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30 November 2023

Misbah urges Pakistan to send talent to play in Australia


Captain Misbah-ul-Haq says Pakistan will not end their touring misery in Australia until they can adapt to the unique playing conditions Down Under.

Pakistan succumbed to a 220-run defeat to Steve Smith's Australians in the third Sydney Test on Saturday to lose their last four series in Australia 3-0.

It was Pakistan's 12th straight Test defeat since their last Test win in Australia in Sydney 22 years ago.

Misbah, who at 42 is the oldest current Test cricketer and who will consider his playing future upon his return home, has suggested that Pakistan send some of their rising young stars to play in Australia to familiarise themselves with the conditions.

"I think it's important for us to get experience of these of these conditions and if we are not touring more often in Australia and South Africa, that could happen again and again," Misbah told reporters.

"I've already suggested that some of our players should be sent to Australia on a regular basis to play games here to get used to these conditions at an early stage.

"Some of the guys who might be in line to come here for a series in two or three years should be sent to Australia and South Africa for two or three months to play state games or whatever.

Among the differences in conditions are the bounce in the faster wickets in Australia, and more moisture, compared to slower pitches in India and elsewhere in Asia which are more conducive to spin.

"This is the only way we can improve. Whether it's a bowling unit or batting unit, we're going to struggle. These conditions are completely different to any others," Misbah added.

'Supreme fitness'

Misbah, who had a poor series scoring just 76 runs at an average of 12.66, said fitness was vital to succeed in Australia.

"To win in Australia, your fitness is vital, in any other country you can survive but in Australia you need supreme fitness," he said.

Misbah pointed to Pakistan's ability to bowl out Australia only once in five innings, costing them any chance in the series.

"It's not easy for Asian batsmen to come here and score runs and it's difficult for any Asian side to come here and take 20 wickets in a Test match.

Misbah said the shattering last day defeat in the second Melbourne Test when the tourists were bowled out in just 53.2 overs to tumble to an innings defeat was a turning point.

"The last day of the MCG was the biggest disappointment of the tour and we got demoralised from that and could not recover," he said.

"This is how it is. Australia is not an easy place."

Misbah said among the few positives of the Test series was the batting form of Azhar Ali, Younis Khan and Sarfraz Ahmed.

Azhar finished as the highest Pakistan runscorer in a series in Australia with 406 at 81.20, while veteran Younis scored an unbeaten 175 in the first innings of the Sydney and fell 23 runs short of becoming the first Pakistan batsman to reach 10,000 Test runs.

Wicketkeeper Sarfraz topscored with a fighting unbeaten 72 off 70 balls in the second innings and ended the series with an average of 56.50.