Misbah praises Pakistan fighting spirit


Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq was full of praise for his team after they came from behind to draw the Test series in England, with a win at the Oval.

Misbah likened his team's never say die attitude to Pakistan's movement for Independence in particular, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan's first Governor-General.

The skipper told AFP: "The Oval win is not only pleasing as it is achieved on the Independence Day but it will also help us form a legacy for our future Test teams,

"When I took over as captain that was my aim, so this win will help me leave a legacy for future Test teams."

Misbah took charge of a team in crisis six years ago and has led them on a path to redemption, remarkably avoiding any major scandals and guiding the team towards consistency despite not being able to play at home.

The captain continued: "It has been important for me to unite the team and unity always brings good results, even in challenging situations like in England,

"This series-levelling win will go a long way in establishing this team because in the next six months we have series against the West Indies, New Zealand and Australia."

Pakistan began the series in England with a bang, winning the opener at Lord's in some style, the team then showed great character to bounce back from successive defeats to level the series at the Oval.

As Pakistan recorded the crucial win on their independence day, Misbah reminded his troops of their history: "I kept telling the team that we have to follow the example of great teams who never look behind and keep working hard and that's what we did,

"It was like the Pakistan Movement that even in the time of adversity Quaid-e-Azam never abandoned the hard work,

"When you play cricket, you have a lot of difficulties and face a lot of challenges, but through hard work you can achieve the toughest of things.

"I remember that when we were coming here (to England) no one was ready to give us any chance but I and my players had the belief.

"With a bit of luck, we could have won this Test series but even drawing a series in England against a team of quality players is a big achievement."

Misbah inspired his men to get a win of enormous significance on a very special day for the nation: "I told the players that we will achieve more than one thing if we win and level the series, we will also give a gift to the whole nation."

With Pakistan still unable to play Test cricket at home after the 2009 attack on the touring Sri Lankan team, Misbah highlighted the importance of the team performing well: "Our people love cricket but they are not able to watch us at home.

"So it is important that we keep winning and give youngsters and up and coming players the encouragement to take up the game and make their names."