‘Our bowling is always our strength. But in this series, [I am] a bit disappointed we could not take 20 wickets in any Test’ – Misbah-ul-Haq © Cricket Australia/Getty Images
Misbah-ul-Haq believes only greater and more regular exposure to Australian conditions can break Pakistan’s record-run of 12 consecutive Test defeats in the country.
Pakistan’s 220-run defeat in the third and final Test in Sydney condemned them to a fourth successive whitewash in Australia, following similar defeats in 1999-00, 2004-05 and 2009-10. This was Pakistan’s first tour to Australia in seven years and, according to the current ICC’s Future Tours Programme, they won’t be back anytime soon.
Misbah said the PCB should even consider sending aspiring players to take part in Australian domestic cricket. “I think it is important for us to get experience of these conditions,” he said. “If you are not touring more often in Australia or South Africa, that [result] could happen again and again. It’s important for us.
“I’ve already suggested that some of our players should be sent on a regular basis here to Australia, in their academies, just to play games here, to practice in these sort of conditions in the early stages of their career. Some of the guys who are in line, who might be in the team in the next two or three years, should be sent on a regular basis for two to three months, to play some state games or whatever. This is the only way we can improve. Otherwise if you are coming here after four, five, six years, half of your team are touring for the first time, and whether it’s the bowling unit or batting, we’re going to struggle.”
In the past that suggestion could have been reserved for Pakistan’s batsmen, but from the evidence of this tour, it may be just as important to send bowlers over. With very few exceptions, all of Pakistan’s quicks and spinners struggled so much that this series, statistically, put to the shade all that have preceded it.
Collectively and by measurement of bowling average (60.54), this was the worst performance by a Pakistan bowling side in any three-Test series. Australia were able to declare four times in five innings, losing only 33 of their 60 wickets and scoring at a series run-rate of 4.25.
Even though Misbah said the last-day collapse at the MCG was the “biggest disappointment” of the tour, he was clear that it was the bowling that lost it.
“Our bowling is always our strength. But in this series, [I am] a bit disappointed we could not take 20 wickets in any Test. That is why we were so behind in every Test.
“It’s important in Australian conditions. Normally, what we say is that it is not easy for Asian batsman to come and score runs but mainly what I’ve seen is that it’s difficult for us, any Asian side, to come and take 20 wickets in a Test game. That is an art and we could not do that. That mainly cost us the series.
“It is very important for any team to win, or to put opposition under pressure. The reason we didn’t put sides under pressure was because we just couldn’t take wickets in any match.”
Osman Samiuddin is a senior editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo