Pakistan’s coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-Ul-Haq has experienced a challenging tenure in his dual roles so far and the English Test tour was further evidence of it. The tourists’ inexperienced bowlers underwent a tough time against the English batsmen, ending the three-Test series winless. However, Misbah-Ul-Haq points out the same as a learning curve for them.
Pakistan has always produced some of the best pacers and the pace trio of Mohammad Abbas, Shaheen Afridi, and Naseem Shah was believed to be second to none. All three skittled the English batting line-up for 219 in the first Test.
However, were unsuccessful in defending 277 in the fourth innings of that match. The trio went on to concede 583 in the final Test, including a partnership of 359 between Jos Buttler and Zak Crawley for the 5th wicket.
Misbah-Ul-Haq wrote in a blog for the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that it is disappointing to lose the Test series. However, it is a fruitful experience for the young men, who are keen to keep improving.
The former Pakistan skipper added it was great to witness Shaheen speaking to Anderson after the third Test, showing the willingness to learn from the greats of the game. Misbah feels that it turned out to be a competitive series, played in great spirit and the respect for each other built an amicable atmosphere.
“While it was disappointing to lose the Test series, the whole experience has been a really positive one for a young, improving team. Our bowlers have learned a lot from this series and it was great to see Shaheen having the chance to talk about bowling with Jimmy Anderson after the Test had finished.
“Learning from great fast bowlers will help them tactically. It was a really competitive series played in an excellent spirit. If the players respect each other and the game itself, which they did, then there will be a good atmosphere,” Misbah wrote in the blog.
You could sense it was tougher for the players at times: Misbah-Ul-Haq
Misbah-Ul-Haq further said that life in a bio-secure atmosphere was a great experience and felt slightly like a boot camp. While the 45-year old pointed out that doing everything together was good, it was challenging at times. It was tougher for players due to their highly-restricted movements and could not proceed to visit other places.
“Life in the biosecure bubble was a good experience – it was like a boot camp for Pakistan cricket. You do everything together: playing, training, eating. You could sense it was tougher for the players at times because they couldn’t switch off and go out or visit different places,” the 75-Test veteran Misbah-Ul-Haq added.