Hope occasion can give team additional motivation - Misbah
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq hopes his and Younis Khan's impending retirement from international cricket can spur the team in its pursuit of a maiden Test series win against West Indies in the Caribbean. Both batsmen will make their last international appearance in the third Test at Roseau, and with the series tied 1-1, Misbah aims to remain focused on the demands of his role as a senior batsman amid the emotions that come with the occasion.
Pakistan have drawn three of the previous seven Test series between the two countries in the West Indies, including their last two series in 2011 and 2005.
"That has given us [Younis and Misbah] additional motivation and I hope that is the case with the team also," he said. "Looking forward to it as a normal game and focusing on our jobs. As batsmen, contributions from Younis and me would be very important. Sometimes emotions can come into these sort of occasions but we will try our best to focus on our jobs."
Pakistan began the Test series well, beating the hosts by seven wickets in the first Test in Jamaica but a dramatic second-innings collapse in Barbados - Pakistan were bowled out for 81 in a chase of 188 - allowed West Indies to draw level. West Indies captain Jason Holder, stressed his side needed get over the Barbados win and play the perfect game of cricket, and highlighted that fielding remained an area West Indies needed to improve on quickly.
"What's happening in Barbados has gone already," Holder said. "It's important to put it behind us. We don't have to forget the good things we have done there but we have to improve on a few areas - fielding is one, especially taking our chances and once we forget the last match as quickly as possible and move on to this, it's better for us.
"We are in a situation where we have played some good cricket in the series so far. We haven't been perfect so we are striving to play a perfect cricket game. Once we can do that, or get to 99% of that, then we will be the better side in this game."
Looking back on the legacy he will leave behind as captain, Misbah stated that he had tried to show a young team the importance of being more disciplined and determined. Misbah took over as captain in the aftermath of the 2010 spot-fixing scandal and was proud of the manner in which the team had grown in the Test format. Under his leadership, the side briefly held the No.1 ranking in Tests last year, before poor results on the tours of New Zealand and Australia pushed them down the table.
"It was a tough time, a lot of players at the time were retiring also," Misbah said. "We had different issues with the match-fixing, etc, it was a pretty young team at the time and the way we emerged as an international team, especially in Test cricket, that was wonderful. No doubt, we are not performing like that in the last couple of series but still this team has potential. We know the way, we know the path and we have to follow that. As a senior, I have tried to show this young side the need to be more disciplined, determined and once you do that and work hard, you can achieve anything. That is what is really pleasing about this team, you are looking forward that this team can go along well."