Karachi: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who engineered a 3-0 Test whitewash of England earlier this year, has backed the world's top-ranked side to bounce back in Sri Lanka because of the strength of their bowlers. After losing all three Tests to Pakistan in the UAE, Andrew Strauss and his men were also humbled by Sri Lanka in their opening Test last week and need a quick reaction for the second Test, starting in Colombo on Tuesday.
"England have a top-class bowling attack and when you have quality bowlers at your disposal, you can always make a strong comeback in any conditions," Misbah told Reuters in an interview. "The pitches in Dubai when we played them were more difficult for batting. The pitches are better in Sri Lanka so England can come back."
"They lost to Sri Lanka in one session. They need to focus on the Test session by session. When we played them it was a session-to-session battle for us because we knew they were a dangerous side and their bowlers were very good."
England's main downfall has been their batsmen's inability to play spin effectively.
"They are competent against spinners in England but they struggle due to the different conditions they find in the subcontinent or recently in UAE," Misbah said. "The reason is that their batsmen play in the Asian region only after long gaps."
The Pakistan captain dismissed suggestions that England did not deserve their number one Test status and gave his support to the current rankings system, employed by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
"They became the number one Test side after playing well not only at home but in Australia and other countries. But they are in danger of losing their number one ranking if they don't comeback in Sri Lanka," Misbah said. "I think the system is fair and objective. It takes into consideration home and away matches. But for a country like Pakistan, it becomes difficult to improve our ranking because we haven't played at home since 2009."