Pakistan v South Africa in UAE 2010 October 10, 2010

Akram shocked by Misbah appointment

ESPNcricinfo staff

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has expressed shock at the appointment of Misbah-ul-Haq as Test captain for the upcoming series against South Africa.

"I was surprised when I heard that Misbah has been named the Pakistan captain," Akram told Mobile ESPN. "He has been out of the team since the beginning of the year and to bring him back as a captain was a bit shocking."

Misbah was a regular member of the Pakistan middle-order in all formats following his comeback to the side in 2007. He was dropped after a lean trot during the Test series in Australia that ended in January this year. Despite a surprise appearance for the 2010 World Twenty20 in the West Indies in May, few expected him to make another Test appearance.

Pakistan's current leadership crisis, following Shahid Afridi's latest retirement from Tests and Salman Butt's suspension for alleged involvement in spot-fixing, forced the board to recall Misbah and appoint him as their fourth Test captain in 2010 alone.

"They did not have too many choices," Akram reasoned. "Kamran Akmal is there but he is inexperienced. They have also tried Shoaib Malik. Mohammad Yousuf is making a comeback after a long time and he should just concentrate on his batting at the moment.

"If they have named him the captain for one series, it's okay. He is already 36 and the PCB needs to find a long-term solution to this problem. I do not know the vision of the selectors."

Pakistan have endured a torrid period following the controversial tour of England and Akram noted Misbah would have a key role as a leader in the South Africa series, both on and off the field. "Misbah will be under pressure. He will have to improve the image of Pakistan cricket. For Misbah handling the media and getting runs himself could be demanding.

"The wickets in Dubai might suit Misbah's style of batting, but you cannot take the South Africans lightly. They are a very tough opposition under any conditions. Misbah needs to work hard and make sure he earns the faith of the team. If he gets runs, everything else will take care of itself."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 12, 2010, 22:09 GMT

    I am not shocked nor surprized. Anything is possible in Pakistan Cricket. I wont even surrpize to appoint a captain on his debu test. That is only left so far.

  • farhan on October 12, 2010, 19:41 GMT

    I respect wasim alot considering his contribution to pakistan cricket but i dont understand one point at all why the ex players like sikandar bakht, jalaluddin, amir sohail, Iqbal qasim having average cricketing career talk and criticize young guys and impose their opinion on people in different tv shows. I am happy that emerging teams like Hyderabad, Pindi and Multan, sialkot and faisalabad are answering these people who are stuck up with Karachi VRS Lahore players phobia. Misbah is a talent and we should support him.

  • Ricky on October 12, 2010, 13:50 GMT

    This is just a same game PCB has been playing for so long. They dropped players for one or two tournament and get them back in a squad. Misbah is also part of it with Imaran Farhad, Shoib Malik, Kamran Akamal and next will be Rana Naved since ban has been lifted. They should give a genuine change to young players. Tired of it...!!!

  • Vinod on October 12, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    Real problem time for PCB. There is hardly any doubt that Misbah is going to flop in the series against the Proteas later this month. In that case, who shall be next person to lead team Pakistan. Normally vice captain of a team is tipped to lead the team in case the captain is removed or injured, but here Misbah who was not in team for quite some time has leap frogged Kamran Akmal to lead the team. It woild not be bizarre in case we do have any other person leading team Pakistan in the next series. A typical example of musical chairs.

  • Aabhas on October 12, 2010, 12:13 GMT

    The long term solution for Pakistan is to stop playing test cricket. Be happy with ODIs and T20s with Afridi leading in these two formats until the next match fixing scandal. Whats left in the test team anyway without Butt, Asif and Amir? They are not in a position to even beat Bangladesh in test cricket.

  • Dummy4 on October 12, 2010, 11:13 GMT

    For Pakistan Cricket's sake, loose Shoaib Malik, Yousaf and Misbah permanently from the team. They perform little on field yet score a lot of political points off it. Younas should be back, so should be Asim Kamal. Get players who actually perform. I am sure there are plenty of good batsmen in the first class that deserve a chance and have the ability to justify their selection as Misbah and Yousaf did, but unfortunately are no longer contributing and are hurting the team instead.

  • Dummy4 on October 12, 2010, 11:08 GMT

    Every series..a new captain..wonder how will dey make a comeback ever..wid dis sort of a situation....da next captain could be umar gul or saeed ajmal if dis is da case!=P

  • Dummy4 on October 12, 2010, 10:46 GMT

    MIsbah Vs Akram ..................... ?

  • V.L on October 12, 2010, 7:10 GMT

    The timing of all this couldn't have been worse for Pakistan with worldcup just 4 months away! They should probably book their return tickets in advance for the day their last group stage game ends!

  • Saeed on October 12, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    Look who is talking

    he should have been a captian 6 yrs ago

    but thanks to Waseem and and inzy he was kept out Waseem why dont you disappear

    you were the biggest match fixer in the pakistani team and Allah punished you for it

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