Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2011 October 22, 2011

Misbah's words more positive than deeds

Anybody in search of final day heroics was best advised to look away from the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan toiled in attack, Sri Lanka toiled in defence
87

Anybody in search of final day heroics was best advised to look away from the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan toiled in attack, Sri Lanka toiled in defence. The result wore down viewers, not least because Pakistan failed to take up a challenge created for the age of T20 cricket.

Misbah-ul Haq, Pakistan's captain, said he was satisfied with his team's efforts, extracting positives not negatives from the performance. Ironically, it was his own negativity that ended up being scrutinised; first Mohali, now this.

In fairness, Misbah has a point. Pakistan's achievements in both first innings were impressive, especially Junaid Khan's five wicket haul and Taufeeq Umar's double hundred. Pakistan are troubled by the loss of Mohammad Amir; Junaid and Wahab Riaz are some solace. Pakistan have been troubled far longer by inconsistent openers; it is 19 years since a Pakistani opener, Amir Sohail, scored a double hundred.

Importantly, Pakistan dominated the Test until halfway into Sri Lanka's second innings, an unexpected position since Misbah declined to bat first on a docile track. Yes, Pakistan might have scored faster, but had fielders held simple chances Pakistan would have won by an innings.

Misbah blames the catching difficulties on a lack of confidence. He might also wish to examine selection? On such tracks, fast bowlers and wrist spinners are essential to force a result. Aziz Cheema is a worthy trier but Wahab's extra pace poses a greater test to batsmen. Unfortunately, our chief-selector turned coach failed to find himself a wrist spinner for this series, although spinners of all varieties require support from fielders to succeed.

Since last year's cursed tour of England, Pakistan have only lost one Test out of 8; they had lost 8 Tests in the previous year. Sri Lanka are difficult opponents, as Kumar Sangakkara proved with his rearguard double-hundred.

Despite the draw, then, Pakistan's cricketers have stopped the rot of previous years and Misbah has played a valuable role. But he needs to be careful. Thus far, Misbah's words have been more positive than his team's performance. A negative approach--justified or not--tends to sit uncomfortably with the Pakistani psyche.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bufordk Rodenizerh on June 10, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Hello.This article was extremely remarkable, especially because I was investigating for thoughts on this matter last Saturday.

  • Ali majaz on January 3, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    People who are good at writing, criticise players who are definately better than them at playing this game , so this blog action with little logic and a ocean of heavy words is a total failure , how about Kamran Abassi pads up and sits in the dressing room waiting to go in next ...and then write a article about Cricket , positivity , pressure , Nerves , It takes a strong character , nerves of steel to go out there and play this game and lead this pakistan team the way Misbah has ,where as kamran abassi has got a big thick thesaurus on his desk.

  • Nelda on December 23, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    One or two to remmeebr, that is.

  • SN Qazi on December 6, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    One of the big mystery of Pakistan Cricket is how players like Shoab Malik continueto play for Pakistan when they have ceased to perform for more than two years . Just look at his pathetic record as a batsman and bowler for 2011 .would he have continued to be given opportunity to continue the team if hewas from Karachi ? He would have been given his marching orders morethan a year back . Srafaraz drops one catch ands he gets dropped . Akmal had dropped dozens of easy catches and stumping chances buthewas kept onforsucha long time .

  • Danishdinamite on November 1, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    It's very normal that sports fans get excited as you guys are but it's only a 1/200 chance that a team can score 170 in last 21 overs of a test match on fifth day. Those who are giving the example of Mushtaq Mohammads team which scored 160+ against india in karachi are forgetting the fact that pakistan had already won a test and they didn't risk losing the sries by taking that chance. Secondly, the time has changed and now a days bowlers are more restrictive than in those days. Mr. Abbasi calls it a 20/20 era but forgets to mention that it goes for the bowlers too. The bowling team can choose to use their best bowlers, ask them to bowl on off and then take 7 players on the offside, and then there are no powerplays.

  • Akbari on October 30, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    Finally Pakistan has learnt to play a test match. Players like Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzak are not meant for Test cricket and can only produce incoherent effect on other TEST players. Present team will go a long way if they persist with the hunger to patiently build an inning. Good luck and have a lot of patience.

  • Sh.Xulqi on October 29, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Wahab should be given a chance in the next test!! We have seen the ball reverse swinging and wahab is the best available for the reverse swing!! Itx difficult to play a new bowler in a pressure of series lost so thats also a plus point which supports wahab to be in pak 11!!!

  • khanaikan on October 27, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    Abbasi needs to know test & t20 are technically two different formats of cricket.Misbah understands limitations of test players so he opted to remain defensive instead of chasing 170 runs in 21 overs.Misbah has gained deep respect for developing decent team in a short span.

  • Mustafa on October 27, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    Dude stop hating on cheema! id take that attitude of his over a show pony any day of the week!

  • osama on October 27, 2011, 0:53 GMT

    why should misbah not look for positives. everything about Pakistan was positive in the first test. they dominated for 4 days but they could not force a win because of the dropped catches. and anyways apart from that pakistan was the team that got 20 wickets. srilanka only managed 6 and never looked like getting any more Pakistan were always creating chances and as far as the defensive approach of misbah goes well aggression comes with success and confidence you cant expect misbah to tell his batsmen to go for all out attack when he knows how fragile our batting line up. i dont see the point of people criticizing everything for no reason . had they been reckless and thrown their wickets away all of u would have been after their heads. And mister author the cheif selector cant just pluck a wrist spinner out of the ground there has to be one around for him to find him. If u have any names that u think deserve a place in the national team please do mention them

  • Bufordk Rodenizerh on June 10, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Hello.This article was extremely remarkable, especially because I was investigating for thoughts on this matter last Saturday.

  • Ali majaz on January 3, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    People who are good at writing, criticise players who are definately better than them at playing this game , so this blog action with little logic and a ocean of heavy words is a total failure , how about Kamran Abassi pads up and sits in the dressing room waiting to go in next ...and then write a article about Cricket , positivity , pressure , Nerves , It takes a strong character , nerves of steel to go out there and play this game and lead this pakistan team the way Misbah has ,where as kamran abassi has got a big thick thesaurus on his desk.

  • Nelda on December 23, 2011, 3:15 GMT

    One or two to remmeebr, that is.

  • SN Qazi on December 6, 2011, 13:49 GMT

    One of the big mystery of Pakistan Cricket is how players like Shoab Malik continueto play for Pakistan when they have ceased to perform for more than two years . Just look at his pathetic record as a batsman and bowler for 2011 .would he have continued to be given opportunity to continue the team if hewas from Karachi ? He would have been given his marching orders morethan a year back . Srafaraz drops one catch ands he gets dropped . Akmal had dropped dozens of easy catches and stumping chances buthewas kept onforsucha long time .

  • Danishdinamite on November 1, 2011, 3:19 GMT

    It's very normal that sports fans get excited as you guys are but it's only a 1/200 chance that a team can score 170 in last 21 overs of a test match on fifth day. Those who are giving the example of Mushtaq Mohammads team which scored 160+ against india in karachi are forgetting the fact that pakistan had already won a test and they didn't risk losing the sries by taking that chance. Secondly, the time has changed and now a days bowlers are more restrictive than in those days. Mr. Abbasi calls it a 20/20 era but forgets to mention that it goes for the bowlers too. The bowling team can choose to use their best bowlers, ask them to bowl on off and then take 7 players on the offside, and then there are no powerplays.

  • Akbari on October 30, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    Finally Pakistan has learnt to play a test match. Players like Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razzak are not meant for Test cricket and can only produce incoherent effect on other TEST players. Present team will go a long way if they persist with the hunger to patiently build an inning. Good luck and have a lot of patience.

  • Sh.Xulqi on October 29, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Wahab should be given a chance in the next test!! We have seen the ball reverse swinging and wahab is the best available for the reverse swing!! Itx difficult to play a new bowler in a pressure of series lost so thats also a plus point which supports wahab to be in pak 11!!!

  • khanaikan on October 27, 2011, 18:16 GMT

    Abbasi needs to know test & t20 are technically two different formats of cricket.Misbah understands limitations of test players so he opted to remain defensive instead of chasing 170 runs in 21 overs.Misbah has gained deep respect for developing decent team in a short span.

  • Mustafa on October 27, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    Dude stop hating on cheema! id take that attitude of his over a show pony any day of the week!

  • osama on October 27, 2011, 0:53 GMT

    why should misbah not look for positives. everything about Pakistan was positive in the first test. they dominated for 4 days but they could not force a win because of the dropped catches. and anyways apart from that pakistan was the team that got 20 wickets. srilanka only managed 6 and never looked like getting any more Pakistan were always creating chances and as far as the defensive approach of misbah goes well aggression comes with success and confidence you cant expect misbah to tell his batsmen to go for all out attack when he knows how fragile our batting line up. i dont see the point of people criticizing everything for no reason . had they been reckless and thrown their wickets away all of u would have been after their heads. And mister author the cheif selector cant just pluck a wrist spinner out of the ground there has to be one around for him to find him. If u have any names that u think deserve a place in the national team please do mention them

  • Omar Hussain on October 26, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    Thanks A.Harrison!Of course Sanga is a world-class player at his best under a crisis!But i think you will agree that had been caught the first chance he offered Pakistan would have won the match.Resilence is something which is being instiled in the SL players and it has moulded them well!

  • A Harrison on October 26, 2011, 11:39 GMT

    While Pakistan's disappointment is understandable, I think the main reason they didn't win this match was just good play by the opposition, particularly a match-saving partnership between Kumar Sangakkara and Prasana Jayawardene. Sangakkara is also showing in the current second match just what a good player he is. Sometimes it's easy to forget to give credit to the opposition.

  • Zeeshan Ahmed Siddiqui on October 26, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    I think you should have ability to understand there is big difference between 20 20 and test cricket. It is impossible for apply it on test cricket. In test matches, if conditions meet, you can use your best bowlers according to conditions like in India in forth or fifth days, conditions favour spinners so playing two spinners almost impossible at that time. In twenty overs to score 160 runs in this test match is almost impossible. Please try to understand and do not make it twenty twenty.

  • Meety on October 26, 2011, 0:53 GMT

    It's nothing new that Catches win Matches. Pakistan have long provided great batsmen & bowlers, but their fielding is usually the worst in the test world. Can't imagine what some bowlers figures would of been like had their teamMATES actually held a catch. Must be gut-wrenching. Anyways - the fact is, Pakistan through all its turmoil have had a steady improvement in results. This was a good performance against SL. If tehy held a catch off Kumar, they would of won. Kaneria (if clean), needs to be in the side - IMO. Junaid looks like a star in the making.

  • Omar Hussain on October 25, 2011, 17:31 GMT

    Nice blog ..Pakistan will have been celebrating a win had the catches struck!Pakistani bowlers gave their heart out and i am proud of them.Just our bad luck that Hafeez of all people dropped most!To @ shah ji....Mushtaq was a timid captain scared of pace bowling...for all your needs just one player is enough!...IMRAN KHAN!Misbah has done well and i wish him all the best for the future....

  • shah ji on October 24, 2011, 23:21 GMT

    We need a fearless leader like Mushtaq Muhammad. We need some fast scoring batsmen in middle like ASif Iqbal,Miandad Zaheer Abbas and Inzi...

    We need express fast bowler ..presently only Sami And we need every team member to be a good catcher...

  • ALI on October 24, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    very disapointing performance by pakistan.,,,,they simply lacked the mental fitness that is require to win matches...hafeez is another disapointing for pakistan,,,i still remember the way he got out in mohali against india in all important semifinal.

  • Jehangir iqbal on October 24, 2011, 13:17 GMT

    for those who are saying england and australia have gone for the chase, i would like to mention a test match. In the last match of ashes series 2007 , australia needed 200 runs in 20 overs to level the series. gilly and hayden accepted light offer. no one in a test match can pull 10 runs per over

  • PIER WASIF on October 24, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    I will not agree with anyone saying that we should have tried to chase this total & win this match, trying to win this match we could have easily lost with our record of collapse in the last couple of years, Misbah made the right decision, we have already won this match taking sri lanka out for for 171 in the first innings that was a great acchievement, our fielders let us down that is a shame at this level, most of the matches that we have lost or drawn in recent memories is by the help of our fielders & wicket keepers.

  • Vishwa on October 24, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    @gabby: There is no point in making Afridi as the ODI captain. Technically, he is a retired player.

  • moonuranus on October 24, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    200 million plus population and Pakistan can't find a fast bowler to finish the Test.

  • dmqi on October 24, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    Well, Pakistan is #6/7 team in the world. I think people who are asking for playing like 1987-1992 team, are asking for too much. How many times Pak has collapsed and lost 7 wickets in last 50 runs? If in chasing, such situation would arise, all these positive metal experts would say," why did he do that?". Misbah did the right thing by not loosing the match. 5 drop catches decided the fate of the game.

  • fhs on October 24, 2011, 3:20 GMT

    ##### 170 runs in 21st overs (day 5 of test) #####

    I would like to know few examples of team winning based on this equation. Teams have to be good (test recognized) sides and your example should be in last 15 years.

  • fhs on October 24, 2011, 3:13 GMT

    I echo Abdullah on saying "Misbah is Pakistan's best captain in the 21st century that I have seen".

    I strongly believe that Misbah is the ONLY one who can take Pakistan on the top ranking and trust me he is getting there. I can see the consistent performance. PLEASE SUPPORT HIM!!

    I agree on Misbah statement on the post match conference on "consistency" in batting and bowling areas but not in fielding area (which has always been the case).

    Mr Abbasi, I disagree with you on missed chance of winning due to defensive captaincy of Misbah - No true. It is the fielding that let us down.

  • Aamir Rizvi on October 24, 2011, 2:04 GMT

    Remarkable effort from Pakistan and good Captaincy from Misbah. Kamran and other people criticising Misbah should ask themselves what would have happened if Pak was bowled out on 1st day after winning the toss. Given Pak history and weakness in batting, I fully support Misbah's tactics of safety 1st. Regarding not going for the target, the score would have been possible in T20 not in Test where there is no field restriction or over limit per bowler. Pak still has confidence which may have been shattered had they lost 5-6 wickets chasing and had trouble holding on to a draw. He is right that fielding is the key. Pak batting has always let them down. Even Imran went for safety 1st and drew the Calcutta Test in 87 and won the 6th Test to win the series.

  • aftab on October 24, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    If you have never put your money on Kenya for winning the World Cup it should not be hard to understand why Misbah has preferred to put breaks on a losing streak. Here's a Pakistani Cricketer with an educated approach instead of playing for the moment. Last time this happened was Imran Khan. If you put the events leading to Misbah's captaincy versus events leading to Imran's captaincy, the two approaches are not different. One reaped fruits of an established cadre and the other is trying to get an established lot. Especially in test matches staying on crease for five days is a win for Pakistan at this time. I won't vote for impatience.

  • Square_Cut on October 23, 2011, 21:59 GMT

    Good solid cricket test match from Pakistan, and good batting by Srilanka to save the game.

    People who are being critical of Pakistan have no clue about cricket.

    Misbah has done well as captain and should go on as long as he possibly can.

  • Umar Khalil on October 23, 2011, 21:01 GMT

    Thanks to Misbah and Younis, Pakistan has been able to show such consistancy since the WC.

  • Faisal Akhtar on October 23, 2011, 20:50 GMT

    Misbah didn't go for a win against South Africa when the required run rate was 6 an over. He settled for a draw against New Zealand when all it needed was 3 an over to win the 2nd Test last year. Why would somebody expect him to go for a target when 9 an over was the calling? We have had defensive, unimaginative captains since Wasim and Amir Sohail left(Yes, he was a captain for a one day series against India). Afridi is not our salvation either; he is an overly aggressive batsman but a rather defensive captain. When fear of losing is more powerful than the desire to win, that should tell you all you need to know about the "Captain".

  • Ejaz on October 23, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    Common batsmen of Pakistan T20 and Test Squad, Hafeez, Asad Shafiq, Younas Khan(the t20 champ) and Misbah himself. So, it was not difficult to go for win with 2-3 wickets.

    In t20 wickets fell due to pressure of scoring which Pakistan could have easily negotiated if 2-3 wickets fell they could have gone for blocking mode even this luxury is not available in t20 itself.

    One loses not when they get defeated but when they think they could not win.

  • Farhan Maqbool on October 23, 2011, 20:25 GMT

    @Kumail 96 i partle agree vd u tht in recent times there have been more -ve things than that of +ve. but +ves for Pakistan is as long as u want to look even in ur times

    1) A.Razzaq's innings against SA in UEA (2010) (Last year's BEST ODI Innings by any player) 2) Pak beating Aus in test aftr 15 yrs & draw the series 3) Pak beating Aus in WC'11. Not to forget Aus was last beaten in 99 WC & tht too by Pakistan. 4) Pak managed to b in Top 4 teams by reaching in WC'11 Semi-final 5) UmerGul took 6 wkts against Engto help Pak winning a match that was almost lost.

    these r the +ves frm last 1 year. Do let me know ur age & i'll write down more Golden memories:)

    i agree with all of above with Misbah approach & bala bala but its nt like we don't have something to cheer about.

  • Ejaz on October 23, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    For the people who thinks that 170 runs were too much in 4th innings of this 20-20 era.

    Let me tell, Pakistan has achieved a target similar to one but on that the Captain was the Genius who shuffled batting order to win. The Genius mind behind this was then Captain, Mushtaq Muhammad. Match was India Vs Pakistan 3rd Test - Karachi (14-19 November 1978). http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/63219.html

    See What Vatran Chisti Mujahid says about this match http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/video_audio/527759.html?genre=50;

    The problem is that this time the didn't have the courage and mind to do it. Although the have the resources (e.g. Asad Shafiq opens the innings with Hafeez in T20).

  • kumail96 on October 23, 2011, 18:04 GMT

    I asked my father about golden moments of Pakistan cricket & in reply my father gave me videos of 1. Pakistan vs India 1976-77 2. Pakistan vs Australia (Melbourne test) 3. Pakistan vs India (Sharjah) 4. Pakistan vs England (1992 World Cup) All of them before I was born, when my father asked me what golden moments you have in your memory, I have nothing to mention except darkest moments of our cricket history 1. Spot fixing scandal 2. Misbah`s negative attitude & batting in Mohali 3. Misbah`s surrendering even before trying in Abu Dahbi 4. Sydney test 5. Attack on Sri Lankan cricket Team I wonder will I be in a position to tell my father or to my children about golden moments of Pakistan`s cricket in my memory. Cricket loving people of Pakistan praying for that.

  • Asif on October 23, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    Only Misbah can take positive from a under par performance. Instead of looking to improve and get rid of lazy fielders, he is protecting them. Also, it would not have hurt to try to score 127. Instead he went for draw. He does not have what it takes to be a aggressive captain. We need to be aggressive in order to win the games and we do not have that currently.

  • PakFan on October 23, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    If we are talking strategy it would not be a bad idea to start by coming up with a proper fielding strategy of which the first objective would be to find a suitable fielding place for Hafeez. Taufeeq Umar should find his way somewhere in the slip cordon. There are plenty of other youngsters who can give company to Yonus Khan behind stumps i.e. Azhar and Asad to name a couple who can do the job. I am quite disturb by the fact that few good young players who ends up making the team does not get complete support from the Captain and seniors in the team. It seems like some of the seniors who are now the permanent fixtures in the team seems to select their choice of fielding position – this culture should stop and the best fielders should be able to stand in the toughest positions in the field.

  • DR.KASHIF on October 23, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    Pakistan could not win this test match because of two reasons. First team selection.I wonder why Abdur Rehman was not playing. He has better record than Saeed Ajmal in recent times. He won test matches in Newzealand and west indies for pakistan.Also he is very econonmic bowler. Wahab Riaz must play on these flat pitches because he is only 90 miles per hour plus bowler in the squad and it is very difficult for medium pacers to get wickets on such pitches.Second reason was Pakistan,s choice of fielding positions. Hafeez is not a specialist slip fielder. Taufeeq umar should be fielding in slips along with Younis & Misbah.

  • nasir on October 23, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    Misbah stop giving lame excusses of slow fifth day pitch the reason for not going for the win in this time of T20 cricket when batsman have the technique of playing that type of cricket.Look back at Pakistan test cricket history Miandad, Asif Iqbal achieved almost the same target(168 runs) 35 years ago when players don`t have T20 technique but they played calculative & positive cricket against bowlers like Bedi, Chandrashekar & Parasana whereas you were not facing bowlers of that status moreover at that time field setting by India was the same you pointed out not going for the win. The only difference is players attitude of positiveness, love for the game, LEADERSHIP & country pride which is lacking in modren days cricketrs of our country.

  • Khan on October 23, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    An ordinary performance and poor analysis by Misbah. It is Sri Lanka who will emerge stronger out of this match. Pakistan may find the going tough in remainder of the series.

  • hangover on October 23, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    I didn't like to watch draw result and pak actually not going for the kill at the end of day 5 ,but if you were to think rather more sensibly to chase 170 in 20 overs in test match is actually different from chasing same in t20 or ODIs because A) rules are different B) the batsmen's picked for test matches are naturally defensive , and then 170 becomes 200 under those circumstances , even in t2O chasing 170 is above par and in order to chase 170 you are more then likely to lose a lot of wickets and then for misbah the panic of losing the test could have changed the batting approach again , eventually I think chasing 170 would have given sir lankans a advantage .In my option misbah is a fine captain ,sensible and calculated in his approach .I HOPE HE STAYS AS CAPTAIN FOR FEW YEARS .

  • asad on October 23, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    come on kamran...please stop blaiming misbah, why dont u peoples understand and accept that misbah has united the pakistani team and he is consisitently producing good results..have a look at the last year performance. Go on misbah the whole nation is with u

  • Imran Ahmed Khan on October 23, 2011, 13:59 GMT

    According to my judgment of the Ist. concluded test, there were three factors for the unlikely drawn game. Firstly, dropping catches as the best of bolwing attack may not be able to force a win on such a docile pitch if their fielders drop about half a dozens of catcches. Secondly, Pakistan must have tried to have go for last innings runs, atleast if wickets fall, they can easily withstand a maximum of 21 overs. Lastly, the luck factor as Sri Lankan batting dominated lesser but crucial moments of the match to save it.

  • Abdullah on October 23, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    Misbah is Pakistan's best captain in the 21st century that I have seen.

    He has only lost 1 in 17 matches as captain across all formats of the game.

    He was awarded the overseas test cricketer of the year by a UK magazine.

    He has a stabilising presence in the team.

    He has 9 50+ scores in 14 innings as captain.

    We should get behind him.

  • m23khan on October 23, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    Pakistani batting collapses are a far too familiar sight, then how can your criticize his approach.

    Better to see a team draw than loose from winning positions, no?

  • Muhammedh on October 23, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    Lets accept the result, Misbah remembers all the bad test cricket Pakistan played last few years. So he needs his own time to settle down without taking much risk.

    FIELDERS ARE TO THE ONES TO BE BLAMED. NOT CAPTAIN, SELECTORS, HEAD, ETC. LETS ACCEPT THE FACT.

    What would have happened if they have gone in T20 style chasing without Umar Akmal, Afridi? So it was not worth trying....

    The win is drawing against SL. There are are alot of pleasing improvements from this side. Taufeeq showed his temperament to stay longer which is very important.

  • nalinwij on October 23, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    A team like Pakistan goes through a period of rebuilding where they lack the self belief to win matches and this is reflected in a negative approach at times where an honorable draw is better than losses of last year and this is reflected in dropping catches.I believe their lack of belief in the form of dropped catches and Misbah"s batting cost them the world cup semi against India. The old latin expression "carpe diem" [seize the day] is what they failed to do.On the other hand SL also is struggling but SANGA has self belief, determination and class to save the day.

  • Hassan Farooqi on October 23, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    Misbah is a time proven non-finisher. He can lead the race till the finish line, only to collapse before the finish line and lose it all. We saw him do that as a batsman, and we now see him do that as a captain.

  • Mirza on October 23, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    Excellent Article Kamran. You have hit that nail on the head. I must say Misbah's persistant negative approach has been escaping critique. Pakistan also could have tried to chase an easier target VS South Africa earlier this year. At least tried at expense of one more wicket. One must not forget two or three times he has put oppositions in on green tinged dead as dodo wickets. Once Vs Newzland last year. Then South Africa same ground. Against Zimbabwe last series. Its been Pakistan's under rated bowling attack that has been saving our day. I cant imagine Misbah batting first anywhere outside Pakistan and also supporting preparation of sporting tracks. With five more tests in GCC for Pak, I am sure we will have two or three talented bolwers with broken backs by end of it all. Wish I am wrong.

  • vinay on October 23, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    test cricket will die very soon due to these pitches and timid approches of players.ICC must start thinking to implement over limitation in test cricket too. there was hardly any spectator in this match..there was no charm in this match and on the flat subcontinent pitches result are no different..one should be really thankfull to the players like sehwag,dilshan,gilchrist,dhoni whose aggression have kept the interest alive in test matches..

  • Ash Zed on October 23, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    With all the problems surrounding Pakistan cricket, I think it was perfectly correct to adopt a cautious approach. Pak young players first need to develop test cricket temperament and I believe this is fine the way Pak batted. Various comments from all over are certainly influenced by so much T20 cricket. If Pak is able to improve their fielding, I think they can win this series. In short, it will be the fielding that will be the deciding factor for the series result.

  • Nadeem Khan on October 23, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    I disagree with this blog. I remember Nasser Hussain in 2000, built an English team who was criticized for being too defensive. But at that time, a drawn series was a WIN for England considering their performance throughout 1990s. Misbah is doing the same. In this test match, what can Misbah do if the fielders drop ten catches? Why are you calling his tactics as defensive? Regarding Cheema: Everyone knows team would have not dropped Cheema. Junaid and W.Riaz had a tie. Junaid won the battle and performed. So you are not criticizing that selection. lolz.

  • Mansoor Jarral on October 23, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    I think pakistan lost the match due to their defensive approach which is a negativity in itself. They are only to blame their captain primarily then the coach and then team mates. Had pakistan scored quickly on the 3rd day when Asad Shafique/Taufeeq Umar did not show any intent to score quickly, and that is not possible without the support from Captain/Coach. Secondly lack of agression in field placing, there were no catching fielders for most of the time in the eyeline of batsmen,and last but not least they should have tried to get the total on this flat track. Mansoor

  • Imran on October 23, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    pathetic is the word for Misbah and his team....when Pak had to chase 170 odd runs you could see Yunis pointing towrads the umpire how many overs they can bat till they can shake hands and call it a day....such losers this Pak team, please bring in Afridi and some new talent like Sharjeel, Awais Zia, rameez Raja(2) Raza Hasan, Hammad Azam and get rid of these old team loser team.....thx

  • Master Turner on October 23, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    It's a pity.... How can a team all out in 21 overs on that wicket and even if they had lost 3 or 4 wickets in 4 or 5 overs then they would have held for next 15 overs..... But they didn't try at all..... So sad

  • Q. Zaman on October 23, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    Pakistan is playing negative Test cricket, but it is better for Pakistan to play like this as proved they have lost only 1 in 8, but before this Pakistan had lost 8 in in a year when they played positively. Pakistani problem is fielding and they seem to be getting worse day by day.

    Mohsin Khan criticised Umar Akmal of not being a consistent run scorer, nobody will be heavy run scorer who comes in to bat at no.6 position and having to bat with the tail which is very long as far as Pakistan is concerned.

    Pakistan needs to induct Umar Amin in the team. When he was inducted in the team before it was on English tour, when he had to play in alien conditions, but Amin will be more at home with the conditions in the Gulf states.

    Another problem with Pakistan cricket is why do they make a captain who is over the hill and gone by his sell by date.... it happens over and over the years.... with nobody in the PCB thinking that is where the problem lies... Misbah is a stop gap captain for 1yr

  • Rayhan on October 23, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    While Pakistan missed a trick in this test; after all that volatility last year;the key stat is the fact that Pakistan have only lost 1 test this year. The batting feels solid (though much slower than previous years);

  • Rayhan on October 23, 2011, 8:55 GMT

    While Pakistan missed a trick in this test; after all that volatility last year;the key stat is the fact that Pakistan have only lost 1 test this year. The batting feels solid (though much slower than previous years);

  • Pakstar on October 23, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Which other team in the world can remain competitive, despite a lowly world ranking, and despite the loss of their 2 world class opening bowlers? The loss of Amir and Asif (the loss of Butt both as a batsman and as "leader" of PCB are actually hugely beneficial to Pak cricket) would cripple any other nations bowling potency. Just look at India after the loss of Zak for the England series. But we have found 3 or 4 world class replacements. So this draw should be regarded as an achievement, as should our form overall since the disaster of England 2010. We can build from here. A bit more work on the fielding, and we'll be more than a match for all comers.

  • Shahabuddin Khoja on October 23, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    Fielding of Pakistn team was not even of club standard.I remebered once against India Sadiq droped two catches and Mushtaq his brother,who was captain droped him from team for next match.Does Misbah and Mohsin have such courage.Wahab will come back for Cheema but their is still no place for Sohaib.

  • Mudassir Rana on October 23, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    Misbah is a resolute character and a good batsmen. But in order to prove himself a good captain he should learn to be a little aggressive in approach. Firstly, after having bowled SL out for 197, Pakistan team batted too slow which was the basis for producing a draw game. It left only 2 days to bowl the opponents out or otherwise they would bat till the last moment to earn a draw which eventually took place. Misbah must realize the value of winning a test, the opportunity which he had denied one more time last year.171 in 21 overs could have achieved if he had realized to grab the golden chance to go 1-up in the series.

  • K.Malik on October 23, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Pakistan cricket needs a Misbah after the recent disasters. I hope this is just the beginning of a new Pak era and the next captain builds and takes the team forward to new heights.

    In the meantime, I'm going back to sleep as this is the most boring cricket side I can remember. I miss individual brilliances, players with the x factor and the unpredicatability. The current team is becoming predictably dull.

  • Jawad Khalid on October 23, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    Well! I don't blame Misbah for the negativity rather I blame the media commentators for the creating a negative perspective about the current Captain. I second Misbah on his stance for not chasing the target. I agree its gettable but just have a look at our Test team and the T20 Team. Both the teams are completely different due to different players and different playing perspective. So there is no point in going for a target that seems possible and lose the test match. I would rather get my safety first than to look to draw the first blood because drawing the first blood doesn't assure me a win as we have seen many times in the past for Pakistani cricket team. But on serious note, those dropped catches did cost Pakistan Cricket team a WIN...

  • Ejaz on October 23, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    This match was not drawn by SL but It was Pakistan who refused do win. First by dropping catches after that not showing the intent to win in 4th innings.

  • Animesh on October 23, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    A good piece from the writer and the attack on Misbah is not uncalled for his sluggish batting has caused a lot of trouble for Pakistan in recent times ...... The Misbah of 2007 world t-20 has to be found again

  • SHARPRIDER on October 23, 2011, 7:57 GMT

    Looks like they (the Pakistanis) lost their way midway through the Test and, strangely enough, the tour management did little or nothing to correct the course, as the result proved in the end. Another fact, according to my reading, was the announcement by Afridi regarding his availability to play for Pakistan (a claim that I look at in a little apprehensive manner), which might have had something to do with the kind of performance given by the Pakistanis in the second half of the game. Now, the subject announcement could have been made either before or after this Test, which, essentially speaking, should have been pocketed by Pakistan without much difficulty.

  • Khan on October 23, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    Totally agree with u......it goes back to third day. slow scoring rate really hurted. drop chances was an insult to injury and eventually they opted for a draw to surprise dilshan.why not go after the target positively .Trust me if it was Aus or Eng they would have gone after this target.Pak is just an ave team.Without aggression its hard to see them winning test matches against top sides.

  • Faisal Sami Qadir on October 23, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    I think we should just allow this unit to get into a rythm of not losing. one such a feeling of getting used to a particular level is achieved, they will automatically start applying themselves aggressively.. all these are stepping stones, its worth a wait provided how much frustration we have been facing.. all in all i feel azhar ali is more of a no.5 than no.3.. three should be someone whos equally good against spin as is on pace, someone like umar akmal.. these young boys got that determination to stay, but they can learn to pace their innings from someone like sangakkara

  • Javed Sani. on October 23, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    This is for The Handsome Mohsin Khan the chief selector and the intrim coach now.A Question is asked Inspite of all the catches dropped Pakistan had an even chance to score 172 runs in 21 overs and win the test Pakistan's did not even try to play aggressively ie Pakistan were not aggressive at all WHY? Now the answer to this is Their Captain Misba Ul Haq, leader of the team is not an aggressive Captain at all so how can the team be aggressive.WE need to find an aggressive Captain for Pakistan Cricket Team If they are to make themselves as World Beaters.Moshin Khan Please read my comment and follow up. Javed Sani Los Angeles USA.

    NOTE.In my Opinion Shahid Afridi is the one man only whom we can call An Aggressive Cricketer I donot see any other one in the present team. s

  • Ray on October 23, 2011, 7:31 GMT

    If only the fielding was better. Cheema put his heart in the effort, but respectfully his capabilities are not for this level. Wahab would've been a better choice.

  • Naveed on October 23, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    Misbah has brought stability, however, his passive approach to Cricket does not sit well with very aggressive nature of Pakistan Cricket. Pakistan is at its best when it is aggressive, assertive and making mistakes. How did he select Asad Shafiq over Shoaib Malik? Asad Shaifq has no sense of the status of test. He came in when score was above 400 and he batted 94 balls for his 26. Misbah by nature is a defensive captain and he will not win many matches, although, I believe in talent and skills Pakistan is only 2nd to Australia. Misbah will bring disappointments only!

  • muhammad usama on October 23, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    Even Hafeez who likes to play his shots was not playing cut shot i thought he is best at he let go a short and wide dilvery :(

  • ausaff bhat on October 23, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    there was nothing wrong in the approach..On a 5 th day pitch it is diifcult to score 9 an over without powerplays...and misbah has brought team together and u can see the results..i think only blemish being wc semi final...he is not negative the managment behind him is......and we all know how it works in subcontinent dont we:)..

  • shahid shah on October 23, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    With that kind of strategy Misbah is totally unacceptable for captaincy. Firstly he does'nt have the positive instinct secondly he does'nt want to lead from the front. He bats low down the order, ideally he should be batting at no3. Thats pity that younger players are coming up the order while experience players are coming later. Misbah is the kind of captain who feels happy with the draw rather than going for the victory. Even before the series his only aim was to draw the series. Pakistan needs a dynamic captain who not only leads from the front but also have the positive frame of mind.

  • Owais on October 23, 2011, 6:46 GMT

    There were definitely MANY positives and "I would have taken this result before the match began, purely because of strength of Sri Lankan batting who we bowled out twice whereby Sri Lankan could only dislodge 7 Pakistani batsmen who are clearly not as good as Sri Lankan batsmen". However, the blame must go to idiotic and senseless batting after we were 250 odd with only 2 wickets down. Asad Shafique really disapointed me with his approach. Similarly what was Hafiz doing at first slip ? why not Misbah or Taufeeq Umar ? and why did Younis have to do what he did when he had actually caught Sanga ? it was a fair catch, but once you refer such case to third umpire, benefit of doubt will always go the batsman. And I believe Wahab Riaz was rightly dropped for Aizaz Cheema. Cheama has got attitude and resilience, whereas Wahab Riaz is too fickle. His name also keeps coming up in trial in England. Get rid of someone who is even remotely related to betting scandal.

  • chrisgayle'sdreadlocks on October 23, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    Pakistan positives: Bowling SL out for 197. Brilliant Scoring 500. Good total, but I felt that Pak should of increased their run rate when they had 350 runs on the board. Pakistan negatives catches, or in their case, lack of catches As for Sanga, what a player.8th double hundred in 101 tests

  • Jarry on October 23, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    On the second day , Ramiz was saying that he hopes the slow batting of Pakistan does not come backto haunt them. Well it did, dropped catches aside, Pakistan lost the momentum on the second day itself. Well played Sri Lanka, fantastic fight back.

  • Shakhawat on October 23, 2011, 5:41 GMT

    If Pakistan continue to play old syle negetive role they may not be improve their ranking. Fielders needs to learn catching practice. Umar Akmal was left out becouse he was too hurry on the crease but still he a good strokefull batsman. Selectors and coaching stuff must understand this kind of cricket will be not staisfied the spectators and supporters. For me this Abu Dhabi Test mach is a Test for Performance test for Pak players

  • Usman on October 23, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    Fields are only won by those who desire to win, not by those who start the battle with the fear of loss and intend to draw. Somebody has wisely said, the best form of defence is ATTACK.

  • Rovaid Khan on October 23, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    Why the hell he didn't go for the chase.... if u lose fighting then no problem in losing but if you draw like this one, its worst than losing....

  • Tahir on October 23, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    It,s good that you raised important lingering issues in the psyche of Pakistan cricket team.This lack of killer instinct is now ingrained in our character as a nation.Favourtism, nepotism and lack of accountability be as captain, selector or chairman PCB is a norm than exception.By the way we should not expect too much from the new chairman.Is he Zardari,s selection? One other important issue in this drawn game is poor umpiring.why UDRS was not used.

  • Nadeem Sharifuddin on October 23, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    Looking at pakistan performance in year 2010 and in year 2011 , there is huge difference. pakistan is not losing all the games.

    If we are true lovers of cricket and especially test cricket then we should understand what Misbah was trying to do. He did not want to lose after dominating opposition for 4 days.

    This match is lost because of fielders and lack of genuine fast bowler. But credit also goes to Sri Lanka for great fight.

    Remember test cricket is real test of temperament and class which Srilanka displayed in last two days.

    A very good result of a match. Solid test cricket.

  • getsetgopk on October 23, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    Misbah does not have alot of time left maybe a couple more years atmost, and people already dont like him for the way he played in the wc semi and will certainly dont like him for the way he restrained his batters from chasing this one positively, he must change for the sake of his own legacy. I hope he realizes that sooner, a captain thats born thinking negatively can never be remembered as one of the good captains that played for pakistan.

  • gabby on October 23, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    The fear factor is not something new to Pakistani cricket for last decade or so. I am afraid that Misbah's approach can only lead us to a certain level and for defeating top class teams like Srilanka, we need a courageous leader who is not afraid of taking risks.

    Talking of Mohali, we do not seem to have learned anything from that failure. It does not require rocket science to conclude that we need to build a team for next world cup and there is no place for either of Misbah or Younis in that future ODI team based on their poor innings in that semi final. The best way to go about that is to make Afridi or Hafeez the captain for ODIs.

  • Hasan Siftain Cheema on October 23, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    I just wonder he defend his teams approach, ridiculous

  • Omar Khasru on October 23, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Only Pakistan, after the first innings heroics, would succumb to a tame draw and then the captain would search for positives. A combo of abominable fielding, usual for a Pakistani side, docile and unimaginative captaincy and a total aversion to try and play 20-20 cricket to score 170 runs in 21 overs led to this outcome. Think of Australia, India or even Sri Lanka. These sides would surely go for a victory and not dead bats in the 2nd innings.

  • BongaBill on October 23, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    As a journalist, your comments need to be fair. Chasing 170 in 20 odd overs on a 5th day wicket is impossible. I bet you would have had another article ready, gunning Misbah, had Pakistan opted to go after the target and lost early wickets, resulting in a defeat.

  • Hasan Jafar on October 23, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    Kamran - Fully agree Wahab Riaz would be a better choice than Cheema, despite Cheema's impressive performance in Zimbabwe. There were many aspects of Misbah's captaincy that could come under scrutiny but one cannot expect to win a match if five catches are dropped in an innings. That is the bottomline.

  • Sarfraz on October 23, 2011, 0:57 GMT

    Again wonderful blog..Pak team player consistantly playing good test cricket.after long time Pakistan team dominated a test against top test team.in UAE missing a wrist spinner it could be better if we had Kaneria in team.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Sarfraz on October 23, 2011, 0:57 GMT

    Again wonderful blog..Pak team player consistantly playing good test cricket.after long time Pakistan team dominated a test against top test team.in UAE missing a wrist spinner it could be better if we had Kaneria in team.

  • Hasan Jafar on October 23, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    Kamran - Fully agree Wahab Riaz would be a better choice than Cheema, despite Cheema's impressive performance in Zimbabwe. There were many aspects of Misbah's captaincy that could come under scrutiny but one cannot expect to win a match if five catches are dropped in an innings. That is the bottomline.

  • BongaBill on October 23, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    As a journalist, your comments need to be fair. Chasing 170 in 20 odd overs on a 5th day wicket is impossible. I bet you would have had another article ready, gunning Misbah, had Pakistan opted to go after the target and lost early wickets, resulting in a defeat.

  • Omar Khasru on October 23, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Only Pakistan, after the first innings heroics, would succumb to a tame draw and then the captain would search for positives. A combo of abominable fielding, usual for a Pakistani side, docile and unimaginative captaincy and a total aversion to try and play 20-20 cricket to score 170 runs in 21 overs led to this outcome. Think of Australia, India or even Sri Lanka. These sides would surely go for a victory and not dead bats in the 2nd innings.

  • Hasan Siftain Cheema on October 23, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    I just wonder he defend his teams approach, ridiculous

  • gabby on October 23, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    The fear factor is not something new to Pakistani cricket for last decade or so. I am afraid that Misbah's approach can only lead us to a certain level and for defeating top class teams like Srilanka, we need a courageous leader who is not afraid of taking risks.

    Talking of Mohali, we do not seem to have learned anything from that failure. It does not require rocket science to conclude that we need to build a team for next world cup and there is no place for either of Misbah or Younis in that future ODI team based on their poor innings in that semi final. The best way to go about that is to make Afridi or Hafeez the captain for ODIs.

  • getsetgopk on October 23, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    Misbah does not have alot of time left maybe a couple more years atmost, and people already dont like him for the way he played in the wc semi and will certainly dont like him for the way he restrained his batters from chasing this one positively, he must change for the sake of his own legacy. I hope he realizes that sooner, a captain thats born thinking negatively can never be remembered as one of the good captains that played for pakistan.

  • Nadeem Sharifuddin on October 23, 2011, 5:20 GMT

    Looking at pakistan performance in year 2010 and in year 2011 , there is huge difference. pakistan is not losing all the games.

    If we are true lovers of cricket and especially test cricket then we should understand what Misbah was trying to do. He did not want to lose after dominating opposition for 4 days.

    This match is lost because of fielders and lack of genuine fast bowler. But credit also goes to Sri Lanka for great fight.

    Remember test cricket is real test of temperament and class which Srilanka displayed in last two days.

    A very good result of a match. Solid test cricket.

  • Tahir on October 23, 2011, 5:21 GMT

    It,s good that you raised important lingering issues in the psyche of Pakistan cricket team.This lack of killer instinct is now ingrained in our character as a nation.Favourtism, nepotism and lack of accountability be as captain, selector or chairman PCB is a norm than exception.By the way we should not expect too much from the new chairman.Is he Zardari,s selection? One other important issue in this drawn game is poor umpiring.why UDRS was not used.

  • Rovaid Khan on October 23, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    Why the hell he didn't go for the chase.... if u lose fighting then no problem in losing but if you draw like this one, its worst than losing....