“Always the no. 1 ranking is a big motivation,” says Misbah

Shukriya Pakistan

Pakistan’s test skipper has said ahead of the test series against New Zealand that reaching the top position in the ranking is always a big motivation. The first test of the tour will commence from November 17 in Christchurch.

Pakistan will have a chance to grab the first position in tests if England defeat India in the ongoing five-match test series in their homeground and if the Men in Green stand victorious in New Zealand.

“Always the no. 1 ranking is a big motivation,” said Misbah while talking to ESPNCricinfo, “If you play any sport, you want to be the best. That’s what we are looking forward to. That said, we need to improve ourselves every game. Every series and game becomes important for us. [We are] looking forward to playing well in this series and in Australia.”

The 42-year old is well aware that New Zealand will be short in confidence after being whitewashed by India in the away series, however, their home conditions can be helpful for the Kiwis. But, still Misbah believes that confidence is key for any team.

“If you see, after the Indian tour, most of the Kiwi batsmen have been struggling and short of confidence,” said Misbah.

“I know this is their own territory and they’ll be confident playing here, but as a batsman, and a cricketer, confidence can play a big role. Being short of confidence – we’ll look forward to exploiting that.”

Pakistan’s most successful test captain, who will be captaining his 50th test, also revealed that he has faith on his bowling line that it can dismantle any batting line in any condition, which makes their batting performance more important.

“If you look at the UAE conditions and New Zealand conditions, these are totally different,” he Misbah.

“That’s the biggest challenge for us, especially for our batting. Most of our players have been to New Zealand before, and they know how these conditions can be different from what we are used to.”

“We need to make sure that we bat with discipline and put good scores on the board. Our bowling is very much capable of performing well in any sort of conditions,” he added.

Misbah Ul Haq is not much bothered by the fact that their only practice game of the tour against New Zealand ‘A’, is washed out, “We missed the practice game here,” he stated.

“A couple of practice sessions are the only experience we’ve got before the Test match. As professionals, we need to use that information and be ready enough for the Test.”