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Pakistan 'in the groove'- Majid Published: 20 January 2012

Majid Khan, the former Pakistan captain, has lauded current incumbent Misbah-ul-Haq and backed his side to maintain their form for the second Test against England.

Pakistan romped to a 10-wicket win in Dubai last week as an undercooked England twice folded for under 200, with spinner Saeed Ajmal taking ten wickets in the match.

The two sides meet again in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, with world number one ranked side England needing a victory to have any chance of a series win.

Majid, who played 63 Tests for his country, admitted he had expected more from England and put Pakistan’s win down to a combination of the conditions, form and preparation.

“I’m surprised at the nature of Pakistan’s win,” he said. “But not so much in a sense that the conditions in Dubai are the same as in Pakistan and most people knew that Pakistan would put in a good performance.

“They have been playing and winning internationals in the last couple of months and England hasn’t; they’ve been out for a while and that made a difference.

“I’m sure England will perform much better in the second Test because they will have worked out Saeed Ajmal’s bowling and got used to the conditions.

“But Pakistan are in the groove and there is obviously a lot of confidence in the side - let's see if they can maintain the momentum.”

Leader

Misbah has received widespread praise for his leadership of the side since assuming the captaincy in the turbulent fall-out from the 2010 spot-fixing saga.

Under the 37-year-old’s leadership Pakistan have stabilised impressively, winning seven of their 13 Tests, with just one defeat.

Despite many of their recent wins coming against lower-ranked opposition including Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, Majid was full of praise for Misbah’s influence on the current side.

He added: “Misbah is very mature and he has been in and around cricket for a very long time.

“Having an older, calm, experienced player in charge of the team has been a very positive move for Pakistan, he is doing an excellent job.”

Return to Pakistan

Majid is a member of the MCC’s World Cricket committee, which met in Cape Town earlier this month.

Majid made a presentation to the committee on the improved security situation in the country and the WCC recommended that, subject to government and MCC Committee approval, a small delegation from the Club visits Pakistan.

In light of the recent decision, Majid reiterated his belief that the cricketing community begins to look into the possibility of cricket returning to the country.

“I feel very strongly that the WCC does return to Pakistan,” added the former Glamorgan batsman and Cambridge Blue.

“If MCC send a team over it will be a great thing.

“MCC and ICC have to look at the ground realities and the only way they can do it is by sending people every three or four months. Only then can they make up their minds.

“There is a lot of pressure from the public – they want cricket back in the country. They want the team to perform in front of them.”


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