Pakistan v South Africa, 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi November 19, 2010

Misbah eyes series win

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pakistan's latest Test captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, enjoyed a fighting start to his reign in charge, helping his side draw against South Africa in Dubai, but he insists Pakistan can go one better in the second Test.

Pakistan have not won a Test series since beating West Indies 2-0 at home four years ago. The intervening period has been punctuated by well-documented controversy and the occasional flash of brilliance. Now with Misbah at the helm they are looking to add some consistency.

"We needed a Test like the one in Dubai, fighting our way and proving our worth," he told reporters. "Our confidence is high and we will do our best to win the second Test. We weren't playing much Test cricket, so playing the world's second-ranked team in Tests was a challenge and after drawing the first Test we now have a belief that we can win."

It would be a remarkable turnaround after the series began with the fleeing of wicketkeeper Zulqarnain Haider to London, but standing in the way of any success is a South Africa side desperate to live up to their billing as favourites.

Graeme Smith, the South Africa captain, is keen on finishing the tour on a high after winning both the Twenty20 and one-day series and his side had looked primed to win the first Test until Pakistan's top order resisted so strongly on the last day. After slugging on a flat pitch in the desert heat Smith hopes conditions in Abu Dhabi will be more forgiving for the bowlers.

"For us it has been a successful tour so far in terms of the end result and we would love to add the test series to that," said Smith. "It is hard work in these conditions for five days and you need to be able to string a lot of good things together. If we can get onto the plane on Wednesday night with another trophy it will be nice.

"Getting 20 wickets is the big challenge in these conditions and hopefully our batting unit can lay the platform for us to do well. Again the pitch is an unknown. It looks pretty similar to Dubai but maybe there are a few cracks on there that might open up in the heat."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jawwad on November 20, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    Wow. How encouraging vinodkd99. Thank you for your comments.

  • Amol on November 20, 2010, 2:53 GMT

    Steyn Gun is not out-of-form. He is just on the path of recovering because he is just coming back from some injury during SA's non-cricket season.

  • abdullah on November 19, 2010, 22:37 GMT

    I will have to agree with you on this one vinod. Amla, Kallis, de Villiers against Younis Khan. Pak have no match in the batting department. With Steyn out of form, Pak could hav had a stronger bowling line up, but with wahab stepping it out it wont be the case. So on paper, id have to go with south africa as the favorites. But, if it were to come down to brilliance, then one or two good sessions from either player in any side could take the game away. thats what i will be watching the match for.

  • Dre on November 19, 2010, 22:03 GMT

    On the kind of pitches available, it is possible. Pak batting is much better in sub-continental conditions. SA, however are no easy beats and if they bat first and pile up a big score, Pak may freeze in the headlights. The key is fielding. The fielding standards for the 1st test were poor from both sides, surprisingly poor from SA. Can one expect them to field that poorly again? Unlikely.

  • Owais on November 19, 2010, 20:39 GMT

    Where the hell is Danish Kaneria ? poor man's strike bowler ??? Abdur Rehman and Saeed Ajmal are not test match material. Without Kaneria, we dont seem like begging 20 wickets.

  • Omarr on November 19, 2010, 20:16 GMT

    Why they keep on saying after 4 years?? I mean Pakistan didn't even play Test cricket at all in 2008.

  • Vinod on November 19, 2010, 18:35 GMT

    Despite one of the poorest shows by Proteas fielders during the whole series that almost resulted in their loss in ODI series and the 1st test being drawn, it looks more of a wishful thinking on part of Misbah to topple the Proteas in the 2nd test as starting from tomorrow. With the likes of Kallis, Smith, Amla, De Villiers in the Proteas batting line up, it would be a real herculean task for the below strength Pakistan bowling line up to make inroads into the excellent South African batting department. Only cause of concern for Proteas is the form of their generally most potent weapon, Steyn Gun. He has had a torrid time in ODIs and could not have any impact in the 1st test as well and to make matters worse for him, 2 of his nicks were dropped in the 2nd innings. In short, Pakistan need to conquer some thing untrodden till now so as to make history, after all they have not won a test series for ages. So they wont leave any stone unturned.

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