Champions Trophy 2013

Misbah upholds Pakistan faith

David Hopps

May 29, 2013

Comments: 101 | Text size: A | A

Misbah-ul-Haq speaks to the media, Birmingham, May 28, 2013
Misbah-ul-Haq said Pakistan were ready for to the Champions Trophy after a tricky warm-up in Scotland and Ireland © ICC
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Pakistan's captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, has just turned 39 and he was asked at his side's introductory media conference ahead of the Champions Trophy how he would celebrate it. "Just going for practice," he said.

There have been more exciting birthdays, but there have been few more wisely spent. What Pakistan need more than anything is a quiet time in their first appearance in England since a spot-fixing scandal in 2010 ended with three of their players serving custodial sentences and their reputation once again dragged through the mud.

This is a tournament where for the sake of Pakistan's cricketing future they need to rebuild the respect of the many as well as excite the passions of their committed supporters.

Even as Misbah tried to give an impression of solidity, one of his greatest attributes since the day he took charge, the headlines were again suggesting that all was not well. As he sat down, attention centred upon the suspension of the PCB's chairman, Zaka Ashraf, by the High Court in Islamabad pending investigations of what Justice Shaukat Siddiqui called a "polluted" election process.

Once that had been digested, talk turned to Asad Rauf's protestations of innocence after he had been withdrawn from the Champions Trophy umpiring panel amid media reports in India that he was under police investigation as part of the IPL betting scandal.

Surrounded by all of this disruption, Misbah and the Pakistan coach, Dav Whatmore, strive to create a competitive side for the present and a bold vision for the future.

Pakistan's supporters must despair of better times. Their side will invariably possess volatile talent and their supporters can be expected to be out in force, especially in Birmingham, where they play two of their three group matches, against South Africa and India. Just for once, though, they would benefit from a lot less fun and a lot more sense. The fans deserve better.

Their warm-up matches have not augured well. They were rained on in Scotland and in Ireland they came perilously close to becoming the first Full Member nation to lose a series to an Associate. Ireland tied the first game thanks to Kevin O'Brien's blistering 84 from 47 balls in Clontarf and then seemed to have the second match won only for Kamran Akmal and Wahab Riaz to pull off a spectacular run chase.

Misbah, having experienced Ireland and Scotland, is probably the only Champions Trophy captain to arrive in England thinking that when it comes to the swinging ball things can only get easier.

"I think coming from Pakistan it's really difficult to adjust to the conditions, especially the weather," he said, "but we have played a game in Scotland and then in Ireland two games, so it really helped us to acclimatise here, especially now it's really cold here also.

"In Ireland especially, the ball was really moving in the air. So everybody has suggested that, and they're ready to just face those sort of conditions. I think in England especially it will be better than Ireland, so I think mentally everybody is ready and now getting ready for this tournament."

Misbah has been a solid upholder of the faith in such taxing times for cricket's itinerant nation. There is a staunchness about him that goes down well after the reign of Salman Butt, who initially charmed the English media with his sharp wit and well-modulated accent, but who became regarded as a latter-day snake-oil salesman after a tabloid newspaper sting led to the captain and two fast bowlers, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, bringing shame upon Pakistan cricket.

Birmingham's large number of Pakistan supporters should help them feel at home, their loyalty never wavering despite constant slights upon it. The final group match against India on June 15 sold out in three hours and, in a group also containing South Africa and West Indies, there is every chance it could prove critical to at least one of the side's chances of reaching the semi-finals.

"I'd say it's special for us because a lot of fans here are for the Pakistan cricket team," Misbah said. "I haven't played before here, but Pakistan really had a good record here. Even in the last series, Pakistan won a Test match and played really well. We're really looking forward to enjoying these games."

Pakistan's Edgbaston record is actually not remotely as spectacular as Misbah imagines. In all competitions, they have won six, lost nine and drawn three. They lost their last Test in Birmingham against England three years ago and also lost their last ODI on the ground in 2006. Misbah has never lost at Edgbaston - but then he has never played at Edgbaston.

He was right about his 39th birthday, though, even if the rain did affect his attempts to practice.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by dmqi on (June 3, 2013, 10:19 GMT)

After Pak will be badly beaten, the team selectors will understand how important was the selection of Razzaque/Hammad Azam, who can bat and also bowl in fast pitch. I am waiting to see how HAFEEZ AND MALIK PERFORM.

Posted by   on (June 3, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

If Misbah will retire at this time with grace , the young lads of Pakistan team will lose each & every match without any GRACE !!

Posted by Jadejafan on (June 2, 2013, 21:26 GMT)

Pakistan team is very old. Once they are gone then they are really going to struggle good luck! :)

Posted by dontlikecricket on (June 2, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

The only player which I thought should have also been included in the team was Abdul Razaq. Players like Umar Akmal, Afridi, Nazir have no place in international cricket. Although Umar Akmal is young and has time to learn and improve his game, others are spent force.To a degree Misbah is lucky still to be playing, however there is no clear replacement for him as a captain so he will likely to play for some more time. I will not be surprised if he plays for next two years. His average in Test and One day is in 40's and first class ave is nearly 50!!! He has shown younger players how to work hard and keep fitness level up. I have no problem if Misbah keeps on playing, he brings calmness in the traditionally volatile and politics infested team. The way he has moulded the team after Salman Butt is commendable. So called fans really don't know the ground realities and are one dimensional in their thinking which is common among Pak fans and people in general.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (June 1, 2013, 16:04 GMT)

PAK opening pairs are OK. But for middle order PCB please add AFRIDI, RAZZAK, AHMED SHAHZAD, IMRAN NAZIR, HARIS SOHAIL for UK tour. PCB should say bye to Mr. tuktuk, Asad Safiq, Imran Farhat, Sohaib Malik they all low class players.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (June 1, 2013, 16:02 GMT)

Cricket fans should close eyes from REALITY, the reality is Mr.tuktuk not deserve a place in ODI/T20, how PAK Team hope for the best? Mr. tuktuk sitdown fast players at home and came to UK for practice his natural game.

Posted by   on (June 1, 2013, 11:21 GMT)

Hope Misbah will return to Pakistan with a trophy or positive results to keep the Cricket lovers happy.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2013, 16:49 GMT)

No afridi no razzak no umar akmal no hammad azam no imran nazir no ahmed shehzad... hmm hard choice whether to watch golf or watch Misbah and co bat..

Posted by ADARSH100 on (May 31, 2013, 10:03 GMT)

Pakistan has good bowling attack but their batting is weaker compared to other teams in their group.

my 11 would be 1)Jamshed 2)Hafeez 3)K.Akmal 4)Malik 5)Misbah 6)Asaad Shafiq 7)Imran Farhat 8)Saeed Ajmal 9)Junaid Khan 10)Mohd.Irfan 11)Riaz

Posted by   on (May 31, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

Abdul Razzaq needs to be in there!!!

Posted by   on (May 31, 2013, 9:09 GMT)

I think Misbah, Afridi and Younis should retire gracefully......................................

Posted by   on (May 31, 2013, 7:24 GMT)

I feel like Pakistan will do well in bating compare to india . cuz most of the indian player are young n some time rush of blood make you do silly mistakes in cricket. where else in pakitan we have hafeez misbah and shoaib malik exprince cool , clam and steady head where jamsheed is attacking but not over attaxking . afridi should not be in the squad , if he come politics will come in dressing room ..

Dispite all we have to work hard to even qualify for semi's

Posted by Desihungama on (May 31, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

Wow. Just looked at Misbah's profile and realized he may be the only batsman in world with highest scores across all three formats being not out. Now, how real is that? Please correct it if I am wrong.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2013, 2:45 GMT)

Wishing Mishba and his squad all the best and hope they will continuously give their best performance.

Posted by gmayd on (May 31, 2013, 2:20 GMT)

I would love India to win but after all IPL scam I wish they don't even make it 4. Finally Pakistan has good captain - he is calm, not arrogant, has team's respect and has decent batting. Bowling is their strength and most likely will give some headache to opposition's batting. They can make it to final if their batting clicks.

Posted by   on (May 31, 2013, 1:24 GMT)

I failed to understand why people are asking for Afridi in ODI side.We have seen he did nothing in last 12 plus matches. Team is selected on performance. We should now stop talking on team selection.Our biggest concern should be our batting and fielding. if our Opners service first 10 overs then Pakistan batsmen will be in good position to handle the remaining overs.Misbah is calm and intelligent captain. Our top order batsmen should first try to settle and then think of run rate. They should by now learn how to handle the swinging ball. If they do not deal with swing ball then we should be ready for disaster.

Posted by Zee_1203 on (May 30, 2013, 22:53 GMT)

Not sure this side has the power to click, the only chance for Pakistan to be stay alive, if they have Ahmad Shazad opens with Nasir Jamsheed, this is the best opening pair Pakistan have in Limited over, they both have the ability to give a good opening stand which Pakistan need. All I can say now Good Luck.

Posted by kc69 on (May 30, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

A lot of Pak fans and Sri Lankans are backing their teams for this tournament which is optimistic but many have forgot about the new ICC rule which states that there will be only 4 fielders outside the circle for entire innings,which is a nightmare for strong bowling and below par fielding sides.I hope you guys remember teams such as West Indies,Australia and New Zealand.Especially Windies batsmen with the new fielding rules.Get ready to see some high scoring matches(unless there is a bowling paradise every game)

Posted by wibblewibble on (May 30, 2013, 19:30 GMT)

Pakistan are my dark horses to win the CT, they have real fast bowlers, the worlds 2nd and 3rd best spinners (Hafeez is a top top all rounder) and an sometimes erratic but powerful batting line up. I think they will adapt far better to English conditions than India when batting, and they will be better at exploiting those conditions when bowling. It's always fun watching a Pakistan ODI tbh.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 18:28 GMT)

Ppl blaming Misbah But he got a descent average and strike rate also i feel he is leading weak pakistan team as i would lov to hav Mohd,Amir n Asif in bowling along with Junaid Khan n Irfan they would hav deadly bowling combination n Plz get rid of Farhat n bring Shezad n also Razzak

Posted by Crick_Expert on (May 30, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

PAK middle order batsmen are weak, please replace Misbah, Asad and Sohaib and add AFRIDI, AHMED SHAHZAD, HARIS SOHAIL AND RAZZAK.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (May 30, 2013, 18:08 GMT)

Please add boom boom AFRIDI, AHMED SHAHZAD and ODI- King RAZZAK

Posted by Crick_Expert on (May 30, 2013, 18:07 GMT)

PAK team batting is wrost without their key players who taking rest at home. PCB should add fast players like Ahmed Shahzad, AFRIDI, Abdul Razzak for UK tour immediately.

Posted by Crick_Expert on (May 30, 2013, 18:05 GMT)

There is no doubt Misbah is great Test player. But Mr. tuktuk not a prefect CAPT. even deserve place in ODI/T20 team. Cricket fans never ever saw Mr. tuktuk played important role in team winning as Indian Capt. Dhoni playing.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 16:23 GMT)

Leaving out afridi definitely makes the Pakistani team feel an emptiness of presence :(

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

Pakistan have a strong bowling attack but as usual, the batting is a concern. They are not consistent enough and hardly anyone can be relied upon. Junaid, Irfan and Ajmal make up an excellent attack and I believe the seamers would cause opposition batsmen a lot of problems in English conditions; Gul will be missed, though. Pak are the only team who haven't made it to the final of a Champions Trophy and they would surely like the change that this time.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 14:40 GMT)

Well, No one can say who's gonna be the Champion, coz every team looks confident, but I hope Green Shirts will knock out all the opponents..!!

Posted by SherjilIslam on (May 30, 2013, 14:25 GMT)

@ latecut_04 on (May 30, 2013, 9:24 GMT):I think you have summed it up very well for both India and Pakistan.But you missed out WI here, which comprises of most hit & miss batsmen in the tournament.I am not sure they can play their full quota of 50 overs in any of the match.Only SA looks a certainty in semis from this group, which again is the biggest chokers of ICC tournaments, even if they reach semis, i am very sure they won't reach finals. All in all, this is a real group of death and anything can happen.

Posted by LALITHKURUWITA on (May 30, 2013, 13:51 GMT)

PAK is the most unfortunate Test Cricket at the moment. No team is visiting PAK. They were also teated badly by India. Pak still perform better than some of the TOP nation in overseas. Wish you all the Best.

Posted by PAKISTANiLive on (May 30, 2013, 13:32 GMT)

@cric_fanatics he plays 4 team, not 4 his centuries,,,he is the most fit player currently in team,,& a very committed captain,,Tendulkar smashed 100 International 100s but many of those were in losing matches like his 100th one against BANGLADESH! 100 is not that important, but a win 4 your country!

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 12:10 GMT)

misbah the perfect soul for captaincy

Posted by Aizikhan on (May 30, 2013, 12:03 GMT)

I am totally with the comment of KIWIROCKER. Asim kamal was a huge asset for us . similarly Hamad Azam. Hamad Azam and Virat Kohli were in the same tournament i.e under 19 world cup and both of them showed great great performances. India gave a hell of position to Virat that is one down. and he is a top class batsman now. but what PCB did to hammad azam ? at no. 8 or at no. 7 ? and then he was dropped because of no performance. what would you expect from a debutent allrounder from that position ? will he make a bombastic century ? no. never. Not everyone is like Abdul Razzaq. like what is did in Abu dhabi stadium against S.A

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (May 30, 2013, 11:42 GMT)

This talk of Misbah being an oldish captain is non sense. Misbah is fit and doing very well so what is the big fuss? Risky Ponting is of the same age and he is playing and India's own self proclaimed God of cricket is in 40's and mind you he has not performed for lets say like last 15 years! Misbah Ul Haq should captain Pakistan until 2015 world cup. Having said that, I tend to agree that couple of selection in Pakistan team make it having a bit more oldish looks. I refer to Shoib Malik and Imran Farhat. Shoib Mailk has nothing to offer in bowling, his batting only comes off against India ( I wonder why?). Imran Farhat on other hand did ok in SA and in domestic so one could understand his selection but Ahmad Shahzad has been superb whenever he got a chance. Pakistan should have selected him. Similarly, I am unsure what sin Hammad Azam has comitted to be dropped. He should have been in. Khurram Manzoor is a very fine Pak opener who is being wasted like what happened to Asim Kamal!

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 11:39 GMT)

We should appreciate the words of wisdom by the great captain ever in history of Pakistan. He has taken the Green team out of Nowhere. All credit goes to him. and He is an example for M.S Dhoni Too, who's team is facing a lot spot fixing Scandals . P.S it is good to see no words of Discouragement by him. He is a brave man though he hasn't played in England before but you gotta admire his confidence which will boost up the confidence of a whole nation specially all the Team members. Respect for you the great man.

Posted by KiwiRocker- on (May 30, 2013, 11:36 GMT)

This article could have done more jutsice to the service that Misbah Ul Haq has done to Pakistan cricket. The Problem with Pakistani fans and Pakistan as a nation is that they play with emotion, pride and heart. I call it a problem because they over do it. Misbah Ul Haq on other hand plays with his head. Misbah inherited a team that had lost its captain due to sad events. Misbah inherited a team that had lost a brilliant pair of fast bowlers( Asif/Amir). Misbah slowly and steadily build Pakistan team like he builds his innings.Pakistan now has a fine fast bowler Junaid Khan and Asad Ali looks very promising too. Irfan/Gul have some years left. Kamran Akmal has started to look better behind wickets.Yes, Pakistan batting is fragile but Jamshed, Umer, Asad have potential.This talk of Misbah being slow is rubbish.He can charge and hit huge sixes! Misbah is Pak's best batsman in current form and best Un-Pakistani looking captain. I hope he only retires after Pak wins WC in my backyard :)

Posted by cric_fanatics on (May 30, 2013, 11:31 GMT)

WHat credibility does a guy with 3 centuries across 3 formats deserve ?..I never take him sereously.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (May 30, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

I feel Pakistan have the best bowling attack for the tournament,but their batting looks weak.They don't have a single batsman who can dominate a good bowling attack.Their only is some how their bowlers restrict the opponent to a score like 220-225 and likes of Misbah,Malik guides them in the chase.Without Younis and Umer Akmal Khan their batting looks fragile. Umar Gul and his death bowling will also be missed big time.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

There must have been any two of Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Hammad Azam and Azhar Mehmood, not only in squad but in playing 11 for any hope of trophy.

Posted by cric_fanatics on (May 30, 2013, 11:15 GMT)

WHat credibility does a guy with 3 centuries across 3 formats deserve ?..I never take him sereously.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

The Pakistan team is very old. Their future doesn't look at all promising which is a real shame considering the exciting players they have produced in the past :)

Posted by latecut_04 on (May 30, 2013, 10:24 GMT)

Pakistan batsmen will fire only against India and most probably will come a cropper against WI and SA.that will probaby be their moment of ouster.Their bowling-opening with MIrfan and Nazir followed by Wahab,Saeed etc is as good as many ways Pakistan team resembles Indian team.India will struggle to complete their quota of 50 overs.Other than B.Kumar EVERY bowler will disappoint.(as was the case almost always.)India look forward to batting exploits from the likes of Kohli/Dhoni/Dhawan to save the blushes.Pakistan hoping for bowlers to give them decency.Any takers?

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 10:14 GMT)

misbah is a wise captain and i agree if he is performing he should play. Since 2007 Pak haven made to atleast semi finals on all icc eventss. they can surely do it this time agian.

teaam selection remains a problem.

I think going in by 2 openers not worked , farhat failed to made impact , and nasir is terribly out of form after india series hasnt done anything.

They should leave 1 out and kamran can open with getting in middle order batsman.

In bowling Asad bowled very well and pak may need that in UK. wahab's bowling not good but his batting improving so a hard call to make.

Posted by Tamimfan on (May 30, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

the selectors should have picked a young team. 8 players are more than 30 years old which is funny. captain himself is 39 which is the oldest captain ever in an icc tournament i guess? imran farhat and shoaib malik selection is ridiculous. even ireland could get away with this lineup. time to bring young batsmen in limited overs. anyways good luck.

Posted by Hassan_U on (May 30, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

My playing XI be 1) Jamshed 2) Farhat 3) Hafeez 4) Shafeeq 5) Misbah 6) Malik 7) Akmal 8) Wahabl 9) Ajmal 10)Junaid 11) Irfan.

This will give Pakistan 6 bowling options and batting up to number 8-9.

Posted by Major85D on (May 30, 2013, 9:13 GMT)

Pakistan in semifinals?? what a joke. they can not even beat ireland. where are the batsmen in the squad? shafiq, farhat and malik are not good enough. coach whatmore is responsible for the bad performances in the last couple of months. as long as he is coach, pakistan will go down in world cricket.

Posted by Hassan_U on (May 30, 2013, 9:08 GMT)

Our prays and support will be with our team. Wish you all the Best Misbah......We will show our support in full numbers to make sure that see the array of Pakistan support. It never has been easy to not play at home.

Duas Always......Pakistan Zindabad.

Posted by xylofon on (May 30, 2013, 9:05 GMT)

First of all it seemed some people in media turned up wih an agenda to badmouth Pakistan cricket. Also strange that Misbah gets to answer for all of that when they say its not his fault.

Now to the real question: we have to look beyond the match or competition ahead in order to heal this batting problem Pakistan has had for such a long time. The only way is to pick a few batsmen and keep using them. Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq must be play every match, period! Its all about grooming.

Babar Azam must join the A team A S A P. Hammad Azam must be groomed for T20. Yes, I do miss Abdur Razzaq as well and he was part of the reason why Pak won T20 in england conidtions 2009. Its ultra strange he is not here today, not even on the bench. Afirdi has played for leicestershire and hampshire, why is he not here?

Pakistan batsmen need to learn how to face pace attack in all conditions. Im tired of hearing legens going across Pakistan to find the next pacer, we need that work for batting!

Posted by zaksy on (May 30, 2013, 8:28 GMT)

Guys be realistic pakistan can't reach in semis as they dont hav batting for english conditions what we hav witnessed in scot and Ireland they tottered against the minors nd unfortunately they r with S.A, W.I. nd IND in der grp so Its pretty unrealistic hope by fans nd by misbah Hav fun guys

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 8:14 GMT)

Pakistan has been the most successful team in major tournaments in the last half decade or so, starting from the T20 WC in 2007 where they made it to the Final. They have been to the Semi Final at least of each and every major competition, I firmly believe it is time for us to beat the demons of the Semi Final and win it this time around InshaAllah. It is the last edition of the Champions Trophy, would be fitting if we can lift it against all odds.

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 7:54 GMT)

Pakistan former captain Shahid Afridi has voluntarily offered to leave the 'A' category of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) central contract. Shahid Afridi is of the view that his performance in the last years or so in not up to the mark therefore he should not be selected in 'A' category and should be placed in 'B' category.However PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf has rejected the offer of Shahid Afridi and has stated that this decision is final and will not be changed. Shahid Afridi decision was a very unique one as in Pakistan cricketers have never offered these type of things. When cricketers themselves take this type of decisions it shows that how much they are dedicated towards their game.

Posted by Pathiyal on (May 30, 2013, 7:07 GMT)

misbah has always been a reasonably good leader. wish him a lucky 39!

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (May 30, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

This man Misbah is ice cool just like Dhoni. You Pak followers blame him for defeat in 2007 T20 final, but it was Misbah who brought you in a position to win. In 2011 Semis, it was again he who remain calm and everybody fell like 9 pins around him. Problem is his batting partners does not believe in his striking capabilities which is not the case with Dhoni who is always ably supported even by lower order. And Misbah is as clean hitter of the ball as you can see. On side note everybody thinks that it will be SA-Pak in the semis. I differ to the extent that I will not put my money (ouch) on ny team. Can you rule out India, nope, good batters and this time slightly better that popgun attack but still avg. Can you rule out WI, nope, avg batters, very good all rounders and good attack. SA, nope, avg batters except ADV, super bowling attack. And even if I say Pak as avg batter, avg bowlers even then you can not rule them out. But again they are avg batter and super bowlers. Fingers crossed

Posted by SherjilIslam on (May 30, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

It's just un-believable that Pakistan selection committee has ended the carrier of an extremely talented All-rounder called Abdur Razzaq prematurely and at the same time extended the carrier of a mediocre player(who only comes good against India that too once in a while) called Shoaib Malik. But still, we know Pak are the real un-predictable

Posted by somethingdifferent on (May 30, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

I admire Misbah's optimism and wish him luck. But a general can only fight a battle with the ammunition at his disposal. It is unfortunate that the selection committee could not find one wicket keeper better than Kamran Akamal, amazingly preferred Imran Farhat over Ahmed Shazad, selected Wahab Riaz in place of Hammad Azam, sent Shoaib Malik ( he hardly bowls now and cannot be considered as an allrounder) in place of deserving Haris Sohail and missed selecting Reza Hasan and selected Abdur Rehman instead. With this kind of team in hand, to progress beyond group stage, Misbah definitely needs luck and lots of it.

Posted by ABLcric on (May 30, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

Pakistan team is ready. The bowling side will adjust to English conditions very quickly, but the batting will be struggling. Misbah and senior managers will have to really think hard and plan to avoid serious batting collapse. What it needs now is a victory to start with and it will be great motivation to move forward. The team needs charging and first victory will provide that stimulus.Good Luck!!

Posted by Muddassar_Baig on (May 30, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

Best wishes for Pakistan....Hope they will won Champions Trophy first & last time....Good Luck Team Pakistan.....

Posted by malik-muhammad-basit on (May 30, 2013, 5:31 GMT)

why is pakisan changing its batting order they already play with 3 openers hafeez,jamshed,kamran then why imran farhat.hafiz and jamshed should open with shoaib malik at number at 3.malik has the best batting record at 3.and he was doing well at 3 but then he has to give his position to younas.kamran should play at the end as we have no afridi ,razzaq or umar akmal to give a quick scoring finish

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 4:26 GMT)

Happy birthday to Misbah-al-Haq, one of the truly good guys in world cricket!

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 1:56 GMT)

@SAF They won their Cricket World up in Australia (1992) Against England ..not in England

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 1:48 GMT)

Your articles, comments and assessments are all balanced and it is a good thing. However, to my dismay evcery time there is an article about Pakistan cricket/players/policies/officials, almost invariably spot-fixing scandal is mentioned. Is it really necessary?

Posted by   on (May 30, 2013, 1:01 GMT)

Misbah sounds like the "Rahul Dravid" of Pakistan cricket. Good man. Deserves good luck.

Posted by applethief on (May 29, 2013, 23:51 GMT)

I could see the sense in dropping a stalwart like Younis, but only if there was a budding young batsman snapping at his heels. Umar Akmal had been left out after being treated as a slogger rather than the proper batsman be is. Only Shafiq and Azhar are close, but both resemble test players more than ODI ones. Time to see what MoYo's summer plans are?

Posted by Kumail_Asadi on (May 29, 2013, 22:52 GMT)

so Pakistan will win against India, it is my faith.

Posted by Shahid06 on (May 29, 2013, 22:51 GMT)

India has never defeated Pakistan in Champions Trophy and I hope it remains the same this time around. Teams with better bowling units will prevail. I hope Pakistan and SA will qualify for the SF from GroupB and England and SL from the other group....Hopefully it will be a Pakistan Vs England final....:):) Both teams are the only top rated teams that have never won ICC Champions trophy and I think they will put every effort to do it in this last edition of ICC Champions trophy...

Posted by imranmujtaba on (May 29, 2013, 22:44 GMT)

Bad team selection will cost CT to Pakistan. Pakistan will miss impact player big time - only bowlers can win games for pa. kist an in CT if any. Misbah still learning how to captain international level - I don't when he will give for youngster to pick and learn be ready for next WC?

Posted by Stark62 on (May 29, 2013, 22:35 GMT)

@SAF. You forgot to mention the fact, that none of the Pak players participated in the ipl and shouldn't be fatigued.

Also, Pak players were playing the domestic 50 over competition back home before the Ire/Scot tour, which means they have been in 50 over mode for quite sometime.

Pak are miles ahead of the rest in terms of preparation, compared with the other teams (except Eng and potentially Nz).

Posted by Desihungama on (May 29, 2013, 22:30 GMT)

Pak is known to play according to it's opponents strength so I am not too worried about their performance against Ireland and Scotland. Pak has mostly played well in major tournaments in England specifically, Afridi. India does too have a good seam attack for these conditions but then again it will be a game of wits and minds rather than skill.

Posted by MianMoosa on (May 29, 2013, 22:26 GMT)

7 players in Pakistan team which i am looking for, if they perform , pakistan will win this champion trophy,, jamshed, hafeez, asad shafiqe, misbah, ajmal, junaid, irfan,.. as far as india vs pakistan comaprison,, i think Pakistan has a upper hand,,,, pakistan played 3 matches in england,, with few practise matches to come,,, their bowling line up is far superior than india,,,,,batting needs to step up.,,,indian team, well most of their players are playing IPL from last 2 months in flat & spin friendly conditions,,,,, thats why they will struggle in england,,, to me PAkistan , RSA. england & australia will make it into semi,s

Posted by   on (May 29, 2013, 21:58 GMT)

I think our team need some stick decision if our players not doing job drop them and give chance some new players hope they will try for best Ireland performance am not really happy for that.

Posted by madjag on (May 29, 2013, 21:34 GMT)

Its gonna be a tough competition. As much as I would like to see Pakistan go all the way, our batting is still hit or miss. The talent is there, lets see if we can utilize it properly. @David Hopps... Personally I dont think a massive funding from ICC is gonna solve anything, simply because I dont think the funds will be properly allocated or used wisely. Pakistan, Bangladesh and some other Associate nations need to revamp their internal structures, have decent and honest administrators running the show with sincere coaches and managers looking out for the prosperity of the game as well as the players before such funding should be acquired.

Posted by SAF. on (May 29, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

If you think about it, Pakistan has a lot of things going their way before this tournament begins,

1) Prior to their 1st match, they'd have played 5 warm up games 2) They recently played the 2 most dangerous countries in their group (India & South Africa) beating 1 and almost the other in their own back yards 3) For one of the only times in the last 4-5 years they have some stability in their squad with special mention to Misbah 4)Lastly, Pakistan has done well in major tournaments especially those in England where they won the cricket world cup (1992) and the twenty20 world cup (2009)

Posted by wibblewibble on (May 29, 2013, 21:30 GMT)

Pakistan are my dark horses to win the CT, they have real fast bowlers, the worlds 2nd and 3rd best spinners (Hafeez is a top top all rounder) and an sometimes erratic but powerful batting line up. I think they will adapt far better to English conditions than India when batting, and they will be better at exploiting those conditions when bowling. It's always fun watching a Pakistan ODI tbh.

Posted by kc69 on (May 29, 2013, 21:28 GMT)

I think Pakistan has the bowling lineup suited for English conditions(only that can win them matches) but worst news is that their fielding and batting are not so good(inconsistent).Sri Lanka might face a tough time playing against Eng,Aus and NZ provided how New Zealand usually does well in English conditions.My call for Semi's are SA and India/Pakistan(thats where India Vs Pak match will be important) from Group A whereas England and Australia from group B.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2013, 21:16 GMT)

India's bowling is in the dumps. They still have to go to Bhaji whose best years are behind him. There is not a single spinner who can even come close to Syed Ajmal or even Abdur Rahman. The quicks are a joke when compared to Stein, Anderson etc. The batting is brittle as well. In English conditions, expect India to be crucified. Pakistan gives a new twist to the word "uncertain". They can play like the best one day and stink like the worst, the same afternoon. They give new meaning to the phrase, " cricket - the glorious game of uncertainty". With Pakistan at the crease anything can happen. The outcome always very very uncertain.

Posted by AndyZaltzmannsHair on (May 29, 2013, 21:11 GMT)

@David Hopps: Money has little to do with it. The cricket base in Pakistan is big enough. Problem is they don't play at home and nothing will change until they start to regularly do so. If money was the true indication of cricketing success Australia would have a world class team today, and India would be untouchable with the best fast bowlers in the world. But it isn't so. Cricket is a unique game where conditions from country to country vary so dramatically. If you can't tailor your home conditions to suit your team, then you'll struggle. The UAE is about as good as Pak could have wished for, but it's far from ideal, not least the window to play Tests in the Middle East is narrow. So scheduling problems arise.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (May 29, 2013, 20:58 GMT)

Misbah strikes me as the ideal personality for a captain, esp. of a mercurial team like Pakistan. He comes across as level-headed (that's a fairly old level head too!); nurturing towards his younger players & whilst he certainly has self-belief, he is not possessed of a huge ego that can often get in the way of good captaincy. After their last visit, the Pakistan side return to these shores in with some matters in deficit that need restoring. I can think of no better person than Misbah Ul Huk to erase the recent past & reassert the proper reputation of Pakistan & her cricketers in the best possible manner. I wish him & his team well -- and some good weather!

Posted by t20cric on (May 29, 2013, 20:56 GMT)

I like how Misbah always manages to stay so positive. But he has many reasons. Pakistan batted pretty well against ireland in the first match (mainly Hafeez and Shafiq) as well as there good batting in the lower order in the second match (Shoaib, Kamran, Wahab). Also Pakistan's bowling may be getting criticized but we have M. Irfan, J. Khan, Ajmal, Hafeez as well as Asad Ali showing a lot of talent with his low economy. Rahat is a very good new bowler as well. When all of these bowlers adjust to the conditions it will be tough to score runs. Nasir is not performing as well and I feel like if U. Akmal was in the squad then he would have replaced Nasir. Misbah should try to continue his good form from the SA series. It will be nice to see Hafeez vs Steyn in the SA vs Pak match.

Pakistan is prepared cuz have played in SA, Scotland and Ireland and they will also be playing a few practice matches in England. This means that they have been playing in English-like conditions for months.

Posted by Poliwag060 on (May 29, 2013, 20:49 GMT)

Ireland tied the first game, they did not draw it. A draw and a tie are different results.

Posted by tashfeennisar on (May 29, 2013, 20:45 GMT)

Pakistani fans just want a win over india... if they came even with the trophy after loosing to india.. they will not be welcomed here. same is the situation for india.. so we will see a final before the final. do or die game for both sides.

Posted by Raza.Abbas on (May 29, 2013, 20:32 GMT)

I think our team have tooked Ireland lightly, We have done resaonbly well against southafrica in odi series , that drop of ab de villers by YK costed us the series otheriwse Misbah would have lift the Series trophy. and we have almost the same team from that series apart form 1-2 changes. SO Best of luck Misbah

Posted by   on (May 29, 2013, 20:24 GMT)

I was talking to a couple of Pakistani friends of mine when I popped into Dawn pizza parlour in Leeds the other day. They are worried that Pakistan will struggle to compete in this Champions Trophy and that while things remain so difficult for cricket in the country only massive funding from ICC will stop the decline. Do you think that ICC money should be helping Pakistan and now some of the minor nations? What do you all think?

Posted by Fogu on (May 29, 2013, 20:08 GMT)

@jagger, not sure you read the article or understood what you read. No one complained about english conditions. PK has a good chance of making the semi final due to their bowling attack. It is a proven attack and have won games for them in the last two years. PK batting needs to put up a decent total. PK will be at a disadvantage against SA but will be favoured over IN and WI.

Posted by sachin_vvsfan on (May 29, 2013, 20:04 GMT)

One thing that pakistan has advantage over india(or other teams) is that they have had enough break and will be more hungrier to perform. India on other hand had played too much cricket in recent days and we indian fans also do not feel that intensity that we used to feel when playing against pak like in previous WC games.

Thats what i felt in the last home series against pak. we played that series in the middle of Eng tour.I did not even feel disappointed with 1-2 loss. But i think pak fans celebrated (rightly) as pak team played with more hunger

Posted by The_Mystery_Ball on (May 29, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

I am afraid I would have to agree with Jadejafan, Pakistan has a very old squad with very few expertise and by the Ireland tour it has become clear that our bowling lineup is not as strong as we have made it to be. On top of all that is the fielding which is the most pathetic in the entire tournament. Then there is the old nemesis of Pakistan our batting lineup, which very simply put is inept to put a total of 200+ in English condition.

On the other hand India is coming into the tournament with a strong batting line (as usual), an energetic fielding side and a very effective pace battery which can swing the ball consistently. So in my opinion not only is India going to win the Pak-India Clash but also is a very strong contender for the Champions Trophy.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (May 29, 2013, 19:10 GMT)

Pakistan and Sri Lanka both have a better chance of succeeding in English conditions than India as they always seem to adapt well, especially in the one day game. This, as well with their past success in one day cricket and the strength of their current teams now, are why I tip one or the other to win the thing

Posted by   on (May 29, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

India vs Pak Has alwayx been 50/50 and it will be again... Both r equal sides..It will be Pakistan bowling vs Indian Batting...I have high hopes from Asad Shafiq and Hafeez...In Sha Allah captain Misbah will lead from Front...:)

Posted by Jagger on (May 29, 2013, 18:39 GMT)

I don't know how any player can legitimately complain about the conditions in England or use them as an excuse for future poor performance. It's not like you found out yesterday. Cricket was invented there.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2013, 18:24 GMT)

JADEJAFAN::;;;;;;on papers PAKISTAN is nothing and INDIA is everything but the fact is vice versa.pakistan is most unpredictable team in world.and be remember pakistan won the series in india.

We have young guns like nasir jamshed,ehsan adil,asad shafiq,asad ali,junaid khan,and umar amin...SO we r a good side and hope to see a good in field by PAK....

C'mon ajmal do DOSRA and BOWLED the iNDIAn TEam.......

Posted by Kolaa.srifan on (May 29, 2013, 18:21 GMT)

all indian fans thought that india and west indies are better than pakistan.i think they are still in ipl. I think everyone remember what pak did in india last time when ball seaming and swlnging in indian weather. I even can't imagin what will happened to team india against SA and Pak bowling attack in gloumy,cloudy ,rainy English weather.....!!!

Posted by Dannymania on (May 29, 2013, 18:20 GMT)

hmm..Misbah is in the form of his life but even then he's NOT even remotely as talented as the previous captains that pakistan had. Salman Butt might have a Butt in his name and might be a black mark on Pakistan cricket's name but even he was a much more talented batsman and cricketer than Misbah. But well,Misbah cant play forever which is a great news! Pakistan have a good future in the form of Mohammad 'The Professor' Hafeez. I have lots of expectations from Pakistan this time around.Pakistan have a great bowling attack and in these conditions,that is exactly whats needed to win matches in England at the end of the day.I wish luck to the Pakistan cricket team(They'll need it) and hope that they do well.

Posted by farhan4050 on (May 29, 2013, 18:19 GMT)

@Jadejafan, tell me a 135 KPH+ Bowler you have that would help you in these conditions. To be honest, you guys need luck. I hope Kohli scores this time against Junaid, i hope he doesn't look like his bunny again.

Posted by   on (May 29, 2013, 18:11 GMT)

I am afraid Pakistan have dropped too many good players. Once we were sure about our bowling that if batting clicks Pakistan can go for a kill against any team. But with this inexperienced pace attack, i am afraid we will have to pray for both batting and bowling as most likely batting is going to collapse in these English conditions. Never the less i wish Cricket is played in true spirits and we can have a wonderful champions trophy.. I fancy India and SA to qualify for the semis from this group however, its too difficult to judge from the other group.

All the best Team in green by green i mean Pakistan :-)

Posted by   on (May 29, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

Best of luck Misbah bro .... Inshallah we will win this time .....

Posted by   on (May 29, 2013, 18:01 GMT)

Pakistan Cricket needs a big win like CT to revive hope and to bring jubilation in the nation.

Posted by Ali_86xz on (May 29, 2013, 17:55 GMT)

The only way Pakistan can win the tournament is that they should have mental toughness, seeing an inexperienced squad with youngsters.

Posted by Narbavi on (May 29, 2013, 17:50 GMT)

Pakistan might beat WI, so in that case the semi final spot will hugely depend upon the result of the indo-pak game, if Virat, Dhoni and Raina can click for india then i see an easy indian victory here!!

Posted by   on (May 29, 2013, 17:48 GMT)

King Misbah please do it for us :) we fans will pray for our shaheens. Inshallah we win win :) i have a faith in my captain and my XI but what happened in ireland was really disgusting :( still Pakistan all the way

Posted by Jda123 on (May 29, 2013, 17:39 GMT)

Pakistan won't be going to the semi... they lose to India and SA and maybe even the WI if WI bat first and get a total of 280+

I wonder what the situation is with Umar Amin, apparently he is injured and rumours are going around that Afridi is coming in his place but I don't believe, from what I hear he fine and just injured his hand though I do think Afridi should have been in the 15 man squad.

Pakistan batting is just too brittle, Jamshed cant play on these track from what we have seen in SA and now here with the game against Ireland and Scotland, Farhat has been disappointing, Hafeez does his usual plays good and then stutters. It will all depend on Malik, Misbah and Kamran.

Still think Pakistan keep Farhat in the team though -

Farhat - Jamshed - Hafeez - Shafiq - Misbah - Malik - Kamran - Ajmal - J Khan - Irfan - Ali

Posted by Jadejafan on (May 29, 2013, 17:36 GMT)

Out of the 8 teams in this competition, the Pakistan team is by far the oldest. The young players are just not that talented enough hence why they stick to their seniors. India will be too strong for the Pakistanis coming up good luck! :P

Posted by   on (May 29, 2013, 17:23 GMT)

Best of luck Misbah for up coming event.. Please win this tournament and make us a proud nation so we can tell any one that we are champions... come on PAKISTAN.......... :)

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David HoppsClose
David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
Tournament Results
England v India at Birmingham - Jun 23, 2013
India won by 5 runs
India v Sri Lanka at Cardiff - Jun 20, 2013
India won by 8 wickets (with 90 balls remaining)
England v South Africa at The Oval - Jun 19, 2013
England won by 7 wickets (with 75 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at The Oval - Jun 17, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 20 runs
England v New Zealand at Cardiff - Jun 16, 2013
England won by 10 runs
More results »
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