Misbah Ul Haq is aiming big in the upcoming series against Australia. The 42-year old wants to make Pakistan the first Asian team to beat the mighty Aussies in their home ground despite of all the odds.
“It (Australia) is arguably toughest of all the countries (to play) along with South Africa because of the bounce and pace in the wickets,” wrote Misbah in his column for cricket.com.au.
“Maybe that is why no Asian side has ever won a Test series at these two places and that will be a huge motivation for us.
“Many great Pakistan teams have been to these shores before but left without winning so our goal in this series will be to conquer an unchartered territory. I feel this team has the potential to be the first Pakistan side to win a Test series in Australia,” he added.
The most successful test captain of Pakistan is expecting his men to bounce back after a poor show in New Zealand. He believes that his troops are eager to prove in front of the world once again that they are one of the top test sides of the world.
“Our team has produced wonderful performances in the last five years,” he wrote. “We understand that we have not been at our very best in the last three Tests but I feel the team is determined to bounce back. They are hurt by the recent series defeat in New Zealand. But we can look at it positively, as the side now feels more determined to show that we are one of the better Test sides in the world.”
Misbah, who might be playing the last Test series of his glorious career, told that their strength have been their batting, especially the middle order. But, all the star performers lost their form at the same time which has cost Pakistan.
“Our batsmen had been our strength and have done so well in recent years but, regrettably, most of them have lost form at the same time. This been the major reason behind our last three defeats. Every batsman though is capable of a strong comeback,” he mentioned.
“The lack of runs from the middle-order where Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmad and myself bat has affected us more than anything else and we all are very eager to score runs against Australia,” he further wrote.
However, the experienced campaigner for Pakistan has the faith that all of his batsmen have the capability of getting their form back at the right time.
Misbah feels that Australia have a number of new faces in their ranks and their lack of experience can be exploited. Pakistan’s skipper is wary of their skills, but, their lack of experience can come handy for Pakistan. On the other hand, the 42-year old accepted that facing bowlers like Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood in their home conditions will be a challenge for them.
Pakistan’s captain backed his bowling attack and said that they have the capability of taking 20 wickets in the game. He also mentioned that Yasir Shah is fit and he has bowled in the nets without any trouble.
“Our leg-spinner Yasir Shah has recovered from the injury and bowled without any trouble in the nets. In the next two days he will be even fitter. Australia is a place where he’s really looking forward to testing himself.”
Talking about Mickey Arthur’s past association with Australian team as a coach, he wrote, “Mickey Arthur’s knowledge of the Australian team will also benefit us.
“It matters a lot if you have someone in your camp who is aware of the psyche of the players you’re coming up against and has some inside knowledge about their strengths and weaknesses. It is obvious that Mickey’s experience will help us in making strategies.”
Misbah concluded his column saying implementation of strategy is the key. Misbah & Co. will have to be on the top of their game to hunt down Kangaroos in their backyard.
“So to win this series we have to be at our very best when are on the field. We are up for the challenge and, as I mentioned, I want to be first Asian side to win in Australia. That is the goal that we have set as a team,” he concluded.