Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik lauds Misbah-ul-Haq captaincy

Shahid Afridi credited Misbah-ul-Haq for leading intelligently and making the team a winning combination AFP

Karachi: Jan 29, 2012

Impressed with Pakistan’s dominance of England in the ongoing Test series, former captains Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik said the English were psychologically struggling to cope with the resolve that their team has shown so far.

Both the all-rounders, who remained captains in recent years, credited Misbah-ul-Haq for leading intelligently and making the team a winning combination. Pakistan currently lead the three-match series 2-0.

“I think the credit for this great series win and the recent form of the team goes to the Pakistan Cricket Board for reposing so much confidence and supporting Misbah and to the team management for creating an environment where the players are performing as a unit,” Afridi said.

He said beating the world’s number one Test side was a big achievement and more satisfying as Pakistan cricket had turned itself around after the spot-fixing scandal.

Afridi, who will join the team for the one-day series, said the spot-fixing scandal had badly hurt the image of Pakistan cricket but the players with their positive performances and results had raised the prestige once again.

“I think we will soon be hearing more good news from the cricket field as this team is doing really well and the players now want to perform and figure in their team’s victories,” he said.

Afridi also felt that Pakistan’s growing stature as a top cricket nation and its wins over big teams indicated that now it was time for international cricket to return to Pakistan.

Malik, who was sacked as captain of the Test and one-day side in early 2009 by former Chairman Ijaz Butt, said the Pakistan spinners had established a psychological hold over the English batsmen.

“The England batsmen were very disappointing against the spinners and had no idea how to play them. I have never seen a pitch take so much turn on the fourth day of a Test but this is what Test cricket is all about the ability to adjust to every condition and Pakistan has done that much better than England,” he said.

Malik also said the PCB had done well to take advantage of its status as hosts of the series and preparing pitches that suited the strength of the Pakistan team.(PTI)