ENG vs PAK 2020: Coach Misbah-ul-Haq looks to deliver a 'late gift' to nation by winning the final Test

Aug 19, 6:44:39 AM

When 42-year-old Misbah-Ul-Haq started doing press-ups after scoring a scintillating hundred at the Oval in 2016, the world took notice as the match ended in a Pakistan victory and gave the team an important series draw against the home team England. 


The day of victory was 14th August, the Independence Day of Pakistan. Now, in England as a coach, Misbah plans to give a late ‘azaadi gift’ to the nation as the second Test was drawn due to bad light and persistent rain.


"It is always a special moment to celebrate Independence Day during a Test match and Pakistan has some great memories from previous such occasions in England: our first-ever Test win in England in 1954 came just after Independence Day, as did the famous win at Lord's in 1982 and, from a personal point of view, our victory at the Oval in 2016 when we levelled the series on 14 August itself," recalled Misbah in his blog for Pakistan Cricket Board’s official website.


"Hopefully we can deliver a late gift to the nation in the final Test and announce another Independence Day! Or, as a coach, I can just announce that this is the month of Independence," he added.

 

Now 46, Misbah wants to put the emphasis on the fitness of his players saying that since the time he has taken the role of Head coach, fitness has been paramount in his strategies.


"Fitness has been an important part of our strategy as a team since I took on the role of head coach last September and we have seen the benefits in the two Tests so far," Misbah wrote.


He further gave examples of wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan in the second Test and Shan Masood in the first one to provide substance to his claims.


“Rizwan is a great example of that (fitness) in the way he ran between the wickets and batted with the tail. Shan Masood also showed it in the first Test, batting for almost eight hours, and running really well with Shadab Khan,” concluded Misbah. The third and final Test of the series begins on Friday, August 21 at The Rosebowl in Southampton.

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