Before his last Test series, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq penned down a column at Cricket.wu.com, sharing his memorable journey with team, retirement, Younis Khan, match and spot fixing scandals and emerging talented Shadab Khan.

Misbah firstly talks about his retirement and why he decided to continue after England tour last year. “Initially I wanted to retire after our home series against England and India in 2015-16. But with the India series not going ahead and with tours of England, New Zealand, Australia and West Indies coming in succession, I decided to continue. I had said to myself that irrespective of what happens in Australia, the tour to the Caribbean would be my last.”

And another motivation to continue for the captain was winning a series in West Indies which Pakistan have never done.

“To be the first Pakistan team to win a Test series in the West Indies is another factor that motivated me to push on. The Windies team on paper might appear to be weak but they have some very good players. They gave us a tough time in the tour-match in Trelawny and they also showed lot of fight in the recent one-day series. Winning in the Caribbean is still a challenge and we cannot afford to be complacent,” he wrote.

While talking about his favourite batting partner, Misbah stated that it was always an honour for him to bat with Younis Khan.

“My personal feeling is that Pakistan still need Younis Khan and he can play for another year or two, but I’m not sure if others agree with me or not. I talked to him about it in Australia and told him that ‘you can play on’. Even though we have some very good youngsters in the team, the gap left by Younis’ absence will be difficult to fill.”

According to Misbah it is not Younis Khan’s batting which will be missed by the team rather he will be missed as a person and his role in establishing a great environment in the dressing room.

“The Pakistan team will not just miss him as a batsman; they’ll also miss him as a mentor. He has been a terrific role model for everyone and it will be very tough to replace him. Every member of this team, including myself, has learnt a lot from him. He has changed our dressing room culture. If one wants to be successful in professional life, one only needs to regard Younis Khan’s organised and punctual lifestyle from breakfast to bed.”

Misbah said batsmen like Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq have the potential to fill gap created by the absence of Younis Khan and him.

“We need Azhar and Asad to now take ownership of the Test side, and with players like Babar Azam, Umar Amin, Mohammad Rizwan, Ahmed Shehzad, Usman Salahuddin, Fawad Alam among others in the ranks I am hopeful that Pakistan will remain in good shape. Every team goes though transition periods and Pakistan is no different.”

While mentioning the recent England tour, Misbah called it highly significant because of its link with infamous spot-fixing scandal at Lord’s.

“After what happened in 2010, I think we badly needed a win at Lord’s. We couldn’t have asked for a better venue for regain some lost pride. Although the first century of my career – against India in Kolkata in 2007 – is the most memorable knock for me, getting my name on the honours board at the home of cricket and helping Pakistan to clinch a memorable victory was a fine achievement. Pakistan had not been looked upon favourably during the previous tour in 2010 and I feel we helped to change that perception in 2016.”

Misbah also discussed PSL spot-fixing scandal and recalled the horrors of it.

“It was a massive shock when I learnt of this. The first thought that came to my mind was about Pakistan. As I said, it has taken us a long time to regain the lost pride. The second thought was about the PSL, a tournament which is getting a global audience and has become Pakistan cricket’s brand. I didn’t want it to be getting bad press. The third thought was about Shajreel Khan who was turning out to be an excellent player for modern day cricket. The sort of player Pakistan badly need. It was tough to go through all the mess and losing these players was a setback for my team in the PSL. “

At end the captain, especially mentioned emerging talent Shadab Khan writing, “I am not surprised to see him performing at international level as well. Not only he is a fine bowler, he is an excellent batsman and fielder too. He is surely one for the future. There is no doubt about his talent but as he does not have much experience of four-day cricket, he will take some time in showing his potential in Test cricket. He had a good tour of Zimbabwe with the A team. I think it is safe to assume that if given the chance in Tests he will learn and develop quickly.”

In the end Misbah-ul-Haq gave a special message to Shadab Khan and other youngsters.

“In the end, my message to Shadab and every other youngster is to be fully committed to your goals. You can attain success only when you are committed to your training, practice and principles. Without being honest to your goals it is very difficult to move forward. No matter how difficult the situation is one has to thrive and keep moving. Just keep on trying hard and there will be a time when even you will not realise the distance you have covered and success you have attained.”