Pakistan Captain Misbah-ul Haq and head coach Waqar Younis said that they intend for Pakistan to assert the top Test spot as they took off for their Sri Lankan tour.
The 42-year-old fast bowling legend took over for a second spell as coach in May from former Australian batsman Dav Whatmore. He aims to better his first stint in the job, when he guided Pakistan to the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup, where they were knocked out by arch-rivals India.
Pakistan is standing at number three position in the recent test ranking. They utmost achieved number two position in 2006 but have never been No 1. Skipper Misbah said Pakistan could take the top position if they won in Sri Lanka and against Australia in October. When they left for Colombo Misbah told reporters that they have a very good chance to grab the top position of the test rankings and it is a big motivation for them to become top Test team. They will give their full strength to achieve this number one position. They last played a series in January. They are going to play his test after a gap of six months. The team members will face advantages and disadvantages of playing a Test after a gap, added Misbah. They got a gap so they worked on their fitness and worked on some shrewd issues but the disadvantage is that they need time to return to the Test format but they have the first Test at Galle in their focus and will have to be up to the mark, said Misbah. He also said that he think both the teams have good player combinations and it will be a close Test series, anyone can win this series.
Waqar supervised a short training camp to get Pakistan tuned up for their two-Test and three one-day international series in Sri Lanka in August.
Pakistan will also play against Australia and New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates later in the year, before touring New Zealand for two one-day internationals ahead of theWorld Cup in February-March.
Waqar said that next series are very important as next year’s World Cup. Pakistan team have to focus on all these events and try their best to win this series, added Waqar. Waqar also said that the induction of former Zimbabwe opener Grant Flower as batting coach would help the Pakistan team a lot.