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January 21, 2014

Misbah's moment

Kamran Abbasi
Misbah-ul-Haq: got glory this time to go with his guts  © AFP
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Sometimes sportsmen defy expectations. When that happens, your heart leaps for joy and events on a field transcend the mundane routine of everyday existence. Such cheer is even possible on Blue Monday, the day designated by believers in scientific nonsense to be the most depressing day of the year. If anything, it was the build-up to this Blue Monday, and not the day itself, that killed the spirit. Sri Lanka, a nation of exuberant cricketers, chose a path of demoralisation, run rates below 2.5 an over threatened to suck all life from the final Test.

Perhaps Pakistan didn't like what they saw? Sri Lanka's dull beat was a reflection of the performances that have characterised Pakistan in these gruelling wilderness years. Gritty, pragmatic cricket has brought some measure of stability but frustrated supporters who seek a more daring team to follow, a captain to love. Misbah-ul Haq, Pakistan's admirably unflinching leader, is deemed to be the architect of this humdrum philosophy. Misbah is dismissed as a goat, a donkey, even a jackal, depending on which beast at the moment best represents a spineless creature.

Misbah is none of these. A lion's heart thuds inside his chest. An ice-cool brain governs his decisions. It takes guts to defy a nation pleading for instant thrills. It takes more guts to defy your own instincts, for Misbah is no plodder of a batsman. His T20 record dismisses that charge. His range of shots and intermittent spasms of aggression in Test cricket betray the art of a batsman of high order.

Misbah is no blocker. Rather, he is a man biding his time, waiting for a moment to cut loose. Those opportunities have been too infrequent in recent years, thanks to the consistent failures of Pakistan's top order. Misbah is thus shackled, three years a slave to necessity. He still holds his head high. Critics remain sceptical because critics are as susceptible as any human to jealousy and stubbornness. Misbah makes mistakes, both as captain and as batsman, but the verdict on his achievements can only be one of admiration.

Misbah has had many successes as Pakistan captain, but his record missed a signature victory, a glorious tale to testify to his legend. He has it now - in Sharjah, Pakistan cricket's stadium of legends. It was a remarkable victory for several reasons. Scores of over 300 are rarely achieved in the fourth innings to win a match. In two sessions? Forget it. Pakistan's fourth-innings record is particularly poor. A diabolical top order usually condemns Misbah to a lonely vigil, yet Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali and Sarfraz Ahmed, three young scamps under pressure to establish themselves, shared their captain's burden. All three delivered when they were expected to fail.

But, most impressively, Pakistan dared to chase Sri Lankan's challenging total. It was audacious, a heartfelt desire among supporters, but quite unexpected. Sri Lanka helped. They bowled erratically and set fields that allowed runs to easily accumulate. Still, this victory was one of Pakistan's best ever, perhaps the best-managed run chase by Pakistan in Test cricket, owing much to the collective spirit that Misbah has nurtured.

There is a moment in the career of every great player, a tipping point, when questions about quality seem impertinent and irrelevant. Pakistan won a memorable Test match in Sharjah, but it was also the tipping point in Misbah's career, the moment a vilified captain crossed a threshold to join the greats of Pakistan cricket. Misbah has won many matches as captain, but our minds dwell on heroism, on victories against the odds. This was Misbah's moment. In Sharjah in the twilight, Misbah won the love of his people and banished the blues, not just from Monday but from his career.

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

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Posted by   on (January 24, 2014, 11:39 GMT)

Wow Mr. Abbasi you really nailed it.

Posted by short_cover on (January 23, 2014, 15:14 GMT)

@ a133936 valid points, but I am very sure we can find 1 or more examples where Misbah played a game with a high SR (80/90 if not 100) when most of the team collapsed. Although Morgan, Bailey are anything but 'less known' and they belong to very solid teams. One example should not reflect the norm. Any top team would take Misbah's ODI avg mid 40s and SR in the 70s in a heartbeat.

It's just that a team needs 11 good players, not 1 and unfortunately that's our problem; not 1 person. And this fact is all I can say about us not winning any "Test" series lately (we have won ODI series). But like you, I am also a fan of the longer format which is really cricket in its purest form. It is sad but here's what I can say… Just like any good captain (with exception of NZ's Stephen Fleming who defied the norms) whether its Imran, Ponting, Waugh, Dhoni etc they all need good performers to succeed. I say bring back Butt, Asif, Amir, trust me Misbah will do magic.

Posted by PIA786 on (January 22, 2014, 20:16 GMT)

Misbah is world class. Negative comments regarding him are silly as these so called supporters wish the Pak team to resemble a one day team with smash bang wollop players. Do these supporters think Afridi would have played an innings such as Misbah, Azhar or Sarfraz? Test cricket is a game of chess, u pounce when theres a opening to do so.

Posted by a133936 on (January 22, 2014, 19:33 GMT)

Last 1.5 year we have 3 wins (including one vs Zimbabwe) and 7 losses (including one vs Zimbabwe)......in 13 test matches... what are we celebrating? We haven't won a test championship or anything like that... have we?

Posted by a133936 on (January 22, 2014, 19:03 GMT)

@short_cover: Now let's talk about my comparison between Misbah and ABD and your point about Misbah having to carry the top order failure. Here are some examples. See how these lesser know batsmen maintained a S/R of @100 even in similar situations.

Team Score: 97/4 while chasing 267. Morgan scores 103 @ S/R of 121.17 without any six. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/426387.html

Team Score: 95/5 (56/4). Andy Flower scores 142 @ S/R of 110.93 with only 1 six. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/64730.html

Team Score: 21/4. Brendon Taylor scores 128* @ S/R of 106.66. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/527014.html

Team Score: 93/5 (56/4). George Baily scores 125* @ S/R of 113.63 with only 1 six. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/573023.html Team Score: 111/5 while chasing 327. Kevin O'Brian scores 113 @ S/R of 179.36. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/433572.html

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 18:28 GMT)

i didnt like Misbah after the 2011 World Cup Semi final loss. But over the past 2 years he has shown great character and has made me a believer out of me.

Only problem that i have with him is: Since he knew the top order collapses, AND in any case he comes in early on 50/3 or something within the first 20 overs, he should have come in one-down. at number 3. come in at 50/1. then he can steady the ship as per his usual style, even going on to make his first ODI century.

but Misbah stubbornly clings to his number five spot which is mind-boggling, he is the best batsman in the country, and he needs to take the responsibility of the number 3 slot.

Posted by short_cover on (January 22, 2014, 17:15 GMT)

The captain certainly has a big say in picking the 11, but he is not the only one and he has to justify his choices. If Hafeez was his best friend and he really picks the team single handedly, then he would have kept him for the 3rd test as well. Series/match situation drastically changes the strategy that is utilized by captains. I am not saying he is perfect, but in the current situation, I think he is the best thing Pak could have hoped for. Yes, he can be more aggressive in his batting but comparing him with AB is, again, not sensible. AB has the luxury of playing after one of the best top order in the game which allows him to take an aggressive approach as most of the times, he is not rescuing his side from a batting collapse. On the other hand, most often than not, Misbah is consolidating from a typical Pak top order collapse (of recent times) and MUST minimize the risk element in his approach. This, btw was the situation in most of the ODIs where Pak lost chasing smaller totals

Posted by short_cover on (January 22, 2014, 17:13 GMT)

@ a133936 - My friend you are missing the big picture here. If cricket was a pure science then what you are saying would be true. In the first test, Pak was not faced with a 'win or bust' situation. The series was alive with 2 more game so rather than committing to a possible risk of 0-1 start, it was more sensible to keep it even and it was accomplished successfully. I am not at all a supporter of Hafeez playing Test, but he played his role in accomplishing that. As far as playing Talha vs Rahat; both are pretty new to international cricket. If you look at their first class stats, you'll see why Rahat was given the first chance. In first class Rahat has avg, econ of 23.27, 2.92. Whereas Talha has 27.23 avg with 3.73 econ. Now if selectors are looking at their stats, who would they pick??? Although, I agree now Talha should be picked over Rahat not just bcz of pace/bounce, but bcz I was not able to see Rahat bringing the ball back to RH batsmen regularly.

Posted by blogossip on (January 22, 2014, 16:37 GMT)

@fogu writer says "3 young guns who shared their captain's burden". i followed the match and 2 of them were the architects of victory and Misbah played a secondary role- yes secondary compared to their knocks. Having said that, comments can be extrapolated vis a vis context of a blog. If someone says IK was best Pk captain, you cant dismiss that assertion because author never mentioned IK. BTW why whatmore is being relieved ? shouldnt coach recieve credit too.. Its simply because he failed to deliver good results overall as a coach and hence never got an extension. Who was captain while he was coach? whats good for goose, is good for gander!

Posted by BloodBeat on (January 22, 2014, 15:31 GMT)

Misbah is the man,Misbah is the man! Misbah is truly a great, commanding and inspirational leader who has brought out the best in his men,Misbah is the captain pakistan needed.The silent protector

Posted by a133936 on (January 22, 2014, 13:56 GMT)

A nice read but I have a few questions. a) So, if the credit for this win goes to Misbah then who was leading the team in the 1st test when the exact same target (302) was set in 67 overs... 8 more overs than the 3rd test? b) Why didn't Misbah play Talha ahead of Rahat & Bhatti in the first 2 tests on seamer friendly wickets? c) Why did he drop Azhar Ali ahead of his BFF Hafeez? d) Why this "great chase" strategy didn't work in these ODIs and we got beat chasing much less scores? http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?batting_fielding_first=1;captain_involve=19596;class=2;filter=advanced;opposition=7;orderby=team_score;orderbyad=reverse;result=1;template=results;type=team;view=innings

In ODIs with his S/R and ave, we would score 210/4 in 50 overs if we had six Misbah's batting. With 6 ABD playing we would be 300/5. See the difference?

Misbah is a great test batsman but his slow S/R in ODIs, final play XI selection has caused irreparable damage to Pakistan team!

Posted by Fogu on (January 22, 2014, 13:15 GMT)

Blogssip - this article was about Misbah, his leadership, his signature win as a captain and the pressure he carries with him everyday. For match analysis, you should read the match report. It is amazing for people who understand cricket that so many PK fans are anti Misbah even after his unselfish captaincy and the turnaround he engineered in 3/4 years. PK was at his lowest point just a few short years ago and Misbah has been God sent to PK cricket.

Posted by blogossip on (January 22, 2014, 9:25 GMT)

Mr Abbasi its apparent you are stung by criticsm of Misbah and instead of praising young guns who were primary architects of victory, it seems more of a catharsis rather than a non sentimental analysis of a great victory.

critics maybe jealous but fans too at times get over reactional in praising their favorites- both arent good!

Pk played 5 tests in UAE as home series and its 2-2; 1-1 with SA and 1-1 with SL. Can it be considered a good home season vis a vis tests?

Posted by Morfi on (January 22, 2014, 8:55 GMT)

This is a brilliant piece Sir! The match, the man, the team deserved an outstanding tribute and none better than this could I ever come across. And I'm not surprised it has come from Kamran Abbasi - arguably the best analyst and writer here on Cricinfo. Thank you Kamran!

Posted by Salman_Shakeel84 on (January 22, 2014, 8:06 GMT)

Well the below extract from article is just too superb and wraps up the complex career of Misbah in the best possible explanation.... "Misbah has won many matches as captain, but our minds dwell on heroism, on victories against the odds. This was Misbah's moment. In Sharjah in the twilight, Misbah won the love of his people and banished the blues, not just from Monday but from his career."

Kudos to Kamran for such an excellent intellectual masterpiece....

Posted by wasiq on (January 22, 2014, 7:09 GMT)

Simply Awesome piece of Writing.

Posted by HabeebRaja786 on (January 22, 2014, 6:44 GMT)

I reckon he is doing the same thing to pakistan cricket what Gangualy did to Indian cricket and Nasir Hussain did for england.I would like to explain it further.Before Ganguly era India was known to play apologetic cricket outside India , its Gangulay who changed the trend and now Indian play aggressive cricket outside India.Considering Ganguly inherited a very mediocre indian team .Nasir hussain injected the same aggression in england cricket in era when england was not blessed with a talented team. With Misbah he was brought some stability in pakistan team which is to be honest mediocre in talent.I think this pakistani team did not have a single cricketer who can be an automatic selection in world 11 except ? ajmal.It is a great achievement as a leader

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 5:49 GMT)

Excellent article mr. abbasi, a big thumbs up. Always been misbah's fan no matter how he played because that was as per situation mostly if not all the time. Dravid was considered a wall for indian batting line up when he played for them, so is misbah for team pakistan. Misbah I sincerely pray that may Allah bless you with many more such moments in your career left and may you bring us the ultimate glory in the form of world cup 2015.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 22:44 GMT)

No doubt this victory is one of the cricketing achievements Pakistan Cricket has, and especially the greatest in Test Cricket, as those twin victories (Against Australia and Bangladesh) by Great Inzi. Misbah is always one of my favorite players (Since his comeback), If critics analyze his batting career then they must see that whenever Pakistan has good start, Misbah Strike rate is always up, the low strike rate is to give the team some respectable total to defend. Salute to this Great Man, Good Luck and I'm Proud to see you serving our Nation with full honesty.

Posted by Desihungama on (January 21, 2014, 22:07 GMT)

@Amit_13 - Thanks! It's Ok we don't generate much interest among the media and sponsors but fans and cricket lovers (Like yourself) around the world know what transpired yesterday. Those last 2 sessions of Test Cricket should be included in coaching manuals.

Posted by k2arian on (January 21, 2014, 18:59 GMT)

a very rare thoughtful analysis about misbah's batting and captaincy. the problem with pakistani fans is they like flashy players. that was the reason for all the instability in pakistani cricket in post imran era until misbah became captain. i remember during this period that pakistani team got out around 100 or 150 quite so often because no body was taking responsibility to save the innings. and why some one will, because the way people criticizing misbah for try to save the match, its better to get out at 0 and comeback to pavillian rather than stay out there and get all the criticism for playing slow and try to save the match . all the pakistan should thankfull to misbah for all his services.

Posted by Hasun888 on (January 21, 2014, 17:55 GMT)

Misbah has become the base for the Pakistan cricket team. A truly consistent performer and a stable personality. A real role model for any aspiring Pakistani batsmen. Misbah is a rare gem in Pakistan. A gem that may only get it due credit when it is no longer available.

Posted by Guruprasad.S on (January 21, 2014, 17:37 GMT)

This is a very fine piece by Mr. Abbasi on Misbah-Ul-Haq, the man who has been a loyal servant of Pakistan cricket for the past several years. In his own quiet, dignified yet resilient manner, Misbah has led Pakistan with distinction. I became a Misbah fan after his heroics in 2007 T20 World Cup. Since then, he has been, perhaps, the only constant in Pakistan's cricket team. He is a great player, and I would like to see him lead Pakistan in 2015 World Cup. Who knows, like the great Imran Khan, Misbah may well inspire Pakistan to a World Cup win.

Posted by liaqathussain on (January 21, 2014, 17:16 GMT)

If Misbah display this kind of positive nature in the past we would never have lost to Zimbabwe or Sa in dubai.

Still some thing to cherish

Posted by vantunow on (January 21, 2014, 16:40 GMT)

Good win for beleaguered team. Only team that at home with no home. I would not have posted but the QUALITY of this article, the way it captures joyous moments without going overboard prompted me to give up props! Well done Sir!

I also like the video report with Ramiz Raja. The questioner actually referred to Pakistan's victory as proof that "small cricket Nations can play test cricket". I like how Ramiz reacted and corrected him: Pakistan is not a small test cricket playing Nation.

One of the best records historically and at any given moment on any given venue, they can take down anyone.

Which team can lose top Ace spear heads to life time bans and others to injuries and keeps on chugging?

Only Pakistan!

Cheers!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 16:34 GMT)

And no one deserved a special moment like this more than Misbah!

Posted by Islamic on (January 21, 2014, 16:31 GMT)

In the early years it was SIR Don Bradman, then i guess steve waugh and now its misbah surely...

Posted by AsadCanada on (January 21, 2014, 16:15 GMT)

2 more test wins for Misbah and he will have as many wins as Imran Khan as captain...

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 16:12 GMT)

I think misbah's parents might have registered his age wrong. he cant be 39 . Fields better than some of our youngsters and looks fitter than most. and scoring runs. Was just reading some where he has 9 scores above 50 in last 13 test innings. To go with so many runs in ODIs. I think this might be some kind of record for that age?

Posted by short_cover on (January 21, 2014, 16:04 GMT)

Great article Kamran. Really summarizes the historic event the cricketing fans were treated with no matter which team they support. As far as Misbah and all the negative criticism is concerned, I strongly feel, it comes from people who either just dislike him personally as they are probably offended by his collected stubbornness in the face of perils of sorts that faces Pakistan cricket (on field). Most people are unable to accept the deficiencies with the team and need to find someone to blame. Another reason is probably the general mentality of Pak cricket fans' emotional (in)capabilities and the need to 'assign' the blame no matter where the problem lies.

Posted by M.Faheem on (January 21, 2014, 15:56 GMT)

As you mentioned, the most importatn thing was Pakistan dared to chase Sri Lankan's challenging total. Something they didn't do in the first test match where the circumstances were better (same 302 required in 67 overs and a big score had been made in 3rd innings). I hope the team will carry that spirit. Misbah certainly has a good cricketing mind and, at most of the times, he is required to minimize the damage, something he does very well quite often. Wondering the post-Misbah situation of batting order, and more importantly, the test captaincy. Younis and Ajmal will also retire soon, M.Hafeez's credential are not strong in tests, others are either too inexperienced or have unstable positions in the team. So perhaps Misbah will be required to stay for a few more years in the team.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 15:21 GMT)

Lovely article! Praise well deserved, Test cricket needs more Misbahs

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 15:04 GMT)

great article. We often criticize him. even if he scores. but this man has started to win more people now. He talks maturely. he is consistent enough. scores all the time. good captain if not great.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 14:35 GMT)

I appreciate every word of this writing, being a fan of Misbah and Pakistan, I had tears of joy in my eyes, writer have done justice with achievement of Misbah and praised well deserved Misbah in accurately measured words. Thanks Kamran for reflecting my inner thoughts in this lovely article.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 14:35 GMT)

I must say it is one of the best written articles I have read in years on cricinfo. Pakistan's win yesterday was surely one of the best moments in recent cricketing history of Pakistan and you are absolutely right, Misbah deserves full credit for it. He has not only contributed in batting but surely he is the one who choreographed the whole act and that too with lots of courage and vigour. Promoting Sarfraz could have easily backfired but he went with his heart. Then his own presence at the crease ensured that Pakistan safely crossed the line. His talent truly deserves more appreciation than he usually gets. Even off the field, he is extremely wonderful as a person. I have had the privilege of meeting him a few times and I can tell you that he is one the most decent Pakistani cricketers I have ever met (and I have met quite a few). He is educated, cultured, down to earth, well behaved and very well versed in cricketing philosophy. I wish him Pakistan best of luck and lots of success.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 14:10 GMT)

Kamran, It is quite evident that you wanted to write this piece since long, at least since the dawn of Misbah in our team. Misbah has made it possible for all of us to marvel in the moment. The ridiculous thing is that if others have failed, then Misbah simply would have done what he does best i.e. save the day for Pakistan and nobody would have noticed what it takes to be at helm of tricky affairs of an unpredictable team. We would have criticized him even more, but not now, not today, not ever as Misbah has made the point that we all had been missing.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 13:33 GMT)

Excellent article. Loved every word of it. Misbah should be given the credit that he deserves. We have to keep "politics" aside as what this team achieved yesterday was mind boggling and the entire team thoroughly deserve all the accolades that are being dished out to them starting with the Captain. Thank you Mr Abbasi for such an excellent piece.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 13:29 GMT)

Surely he has won many hearts now. Under his captaincy, Pakistan has achieved quite alot like winning 3-0 against the world's No.1 team, being the only Asian team to beat South Africa in a One Day Series in South Africa and now the fastest 300 + plus chase which was absolutely unbelievable. No other Pakistan Team of any era has been so positive. Huge Respect for Misbah.

Posted by Whatsgoinoffoutthere on (January 21, 2014, 13:25 GMT)

Misbah-ul-Haq is one of the international cricketers and captains that I admire the most at present. We're so used to describing players entering middle age as being on the wane and in the twilight of their careers, but at present Misbah seems to show little sign of this. Pakistan have had a past reputation for volatility and inconsistency, but Misbah and Dav Whatmore seem to have presided over a development of relative calm. I hope the incoming coach can keep up what's been built. Cricket needs competitive Test teams, if not just to make a strong case against the attempts of BCCI/ECB/CA to grab power.

Posted by Harmony_not_Discord on (January 21, 2014, 13:05 GMT)

Pakistan is one team that brings more thrills to the cricket enthusiast (and disappoints too) than any.

They have done some amazing feats as in this test and such as producing someone with a fastest ODI century maker of 17 years; a record only recently broken - pioneers of reverse swing and Doosra.

Coming something else new from that country won't be surprising.

Posted by Fogu on (January 21, 2014, 13:02 GMT)

Wonderful article and it does justice to Misbah's greatness as a leader. Akhter seems to have missed the point. Negative mindset is not Misbah's preaching but if top 3-4 wickets consistently fall in less than 60 runs, you can not think of being aggressive. I am glad Misbah does not listen to nonsense from fans otherwise PK would have had a lot more under100 collapses and he would have lost a lot more matches along with his job. A big admirer of Misbah from BD.

Posted by Amit_13 on (January 21, 2014, 12:43 GMT)

Kamran, I could not have loved it more to read it this. Or the victory yesterday. I believe in the unpredictable that is Pakistan cricket. They have the ability to excite like no other. Not even the Indian team and I say that with a heavy heart. But it was disappointing to see nowhere near the press / cricinfo coverage for what will be regarded as the best matches for years to come. If it were Ashes, the reports flow out before the press conference is over. If India were playing, all comparisons with the past are written before the guy is out. But for a victory so against the odds, it took a whole day for an article to come out. I wish / I long for more. Not just the articles but for Pakistan cricket.

Posted by deconstruct on (January 21, 2014, 12:39 GMT)

One of the best articles I've ever read on cricket !!!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 12:35 GMT)

Well written.. you really written the way Pakistan won the last test.. simply marvelous.. but on thing I don't know why people always criticized Misbah n his batting. Why they always forgot that ultimately it was always the situation which forced him to play like this.

Posted by Pathiyal on (January 21, 2014, 12:04 GMT)

when i hear people dumping him, i always think whats wrong with them, they are just throwing stones at someone who had always tried to lead by example unfailingly, anywhr on the planet...whether the team lose or wins he is one man who puts forth his best performance at all times (captaining, batting, fielding, cooling up his compatriots). an easy target for critics. or is it that people love him so much (i am confused a bit :-) i have the same to say about younus, whether he bats well or not, his presence makes an impact for team pakistan....for the youngsters....and we always luk forward to see such sportsmen in any team! here, its just a drawn series but the way they fought and drew it incites some spark in anybody who watched it! truly amazing article by kamran once again, reflects my thoughts!!!!

Posted by Klass on (January 21, 2014, 11:59 GMT)

This particular line "Misbah is none of these. A lion's heart thuds inside his chest" brought tears in my eyes. Being an Indian, I'm an ardent fan of Pakistan team and have been following their cricket since the time of Imran Khan. Their highs and lows, have seen them all and yes now is the time Misbah will get his dues, the recognition that was missing. There is so much more that Misbah and this team could achieve but again as one of their coaches said " Pakistan is the most underachieving team in cricket world". They will keep playing this way providing mountain of joys and at times sorrows :)

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 11:52 GMT)

What an article! Had been waiting for one and there couldn't have been a better one on Misbah.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 11:51 GMT)

well said..superbly written article...

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 11:46 GMT)

Blue Monday haan. No wonder I was feeling tired and cut and lethargic on 20th.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 11:28 GMT)

Wonderfully crafted chase and brave captaincy by Misbah. Misbah saved not only Pakistan's face but also his own as a leader. If yesterday, he would not have gone for the chase than his status as a captain and player would forever have been stamped as Timid.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 11:19 GMT)

Beautifully written Kamran! You have done justice to Misbah's character and I guess its about time the People of Pakistan start giving Misbah the respect that he deserves, that he has rightly earned.... Thumbs up to Team Pakistan and our defiant captain Misbah!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 10:43 GMT)

Simply brillant brillant article

Posted by Akhter786 on (January 21, 2014, 10:38 GMT)

Yeah surely it is. But he should thank Azhar, sarfaraz and Mathews in equal shares. Audacious runchase against silly bowling and fielding. Srilankan tactics notwithstanding. Kudos to Team Misbah. They have finally delivered, resurrected the art of Aggression long struck off from Pakistani batting manuals. Hopefully everyone of them learnt and remembered the lessons learnt from these two sessio: what hell a negative defensive mindset can set loose upon u and what hell u can set loose upon ur opposition by being positively aggressive.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 10:16 GMT)

pure poetry........really loved it...

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the international editor of the British Medical Journal. @KamranAbbasi

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