July 26, 2013

Misbah's golden run in ODIs

Since the beginning of 2011, Misbah-ul-Haq has scored 20 fifties in 62 innings, and has been a pillar of strength in an otherwise shaky batting line-up
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Misbah-ul-Haq hasn't yet scored an ODI century, but apart from that he has done pretty much everything as a middle-order batsman for Pakistan. The lack of a hundred has itself put him in the record books, as the scorer of the most runs without a century in one-day internationals, but the series in the West Indies was memorable for many more reasons for a Misbah fan. He was consistency personified, scoring four fifties in five innings, thus becoming only the third captain - after Ricky Ponting and AB de Villiers - to pass 50 so often in a bilateral series when playing five or fewer innings. Two of those efforts won him Man-of-the-Match awards - he has only won five of those in his entire career - while his consistency won him his second Man-of-the-Series award, almost 11 years after his first. And, most importantly, Pakistan won the series 3-1.

The last two-and-a-half years have been outstanding for Misbah the ODI batsman. He is now 39, an age by which most players have long decided that they no longer have the stomach to play one-day internationals. Not Misbah, though. Since the beginning of 2011, he has amassed 2265 runs at an average of more than 50, with 20 half-centuries in 62 innings; until that point, in 52 previous innings, he had scored only nine. Since his 38th birthday, Misbah has made ten 50-plus scores in ODIs, a feat achieved by only one other batsman - Geoffrey Boycott. Given that Boycott won't add to that tally, that's another record which Misbah will surely have all to himself. In fact, apart from these two, only two others have more than five 50-plus ODI scores after the age of 38.

And yet, Misbah the ODI batsman divides opinions among fans, largely because of his scoring rate. Most agree that he needs to bat the way he does given the fragility of the rest of Pakistan's top order, but some still argue that his slow scoring at times leaves the rest of the batting with too much to do. They point to his overall ODI strike rate of 73.38, which has reduced further to 69.13 during this golden period.

While it's true Misbah's strike rate has dropped recently, that number as a standalone stat doesn't offer the full picture. Apart from having to bat with a brittle top order, Misbah has played many of his matches during this period on pitches which are difficult for run-scoring. As the table below shows, in his first 58 matches, when Misbah scored at a strike rate of 80.60, the overall rate in those matches was 79.85. In the matches he has played since 2011, though, the overall strike rate has dropped to 72.88. Misbah's scoring rate is still lower than the overall match rate, but only by around 5%.

Misbah-ul-Haq's ODI career
Period Matches Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s Overall SR*
Till Dec 2010 58 1554 37.90 80.60 0/ 9 79.85
Jan 2011 onwards 67 2265 50.33 69.13 0/ 20 72.88
Career 125 3819 44.40 73.38 0/ 29 76.17
* Strike rate of all batsmen in those matches

Among batsmen who have scored at least 1500 ODI runs since the beginning of 2011, Misbah is one of seven to average more than 50, but even when reducing the average cut-off to 40, he is the only one without a hundred. However, what's probably more interesting is the strike rates in matches involving the other players: for most of them it's in the 80s, while for Misbah it's less than 73 (which is probably a combination of the conditions, the strength of Pakistan's bowling attack, and the lack of strength in their batting).

Alastair Cook, for example, has a strike rate of 82.19, but in the matches he has played the overall scoring rate is 83.72, which means Cook is marginally below average. Like Cook, Michael Clarke is slightly below average as well. MS Dhoni, on the other hand, is about 4% above average, scoring at 87.55 when the overall match rate is 84.36. The ones who've clearly exceeded the match rates are AB de Villiers, Shane Watson and Hashim Amla.

Apart from Misbah, the other player whose deficit is more than 5% is England's Jonathan Trott. Plenty has been said about his lack of urgency too, and his rate is about 6.8% below the match rate, compared with Misbah's 5.1%.

Highest averages for ODI batsmen since Jan 2011 (Qual: 1500 runs)
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s Overall SR*
AB de Villiers 34 1659 63.80 102.66 5/ 9 80.95
MS Dhoni 47 1625 56.03 87.55 1/ 11 84.36
Jonathan Trott 51 2308 53.67 77.76 3/ 17 83.42
Kumar Sangakkara 66 3028 51.32 78.79 6/ 19 79.56
Virat Kohli 69 3014 51.08 89.14 11/ 13 83.53
Hashim Amla 35 1674 50.72 88.57 5/ 10 79.32
Misbah-ul-Haq 62 2265 50.33 69.13 0/ 20 72.88
Michael Clarke 41 1653 47.22 79.50 2/ 11 80.76
Shane Watson 41 1748 44.82 96.78 3/ 12 79.74
Alastair Cook 46 1823 42.39 82.19 4/ 13 83.72
* Strike rate of all batsmen in those matches

Pakistan's brittle top order has also made it difficult for Misbah to bat as extravagantly as he otherwise might. In many matches he has come in to bat fairly early, with the innings needing consolidation after the loss of early wickets. The next two tables break down his knocks at No. 4 and No. 5 by the team scores at which he came in to bat in these last two-and-a-half years. When batting at four, in ten out of 21 innings he came in with Pakistan two down for 50 or fewer runs. Six of those were instances of Pakistan losing two wickets for less than 20. In those ten innings when he came in with less than 50 on the board, Misbah scored well, but pretty slowly, managing a strike rate of only 54.

However, his strike rate has been much better in matches when he has come in after Pakistan have gone past 50: in those games he has scored at a strike rate of 75.07. In all of these 21 innings, though, only once has he come in at No. 4 when Pakistan had already gone past 100: against West Indies in St Lucia in 2011, he came in with the score on 132 for 2 in the 34th over, with Pakistan chasing a target of 221. Misbah scored a run-a-ball unbeaten 43, and Pakistan won by seven wickets with two overs to spare.

Misbah at No.4 since Jan 2011, by point-of-entry scores
Team score Innings Runs Average Strike rate 50s
Two down for 50 or fewer 10 411 58.71 54.01 4
Two down for more than 50 11 506 63.25 75.07 6
Total 21 917 61.13 63.90 10

At No. 5 it's a similar story: cautious batting when the team is in trouble, but a lot more expressive when the team is better placed. Ten times out of 36 Misbah has come in to bat at No. 5 with Pakistan three down for 50 or fewer runs - his strike rate in those innings has been 62.65. When he has come in to bat with the score between 51 and 100, his scoring rate has improved significantly, to 75.28, and it's gone up to an acceptable 80.42 in the 13 innings when he has come in with the total more than 100. His approach in a few individual innings might perhaps be questioned, but overall these are perfectly understandable numbers: consolidating when the team was in trouble, but scoring a lot quicker when the first three wickets had contributed more solidly.

Misbah at No.5 since Jan 2011, by point-of-entry scores
Team score Innings Runs Average Strike rate 50s
Three down for 50 or fewer 10 369 46.12 62.65 4
Three down for 51 to 100 13 466 58.25 75.28 3
Three down for more than 100 13 419 38.09 80.42 3
Total 36 1254 46.44 72.52 10

Clearly, what Pakistan need is for their top three to be scoring more consistently. Since the beginning of 2011, Pakistan's top three have collectively averaged 31.42 runs per wicket, the least among the top eight sides.

Not only has Misbah scored the most runs for Pakistan during this period (see table below), he also has the best stats in wins in these two-and-a-half years, scoring 1452 runs at an average of 69. Mohammad Hafeez has scored five hundreds, but he needs to step in and score more consistently against the top sides - a batsman who bats in the top three needs to average more than 32. Umar Akmal has forged the best partnerships with Misbah, with two century stands and ten half-century stands in 29 innings. Their styles complement each other too, with Umar's flamboyance contrasted with Misbah's measured approach. Pakistan fans will want that partnership, and Misbah's splendid form, to continue at least till the 2015 World Cup.

Highest run-getters for Pakistan in ODIs since Jan 2011
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
Misbah-ul-Haq 62 2265 50.33 69.13 0/ 20
Mohammad Hafeez 68 2051 32.04 75.21 5/ 10
Umar Akmal 43 1392 39.77 87.32 0/ 11
Younis Khan 42 1101 28.97 76.19 0/ 9
Nasir Jamshed 24 906 39.39 73.12 3/ 4
Shahid Afridi 44 872 21.26 125.64 0/ 5
Asad Shafiq 32 847 29.20 69.94 0/ 7
Imran Farhat 21 605 30.25 67.37 0/ 6
Kamran Akmal 27 591 22.73 76.95 0/ 3

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Blearbunty on | July 26, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    I really Thank to Mr S Rajesh for changing my mind and perspective for Misbah's Batting. @Venkat B.Iyer: When we see other top nations batsman to score freely with a brisk strike rate then we blame our batsman why they cant score with a good strike rate and freedom. I thoroughly gone through the article and I understand Misbah's role in the ream right now is for Consolidation in brittle batting order of Pakistan. We as a Pakistan have to understand our resources in Batting and we have to develop such players around Misbah to score more freely while on the other side Misbah Consolidate just in the case of Misbah/Umar Akmal parternships we saw. I heard people say Misbah should come up at No.3 or 4. My Question to them is when MIsbah comes at No.3 and got out early then what will be the position of your team in that match. Answer is simple we cant even score 150+ in that match without misbah.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    inshah Allah come world cup, Misbah's century is waiting for him, and cut politics out of cricket

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    excellent article and nice analysis....

  • POSTED BY ReverseSweepIndia on | July 31, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    I think, best batsman is who identify his strengths, believe in them and plays according to them. Dhoni, though ugly but highly impact-full with his methods. Misbah, I believe, too know what he is doing, Pak fans though fail to understand most of time. He knows that he has resources who, if given 225 to defend, will succeed more than fail. But problem is guys on the top and middle order who want to go glory alone and put team in a position where even 150 looks unlikely. Pak batsmen try to replicate Indian batters, who have a different mindset, knows that we won't be much safe even with 300 probably. If Pak can be 165-170 at 40 overs with 2-3 wickets down they can do 240-250, a winning score for them instead its 50 for 3 or 4 after 20. And only one man is there who cleans all the garbage and still get ridiculed for doing it slowly.

  • POSTED BY Baber_Baloch on | July 31, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    very good nice written...Misba is very cool today player in pak team.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    Thank You Mr.Rajesh! One of the best ODI batsman i've ever seen!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 30, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    he is playing a series of his life he has been in a good form since the begining but there will be one concern tht he should make at least one hundrerd in a odi match

  • POSTED BY Khan.g on | July 30, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Thanks to Mr. Rajesh for clearing the minds of people who hate Misbah for his slow strike rate. But we need him to establish insings with singles and run rate should not low down under 4. He will have to remove his spot as Mr. Tuk Tuk and this spot can be remove with singles and doubles and not with dot balls and maiden overs.

  • POSTED BY AliB33 on | July 29, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    I have been infuriated at times by comments of so called cricket fans who have kept criticizing Misbah for his approach to batting and calling for others in the team to be captain such as Afridi. However, your article is a brilliant piece of quantitative reasoning that shows to all who listen to reason of why Misbah has a beautiful mind for cricket. His temperament is legendary for being able to execute such skill at the age he has done it at . He is a lone savior, in my view of Pakistan cricket for the way he contributes in nearly every innings.

    A truly deserving captain for the results he is providing and the feats he is achieving. There are none presently available to provide the leadership qualities that he posses and that Pakistan team is in dire need of, considering all that is going on.

  • POSTED BY ShoaibPatel on | July 29, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    I Always appreciate Misbah's batting, He is genuine Team Player.

  • POSTED BY Blearbunty on | July 26, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    I really Thank to Mr S Rajesh for changing my mind and perspective for Misbah's Batting. @Venkat B.Iyer: When we see other top nations batsman to score freely with a brisk strike rate then we blame our batsman why they cant score with a good strike rate and freedom. I thoroughly gone through the article and I understand Misbah's role in the ream right now is for Consolidation in brittle batting order of Pakistan. We as a Pakistan have to understand our resources in Batting and we have to develop such players around Misbah to score more freely while on the other side Misbah Consolidate just in the case of Misbah/Umar Akmal parternships we saw. I heard people say Misbah should come up at No.3 or 4. My Question to them is when MIsbah comes at No.3 and got out early then what will be the position of your team in that match. Answer is simple we cant even score 150+ in that match without misbah.

  • POSTED BY on | August 1, 2013, 18:40 GMT

    inshah Allah come world cup, Misbah's century is waiting for him, and cut politics out of cricket

  • POSTED BY on | July 31, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    excellent article and nice analysis....

  • POSTED BY ReverseSweepIndia on | July 31, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    I think, best batsman is who identify his strengths, believe in them and plays according to them. Dhoni, though ugly but highly impact-full with his methods. Misbah, I believe, too know what he is doing, Pak fans though fail to understand most of time. He knows that he has resources who, if given 225 to defend, will succeed more than fail. But problem is guys on the top and middle order who want to go glory alone and put team in a position where even 150 looks unlikely. Pak batsmen try to replicate Indian batters, who have a different mindset, knows that we won't be much safe even with 300 probably. If Pak can be 165-170 at 40 overs with 2-3 wickets down they can do 240-250, a winning score for them instead its 50 for 3 or 4 after 20. And only one man is there who cleans all the garbage and still get ridiculed for doing it slowly.

  • POSTED BY Baber_Baloch on | July 31, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    very good nice written...Misba is very cool today player in pak team.

  • POSTED BY on | July 30, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    Thank You Mr.Rajesh! One of the best ODI batsman i've ever seen!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 30, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    he is playing a series of his life he has been in a good form since the begining but there will be one concern tht he should make at least one hundrerd in a odi match

  • POSTED BY Khan.g on | July 30, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Thanks to Mr. Rajesh for clearing the minds of people who hate Misbah for his slow strike rate. But we need him to establish insings with singles and run rate should not low down under 4. He will have to remove his spot as Mr. Tuk Tuk and this spot can be remove with singles and doubles and not with dot balls and maiden overs.

  • POSTED BY AliB33 on | July 29, 2013, 23:58 GMT

    I have been infuriated at times by comments of so called cricket fans who have kept criticizing Misbah for his approach to batting and calling for others in the team to be captain such as Afridi. However, your article is a brilliant piece of quantitative reasoning that shows to all who listen to reason of why Misbah has a beautiful mind for cricket. His temperament is legendary for being able to execute such skill at the age he has done it at . He is a lone savior, in my view of Pakistan cricket for the way he contributes in nearly every innings.

    A truly deserving captain for the results he is providing and the feats he is achieving. There are none presently available to provide the leadership qualities that he posses and that Pakistan team is in dire need of, considering all that is going on.

  • POSTED BY ShoaibPatel on | July 29, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    I Always appreciate Misbah's batting, He is genuine Team Player.

  • POSTED BY on | July 28, 2013, 21:48 GMT

    A Well Written Article and showing reality to most of the critics of Misbah.

  • POSTED BY waheeddmcs on | July 27, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    Excellent article ,great work by editor

  • POSTED BY on | July 27, 2013, 14:43 GMT

    Thanks a lot for composing such a great statistics. Misbah is always doing what is right for the team. Cheers.

  • POSTED BY bouncer709 on | July 27, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    Will any body answer my Question: Why Misbah is Reluctant to come to bat on one down? In the above article all other batsmen do open or play one down too whenever required. but Misbah instead of taking responsibility left it to Hafeez, criticism on Misbah is not just because of his low strike rate, he always made wrong decisions, he never trust in abilities of young players, no aggression. and he can't control player like Hafeez, you are a captain how could Hafeez stick with opening, then he come to bat one down on his own will? In current series Misbah's strike rate remain 63, and in two matches it was 42 and 41. In the match which tied he scored 52 of 121, but Pakistan were only 6 wicket down, and still Umer Akmal went not out, had Misbah not wasted 70 balls, these 70 balls could have been utilized by U.Akmal and Tail enders. If saving wickets is the key to win matches, why don't you come to open and bat till the end of the game?

  • POSTED BY RoyRulez on | July 27, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    Whenever I read any article on superlative batting form, I always find one name at the top of every chart. Is it just me or has de Villiers done better than every batsman's most highlightable accomplishment?

  • POSTED BY fayyaz03 on | July 27, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    Thanks Rajesh! You have done a Great Job That was a much needed article. Hope this article comes as an eye opener for misbah bashers. Just see his average. its never shameful for a batsman. And just see the strike rate. How its improving according to conditions. He is one man army for Pakistan when it comes to batting. Hope the gas in his tank did not finish by 2015 world cup.

  • POSTED BY on | July 27, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    Very nice article and showing the exact reason for Misbah slow run rate

  • POSTED BY on | July 27, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    Misbah is a great player. He is very good at blocking and smashing but we want singles from you nothing more.

    Misbah has too much influence on the other batsmen in the team, batsmen under Misbah try to copy him e.g. Nasir and Shahzad were aggressive players now they try to play like Misbah. At later stage, Misbah improves its strike rate but other get out at that time. Asad Shafiq, also try to play like Misbah but could not improve its S/R at the later stage of the match. Others should play their own game not copy Misbah.

  • POSTED BY on | July 27, 2013, 1:54 GMT

    Finally Misbah haters can see the truth..Good article!

  • POSTED BY on | July 27, 2013, 1:25 GMT

    Misba is the best batsman in current pak cricket team.He unrerstands the game and position vry well. He has big shots in his armary.He plays spinners vry easily.He needs a good partner at the other side wile batting. He has been most suscessful bating with umer akmal becoZ there partnershiphas blossemed so umer should bat at 3 and misba at 4 so they can make the partnership more effective. The only thing i regret is he is not a good captain becoz to captain pakistan u need to be agrassive and fearless. i dont like his choice of players.His dession making and feild placing is always a quistion. Haffez has been a comlete failure at top order but misba will not kick him out or demote him at 6 becoz misbah is hafez best pal and also many chances to wahab riaz may be the same reason.Misbah doesnot encourage youngsters he always wonts experince failuresin the side.He cannot make his new team unless he take bold dission in giving new talent a chances.plz more Kamran,Malik,Farhat,Wahab,tanvir

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    thanks cricinfo and editor S Rajesh bcz you are expressed the misbah batting reason why he batting slowly bcz the pakistan midle order not runs constantly so misbah keep it up we wish you best of luck

  • POSTED BY Ahsan-cric-freak on | July 26, 2013, 20:09 GMT

    Thanks Cricinfo and than Mr S Rajesh! And respect for Sir Misbah!!!

  • POSTED BY Fogu on | July 26, 2013, 18:03 GMT

    It is amazing how some fans can not see reality even when it hits them in the face. Misbah's strike rate is only 3 less than overall strike rate. That is easily attributable to the horrific top order performance of PK. Imagine if Misbah came to bat when PK was 100/2 or better. Misbah is definitely a strong performer for PK and without him PK would fold under 150 runs often. - An admirer of Misbah from BD

  • POSTED BY Chaudry_Cricket on | July 26, 2013, 17:47 GMT

    I am a fan of Misbah although I do occasinaly call him tuk tuk becatse of frustation. Anyways coming back to the article which is a very written article. The thing is that causes my frustation at Misbah is that he does not take a stand and drop hafeez for 1 game or demote him to 6 where he should bat. Thats my only problem. And people who complain about Misbah's strike rate need to take a good look at Hafeez stats who consumes the most dot balls and is a pathetic batsman who stays rooted on his back foot in the crease (he has a ugly technique). I will maintain that Hafeez is the problem and NOT MISBAH

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | July 26, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    Commendable record this is for a player aged 40. Don't you think Misbah would have had that elusive ODI century or two under his belt had he played more cricket at home? Home field is denying most Pakistan players to bloat their averages which all other cricketers often do playing at home. Misbah has stamped his name in history books no matter what happens from this point on.

  • POSTED BY Shosho2012 on | July 26, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    Very well written article but I have one thing against Misbah's batting. He plays straight bat and does not rotate the strike. Remember Miandad could take a single of every ball. What that does is it keeps the scoreboard ticking. Anyone can block the balls and play straight. You need to score runs as well. You can still bat 50 overs without taking risks but there has to be some effort to score singles. He is the best batsman in the current team but he needs to play his natural game.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    This is what , I always tell Misbah Haters But those stubborn creatures don't understand...... You have written very well Mr S Rajesh and those hate Misbah should understand his role in the team by reading this .... This is absolutely perfect to read and understand his role in the team.

  • POSTED BY KhalidEngineyear on | July 26, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    What an article !! An eye-opener For Misbah haters, who have already been reduced to lesser numbers aFter his heroics in S.AFrica, England and now in the Caribbean. Long Live Misbah, wanna see him playing 2015 worldcup down-under, may he liFt that cup For us.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    Our best bestman,our rising bastman he should be selected for t20

  • POSTED BY smalishah84 on | July 26, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Interesting analysis and something for Misbah haters to ponder about

  • POSTED BY Napster-04 on | July 26, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    What a splendid writing work. I hope all the Anti-Misbah people have the answer now. I have always been a big fan of Misbah since 2007 Twenty20. Just like Sanga and MS he is also getting better as he is getting older.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    Excellent Piece of writing, I completely agree with you but i think Misbah need to change his style of batting while he wanna big hit, he always take few steps back and when ball come, he move forward again and stop the ball within 2 to three feet.

  • POSTED BY naxif on | July 26, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    @ wasim_007: I think we will never learn to appreciate any good and reasonable players like misbah in our team and a brainless players will always be our heroes. after looking at this solid piece of evidence you still think misbah is responsible for the situation of pakistan's team and not our extra-ordinary and great batting line up other than misbah? seriously? yes true, God saves pakistani cricket

  • POSTED BY Maqsood.Rehan on | July 26, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    S. Rajesh, you got it absolutely perfect. A genius work. I think this article is a powerful blow on the faces of those who do not understand cricket and criticise Misbah for his low strike rate. Only one thing missing in this article in my opinion is, the averages and strike rates of rest of Pakistan batsmen would have proven the point further, but anyhow, hats off to the writer. Very well done Sir!

  • POSTED BY Kak-mal_Khan on | July 26, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    @Wasim_008

    You are correct he is not ("IDEAL") ODI material, but then who in the team is? Who can carry their bat for 50 overs?? Rest of them can just about manage Twenty20 game. Afridi turns up once in a blue moon, and even those blue moons are tainted with chances that opposition have put down.

    .....God has saved Pakistan, and his name is Misbah-Ul-Haq!! not quite Inzamam, but for now he is our saviour!

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    @wasim_007, havent u read anything thats been posted in this amazing article. I mean the article and the stats speak for themselves, but i know some Misbah Haters are too stubborn, you're obviously an Afridi fan, who cares only about sixes and four rather than sensible batting to ultimately make Pakistan win.

  • POSTED BY wasim_007 on | July 26, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Oh My God help Pakistan and Pakistan Cricket Think Tank...See the strike rate in ODI..hitting the rock bottom...he is the main culprit for defeat Pakistan faced in ODI..Maximum match lost due to his batting...and you are praising....he score so slow..playing cricket of 70-80...he needs 60 over cricket back....living in stone age..either he should be sacked or given chance to score quickly...to me he is not ODI material...God Save Pakistan Cricket....

  • POSTED BY Kak-mal_Khan on | July 26, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    I love this, it takes an Indian number crunching genius to bring clarity to a senseless ongoing Pakistani debate. If Misbah played for any other team with as poor batting department as Pakistan display, he would be a national hero. I want to refer to this section "in ten out of 21 innings he came in with Pakistan two down for 50 or fewer runs. Six of those were instances of Pakistan losing two wickets for less than 20." Unfortunately we will still have part time Pakistan supporters who tune in to World Cups and Champions Trophy matches and do not get what Misbah is doing and most importantly why. I always maintain that he is saving the blushes of a nation in front of Millions & Billions of viewers. Also not mentioned in this wonderful article, but I would like to add great fielder too!

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    This is an amazing piece of article written by you... worth reading

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Brilliant and an eye opener for the people who always criticize him.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    S Rajesh what a splendid statistical analysis as a Misbah fan i needed this badly to counter anti Misbah people.....

  • POSTED BY AbdulWahab_Pak on | July 26, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    Great stuff, Misbah is perhaps the wall of our Pak cricket team at the moment, though haters gona hate.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    Hi Rajesh, Thanks for such a great article making things clear about Misbah's ODI strike rate! Hope those who matter in PCB read this piece and sense prevails (a big ask though!). Hope Afridi followers read it too with an open mind and also start supporting Misbah (a bigger ask, I understand!). Could we please have one on Misbah, the Captain?

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Misbah is not a good captain? You've got to be kidding! Only during his reign therehas been a sense of stability and relevant lack of politics. Not to forget his being at the head has put the focus back on Cricket and away from religiosity.The suggestion of Afridi being the captain? Someone as unruly, as unpredictable as Afridi should never be handed that big a responsibility.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 26, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Good one, it sums up and solves the mystry about Misbah's slow batting. If it wasnt for Misbah Pak batting would have had even bigger batting colapses in recent years. He has also shown on many occasions he can bat at batter strike rate if the situation requires so. U cant score run a ball when the team is 3 down for 20. In such case survival automatically become first priority.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 26, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    misbah is great batsman but not a good captain. I think newton shahid afridi is better than misbah as a captain. misbah's captaincy pakistan lots of match loose when they are close the win. so misbah need to stay pakistan team but as a batsman.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    To all my Pakistani friends - why Misbah is good even though most of you hate him...

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    To all my Pakistani friends - why Misbah is good even though most of you hate him...

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 26, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    misbah is great batsman but not a good captain. I think newton shahid afridi is better than misbah as a captain. misbah's captaincy pakistan lots of match loose when they are close the win. so misbah need to stay pakistan team but as a batsman.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 26, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Good one, it sums up and solves the mystry about Misbah's slow batting. If it wasnt for Misbah Pak batting would have had even bigger batting colapses in recent years. He has also shown on many occasions he can bat at batter strike rate if the situation requires so. U cant score run a ball when the team is 3 down for 20. In such case survival automatically become first priority.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Misbah is not a good captain? You've got to be kidding! Only during his reign therehas been a sense of stability and relevant lack of politics. Not to forget his being at the head has put the focus back on Cricket and away from religiosity.The suggestion of Afridi being the captain? Someone as unruly, as unpredictable as Afridi should never be handed that big a responsibility.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    Hi Rajesh, Thanks for such a great article making things clear about Misbah's ODI strike rate! Hope those who matter in PCB read this piece and sense prevails (a big ask though!). Hope Afridi followers read it too with an open mind and also start supporting Misbah (a bigger ask, I understand!). Could we please have one on Misbah, the Captain?

  • POSTED BY AbdulWahab_Pak on | July 26, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    Great stuff, Misbah is perhaps the wall of our Pak cricket team at the moment, though haters gona hate.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    S Rajesh what a splendid statistical analysis as a Misbah fan i needed this badly to counter anti Misbah people.....

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Brilliant and an eye opener for the people who always criticize him.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    This is an amazing piece of article written by you... worth reading

  • POSTED BY Kak-mal_Khan on | July 26, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    I love this, it takes an Indian number crunching genius to bring clarity to a senseless ongoing Pakistani debate. If Misbah played for any other team with as poor batting department as Pakistan display, he would be a national hero. I want to refer to this section "in ten out of 21 innings he came in with Pakistan two down for 50 or fewer runs. Six of those were instances of Pakistan losing two wickets for less than 20." Unfortunately we will still have part time Pakistan supporters who tune in to World Cups and Champions Trophy matches and do not get what Misbah is doing and most importantly why. I always maintain that he is saving the blushes of a nation in front of Millions & Billions of viewers. Also not mentioned in this wonderful article, but I would like to add great fielder too!