A reliable and organised Pakistan cricket team is essentially just a theoretical construct. Nevertheless, Misbah-ul-Haq has got them about as close as they ever get.
In recent months, they’ve reached a state of solidity they rarely experience. They’re scoring runs, they’re taking wickets and they’re winning pretty much all of their matches. The first Test defeat in the West Indies is their only real blemish since the World Cup and if they haven’t played the toughest opposition, there’s also the fact that the opposition has little impact on win/loss ratios for Pakistan – they seem perfectly happy to beat South Africa and then lose to the Faroe Islands under-11s in their next match.
Nothing scares the other Test nations quite like the rare occasions when Pakistan’s chickens retain their heads and stand still for a bit. They know that were Pakistan to stop deliberately quaffing poison for even just five minutes then no side could even hope to compete with them.
Most Test teams would struggle were they unable to play any home fixtures and all of them would consider the incarceration of their two best players a catastrophe. These things are but pebbles under the wheels of the Pakistan monster truck. How long before that monster truck attempts to drive straight up a waterfall?