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Misbah's triumph, Younis' best at the last

After Pakistan fought back to share the Test series 2-2, ESPNcricinfo rates the players involved in the enthralling tussle

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan


Misbah-ul-Haq (282 runs at 40.28)
Pakistan's most statesmanlike captain since Imran Khan. Although he will rue the final day at Edgbaston, this series - and tour - was a triumph for Misbah and victory in the last Test was a fitting full stop on the team's rebuilding after the controversies of 2010. His hundred on the opening day at Lord's was agenda setting, instilling belief in his team that they could challenge England, and though he struggled to quite hit those heights again with the bat he remained a key wicket.


Yasir Shah (19 wickets at 40.73)
The bare numbers do not tell the full picture of Yasir's impact on the series. His ten wickets at Lord's took advantage of England's early uncertainty and he showed the qualities of a champion to follow two lean Tests - he was 4 for 502 at Old Trafford and Edgbaston - with a decisive second-innings display at The Oval. Showed pluck with the bat, too, which could not always be said of Pakistan's bowlers, and was a livewire in the field.


Sami Aslam (167 runs at 55.66)
Where was he for two Tests? When Aslam came into the side at Edgbaston he immediately looked a Test opener. He left assuredly (until the second-innings mistake against Steven Finn) making the bowlers come to him, then had the range of strokes to pick off the loose deliveries. Had less of an impact at The Oval, but he appears a long-term solution to half the opening conundrum at least.
Younis Khan (340 runs at 48.57)
With his future starting to be questioned, Younis responded with one of his greatest innings - a series-squaring double-century during which his earlier problems seemed a world away. It was batsmanship of the highest order. Before then, England thought they had his number, twice having him caught down the leg side, but his work ethic - he had a lengthy, lone net two days before The Oval - paid dividends. His catching was fallible, but he's not done yet.
Asad Shafiq (274 runs at 39.14)
Made telling contributions in both Pakistan's victories with 73 and 49 at Lord's before a century to put England on the back foot at The Oval. That hundred was an impressive riposte to a pair at Edgbaston, where England targeted him with full, straight deliveries, and he has a vast part to play in the future of this batting order, especially once Younis and Misbah eventually make way.


Azhar Ali (295 runs at 42.14)
A slow start to the series where a couple of close lbw shouts went against him but he responded with an impressive century at Edgbaston. However, his dismissal off the final ball of the second day proved to be a pivotal moment in the match and his second-innings drive at Moeen Ali gave England an opening. Was promoted for the final Test and made a sturdy 49, suggesting he is as likely as anyone to succeed alongside Aslam.
Sarfraz Ahmed (193 runs at 32.16; 15 catches)
Feisty in front and behind the stumps. Not blemish-free with the gloves during the first two matches, but was solid in the second half of the series. Jaunty batting without crossing the fifty mark. The game rarely stands still when he's at the crease. A crucial buffer between the batsmen and the tail.
Wahab Riaz (10 wickets at 36.00)
Produced the fieriest bowling of the series. Was part of a captivating fourth afternoon at Lord's where wickets eluded him and was nullified at Old Trafford by the effects of workload in a four-man attack. Having been left out for Edgbaston he returned for the final Test and rattled England in both innings. Three wickets on the first day set England back then he struck the seismic blow of removing Alastair Cook early in the second innings. A brilliant piece of fielding off his own bowling to run out Chris Woakes then the wicket of Jonny Bairstow next ball was a fitting finale. Although he was ordered out of the attack, he had more than done his job.
Mohammad Amir (12 wickets at 42.41)
Did not finish with the innings haul his bowling deserved, but this was a satisfactory return to Test cricket. Given all the hype and scrutiny in the build-up a few nerves would have been understandable, but he quickly settled and he did not always have the support in the field. His match-sealing wicket at Lord's was a moment of personal redemption. Picked a vital moment for a career-best with the bat: his 39 in a stand of 97 with Younis at The Oval ensured no way back for England
Sohail Khan (13 wickets at 25.00)
When Pakistan decided they needed a right-arm seamer, Sohail came in and bagged two five-wicket hauls. Made the most of first-day assistance at Edgbaston by pitching the ball full and then took out England's lower order at The Oval when Woakes and Moeen Ali were threatening to take the game away from Pakistan. Stamina remains a concern, but fitness can be improved on with some hard work.


Rahat Ali (8 wickets at 50.87)
Knocked the top off England's order in the second innings at Lord's but faded after that as the batsmen sat on him and waited for the loose deliveries. Was required to do a holding role in a four-man attack. Remains highly-rated by Mickey Arthur so is likely to be part of future Test squads. But he's not a nightwatchman.


Iftikhar Ahmed (4 runs at 4.00; 1 wicket at 13)
Unclear whether he is a long-term option for the Test side having been brought in to give Pakistan a better balance for The Oval. In the end he only bowled four overs and played a horrid crossed-bat swipe to be dismissed at what could have been a crucial juncture.
Mohammad Hafeez (102 runs at 17.00)
Flattered to deceive with a brace of 40s in the opening two Tests before a shocking outing at Edgbaston were he twice gifted his wicket with poor shots. Alongside his dodgy catching and inability to bowl the selectors finally lost patience for the final Test.
Shan Masood (71 runs at 17.75)
As in the UAE against England, he was given two Tests and did not do anything to convince he has a long-term career as a Test opener - certainly against quality pace bowling. Fed the keeper and slips with catches; when James Anderson returned for Old Trafford he made it six dismissals of Masood in six innings against him

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo