Misbah ul Haq believes Pakistan 'have a point to prove' in England
Facing their toughest tussle for quite some time, Pakistan skipper Misbah ul Haq has encouraged his team members to rise to the occasion. Speaking to reporters on the launch of the Investec Test Series against England at Lords, he hoped that the batsmen would seize the opportunity by performing adequately.
Misbah enthused, “This is the biggest challenge for us in a long time. This is the best chance for us and me as a captain, to perform here especially in these conditions. That's the point we have to prove.”
He added, “To perform in England, Australia, even South Africa, these are the tours where you really develop your team. The 2010 tour, I think was a tough tour. But guys like Azhar Ali did well in tough conditions and situations and that makes you a better player.“
Pakistan’s previous tour to England was marred by the spot-fixing controversy which threatened to blow the side apart. Upon inheriting the captaincy in its aftermath, Misbah has remodelled the Test team in his own image – solid and disciplined.
The middle-order batsman noted, “I think we've done really well in the last six years and all credit to the players. We've understood what was going on with the Pakistan team at that time and they responded really well in terms of performances, roles and especially, their off-field behaviours. It's about restoring that image for Pakistan and as a whole, it's quite satisfying.”
With Mohammad Amir set to make a comeback in whites, Misbah advised the controversial seamer not to get distracted by off-field provocation and harness energy towards his bowling.
The 42-year old affirmed, “He's got the best chance to prove himself out in the middle and he doesn't need to worry about what's happening with thousands of spectators saying something. He just has to focus on what's going on in the middle.“
While the bowling attack looks dangerous, Pakistan’s batting lineup find themselves surrounded by seam-friendly surfaces. Acknowledging the task ahead, Misbah implored his batsmen to come good.
He declared, “That's a fact that whoever comes from Asia in these conditions, the batting really has to stand up. If you can put good scores on the board, the Pakistan seam attack is good and we've got the best spinner at the moment who's really bowling well. We really have to stand up as a batting unit and give them good scores, and we are capable of doing well against them.”