Pakistan v South Africa, 4th ODI, Abu Dhabi November 7, 2013

Misbah laments 'same old story' with Pakistan batting

ESPNcricinfo staff

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has again asked for improvement from his batsmen after his team lost the third ODI to South Africa by 68 runs in Abu Dhabi to trail the five-match series 1-2.

Pakistan were chasing 260, the highest score of the series so far, and floundered to another total under 200. After a top-and middle-order collapse, they were struggling at 116 for 7 and could have been dismissed for a total much lower than 191 had it not been for a 61-run stand between Wahab Riaz and Sohail Tanvir for the eighth wicket.

"It's the same old story," Misbah said. "I think we need to think about our batting if we want to save the series. Our batsmen get starts but are not able to convert them into big scores, and we all have to think that 20s and 30s are not going to win matches for us."

In the first ODI in Dubai, Pakistan were chasing a modest 183 and were well in control at 165 for 4 in the 41st over, needing another 19 runs from nine overs. However, Lonwabo Tsotsobe and Imran Tahir didn't let any batsman score in double digits after No. 6 Umar Akmal to make Pakistan fall short by one run.

"I don't have an answer and as professionals when we get set we must take it further," Misbah said. "We need to score at least 250 against a team like South Africa to beat them."

Pakistan have had a troublesome 2013 in ODIs starting from the tour of South Africa and the Champions Trophy in England. They crossed 250 only thrice this year in 12 innings in which they batted first, once against Ireland and twice against Zimbabwe. And only once have they scored more than 300 in 24 ODIs this year.

The fourth ODI will be in Abu Dhabi again, a must-win match for Pakistan, before the series ends in Sharjah on November 11.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ruturaj on November 8, 2013, 15:17 GMT

    What would Pakistan do without Misbah? People, give him the respect and appreciation he deserves. It is quite easy to suggest changing the captain and keeping him out of the team, but there is no one currently of his calibre to lead the team.

    To me, Misbah is one of the most resilient and admirable cricketers there have ever been. Sadly, he only stands out when the rest of the Pak team fails. One of the most underrated cricketers for sure.

  • Inam on November 8, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    pakistan need new captain with new blood in batting, new batsman with old poor captaincy is not gong to get them over hump, Misbah is defensive captain, he waits for things to happen, don't think out of box, takes too many balls to get in, this puts more pressure on batsman, under his leadership Nasir Jamshed and has gone to worse, he lost his natural game, Ahmed Shehzad and Asad shafiq going on same path, these guys are loosing their natural games and become blockers, don't even rotate srike (this was never part of pakistan team, they were always runners). Misbah averages are misleading, Pakistan lost too many games for one game won because of Misbah's batting and leadership.

  • Amir on November 8, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    It is amazing to see one batsmen perform consistently and 7 others fail miserably yet some fans point to that performing batsmen and say he is the problem. If 2/3 palyers in every match stand up besides Misbah and score well, PK would have much better winning percentage. Misbah is amazing in the way he handles this nonsensical criticism and goes about his business. I am sure it affects him but he never displays it. What a player. Cosummate profesional. PK needs more from the 1st four batsmen in the line up. They should bring Younis back. He provides the backbone along with Misbah that the young guns lack.

  • IMRAN on November 8, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    Pak players morale is down - Pakistan have to positive and should introduce and give opportunity to talented players. Get rid of Misbah, Misbah can not lead Pak team from the front as always put Pak team with his batting - his captaincy is very poor, it always appear that their 5/6 captain when fielding and no respect seen. When Misbah Score Pak always losses, whether it was t20WC final against India, or ODI WC semi final against India or any other game. Misbah is proven match loser! Pakistan has to think positive, make changes, send umar early, afridi in middle and let them take responsibility. They are capable players - we underestimate them and destroying them.

  • Android on November 8, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    y khan should be brought back into the side he is very lively how can one keep him out of 11

  • naveen on November 8, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    pakistan players are lacking confidence, people criticizing misbah, with out him pakistan will score less then 150 in 9 out of 10 matches and 300+ in one and this is not the way. There should be at least one player in team like misbah which can always help you in crises. Afridi need to give up his ego and try to watch the ball for at least few overs after he gets in, he dont have any excuse now because every time he came in there were plenty of overs left for him and he still goes for big shot in starting. Razzaq should have been there because un like afridi he first settles on tbe pitch and then starts firing, donno where is imran nazir. i hope they win today good luck to pakistan.

  • IMRAN on November 8, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    Misbah is weakest link in the team. His tuk tuk and defensive approach is destroying the team. when will Misbah learn that single double is part of the game? worse Captain and middle order batsman in history of Pakistan Cricket. His selfish batting line up his only helping him to maintain high avg but desroying talent like Umar Akmal - Umar Akmal is only one who took world best bowling apart - U Akmal is best in new young generation but he is detroyed by captain and poor team manangement. He is always kept at 6/7. Why? Misbah existance will only take Pakistan down hill. Misbah has destroyed Pakistan team spirit - in last 5-6 months it appears every one is playing there own game not for a team or Pakistan.

  • Nabeell on November 8, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Going too defensive is hurting Pakistan badly, playing Sohail Tanvir and Wahad Riaz is really a pathetic decision. I strongly believe that Pakistan should bring in Razzaq and Younis Khan back and also use Umer Akmal as a wicket keeper to help build team. Start from upper order, experiment with upper order and once Pak have a good opening pair they should focus on All Rounders and middle order, as of now they need to play experience in Middle Order and all rounders like Afridi, Hafeez and Razzaq should stay to support with experience.

  • Andrew on November 8, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    If Misbah retires Pakistan have 1/2 batsman ... Shahid ... 1/2 because he only fires half the time ...

  • Dummy4 on November 8, 2013, 8:44 GMT

    The best way to solve the batting crisis is to promote batsman like ashad shafiq to open the batting always the opening slots should be given to the best batsman in the team my top three would be shafiq shehzad and Misbah atleast these batsman occupy the crease and will bring stability with other batsman coming low down the order finish the game especially umar akmal can't keep blaming the system work with the talent u have

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