Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has hit back at his critics who believe he is a defensive captain.
Lahore: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has hit back at his critics who believe he is a defensive captain, saying for him winning was more important than providing entertainment.
"The most important thing is to win cricket matches and we are just focusing on winning at the moment. At the moment, winning cricket matches is more important than entertaining in Test cricket," Misbah said.
"Our first aim is to win matches, we want to continue to win matches, build the confidence of the players and the team, then we can look at working on the entertainment aspect in Test cricket," he told the Pakpassion.net.
"Once the confidence is there and you are winning, yes you can look at being more aggressive and more positive in your batting, improve your strike rates, but the key is to excel as a team first and then look at the aspect of entertainment."
Pakistan, under Misbah's captaincy, went undefeated in Test series against New Zealand, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2011. They lost just one Test in the year, that was on the West Indies tour in which the two-Test series ended in a 1-1 draw.
Misbah, who himself has been in great form in the past year, expressed satisfaction with the performance of the team.
"It was a good year for the Pakistan cricket team, the performances have been good. Starting from the tour of New Zealand at the beginning of the year right through to the recent tour of Bangladesh, it's been a very good show from every player," he said.
However, the senior batsman admitted there was always room for improvement.
"The recent improvement in the team rankings is a good sign and we'll look to keep on improving our ranking with every series. I see 2012 as a year that will define where we are as a team and where we can go," he said.
"The aim, of course, is to keep on climbing up the rankings tables, starting with the upcoming series against England, where we will look to start the year well and we are very focused on that."
Talking about the low points of 2011, Misbah said one of them was losing to India in the World Cup semi-final at Mohali.
"The World Cup semi-final was undoubtedly the low point last year. Winning the World Cup would have been a fantastic achievement and it was disappointing to lose that match in Mohali against India," he said.
"But, there again reaching the semi-finals when we weren't amongst the favourites was a decent and commendable achievement."
Speaking about the upcoming series against England, Misbah said the incident on Pakistan's last tour of England in 2010 will not play on their minds.
"As far as the Pakistan team is concerned, we will just be focusing on playing good cricket. That is our only aim and none of the players need to think about what happened in England in 2010. We are just looking forward to having a successful series against England and playing cricket in a good spirit," he said.
"I don't think there will be any problems from our side with disciplinary matters, we aren't interested in getting involved in any non-cricketing issues or problems, and we will just be concentrating on cricket and our performances."
Misbah, who wasn't part of the squad which toured England in 2010, feels that the upcoming series against England will be an extremely tough one for Pakistan.
"The England team has everything, they have top spinners, have good fast bowlers, have a strong batting line-up too. However the conditions will not be in favour of them and we've played a lot of cricket in the conditions that England will see in the UAE."