Dubai: Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq called the 221-run win over Australia in the first Test match of the two-Test series at the Dubai International Stadium one of the finest victories for his country in Test cricket.
“It is one of our finest victories, especially in Test cricket. I always rank the 3-0 win against England in 2012 [in UAE] at the top but after that this is a big achievement for the team and for me as a captain,” said Misbah after the match.
“A victory against any side is always important in a Test. It becomes a bigger achievement when it is against Australia and in the context that we were playing here. In the last series against Sri Lanka, we lost [2-0 in Test and 2-1 in ODIs] and we also lost the One Day Internationals and one-off Twenty20 match against Australia after not having our regular players.
“We had injuries to our main fast bowlers and under these circumstances, this is a wonderful achievement especially with only young guys in the team.”
Underfire until before the start of the Test match, Misbah was impressed by the determination among his youngsters. “When you have a young side, there will be ups and downs, but they are determined to do well. The way Sarfraz [Ahmad] scored his hundred and the way Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq batted were brilliant. The happiest thing is that the team is focused and boys wanted to do something and are determined. Yasir Shah did well and even the fast bowlers performed very well. It is their passion to do well that helped us in this match,” he said.
The Pakistan captain believes that if his players can play their roles well, the team can keep on winning. “I have always said that win is due to team effort and it was the key here. Everyone did their role, batsmen scored when it was needed and bowlers gave breakthrough when demanded.”
When asked about Younis Khan’s stellar performance and whether he regretted not including him in the one-day team, Misbah said: “Selection is not in my domain. As a player, he is a legend for Pakistan. The performance he gave and his focus have made him a true role model for the youngsters. Everyone can benefit from his professional attitude and discipline.”
Misbah also explained why he sat out for the third One Day International. “I didn’t take that decision with a negative thought but with a positive intent. Since the series was decided, I wanted some youngsters to play and focus on the Test as we have to play five Tests in a row.
“I will specially thank PCB chairman Shahryar Khan, who backed my decision and that helped increase my confidence. The coaches also supported me and that took the pressure off me. All those people who used to criticise me in my good days, supported me in my bad times as well and that was encouraging,” he added.