulations to Pakistan on a fabulous series whitewash. While Monty also had Pakistani batsmen in a spin, no batsman on either side matched the style and skill of Younis Khan in this match. Fine analysis of a real situation in this article. I urge Pakistani fans to remember that the writers pen their work for global audiences and can't just say Pakistan is great, Pakistan is great (which they are not). They also have to deal with realities and stengths and weaknesses of both teams. Looking forward to more from Pakistan

  • Googlied on February 6, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    "If the events of 2010 had not occurred, it is quite possible that either or both Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal, the undisputed stars of this series, would have been unable to force their way into this team".

    Lazy journalism Mr. Dobell.

    Ajmal was already part of the Pakistan side that played England in 2010 and indeed played three matches that series picking up 12 wickets.

    A simple look at this website's statsguru would have told you that. But hey, why go to the effort right?

  • tezmond on February 6, 2012, 23:04 GMT

    amazing what a team can do when they not trying to lose

  • Kavum on February 6, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    @gilbert84, spot on. Too much convoluted prose, supposition and conjecture to make a rather obvious point: Pakistan 3 - England 0; hence reasonably safe to assume Pakistan have done very well and the English need to do much better. Nuff said.

  • on February 6, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    it was just too good written by george dobell , it is so well written that i doubt dobell can write an article better then this { BTW he is d best writer of cricinfo} , d criticizers of this article r irrational , d challenge for writing better then this begins now for george debell.

  • BowledYa on February 6, 2012, 21:34 GMT

    It's inevitable that the post series should've could've would've thinking starts. I for one am in retrospect thankful for the debacle of the 2010 summer. It rid our team of the poison that was running through the veins and was responsible for the heartbreaking (for the fans) losses overseas that we know now were thrown matches. Still a nightmare thinking about Sydney and Sri Lanka matches. As painful as it is thinking of Amer and Asif being in jail rather than playing for the country, yet Pakistan is better off just the same. ICC should make a video out of this experience and show it to every professional cricketer.

  • on February 6, 2012, 21:25 GMT

    I am very happy to see that, at last, Mr. Doebell has spoken out the truth. I still expected it to be highliting English success (past) & Pakistan Humiliation (past). Thankyou Misbah, You made him change his point of view.

  • on February 6, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    Great article - giving the credit where it is due. Before the series, no one gave Pakistan a chance - after the series, it looks like Pakistan was always gonna achieve this. It is the mental toughness and the discipline that has contributed to Pakistan's success. Umer Akmal is perhaps more talented than Asad but doesn't have the discipline - it was Misbah and Mohsin who persisted with Asad despite pressure from general public to include Umer. Well done team Pakistan and STAY UNITED!

  • on February 6, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    We are the true champions now !

  • Lion_96 on February 6, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    I cudnt be more happier for Pakistan Cricket! This is great for Cricket as well>>from a Sri Lankan fan

  • on February 6, 2012, 21:02 GMT

    So does anybody now know what Teesra was : ; 3-0 !!!!

  • shopcraft on February 6, 2012, 21:01 GMT

    Fantastic for world cricket to see Pakistan wipe out England. Let's hope that they can get back home and host some cricket in a safe environment. Their spin tandom are deadly, that's the strength of the team. But from my point of view, seeing England lose a few ranking points, just evens things up a bit, especially with Australia cleaning India's clock Down Under! Looking forward to the Windies tour... Wait, I'm getting carried away. Well done Pakistan, you deserve all the credit. Good to see KP under the pump, Bell, surely your alarm is ringing and Morgan... keep him in the side for a few years yet please!

  • on February 6, 2012, 20:57 GMT

    nice to see pakistan cricket back on track.and now they have history behind them.misbah eleven did what the other pakistani strong side did not even think.keep it up TEAM PAKISTAN,we are so proud of u.

  • on February 6, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    An excellent article !!! The only correct decision Ijaz Butt made in his tenure was to appoint Misbah as captain of the Pakistan team, Misbah has been primarily responsible for turnaround the fortune of this Pakistan side.

  • on February 6, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    Most comprehensive and polished article Mr. Dobell. Cogratulations. And to all those having any doubts about the ability of this Pakistan team to show its merit aboad, my humble advice is that rest assure, if this team could produce unexpected results today they can do the same even tomorrow. And why anybody should term UAE pitches as Pakistan's home pitches?. Allow them to play and host any country on Indian soil, I am sure they will come out successfully. In fact, home grounds or away grounds theory is only for presentaion of some lame excuse by losing team. Talent does not require any limitations to show up and if it does, it is not talent.War- fought on any front- home or abroad- requires ability to fight and earn success out of odds. There is no room for any excuse. either you win or lose. No other result. No other option. Am I right Mr. Dobell?!

  • TWKY on February 6, 2012, 20:48 GMT

    Very objective article. I couldn't agree more with you that England needs to do a serious introspection. England is very capable of bouncing back to the top again. The only dilemma for England has been not to allow as many youngsters a chance to show their mantle as other teams. English team has been historically one of the oldest (average age) in the world.

  • FTBRocks on February 6, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    WELCOME back to 90's when u get assaulted on bouncy pitches of in OZ eng and RSA and u assault them on DUST-BOWLS...wel #1 test team spot u are banned BCCI(ICC)cause everyone is tiger at home...

  • gilbert84 on February 6, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    This is not a great article. It's a very obvious article and it's a simplistic article. Tell us something we don't know George. And no made up stuff such as if 2010 had not happened Ajmal and Rehman might not have made the team... what is this based on? It's true that Pakistan have re-built from complete ruin. Pakistan's rise is a great story, but it needs to be told better.

  • on February 6, 2012, 20:13 GMT

    to be really honest... i have been reading the same sentences from you george... use a fresh angle on the england situation plz...

  • mansoor1977 on February 6, 2012, 20:13 GMT

    i dont really know why everyone is so considered about Pakistan being able to perform in Australia or Europe or Africa. the teams who reached number 1 spot before never really won all around the world to achieve such milestone. India and England were good enough to take full advantage of familiar conditions. so if England can become number 1 without playing in Asia or India can be number 1 and whitewashed in England and Austraila, why is it so important for Pakistan to perform everywhere. On an ending note, Just to warn England, Pakistan has not even unleashed the real mean machine yet. The guy who took most wickets in world cup 2011. The guy who took most five wickets numbers in last 15 months in ODI's. The guy who actually rips through batting orders in ODIs. He has landed in UAE today. Good luck England.

  • on February 6, 2012, 20:04 GMT

    great analysis mr Dob ell, i am following you from the start of the series , and in current scenario i think you are among those very few analists who are unbiased and full of cricket love... I am expecting more from you in coming days.. and last but not the least well played team misbah we are proud of you....

  • on February 6, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    3-0 whitewash against the top ranked side, odds against them at the start of the series and they've come out trumps.

    Hats off to Misbah's men. Bowlers were terrific, batsmen delivered when mattered and the team gelled really well. Demolition job completed in style.

    First time since 1999 that no English batsman has scored a century in a Test series (3+ Tests).

    Enjoy the moment.

  • on February 6, 2012, 19:58 GMT

    George is right when he says that Ijaz Butt would still have been the Chairman of PCB had the series of 2010 against England was not a disaster for Pakistan.

  • MaanJony on February 6, 2012, 19:56 GMT

    @George Dobell: Great Analysis in the End of Tough Period for Pakistan Team.Its Motivate Others to Take Positive gestures for Pak Cricket Rebuilding and Get their Grounds Back with Action.

    Pakistan have a long run to go.its just starts.Congratulation whole Pakistan cricket Team for their incomparable Efforts in this Test Series.We Expect this repeating in ODI and T20 Series against England too.

  • Ch_Mahmood on February 6, 2012, 19:53 GMT

    George Dobell respect, bang on mate. Brilliant pakistan! well deserved. Team performmance at the end. Eng long way to go, defo got the depth, experience, finances, training etc to react quick positively working key areas ie, playing spin. Good series, good analysis throughout, clean and justified. Final note, you think eng wouldav won in 2010 if spot-fixing was'nt involved?

  • haq33 on February 6, 2012, 19:52 GMT

    Can I just say Mr Dobell that this is an outstanding op-ed - took a while coming but worth the wait. And I hope this is just the beginning. Other cricinfo writers please take note.

  • on February 6, 2012, 19:27 GMT

    A Pakistan that is no longer hindered by infighting or individual agendas. A Pakistan that, in the tough times, pulls together rather than splitting apart. A Pakistan team rather than a collection of talented individuals.

    to me its the best part

  • BeReal00 on February 6, 2012, 19:11 GMT

    Spot on. Let's ditch the idea that reviews are the issue... do you prefer if Bird or other umps give out cought behinds or in the slips when the ball is 6 to 8 inches away from the bat? It has happened, and I've seen it. If anything, let's increase the number of challenges to maybe 5 or 6 per inning. Love the fact that the nonsense of streatching your foot forward and padding the ball to play spin has been effectively removed from the game with this system and now you can actually have an interesting tussle to watch rather than labor through a padding contest!

  • zarasochozarasamjho on February 6, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    "Misbah is only interested in winning; not the trappings of success".

    What an analysis, George, wow!

    PCB shouldn't be fixing the coach problem; there isn't one. But if they do, PCB would need its chairman to be sacked.............. and appoint ...you, as its head. Could you kindly oblige, if this happens? PCB needs a chairman with a brain, and it doesn't come much better than yours.

  • on February 6, 2012, 19:05 GMT

    Great article. Though I would wait for a few more series before being sure that Pakistan really have assimilated this new mindset! Believe me, there are many people in Pakistan who want Misbah's head for this slow approach (despite all these wins)! They want an Afridi who may not win but can hit a few sixes while going an innings down. My point is, Pakistan's cricket team will only become truly great when the nation learns these calm winning ways.

  • on February 6, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    other than the first two tests in england, we were at least compeitive...england have flattered to deceive. england are still the best team in the world on swinging and seaming wickets (aus are still poor) and pakistan are comfortably the best on spinning wickets

  • hhillbumper on February 6, 2012, 18:54 GMT

    The middle order was poor all round.Trott was not his self or Bell or Morgan.Pietersen continues to be aggravating and maybe it is time to blood some fresh players.Have to feel that some of them are playing for their immediate future in Sri Lanka.having said that they have done well in the rest of the world but need to prove they can do it in Sub Continent and also it would appear the Middle East. The English bowling was good though and you have to feel they should have won at least one test.Work to do but at least this team will work and not strop like a certain Country we can think off.Has Sachin got his ton yet

  • Mappi on February 6, 2012, 18:39 GMT

    Excellent article its a long way for Pakistan to reach No 1, anyway they outplayed england in every department Well DONE

  • on February 6, 2012, 18:37 GMT

    Fastrack Aamir back into the team to oartner Gul (meanwhile I belieev Junaid would be better than Cheema), bring back Kamran (focus should be placed on strengthening his glovework) and find someone else to partner Hafeez at the top and it would be a stronger and more balanced team. By the way has Yousuh retired? If not does he not still belong?

  • Blacknwhite on February 6, 2012, 18:31 GMT

    I am sure the Dobell will write "Srilanka rewarded for smart rebuilding" after April...

  • Nutcutlet on February 6, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    A very fair analytical synopsis here, George. In hindsight, it's amazing how often there is a silver lining to the blackest cloud, even when one doesn't become immediately apparent, just like the blow up between Moores and KP in the WIndies; good does come out of disarray. Well done to Pakistan and those who welded this formidable team together; it will turn over other good sides on these pitches. And Ajmal is the best spinner about, by a wide margin; any comparison with Swann outside England is now risible. From a partisan viewpoint, I'm concerned about where England goes from here. It seems to me that Flower is very reluctant to tinker with this side, perhaps because they have become identified with him & Strauss. It's something of an elite club, all feeling cosy & secure, yet the time has come to move on, heart-wrenching though it must be for AF & AS. I sense that from all they say. There is a hot nettle to be grasped.Thus AF's next task must be: managing the change of personnel.

  • on February 6, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Good Article Dobell... Congrats Pakistan! Keep it UP!

  • JG2704 on February 6, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (February 06 2012, 17:34 PM GMT) - We'll just go by the rankings in your head then shall we? When Australia started their reign in 96 or thereabouts , they were beaten 3 times in India between then and 2001. I thought you would know that. Does that mean that Australia should not have been considered number 1 in that period either?

  • on February 6, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    if u win u r hero if not u dun have technique and talent. england need consolation though they didnt win a single game bt they had trapped pakistan many times. its like keep the ball possesion match higher than opponent bt dun have gud striker to convert it into a goal.

  • on February 6, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    excellent stuff.. keep it up boys. u make us proud.. we love you all..

  • Vindaliew on February 6, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    I hope we never see the likes of Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal or Shahid Afridi (respect to him for knowing that he really wasn't made for it) in Tests again - the team has no place for prima-donnas, and this current team is worth so much more than the sum of its parts. It is so refreshing to see the team built around youth, and Azhar and Asad look like genuine Test batsmen - the looming retirement of Younis Khan is no longer something to be dreaded. The bowling is also wonderful, and Wahab Riaz didn't even play.. and when (not if) Mohamad Amir returns to the side with his head held high, it'll be even better. If the West Indies were every neutral fan's favourite team in the 80s, Pakistan are shaping up to be the neutral fan favourites for the coming years!

  • JG2704 on February 6, 2012, 18:18 GMT

    @Gupta.Ankur on (February 06 2012, 17:41 PM GMT) - What - England are the worst players of spin bowling? Really? Where have I read that before? Oh yeah on every single post from you that ESPN publish on an England thread.

  • SmellyCat on February 6, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    I'm so very happy for Pakistan to have achieved against odds, tells you a lot about team's character and resilience. Way to go. Some cocky voices in England will take a beating now.. and they've proven that they're no better than previous #1 India..

  • donda on February 6, 2012, 18:09 GMT

    England problem has just started, they have to play more hungry sub continent teams during this year. Then they have to face SA to decide who is #1.

    I feel england will be back to #3 rank at the end of this year. They were hungry now its opposite, other teams are more angry and hungry to win.

    2012 will be death year for england as number 1 team in the world.

  • jonnie1244 on February 6, 2012, 18:03 GMT

    Well Done George! i just LOVE your writing style..too good.. i m ur biggest fan now!

  • on February 6, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    Congratulations to Pakistan Cricket fans!

    I reiterate my previous comment on facebook. It would be a great injustice and self-destructing not to offer a permanent coaching job to Mohsin Khan.

  • on February 6, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    it was really great. Before the series comments Grame Sawwn even criticized Saeed Ajmal. well, Congratulation pakistan cricket team.

  • HawksEyeFocused on February 6, 2012, 17:51 GMT

    WOW!!! A usual great article from a great writer. I salute you George Dobell for your great analysis!!!

  • Neutral_analysis on February 6, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    Well written!!! but pakistan's rebuilding is still work in progress. they have to show their mettle abroad on english/australian pitches. Misbah has indeed lead from the front, and younis has backed him up. had it been old days of pak cricket, an ex captain wud hav sabotaged team performance to the best of his abilities. Return of bowler of the caliber of aamir would be a mega boost to pak bowling (imagine him replacing cheema!!!) but i wonder if team effort will be affected by that, which may actually hurt pak. its a real question for the future

  • TTking on February 6, 2012, 17:44 GMT

    Great article...right on the money

  • Gupta.Ankur on February 6, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    England were so timid today...as if they could hide their in-competency with timid batting.

    England are the worst against a particular kind of bowling, i.e spin, and i think they should think twice before touring sub-continent in future.

    India were told off by many on social networking sites, but never have they been so poor on their worst day against swing and seam.

  • OptimusPrimal on February 6, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    Great article Mr. Dobell. I still think England is a top three team in the world and hopefully their discipline and great work ethics will help them in healing the scars of this series. Sri Lanka's and India's bowling attacks are no where near Pakistan's and England's... So they should have some confidence going into Sri Lanka and India. I think England will do well there.

  • NaniIndCri on February 6, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    Oh I see, I thought the challenge starts now Mr.Dobell. Congratulations Pakistan!!!

  • KarachiKid on February 6, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Beautiful article again from George Dobell. Rightly pointed that English middle order basically failed to deliver which lead to the downfall. Rest of English team, especially the bowlings unit was top quality. Comment about Ian Bell's possible absence so bang on target, so insightful....hats off to the writer!!!

  • on February 6, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    Revenge is dish best served cold. England just got served in a silver platter.

  • East-End on February 6, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    Congratulations Pakistan, you thoroughly deserved the victory and a series whitewash, great cricket and definailty a greats series for the viewers

  • Cpt.Meanster on February 6, 2012, 17:34 GMT

    England, you are NOT the TRUE No.1, the search continues for the real super test team who can defeat ANYONE ANYWHERE. India failed, England also look like failures. ICC rankings need a complete makeover. An Ashes win counts for nothing unless every team is beaten everywhere. England will have a tough time in Sri Lanka and India. God be with them.

  • on February 6, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    Well deserved win! Excellent performance. The new pin up boys of test cricket.

  • Rahulbose on February 6, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Eng almost got there, the lack of confidence did them in this innings. It is amazing how they are following India in making the same mistakes. They did not change tactics in the first test and failed to play Panesar. Through the series their batting kept flopping but they refused to change the batting order or bring in players from the squad, Bopara playing the R sharma role.

  • Abu.Ashhad on February 6, 2012, 17:24 GMT

    Love you Pakistan :) :) :)

  • on February 6, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    superb article Dobell, and hats off to Pakistan Cricket Team, a team which almost lost its respect and reputation after a debacle in 2010 Series has now grown the pride to a new level and raised the heads of not only players, officials, management but also the Pakistani nation. I am in Islamabad and in every major city despite sub zero temperature the FEAST and CELEBRATIONS are on. Way to go Pakistan, become no.1 Test Side, its just a matter of 10 points now. for those who will say that Pakistan can't perform well Away against these teams, well for those guys WE ARE PLAYING AWAY FROM HOME SINCE 2009. GREEN SHIRTS ALL THE WAY.

  • on February 6, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    good analysis except one point - one has to remember that all changes post 2010 fiasco were by Ijaz Butt - not all issues faced by Pakistan were because of him. No one is willing to give some credit for appointing Misbah and setting the road to recovery

  • JaneJosephene on February 6, 2012, 17:18 GMT

    great article

  • ansarri on February 6, 2012, 17:17 GMT

    no other team could have rebuild in such a way like how the pakistanis did it

  • Touseef117 on February 6, 2012, 17:14 GMT

    Why you always start from the 2010 incident, it is history so dont repeat it in your articles plz

  • CricketingMinds on February 6, 2012, 17:12 GMT

    It is a good assessment of the english batsmen. However, it would have been nice if there were a few positive words for Monty, Swann, Anderson and mostly Broad. (Prior too i felt did a pretty decent job with the bat and gloves relative to his collegues).

    Secondly, I am not going to take away any credit from Pakistan. Most of the players were outstanding but there were few problems too which should be talked about so that the team can benefit in the long run by learning from their mistakes. - Akmal played a good 2nd innings knock in Dubai and kept well up until this test. But his batting is not upto the international level. His glove work wasn't upto the standard in the last test either. Work required here for Pak - Taufeeq was a disaster. Needs to improve his technique against the moving ball - Misbah needs to find a role for the 2nd pacer. In all 3 games the 2nd pacer was a waste, under-used. It'd have been better had they picked Umar Akmal if there was no role for 2nd pacer.

  • MASQ on February 6, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    Nice commentary, quite highlighted everything and full coverage of whole series.

  • on February 6, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Good article as usual. Andy flower says england were not prepared, and on this basis their coach has failed to realise there is a seirous problem. England along with Austalia play the most cricket out of all the test playing nations. Money is flooding into the game and the players are well prepared mentally and physically for the game. Pakistan have played the least cricket out of all the major test playing nations in recent times, due to well known political issues at home. England really need to think about their weakness against quality slow bowling.

    The reason they came up short, was due to poor technique as well as mental disintegration, brought on by initial over confidence, as well as a mentally tough Pakistani side , who are defently much greater as a whole , rather then their individual parts which are pretty average.

  • igorolman on February 6, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    Absolutely. Misbah as captain may not be a tactical genius - he had Gul bowling short at Anderson with no leg gully for a start, and Rehman without a silly point - but he is a calming influence who allows the team to play without thinking of what might have been. Can you imagine what they would be like with Afridi in charge? or any of the Akmals? Every rejected DRS would be an insult to the people of Pakistan, as it was under Inzamam and the ball-tampering forfeiture. Instead, the guy has got his team playing cricket, and it doesn't matter that he and Ali score at a Tavare-like pace, as long as they get the runs (which they do) ... if Gul, Ajmal and Rehman can bowl a side out quickly over and over again, you can take a day to score 250. He's what Dhoni used to be for India - the glue that binds the disparate pieces together. Congratulations to Misbah and Pakistan!

  • on February 6, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    Beautifully written. Aptly summarized the story of both teams. This victory means a lot for Pakistanis who are a sports loving nation and once ruled the world in cricket, field hockey and squash. Infact in 1994 we were the world champions in all three sports. Since then, hockey and squash withered away somehow, and we clung to cricket and for the past few years and specially since the spot fixing scandal, the sporting spirit within us was dying. Believe me, people stopped following cricket at all. I am an ardent follower of the game since 1982 series in England and I also had stopped watching or reading anything about the beloved sports. Thanks to Misbah for reviving that almost forgotten flame !!!! England is a great team and they still can beat any team anywhere. In my humble opinion they used this series as a preperation for India and also took Pakistan a bit lightly. However they could not cope with unexpected blow after blow from Pakistan. am sure they would give tuf time to India

  • shahid9522 on February 6, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    really good article by Mr Dobell

  • doctornikki on February 6, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    very well written article..I again appreciate and congratulate both the teams and nations at the great spirit in which the series has been played..Strauss didnt hide behind any lame excuse and gave full credit to pakistan (you dont see such sportsmanship in a few captains around)..i like how Dobell has brought up the retrospect things in 2010..it simply shows the great amount of achievement and resilience Pak team has shown since those terrible events and it also shows how important is good administration in any sport..The talent got well managed and the results r in front of us..They will not always b the winners but they have again shown you cannot keep Pakistan out of the top notch sides in any format of cricket...My only worry will be in pak players go to IPl..they will spoil themselves there as many top players have and indian batting lost its charm altogether...

  • on February 6, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    What England face today is miniscule compared to what Pakistan appear to have risen from. Here's to hoping the Pakistan cricket team continue to make the most of the abundant talent they have on offer.

  • reality_check on February 6, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    If 2010 was like a nightmare under the then PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and the disgraced captain Salman Butt then this team is like a dream come true under the current chairman Zaka Ashraf, coach Mohsin Khan and captain Misbah. If you play hard, honest and disciplined cricket, glory will eventually come to you.

  • costas on February 6, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    The problem with English Batters is in the upbringing in County Age Group Cricket and Academies and Coaching,where batting against pace is the measuring tool.I have witnessed this over seven years where the most talented boys can't play spin,are frightened of using their feet,are hard handed and not fleet of foot.Get out to spin by trying to be positive and the boy is berated by the Coach !! My own Son was recently told that he was the best player of spin in a County Trial but was left out of a winter training squad !! Coaches don't pick youngsters who shape up well against spin,so what hope?? DRS will change umpiring for good as,without it,Umpires will play DRS in their heads now,not giving the batsman the benefit.Aspiring Cricketers and Pros will have to use their feet and bats,not pads!! Perhaps Mr Flower should introduce Squash into Training;good for feet movement and supple wrists!!

  • on February 6, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    Congrats to Pakistan team, fabulous display. Best wishes from all Indian fans.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on February 6, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    Congrats to Pakistan team, fabulous display. Best wishes from all Indian fans.

  • costas on February 6, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    The problem with English Batters is in the upbringing in County Age Group Cricket and Academies and Coaching,where batting against pace is the measuring tool.I have witnessed this over seven years where the most talented boys can't play spin,are frightened of using their feet,are hard handed and not fleet of foot.Get out to spin by trying to be positive and the boy is berated by the Coach !! My own Son was recently told that he was the best player of spin in a County Trial but was left out of a winter training squad !! Coaches don't pick youngsters who shape up well against spin,so what hope?? DRS will change umpiring for good as,without it,Umpires will play DRS in their heads now,not giving the batsman the benefit.Aspiring Cricketers and Pros will have to use their feet and bats,not pads!! Perhaps Mr Flower should introduce Squash into Training;good for feet movement and supple wrists!!

  • reality_check on February 6, 2012, 16:57 GMT

    If 2010 was like a nightmare under the then PCB chairman Ijaz Butt and the disgraced captain Salman Butt then this team is like a dream come true under the current chairman Zaka Ashraf, coach Mohsin Khan and captain Misbah. If you play hard, honest and disciplined cricket, glory will eventually come to you.

  • on February 6, 2012, 16:59 GMT

    What England face today is miniscule compared to what Pakistan appear to have risen from. Here's to hoping the Pakistan cricket team continue to make the most of the abundant talent they have on offer.

  • doctornikki on February 6, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    very well written article..I again appreciate and congratulate both the teams and nations at the great spirit in which the series has been played..Strauss didnt hide behind any lame excuse and gave full credit to pakistan (you dont see such sportsmanship in a few captains around)..i like how Dobell has brought up the retrospect things in 2010..it simply shows the great amount of achievement and resilience Pak team has shown since those terrible events and it also shows how important is good administration in any sport..The talent got well managed and the results r in front of us..They will not always b the winners but they have again shown you cannot keep Pakistan out of the top notch sides in any format of cricket...My only worry will be in pak players go to IPl..they will spoil themselves there as many top players have and indian batting lost its charm altogether...

  • shahid9522 on February 6, 2012, 17:02 GMT

    really good article by Mr Dobell

  • on February 6, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    Beautifully written. Aptly summarized the story of both teams. This victory means a lot for Pakistanis who are a sports loving nation and once ruled the world in cricket, field hockey and squash. Infact in 1994 we were the world champions in all three sports. Since then, hockey and squash withered away somehow, and we clung to cricket and for the past few years and specially since the spot fixing scandal, the sporting spirit within us was dying. Believe me, people stopped following cricket at all. I am an ardent follower of the game since 1982 series in England and I also had stopped watching or reading anything about the beloved sports. Thanks to Misbah for reviving that almost forgotten flame !!!! England is a great team and they still can beat any team anywhere. In my humble opinion they used this series as a preperation for India and also took Pakistan a bit lightly. However they could not cope with unexpected blow after blow from Pakistan. am sure they would give tuf time to India

  • igorolman on February 6, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    Absolutely. Misbah as captain may not be a tactical genius - he had Gul bowling short at Anderson with no leg gully for a start, and Rehman without a silly point - but he is a calming influence who allows the team to play without thinking of what might have been. Can you imagine what they would be like with Afridi in charge? or any of the Akmals? Every rejected DRS would be an insult to the people of Pakistan, as it was under Inzamam and the ball-tampering forfeiture. Instead, the guy has got his team playing cricket, and it doesn't matter that he and Ali score at a Tavare-like pace, as long as they get the runs (which they do) ... if Gul, Ajmal and Rehman can bowl a side out quickly over and over again, you can take a day to score 250. He's what Dhoni used to be for India - the glue that binds the disparate pieces together. Congratulations to Misbah and Pakistan!

  • on February 6, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Good article as usual. Andy flower says england were not prepared, and on this basis their coach has failed to realise there is a seirous problem. England along with Austalia play the most cricket out of all the test playing nations. Money is flooding into the game and the players are well prepared mentally and physically for the game. Pakistan have played the least cricket out of all the major test playing nations in recent times, due to well known political issues at home. England really need to think about their weakness against quality slow bowling.

    The reason they came up short, was due to poor technique as well as mental disintegration, brought on by initial over confidence, as well as a mentally tough Pakistani side , who are defently much greater as a whole , rather then their individual parts which are pretty average.

  • MASQ on February 6, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    Nice commentary, quite highlighted everything and full coverage of whole series.