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'Root was the difference' - Misbah

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq credited Joe Root's outstanding performance - 325 runs in the match, within one shot of the victory margin - to negate the threat of Yasir Shah and set-up England's match-defining first innings total

Pakistan "need to improve in every department" if they are to compete with England in the remaining Tests of the Investec series according to their captain, Misbah-ul-Haq. A loss in the second Test at Old Trafford leveled the series at 1-1 with two matches left to play, but it was the margin of defeat - an eye-watering 330 runs - that has concerned Pakistan.
While Misbah felt England made full use of winning an important toss, he accepted that his bowlers had been unable to build any pressure and his batsmen folded in the face of England's intimidating first innings total of 589 for 8 declared before again staring at a massive fourth innings target of 565. Most of all, though, Misbah credited Joe Root's outstanding performance - 325 runs in the match, within one shot of the victory margin - to negate the threat of Yasir Shah and set-up England's match-defining first innings total.
"We were below average and need to improve in every department," Misbah said. "We could not really build the pressure and we let them score a massive total in the first innings. It is difficult to come back in the game facing 600. The toss was vital on that pitch, but England played really well. Alastair Cook and Root almost took the game away from us. They set the tone.
"That was the difference from Lord's. At Lord's, Root was out cheaply in both innings and we got Cook out cheaply in the second innings. Then they struggled. Root and Cook are their main players. They really depend on them - the others are struggling - but the way Root played in this game… it was an amazing innings.
"But our batting was a big disappointment. It was a good pitch to bat on but we scored 198 and 234. You can't take that. On that pitch you can score 350 plus even if you are batting second or fourth. Some of the batsmen are getting in, but not converting their starts. We really need them to do that."
Misbah also highlighted the presence of two or three allrounders in England's side and the absence of any from his as a key difference. While England are able to include five bowlers without weakening their batting, Pakistan were required to place a heavy load on the shoulders of their four bowlers. They remain desperate for Mohammad Hafeez to resume bowling again soon, with Misbah suggesting it could have made a big difference on this surface.
"Hafeez is not bowling," Misbah said. "But on a pitch like that, it could have made a difference. Especially with the opposition having four or five left-handers in their side. They have a lot of allrounders. That really gives them strength. We don't have the option of a fifth bowler. That's the limitation we have. But this is how we have to live at the moment."
Misbah also defended Yasir Shah after a chastening performance. Having gone into the Old Trafford Test as the recently installed No. 1 bowler in the ICC Test rankings, Yasir claimed match figures of 1 for 266 from 63 overs in Manchester, a far cry from his 10-wicket performance at Lord's.
"Maybe there was a bit of tiredness after he bowled a lot of overs in the previous Test," Misbah said. "But there was a big difference in this match compared to the previous one. He could not really bowl with that control and consistency.
"They played him well. And there wasn't much help for him from the surface on the first two days. They were two good players facing him and it is totally different when there are runs on the board. It creates pressure. But we know he is a strong character and before the next Test he will definitely analyse what went wrong."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo