Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Year Defining Win
Whatever else they do this year, nothing can beat what we have seen this month. Pakistan may go on to win many series and tournaments this year such as the Asia Cup, T20 Championship, ODI series win against England BUT nothing and I mean nothing comes in front or comes harder than what has been achieved over the last few weeks with a high profile test series win against the world number 1 ranked side and that too with a whole test match to spare. It was a major obstacle to compete with, but the hosts have overcome it in triumphant fashion.
England came into the series as favourites and Pakistan although they had had an impressive run with series wins without a single defeat against New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as well as a commendable drawn series against South Africa and a test win coming back from behind in the Caribbean to level the series, their best bet was considered a drawn affair against England and even the keenest optimists were only settling for a 1-0 series win, but yet Pakistan exceeded expectations which no one could have predicted to break England's unbeaten test run where they hadn't lost any of the previous 9 series, winning 8 of them and standing tall at the number 1 ranking going into the series, but 2 emphatic victories for Pakistan in the end gives them the serious honours and that is that.
There was even some talk of comparing this England team to the West Indies of the 80s and the Aussies under Steve Waugh, that's how highly they were rated coming into this series, but Pakistan have beaten them convincingly once and from the jaws of a certain defeat in another. Team Misbah have caught England off guard and when we look back at the year that 2012 is it will be hard to consider a bigger and more symbolic triumph than this test series win over a dominant England side.