Pakistan head coach and chief selector Misbah-Ul-Haq has opened up on the team which is slightly favourites as his team gears up to face England in a three-match Test series. Former Pakistan captain Misbah-Ul-Haq, who captained the team in 2016 in England — is all preparing for one of the biggest challenges in his coaching tenure, which has been nothing short of testing and turbulent so far.
Six months since their last Test match, Pakistan will hold the fort in the bio-secure venues in Southampton and Manchester for the first of the three Tests that begins — at the Old Trafford from the 5th of August. In the last decade, the men in green have performed significantly better, drawing the Test series in 2016 and 2018.
Misbah-Ul-Haq conceded that they have to be on the top of the game from the word-go if they want to win even a Test match. According to Misbah, it is the only way they can win the series. The 45-year-old labelled England is having a slight upper hand due to their Test series victory against the West Indies — and having ample match practice.
“We have to really come in this Test series right from the word go at our best if we want to win a Test series or a Test match. We’re aware that England have a slight advantage, but if we’re alert and go 100% in the first Test, that’s the only way we can beat England … otherwise we will find ourselves in difficulty,” Misbah stated as quoted by India Today.
That was their first Test in a long time and obviously, after that, they played consistently: Misbah-Ul-Haq
The coach and chief selector understands England’s record of losing the first game in eight out of their last ten series including against the West Indies. Despite that, he refused to take them lightly and pointed out that Joe Root’s men have been performing consistently in the final two Tests. Misbah also asserted that they would keep their players mentally fresh irrespective of the results since Test match is a pressurizing game.
“That was their first Test in a long time and obviously after that they played consistently,” said Misbah, adding, “ …we should be ready for an England team that have had three matches of experience and won their last two tests. But Test cricket is different,” he added. “Once you’re in, pressures build sometimes, but we’ll try to keep it so they’re mentally fresh regardless of the results,” he added.