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Take a bow, Pakistan

Never mind the irony of World No 1 Test team England being beaten 0-3 by fifth placed Pakistan. Or, how incredible the International Cricket Council ratings appear when Australia and India are seen sharing the fourth spot despite Michael Clarke's 4-0 recent whitewash of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team. It's time to raise a toast to Pakistan; to their cricket team, to be precise.

Shoaib Akhtar, their former pace bowling stalwart, reckoned that the pitches in the Gulf (which served as a neutral venue for the Pakistan vs England series) were not conducive to a fair contest. But to beat an Ashes-winning England team that looked so unbeatable when it played India last summer, is a stupendous achievement.

Their captain Misbah-ul-Haq deserves a dollop of credit. He probably underlined that a good education can come in handy when it comes to leading cricket teams, especially a volatile outfit like Pakistan. It was no easy task for MBA Misbah to lead the team stricken by the worst possible controversy a cricketing set-up can have -- fixing.

 Just when Pakistan were proving to be taking things lightly after sealing the series in the previous Test, they struck back. The hallmark of a good outfit is their ability to rise from the depths of sporting despair. Pakistan proved that when they hit back at England in the third Test after being dismissed for 99.

Mohsin Khan, the former opening batsman, has proved to be a good coach. His experience as a selector may have helped. Now that Pakistan have found the right kind of talented players, they must do everything in their power to protect them from evil forces.

Pakistan have lost far too many players to cricket's sinister citadel or through poor attitude. Inshallah, their 3-0 triumph over England will make them more formidable.

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