In final Test,Pakistan aim to spin tale of success

Gulf series: No team has made a clean sweep of Pakistan-England series in 58 years

Written by AFP | Dubai | Published:February 3, 2012 2:57 am

Misbah-ul Haq believes routing world No.1 England 3-0 will be a big achievement but stressed his team will not take that extra pressure into the third and final Test starting here on Friday.

No team has ever registered a clean sweep in the 58 years of Pakistan-England cricket and Misbah’s team has a good chance of creating history after their compreshenive 10-wicket win in the first Test and by 72 runs in the second.

England,who will also be in danger of losing their world’s top rankings if they lose here,will have to find a quick solution to counter Pakistani spinners Saeed Ajmal (17 wickets) and left-armer Abdul Rehman who has 12 in two matches. Misbah said Pakistan will look for an encore in the third Test.

“It will be a big achievement for the team (winning 3-0),” said Misbah of the clean sweep which Pakistan last achieved against Bangladesh at home in 2003,while their last against a top Test nation was beating West Indies 3-0 in 1997.

Misbah’s great run

Since taking over as captain in the aftermath of spot-fixing scandal during which Pakistan lost 3-1 to England in 2010,Misbah has led Pakistan to eight wins with one defeat and five draws.

Ajmal took a career best 7-55 in the first Test here and Rehman registered his best 6-25 in the second in Abu Dhabi,feats which Misbah said were extraordinary.

“I think both have been bowling well for quite some time now and they create pressure on the batsmen and never give any opportunity to let them out of that and on top of that England batsmen were low on confidence,” said Misbah.

Misbah hinted about keeping the same combination,although Pakistan have the option of using the bench player in paceman Wahab Riaz in place of Junaid Khan.

Adapting,the key

England captain Andrew Strauss admitted the key would be countering Pakistan’s spinners. “That’s one of the crucial things about playing spin,you have to adapt your game according to the surfaces you play on. I am very optimistic,you’ll see people a bit clearer in what their gameplan is and how they are looking to play,which is a good starting point,” said Strauss.

Strauss added that middle-order batsman Ian Bell was fit after suffering stomach problem which forced him to miss practice on Wednesday.

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