Misbah eyes series win
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."