Pakistan v Sri Lanka 2011 November 11, 2011

The question about Misbah

Misbah has the second-highest Test average for a captain after Don Bradman (minimum ten Tests). Why murmurings of discontent?
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The question about Misbah-ul-Haq is why is there a question? Pakistan undefeated in a Test series since the shameful summer of 2010. Draws against South Africa and in the West Indies, away wins against New Zealand and Zimbabwe, and a 'home' success against Sri Lanka - a sequence of results that exceeds expectations. Misbah has the second-highest Test average for a captain after Don Bradman (minimum ten Tests). Why murmurings of discontent?

Some people are never happy. Others are only happy if Pakistan play a certain way: an aggressive, entertaining form of cricket that Pakistan's returning talisman, Shahid Afridi, has taken to an extreme. The best form of defence is attack, said Imran Khan, and the mentality of Pakistan cricket was transformed.

Curiously, Misbah has resurrected the defensive outlook of Pakistan teams before Imran's captaincy. It is a long step backwards and it feels unnatural. Pakistan turned down two borderline run chases in the recently concluded Test series against Sri Lanka. They batted slowly and set deep fields when they might have risked close-in fielders. In Sharjah, that defensive tack might have come unstuck had rain and bad light not intervened.

But it didn't. Luck has sided with Misbah; every successful captain is indebted to good fortune. As unnatural as turgid defence feels, it is a necessary evil in this current life of Pakistan cricket. A period of stability was required to shake an image of predictable unpredictability. Misbah's Pakistan are unpredictably predictable. It is a nasty medicine, a bitter taste, but improved results will rebuild confidence and respect.

The one-day series offers Misbah an opportunity to silence his critics and demonstrate his flexibility. His squad is packed with attacking cricketers, and the binary outcome of a limited-overs match must force Misbah to adopt a more positive outlook, surely? He might have an exasperating way of going about his job but Misbah, the king of dot balls, has played a valuable role in transforming the on-field fortunes of Pakistan cricket.

Questions about Misbah's suitability for the captaincy will persist, the nature of the beast is at odds with the mood of the herd, but sport is a results business first and Misbah has them aplenty to support his case for caution. The next question is whether Misbah's Pakistan develop a more expansive style once some stability and sanity has been restored?

All the best captains reinvent teams in their own image. The immediate image in my mind's eye is of Misbah prodding forward, dot-balling to his heart's content. I have other images too, swashbuckling almost reckless ones. This Misbah fellow might not be to everybody's taste but he is tenacious and capable of surprise.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • boomboomAfridian on March 21, 2012, 1:15 GMT

    mizbha only gud for TEST!! we need 2020 & odi captain SHAHID AFRIDI- SHAHID AFRIDI- SHAHID AFRIDI- SHAHID AFRIDI SHAID AFRIDIIIIIIIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  • QADER SAEED on February 19, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    Misbah must realise that a personal example is a must.He cannot go on putting up a poor score as a batsman.The second important point for Pakistan Selection Committee to realise is that Shahed Afridi should be out of the team for good despite his cheap popularity with the crowd. It seems to me that he is perhaps creating too many problems for Misbah as a member of the team.

  • SYED REHAN on January 21, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    well done Misbah & mohsin.Keep it up. Inspite of greatest victory i beleive that Whatmore will be more fruitful for paksitan cricket. As mohsin Can perfom hi job as Chief Selector as well.\\

  • Titia on December 23, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    If your articles are always this heplful, "I'll be back."

  • UmarISLAM on December 15, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    Misbah is a very good player. he can play according to the situation. i think the resposibilites he got that is y he is very keen to play safe.

  • sharique khan on December 9, 2011, 23:00 GMT

    RAZZAK SHOULD OPEN IN ODI

  • Mel waas on December 5, 2011, 1:04 GMT

    I hope PCB does not hold Misbah's age against him. Age is only a number. If Brian Close can play test cricket for England at age 45. And face the ferocious West Indian Pacer without a helmet. Why can't a fit Misbah play on for Pakistan?

  • khurram on December 2, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    Nice article sir. There is no doubt that he is a nice player of test match. He has a very nice defensive technique and this style of batting is very suitable for the test format. In limited over cricket i.e ( ODI and T20) he is not a suitable person. He is not a nice finisher of limited over cricket. He should be the captain of the test squad and he should just play test cricket.

  • NOMAN on November 28, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    I think misbah has good brain as a captain....People say he plays slowly...I admit it,but he iz improving now....Moreover,he anchors d innings in this style and can also surprise d other team by hitting a big six over mid wicket....At this time,he is to give chance to lead this team to victory for as long as he can...

  • badruddin savja(canada) on November 28, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    dear Kamranbhai,your articles are always perfect and very fit for the current issues.I always love to read and analyse them. You are perfectly correct in titleling Misbah as king of DOTBALLS.You know that he was slow and lot of DOTBALLS during Pakistan/India Semifinal match. If he had played carefully little faster then may be Pakistan had won that match.May be I am wrong,but I thought that Misbah and some other players were not happy for Afridi being Captain and therefore planned to loose that match. Thank you and ALLAHHAFIZ

  • boomboomAfridian on March 21, 2012, 1:15 GMT

    mizbha only gud for TEST!! we need 2020 & odi captain SHAHID AFRIDI- SHAHID AFRIDI- SHAHID AFRIDI- SHAHID AFRIDI SHAID AFRIDIIIIIIIIIIIIIIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

  • QADER SAEED on February 19, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    Misbah must realise that a personal example is a must.He cannot go on putting up a poor score as a batsman.The second important point for Pakistan Selection Committee to realise is that Shahed Afridi should be out of the team for good despite his cheap popularity with the crowd. It seems to me that he is perhaps creating too many problems for Misbah as a member of the team.

  • SYED REHAN on January 21, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    well done Misbah & mohsin.Keep it up. Inspite of greatest victory i beleive that Whatmore will be more fruitful for paksitan cricket. As mohsin Can perfom hi job as Chief Selector as well.\\

  • Titia on December 23, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    If your articles are always this heplful, "I'll be back."

  • UmarISLAM on December 15, 2011, 11:33 GMT

    Misbah is a very good player. he can play according to the situation. i think the resposibilites he got that is y he is very keen to play safe.

  • sharique khan on December 9, 2011, 23:00 GMT

    RAZZAK SHOULD OPEN IN ODI

  • Mel waas on December 5, 2011, 1:04 GMT

    I hope PCB does not hold Misbah's age against him. Age is only a number. If Brian Close can play test cricket for England at age 45. And face the ferocious West Indian Pacer without a helmet. Why can't a fit Misbah play on for Pakistan?

  • khurram on December 2, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    Nice article sir. There is no doubt that he is a nice player of test match. He has a very nice defensive technique and this style of batting is very suitable for the test format. In limited over cricket i.e ( ODI and T20) he is not a suitable person. He is not a nice finisher of limited over cricket. He should be the captain of the test squad and he should just play test cricket.

  • NOMAN on November 28, 2011, 17:18 GMT

    I think misbah has good brain as a captain....People say he plays slowly...I admit it,but he iz improving now....Moreover,he anchors d innings in this style and can also surprise d other team by hitting a big six over mid wicket....At this time,he is to give chance to lead this team to victory for as long as he can...

  • badruddin savja(canada) on November 28, 2011, 3:14 GMT

    dear Kamranbhai,your articles are always perfect and very fit for the current issues.I always love to read and analyse them. You are perfectly correct in titleling Misbah as king of DOTBALLS.You know that he was slow and lot of DOTBALLS during Pakistan/India Semifinal match. If he had played carefully little faster then may be Pakistan had won that match.May be I am wrong,but I thought that Misbah and some other players were not happy for Afridi being Captain and therefore planned to loose that match. Thank you and ALLAHHAFIZ

  • salman on November 28, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    i think abdul rehman must be a captain of pakistan beacuse its very strange that such a talented captain misbah has been given the oppurtunity of being captain.thats what not happens in pakistan or it does?strange i cant believe this

  • RUSHEEL NAIR on November 25, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    Don;t know why Pakistan cricket took so long to find Misbah ul Haq that guy is 37 now

  • SYED REHAN on November 21, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    Dear Kamran, Your observation and comments are realistic. Misbah is leading a mix team of Junior (always motivated) and Loyal seniors(afridi,Younis and Gull). Still so far he used his all the bowlers wisely. But Misbah should look into His approach towards his batting style. A mono-Batting Style should be change, i.w: Play according to situation, Best of luck to Paksitan & Misbah team.

  • SYED REHAN on November 21, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    Dear Kamran, Your observation and comments are realistic. Misbah is leading a mix team of Junior (always motivated) and Loyal seniors(afridi,Younis and Gull). Still so far he used his all the bowlers wisely. But Misbah should look into His approach towards his batting style. A mono-Batting Style should be change, i.w: Play according to situation, Best of luck to Paksitan & Misbah team.

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg VA USA on November 21, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    Guys: "SHAHID AFRIDI WON THE 4TH ODI AGAINST SRILANKA SINGLE HANDEDLY". If that is not enough evidence that Shahid Afridi is the best ODI All-Rounder of his generation what else is? Bravo Afridi and Bravo Pakistan.

  • mohammed Baluch on November 19, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    Could some one please advise Afridi that boundry rope is not high up in the sky.

  • Pak--Kiwi on November 19, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    Kamran Bhai has taken the words out of all Pakistanis ,(who play and watch cricket because of it's true nature) population's mouth.The concept of T20 and hitting a 6 of every ball is really hurting Pakistani cricket. Now, we have players who are specially chosen, so that they can try and slog a yorker, eg Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shezad... This is ruing Pakistani Cricket! We have to stop loving this form of cricket! It's good to see such a player who wan't to bring Pakistan out of it's deep, dark and miserable hole. Who wants to start Pakistan from a clean sheet. Who take's winning a series as a priority. The thing is, all Pakistani players are all harmonized again, no enemies, no likes and dislikes any more. All thanks to Misbah...Go Misbah...Go Pakistan...Pak Kiwi

  • Hussain on November 18, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    Misbah may be good for test cricket as captain but for ODI,s it,s a different ball game. 3rd ODI vs SL is in progress now. Did we need the the illogical batting shuffle ? He sent Razak ahead of YK or Akmal & just pressed the panick button by doing so, not required at all. Pak will be lucky if it wins the 3rd ODI. Misbah must realise the difference between test & the shorter format of the game.

  • Abdur Rahman on November 18, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    Misbah is always doing a good job for Pakistan. But in my opinion Please take out Younus from the ODI squad and put S.Malik in. Then he can work as an allrounder. keep Younus fro test.

    Thank you! Abdur Rahman.

  • Liam F on November 17, 2011, 23:22 GMT

    "the nature of the beast is at odds with the mood of the herd"

    This is a fantastic line.

  • Vishwa on November 16, 2011, 9:03 GMT

    When I see Misbah batting, I realize how fast is Rahul Dravid...

  • Muhammad Saidul Haque on November 15, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    Misbah is very foolish & infamy personality to disgrace the Pakistan cricket. Pakistan cricket has been humiliated & dishonored by Asif, Amir & Salman Butt's sinful activities, in spite of this occurring event, why not current Pakistan cricket players & officials becoming more disciplined, truly sincere, determined, attacking with aggressive type of professional performance & finally to be appeared as a decent reliable patriotic character to his countrymen ?! Misbah, he has said enough, but done improperly. Bring on Wahab Riaz, Abdur Rehamn to replace over GUl & Cheema. Moreover, why Imran Farhat has been given so many opportunities, is he have great cordial relation with Pak officials? Please, drop this player & include Shoaib Malik or anyone who knows the basic cricket how to bat like an opener!

  • Nadir Abbas on November 13, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    I guess lots of people over here are taking the debate to other direction and making Afridi vs Misbah, however it is to be noted that a player is useful only if he plays a vital role in drawing its teams' victory. He is not 'over-rated' instead, Afridi is a match winner as his statistics highlight(man of the match for 25 times,which is 2nd(After Saeed Anwar) maximum man of the match awards(28) by any pakistani cricketer. Moreover, he is among top 10 highest wicket takers in history of ODI cricket.

  • asif sofi on November 13, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    Misbah is trying to give stability to this pakistani team which from last 5 to 10 years was not doing well at all.

  • Asif on November 13, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    @Agha Hussain,Why r u comparing Mizbah's average with Afridi.Afridi is the most consistent bowler of pak for the last 4 yrs and his batting is a bonus.U can stop following afridi but remember mizbah himself is a fan of afridi like the millions of other fans across the world.Afridi is a match winner with the highest man of the match awards for pak.

  • Muhammedh on November 13, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    PCB made many intentional mistakes expecting it will work in favor of PCB, that didn't work well (relieving Malik, Lawson, Younis, Afridi, etc.) but they made another accidental mistake (was mistake to many at that time) i.e. appointing Misbah as CAPTAIN, it worked well.

    Finally a good step taken by Misbah by Serious fan of Boom Boom.

  • Abdus Saboor on November 13, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    I think what Misbah is doing is write because Pakistan needs to win or draw matches/series, they can't afford to lose a match/series in these circumstances plus they need to develop some batsmen who can stay at the wicket for the tests.

  • Asif on November 13, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    There is no doubt Mizbah is doing a good job as a captain but Afridi also did an excellent job as a captain.It was the pak board which was toying with afridi and never appointed him on long term basis.Afridi was never given proper backing by the board and the pak team management.With the sword always hanging on his head Afridi still managed to lead the team from the front.If ur most senior players play 70 dot balls in the semi final against india then what can the captain do.My argument is if u back ur captain then u can see more positive results.I still think AFRIDI is the right man to lead in the short formats and MIZBAH should lead only in tests.

  • Atif Fazal on November 13, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    Good article. Misbah is doing a great job and should be retained as captain in all formats. He is absolutely perfect for test matches. For one-dayers, I think he needs to bat low down at No.6 (we all know how big he can hit it when he wants to) and send umar akmal in front of him and ask him to play a long innings.

  • kamran on November 13, 2011, 0:00 GMT

    I like Misbah's approach "Defense first". Looking at the past 2 decades Pakistan's test matches lasted 4 if not 3 days. In 1990-99 the outcome used to be in favor of Pakistan primarily because of the 2Ws. Then in 2000-09 Pakistan used to be on the losing side more, and still test matches hardly get to the 5th day. At present Pakistan bowling is in rebuilding phase and Misbah is using bowlers for line/length and not for attack/kill. I think this way bowlers are getting more confidence and maturity. Mohsin Khan's presence has boosted the batting a lot. Pakistan batting and temperament never go together. But, Much improvement against Srilanka. I hope Misbah and Mohsin Khan stay for another 3 to 4 years

  • owais on November 12, 2011, 19:14 GMT

    Misbah might not have the best approach but he is the need of time for Pakistan team. We need him for a few years at least...we need stability that only he can provide at the moment.

  • aslam on November 12, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    Well written.In the present cricket situation nobody should disturb the present team. A sober captain and a wise deputy is essential. The team is performing, but the test would be against England and India and till then keep controversial players, however popular,in check.

  • Shahzad khan on November 12, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    Don’t know what is going on with all those people harping about Misbah’s defensive Mind set. Even Mr Kamran Abbasi has gone too far with KING OF DOT BALLS thing.. I have followed Misbah ever since his arrival in the team..To me he has played with the perfect attitude since his debut. He has always been a team man ,a great thinker well equipped with the technique to excel at the highest level and coolest finisher seen by Pakistan since very long. .Look at his average and strike rate in any format and you wont find a better captain for Pakistan if stats matter to you.. He is our MAN. .No need for him to retire in near future…He is fitter than most of his teammates and has been performing outstandingly in all the departments. .Keep going mate ..People will only realize your worth when you will be axed for being Defensive..

  • imran on November 12, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    Misbah is very fit at this age, afridi in one of his interview said that captain is much fit than our young guys, Age matters for someone but it don't matter for cheema or misbah. These two guys are very fit and can continue....

  • riz on November 12, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    Misbah isn't a drama queen, doesn't take unnecessary risks, under his captaincy PAK has been doing better in batting, he also bats sensibly. So why criticize him so much?

  • Hassib Faridi on November 12, 2011, 14:47 GMT

    Misbah, the king of dot balls... lol..

  • Thomas on November 12, 2011, 14:33 GMT

    You cannot have one form of managing the team in different contexts. Right now, the pak team is in a rebuilding phase, tactical defense is a good move. Different captains also mould the strategies to their own personalities. one should learn to be satisfied with adequate efforts and results.

  • Kevin Rutherford on November 12, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    It is more appropriate for Misbah to continue being the captain of Pakistan. he is the most senior lad and he leads the side with positive body language. having said this, i still am much disappointed with the PCB, tough and rock solid players like Imran Nazir, Ahzar Mahmood, Sami,are not included. throughout the years Pakistan is the only nation where from nowhere world class players emerges & suddenly they perish because of the political involvement inside the board. this is why i have always appreciate & admire boards like Australia, South Africa, England...they are always positive and always wants to represent their countries by playing better and good cricket, not simply stuck into internal politics or bragging about who is capable of what. Pakistan needs to be more focused and continue to full fill their dreams which once Imran Khan ( the boss ) did for them. such achievements cannot be forgotten neither it is easy to repeat. but then again, when it is tough the tough gets going.

  • Agha Hussain on November 12, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    Misbah Ul Haq has an ODI strike rate of 78. Combine it with the average of 43, and those are brilliant stats. Stats like Kallis, Ponting and Dravid have.

    So Pakistanis, please stop following Afridi who has a batting average of 22. Please.

  • tahir on November 12, 2011, 13:22 GMT

    I some time criticise Misbah but when I see only a year ago to hear Pakistan have won a test match forget the series was unheared of.And without many people noticing he has lead the team to 5 series undefeated 3 of them away.You might argue opposition and pitches but u do need this advantage, see what happened to Australia in Sth Africa, what happened to India in England and what happened to England in India,home is where every team feels at home.Home conditions give great boost to home teams which Pakistan currently does not have.In 1 day cricket I think with the return of Razak and Afridi Pak can match any opposition and in last year or so they ve competed very wel,if Umar Akmal can keep we can get an extra batsman and can help the team in chasing quick runs on a last day,if the team can stick together future looks good,we have lost Amir, Asif and Butt and still ve Tanvir,Wahab,Malik,Akmal,Umar Amin waiting for the chance,we just need more confidence by playing in home conditions.

  • Nadir Abbas on November 12, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    Nice article coverving every aspect of Misbah's character as captain.. for the time being,he has brought a calmness required for Pakistan cricket team.But will this solve the captaincy issue???? As Misbah is not going to lead the team for more than a year or so.And what about planning and praparations about next worldcup??Aizaz Cheema(no doubt a good bowler)considered a young talent at the age of 32+...will he be fit enough to represent pakistan in next worldcup??Same is the question about Yunis Khan,Abdul Razaq(Still i m a huge fan of him) and many more.I guess time has come when talented youngsters like Hammad Azam,Umar Amin, Raza hasan,Mohammad Talha and many other be given chance and groomed for future and next WC.wothmentioning, trash like shoaib malik be thrown away from the team.

  • Bilal on November 12, 2011, 13:17 GMT

    I totally agree. I dnt know why afridi is always overrated. A man who can criticize board and chairman or even coach at any time cuz of its huge fan club. it is due to such players the name of players are biger than the game itself.

    Afridi is reckless and impatient captain. Whereas is Misbah is man who can bring stability to team.

    I wonder why even people criticize misbah for palying slow in semi final.... Wat the heck other players did in semi????

    How many sixes afridi hit in semi?? or how many centuries younis scored in semi?????

    SOME PEOPLE ARE NEVER HAPPY

  • criticalmanny on November 12, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Your article is nice, its good to see people writing in praise of pakistan, coze i am also a pakistani. But the thing that people from time to time forget about is that srilanka west indies and new zealand are not teams which can test your mettle. These teams have kinda lost their aura. If pakistan wins a test series against full strength england then we can say that yes pakistan is going in the right direction. Or if pakistan wins a oneday series against india, that would mean that pakistan is getting better. No offence sri lankan readers, but lets face it pakistan can easily win it by 3-2 atleast. One other thing pakistan can do is to try to become atleast number 4 so that they can take part in world test championship. That is the only way that pakistan gets consistently tough matches, so that we get better and better.

    Best of luck Pakistan

  • IMRAN on November 12, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    Still MISBAH'S position in one day & 2020 justifiable... but it PCB management and dummy selection committee to blame. Leave Misbah in test and built a team for next world cup - none of the Pakistan player are good captain so why don't keep Shahid Afridi or some else who can last untill next world cup. Also, give chance to other players to grow in their batting i.e. Asad Shafiq, S. Malik and introduce new faces. Also, ABDULRAZAQ & Misbah are similar batsmen, History/statistic proves AR won many games then Misbah. So, why don't give AR more opportunity instead of wasting his skills?

  • mohamed navaz on November 12, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    this team can beat any team.inshah allah soon they be a number one team test and oneday ranking.i agree misbah tactice.very useful at the time.overrate misbah have 2 improve.othervise brilliant he is captaincy.end of the day winning is very important.so fa he is done for da team very good.

  • Abdullah on November 12, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    Misbah has the 5th highest test average by a Pakistan batsmen and the 2nd highest in ODIs. Misbah also has the highest in Twenty20 internationals. Misbah is Pakistan’s leading catcher in the last 4 years with those bucket shaped hands of his. He is a tremendous athlete and thorough professional with tactical awareness and several key leadership qualities. The solid middle order batsmen also have the highest W/L ratio ever by an international captain and achieved this when Pakistan Cricket was in turmoil. Truly the saviour of Pakistan Cricket is Mr Dependable.

  • imran bukhari on November 12, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    I concur with Kamran and Aniruddha. Let us hope for consistent performances by the Pakistan team. However, the srilankan team is capable of bouncing back and Pakistan team needs to avoid complacency.

  • Effy on November 12, 2011, 12:05 GMT

    could for gods sake anyone tell me when will players like, Awais Zia, Rameez Raja(2), Sharjeel Khan, Hammad Azam and Raza Hassan given a chance in the national team...??? only when they are in there thirties like Misbah....??? they can be real stars for Pak...

  • Jo-Wilfred on November 12, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    Why are people complaining?? We are winning that is all that matters. No team can win by playing entertaining cricket all the time. WE HAVE LOST 2 OF THE BEST BOWLERS IN WORLD CRICKET to corruption, it is only right that Misbah builds this team up again from the ground upwrds. So please please please no Shoaib Malik, Kami Akmal or Imran Farhat again please. It is time to give youth a chance, that is youth with the correct technique, not the crazy and irresponsible youth of Umar Akmal.

  • Syed Fraz Ali on November 12, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    As optimistic as ever Kamran Bhai :) I want to add something about Misbah here. He was my favorite since his debut in ODI's but unfortunately he was not getting permanent place due to strong middle order "Inzi Bhai, Younus Bhai n Yousuf Bhai". But at that time his strike rate was good and his average was above 40 that time. But I don't know what happened to him, having only two gears, stop or blast. He must have to rotate the strike as Younus bhai does. He is sensible Captain I think because of his educational background. We have got the captain if he starts playing positive in test matches we can increase our winning margin. And when we talk about BOOM BOOM, there is no doubt he is a good all rounder. Though he tried to lead the team in aggressive way but he was not a good captain to me. He is a senior player, not only players but PCB must have to respect him and his talent because PCB is responsible for damage of Pakistan Cricket.

  • Gowhar Geelani on November 12, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    Kamran, I'm happy for Pakistan cricket that it did achieve some stability after the disgraceful episode of spot-fixing at Lords in 2010. Misbah, to be fair to him, has results in his favour. Sure. No one is doubting this. But, is this the way forward? Misbah is already 37+; opens his account after facing as many balls as his age; is too defensive as a leader; didn't inspire two border-line chases in the recently concluded ODI series; won against Zimbabwe [but should we really count that]; drew against a depleted West Indies [is this a progress?], I wonder. The test will come when the team tours Australia, South Africa and England again. Negative mindset and defensive tactics are counter-productive. Right now it seems, at least in the test matches, Taufeeq's tuk-tuk; Younus Khan's mixture of caution and aggression; followed by misfit Misbah's tuk-tuk again; and then even Asad Shafiq is being ruined and perhaps forced to do tuk-tuk; you don't win matches against great teams like this!

  • Raheel Hussain on November 12, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    Agree in the main with the article. Misbah allied to his circumspect attitude has arguably helped Pakistan stabilise over the past few months. Results dont lie, unbeaten and playing "soli" is probably what a lot of fans actually want to see. I suppose if that inate solidness can be sprinkled with the Pakistan we all know and love, i.e. dashing, carefree cricket, then who knows what this squad of players can do.

    Lest us not forget that England have played in this mould, i.e. circumspect cricket for years and now it it is paying dividends for them. Whislt we dont want to lose the predictable unpredictability that Pakistan often display, a period of sound cricket played with an element of caution is probably what the doctor has ordered. If nothing else, it will give a nation the boost it craves, particularly in light of the tragedies it has suffered of late

  • chelseaiite on November 12, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    totally agree with you mr abbasi. credit should be given where it is due and misbah deserves it. I was never a fan of afridi the captain, he was all about emotions and no strategy. whereas misbah is the total opposite.

  • Latif on November 12, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    Happy to see Pakistan's progress, slow and steady wins the race. would love to see Pakitan in top 4 for the TEST championship. long live PAKISTAN

  • JAFRI on November 12, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    YOUNIS SHOULD BE THE CAPTION,

  • cucuckshow on November 12, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    When George Graham took over at Arsenal FC in the 80s his plan was to build from the back. i.e. once the team is solid in defence and not leaking goals it provides the perfect platform to develop the attacking facets of their game. Misbah has the correct strategy in place. Make sure Pakistan grind out results, even if it is not pretty to watch, and then start injecting the flair.

  • sami ullah on November 12, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    very close to reality

  • mr hamilton on November 12, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    Kamran, you are one of the finest writers around, I always enjoy reading your blogs, and i usually agree with most of what u say. But I have to disagree with u this time with statements like "misbahs pakistan are predictable and its a nasty medicine with a bitter taste" & he has an "exasperating way of going about things". I would rather have misbah the most succesful captain since Imran Khan than the madness and disgrace pakistan cricket has become in the last decadde or so. Criticising him for the 1st test and the runrate in the 1st innings is churlish. Sure they could have gone for the 3rd test match win, but cmon what we need right now is sanity, and misbah provides it, he is the perfect batsman captain for me, he can be flamboyant with the bat when he needs, and when they beat bangladesh this month it will have been a remarkable year for misbah. I feel with his proffesionalism he can go on like graham gooch till 40 at the top. I hope this gets printed

  • Ashar Sarfraz on November 12, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    what i feel is misbah is fortunate because he don't have culprits in the team... what is the fun of having heroes like amir , salman and asif when team Pakistan kept on losing... Misbah have good cricket brain but with very less of cricket left back in him...if he succeeds to stabilize Pak cricket , he would have done his job ...

  • Gareth on November 12, 2011, 9:20 GMT

    They don't play an entirely pretty band of cricket, but it's tough and effective. Exactly what you need to do to rebuild a side. I'm sure Pakistan as a nation are eagarly awaiting a time of social rest so they can welcome their team home and host a match themselves!

  • Ranil Herath on November 12, 2011, 9:07 GMT

    As a Sri Lankan fan I agree Misbah has brought the calamness to a volatile team ;the timing is excellent when his former captain and colleagues have been convicted of fraud and cheating in an unprecedented manner in a London court.However the worry is how prudent is to bring back Afridi whose antics and theatrics and bad influence that could bring conflicts and divisions in the team. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • Wajih ul Hasan on November 12, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    I totally agree with you Kamran. I am sick of people demanding an attacking approach from as team which is still picking the piece from the spot fixing controversy, crazy wicket keeper running away, Afridi's stop-start cricket and most of all an ignorant board chairman who left no stone upturned in destroying our relationship with other boards and Pak cricket in general.

    With on field results like the ones managed by Misbah, anyone not reading the newspapers won't have a clue about what has been hitting Pak cricket.

    I shall never forgive Misbah for losing the semi against India but the stability and clinical performances given under his sedate captaincy amidst all the turmoil is unbelievable! Go Tuk Tuk!

  • asad on November 12, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    well writen bhai kamran .totally agree

  • Nauman on November 12, 2011, 7:37 GMT

    Misba rocks and also Afridi

  • Aniruddha on November 12, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    Positive article Kamran. I had a feeling that your next article would be to celebrate the return of the overrated "all rounder" but this for once is not overly emotional. Misbah's contribution would depend solely on the patience shown by his country's own people and accepting for a change that boom boom is generally associated with a bomb which only causes destruction. A word on everyone's favorite (in this forum at least) Afridi - his theatrics were present yesterday too, but I could also see in his body language that we wanted to perform. He wanted to be accepted back in a team NOT his own but his country's. Time has come to pay back to the game which has given him everything. Irrespective of his birth certificate he is showing maturity. While Pakistanis believe everything is "Inshaallah" hopefully this time Afridi shares the load with the almighty and do his bit. Hopefully no self denial this time.The much maligned Ijaz Butt might just have played a master stroke by dropping him.

  • shah ji on November 12, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Kamran like most of cricket journalist , You also miss one important part of Pak Cricket History, The rise of attacking cricket and winning was started under Mushtaq Mohammad leadership and not Imran Khan. In fact Imran's rise as a first genuine Pak fast bowler goes to famous Sydney test ,where Mushtaq asked him to bowl fast. He was behind Sarfraz innovation of Reverse swing . Mushtaq brought a new approach ,completely different from Intikhab Alam and other ex captains, as a leader He was as smart like Miandad and effective like Imran.

    Credit must go where it belongs.

  • John Smith on November 12, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    Pakistani fans should support such a cool headed guy, which they have hardly had ever. He may seem defensive and orthodox but for him to see any reason to take over Pak when most people like Afridi had run away from the job and others were caught spot fixing, is a great service to Pak Cricket. He is educated and brings a good impression of Pak cricket to the outside world, something which as an Australian i believe you guys need so much right now, as your image is in tatters otherwise. Of all the teams like Australia-Windies and in the coming years SL and India who will be restructuring and rebuilding, Pak stand the chance of holding on strong because of the young talent they have. Looking at SL and INdian bowling resources, Pak should feel optimistic about the future ahead.

  • James on November 12, 2011, 5:27 GMT

    Mature, responsible, technically correct and calm whatelse you need in a captain. He ALMOST won T20 Final and World cup semi but cricket is a mean game. He plays sensibly and is not a risk taker and this is what Pakistan need. Good on you Misbah.

  • MSH on November 12, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    Good thinking Mr. Abbasi!

  • Mahadevan on November 12, 2011, 5:13 GMT

    Good to see Pakistan doing well with Misbah as the captain and also with minimum of controversies. Still we don't know when things change. There was a good run for Pakistan with Inzamam at helm and Woolmer as the coach. But all on a sudden things changed. Pakistan is really a talented team which can be No: 1 in the world as they always have match winning bowlers and talented batsmen. Still controversies now then has made results different.

  • Malik on November 12, 2011, 4:56 GMT

    Misbah is thinking captain. He has produced the results for Pakistan at this most difficult time of our cricket history. He has been patient and slow in test matches but that is what test cricket is all about. It tests your patience and skill, and I believe he has got both. We all know what he is capable of when quick runs and hitting is required. Pls don't expect the aggression Imran and Wasim used to have. They were themselves very good bowlers and had other great players to support them like Waqar, Miandad, Shoab Akhtar and likes. On contrary what do we have now, no great great fast bowler, no big name is batting no stable wicket keeper. Keeping in view the circumstances he has done very well, I agree.

  • Aftab Ahmed Awan on November 12, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Excellent article. Right now we do not need any showbiz stars and heroes. We need stable serene characters and a period of stability in Pakistan cricket and Misbah is the right person for it. As long as he is scoring runs and producing good results we should not worry about his age either. He is fittest of the lot and is one of the best performers with the bat. Let him continue for some time and build the image of Pakistan cricket as a strong stable team capable of fighting tooth and nail against any tough opposition and crushing the weaker ones.

  • Muhammad Ahmad on November 12, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    I have to admit, Misbah has had the makings of a captain and he has proven that very well. He himself has taken the team out of situations where they could have lost matches.

  • Sameera Khan on November 12, 2011, 3:03 GMT

    Hi Kamran. I am not only a great fan of your writings but I am in the same profession as you. I personally think Misbah is one of the biggest examples of waste of a talent in history of cricket. How on earth he was made to wait to get into the national side until he was 30 odd, is not his failure but failure of the system. You might revise your comment about him if you remember this dot ball king resurrected his career in T-20 which some people call madness. Who can forget his T-20 final innings though "winner takes it all" spoiled it.A rogue army like Pak cricketers need a cool head to guide them.If he had played 10 more of his younger years he would have retired as one of all time greats. While many so called "greats" failed to take pressure of captaincy, Misbah stands tall. Have we forgotten Lawson's comments about him?

  • Syed Jaffery on November 12, 2011, 2:16 GMT

    I think Misbah is a good player and a knowledgeable captain. He is a little too much defensive minded but still he is giving positive results which is good for Pakistan. I still think he needs Yousuf Youhana in the team to bat at one down and move Azhar Ali up the order in place of Taufeeq Umer. Yousuf is of same age as Misbah and He is a fantastic player. Danish Kaneria could be added ( If he is really clean) to give more variety in the Pak team. A good fielding coach is also a must for team. I still think their real Test will come when they Play against Aus, Eng and SA abroad. Though Its a big prediction but I feel Pakistan can beat England at UAE if they play like this.

  • Tabby on November 12, 2011, 1:52 GMT

    Pakistan play test cricket the way it is suppose to be played. Too much influence of T20 has made fans, commentators and "experts" too impatient. Look at Younis Khan, in his 122 runs innings in the test he spent 30 balls to get off the mark, while in the first ODI he had a strike rate of 98.24. This is how you are suppose to distinct between the three formats, can't play test cricket like limited overs cricket. Really annoying that "experts" are trying to predict Pakistan cricket and like to think that they know everything. Pak cricket is what makes cricket fun and spicy.

    Pakistan Zindabad !

  • sajid subhani on November 12, 2011, 1:04 GMT

    Agreed with all above. Misbah reminds me of Zaheer Abbas's indian tour when he was the captain. Playing for draws is one thing that can kill the test cricket in this 20/20 era . At this moment , results are in his favour so everything he is doing looks good. But I believe that best way of defence is attack . One should not be reckless but surely one must try to test his limits when the opportunity comes . Misbah has drawn 2 or 3 tests which could have been won had he been a little aggresive. One thing though irrelevant here but would like to mention , Pakistan should ban cricketers like Umer Akmal after Perth test incident where he threatened to bycott if Kamran Akmal was not selected . That was not a small incident . Pak authorities should take strict action of that incident . Anyways goodluck to Misbah and team Pakistan. Pakistan zindabad.

  • SK on November 12, 2011, 0:39 GMT

    Kamran, I am among the discenting voices who rally against Misbah. My argument is that hes far too slow & defensive. Pakistani team should/ could have won the 3rd test & Misbah batting in the ODI is just asking for run rate free fall.

    Having said that & as someone who doesn't believe in luck, I wonder whether his success is down to his maturity especially among a group of over zealous & kamikaze teammates.

  • Umar Gujjar on November 12, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    I agree with you Kamran. For some unknown reason, Pakistanis are obsessed with cricketer who averages around 20 after playing more than 300 ODIs( That's a lot of matches wasted). Now that he is able to bowl a bit, he is the guy. I hope to see Misbah for at least 2/3 years. But with Afridi in the team now, there is bound to be grouping. I'm with you, Pakistan cricket team needs consistency and not ball chewing flamboyance.

  • Kalim Khan on November 12, 2011, 0:13 GMT

    Absolutely agree. As they say the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward......Misbah lacks that ability of taking big risks but still as explained above the results are showing a positive move in Pakistan cricket so one can imagine when Misbah becomes a bit more aggressive in future and start taking risks,those risks paying off can take Pakistan to a whole new level....

  • Jay on November 12, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    Pakistan cricket is doing fine, the talent and flair were always there but were so often vitiated by unnecessary flamboyance and internecine strife. Misbah has successfully tackled all these problems with his calm, unruffled, no-nonsense leadership.I hope his detractors won't spoil the show.

  • Tariq on November 11, 2011, 22:27 GMT

    Well Said!

  • Anil on November 11, 2011, 22:03 GMT

    I guess a path that gets you success is never backward. A path that gets you failure can be backward most of the time, but can also be a step forward, especially when it is novel and innovative, where you have to figure out the best 'working' approach. Here, the Pak captain is--as rightly mentioned at the begining of the article--getting all those positive results that any captain will die for. Thus, his approach--defensive or what--can never be termed backward. Let's not raise a question that does not exist; because we fans are more than capable of creating a hurricane over a nonexistent wind.

  • Anil on November 11, 2011, 21:34 GMT

    Dr. Abbasi, you say "Some people are never happy. Others are only happy if Pakistan play a certain way: an aggressive, entertaining form of cricket", and appear to align with the second class. Every doctor knows there are more than two ways to look at a symptom. Why do you not find it natural that there can be more tha two ways to be happy with cricket? Misbah's approach is what Pakistan needs at the moment: a calm, safe, no-risk route to ressurect all those images that have been lost recently. First task is to make a steady, consitent side bereft of factionalism and chaos. Once that is done, calculated aggression can evolve again from that platform which, arguably, would be overseen by another new, younger captain. Educated thinkers and academicians like you should show a way for contentedness, not of discontent.

  • rizwan shuja on November 11, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    well said.. Misbah brings much needed stability to pakistan team. With all them controversies over the last few years team needs to avoid making wrong kind of headlines and thats what Misbah has ensured with his mature and defensive approach.

  • Sharjil on November 11, 2011, 21:31 GMT

    It's more than just Misbah's calm and collected approach though. It is top-order stability and run accumulation that has been Pakistan's major revolution in the last year. As far as I can remember, fielding has always been blowing hot-and-cold and batting collapses remain a palpable threat. The bowling has always been at least good for the whole of living memory. But Mohammed Hafeez's batting maturity over the last year has been the major difference in this team, coupled with his as yet unexplained ability to choke runs and pick up useful wickets with his non-spinning deliveries.

  • Nadir Shah on November 11, 2011, 21:22 GMT

    Well written piece Misbah's Pakistan need to keep their head down and tail clear for now. Like a doctor gives bitter medicine to his patient - Misbah is advocating calmness and togetherness, defensive attitude, non-controversial series(tour), and no big mouthing.

    BTW - Misbah's dots (ball) are much more acceptable than other kind of (fixed)spots......

  • Ahnaf on November 11, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    Without Misbah only God knows where Pakistan would have been right now. Misbah is a wonderful player and completely different from other pakistani players. He should retire in his own terms and I want him to play for atleast 2 more years. With that, he can be able to groom a new captain in someone like Hafeez, U.Akmal or even azhar ali.

  • Cricmylife on November 11, 2011, 21:16 GMT

    kamran bhai- Where do you hear these 'murmurings?'

  • bigwonder on November 11, 2011, 21:13 GMT

    @Kamran Abbasi, since when did 'United Arab Emirates' become the 'home' for Pakistan. All the matches say its a 'neutral venue'.

  • Adeel Khan on November 11, 2011, 21:02 GMT

    Totally agree with the writer here, they look more solid and obvious intentions state we here to stay and make our mark. Our batting has also got boosted by the induction of Azhar Ali, although still young in this arena but he has all the potential to make it big. Once again I must say that Pak's batting reflect Misbah personality and this is what you expect from a leader.

  • Rizvi on November 11, 2011, 20:59 GMT

    Very nicely done Mr Abbasi. I just hope Misbah captains the Team till the next world cup. He is looking fit as ever, and is at the peak of his career at 37.

  • Wasim on November 11, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    In era of 20/20, Misbah is an odd ball, first as a player & then as a skipper. We all remember his paddle shot & the kind of performance he provide when he emerged. It seems as though he has gotton older from old right before our eyes but I agree with Mr. Abbassi, Paksitan or any team would need a player or two like that in todays cricket still in order to provide stability in the times when most player only last for a few balls; when 20/20 leagues are only for money rather than tactical skills and planning for long innings.

  • Uday on November 11, 2011, 20:53 GMT

    Excellent article Kamran. Misbah may be stodgy, but he is resilient, and some resilience is always required when rebuilding a side. Take australia for example - they could not have gotten to the heights that they did had it not been for the spirit and attitude that Border laid down. And god knows pakistan, especially their batting, needs some steel and unbreakability. The sad thing is that had it not been for the shenanigans behind the scenes, Pakistan would have no need of being in this rebuilding process, and would have had an awesome, attacking batting lineup. Yousuf, a genuine batsman and one of the best in the world, should have been at the core of the batting lineup. Younis should have been at the top of his career by this point, but the humiliation and lack of support during his captaincy tenure must have surely dented his motivation and resolve. Butt should have been a key batsman. The arrogance of having raw talent is hurting Pakistan. Lets hope Misbah can bring some maturity.

  • muhammad zahid on November 11, 2011, 20:48 GMT

    he is good captain only in tests.

  • Mani on November 11, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    I absolutely like this approach of Mishab. Keep up the good work. Thanks to your strategy and batting one day match like a test match, India was able to win the world cup semi finals. Great work Misab. Just be like this.

  • Satyendra on November 11, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    Congrats Pakistan on your Victory!! Well played!!

  • Osman on November 11, 2011, 20:41 GMT

    nice article

  • KhuramC on November 11, 2011, 20:36 GMT

    Well written piece. Don't understand how people can question a winning captain following the turmoil of the spot fixing and losing 2 world class bowlers.

    Add the fact that of Pakistan dibolical batting against England last year and from that low, no one could have imagined that the team would recover and develop a spine. Everyone loses sometime, but the manor of those batting collapses was the most disappointing, Pakistan showed no fight.

    Misbah has led his troops from the front and dislays the calm exterior Pakistan need, but also the spirit to fight and a battle plan and strategy. This is Test Cricket.

    The Test team look good, apart from a place has to be found for Fawad Alam (how can you ignore such a good domestic and Test record?) and a batting wicketkeeper. May be Asad Shafiq to keep wicket? Would not pick Umar Akmal or Wahab Riaz - need to get rid of the cloud of spot fixing.

    Misbah and the team have made us proud to be Pakistani again!

  • Qaisar on November 11, 2011, 20:23 GMT

    As misbah is king of dots, so he dont have the right to play cricket now days. It is only because of him Pakistan lost in the semifinal against india. He has done a criminal act by blocking blocking and blocking by doing this he was able to make some one happy and his captiancy is result of that, he has given away the semifinal to india and got what he want.

  • Wahab Khalid on November 11, 2011, 20:12 GMT

    Although Misbah is really talented and gifted leadership skills, but No doubt about leadership skills Afridi has. I am not against Misbah captaincy but for how long you can keep misbah captain , and for long term planning afridi is the best option. If we keepnext world cup in mind then Afridi is the only option we get for captaincy. For Test Matches , no one can beat Misbah Captaincy from the current crowd of players we have. But for One Dayers and T20, we need a quick thinker and sharp active mind. Anyway best of luck to Pakistan ... and captain as well

  • Naeem Ahmad on November 11, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    Nice piece.. very nicely written.. and most of all it covers everything i wanted to say about the matter :)

  • farooq on November 11, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    verry good performance pakistan cricket team we blow Sri Lanka away keep it up well boys icant the next match i really hope we well win the series

  • AM on November 11, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    When his career was resurrected in the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup, Mishbah would hang in there waiting for others to score and then unleash some very powerful shots and took Pakistan agonizingly close to beating India in the inaugural World Cup. Whether he has succeeded or not, he has always played for the team. Enough said. He has brought rare stability to the Pakistan team and yet some people are not satisfied? Maybe if he were to throw away his wicket within the first 5 overs that he bats like most other Pakistani batsmen in recent times then the same critics would be criticizing him for not getting out early.

    In the 1990's, the English cricket team was a joke. Then Nasir Hussein took over as Captain and he stemmed the rot first by playing defensively, making it hard for the other teams to beat England. Gradually they grew from strength to strength and with wins came confidence and finally today we have England as the No 1 ranked test team as well as World Twenty20 champions.

  • Ahsan on November 11, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    Misbah, i'll put my hands up and definitely agree that, is a very defence minded captain. But on the other hand, we have exchanged flambouyancy with solidity. And in the times of despair, i think its a wise choice. We need the calm. Wins, by whatever means, to ensure confidence builds up. we need to bring sanity back into the camp as well as prepare our next generation of players and build their foundations.

  • Tashfeen Qayyum on November 11, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    As far as I am concerned Misbah has been a blessing in disguise, calm among the storm. He is doing great job in bringing Pakistan back to its rightful place in world cricket. His way of doing it may differ from the perceptions of them masses but winning is all that counts and he is winning, so let him be...

  • Aftab Qureshi on November 11, 2011, 19:52 GMT

    Let's honor success and refrain from criticizing Misbah. He is delivering and there is no other candidate in the team who is good enough to claim captaincy from him.

  • irfaan Q on November 11, 2011, 19:48 GMT

    For Once Mr.Kamran Abbasi,you have written a masterpiece

  • tanvir on November 11, 2011, 19:39 GMT

    nice article. pak team now on the way of success due to great patient,calm,cool and intelligent captain alongwith younger and old guns beautiful combination.Pakistan has so many diamonds like afridi,razzaq,younis,umer,hafeez and many new players . no one can compete these players in the world but if they treat well and utilized well by management.i hope and pray that this will continue infuture too and we will become no.1 cricket team soon with these players.

  • Jonathan on November 11, 2011, 19:38 GMT

    ....nature of the beast is at odds with the mood of the herd, but sport is a results business first and Misbah has them aplenty to support...: Sure, but too many dot balls always bring pressure to the batting side and playing under it may be his own forte but not fair to other batsmen. Luck only take you to some certain distance but is not a dependable factor forever.

  • Don Sobers on November 11, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    Another good article. "All the best captains reinvent teams in their own image." And also presumably around the personnel they have. If you have a load of brilliant swashbuckling players - supremely fast bowlers and aggressive batsmen - then you can build a team around them. If you don't, you need to play to your strengths. Test cricket is too exacting a game to get things systematically wrong - it needs a coherent approach, even if that requires compromise. In a way it is sad that the adventurous spirit of former Pakistan and WI teams is away for a while, but it'll return when those kind of players reemerge.

  • MUSTAFA , atiq on November 11, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    WELL WRITTEN MR ABBASI....all thanks to ALLAH almighty .... bhai all we need is win....bas they keep on winning and rest we keep aside ..pak cricket has gone through so much in the last year or so that i dont think people have left enough brain to debate on all these topics that keep on coming every day.... for me personally i dont care who the captain is as long as htey keep on winning or atleast keep on putting good fights in games....so far misbah bhai has done goood job so thumbs up to him and i pray there is no more salman butt in the team any more....

  • Syed Adnan Ahmad on November 11, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    Another well written article! I rarely write comments for your articles but the subject of this one has made me sit up and type this, for I am, the biggest Misbah fan of all. There was a period when he had very few but the nature of band wagons is such that they are boarded en masse. There will always be critics but lets not forget that Pakistan would have won this test series 2-0 if not for 6 dropped catches in the first test! Misbah has an acute understanding of our batting and he could not risk a won series turning into a drawn one at the hands of a last day batting collapse after the openers were unable to put up a sizable stand, so he had to be content with 1-0. Misbah may be a defensive batsman, but his approach is tempered by self denial and self preservation, yes he may play out countless dot balls but he is capable of anything if and when he wants and he's shown that with interspersed periods of breathtaking aggression. Defensive batsmen were never this exciting.

  • Dr Hafeez on November 11, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    AoA... Absolutely right. we as a nation are not patient. We cry on each and everything even when things are going right... We dont give time to anyone really. Misbah has done excellent job in terms of results & even in terms of his own performance. Whatelse nation wants?? I hope selectors and the board dont listen to them and make intellegent decision by keeping him the captain till he is winning, who cares by 1-0. We must also realize the importance of an educated captain now.

  • kaiser lashkari on November 11, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    I do not blame Misbah one bit for his safe & secure approach to the game after the tumultuous storms the team has had to contend with. Some critics will crticize just for the sake of criticizing but the results under his captaincy speak for themselves.

  • Ghalib Imtiyaz on November 11, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    Couldnt agree more with you on Misbah offering that serenity Pakistan Team lacked by not having someone like him at the helm. With the corruption saga becoming a spec of the dust in horizon, its about time for Pakistan team to play a brand of cricket thats befitting of their potential and who knows they can again be in the top 3. Having said that though it will take a lot of effort from ten other players to make Misbah the successful captain stats will allude to.

  • Ameen on November 11, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    Abbasi bhai, Misbah is averaging that high because he keeps playing dots and remains not out. But unlike dhoni, he does not play that big innings with flashing strike rate. He seemed to be a versatile batsman when he played T20 worldcup for the first time but with time he diminished, and only a defensive Misbah remains.

  • Amyn Habib on November 11, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    There really is no question about Misbah. You are trying to invent one. I wonder why? The ultimate criteria for a successful captain in cricket is his ability to win. As for the "expansive, reckless and swashbuckling" style-- well, we have Afridi's example as a batsman. Do we want our cricketers to bat like Afridi? (if whatever it is that Afridi does when he is holding a bat can be called batting). I like Misbah. He has determination, courage and is mentally strong. He does not fold under the first sign of pressure. He has produced results. With his leadership, the players may grow into a professional team.

  • Dr Athar Abbas on November 11, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    A very peculiar aspect of Pakistani nation is that in any argument, we try to jump in on any negative aspect being discussed and are out of words for anything positive. We just don't know what to say when there is something positive happening. I am sure, there would have been 100 comments already, if Kamran was pointing out something negative. (I can be blamed for the same thing in the above lines)

    Come on Pakistanis: Say something positive and enjoy not just the moments but days and weeks of positive results in cricket.

  • Adnan on November 11, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    After a long time, Pakistan has found an educated captain. Folks like Shahid Afridi and Younis Khan lacked personality because of lack of education and it got highlighted in their off the field conduct. Misbah although doesn't have raw attacking approach, his defensive approach might just be the need of the hour for Pakistan. They need to make steady progress without making too many headlines for bad reasons. Once they achieve that for a year or so, they can really start dictating terms. This team is in rebuilding and Misbah is just the right man to be leading them. No afridi, no younis khan can even come close to doing as good a job. Afridi back as just a player is an excellent news for Pakistan, I hope it stays that way.

  • Ish on November 11, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    Great article Kamran once again. I think the issue most people have with Misbah is that his approach to captaincy is similar to the way he bats - a great batsman with a solid technique he can hit 4's & 6's at will it seems but he just doesn't will enough! Long periods of just blocking for no reason and if he then gets out to a good ball the team haven't moved on. Same in captaincy too many defensive fields and a negative mindset turn potential results into draws. Also at his age how long can he go on?

  • Hnawaz on November 11, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    Why must one question a good run and a sensible captain? Maybe it is in our culture or maybe we institutionalizec that way. Your view toward Misbah hold no credibility as he is doing his best to rebuild a broken team and shoring a brittle batting line- up. During this series Pakistan has reached 400 runs mark as a team after centuries. I know we played slow but it's better then getting out on a mere 130. And let me ask you one simple question, who in their sane mind would chase 170 in 22 overs on fifth day pitch. Your logic suggest that Pakistan should push for it because we are in twenty20 age but you to cannot compare a fresh pitch, prepared for a twenty20, to a fifth day deteriorating pitch. All I am saying that appreciate the good work done by Misbah and give credit where it's due. You seem to have a bias opinion against a person who is restoring some pride to Pakistan cricket.

  • Zan001 on November 11, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    Rightly said Kamran ! There is a calm and predictable (in a nice way) look about the Pakistan team under Misbah's captaincy. Pakistan could not have gone to chase those targets in the first and the third test match, as SL could have easily put all fielders on the boundary, and bowled a negative line, depriving the batsmen of any chances of big shots. Most importantly, it seems that Misbah has kept the team united, despite Shoib Malik being in the team (who is the champion of infighting).

    For the last few years, Pakistan's problem was that they didn't have batsmen to stay on the wicket and play proper, hard test match cricket. Now when our batsmen are putting some solid test match performances, some people are complaining. I don't know why !

  • Adnan javed on November 11, 2011, 17:50 GMT

    A very good article indeed, Misbah has changed alot of mind and provided a new life into this side. His style and patience totally paid off in sharja. Great captain overall!!

  • Shaheen iqbal on November 11, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    Misbah is a wining captain, he always kept his pace of batting and do not try to lose his wicket promptly.

  • aftab on November 11, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    In Misbah, PCB is grooming a patient team for Tests and a great future coach. He is no stranger to short formats. We still have to give him his humanity as he demanded in the inaugural T20 WC final.

  • adnan on November 11, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    very nice article...but pak needs to be more attacking if they want to beat the best teams in test cricket...well done pakistan...

  • Mustafa Jamal on November 11, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    Misbah the king of dot balls. hahaha. nice article. enjoyed it.

  • asad on November 11, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    you are right sir misbah is good player and captain

  • Alam on November 11, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Nice account on an unsung or under rated hero of Pakistan cricket who led the team after infamous English tour. What he owes to this nation in terms of saving Pakistan cricket is priceless yet still so much criticism is actually the reflection of our national psyche. We like the things rocking but how early these diminish, we don`t consider. Misbah is unlike. He is composed, consistent, noncontroversial, down to earth and without any glamor but still producing results. May be this is what we don`t want to be like. We love cricketers to be involved in scandals, showing off, destroying God gifted talent and ultimately ending up in slums. We must evolve our likings for the people who are self made, determined, consistent and not just selling their glitter with temporal flames of attractions. Regards

  • Ali on November 11, 2011, 17:42 GMT

    Misbah is definitely proving his worth at the moment, he has brought the stability and the team looks united on and off the field, but it is difficult for me to forget and forgive Misbah on what he did in the World Cup semi-final against India. I couldn't get hold of his strategy of playing so many dot balls and bringing the team into pressure in a World Cup semi-final. That match and that Misbah is always going to haunt me but I hope this team under Misbah's umbrella continue to perform amongst all the chaos that we have seen in the last couple of years.

  • Ali on November 11, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    Wonderful article! Very true. I really don't think anyone really wants Misbah removed as captain though. Nevertheless, there will always be arguments on selection and tactics and so far Misbah has trumped them all.

  • PakFan on November 11, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    I am a big fan of Shahid Afridi both as a captain and as a cricket player. However, Misbah has done a wonderful job since taking over captaincy. For the sake of keeping the team united I feel Misbah should remain the captain and Afridi has accepted this fact gracefully in public. I also feel that if we have learn anything from the spot fixing trial it is that individuals who create divisions in the team should be dealt with in a harsh manner by the PCB. As Misbah prepares for retirement in a year or two I assume Shahid will become the candidate for the captaincy again and when that happen no player should behave the way few bad apples did when he first became captain. PCB must start preparing for this transition and needs to educate players that choosing a captain is a management decision and the remaining players should accept this and conduct themselves as national ambassadors like they are expected to.

  • Umair Muzaffar on November 11, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    Nice write up Kamran. Only point I would make is to let the man have his losses before we start criticizing his tactics. A questionable draw and a questionable run chase on a fifth and fourth day is not something we should point finger at. Umar Akmal is out of the test side only because he is reckless and no one disagrees with it ... so let the captain run with his team and his strategies. After all he is the leader of the playing XI and has earned the right to call the shots at least until he is winning. Give the guy a break. As it is, he has to manage three X-captains who are playing under him. And that in itself is no small feat.

  • Emran on November 11, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    Misbah sometimes looks too defensive to me both when he himself comes out to bat and in the game plane as well, most of you closely observing Pak cricket for some time would agree, i guess. We don't mind team losing a match or two as long as we see them fighting aggressively in the middle irrespective of the outcome of the match. I think this is one area we lack in big time. We have seen Imran Khan being the most aggressive of them all in recent years but after his era ends, nobody even dared to take risks that eventually led to developing below par mental strength in the players compared to other teams. Those stats are good but definitely asking for improvement as well.

  • fhs on November 11, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    Misbah is the best! He is the only one who is capable to take the team on top 3. Trust me, he is getting there. His approach is 'risk free' for the right reasons. I fully support Misbah!

  • getsetgopk on November 11, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    Man!!!!! This author KNOWS how to write an article. Amazing read!!! Keep em coming Kamran! Epic!!!!

  • Ehsan Ullah on November 11, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    Very well pointer out Mr.Kamran. I can't agree more. Being known as a cricket lover among my community i have to answer this question almost daily that why he plays such defensive cricket. And i answer them the same as you did. Confidence comes with Positive results and Pakistan Cricket team has just adapted that track.

  • nasir on November 11, 2011, 17:15 GMT

    I'm not totally against employing a defensive approach but how will these tactics work when Pakistan is under the kosh? I'm pretty sure against the English in the winter we will find ourselves in diffcult positions, how will we cope then? My opinion is that if we play with this mentality we will be exposed. Remember that such a defensive mind set stems from a fear of losing, unfortunately, against more confident and aggressive teams this envitably becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Having said that We've done extremely well over the past year and i'm really happy with the results. Just hope we can do it against the best sides as well

  • Sultan on November 11, 2011, 17:11 GMT

    Misbah is a Captain not an entertainer. The latest captains have not had the right personality Younus, Shoaib and Afridi are either are very emotional, tempremental, self-centered, lacked the ability to create trust. Misbah is the made of the right stuff to lead a Pakistani team.

  • Mr Ahmer on November 11, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    Interesting analysis. Didn't realise he's got the 2nd best average for a Test captain - shows he's a man of actions not words.

    Given what has happened to this cricket team in the last few months and years, a defensive captain is not bad, especially when he's producing results which are helping the team to settle in. Doesn't mean that the same tactics would work against stronger teams in away matches, however, expecting that might be too ambitious. What they need now is a a smooth re-building phase.

    Besides, Afridi wasn't a very aggressive captain when required; the last World Cup Semi-final against India is a good example. Pakistan had a very good grip on the match and he let it slip away!

  • humair arshad on November 11, 2011, 17:09 GMT

    People should leave misbah alone.

  • Hassan Wattoo on November 11, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    Its typical of pakistani fans to the ex-cricketers, former cricketers, to never praise pakistan cricket team performances. About misbah-ul-haq, he is a very much like dhoni when it comes to style of captaincy, if you notice dhoni does not intervene too much into players way of performing on the field in his thinking he knows they are intl cricketers and chosen to perform, so he let them do the talking on the field. Same applies to misbah very laid back attitude but more importantly he is a very professional man, when it comes to deal with media, players, and very good techician. I hope misbah leave pakistan cricket in a stable state with a captain for the test and odi for the future. Please look at what happened when you give power to youngsters like salman butt, fall into the wrong way. Misbah and his current team has a huge responsibility on them, to makesure no-ball saga doesnt happens again.

  • Parvez K Abbasi on November 11, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    Misbah is a godsend for Pakistan-it's a pity that not many people appreciate the calm and hard headed approach he instils in the present set up. One can almost say that Pakistan is becoming boring-given the recent performance of the Pak team(albeit against weaker oppositions and neutral venues). However -the results vindicate his efficacy as captain. Consistency which leads to success is nothing to be scoffed at.Its a pity that the spectre of perennial rivalry and oneupmanship that bedevils the Pakistani team has not been firmly banished.

  • Murtaza Moiz on November 11, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    Affirmative, they were defensive in their approach towards the game!

  • Raheel on November 11, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    I would like to compare Misbah with Zardari, everyone is against him but still he is the Captain of the Pakistani Team. The Captain Slow is impressive in Test Matches and since Afridi has retired from Tests so I have no problem in defending him as a Test Captain also as mentioned about his test form scoring at average of 80 runs gives him the edge over every other competitor.

    But when we talk about ODI and T20 we all know that he is not a Match Winner, he is not a good finisher and at the same time his style of captaincy does not suits these formats of the game, therefore I urge and request Pakistan Cricket Board to appoint Afridi as a ODI and T20 Captain. I respect Misbah and admire his skills but he is not the MAN for ODI and T20

  • shan on November 11, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    I think, once the betting group is gone from the team, pakistan would do better. PCB should make sure those culprits won't come back again!!

  • Deemi Zafar on November 11, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    Misbah is my man for every situation. I've been saying this since the first T20I WC final, through the 2011 WC semi-final, where his strike was equal to MoM Tendulker's 73%. Only in cricket would one find the best scorer being blamed in preference to the other 10 who did not perform.

  • mazhar on November 11, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    The thing here is that whoever who is performing well should be kept going even if he crosses 40 .

  • mohsin on November 11, 2011, 16:52 GMT

    wel said!king of dot balls.i wil not 4get his inns agnst ind in semi final.

  • doesitmatter on November 11, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    One thing the author forgot is , the most important thing that the captain should have is, command respect from his wards ..defensive or offensive..the ability to go all out for your leader which Misbah commands ..I am Indian and i say keep Misbah bloody i get respect looking at the way Misbah behaves on the field..

  • Atif Mir on November 11, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    Misbah's performance as captain suggests that there is no such thing as "Misbah Question".

  • FAHAD ABBASI on November 11, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    Excellent performance by Pakistan.after a long time Pakistan's bench also looks very strong,players like shoaib malik,asad shafiq and junaid khan are waiting for their turn.Hope fully we will see a strong Pakistan team in future.Misbah is leading the team very well and his batting is awsome.

  • Harry Glatman on November 11, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    In my view, Misbh was exactly what Pakistan needed. A pool of young talent which was edging to go out and play expansive cricket and win-people such as Umar Akmal. But with this youth came immaturity, and Misbah brings the maturity to the Pakistan side which means that they are able to win matches consistantly, not just show signs of sheer brilliance.

  • Dr Ali Khan on November 11, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    Kamran,I have always read your column and heard Ramiz drone on and on how Afridi is a crowd puller and what an ‘excitable’ talent Umar Akmal is. Well your opinion and that of Ramiz’s is worth less than the toilet paper. Ijaz Butt, a buffoon to say the least, he certainly dismantled player power. It is too early for Afridi to return and he should spend some more time in wilderness, he must learn that his position is not his God given birth right and he is just as expandable. Kudos to Misbah-ul-Haq, for keeping Pakistan afloat in this very turbulent time, when people in the world of cricket are talking about banning Pakistan team completely after jailing the tainted trio in London. All such writers, commentators and pundits, who have any problem with Misbah’s style, should do something worthwhile with their lives first, to prove to us that they are even worthy of saying a word about Captain Fantastic.

  • Abdullah on November 11, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    Sorry, but before this post, I was not aware of anyone questioning Misbah's position as a Test captain, as there is simply no other candidate capable of shouldering the burden at this time. As far as tactics are concerned, then these are open to debate at all times and for all captains - nothing Misbah specific here. Apologies for being blunt Kamran bhai, but this seems to be a post singularly lacking in substance.

  • Ali.abid on November 11, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    Hes best captian since wasim akram left. Hes calm n positive. He defends too many dot balls but once his inning finishes then he neutralises the effect most of the time. I hope afridi doesnt expect captiqncy now after Misbah proved his ability as captian n batsman both already.

  • shaybu on November 11, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    well written article. critics of misbah should understand the situation that pak cric is in. we need lil baby steps towards improving our ratings in all 3 forms of the game. calculated aggression is wat u need. not all out aggression that ends up in poor shot selection n disgraceful collapses.

  • Kamran Khalid on November 11, 2011, 16:10 GMT

    I have seen a lot of commentators and experts suggesting that It is misbah's fault. But looking at the record of Pakistan successfully chasing a fourth innings total of 200+ has happened only 6 times in 52 years of cricket. So why is it that he is being blamed for this go slow attitude? Understandable that Imran Khan was a great Fighting captian, but he had the world's second best bowling attack at that time with him. What we have right now is an attack that would not have justified its place in the team had the regulars were playing. They are not here for whatever reason it may be, jail,retirement etc. The flamboyant players are also not there, hence we have a team of work horses who are trying to deliver the best they can. My question to you Kamran is that we as pakistani fan always wanted such a team that hangs around for more than 3 sessions, We got it. Albeit on slow pitches, they will surely be tested in SA & Aus and were found out in England when the seniors didn't play.

  • Abrar on November 11, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    The difference between South African + Australian and the rest of the world players is ROW teams include Boys in their teams and SA and Aus almost all the time play with Men.

    The reason for Misbah success can also be explained in this fashion that he is not a boy anymore. He is a person with responsibility and he is managing is like a grownup i.e, in a very Mature way.

    Regards,

    Abrar

  • MisterRaK on November 11, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    Ok, Imran Khan is the greatest of all times. The way he revolutionazied Pak cricket is epic. But the situation Pakistan has had in past years we needed someone like Misbah.

  • Asad on November 11, 2011, 15:54 GMT

    i dont understant why so many peoples are against misbah in pakistan, simply he is the best captian after inzamam, he has brought stability in pak team. At 1 moment it was thought that pakistan's test cricket has come to an end, misbah was the man, he leads from the front and took pakistan out of that phase..go misbah every 'sensible' pakistani is with u..

  • Rizwan on November 11, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    Very nice article.

  • Zee from USA on November 11, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    Misbah's approach is exactly what Pakistan needed - stability and results first can only be achieved through caution and not recklessness of Afridi's approach. My guess is Misbah will be much more successful against ODI # 2 Sri Lanka than the 3-2 series win of Afridi against much lower Windies that included embarrassing losses. Once the team's confidence is restored through consistent wins then they can start to chase more difficult wins. Go Misbah and Pakistan!

  • faisal khan on November 11, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    Misbah is the best thing that happened to Pakistan cricket in the last 2 years! Despite the extreme turmoil that Pakistan cricket has been in and the lack of world class players, his success that been hard to belive; and we owe it to the calm he brings and his ability to lead by example.

    I agree with the first line: "some people are never happy".

    Misbah has been exceptional. He should continue as captain in all formats as long as he is fit...no second thoughts. Hafeez should be groomed for the future.

  • Nasser Ali Khan on November 11, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    Disagree: Mushtaq Mohammad introduced attacking cricket culture by beating India in '78 by unorthodox batting line up changes, bowling changes and field setups aiming for a win; and he also invented the reverse sweep. And Javed Miandad is aggression personafied. These 2 are the best captains at W/L ratio for Pakistan. Imran Khan was a defensive player (WC 1979: forced Sikander to attack as Imran was just defensive). Later, it was Miandad's influence which changed his thinking and the genius of himself, Miandad,Wasim , and Waqar helped him to take a more aggressive approach. Having won only 1 game in the first 5 of the potential 10 games to win the WC, attack was the only option left-there was nothing to lose. Misbah needs the chance to groom the team as an able leader and performer, who has started Pakistan in the right direction and in the most testing of circumstances historically. Let the process continue. Fielding, Pakistan's achiless heel, isn't being tackled is my major complaint

  • dmqi on November 11, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    After a 1-0 test win and a 4-1 one day win, Pakistani blog writers will tell," Misbah is a much better Captain than aggressive Afridi and crooked Malik". Let us keep him for another couple of years until he retires."

  • Tahir Iqbal on November 11, 2011, 15:08 GMT

    ....But Now lot of time has passed and everytime we dont want to see same defensive approach.....Enough is Enough Now.....When Misbah will really think of only WINNING MATCHES......Whole nation is Waiting

  • M.Feroz Khan on November 11, 2011, 15:05 GMT

    I think Misbah should remain captain for a bit of time... but at the same time Pakistan need to groom someone new and aggressive , someone like Muhammad Hafeez ! after the India series next year in March , he and Younis need to retire! Pakistan got enough fire power and class to go on without them!! this would give them a chance to grow as a team but at the same time I think Misbah has captained the team really well and i appreciate it!

  • Arshad on November 11, 2011, 15:04 GMT

    Totally in agreement Sir, we have waited a long time for some consistency that brings order to the chaos of Pakistani cricket. Misbah has differring tactics that suit our current batch of players and their abilities. Yes Attack is a good form of defence, but only if you have classy attacking players, Afridi is alone and he is the eptiomy of unconsistency, Imran had Anwar, Wasim, Waqar, Inzi, Miandad, Zaheer, Ramiz, mudassar, mohsin, he had some of the most talented attacking players in history, inzi had them too and our most successful long term captain Miandad had a great set of attackers.

    Imran had a fearsome pace attack, misbah doesnt, imran had a prodigous batting line up, Misbah doesnt and Imran had the persona to play cricket in a attacking way, Misbah doesnt. 'The Art of War' is the way to win battles. Read it!

    Misbah has done great, carry on Misbah, 'until you die or we find someone better!"

  • nasir on November 11, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    Misbah, the king of dot balls, Lovely Writing. Hey guys, let our captain do his job Result matters, don't worry how he got it (except biting the ball)

    Thanks

  • Syed Khizir on November 11, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    Let him play....and let pakistan win....thats all they need at the very moment to build up the "Imran"'s tigers once again....

  • jimmy on November 11, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    yes i do agree misbah has to be agressive he was defensive in test series as you can understand he was trying to keep his place but look at zimbabwe what they did to newzealand though they lost but they got more respect then kiwis misbah has to bring out his killer instincts while using his cards mentally good luck misbah and afridi waiting for your dashing innings.

  • Saad on November 11, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    I cant agree more with Mr. Abbasi here... keep follower of Pakistan cricket for over 2 decades I have seen enough to comprehend the point he is trying to make. If I were to believe his critics, yes Misbah might be erring to be too defensive at times... but the state of affairs Pakistan is in off late it is better on err on this side.

  • sam on November 11, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    Don't agree at all. New zealand and west indies, is that the best we can ask? We could have sri-lanka on a platter with 3-0 whitewash instead of 1-0. To lead pakistan cricket, you need to be bold and examplary not a cheesy winner and hold on tight to a single win. His style of cricket will nor be appreciated by his team mates neither by the pakistan cricket lovers.

  • Nadeem Khan on November 11, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    Agreed with every bit of it. Series after series will provide more stability. Later on, the attacking approach will also come back. Pakistan has Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam in their test ranks and they can help the cause. Big question will be: Who will eventually take over from Misbah. I guess, the professor is already READY-made choice.

  • Zafar on November 11, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    By the way that went on offensive at Sharjah but had to steady the ship, when the wickets fell.. So it would be harsh to call it a defensive tack for Sharjah

  • Zafar on November 11, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    Kamran Sb, what little cricket I have played I have understood that first batsmen need to solidify their defence and then if they get fully versed with defence they can slog. Yes we need a lot of stability and I feel they are going on the perfect track. Although Imran brought success but that theory also brought in unreliable generations of all rounders. This has to stop at least in the test arena. I would love to see "Asian Bradmans", Majids and Hanifs rather than Saeeds, Ijazs and Younises. Don't forget that Javed Miandad also started from pre Imran era. If we get back to the mode which we were in a few years back, then in no time are we going to see what happened to Aussies yesterday or for that matter to us in UAE against the Aussies. Enjoyed your article as always.

  • Bilal on November 11, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    You know there is something very wrong with your cricket when Afridi - an "all-rounder" with a batting average for a bowling average and a bowling average for a batting average - is the most popular cricketer in the country. As someone who grew up watching guys like Wasim, Waqar and Saeed represent Pakistan, sometimes I wonder if I've stepped into an alternate dimension where Afridi is better than Imran, Bradman and Tendulkar put together. Beyond shocking!

  • Syed Ali on November 11, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    Nice article kamran, i have a question for you Why cricinfo didn't post a single picture of Pakistani team with the test series winning trophy?

  • Hassan Farooqi on November 11, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    The critics do not see results, otherwise Afridi would still be the captain of ODI side. The guy who took a crippled team to WC semi-final in 3 WC, and the first to defeat Australia in 3 WC. Misbah's achievements in Test would be undermined by critics in similar fashion. The bottom line is, " This Misbah fellow might not be to everybody’s taste but he is tenacious and capable of surprise".

  • bim on November 11, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    Do Pakistan see Misbah playing till 2015? If not then they should get in a new ODI skipper (perhaps Hafeez) while letting Misbah lead the test side for as long as they want.

    Maybe at present the thinking is to let the team settle down and then ring in the changes after a period of stability.

    But all said, what a leader he has proved to be amidt all those crazy things happening around him.

  • Shiraz on November 11, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    The most impressive thing about Misbah's captaincy is his no-nonsense attitude. You would never find him in headlines giving sensational/controversial interviews rather he let his and his team performance do the talking in the field. Having said that, Misbah's batting approach in ODIs is fast becoming obsolete in modern day international cricket and he put considerable pressure on the batsmen on the other end by not rotating the strike well enough. I don't think that there is any long term planning in Pakistani cricket and that would hurt Pakistan in the long run.

  • Ali Majaz on November 11, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Very nicely Written kamran. you have anaylyzed misbah nicely,but I think its still early days to judge him as a captain.I think he needs more time to influence this team.In future Misbah will proove himself as a very tactical captain because he is one of the best cricketing brains in pakistan right now.

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  • Ali Majaz on November 11, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Very nicely Written kamran. you have anaylyzed misbah nicely,but I think its still early days to judge him as a captain.I think he needs more time to influence this team.In future Misbah will proove himself as a very tactical captain because he is one of the best cricketing brains in pakistan right now.

  • Shiraz on November 11, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    The most impressive thing about Misbah's captaincy is his no-nonsense attitude. You would never find him in headlines giving sensational/controversial interviews rather he let his and his team performance do the talking in the field. Having said that, Misbah's batting approach in ODIs is fast becoming obsolete in modern day international cricket and he put considerable pressure on the batsmen on the other end by not rotating the strike well enough. I don't think that there is any long term planning in Pakistani cricket and that would hurt Pakistan in the long run.

  • bim on November 11, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    Do Pakistan see Misbah playing till 2015? If not then they should get in a new ODI skipper (perhaps Hafeez) while letting Misbah lead the test side for as long as they want.

    Maybe at present the thinking is to let the team settle down and then ring in the changes after a period of stability.

    But all said, what a leader he has proved to be amidt all those crazy things happening around him.

  • Hassan Farooqi on November 11, 2011, 12:50 GMT

    The critics do not see results, otherwise Afridi would still be the captain of ODI side. The guy who took a crippled team to WC semi-final in 3 WC, and the first to defeat Australia in 3 WC. Misbah's achievements in Test would be undermined by critics in similar fashion. The bottom line is, " This Misbah fellow might not be to everybody’s taste but he is tenacious and capable of surprise".

  • Syed Ali on November 11, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    Nice article kamran, i have a question for you Why cricinfo didn't post a single picture of Pakistani team with the test series winning trophy?

  • Bilal on November 11, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    You know there is something very wrong with your cricket when Afridi - an "all-rounder" with a batting average for a bowling average and a bowling average for a batting average - is the most popular cricketer in the country. As someone who grew up watching guys like Wasim, Waqar and Saeed represent Pakistan, sometimes I wonder if I've stepped into an alternate dimension where Afridi is better than Imran, Bradman and Tendulkar put together. Beyond shocking!

  • Zafar on November 11, 2011, 13:24 GMT

    Kamran Sb, what little cricket I have played I have understood that first batsmen need to solidify their defence and then if they get fully versed with defence they can slog. Yes we need a lot of stability and I feel they are going on the perfect track. Although Imran brought success but that theory also brought in unreliable generations of all rounders. This has to stop at least in the test arena. I would love to see "Asian Bradmans", Majids and Hanifs rather than Saeeds, Ijazs and Younises. Don't forget that Javed Miandad also started from pre Imran era. If we get back to the mode which we were in a few years back, then in no time are we going to see what happened to Aussies yesterday or for that matter to us in UAE against the Aussies. Enjoyed your article as always.

  • Zafar on November 11, 2011, 13:26 GMT

    By the way that went on offensive at Sharjah but had to steady the ship, when the wickets fell.. So it would be harsh to call it a defensive tack for Sharjah

  • Nadeem Khan on November 11, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    Agreed with every bit of it. Series after series will provide more stability. Later on, the attacking approach will also come back. Pakistan has Umar Akmal and Fawad Alam in their test ranks and they can help the cause. Big question will be: Who will eventually take over from Misbah. I guess, the professor is already READY-made choice.

  • sam on November 11, 2011, 14:07 GMT

    Don't agree at all. New zealand and west indies, is that the best we can ask? We could have sri-lanka on a platter with 3-0 whitewash instead of 1-0. To lead pakistan cricket, you need to be bold and examplary not a cheesy winner and hold on tight to a single win. His style of cricket will nor be appreciated by his team mates neither by the pakistan cricket lovers.