Mishbah, Whatmore earn praise for Pakistan performance in UAE

Karachi: In a welcome change, Pakistani players and their captain, Misbah-ul-Haq and head coach, Dav Whatmore have been praised for their performances so far in the ongoing first test against South Africa at Abu Dhabi.

Young opener, Khurrum Manzoor and his partner, Shaan Masood who made his debut in particular won accolades for their century partnership which has put Pakistan in a strong position in the Test.

Manzoor is still batting on 131 while Masood a tall left hander made 75 in his maiden test innings to give Pakistan their first century opening stand in nearly one and half years time.

Former players and critics had blasted Misbah, Whatmore and the players after they lost a one-day international and a test match in Zimbabwe last month. Pakistan had also suffered a whitewash in the test series in South Africa earlier in the year.

The team and management had also come in for stinging criticism after the Champions Trophy disaster in England.

"It is really good to see the team doing well after the tour to Zimbabwe," said former captain and noted commentator, Rameez Raja who had described Misbah`s captaincy as stale and called for a change in the team management.

"The good thing is that the batsmen have so far shown controlled aggression and there has been a sense of purpose in the way we have fielded, bowled and batted in this test," he said.

Rameez said the test was still far from over as the pitch was a very technical one and required lot of patience and application to bat on.
"Pakistan cricket has lacked in confidence in recent times even though we have one of the most balanced and varied bowling attacks in the world," he added.