Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq says his career would have ended long ago if he'd listened to his critics. (AP Photo)
Dubai: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq says his career would have ended long ago if he'd listened to his critics. Cricket pundits at home came down hard on Misbah after Pakistan was upset by Zimbabwe in Harare last month.
But Misbah came back strong in leading his side to its own stunning victory, a seven-wicket defeat of top-ranked South Africa in their first Test last week.
"I am not bothered what people are saying because if I would have listened to them my career would have been over in 2001," Misbah said on Tuesday as he prepared for the second Test, starting from Wednesday.
A draw will give Pakistan their first Test series victory against the Proteas since they beat Graeme Smith's team in 2003 at home.
"I don't just listen to the guys because I know what I am doing after playing 15-20 years of cricket," he said. I know what I am doing right and what I am doing wrong."
The knock on Misbah has long been about him consuming too many deliveries to build the team total. Yet, in a team which has often struggled, his reliable defense has been the main resistance.
This year he's been particularly productive, at the age of 39. He tops the world this year with 1,441 international runs that include 480 in six Tests and 961 in 21 one-day internationals.
Misbah played only five Tests from 2001-03, then came back in 2007 and became an integral part of the team. It was Misbah who was made captain and rejuvenated Pakistan after three top players were suspended for spot-fixing in 2010.
The captaincy has inspired Misbah, as he's averaged 58.53 in 23 Tests in charge, and 50 in ODIs. He's also led the team to 11 wins and seven draws in 23 Tests, and 30 wins in 53 ODIs.
"My focus is on just doing well in every game and that's what I am doing," he said. "I just never listen to anyone."