In August 2014, Pakistan were placed at the sixth place in ICC Test Rankings and after that what actually happened is like a dream run for team Pakistan.
It started when Pakistan won a Test series against Australia after 20 years, whitewashing them 2-0 and leaping up from No. 6 to 3 on the rankings. They continued this dominance in their so-called home land UAE, where in 21 Tests since March 2009, only four times have they gone without one of their batsmen making a hundred. They troubled New Zealand and England a lot there.
They came back from a difficult position in Bangladesh to a strong one. “It’s not a face-saving win,” Misbah said later. It was a team playing to its utmost potential. They tamed down the Sri Lankan lions 2-1 in their own den. And now, by troubling England in England (including a win at Lord’s), they have proved why they are the No.1 test side currently.
Misbah-ul-Haq is definitely the architect of this triumph. His captaincy works because he has a clear plan of how he wants to set his team up and how he wants to win. This might be too defensive for some people, but Misbah knows how to make his plan work. Also, in doing so, he leads by example. He does have an ideal associate in Younis Khan who is himself a world-class batsman.
How often do we see a Pakistani Cricket team captain being lauded? That too by Indians. May be this is the first time since Imran Khan won them the World Cup in 1992.
While just 2 days ago, team India went on to that No.1 position, still Pakistan are more deserving of the rank because Pakistan’s rise to No. 1 is a story of triumph in the face of adversities that no other team has had to face. Imagine they haven’t played in their own country since 7 years.
Although world No. 1, yet this Pakistan team is still a work in progress.