Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sharjah, 5th day November 7, 2011

Misbah defends not going for target

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Misbah-ul-Haq, the Pakistan captain, has said his team's plan when faced with a target of 255 in around 60 overs in Sharjah was to make a good start. When that did not happen, he said, Pakistan had to change their plan and play for the draw, which they achieved to win the Test series 1-0.

Pakistan began the chase briskly, with Mohammad Hafeez lacing a couple of boundaries through the off side, but he was run out in the fifth over and Azhar Ali fell in the 14th. Pakistan slowed down after that and reached 87 for 4 in 57 overs, enough to secure a third Test trophy since Misbah took over the captaincy last year.

"I think we were positive in the start and hoped we got a good start, but we lost two wickets quickly, so we had to change our plans," Misbah said. "They bowled well and the ball was spinning."

The win continued Pakistan's run of not losing a Test series since Misbah took over the captaincy after the spot-fixing controversy in August 2010. In that time Pakistan have won four Tests and lost only one. Misbah, however, said he was still disappointed Pakistan did not win the series against Sri Lanka 2-0 because they had the chance to win the first Test in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan had a 314-run lead after the first innings but a combination of Kumar Sangakkara's double-century and six dropped chances over the fourth and fifth days denied Pakistan the win.

"There is also a sense of disappointment to have not won 2-0," Misbah said. "One bad fielding session in Abu Dhabi spoiled that chance. Kumar Sangakkara played brilliantly and saved them."

While Pakistan were playing in Sharjah, three former players - Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif - were given jail sentences for their involvement in spot-fixing during the Lord's Test last year. Misbah said there had been mention of the sentencing in the Pakistan dressing room but the focus was always on the Test. "Of course, we did talk about that [the sentences] sometimes, but nobody got into it deeply since we are here to play cricket," he said. "We remained focused on the work at hand because we wanted to do well. This is a young bunch of players and they are gelling well. The best part is that every player realises his responsibility and is playing for the team."

While Pakistan's results have been commendable given their off-field problems, Sri Lanka have been in a slump, having not won in 14 Tests since Muttiah Muralitharan's retirement. Tillakaratne Dilshan, the Sri Lanka captain, said their problem was starting series poorly. In England and at home against Australia, Sri Lanka lost the first Test and went on to lose the series 0-1, and in the UAE they salvaged a draw in the first, lost the second, before an improved performance in the third Test.

"It is a sad feeling to lose and we need to start series well," Dilshan said. "We didn't do that in England, then against Australia at home and now against Pakistan."

Sri Lanka were dismissed for 197 and 239 in the first innings of the first two Tests. Dilshan said those performances with the bat were the reason they lost the series. "You saw the difference in this Test, when we put on a total of more than 400," he said. "After losing the second Test the boys put up a good show in this game."

Sri Lanka had started the final day of the series 237 runs ahead with five wickets in hand, and would have been looking to score quick runs and attack Pakistan. However, they were thwarted by the rare occurrence of rain in Sharjah, which washed out the first session. Dilshan said "there could have been a different result" had the rain stayed away.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dmqi on November 9, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    Ramiz Raja's too aggressive commentary about chasing the target has given food for quite a few hit and miss mentality T20 supporters to criticize the Captain. Win and draw both are better than loosing. I do not remember how many matches Ramiz Raja won with his aggressive captaincy. I hope these too aggressive players take a look at GREAT HANIF playing test cricket. Then they will understand the difference between TEST and hit and miss game. Make Ramiz Raja commentator for T20 games only.

  • mrhamilton on November 9, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    @nasim khan......why do the irrational crazy elements among pakistan fans such as yourself give the more balance fans a bad nme....misbah is the best captain Pakistan have had since Imran Khan....I for one as a South african thought his innings against India in the WC semi final was heroic...he was the last man standing like a captain should be. why dont u concentrate on why afridi threw the game away with his irresponsibility? it sounds to me u prefer the wild maverick irresponsibility in the team rather than the stability, and win ethic misbah brings....pak could have beaten south africa, they beat NZ, Zim, Sri lanka on the trot and should have beat windies too.Good days for pakistani cricket

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 9, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Wow...the T20 champions were not able to score those runs! pathetic by pakistan...SL deserved to win this.

  • on November 9, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    @nasim, how would misbahs record been affected adversely if we lost this match??? the record is for not losing a series, since misbah took over as captain weve always drawn series or won them! for ONCE weve got a captain who knows how to lead a team to not lose and who takes responsibility simultaneously and who isnt responsible for politics in the team. what do you want? the whimsical afridi or the instigator malik to take over?

  • DINESHCC on November 9, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    NASIM KHAN: HOW MANY CAPTAINS YOU GOT AFTER THE RETIREMENT OF IMRAN. SINCE 1992 IF ONE CAPTAIN IS APPOINTED FOR YOUR TEAM, TWO CAPTAINS TENDER RESIGNATION. AFTER A LONG TIME MISBAH IS DOING WONDERS FOR YOUR TEAM THAT TOO WITHOUT MANY FRONT LINE PLAYERS . 1-0 WIN IS BETTER THAN 1-1 DRAW. AT LEAST TILL NEXT WORLD CUP PCB SHOULD RETAIN HIM AS CAPTAIN.

  • Ray24 on November 9, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    First of all, well played Pakistan. A series win over a better ranked team after a long long time, heartening to see. For those of you criticizing Pk for not chasing, it is unfair to do so. Pk were 1-0 up, why should they chase? On the other hand SL were the defensive team - they shud've declared once it started to rain. Instead they made absolutely sure they were safe and then declared. If SL can play safe, why cant Pk? Throughout the series, an average of 230-250 runs were scored per day, stll SL wanted 280-290? On a last day wicket? Let me assure you, if Pk had started scoring faster, Herath and co. wud've come around the wicket and started to bowl the negative line. They wud've forgotten about attack. As far as the umpiring decisions go, someone pointed out Simon Taufel's blunder. What about the decision that Dilshan got when Akmal caught him? And the LBW's not given? SL were at the better end of the umpiring decisons throughout the series. Pay tribute where ites due folks!

  • on November 9, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    @KarachiKid........Misbah along with Azhar Ali have been the most consistent players in the test side for a year now, so ur argument for saving wickets is a pathetic one...they have the complete test matches mentality, and that is wht required in this format.......in the era of T20s, people have forgotten wht the longer version of the game demands.........I wonder if you had ever seen a Test Match played 30 years ago, u wud have certainly caught short of the crease...!!!

  • on November 9, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    Pakistan did well not to chase the target because on fifth day pitch, it is impossible to score four runs per over. The ball was spinning and they don't want to take any risk. The series was important rather that match. Well Done Misbah.

  • dmqi on November 9, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    @nasim Khan. Your comment is highly biased, motivated and without merit. Why one player should be responsible for a team's defeat. When 5 batsmen failed, why do you expect one to carry the team to wining position from defeat situation? Did Imran alone won the world cup or Wasim, Miandad, young Inzamam, Mushtaq all had a role? Is there any captain in the world who does not want a good record? Can you show me one such case?

  • on November 9, 2011, 1:49 GMT

    misbah is the best capitan for pakistan now. . . he is cool as well. .. and a gud player. ..we love u misbah

  • dmqi on November 9, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    Ramiz Raja's too aggressive commentary about chasing the target has given food for quite a few hit and miss mentality T20 supporters to criticize the Captain. Win and draw both are better than loosing. I do not remember how many matches Ramiz Raja won with his aggressive captaincy. I hope these too aggressive players take a look at GREAT HANIF playing test cricket. Then they will understand the difference between TEST and hit and miss game. Make Ramiz Raja commentator for T20 games only.

  • mrhamilton on November 9, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    @nasim khan......why do the irrational crazy elements among pakistan fans such as yourself give the more balance fans a bad nme....misbah is the best captain Pakistan have had since Imran Khan....I for one as a South african thought his innings against India in the WC semi final was heroic...he was the last man standing like a captain should be. why dont u concentrate on why afridi threw the game away with his irresponsibility? it sounds to me u prefer the wild maverick irresponsibility in the team rather than the stability, and win ethic misbah brings....pak could have beaten south africa, they beat NZ, Zim, Sri lanka on the trot and should have beat windies too.Good days for pakistani cricket

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 9, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Wow...the T20 champions were not able to score those runs! pathetic by pakistan...SL deserved to win this.

  • on November 9, 2011, 9:54 GMT

    @nasim, how would misbahs record been affected adversely if we lost this match??? the record is for not losing a series, since misbah took over as captain weve always drawn series or won them! for ONCE weve got a captain who knows how to lead a team to not lose and who takes responsibility simultaneously and who isnt responsible for politics in the team. what do you want? the whimsical afridi or the instigator malik to take over?

  • DINESHCC on November 9, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    NASIM KHAN: HOW MANY CAPTAINS YOU GOT AFTER THE RETIREMENT OF IMRAN. SINCE 1992 IF ONE CAPTAIN IS APPOINTED FOR YOUR TEAM, TWO CAPTAINS TENDER RESIGNATION. AFTER A LONG TIME MISBAH IS DOING WONDERS FOR YOUR TEAM THAT TOO WITHOUT MANY FRONT LINE PLAYERS . 1-0 WIN IS BETTER THAN 1-1 DRAW. AT LEAST TILL NEXT WORLD CUP PCB SHOULD RETAIN HIM AS CAPTAIN.

  • Ray24 on November 9, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    First of all, well played Pakistan. A series win over a better ranked team after a long long time, heartening to see. For those of you criticizing Pk for not chasing, it is unfair to do so. Pk were 1-0 up, why should they chase? On the other hand SL were the defensive team - they shud've declared once it started to rain. Instead they made absolutely sure they were safe and then declared. If SL can play safe, why cant Pk? Throughout the series, an average of 230-250 runs were scored per day, stll SL wanted 280-290? On a last day wicket? Let me assure you, if Pk had started scoring faster, Herath and co. wud've come around the wicket and started to bowl the negative line. They wud've forgotten about attack. As far as the umpiring decisions go, someone pointed out Simon Taufel's blunder. What about the decision that Dilshan got when Akmal caught him? And the LBW's not given? SL were at the better end of the umpiring decisons throughout the series. Pay tribute where ites due folks!

  • on November 9, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    @KarachiKid........Misbah along with Azhar Ali have been the most consistent players in the test side for a year now, so ur argument for saving wickets is a pathetic one...they have the complete test matches mentality, and that is wht required in this format.......in the era of T20s, people have forgotten wht the longer version of the game demands.........I wonder if you had ever seen a Test Match played 30 years ago, u wud have certainly caught short of the crease...!!!

  • on November 9, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    Pakistan did well not to chase the target because on fifth day pitch, it is impossible to score four runs per over. The ball was spinning and they don't want to take any risk. The series was important rather that match. Well Done Misbah.

  • dmqi on November 9, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    @nasim Khan. Your comment is highly biased, motivated and without merit. Why one player should be responsible for a team's defeat. When 5 batsmen failed, why do you expect one to carry the team to wining position from defeat situation? Did Imran alone won the world cup or Wasim, Miandad, young Inzamam, Mushtaq all had a role? Is there any captain in the world who does not want a good record? Can you show me one such case?

  • on November 9, 2011, 1:49 GMT

    misbah is the best capitan for pakistan now. . . he is cool as well. .. and a gud player. ..we love u misbah

  • Ellis on November 8, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    It is remarkable how often SL captains say" ....the boys put up a good show", but the team loses a series.With one, or at best two exceptions, the SL bowling is way below Test class. At the moment, it does not look like that situation will change in the near future. The batting is inconsistent with Sangakkara having to carry an inordinate load and Mahela in a slump. Dilshan's days as captain must be numbered. He is not up to the task. Misbah on the other hand, is doing it right. He has a young team and winning series is important as it breeds confidence and team spirit. He is the steady hand and there is time enough for the team to develop and play the attractive Pakistani brand of cricket. Rome was not built in a day! SL are back to the drawing board. Much patience and sound selections are the order of the day. It can be done.

  • on November 8, 2011, 19:44 GMT

    Misbah is too defensive and too selfish. He was only interested in maintaining his captaincy record. He never plays for Pakistan. He plays for his own individual self. He is sole responsible for Pakistan's defeat in the WC's semis. It never occurred to me that Pakistan ever tried to go for a win in their second innings during the last match against Sri Lanka.

  • on November 8, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    The pace at which runs were scored during this series was very disappointing. For me if a team scores 350+ at a rate less than 3 then that is not job well done no matter what the state of the pitch is. Having said that, Pakistan were the worthy winners in the end as they were the more compact unit of the two. Sri Lanka need to find a leader in their bowling.

  • KarachiKid on November 8, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    I think Pakistan overdid the blocking things in the last two session. @face2faceuni, i agree with you, our batsmen should have shown some character and tried to put some pressure on the fielding side. I think our current lineup either is not capable of really dictating terms, as in scoring along with defending. Or they are not in that positive frame of mind to be able to do that. But I have a feeling that we need players with Hafeez intent of looking to score but with better temprament to keep going over multiple sesssions. Younus can also do that but intent seems missing. Others like Asad, Azhar and Misbah are not capable of both saving wicket and also score both at the same time !!!

  • on November 8, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    Pakistan ...............beat a team higher than them in the ICC RANKINGS!! Series wrapped...........Misbah can be forgiven!!!!!!!!!!!

  • xcorpion327 on November 8, 2011, 8:17 GMT

    @OhhhhMattyMatty : even if a new Murali does come along they will again be a one man show....what's the point exactly??

  • Hawk_Pk on November 8, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    good performances by Pakistan and Sri Lanka...long live our friendship and brotherhood...may we be fierec competitors on field and lasting friends outside...

  • Mark00 on November 8, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Misbah has been very impressive. Can't imagine what he would have achieved if he had bowlers of the class of those who were convicted of match fixing. To have such a good record with 2nd rate bowlers (by Pakistani standards) is an amazing accomplishment.

  • khurramsch on November 8, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    about dilshans coments about a different resul if no rain came. i think not. coz even after rain SL 237 ahead but wasted half hour so if there was no rain they would have played and scored atleast 280-290 & that might have taken 1hour + so rain might not have effected it. only thing which could have effcetd it was SL bit more attacking in 2nd batting but not.

  • khurramsch on November 8, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    good win for pakistan. xtra defensive & poor fielding prevent them for going 2-0 in this series. about 4th inings & chasing 255 i think they dont have any chance after hafez out. whole series run rate was barely 3 & how could one expect 4th inings 5th day to go above 4. but i would say 2 things about this test 1- pak couldnt get SL tail in 1st inings they scored 80 for 2 wickets. & 2nd misbah should score 25 more atleast while playing with younas in that partnership.

  • on November 8, 2011, 6:50 GMT

    Srlanka has been lucky to only have lost 1-0 in this series. They didn't really play good cricket except Sanga!

  • face2faceuni on November 8, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    I dont agree with Misbah, only it was looking to win untill M.Hafeez was on bating. But after Hafeez run out no body look going for victory. When your aim is just dot balls and passing the time, how u can put pressure on bowler? Azhar & Tofeeq done same, as a result Azhar lost his wicket. Any how, 1-0 win Congrats Pakistan...

  • ansii on November 8, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    Congrats to our team for achieving this series win against a good side after quite a long time, especially when Pak cricket rocked by the recent controversies. S Lanka also put a great performance after loosing second match. Hoping an excited and competitive rest of series from both sides

  • getsetgopk on November 8, 2011, 5:15 GMT

    Though i dont agree with Misbah's decision for not even attempting to go for a win in the first test he is absolutely right about this one. Going for the target on a fifth day uneven and spinning surface could have ruined everything and left a very bad taste in mouth for Pak fans. Hafeez, Azhar, Misbah and Younus Khan are the corner stone of this recent surge in test cricket for pakistan, this pack of batters is as solid as of any other good test side in the world right now. Bowling has never been Pak's problem so bring it on Engliand!!!

  • gunnerr4life on November 8, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    okay this is understandable BUT not going for the target in 1st test was ridiculous !! Misbah was not confident that his team could survive even for 20 overs even when in 1st innings they batted for 2 days !!

  • Reggaecricket on November 8, 2011, 1:47 GMT

    Not that it was intentional, but Simon Tauffel's mistake probably robbed spectators of a little more excitement. That nick was thick and palin to see, but he did not give it! 83/5 would have looked a LOT worse than 83/4. Having said that, the light was failing and perhaps a result wouldn't have been possible anyway. If Tapore made the blunder or anyone else, it'd have been huge, but I guess not when ST blunders!

  • playitstraight on November 8, 2011, 1:19 GMT

    Well done Pakistan and Misbah-ul-Haq on another series victory!!! Pakistan have the potential to become the no.1 test team in the world if they stop dropping catches and improve their batting even without pace greats Amir and Asif! :) Sri Lanka on the other hand, have lost their third test series under Tillakaratne Dilshan's captaincy, and if they don't win the ODI series, then they will be losing their third consecutive ODI series as well. I don't understand why Matthews is not being given the captaincy.... he is fully fit and he is batting like a captain as well. But SL can take some positives from the series: 1) Paranavitana's form as an opener (72 and 76*) 2) Dilshan's form as an opener (92) 3) Sangakkara's magnificent form (511 runs in 3 tests) 4) Kaushal Silva wktkeeping and batting 5) Herath's bowling 6) Welegedara's amazing bowling (5-87) out of these I think Welegedara's has improve as a bowler. Mahela Jayawardene needs to improve on his batting! Good luck SL for ODI series!!

  • Meety on November 8, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    @boris6491 - sorry totally agree with Misbah. They started well with intent, lost a couple of wickets & then decided to shut up shop. The difference between Pakistan & Zimbabwe is that the Zimmers at the moment have nothing to lose, they are considered fledgling minnows, whereas Pakistan has a rich (& tumultuous) Test history & the flogging Misbah would of copped if SL drew the series would of been massive. It was a tough well fought series (albeit seemingly negative).

  • Kak-mal_Khan on November 7, 2011, 23:45 GMT

    I feel some fans are being influenced by Mr Rameez 'the jinx' Raja with all his negative criticism of our captain Misbah ul-Haq's defensive tactics. For once though, as a life long fan of Pakistan and Test Match cricket, I have enjoyed watching Boycott style of cricket. I have sat comfortably with the knowledge that the batsmen have all knuckled down and not played rash shots (apart from Tafeeq Umar near the end today) I much rather watch these players bat out and play within themselves, this is afterall 'Test Match' cricket. Congratulations Pakistan on a well deserved series victory, the only main area that requires drastic improvement is ground fielding and taking CATCHES and that is what will see Pakistan WIN more MATCHES like the best teams do.

  • OhhhhMattyMatty on November 7, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    Sri Lanka have always been a one man team and will remain so until the new Murali comes along!

  • Raja.Khurram on November 7, 2011, 23:05 GMT

    There are 2 things we must keep in mind while analyzing Misbah's decision of not going for chase:

    1. In one dayers, you lose if you cannot chase the target in 50 overs - so you got to try to win the match. In tests, even if you have 100 overs to score 100 runs - chasing team will have the option to draw the match to win the series (like Misbah did against NZ in last test of the series). And I personally think there is nothing wrong with that. Winning the series is more important than winning an additional test.

    2. In the back of our minds, we are trying to compare the Pakistani team with Steve Waugh's team. Lets face it: those were exceptional bunch of guys who had the sheer class to score easily at 4+ RPO on tests against any opposition, on any pitch and on any day of the test match - and amass big totals at that rate. We just cannot match them at present.

    So, WELL DONE TEAM PAKISTAN - WE ARE PROUD OF YOU! :)

  • Bullet_Drive on November 7, 2011, 22:48 GMT

    This is where Pakistan need U.Akmal. A perfect situation for him and also Asad Shafiq doesn't looked fully mature at test level yet.

  • cricpolitics on November 7, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    Some may argue that it was easy enough to get 255 in 60 overs after all much bigger scores are made in less overs in the ODI matches. One should however understand that one matches are not played on a five day old pitch, there are no restrictions on how many overs a bowler can bowl in a test match, there are no 20 overs available for the Power Plays, there is no leg side no ball, no free hit etc. You just can not compare a test match chase on a fifth day wicket with the one day game. Pakistan did well to draw this match as any other team would have done under the circumstances.

  • boris6491 on November 7, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    Yes, they were 1-0 up. Yes, a draw would be sufficient to win the series. But that's the sort of thinking that inhibits progress. The lack of aggression and desire to WIN not draw, but to win matches is what pushes a team forward. Look at Zimbabwe and the heart they showed in the recently concluded test against NZ, they were terrific, they brought excitement to test cricket and put themselves on track to be a good test nation by playing attacking cricket with the aim of trying to win. This instinct is what made the Australians of yesteryear so great. On the flipside, the last ODI that finished recently between Australia and SA resulted in SA conceding a series because they played defensive cricket hoping that rain would come and the DL system would work in their favour. We wonder why such teams like Pakistan or SA never live up to their potential, it's obvious why. They dont have the attacking killer instinct that the Aussie greats set out as a blueprint for success.

  • sherishahmir on November 7, 2011, 22:19 GMT

    Congrats to our team for achieving this series win against a good side after quite a long time, especially when Pak cricket rocked by the recent controversies. S Lanka also put a great performance after loosing second match. Hoping an excited and competitive rest of series from both sides.

  • on November 7, 2011, 22:16 GMT

    well don Pakistan,ranking is doesn't matter,how we can forget wt happen last year even we lose faith in our team but after that Pakistan consistent performance win back our heart and mind,that think is more important than ranking

  • SamAsh07 on November 7, 2011, 20:49 GMT

    Why do people keep talking about Murali and his significance?? Hellooo, a team is about 11 players, not 1. And to be specific and right to the point, Sri Lanka's batting failed them the Test series. Not the bowling, IMO the bowling was better than their abysmal batting performance in Test 1 and Test 2. Test 1 was saved by dropped chances, so luck favoured Sangakkara and he went on. Rest of the lineup?? Lol serious re-thinking required there, with 2 seniors not even scoring consistently.

  • Indus111 on November 7, 2011, 20:38 GMT

    Congratulations Pakistan. Can't believe some Pakistani fans here! Criticising their team after they have won and dominated a series, for not chasing target of 4 RPO on a slow spinning track. Didn't you see what happened on day 2 in India-WI test match? 17 wickets on a slow pitch, which wasn't even spinning much. Misbah's decision was absolutely and practical course of action. Your team "deserves" your support. Please acknowledge their achievement, but without calling other good players/teams "over rated". Don't forget they became over rated after years of achievements. All the best and may the best win! PS: from a very "biased" India team supporter :-)

  • on November 7, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    sri lanka is a good team but they have to find some killer bowlers. unfortunately no malinga, murli and mendis on this tour this is what hurting them. i want lankan lions to be on top though i am pakistani :)

  • Blushi on November 7, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    weldone PAKISTAN , you rocked today !! best of luck in ODI's too..

    Pakistan ZINDABAAD !! BOOM BOOM BOYS..

  • ajmal1988 on November 7, 2011, 20:18 GMT

    Would at the end like to thank both Sri Lanka and Pakistan for a great contest in the test cricket. Even though I felt that pakistan was the better side , Sri lanka fought hard back and I was impressed by their young inexperienced bowling attack which just kept coming at the batsmen. Both teams kept me interested in 15 days of test cricket and I enjoyed the performances of Sangakkara, Younus Khan and Azhar Ali. This series was much better than the England-India which was a huuuuuge ANTI-CLIMAX. England trashing India in England and India trashing England in India. Doesn't really answer any questions other than that the hometeam surely knows how to play at home :). Good luck to both teams in the up-coming series and in the ODI's

  • JayPmorgan on November 7, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    crawl -> walk -> run draw -> not lose -> win Cannot understand how you can criticize Pakistan not going for win. They need to rediscover the habit of winning series on a regular basis before taking such risks

  • ajmal1988 on November 7, 2011, 20:02 GMT

    Mendis_FOREVER :"So..Now your only target is surpassing sri lanka? isn't it? mate, We are rebuilding after few retirements of our legends,thus a weak team now.Try to win against Australia,India,or SA now". No, the ultimate goal is of course to pass everyone not just Sri Lanka. When ppl critisize the team for not playing well enough when they have already beaten a better ranked side on piches that does not suit pace ballers then I say that ppl should be more patient, because pak will go up the rankings anyway as long as they keep winning series. You knew Murli would retire even before he retired and it has been a time ago since he retired? Pak lost half their pace attack in the spot-fixing, still you keep loosing wickets to the pak pace attack with top players in the batting line up. Rana2000: yes a lot of ppl before the series started stated that Lanka was a much better team and that they would win. the comments under the articles were full of lanka supporters predicting easy win.

  • hassan13 on November 7, 2011, 19:34 GMT

    why risk it? the series was not won yet. If they had won abu dhabi then they should have gone for it. But it does not hurt to rotate the strike

  • likeintcricket on November 7, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    Pakistan performance for the last couple of year is consistent enough to put them on # 5. And if Indian slump continuous against WI and Australia and Pakistan shows good form against Bangladesh and England than their will surely a shift in the ranking. But Ranking has nothing to do with the team achievement which Pakistan has already achieved. It is remarkable they haven't played a home series and yet they are moving up. Once again they might not have the over rated talent like the other top teams have but they are playing honestly and working hard and every member of the team deserve their spot in the team. Pakistan, though should prepare hard for the series against England as with that series comes all the controversies ( especially they will be eying on Ajmal this time).

  • MENDIS_Forever on November 7, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    @ ajmal1988 :"... if Pakistan take that one and keep winning and Lanka keep loosing, Pak will pass them on the ranking sooner or later anyway." So..Now your only target is surpassing sri lanka? isn't it? mate, We are rebuilding after few retirements of our legends,thus a weak team now.Try to win against Australia,India,or SA now.Entering to the new millennium,we had won only 16 matches.But murali and co made it to 60 victories within a short time span.We won't be struggling forever.Another Xavier will come to rescue the team sooner or later.let's see then...

  • on November 7, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    Well certainly this series win has got a lot of importance. 1st test should have been won by Pakistan. this 3rd was ok to be drawn. Pakistan could go up miles in the ranking if they could win ODI series against SL and the next test series against England. And they have the potential to do so.

  • TaylorSwift on November 7, 2011, 17:36 GMT

    255 in 60 overs is an attainable target. However, on a fifth day wicket, runs were difficult to come by, especially after the departure of Hafeez. A series win against SL is a positive, however, a 2-0 result would have been more adequate (ah, the missed opportunities in the first test!). This is a hard-working bunch and hopefully they will learn from their mistakes. Winning breeds confidence and confidence breeds winning. The boys will develop killer instinct with increase in confidence. Congrats on the series win and good luck in ODIs!

  • Ifty_Khan on November 7, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    I am just fed-up with people keep criticising Pak team, however they have taken a lot more wickets and scored more runs, but keep saying about scoring too slowly, when was it last a Test nation scored 6+ RPO..? this is a test match not a T20 were you hit and hope.

  • Zahidsaltin on November 7, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    Pakistan clearly needs a leg spin googly bowler to partner Saeed Ajmal. Its time to get Kaneria back in the fold to play England. Find of Azhar Ali is a blessing as whenever he scores, the team will post a good score. I am disappointed on Pakistan fielding and the way they batted in the 1st match where even when they had scored heavily, they couldn't accelerate to save some time. I must second Sidzys voice that these type of low bounce wickets with scoring rates of 2.5 are a perfect recepie to lose those few spactators which we are left with. In this regard, Pakistan needs to prepare 3 different wickets for a series and these should behave differently; one fast, one spinning and another a low and slow one. I also don't understand why the fast bowlers, who are capable of bowling at 140+ , were bowling at 120+ all the way in this series.

  • on November 7, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    For me, its not Pakistan which lacked spirit in the last game. It was Srilianka all the way. They knew that they have to win to secure a series draw, yet they played v v slowly in the first innings and scored at 3 an over when they were giving a target. Pakistan should have done better in the first test but in this test it was Srilanka which should have played quite a few cards better.

  • KingOwl on November 7, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    ajmal - who said SL will win easily? I am a SL supporter and I don't think many Sri Lankans thought that way. We know Pakistan is a very talented team, especially in the bowling department. I think SL could have certainly played a lot better. They played much below potential. But 'easily beat' Pakistan - don't think so.

  • ajmal1988 on November 7, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Where are those who before this series said that Sri Lanka would take this series easily as they were a much better team than Pakistan? People are criticizing the team for not chasing gettable targets. Why should they? they did not need to as they were 1-0 up in the series. Some also wanted to win the series 2-0 and hence climbe the ICC rankings from 6th position to 5th position in Test cricket. Why in such a hurry? Pakistan first of all need to create a winning culture and develop the team further and then go for the kills, this is important now in the begingging as a lot of things are happening around the team. Remember, Sri Lanka have lost the legend Murli and is not able to pick 20 wickets, they might even struggle with teams like new zealand, west indies and zimbabwe in the near future, while pakistan is on their way up.Next up is Bangladesh and if Pakistan take that one and keep winning and Lanka keep loosing, Pak will pass them on the ranking sooner or later anyway.

  • sidzy on November 7, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    who wants to watch, both teams play painfully slow with n urge to win.

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  • sidzy on November 7, 2011, 16:44 GMT

    who wants to watch, both teams play painfully slow with n urge to win.

  • ajmal1988 on November 7, 2011, 16:56 GMT

    Where are those who before this series said that Sri Lanka would take this series easily as they were a much better team than Pakistan? People are criticizing the team for not chasing gettable targets. Why should they? they did not need to as they were 1-0 up in the series. Some also wanted to win the series 2-0 and hence climbe the ICC rankings from 6th position to 5th position in Test cricket. Why in such a hurry? Pakistan first of all need to create a winning culture and develop the team further and then go for the kills, this is important now in the begingging as a lot of things are happening around the team. Remember, Sri Lanka have lost the legend Murli and is not able to pick 20 wickets, they might even struggle with teams like new zealand, west indies and zimbabwe in the near future, while pakistan is on their way up.Next up is Bangladesh and if Pakistan take that one and keep winning and Lanka keep loosing, Pak will pass them on the ranking sooner or later anyway.

  • KingOwl on November 7, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    ajmal - who said SL will win easily? I am a SL supporter and I don't think many Sri Lankans thought that way. We know Pakistan is a very talented team, especially in the bowling department. I think SL could have certainly played a lot better. They played much below potential. But 'easily beat' Pakistan - don't think so.

  • on November 7, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    For me, its not Pakistan which lacked spirit in the last game. It was Srilianka all the way. They knew that they have to win to secure a series draw, yet they played v v slowly in the first innings and scored at 3 an over when they were giving a target. Pakistan should have done better in the first test but in this test it was Srilanka which should have played quite a few cards better.

  • Zahidsaltin on November 7, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    Pakistan clearly needs a leg spin googly bowler to partner Saeed Ajmal. Its time to get Kaneria back in the fold to play England. Find of Azhar Ali is a blessing as whenever he scores, the team will post a good score. I am disappointed on Pakistan fielding and the way they batted in the 1st match where even when they had scored heavily, they couldn't accelerate to save some time. I must second Sidzys voice that these type of low bounce wickets with scoring rates of 2.5 are a perfect recepie to lose those few spactators which we are left with. In this regard, Pakistan needs to prepare 3 different wickets for a series and these should behave differently; one fast, one spinning and another a low and slow one. I also don't understand why the fast bowlers, who are capable of bowling at 140+ , were bowling at 120+ all the way in this series.

  • Ifty_Khan on November 7, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    I am just fed-up with people keep criticising Pak team, however they have taken a lot more wickets and scored more runs, but keep saying about scoring too slowly, when was it last a Test nation scored 6+ RPO..? this is a test match not a T20 were you hit and hope.

  • TaylorSwift on November 7, 2011, 17:36 GMT

    255 in 60 overs is an attainable target. However, on a fifth day wicket, runs were difficult to come by, especially after the departure of Hafeez. A series win against SL is a positive, however, a 2-0 result would have been more adequate (ah, the missed opportunities in the first test!). This is a hard-working bunch and hopefully they will learn from their mistakes. Winning breeds confidence and confidence breeds winning. The boys will develop killer instinct with increase in confidence. Congrats on the series win and good luck in ODIs!

  • on November 7, 2011, 17:54 GMT

    Well certainly this series win has got a lot of importance. 1st test should have been won by Pakistan. this 3rd was ok to be drawn. Pakistan could go up miles in the ranking if they could win ODI series against SL and the next test series against England. And they have the potential to do so.

  • MENDIS_Forever on November 7, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    @ ajmal1988 :"... if Pakistan take that one and keep winning and Lanka keep loosing, Pak will pass them on the ranking sooner or later anyway." So..Now your only target is surpassing sri lanka? isn't it? mate, We are rebuilding after few retirements of our legends,thus a weak team now.Try to win against Australia,India,or SA now.Entering to the new millennium,we had won only 16 matches.But murali and co made it to 60 victories within a short time span.We won't be struggling forever.Another Xavier will come to rescue the team sooner or later.let's see then...

  • likeintcricket on November 7, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    Pakistan performance for the last couple of year is consistent enough to put them on # 5. And if Indian slump continuous against WI and Australia and Pakistan shows good form against Bangladesh and England than their will surely a shift in the ranking. But Ranking has nothing to do with the team achievement which Pakistan has already achieved. It is remarkable they haven't played a home series and yet they are moving up. Once again they might not have the over rated talent like the other top teams have but they are playing honestly and working hard and every member of the team deserve their spot in the team. Pakistan, though should prepare hard for the series against England as with that series comes all the controversies ( especially they will be eying on Ajmal this time).