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Misbah admits pressure got to Pakistan

AAP logoAAP 30/12/2016 Roger Vaughan

Dejected Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has pulled no punches, saying his team failed to handle Australia's pressure in the Boxing Day Test.

Misbah, who admitted post-match he is considering retirement, added that his team also failed to apply pressure when they had the chance.

Pakistan's disastrous loss by an innings and 18 runs on Friday is another chapter in their hard-earned reputation as the most mercurial team in Test cricket.

They have blown whatever momentum they built in the first Test and then in their first innings at the MCG.

After shining in the MCG gloom with 9 (dec)-443, Pakistan's bowling and fielding were lacklustre as Australia amassed 8 (dec)-624 - the highest Test score at the MCG.

After everyone thought the Test would end as a tame draw, Australia blasted out Pakistan for 163 to pull off a miracle win.

"There's no explanation - once you're under pressure, from a position where you score 443 in the first innings, and instead of dominating the game on the last day ... that pressure sometimes does things like that,"' Misbah said

"It was sheer pressure I think - full credit to Australia."

Misbah added they should never have been in a position where they had to save the game, given their first innings.

"We just gave the momentum back to Australia," he lamented.

Misbah also had no excuses for Pakistan's terrible second innings.

"We should take the blame as a batting unit also, because the pitch was very good even on the last day,"' he said.

"It was only the pressure we could not handle."

Indian captain MS Dhoni also retired after the Boxing Day Test two years ago and Misbah will consider his future before the third Test in Sydney.

"There is a point where I need to think about that ... there's no point just hanging around, doing nothing," he said.

He and fellow veteran Younus Khan fell cheaply twice at the MCG and Misbah was at a loss to explain his form slump.

"Maybe the thought process as a batsman is not right," he said.

"That is what has happened with me.

"Quite a few innings now in which the shot that isn't on, or the wrong shot for the wrong time...I don't know, as a cricketer, as a batsman it is hard."

Whatever the reason for his slump, Misbah admitted it stings.

"As a senior player, you have more responsibililty ... it hurts a lot," he said.

Pakistan have come under plenty of criticism for their bowling and fielding throughout the Australian innings at the MCG.

"When you're not bowling well, it's difficult to implement any sort of plan, making any sort of strategy," he said.

"That's been happening to us - we do not build any sort of pressure.

"That sometimes doesn't give you control as a captain and obviously when you have no control, then you struggle with your strategies.

"That's where I think everything went wrong for us in this Test match."

Pakistan were left rueing two glaring errors in the Australian innings - Wahab Riaz bowling David Warner on a no-ball and Sohail Khan dropping Mitchell Starc.

Together, those let-offs cost Pakistan 96 crucial runs.

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