Twenty20 World Cup 2007 September 18, 2007

Misbah the unfancied turns unflappable

Misbah the unfancied has become Misbah the unflappable, and in a madcap batting order a touch of unflappability is exactly what is required

Pakistan's selectors conjured some surprises for this tournament not least the selection of Misbah-ul-Haq, a senior cricketer who has been incorrectly identified as a youngster. When he was indeed a youngster, Misbah was discussed as a future star of Pakistan's middle order. Those observers must have been stupendously far sighted because that future has taken many years coming.

Misbah's temperament has been a surprise as has his assured strokeplay. But the boy can play and his fighting innings against India may have just encouraged him to secure his future in Pakistan's first XI. Misbah the Unfancied has become Misbah the Unflappable, and in a madcap batting order a touch of unflappability is exactly what is required.

The other rabbit out of the selectorial topi [hat] has been Sohail Tanvir, a wrong-footed inverse-swinging rookie whose introduction has helped revive Pakistan's traditional strength as a varied and penetrative bowling attack. The last few overs of Australia's innings was probably the phase that turned the match and allowed Misbah and Shoaib Malik to resurrect a floundering innings.

Pakistan might be through to the semi-finals with a refreshing spirit but they still have an unshakable problem at the top of the order. The first six overs are crying out for Shahid Afridi yet he sticks to the 12-over rule. The Bangladesh match now offers a last opportunity to correct this weakness.

Twenty20 might well be the least important world tournament but for Pakistan fans who have lived through the anguish of inevitable defeat to mighty Australia, this small victory is a sweet one. It is even sweeter still for Misbah the Unfancied, a batsmen whose style carries the 'M' of Majid Khan and the 'Ul-Haq' of Inzamam. He might never reach such dizzy heights again but for what he has done in this tournament and especially today, good on the youngster.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

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  • fanedlive on September 20, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    This thread is being updated too slowly my earlier post has still not been posted so it has become irrelevent now,Pakistan finally won the game against Bangladesh and now they will stay in Cape Town,I was completely disappointed by their performance the whole team lacked intensity and the result was a lacklustre performance,the only high note of the game was Shahid Afridi's power hitting,the continous failure of Butt and Nazir have left Pakistan with no choice but to open with Afridi and Hafeez,Salman Butt's performance was horrendous in this match,he should be replaced by Fawad Alam. I dont care if Pakistan wins or looses in the semis in my opinion they should not make the mistake of putting Butt in the middle order he will detroy the momentum of the team and will put immense pressure on the other batsmen due to his nervousness or reluctance,if Afridi comes to open then Pakistan needs another Power hitter down the order and I think that spot should go to Fawad Alam and Imran Nazir should also come in late as he plays too many cross batted shots he won't be able to score runs at the #1 position with his batting technique at this level,luckily today he learned his lesson when his crockery got rattled by a faster one from Mosharafe he won't play that shot again for quite some time.

  • fanedlive on September 20, 2007, 15:07 GMT

    What a stupid man Butt turned out to be with his dismissal. Imran Nazir and Butt can't play, they should be sacked.

    Butt and Nazir out, Fawad and Yasir Hameed in. Poor Yasir is not even in the squad!

  • fanedlive on September 20, 2007, 13:40 GMT

    Please don't dictate the rest of the bloggers about their language, if you are so upset just have a look on your own language in the previous threads towards other people. Whatever you recieve from rest of the world is just a reaction of your actions. So if you don't like reaction of the people just have a look at your actions. Sorry for non-cricketing post. No more dictation

  • fanedlive on September 20, 2007, 13:38 GMT

    watching misbah three to four years back misbah seemed a decent player. i think the problem wasnt misbahs selections it was yousufs nonselection. for a person who has supported yousuf vehemently i still believe he shud have been in the squad. yousuf wud have been perfect batting at no3 and playing throughout the innings rather than hafeez who lacks international class.

  • fanedlive on September 20, 2007, 12:59 GMT

    Why is Salman Butt the vice captain? And the amazing thing is that he was actually considered for the captaincy position. He is not good enough to be in the team. One can almost see the daft logic...South Africa made a left handed opening batsman who was not in the team captain after the 2003 WC (smith) so Pakistan should do the same. What a bunch of unoriginal idiots!!

  • fanedlive on September 20, 2007, 11:48 GMT

    Hi Pak fans, Dont get carried away with it. Seems like Kamran want to blow his own trumpet.Good thing is somehow u understood u can win, the same people who are the trumpet blowers also participate to criticize till death if pakistan fails to deliver

  • fanedlive on September 20, 2007, 11:04 GMT

    First and foremost, my sincere apologies to Misbah & YK.

    I never doubted YK's batting ability in the longer version-I never believed he would be appropriate for 20/20. It seems Imran Khan was right to point out YK should be batting higher than number 7 in the 50 over game.I have never seen him time the ball so well when hitting the ball for six.

    I'm so happy for Misbah and Pak and wish him all the best in the future. Neverthless I still don't understand why MY was not selected. His batting ability makes up for his acceptable fielding. He is as good in the outfield as Butt, Asif, Gul, Rehman & Tanvir.

    Media reports and some bloggers suggested that it was Malik's influence which ommitted MOYO and included Rehman, the latter more so for his relationship with Malik. I'm not convinced friendship was the reason since MOYO & malik are the best of friend.

    I am a huge fan of Butt and believe he will be the next superstar for Pak. He is just not suited to 20/20. Remains to be seen if malik is brave to drop the VC.

    I'm really excited about Tanvir and look forward to seeing him bat. His domestic stats show he is more of a batting allrounder. If his batting is as good or better than his bowling-Pak have discovered a real gem.

  • fanedlive on September 20, 2007, 11:01 GMT

    Rashid atash

    Whatever mate. If you want to write short comments, go and have a MSN chat with somebody. This message board is for everybody to do exactly what your saying not to, that is; to voice subjective comments. Please. Wake up.

  • fanedlive on September 20, 2007, 11:00 GMT

    Kamran your articles are fantastic and very inciteful. The game between Pakistan and Australia was a fantastic game, and i agree wholeheartedly with you that it was the Pakistan bowlers from overs 17 to 20 that turned the game. But nothing should be taken away from Misbah Ul-Haq`s batting heroics, they were simply sensational under extreme pressure and a sky-rocketing run rate. You know what they say, `Cometh the man, Cometh the moment, maybe now he will believe he can compete with the best in all forms of the game. I am an Aussie, and like all of us we appreciate great sporting feats and certainly this was one. I would also like to congratulate Shoaib Malik, he seems to have settled in very well as captain and it seems to have had a positive affect on his own batting as well as the team. Also Kamran can you keep us posted on how Geoff Lawson`s coaching tenure is going, because he was a very well respected Captain and Coach of New South Wales and a very intelligent bowler. Cheers from Oz, Brendan.

  • fanedlive on September 20, 2007, 10:57 GMT

    Misbah is making for the lost time and oportunities.He knows he shall not survive another failure. It is hard to believe he is 33 and senior most in team. The biggest surprise and revelation in Pak team is Sohail Tanvir. The first over i saw against India match, i knew this guy is diffrent and has tremendous potential. All the best to Sohail Tanvir.

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