PCB Logo

'Australia win is Pakistan's best ever': Misbah

ABU DHABI: Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq Monday rated a 2-0 win over Australia as the "best ever victory" considering his team were without ace spinner Saeed Ajmal and frontline pacemen Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz.

Pakistan inflicted a 356-run defeat on Australia -- their biggest win in all Test cricket -- in Abu Dhabi, taking the two-match series 2-0.

That gave Pakistan their first series win over Australia in 20 years, prompting Misbah to rate the win as "best ever", slightly ahead of Pakistan's 3-0 rout of then world number one England, also in the United Arab Emirates in 2012.

"It's really tough to rank both series, but considering the fact that we had far better bowling combination for England and this time, despite having an inexperienced bowling line-up, nobody could have thought we can turned around and beat Australia. So you can understand this is a big achievement," said Misbah.

Ajmal was suspended due to illegal bowling action while Riaz and Junaid were injured.

Spinners Zulfiqar Babar, who had played two Test before the series, and leggie Yasir Shah, who made his debut in the first Test, shared 26 wickets between them. 

The win also put Misbah equal with Pakistan's most successful Test captains -- Imran Khan and Javed Miandad -- at 14 wins each.

Misbah cerdited the turnaround, after losing the preceding One-Day series against Australia 3-0, to team effort.

"I think we got the belief (to win) and that's why we delivered and everyone performed. The way we played as a batting unit you could say there was belief and this could be the reason we performed the way we did," said Misbah, declared Man of the Match for his fiery 56-ball hundred, which followed his 101 in the first innings.

Misbah equalled the record for fastest Test century of West Indian Vivian Richards and set a new record for fastest half-century off just 21 balls.

Younis Khan, declared Man of the Series, for his 468 runs, which included century in each innings in the first Test that Pakistan won by 221 runs in Dubai, and 213 in the second match.

Misbah said it had looked a difficult proposition without frontline bowlers.

"Obviously it looked difficult without Ajmal, (Abdur) Rehman, Riaz and Junaid but everybody performed well and it was remarkable."

The win over Australia also lifted Pakistan to third in Test rankings from sixth before the series, an improvement Misbah cherished.

"It's really good to be up there in ranking and that could really give you great confidence. I think the good thing is that we are going to play another series against New Zealand ... if we can really continue plaing like this, it will further help us in our campaign in the World Cup," said Misbah.

Pakistan next play New Zealand in a three-match series, with the first Test starting in Abu Dhabi from Sunday.