Dubbed as one of the best wins over England in Pakistan’s Test history, the joy was put on hold as the players insisted on training the very next day – what would have been the fourth day of the Test – but the team management decided otherwise.
Peak in sight
Pakistan coach Mohsin Khan was highly impressed with the determination shown by the players after they achieved the emphatic win inside three days. The win was also extra special since England had not lost a Test since the one in Perth during the 2010 Ashes series.
“The players have shown great professionalism even after the win,” Mohsin told The Express Tribune from Dubai. “They wanted to train immediately but I decided to give them rest after a hectic three days. This is the kind of determination required to become one of the top teams in the world. Looking at the players’ attitude, I can safely say we’re on the right track.”
Wary of England backlash
Mohsin was aware of a strong comeback from England and termed the first-Test win history.
“It was a stunning victory without a doubt. No one was expecting us to beat the world’s best by such a big margin. But we’ve forgotten that and now our focus is on the second match. Our target is a series victory.”
Mohsin said the team would not get complacent and was, in fact, under pressure to maintain the momentum.
“We’re under pressure to perform now. The loss has damaged England’s reputation and they’ll come back strongly.”
Players can cope with negative tactics: Cheema
While the team praised Saeed Ajmal after his 10-wicket haul, controversy arose during the match with former England captain Bob Willis questioning the off-spinner’s action as he delivered the ‘doosra’.
Ajmal chose not to pay attention but manager Naveed Akram Cheema feared Pakistan could be dragged into more controversies.
“We might see more criticism from former England players or their media,” said Cheema. “But the players are mentally strong enough to cope with such tactics. They are being reminded of that again and again. The team’s spirit and morale is very high and I’m confident that they will not come under any pressure from negative tactics.”
“It’s a big win for us. But we can expect a tough time from England in the next Test. That’s what makes you number one. They have quality cricketers. Their bowlers are fighters and they’ll come back hard.”
“If we win the series against the best Test team in the world, it will take our side to new heights. Now is the time that the cricket world starts appreciating the improvement in our team since the scandals in 2010.”