MANCHESTER: Pakistan are set to tone down captain Misbah-ul-Haqâ€™s press-up celebrations even if they win the second Test at Old Trafford.
The touristsâ€™ 42-year-old skipper marked his first-innings hundred, in what was his maiden Test at Lordâ€™s last week, by saluting his team-mates and then performing 10 press-ups.
It was a gesture repeated by the whole team in front of the Lordâ€™s Pavilion after they wrapped up a 75-run win, with more than a day to spare, to go 1-0 up in the four-match series.
The press-up routine has become the squadâ€™s way of thanking army staff who put them through a pre-tour boot camp.
Fielding coach Steve Rixon said the military training had been beneficial.
But speaking to reporters at Old Trafford on Wednesday two days out from the start of the game, he suggested a repeat celebration was unlikely.
â€œIt probably wonâ€™t be seen again,â€ he said. â€œIt was something that was initiated through the captain â€” he made a little pledge to himself. We didnâ€™t know it was coming. It was spontaneous.â€
The former Australia wicket-keeper added: â€œItâ€™s something you see in all sports … a one-off thing. Itâ€™s done and dusted, and we move on.â€
Rixon said what mattered more than how Misbah chose to mark a century was the unity he had forged within the squad.
â€œThe spirit is very high, and belief is high,â€ Rixon explained. â€œThe win [at Lordâ€™s] was reward for a lot of hard work â€” the boot camp back in Pakistan, and a lot of hard work [two weeksâ€™ additional training] in Hampshire.
Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah was the key man at Lordâ€™s with a 10-wicket match haul.
The Old Trafford pitch usually has more pace and bounce than the one at Lordâ€™s and Rixon said that would suit all of the Pakistan attack.
â€œI think our seamers will do very well here, with the extra bounce,â€ he said. â€œGenerally speaking, Yasir will have a major effect in any game of cricket. It doesnâ€™t have to turn a lot for him to have an impact.
â€œWhen you have magnificent control you are in the game, and there are very few who have had that.
â€œShane Warne is one, and Yasir is rightfully sitting at the top of the tree for that reason.â€
England have recalled all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson after concerns he was not fully fit following a shoulder injury, even though there were reports that he thought himself ready to play in the first Test.
Rixon acknowledged England were in an awkward situation by saying: â€œItâ€™s a fine line â€” a very fine line.â€
Not that Pakistan were too upset by Andersonâ€™s absence or that of all-rounder Ben Stokes, also now recalled to the squad after a knee injury.
â€œWe are very happy with whatâ€™s been happening so far,â€ said Rixon. â€œJimmy Anderson is a great bowler and Stokes a good all-rounder. They are two very fine cricketers [and] … will add to the England attack and overall composition of the side.
â€œWe are expecting as hard a game as weâ€™ll get in the series right here.â€