Pakistan in West Indies 2011 May 11, 2011

Misbah at history's threshold

Is Misbah-ul Haq about to achieve what Imran Khan couldn't? Misbah has a sumptuous opportunity to win Pakistan's first ever Test series in the West Indies
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Is Misbah-ul Haq about to achieve what Imran Khan couldn't? Misbah, whose Mohali innings doesn't become any easier to swallow with the passage of time, has a sumptuous opportunity to win Pakistan's first ever Test series in the West Indies. A drawn series against South Africa and a success in New Zealand suggest that Pakistan should be too strong for these hosts, although nothing is ever certain with this team.

The recent one-day series reminded us of Pakistan's fluctuations, and suggestions of a selection dispute between Shahid Afridi and Waqar Younis are ill-timed tidings. But Pakistan's opponents are so weakened that Misbah's team surely cannot fail to take advantage?

Much will depend on the captain himself, especially as he is surrounded by inexperience in the middle order. Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq have already impressed with their level-headed approach but they are new to international cricket, making Umar Akmal look an unlikely veteran.

Misbah does, however, have the professorial experience of Mohammad Hafeez to call upon. Hafeez is living the dream he dreamt for himself a decade ago: Pakistan's go-to man at the top of the order and handy spinner. Aamir Sohail must finally feel vindicated, having championed Hafeez's cause -- to great ridicule -- when Hafeez first entered international cricket.

While the batting appears solid but unspectacular, a welcome development in itself, Pakistan's bowling carries great threat for an unproven West Indian side. Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, and Saeed Ajmal are a match-winning triumvirate for Pakistan, the men most likely to achieve a historic victory in this low-key series. Pakistan expects but the team doesn't often deliver.

Now Misbah's Pakistan is not a team of stars or glamour, although it does boast a man from fashionable Abbottabad. The captain himself is an enigma, a curious performer and a dependable fellow. This unlikely band of cricketers is perched on the threshold of history thanks to the ineptitude of their opponents. Incredible as it sounds, where Imran the Cornered Tiger failed, Misbah the Mohali Goat might succeed.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Masood on June 5, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    I have said this before and I will say it again. Indis did not win in Mohali, Pakistan lost. A hollow victory if ever there was one. The Indian player of note was Sehwag for taking the fight to Umar Gul and deflating him. No other Indian deserved to be on the winning side that day. Mind you, with Misbah playing for India that day too it put the game Indias way.

    All Indians should note, that we are a threat and will come back at you maul you brother. Even without the banned players and the ones retired too early because of the PCB (Mohd Yousaf) we still gave you a game. How would India have really fared with the same disadvantage, not to mention the hostile away crowd.

  • shamim Akhtar on June 4, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    Umar Akmal is having a brilliant talent Pakistan should give him chance after chance Insha Allah he will prove himself later as a world class batsman really i like him his fielding , his hard hitting ability , his talent ,Insha Allah he will be Pakista,s future captain.

  • tanweer haidar mirani on June 4, 2011, 1:58 GMT

    oh, really good words for a man who is now 37 years old, but is great player of temperament, he has prove himself capable of doing something for pakistan, he is sometime unlucky of making match frm zero and then could not finish it properly, he is bit shy to play strokes cause only one stroke can put u out of pakistani team, this is big factoer, try to get my points here in this short wording.

  • Rana on May 29, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Hey guys dont crticize Misbah for Mohali debacle. What Younis Afridi Razzaq had done in that match Misbah held his nerves when all other failed. Wish u best of luck Misbah my hero.

  • shayan on May 18, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    misbah is a very good captain he gave very good performance in test captancy since he is captain against SA newzealand he has good skills atleast he stable our team after a long time.

  • aamir ahmed on May 18, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    misba and afridi must retire now.thy dnt giv performance just thy fight on captin ship

  • Nomi on May 18, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Our team problem is batting bfr many of the years. If we look at the past then we see that we loose only because of batting no one try to improve Pakistan's batting even Javed MianDad. Actually anyone just comment like me. i.e Amir Sohail,Wasim Akram....... What they do when they are in Pakistani team?Amir Sohail 1996? Wasim Akram 1999? Even they done a lot for Pakistani team, but what they do at the end?... What they do in their whole carier?..When Pakistani battind try to do hard work as bowling doo..then m sure In Sha ALLAH no team is able to beat Pakistan Cricket team... And why Muhammad Yousaf is not in team???Why Asim Kamal is not in team?????

  • Nomi on May 18, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    Misbah is a good test player but not able be a good captain. Miss Muhammad Yousaf..........

  • mashhood on May 18, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    misbah the greatest batsman for pakistan all the time we need misbah to lead in odi also not in ttwenty but in odi,test match he need yousuf.younus,in test plz dont play salman he has no talent for batting and bowling also

  • AUK on May 17, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    When your cricketer board declares player power is broken, beware! It means butt-power is here. They'r bringing in youngsters???? MIsbah is 36 dude, so much for a youngster. Misbah plays like he's playing in the early 20s. Modern cricket is not about scoring 50 runs off 150 balls. At least afridi is a little flamboyant...

  • Masood on June 5, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    I have said this before and I will say it again. Indis did not win in Mohali, Pakistan lost. A hollow victory if ever there was one. The Indian player of note was Sehwag for taking the fight to Umar Gul and deflating him. No other Indian deserved to be on the winning side that day. Mind you, with Misbah playing for India that day too it put the game Indias way.

    All Indians should note, that we are a threat and will come back at you maul you brother. Even without the banned players and the ones retired too early because of the PCB (Mohd Yousaf) we still gave you a game. How would India have really fared with the same disadvantage, not to mention the hostile away crowd.

  • shamim Akhtar on June 4, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    Umar Akmal is having a brilliant talent Pakistan should give him chance after chance Insha Allah he will prove himself later as a world class batsman really i like him his fielding , his hard hitting ability , his talent ,Insha Allah he will be Pakista,s future captain.

  • tanweer haidar mirani on June 4, 2011, 1:58 GMT

    oh, really good words for a man who is now 37 years old, but is great player of temperament, he has prove himself capable of doing something for pakistan, he is sometime unlucky of making match frm zero and then could not finish it properly, he is bit shy to play strokes cause only one stroke can put u out of pakistani team, this is big factoer, try to get my points here in this short wording.

  • Rana on May 29, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Hey guys dont crticize Misbah for Mohali debacle. What Younis Afridi Razzaq had done in that match Misbah held his nerves when all other failed. Wish u best of luck Misbah my hero.

  • shayan on May 18, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    misbah is a very good captain he gave very good performance in test captancy since he is captain against SA newzealand he has good skills atleast he stable our team after a long time.

  • aamir ahmed on May 18, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    misba and afridi must retire now.thy dnt giv performance just thy fight on captin ship

  • Nomi on May 18, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Our team problem is batting bfr many of the years. If we look at the past then we see that we loose only because of batting no one try to improve Pakistan's batting even Javed MianDad. Actually anyone just comment like me. i.e Amir Sohail,Wasim Akram....... What they do when they are in Pakistani team?Amir Sohail 1996? Wasim Akram 1999? Even they done a lot for Pakistani team, but what they do at the end?... What they do in their whole carier?..When Pakistani battind try to do hard work as bowling doo..then m sure In Sha ALLAH no team is able to beat Pakistan Cricket team... And why Muhammad Yousaf is not in team???Why Asim Kamal is not in team?????

  • Nomi on May 18, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    Misbah is a good test player but not able be a good captain. Miss Muhammad Yousaf..........

  • mashhood on May 18, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    misbah the greatest batsman for pakistan all the time we need misbah to lead in odi also not in ttwenty but in odi,test match he need yousuf.younus,in test plz dont play salman he has no talent for batting and bowling also

  • AUK on May 17, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    When your cricketer board declares player power is broken, beware! It means butt-power is here. They'r bringing in youngsters???? MIsbah is 36 dude, so much for a youngster. Misbah plays like he's playing in the early 20s. Modern cricket is not about scoring 50 runs off 150 balls. At least afridi is a little flamboyant...

  • sadique on May 16, 2011, 21:22 GMT

    i cant uderstand why the pcb had sidelined yousuf from the the pakistan squad.you dont have a player of his calibre in the whole lot.definitely if included,it will boost the team and their performance.

  • Ahmed M.M. on May 16, 2011, 10:00 GMT

    Kamran Abbasi, at times, makes me laugh out loud.

    Even if, and a very big "IF" for that matter, Miss-Bah would have won this Test series 2 – 0 (which off course is not possible now), he would not have been even close to the nail of Imran Khan’s left shoe.

    It’s pathetically unfair to compare a Bakri with a Tiger.

    Do I need to tell who is Bakri here ? ;-)

  • bilal raza on May 16, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    I cannot digest the fact, how can any team in the world could ever drop a player like Mohammad Yousuf. This time we know whom to blame. Selection committee and PCB Chairman who can influence the selection committee, using his constitutional powers. Yousuf scored 109 for Warwickshire in the test match that was played between 11-14th May,2011 played at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Now can anybody please justify the exclusion of Mohammad Yousuf? Mohsin Khan said M Yousuf is unfit. I am sorry, a selector of his caliber must be kicked out. PCB Chairman who could use his constitutional power to include M.Yousuf in test squad, must resign for the betterment of Pakistan Cricket. We have missed an opportunity again to win a series in West Indies, thanks to Mohsin Khan and PCB Chairman

  • M. Nawaz Janjua, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on May 16, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Dear Kamran Abbasi,

    They may listen to you. Pls. write a column on Mohammad YOUSUF so that PCB should call him back in Pakistan Test team, otherwise, we shall keep on geeting humilating defeats like we got yesterday in West Indies. YOUSUF is still a world class special Batsman and no doubt Pakistan's best Batsman at present. PCB is destroying not only his career but also Pakistan's fame. I don't know for what they are punishing YOUSUF. It seems that they are playing a kind of politics on him.

    I request you again to please write it immediately so that he could be included in 2nd Test against WI. He is, at present, doing very nice in county cricket (England). He has made 109 & 68 from Warwickshire in the previous match. So, what else PCB wants him to do ?

    Thanks & Best Regards Mohammad Nawaz Janjua

  • Mubashar Virk on May 16, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    I have two things to say.

    1 - You need proper batsmen to win Test matches. 2 - Umar Akmal is the best future star. Please, drop him for now and use him in the Future - 25 years down the line.

  • M. Nawaz Janjua, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on May 16, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Dear Kamran

    We have already lost a test in West Indies. Pls write a column on Mohammad YOUSUF's return to Pakistan Cricket Test Team. This is call of the day. Let PCB should realize what wrong they are doing to Pakistan Cricket team and stop doing dirty politics and personal revenges.

    Best Regards, M. Nawaz Janjua

  • Muhammad Saidul Haque on May 16, 2011, 3:28 GMT

    A true legal History must be created when cricket would have been approved by its honest Arbitration way. But, today's cricket mostly operates at peculiar funny decisions of so called umpiring. ICC is the main silent Felon who has been discovering much more strange kind of questionable rules for many years. It is definitely true that West-Indies totally outplayed Pakistan by their brilliant in-controlled bowling performance, but what about 3rd umpire of Ashoka-Di-Silva's at least one or two crucial decisions at 2nd innings of Pakistan's batting which had been decided this test match win in favor for West-Indies? ICC should give special award to Ashoka for his optimistic operational sense.

  • Harish Puri on May 16, 2011, 2:38 GMT

    The ineptitude of the West Indies triumphs! Now who is at the threshold of history, I wonder..

  • jarry on May 16, 2011, 1:35 GMT

    OK then its official, Misbah is not better than Imran as captain( I was worried for a while)

  • Sohail on May 16, 2011, 1:28 GMT

    yes Umar Akmal is our best batting future star except future parameter became constant and its like remain future for last 1.5 years now. lets hope future became present before he retires or been kicked out

  • Mohsin on May 15, 2011, 23:07 GMT

    Oh Come on since last 3 years Pakistani fans have been moaning about the fact that IPL cricket standard is low......in fielding , in batting and bowling..........What we saw in this test match was high class quality batting and fielding on display......as for bowling....even my college team would have snapped 20 WI wickets........Very high quality cricket on display indeed by the Pakistanis.;).and oh yes Umar Akmal is best batting future star.

  • ismail afridi on May 15, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    please send umar akmal opening batsman in test,oneday and t20

  • Deep on May 15, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    Mis bah 41 runs! If Pak cannot beat THIS team... As an Indian, I regret we are not playing a 5-test series with Pak right now. The 3-test win lead Pak currently has over India would have been wiped out in one series. Oh well...

  • Mansoor Iqbal on May 15, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    Lol! Gotta wait 4 to 5 more years for another shot!. Dreams of a Test Series win in the Caribbean are DASHED.

  • Willy ByomkeshB on May 15, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    Misbah is a handy player according to me although many pak supporters doesn't like him in ODIs.You can't score every time with 100SR.PAK Team should plan accordingly with their resources rather blaming individuals.

  • Deemi Zafar on May 15, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    I agree with Harxal and others. Misbah is wrongly castigated for his Mohali innings. His strike rate was the same as man-of-the-match Tenduljer's --- without the dropped catches and with wickets falling all aorund him. Written like somebody who's always written about but never played cricket.

  • EAMiran on May 15, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    "Ordinary" Umar failed to get a wicket in the entire match and "Wayward" Wahab got a wicket in each innings. Matchwinners!?! Compared to the WI pacers who were swinging and seaming the new ball these two looked woefully mediocre. In contrast, and as predicted, Ajmal and Hafeez made merry on a raging turner against batsmen who cannot play spin to save their lives.

    Will our inept batting XI survive and more importantly win? Cassandra says not likely.

    @Aina: Have considered your advice; however, since the pitch has actually made watching two largely mediocre sides interesting I think I will continue to monitor the game. Thanks for your concern.

  • alam khan on May 15, 2011, 1:09 GMT

    Please don't make any comparison between Misbah and Imran Khan. It will take yet another great cricketer to be compared to Imran Khan. What Imran gave to Pakistan cricket even greats like Wasim, Waqar and Miandad could not.

  • jarry on May 14, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    SO according to this article, Bangladesh has achieved what Imran Khan could not!!!

  • naresh on May 14, 2011, 12:29 GMT

    why not razzak in pak side?

  • sheharyar on May 14, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    gud luck misbah

  • Zeeshan on May 14, 2011, 1:02 GMT

    guys pls let Misbah settle down....with the pakistani batsmen continuing to be volatile nine pins....forget the series, the match itself looks as loose as pudding....

  • Raja on May 13, 2011, 23:55 GMT

    People say pakistan squad is missing experienced players. But Gul, Hafiz, Misbah and Taufiq are experienced ones and they didn't do any good in the first test. I just don't understand, why Umar Akmal always falls while in 30s.

  • Rizwan on May 13, 2011, 22:40 GMT

    First they should win this match and then think about winning the series. It appears Pakistan is not even going to survive till the 4th day. They have underestimated the Windies. Watch how many points the will get after defeating Pakistan.

  • shayan jamal on May 13, 2011, 22:02 GMT

    "Incredible as it sounds, where Imran the Cornered Tiger failed, Misbah the Mohali Goat might succeed." man this was a gem.A good joke!!

  • Samad on May 13, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    Good luck to Misbah and the boys in this series. I find it funny that the majority of comments sticking up for Misbah's Mohali innnings are Indian :)

    It was a failed innings...lets be clear. for a senior member of the team who has been in MULTIPLE pressure situations, he should have paced his innings. There was no need to blast the leather of the ball. Just do what he does best...singles and twos with the odd boundry. The fact is...he dried up completely. It was a huge choke in a pressure situation and he should be CUT from the pakistani one day team immediately to give some of the youngsters time over the next four years to develop their games on the international scene. The same goes for Mr. Younis Khan.

    Both guys do need to still be in the Test squad and Misbah is the perfect candidate to captain this team in the long format.

  • Hussain on May 13, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    Such is the obsession with statistics these days that we completely choose to ignore the perspective! Even if Misbah's team manages to draw a white wash, would would hold any more cricketing value than mere statistics? A statement like "Misbah on the brink of history! Can he succeed where Imran failed?" n stuff is a proof of complete disregard for cricketing narrative! Imran's teams' white washes in WI will hold much superior cricketing value than Misbah's victories will ever have!! Its almost blasphemous to even think about proudly displaying victories over the current WI teams! If you lose to them, you probably shouldn't be playing international cricket!

  • Rashid on May 13, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    Can you compare ? that is all I have to say.You are full of it.

  • Muhammad Khan on May 13, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    Is Kamran Humor not obvious enough? I'm taken a back by how many of you are believing that he's being serious when comparing the current two teams with the teams of the 80's. Good article Kamran, having said that you gotta dumb it up a lil, it feels like you get lost in your stories when you right. -Mk

  • Abdul Raziq on May 13, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    wiket kiper is not good playr.

  • Srini on May 13, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    There can be no comparison between the WI sides that Imran took on in the past and the current one. At present, they are better than say, Bangladesh or Zimbabwe. With Gayle out, both Sarwan and Chandepaul clearly in terminal decline and no other batting experience to count on, PAK team should easily win the Test series due to their superior bowling department.

  • Navaid Hussain on May 13, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Misbah needs to improve his caption ship, he must be more attacking, especially in field. He is to defensive most of the time especially in second test against New Zealand. Also need to improve field placing which is lacking nearly all captions of Pak.

  • Rizwan Ahmed on May 13, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    pakistan cricket board should include mohammad yousuf in the the team he is to good a player to miss out if there is any prblem with his behavior than board shuld talk to him as far as his cricket skills are concerned he is among the best player of the world ever i think he is the best player in the world plz think one more time about his future.

  • Hiten on May 13, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    Abbasi has lost the plot, probably for the first time. This can only be considered a historic opportunity in one sense, statistically. The WIndies of the 80's were titans of the game, whereas the current side are minnows on a good day. A good chance to blood the young'uns and a chance to enjoy the Caribbean sun, but that's about it.

  • Noman on May 13, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    Respect the living legend M Yousuf bring him on board and win in style..

  • Ali Ansar on May 13, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    Misbah tried his best in Mohali but was unlucky that no other batsman stays with him..and Misbah will create by winning test series in WI. Regards,

    Ali ,

    Lahore

  • Khalek on May 13, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    Yousuf should be recalled and be allowed to complete 100 test matches. It would be a shame if a player of his class can't get there and his career will finish prematurely.

  • Aina on May 13, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    @sajid: "another collapse". Rather an extreme prediction for a team that has weathered all storms by now. Afridi acquitted himself wonderfully especially in the worldcup. Losing the last west indies odi was merely a case of pakistan never winning "extra" matches. Not a huge concern. @Ashok Sridharan: You're right. They all gifted their wickets and I'm told only Abdurrazzaq got an unplayable ball. I blame Hafeez more because he was doing so well. @ james: I WANT south africa to host us. The pitches are hardly our fault. They would have been almost as bad back home in Pakistan, and it was a "home" series anyway. @salman: That is because Misbah is bad come what may. If he can win, its not to his credit, if he loses, its his fault. If he wastes balls, he's bad, if he doesnt and gets out first ball, hes bad. If he gets 80 off 85 balls, he's bad because he doesn't do it more often.

  • Aina on May 13, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    @Harxal: Well said!!! It is time Misbah lost his status of "universal scapegoat". @Bilal: Good point. The PCB itself is guilty of disrespect of captains, what to talk of others. @dmqi from Maryland, USA: It is not "expected" that #1 will beat #2. So why is it "expected" that #6 will beat #7? The contest will be equally fierce, if not intriguing, because these sides are fighting to save face. But yes, the comparison is ridiculous. @EAMiran: Then don't watch it!

  • farrukh on May 13, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    I knew journalists take sides. You are hoping Misbah to do what Imran did not.Misbah shall be no hero even if he wins the series.Once in T20 final and once in world cup semi-final he killed Pakistan's chances.Please stop favoritism. He is good against mediocre teams

  • syrianar on May 13, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    Really? Pakistan hasn't won a series in WI but as far as I remember we did beat WI in 88 and 2000 series but thanks to the good WI umpires it was not recognized remember in the final test in 2000 Billy Doctrov giving Jimmy Adams five lives and in the last test in 2000 Benjamen playing a match winning innings after being given not out three time. Rest assure if the same umpiring standard persisted WI would have still been unbeatable at home soil, what ever the world says for me we won those two series.

  • sobia on May 13, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    i think misbah play well in the all world cup but in the semi final he keep loos the performance, he is great player and he can keep the wicket for long time

  • REZA ABASALI on May 13, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    i am from Trinidad - Brian Lara country. yes, i remember Imran's bad luck in 1988 in the West Indies. There were some critical umpiring decisions that went against Pakistan but the result 1-1 was a fair one considering a West Indian side that comprised Richards, Marshall, Ambrose, Dujon etc. This is a weak West Indies side even with the return of Sarwan and Chanderpaul. Misbah has a great chance to enhance his resume and reputation since his debacle in Mohali.

  • imran on May 13, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    west indies can still make their chances as their is no hope for the pakistan when what they gonna do. I hope pakistan bat well to win this match

  • AQ on May 13, 2011, 1:00 GMT

    I agree with you folks that 90's team was full of match winners and this one is not but you have look at both teams. 90s Pakistan team was as good as 90's WI team and current Pakistan team is as good as WI, so what really the difference between these two.

    About Misba at Mohali, so he is one of the factor Pakistan lose matches just like Kamran Akmal.

  • salman on May 12, 2011, 20:41 GMT

    if u win this match..it wud b cuz of playing against weak team...not cuz of misbah;s captaincy..etc

  • Asim on May 12, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    The WI team imran was beating in 80s was no1 team in the world that time and team Misbah is trying to beat is the lowest ranked team in the world. Even if we win then I would never pick Misbah in a ODI or T20 team because of his crazy batting attitude of eating out too many deliveries. He should only play in test matches. In a WC match against australia when we needed him to stay at the wicket he got a golden duck and in semi final when its was reuired to score quickly, he started blocking and putting pressure on other end.

  • T.Afzal on May 12, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    I really don't see the comparison. Beating the West Indies in the 1980s would have been a huge accomplishment. After all, they were one of the greatest sides of all time. Beating this West Indies side, which is one of the worst in the world, would not really mean much. Also, I am sure the West Indies' supporters feel the same way about beating a mediocre Pakistan side.

  • Ramesh on May 12, 2011, 16:20 GMT

    Good luck to Misbah and Pakistan team.

  • kamal on May 12, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    In fact Misbah gave some respectability to the score at Mohali when everyone failed. So, why should Misbah be pointed out? What did the big talents (so called) did in that match? If they would take their fair share, they could have won the match. Well, we all know the big proverb,"the only reward of good work is more work", is not that true?

  • Raza on May 12, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    I think our team is good to beat WI but I dont see any reason to drop Mohd. Yousuf from Test Squad. This is a learning curve for most of the youngsters and Yousuf present could have really helped them.

    I do think we miss a genuine pace bowler as well but Umar Gul with Saeed Ajmal can be dangerous against WI.

  • Asim on May 12, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    This is just rediculous. People need to stop harrassing Misbah for his innings in Mohali. If anything, he was the only responsible bat out there from Pakistan's side. Why isn't anyone pointing fingers at the rest of the team who didn't perform at all. Would you rather have Misbah pull the same blunder as the rest of the team and have Pakistan all out for less than 200? It is not Misbah's fault that wickets kept falling at the other end while he was trying to build an innings and hold the fort. We should be blaming out captain for not even reaching double digits in most matches in the WC. Afridi didn't show even a hint of responsibility with the bat the whole series. On a separate note, Wahab Riaz is overrated. He got lucky in Mohali, but he's no Asif, Aamer, or Gul. We'll see at the end of this test series how big a threat Wahab Riaz is.

  • Meezan on May 12, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    not fair. you cant compare the 80's WI side to this one. and even Misbah manages a series win, i am sure the quality of the game will be less then the series lost by Imran khan in the 80's. so there is no chance of Misbah outdoing Imran.

  • Syed Jaffery on May 12, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Are we talking too early. WestIndian batsman are performing well now and Pakistan's batting are looking somewhat vulnerable against Bishoo and Rampaul. With Salman in the side as a specialist keeper Danish Kaneria could be much useful with Saeed Ajmal and in the absence of Younis, Muhammad Yousuf could have provided much needed experience in the middle order. Hammad Azam as an allrounder and Abdul Rehman as a fourth bowler are the two automatic choices left for Pakistan.

  • Adeel on May 12, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    We all need to learn how to respect our heroes. In Mohali it wasn't Misbha fault. It was others like Hafeez, Asad, Younis, Kamran, Umer and specially AFRIDI who didn't support Misbha. Let say if pak had win the surly all of you including Mr.Kamran will be blessing Misbha. In Mohali there were many factor which caused defeat. Misbha is a true fighter. I don't see any other player in team fights like him.

  • Sharjeel Malik on May 12, 2011, 12:58 GMT

    Although this is a great chance for Pakistan to win a test series in the West Indies for the first time in their history, I think to make any comparison with the immense West Indian teams of the 80s is simply ludicrous. If Pakistan does not avail this opportunity then it will definitely be a significant failure in their development.

  • jawzi on May 12, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    I don't think Imran failed, it was blatant umpiring misjudgement.

  • Ali on May 12, 2011, 12:08 GMT

    LOL, Imran certainly did not fail--his team drew against the best Windies squad of all time; something that wasnt expected as all the other teams faced humiliating defeats in that era. Right to say that Misbah will accomplish what no other Pakistani player has done before but its wrong to even say that he will out do Imran! Imran's team would certainly be able to defeat this Windies squad 3-0 with all the wins being inning defeats!

  • Irfan on May 12, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Yeah, a real chance for Pakistan to get the test series this time. But they still need to perform on the field to get, especially batsmen need to undrstand the diffr btw ODI/T20's and test matches. It would also be intteresting to see Pakistan bowling combinatio for this match, either they would go for 2 fast men with 2 specialist spinner(in additon Hafeez would serve as 5th bowler).

  • james on May 12, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    drawn series against SA was a joke..most of the pak top batsmen will bow in front of steyn and morkel..it was an example of how to salvage some pride by playing on dead pitches and aim for a draw...

  • awais on May 12, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    hopefully misbah can achieve what imran wa unable to do so. but i think we will miss danish kaneria alot. especially with kamran akmal not there he has a much better chance of grabbing wickets.

  • Sagheer Ahmed on May 12, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    I think Pakistan is favouite and actually that makes them likely not to win this series as its been happening with this team in recent times.

  • tanweer haidar on May 12, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    inshallah pakistani team will do well, cause we r having telent still, we will miss yousuf and younis, both, one must be in the team, but we have to look forward.

  • Misbah Masood-ul-Hasan on May 12, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    This would sound some pessimism in terms of Pakistan supporter; but it would be wise to be in parallel with the facts. Although, the Pakistan batting lineup reflects some decency; but beware of the vulnerability of our batsmen towards West-Indian young leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo - who showed enough promise in the ODI series against Pakistan to be in the test side. Whereas, the threat of Pakistan's bowling is a bit questionable - especially, the way Lendl Simmons batted with ease and consistency in the ODIs against all Pakistani bowlers (whether spin or fast bowlers). West-Indies' batting has been also boosted by the recall of the pillar, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (not to be ignored). Therefore, counter the above two resistances and Pakistan would get a better chance to create history (if God wills).

  • shahzaibshah on May 12, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    when i read this article it must b sh0w that now Pakistan should b a better side az compare t0 wistindies n if i saw a performance in previous test battle it must b g0od so far so v ll h0pe so that Pakistan win INSHALLAH . . . .

  • Saad habib on May 12, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    Come on ppl !windies team is too weak to consider this victory (if achieved) abig one! and plz dont compare it with the performance of Imran's team again for the same reason!

  • Noman on May 12, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    You cannot compare like that..just look at the WI team at that time which played against Imran and look at this WI side which is playing against Misbah, that is unfair with an icon like Imran.. Just make Afridi captain and then see Misbah's game :-)

  • khayam zafar on May 12, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abbasi let me remind you after watching last two one days momentum is with West Indies and even if we manage to beat West Indies i don't think so you can really compare that team with the team of Clive Lloyd's team. That team was probably the best ever team that played cricket. Present West Indies team is very poor, so there is no comparison. History yes they can but only time will tell. TGood luck to Pakistan though.

  • MANLID on May 12, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    WEST INDIES WILL WIN, THERE WILL BE PLENTY CENTURIES IN THESE TWO TESTS.

  • Banglafan on May 12, 2011, 9:43 GMT

    I dont think West Indies is that novice of a side now. Gayle may not be playing, neither is Younis. Other than that, there are no significant changes on either side. So, this is it, the real thing. Its test cricket, and it will be played with fortitude, not ineptitude by both sides.

  • ahsna on May 12, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    there is no comparison with the team that Imran played against and this batch of Windies. although i do hope that history will be made.

  • sameer on May 12, 2011, 9:31 GMT

    yes i think misnah can do it and pakistan will win the test matches

  • MSA on May 12, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    Pakistani batsmen possess an extraordinary ability to discover match winner bowlers (specially spinners) in the opposite team. I can't forget McGill, Paul Adams, Monty Panesar (a long list) etc. And I've a sniff that this time its Bishoo who's going to be blessed.

  • Spinghar Khan on May 12, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    While I understand the importance of a seriese win for Pakistan in any case. But even if they win here, it will not be as big a victory as Imran the King achieved, when drew against WI, I think in 1987 in WI. At the time, WI were the chompions, now I bet my provicial team (I am from AFghanistan) can give them a good run in any form of the game.

  • Amjad on May 12, 2011, 8:57 GMT

    "Misbah, whose Mohali innings doesn’t become any easier to swallow with the passage of time".... Thank God there is someone out there with eyes who could see. I took leave, travelled 1000 km to watch that match with family and Misbah Boss played some unexplainable intentless inning. no matter wht he does in future i can never forgive him for his 30th march display.

  • sohail on May 12, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    No, he cant. Pakistan's woeful batting - the most feeble in world cricket - will again lose them the opportunity to win a series.

    Shame pakistan shame pakistan shame pskitan shame.

  • Guruprasad S on May 12, 2011, 8:49 GMT

    Kamran has rightly pointed out that this Pakistan team is on the threshold of a historic series in WI. And Misbah is the right man to lead them in tests. But to blame Misbah for the Mohali semi-final loss to India is unfair. Misbah's style of play is well-known. He has the nerve, and he stays till the end. It is the others, notably, Younis, Umar Akmal, Razzaq and Afridi, who collectively failed to do their part while Misbah did his. Somehow, I find it surprising that a lot of Pakistani ex-cricketers, writers and fans hold Misbah responsible for that loss, whereas the blame lies elsewhere. I hope that all these people will realize Misbah's worth some day, possibly in this series.

  • Sunil on May 12, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    Surely they will but nt due to misbah

  • fahad on May 12, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    InshaAllah We make history.

  • V.Ramakrishnan on May 12, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    Beating the current WI team in any form of the game is no big achievement.Pakistan have lost so many tests in the recent past from winning positions that it will not be a surprise if WI is able to overcome Pakistan.May the more resilient team win.

  • Faisal Sami Qadir on May 12, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, your undue favour to Shahid Afridi is boggling me. I dont know why we Pakistanis fail to the see the evident frailities in Afridi's approach. Taunting Misbah as the Mohali goat is ridiculous. We should realise that at least he stayed there and had any other batsman sported the same appetite, we might have had a different result. Finally, this just goes down b the perspective thorugh which u think about his innings... For me, Misbah was the man to stay, others were there to score quick.. Although, I closely follow ur articles but I seldom find what is indeed expected....U have disappointed me yet again..

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on May 12, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, Your dream will definitely fulfilled. I am sure, it is because Misbah has captaincy potential and not only becuase he is inform batsman but his approach is good. He is calm. He manages his resources very well. He is disciplined. He does not scream. He does not get panic. Besides, his management is good. A captain is not about leading from the front but to lead by example. Some bad patches come in the way but if he is cool, can overcome easily. We can example of various great captains in the past in the present MSD, whose apporoach is good. What ever career is left for Misbah, he should be handled properly by PCB otherwise a mess in the card. At present there is no threat for his captaincy in the test and we are sure, he will do a good job. In criketing terms there is no weak opposition. Any team can upset to any team on their day. Let us hope for the best and series will be for Misbah, I guess.

  • Ali asgar on May 12, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    YES, he could succeed and the chances are more than 60% as the WI side these days has a complete lack of quality. They are not going to post any challenge even closer to what Imran and his men had to deal with.

  • Dr. Khan on May 12, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    Misbah the Mohali Goat........funny!!..but just a bit harsh, i believe he played quite well that evening.....the others(Hafeez, akmals and ur captain) played like goats...DISAGREE with u!!!!

  • Zafar on May 12, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Nice article. Though I would differ a bit. Imran did not fail. He was probably the only captain with a weak side in the late 70s and early 80s who challenged the West Indies on their home turf. He drew two series in West Indies as captain. Show me another captain who pulled of the same in that era against West Indies.

    LOL @ Mohali Goat, so true!

  • Ahmed on May 12, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    I wish Pakistan wins. But in order for this to happen, at least two from amongst Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali, Muhammad Hafeez and Umar Akmal need to fire from bat. While Umar Gul has to return to his "GUL" mode, in recent past, he has been in his "Lul" mode.

  • Hammad Qadir on May 12, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    Its a nice way to put it: Misbah can achieve what Imran could not. But the beasts that Imran's team was up against can no way be compared to the weak squirrels Misbah's boys will face over the next couple of weeks.

    It might be a momentous landmark in terms of statistics. But it can in no way be imagined as an achievement that eluded Imran. What Imran achieved in that series was a far more brilliant feat than even a victory in the current series would be.

  • Bilal Mustafa on May 12, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    Imran never failed.......... He actually drew the series twice with the worlds best side at their home....... That was a big achievement I must say........ I assure you that even Pak A, B or C team can compete West Indies at this level but in 70's, 80's and early 90's even World 11 was not a match to their talent. They were the mighty West Indians :-)

  • khalid Hameed on May 12, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    Yes surely it is possible because the westindies team is also inexperience and pakistan have a strong bowling attack but everything is possible as pakistan cricket team is inconsistent in performing

  • Akhtar Hassan on May 12, 2011, 6:19 GMT

    Pakistan has every chance to win this series but it is kind of weird to campare this series with the drawn series when Imran led the team. At that time West Indians were no.1 and Pakistan was way behind them. This time Pakistan is above West Indies in ranking and if they lose or even draw it will be a shame. In ODI's Pakistan's performance was very ordinary. Recently South Africa and Bangladesh had white washed the West Indians with 5-0 scores. Pakistan just managed 3-2 and got the thrashing of their life in the 5th ODI.

  • adnan on May 12, 2011, 6:17 GMT

    I wish Pakistan does it for the first time but I do not think it will be as easy as depicted by Kamran above because 1. WI is weak but they have considerably improved over the course of this one day series 2. Pakistan batting is over reliant on Misbah who is himself not as consistent as required

  • Asak on May 12, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    BY THE NAME OF ALLAH

    Pakistan return to thier past form again now they are always winners of tournemnts. they are competitors and after along time when Inzimam's captancy was finished they reach to the peak of successes. As a supporter of Pakistan i can say that they can win this test series and they must win it coz now west indies is not that formar team of brain lara they are very hurted side now a days and they are 70% consist of inexperience guys. Inverse to these problems of west indies pakistan is the most successful and a winner side. Unfortunatly that we dont have the experiences of Younis khan but again there are some match winning guys in the side which can help Misbah.

  • Bilal A. Bhutta on May 12, 2011, 5:40 GMT

    I wish Misbah and Pak team all the luck, but flashbacks of Mohali still keep on coming like an acid reflex that won't go away. They were almost there, but managed to let it slip through their hands...

  • Saud on May 12, 2011, 5:33 GMT

    What is harder for me to swallow than Misbah's Mohali innings is the captaincy of Sangakara in the final. He let india win in singles all through the innings. Can you digest that?

  • Apurva on May 12, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    "Misbah, whose Mohali innings doesn’t become any easier to swallow with the passage of time,..." Kamran, are you suggesting that there was something sinister going on behind the scenes? He dropped 2 catches as well. Man, i hopenot. there's no way, right?

  • Ashok Sridharan on May 12, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    Let me wish Pakistan te very best of luck for the series. Inshallah, Misbah Ul Haq's team can make history. However, I must say that Misbah is being unfairly vilified for his Mohali innings. Given the fact that pretty much everyone else struggled to get going on that pitch, it sounds a bit unfair that one man alone is being singled out for criticism, especially seeing as many others just gifted their wickets away with poor shots.

  • Muhammad Shamir on May 12, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    INSHA ALLAH, Pakistani team will succeed, but they have to do the basics right.

  • sajid on May 12, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    Given all that chaotic situation surrounding afridi and his inconsistent performance, its probably the best chance, Misbah will ever get to vindicate himself as perfect as anyone to lead in all three formats. Although he is been quiet a puzzling character in the last few scenes but there is definitely no doubt about his consistency in delivering when needed at least as compare to Afridi. West Indies too haven't really clicked as a team in modern cricket despite there some individual lads apparently to whom glamor and money values more than the country. So, its an all set stage for Misbah, if he nails it will definitely eradicate the tag of "Enigma" from him, if he doesn't then i guess we will be seeing one more collapse in Pakistan Cricket.

  • fkhan on May 12, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    actually imran dint suceed but he dint failed either

  • Iyer on May 12, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    The last line says it all.. Misbah - The Mohali Goat may succeed where Imran - The Cornered Tiger failed. Such is the sorry state of West Indies Cricket that the Team representing the most inept board a.k.a Pakistan looks like a Goliath. The result of this Series will showcause which of the two Boards is more worse. In World Cup, I hoped there maybe revival of fortunes but yet another issue between ODI skipper and Coach and Board playing politics, Selection Committee chief threatening to resign all shows this Team is not going to be back as before anytime soon. Just missing India Vs Pakistan Test series now. When our Board was inept and Players were divided politically, Pakistan won against a weak Indian side. Now its our time. Just bring on India Vs Pakistan test series anywhere and we ll get a whitewash with ease. Anyways Good luck to Pakistan. 2-0 win ld be great but anything less than 1-0 for Pakistan is very poor..

  • Mohammad Aslam Kuwait. on May 12, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    Nice article.But mind you that WI are very dangerous in their home always and also they have called back their best bowlers and batsman.It will be very interesting series for viewers.Of course Misbah is in good form and Umar Akmal and new commers must help him and help themselves to become professionals.It is good chance for new commers to prove themselves and stay on the wicket even they do not score runs for quite some time.Our bowlers should prove that they are the best fighting bowlers and not show their inablity which they have shown in the recent past and specially against NL.Good luck Pakistan cricket team.PAKISTAN ZINDABADD.

  • saiful on May 12, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Misbah-ul Haq all tha best

  • EAMiran on May 12, 2011, 4:59 GMT

    "Ordinary" Umar and "Wayward" Wahab can hardly be called match-winning. Toss in Tanvir the "Toiler" and Pakistan boasts a triumvirate of pedestrian bowlers. 20 West Indian wickets? Extremely doubtful. Pakistan's only hope is the wicket starts turning and the duo of Ajmal and Hafeez cause some damage. The ODI's and T20 was tedious to watch with mediocre players from both sides unable to ignite the series. The test series will no doubt follow the same pattern.

  • dmqi from Maryland, USA on May 12, 2011, 4:51 GMT

    Is it a fair comparison about wining against the superb Windies of Viv Richard, Marshal and company with the current Windies,a B grade team? Misbah is no Imran just as Sammy is no Richard. When writer writes, he should keep that in mind. Yes, history may be made by a victory, but there will be no charm in that victory. A number 6 will beat a number 7 team, and that is expected. There was special excitement in the 90's when The West Indies was unbeatable and Imran came very close to beating them. In fact, neutral umpiring could have given a different result in that series. It was one of the closest fight the two giants fought. I still feel the excitement.

  • Bilal on May 12, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    its not fair to call our skipper "Goat", what was younis khan doing in that game??? our whole team made Blunders, but thats d part n parcel of d game, our team played far better than wat was expected of them in W/c.

    i can give u a name i want right here, but then wat will b d difference between u n me! :(

  • Harxal on May 12, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    I am an Indian. I don't agree to constant ridicule of Misbah for Mohali. He is just a sportsman like any one else, he tries his best, sometimes things work, sometimes they don't. In that case would you also make fun of Umar Gul for the same match? We already did that to Chetan Sharma. We need to grow out of this. Please respect sportsmen...unless its a question of integrity of the person, we should not ridicule for mistakes.

  • Intoxicated on May 12, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    It is not the team or the players but sometimes the most important thing is the mentality of the players. Possitive attitude can bring possitive results. Atleast we are heading in the right direction.......? We are doing such opposite to what India did in the last 5-6 years. They built their Test Squad around experience and then brought one or two of the youngsters in lower middle order from One day squad to give them experience. We on the other hand are playing our youngsters in more key and pressure positions in the test matches and then bringing them in for the one day squad. I hope it works because India has proven to everyone in the last 5 years that their planing was right.

    Cheers,

  • Adeel Shehzad on May 12, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    Surely...Misbah deserved to achieve this..he is very cool & calm captain, what he needed is the only support in batting order from Azhar Ali & Asad Shafiq.. though umar akmal is also a great talent, but we cant rely on him in test cricket as he used to throw his wicket himself...

  • Intesar on May 12, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    Naive Kamran compares WI of 80's to present!

  • Asmatyar khan on May 12, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    Great to see Misbah making a history in W.I. For making a history we need cricketer like Yousaf who have just shown his clas by making a brilient 100 in the english county. And showed to PCB that he can make such a good innings.MISS U YOUSAF.....

  • sana on May 11, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    oh, please. let's not kid ourselves. beating this west indies team - even if they'd had gayle - isn't a touch on what beating king viv's team would've been. i'm sure it'll look nice on mba-ul-haq's resume though.

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  • sana on May 11, 2011, 23:38 GMT

    oh, please. let's not kid ourselves. beating this west indies team - even if they'd had gayle - isn't a touch on what beating king viv's team would've been. i'm sure it'll look nice on mba-ul-haq's resume though.

  • Asmatyar khan on May 12, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    Great to see Misbah making a history in W.I. For making a history we need cricketer like Yousaf who have just shown his clas by making a brilient 100 in the english county. And showed to PCB that he can make such a good innings.MISS U YOUSAF.....

  • Intesar on May 12, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    Naive Kamran compares WI of 80's to present!

  • Adeel Shehzad on May 12, 2011, 4:26 GMT

    Surely...Misbah deserved to achieve this..he is very cool & calm captain, what he needed is the only support in batting order from Azhar Ali & Asad Shafiq.. though umar akmal is also a great talent, but we cant rely on him in test cricket as he used to throw his wicket himself...

  • Intoxicated on May 12, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    It is not the team or the players but sometimes the most important thing is the mentality of the players. Possitive attitude can bring possitive results. Atleast we are heading in the right direction.......? We are doing such opposite to what India did in the last 5-6 years. They built their Test Squad around experience and then brought one or two of the youngsters in lower middle order from One day squad to give them experience. We on the other hand are playing our youngsters in more key and pressure positions in the test matches and then bringing them in for the one day squad. I hope it works because India has proven to everyone in the last 5 years that their planing was right.

    Cheers,

  • Harxal on May 12, 2011, 4:46 GMT

    I am an Indian. I don't agree to constant ridicule of Misbah for Mohali. He is just a sportsman like any one else, he tries his best, sometimes things work, sometimes they don't. In that case would you also make fun of Umar Gul for the same match? We already did that to Chetan Sharma. We need to grow out of this. Please respect sportsmen...unless its a question of integrity of the person, we should not ridicule for mistakes.

  • Bilal on May 12, 2011, 4:48 GMT

    its not fair to call our skipper "Goat", what was younis khan doing in that game??? our whole team made Blunders, but thats d part n parcel of d game, our team played far better than wat was expected of them in W/c.

    i can give u a name i want right here, but then wat will b d difference between u n me! :(

  • dmqi from Maryland, USA on May 12, 2011, 4:51 GMT

    Is it a fair comparison about wining against the superb Windies of Viv Richard, Marshal and company with the current Windies,a B grade team? Misbah is no Imran just as Sammy is no Richard. When writer writes, he should keep that in mind. Yes, history may be made by a victory, but there will be no charm in that victory. A number 6 will beat a number 7 team, and that is expected. There was special excitement in the 90's when The West Indies was unbeatable and Imran came very close to beating them. In fact, neutral umpiring could have given a different result in that series. It was one of the closest fight the two giants fought. I still feel the excitement.

  • EAMiran on May 12, 2011, 4:59 GMT

    "Ordinary" Umar and "Wayward" Wahab can hardly be called match-winning. Toss in Tanvir the "Toiler" and Pakistan boasts a triumvirate of pedestrian bowlers. 20 West Indian wickets? Extremely doubtful. Pakistan's only hope is the wicket starts turning and the duo of Ajmal and Hafeez cause some damage. The ODI's and T20 was tedious to watch with mediocre players from both sides unable to ignite the series. The test series will no doubt follow the same pattern.

  • saiful on May 12, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Misbah-ul Haq all tha best