ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – Captain Misbah-ul-Haq hopes both himself and outstanding veteran batsman Younis Khan can sign off their international careers by propelling Pakistan to a historic series victory in the Caribbean.
The visitors have never won a series in the region since the two sides commenced rivalry over half a century ago and have lost four of the seven Test series.
However, with the current series locked 1-1 heading into the final Test at Windsor Park starting here today, Misbah said it was imperative both himself and Younis use the occasion to inspire the side to history.
“I think that is something that has given us additional motivation so I hope that is the case with the team also,” Misbah told reporters here yesterday.
“I’m looking forward to it being a normal game and focusing on our job, especially as a player, that’s more important especially as a batsman. I think the contributions of Younis and me would be very important in this game so I’m just focusing on that.
“Sometimes emotions can come into these types of equations but I think we’ll just try our best to focus on our job.”
Misbah has led Pakistan cricket through one of its most turbulent periods, presiding over the side in 55 of his 74 Tests and winning 25, losing 19 and drawing 11.
He admitted that his final game in charge came with some of the usual pressure associated with big international games.
“Pressure is always there when you’re playing international games so pressure is there because you want to win every game and I think this is a special game for us,” he pointed out.
“We have a chance to make history so we’ll be looking forward to it and try to just get a win.”
His personal form has also been excellent. He passed 5000 runs during the opening Test and currently averages 46, with 10 centuries.
In an extraordinary turn of bad fortune, however, he was left stranded on 99 not out in the first innings of the first Test and was then dismissed for 99 in the first innings of the second Test in Barbados last week.
He said he had taken both disappointments in stride.
“I’m not like that. I’ll just take that. Instead of scoring a zero like I did in the second innings [of the last Test], I think 99 is far better than that,” he laughed.
“What I believe is … give a hundred per cent, try your best and then whatever comes just be thankful in that. I’m always like that and I’m happy with what I’ve achieved.” Younis, meanwhile, became the first Pakistan player to pass 10000 in Tests when he carved out 58 in the first innings of the Sabina Park Test but since then has managed only 11 runs from three innings.
He was out of sorts in the last Test in Barbados as West Indies pulled off an emphatic 106-run victory on the last day to post their second Test win over the tourists in their last three matches.
However, Misbah said once his side fired on all cylinders, they would win the contest.
“We know that West Indies are playing good cricket especially [since] they got their confidence back against Pakistan in beating us twice,” he said.
“Still I think we’re a good side and if we perform up to our potential I still think we can beat any side. We’re looking forward just to getting our disciplines right and be at the top of our game.”