Pakistan claimed second spot in the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s latest test rankings after the two-zero series win over England. The ranking is Pakistan’s equal highest test ranking, Previously Pakistan attained the second spot in test rankings only for a few days in August 2006. Pakistan have remained on top for much of the series, except for the last couple of days of the first test when they got themselves into trouble and it was bad light that rescued them. It has to be remembered that England is a quality test side and to get the better of them is not an easy task.
The series win was result of team work and every player played his part. Shoaib Malik was the star of the first test amassing a double ton. Yasir Shah who missed the first test through injury was the main man in the second test. In the third test it was the joint effort of Muhammad Hafeez with the bat and Shoaib Malik with the ball that saw Pakistan through. The contribution throughout the series from middle order batsman Asad Shafiq was also vital. The Karachi batsman has thrived in the number six position and has been a consistent performer for Pakistan in the test format.
However, the role of one man stands above all, that of Pakistan’s test captain Misbah-ul-Haq, the middle order batsman took over the Pakistan test team when it was at its lowest in test history. The image of Pakistan cricket was tarnished after the spot-fixing fiasco and Pakistan lost two of the best fast bowlers in Muhammad Amir and Muhammad Asif. It was under Misbah’s leadership that the team rose from the low depths to the number two-spot in test ranking.
Misbah-ul-Haq’s leadership has played a vital role in making Pakistan a force to be reckoned with in test cricket.