With 6 wins outside Asia, Pakistan skipper Misbah Ul Haq is at par with former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, in terms of overseas victories outside Asia. The 42-year-old has made his age look just a number as his fitness has been beyond superlatives. After commencing the tour of England with a stunning century at Lord’s, Misbah was Pakistan’s go-to man throughout the campaign.
In an interaction post the fourth test, Misbah stated that Pakistan deserved the number one rank and opened up on a few issues. Below, are the excerpts from the interview.
Meaning of a squared series:
I am happy with the character shown by the Pakistan team. After two defeats, they fought back in this game and won. This is pleasing for me. This team has character and stood up the occasion, fought hard and levelled the series. Winning this match means a lot.
Importance of batsmen stepping up:
The important point is that you should keep believing as a team and individuals. These players have been playing for six years and they have performed in difficult situations. Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali and Younis Khan have played winning knocks under pressure and our bowling always stands out. We knew that, when the batsmen found form and we were able to combine our performances with the bat and the ball, we could do well. We had belief throughout the series. After the situation we were in after the third day at Edgbaston, I am a bit disappointed that the series is level. Losing from there is a little disappointing. But credit must be given to England.
The winning of Independence Day was special…
Cricket matches are won and lost. But to win people and supporters, that is really important. This series has been played in good spirits. Both teams fought well and everyone will remember this series for the sort of cricket we played. There were no off-field issues. We are really happy to conclude the tour on a pleasing note. On and off the field we made friends. Keeping in mind it was Independence Day, it was something special to draw the series here after being 2-1 down. The way the team fought back, I’m a really happy captain.
Significance of number one rank:
This team deserves that for six years of not playing any games at home. Sometimes people think it’s really easy for us playing in the UAE. They think the wickets suit us and we win there. But just living every day away from your country, without your family and friends, and playing every game away from Pakistan, is really difficult. It’s mentally tough.
Playing away from home for so long:
I can only see my mother once a year. I only see my sister once a year. Some of my friends, I could not see for three or four years because of these commitments. We are out of the country all the time. There are a lot of tours and even our home series are in the UAE. We go from West Indies to New Zealand to Australia. It’s not easy. But still, the team is winning. Still, the team is playing competitive cricket. There were lots of questions before we came here about whether we could only play in Asian conditions, but we have shown that we are good enough to play even in these conditions. At one stage we were winning this series. I’m really proud of this team and I think that, if we can be No. 1 after all these results, then we really deserve that.