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April 26, 2015

Pakistan hope to turn tide in Tests


April 26, 2015

KARACHI: Next week, Pakistan’s top cricketers will begin an important mission.
After getting thrashed in the three-match One-day International series as well as in the lone Twenty20 International at the hands of a rampaging Bangladesh, Pakistan’s mission will be to restore their image and status as one of the world’s leading cricket teams by winning the two-Test series.
The mission will begin at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna where the opening Test will get underway on Tuesday.
Under normal circumstances, Pakistan – who are ranked among the world’s top Test teams – would have taken victory in the series almost for granted.
But these are not normal circumstances as Pakistan’s morale is at an all-time low following a series of defeats on the current tour of Bangladesh. Such had been their dismal run that Pakistan have even lost a practice game against a second string local side.
However, hopes are high that with the return of dependable seniors – skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and veteran batsman Younis Khan –- Pakistan will turn the tide.
Pakistan have never lost a Test against Bangladesh and Misbah would be desperate to keep that record intact after the hosts created history by winning the ODI series and the one-off T20 game in Mirpur.
Pakistan’s Test squad has assembled in Bangladesh and received a rude shock on Saturday when they were forced to leave their hotel rooms following tremors that were felt across various parts of the sub-continent.
They would want to avoid similar shocks on the field but if one of the top Bangladesh players is to be believed Pakistan should be ready for the worst in the Tests.
Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangaldesh’s ODI captain, has backed the home team to inflict more misery on Pakistan in the upcoming Test series after leading his side to a seven-wicket victory in Friday’s one-off Twenty20 International.
It was the first time Pakistan have lost to Bangladesh in a T20 international and they

must now turn their attention to restoring some pride in the two-Test series.
With the arrivals of the likes of captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, who have not featured in the limited-overs defeats, Pakistan will be expected to secure a series win.
Mashrafe is not involved in the Test set-up, but the limited-overs skipper will be watching on hoping Pakistan suffer more pain in the five-day format.
He said: “It is a nice moment for us. We have been waiting for this for the past six-seven months. We have been working hard. I am sure that the boys will deliver in Tests, too.”
Pakistan T20 skipper Shahid Afridi was magnanimous in defeat, but expects the tourists to respond in the Test series.
“I want to congratulate Bangladesh,” said the all-rounder. “They have great momentum, especially in home conditions. I think our team is balanced in Test cricket. Misbah and Younis will be back for Tests.”

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