Misbah ready for England

2011-12-23 14:11
Misbah-ul Haq (AFP)

Lahore - Pakistani skipper Misbah-ul Haq said on Friday his high-flying team can beat England - world's leading Test side - when they meet next year, believing his side are unstoppable on current form.

Pakistan returned home on Friday after routing Bangladesh in two Twenty20s, three one-day internationals and two Tests, ending the year with five Test wins and without losing a series, both in five-day matches and limited overs.

They now take on England over three Tests, four one-days and three Twenty20 matches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a series starting next month.

Misbah said England will be a real test for his side, who are now fifth in Test rankings.

"The series against England is important as well as very tough," Misbah told reporters.

"England is the world's best Test team but in current form we can beat any team if we keep the good form and co-ordination which we showed this year."

Since taking over as Test captain in 2010 following a spot-fixing scandal, which resulted in jail terms for players Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer, Misbah has led Pakistan in 13 Tests.

Misbah, who has guided Pakistan to six wins, six draws and a single loss, said his team needs to improve to beat England.

"Despite achieving some good results we still need to overcome some of the mistakes which we committed and the management as well as the players are determined to overcome them because England will be really tough," said Misbah.

"Our targets on the Bangladesh tour were to keep consistency in our performance, overcome some of the mistakes and improve our rankings and that we achieved," said Misbah.

Pakistan also beat the higher-ranked Sri Lanka 1-0 in Tests and 4-1 in one-days in the UAE in October-November.

Misbah said his team has gelled over the last year.

"The best part about this team is that we have good coordination among the seniors and juniors, the support staff is helping players and each and every player realises his duty and that will help us against England," said Misbah.

Pakistan will have to once again rely on interim coach Mohsin Khan after failing to find a permanent replacement for Waqar Younis who stepped down in September citing health problems.

"Now wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are part of history," Khan said. "We have to start afresh against England and need to raise our game because the next opponents are very strong and ranked number one in the world."

The first Test between Pakistan and England starts in Dubai on January 17.

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