ABU DHABI

Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq said Sunday that it was the biggest honour for him to be in the same bracket with Master Blaster Sir Vivian Richards.

Misbah first hit the fastest ever half-century in 21 balls and then carried on to his imperious form and hit Australian bowlers at will to equal the 28-year old record of Richards for a fastest hundred in the 56 balls. Misbah was all praise for Richards saying he was no way near to the great batman and it was incredible that he was successful in equaling his record.

Misbah said he did not know about the record but when he was in his 80s then the team management sent me the message that he was just 10 balls away from the world record. He said otherwise too, he was trying to swing it hard to score maximum runs in a short time. "I was trying to hit every ball and luckily, my bat continued to get good connection with the ball and records fell in the due course."

Misbah said when he came to crease his plan was to score quickly and help Azhar Ali to reach his hundred. "It was the situation's demand to play fast and add the runs quickly to set up 600 runs target for the Australians." He added it was the situation when he was under no pressure and that helped him to go after the bowlers and swing his bat freely. "Perhaps it was one of the days in my career when I was under the least pressure and it helped me to play freely."

He said records and hundreds were always important for batsmen and brought joy and happiness to them but he was happier that he and his batsmen had come into the form at right time when the World Cup was on the corner and it meant to him a lot. He said it was very important innings for him too and it was the best incentive that batsmen are getting such confidence too.

About the remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of the team who was on a losing turf since long, Misbah said self-belief, determination and hard work paid off for them. "Everybody was quite disappointed after the losses in Sri Lanka and against Australia in ODIs. Everyone tried hard individually as well as a team to overcome this disappointment. We were hurt. And we channelise our anger in a positive way that brings the great results for us."

He said the team is playing like a unit and it was natural as when one was winning and performing well they get together better and win brought unity and joy in the players.

About going after the fastest hundred in ODIs too, Misbah said every player tried to play his best cricket in the field according to situation and if someday he got such a chance that record might also come along the way. About his return to Twenty20 squad, Misbah said he was thinking of retirement now and thinking about making comeback in shorter version of the game was out of question.

Misbah also praised fellow twin centurion Azhar for his positive influence in the team. "I always rated Azhar highly as a player who played with lot of determination. In fact, it is due to him that the batsmen are performing well. He is an incredible player at No 3 slot who gives us good start and make the bowlers tired. In fact, Pakistan's middle order is performing due to his determination and efforts," Misbah concluded.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann concedes his men dropped their bundle with a disastrous batting display that left a monumental task to save face and the second Test. Australia are destined to lose its first series in 20 years to Pakistan.

"The challenge for us is to bat a lot better than we did in the first innings," said Lehmann, with Australia folding for 261 in its first innings. "We know that as a group, we let ourselves down and we've got to play better. Simple fact is we have to bat long periods of time and as you've seen you can make a lot of runs in back ends of innings when bowlers are tired."

Lehmann said Australia had been totally outplayed again, following their 221-run loss in the first Test in Dubai. "We've got to get to the drawing board and make it right," he said. "In (Australia's) last six Test matches (in the subcontinent), and hopefully, we can get out of jail (on Monday), but we certainly haven't played well enough."

Lehmann said it would be a great achievement if youngsters such as Steve Smith (38 not out) and Mitchell Marsh (26 not out) were able to help Australia force a draw. "But our top order batting, basically the top six, haven't made enough runs," he said.  Wicketkeeper batsman Brad Haddin (shoulder) and pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson are expected to bat on Monday despite injuries. Lehmann played down Johnson's hip problem. "He just got some treatment and then they declared," Lehmann said. "But he'll be fine."