Islamabad: Following Pakistan’s all round performance against New Zealand in the Hamilton Test, Test skipper Misbah ul Haq is now aiming at further improvement in his team, so that it performs “even better” in the second and final Test at Wellington.
“Hamilton was really pleasing. The team went into the match full of confidence after the series in South Africa, and the victory in Hamilton has further enhanced our confidence levels. Our aim is to improve further and perform even better in Wellington,” a website quoted Misbah, as saying.
“I feel we are an improving unit in all areas of our cricket which is a very good sign. However one shouldn’t sit back and not take note of areas of the game that I feel we can further improve upon… I really want our batsmen to make sure that the good starts are not wasted,” he added.
Pakistan took all the plaudits in the first Test, whilst the hosts came in for a fair amount of criticism from fans and press alike. However, with the series comprising just two Tests, the Kiwis will be looking to bounce back at Wellington and level the series, something that Misbah is fully aware of.
“Cricket is so fast nowadays that you rarely see a drawn Test, unless the wicket is really flat. Our best policy for the upcoming match at Wellington will be to go for a win, rather than just consolidate our one-nil lead. I want my team to perform well, play good cricket and look to wrap up the series two-nil,” he said.
“Also, I expect that the wicket at Wellington will be a “sporting track” and will give full value for the batsmen and bowlers and will likely be a result producing track. Our opponents no doubt will push us hard, as they will be going into the second Test on the back of a heavy defeat and will of course be looking to level the series. We need to be wary of the fact that New Zealand will come hard at us. We will need to work even harder and ensure that we are even more focused in Wellington,” he added.
Misbah, who has hit four half centuries since being appointed Test captain, has also been praised for his captaincy skills, and many observers feel that his cool and calculated style of leadership is ideal for the current side. The successful skipper, however, feels that a lot of the credit should go to his teammates, rather than to any specific individual.
“Credit to all of the team for the fantastic way they have responded to me. I am hardly having to say anything to the side and everybody knows their role in the team. I’m seeing a great degree of professionalism and responsibility from all of the players, which is fantastic and makes my job a lot easier. I’m seeing the right response from the players at the right time,” he said.
Misbah also concurred with Kiwi skipper Daniel Vettori’s views on the much-debated Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS), that it should be employed at every opportunity in international cricket.
“I agree with Vettori. The UDRS should be used all over the world rather than just picking and choosing where and when it’s used. I think the UDRS should be made compulsory in all international cricket, as I feel it is of help to the umpires as well as to the cricketers,” Misbah said.