Our aim is to win matches and not entertain, says Pak captain Misbah-ul-Haq

Pakistan under Misbah-ul-Haq’s captaincy went undefeated in Test series against New Zealand, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2011 AFP

Lahore: Jan 2, 2012

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has hit back at his critics who believe he is a defensive captain, saying for him winning was more important than providing entertainment.

“The most important thing is to win cricket matches and we are just focussing on wining at the moment. At the moment winning cricket matches is more important than entertaining in Test cricket,” Misbah said.

“Our first aim is to win matches, we want to continue to win matches, build the confidence of the players and the team, then we can look at working on the entertainment aspect in Test cricket,” he told the Pakpassion.net website.

“Once the confidence is there and you are winning, yes you can look at being more aggressive and more positive in your batting, improve your strike rates, but the key is to excel as a team first and then look at the aspect of entertainment.”

Pakistan under Misbah’s captaincy went undefeated in Test series against New Zealand, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2011. They lost just one Test in the year that was on the West Indies tour in which the two-Test series ended in a 1-1 draw.

Misbah, who himself has been in great form in the past year, expressed satisfaction with the performance of the team.

“It was a good year for Pakistan cricket team, the performances have been good. Starting from the tour of New Zealand at the beginning of the year right through to the recent tour of Bangladesh, it’s been a very good show from every player,” he said.

Talking about the low points of 2011, Misbah said one of them was definitely losing to India in the World Cup semifinal at Mohali.

“The World Cup semi-final was undoubtedly the low point last year. Winning the World Cup would have been a fantastic achievement and it was disappointing to lose that match in Mohali against India,” he said.

“But, there again reaching the semi finals when we weren’t amongst the favourites was a decent and commendable achievement.”

Speaking about the upcoming series against England, Misbah said the incident of Pakistan’s last tour in 2010 will not affect their mind and there main aim will be to play cricket in good spirit.

“As far as the Pakistan team is concerned we will just be focussing on playing good cricket. That is our only aim and none of the players need to think about what happened in England in 2010. We are just looking forward to having a successful series against England and playing cricket in a good spirit,” he said.

“I don’t think there will be any problems from our side with disciplinary matters, we aren’t interested in getting involved in any non cricketing issues or problems and we will just be concentrating on cricket and our performances.”

Misbah, who wasn’t part of the squad which toured England in 2010, feels that the upcoming series against England will be an extremely tough one for Pakistan.

“The England team has everything; they have top spinners, have good fast bowlers, have a strong batting line up too.

However the conditions will not be in favour of them and we’ve played a lot of cricket in the conditions that England will see in the UAE.” (PTI)