Pakistan need to keep improving to become No.1: Misbah-ul-Haq

Misbah-ul-Haq said the key to success was that the players trusted and had faith in each other’s ability AFP

Karachi: Jan 29, 2012

Pakistan might have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series against England but skipper Misbah-ul-Haq cautioned his players that they still need to improve in different departments to become a top side in the cricket world.

“I am really delighted the way we have won this test series against a top side of the world. But the fact is the conditions in the UAE suited our batting and spinners. We need to further improve in some areas if we want to go and win in Australia, South Africa or England,” a straight-talking Misbah said on Geo News channel.

The senior batsman who has now led Pakistan to test series wins over New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and England said things would have been different if the series was being played in England.

“We must not forget that we still need to work a lot harder to go and win in every country so that we can rightly be called a top side,” he said.

He said that conditions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi suited Pakistan and the good thing was that the players had taken advantage of these conditions to beat the world’s best test side.

“The morale of the team is very high and we can now realistically look towards a 3-0 win in the series but for that we have to continue playing the way we are and the players need to remain focused and determined to do well,” he said.

“The key is playing positively,” he added.

Misbah didn’t rule out a much improved show from England in the third and final test but said Pakistan just needed to focus on its own game.

“I am happy that the players have kept on discussing among themselves what needed to be done after the spot fixing scandal to improve the image of Pakistan cricket and everyone agreed the best way for us was to respond with good performances.”

Misbah said the key to success was that the players trusted and had faith in each other’s ability.

“Everyone knows what he can do and needs to be done. The way our younger batsmen like Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali have batted is a example of this.”

The Pakistan skipper admitted that while he was always confident that his team had the potential and positivity to beat England but even he never expected them to lose the way they did in the two tests.

“That was a surprise for me as well,” he added.

The Pakistan skipper also advised his countrymen to keep on supporting the team all the time.

“I am happy we have given our people something to celebrate and rejoice. But my request to them is to also support the team when we are going through a lean patch.

Cricket is a sport and sometimes players despite wanting to perform don’t succeed. That is when they require the support of their countrymen the most.”

Misbah also spoke about how he and his players had decided that their main focus should be to always give 100 per cent effort on the field.

“Win and lose are part of the sport but we now believe that even if we lose a match it should be only after we have given our best and tried hard to do well. We don’t want to give up easily against any side.”

He also insisted that as a captain he would be nothing without the support and performances of his players.

“A captain is only as good as his players if they perform he will do well. For me my players are the most important people in the world.”(PTI)