Pakistan in India 2007 November 24, 2007

Misbah and the curse of the ul-Haqs

The fascination of the Delhi Test grows with each session

The fascination of the Delhi Test grows with each session. The modern stars of India and Pakistan are playing out a classic every bit as heroic as those of their predecessors. We often worry about the quality our current heroes but who could not have been delighted by the swing of Dhoni and Tanvir, the wrists of VVS and Butt, or the guile of Kumble and Kaneria?

I mention Butt and Kaneria because these young prospects are showing something new in this series. Butt has demonstrated an improved control over shot selection, and when he flashes it is with a late certainty. Kaneria has begun to unveil a delivery that goes straight on, neither a legbreak nor a googly, which magnifies his threat, especially against the tail. These are encouraging developments.

Yet Misbah-ul Haq's progress is the most fascinating. He bears the surname of Inzamam and now he has also inherited his magnetic attraction to the last-man-stands scenario. It can be a curse but also a route to fortune and glory. For a man who reportedly sings at the crease, Misbah is being presented with many opportunities to write his own song. What tune will this ul-Haq deliver?

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

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