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Monday, 18 February 2013

Pakistan hindered by lack of home tests - Misbah-ul-Haq

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq reiterated his belief that the continued boycott of his country by international sides is hindering their chances of becoming the leading test nation.

Ongoing security concerns mean the last test match played in Pakistan was against Sri Lanka in 2009, one of just four home fixtures for the side in the last seven years.

In that time, the Pakistanis have played "home" matches in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and even England.

Vernon Philander can get better: Graeme Smith

South African opening bowler Vernon Philander has built up a phenomenal record since his Test debut against Australia in November 2011 but his captain Graeme Smith is looking for more.

"Vern has got the results but he is still a work in progress," said Smith. "I think he can get better."

Philander, 27, has taken 87 wickets in 15 Tests at an average of 16.81 - a strike rate and an average unmatched by any other contemporary Test bowler.

He has shot up the International Cricket Council rankings and is second only to his South African new ball partner, Dale Steyn.

South Africa to retain ICC Test mace

South Africa has been guaranteed the number-one position on the ICC Test Championship table at the April 1 cut-off date after victory in the Cape Town Test against Pakistan.

It means their place cannot be overtaken by closest rivals - England, Australia and India.