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It was a tough year for Pak in Tests: Misbah

It was a tough year for Pak in Tests: Misbah
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Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq feels 2019 has been a tough year for the country in Test cricket with their struggles against South Africa and...

Lahore : Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq feels 2019 has been a tough year for the country in Test cricket with their struggles against South Africa and Australia on the road, and has highlighted the need to improve performance.

Pakistan also just fell short of a semi-final berth at the World Cup in England and Wales on the basis of net run-rate.

They beat Sri Lanka 2-0 at home in their last ODI assignment, but defeats to Australia and England have put a dent in their win-loss ratio.

Pakistan had thrashed Sri Lanka by a huge margin of 263 runs in the Karachi Test to win the historic two-match series 1-0 and end the year on a high.

"Pakistan ended 2019 on a high note with victory against Sri Lanka, but, overall, it was a tough year for Pakistan in Test cricket," Misbah was quoted as saying by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

"In white-ball cricket, our mainstays like Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan, on the back of whom we had won the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, lost form at a crucial time which saw us suffer in the ODI World Cup and T20I format.

Though, we managed to stay number one in the format throughout the year. Overall, our win ratio in T20I cricket has fallen," he said.

"Going further, we have to improve a lot of things in both red-ball and white-ball cricket. This team has enough potential and new boys are also making their way in international cricket.

There's certainly a bright future ahead for us," the former captain added. Misbah also hailed the rise of Babar Azam as the top batsman in the country.

"The emergence of Babar Azam as a mega star across all formats is very good news for Pakistan cricket. He remained number one in T20I cricket and is in the top ten batsmen in the ODI cricket.

He played some brilliant innings in the World Cup and ended the year by establishing himself as a Test batsman with scintillating performances in Australia and two centuries against Sri Lanka in Pakistan," he said.

Misbah also lavished praise on rookie Naseem Shah and Shaheen Shah Afridi, saying the quicks have been impressive in the five-day format.

"Some of the new bowlers like Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi have arrived at the scene and they have been impressive in Test cricket. Naseem got five wickets in the last Test against Sri Lanka.

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