Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Harare, 5th day September 14, 2013

'Our batting was the culprit' - Misbah

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Being gracious in defeat but scathing in self-examination is a Misbah-ul-Haq speciality and he was on top form with it again today. The Pakistan captain was sincere in congratulating an opposition who outplayed his own team and stern in his assessment of a group, specifically a batting unit, who did not play well enough together. 

"Our batting was the culprit on a pitch which was good for batting," he said. "In both innings we couldn't cross 250. We only crossed 300 once in the four innings on this tour. How can you win a Test match without scoring 300 runs?" 

Pakistan were bowled out for 230 and 239 in this match and 249 in the first innings of the previous Test, in which they also piled on 419. But it was the inability to chase on a surface Misbah deemed "at its best" on the final two days which irked him most. 

The demons in the mind far outweighed the almost non-existent demons in the surface, which was feared underprepared because the groundstaff only had two-and-a-half days to get it ready, but actually provided a good contest between bat and ball. "It's all about the pressure," Misbah said. 

"There was nothing wrong with the pitch. We were playing shots and drives which were not there for the first three days because the ball was stopping. So it was all in the mind of the batsman. Chasing in the fourth innings, the pressure makes you make mistakes and panic. That's what happened." 

More than careless strokeplay, Pakistan's batsmen succumbed to frustration against an attack that kept them quiet and tired them with consistency. "They had a set plan in bowling and asked questions of the batsmen which we could not answer," Misbah said. "To do well against bowlers who are good in their own conditions you need experience, patience, technique and a lot of hard work." 

With Younis Khan and Misbah leading the run-charts, the value of old hands is obvious but it also brings to the fore the problems Pakistan's young crop are having. Azhar Ali showed good temperament in the first Test and Khurram Manzoor was promising with his two half-centuries but Asad Shafiq and Adnan Akmal battled, particularly Shafiq against bounce and movement. 

Concerns over the next generation are well-founded and shared by Misbah, who insists they will only learn through experience. "These youngsters were really performing well in pressure series against Sri Lanka and England, but at the moment, they are struggling," he admitted. "Zimbabwe really exploited our inexperience. This morning, we were positive right from the start and decided wherever we can attack them, we'll do it. That's how we approached it but nobody could stand." 

One of the players who put up the least resistance was Mohammad Hafeez, who much earlier in the innings had been dismissed cheaply and scored only 59 runs from four innings. Misbah conceded there was a worry over his performances in the longer format but he was not certain it would lead to changes. "It's a big concern because he was in good form in the ODIs and he did not contribute in Tests," he said. "It's not my decision, it's a board decision so let's see." 

Perhaps the only thing he was pleased about was his own leadership which was, once again, formed by example. But Misbah said his undefeated 79 gave him little joy. "It matters when your team performs. If your team is losing, you really hurt as a captain. You don't want to lose or tie these sort of series. You win matches as a team, you can't win matches as individuals. You really need to stand up as a team."

By "these sort of series", Misbah was referring to the opposition who he said "won most of the sessions" but who Pakistan were expected to beat. Their inability to do so has seen them slip from fourth to sixth on the Test rankings and are certain to cop even more criticism from their fans. 

Misbah resigned to that and said when the fault-finding begins, he will be ready to hear it. "Actually, we'll have those guys for some solutions," he said. "It's easy to say things but not that easy to find solutions." Judging by the numbers already being proposed, Misbah may find himself with a lot to consider before Pakistan host South Africa next month in the UAE.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | September 16, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    Misbah is right but nothing can be done. With the advent of T20 batting talents likes Inzi, Maindad, Anwar etc would be more difficult to come by. These guys were special and they took all the formats seriously. Well both the formats in their case. Yougnsters today do not have patience to play long innings. Afridi(although no longer a youngster) is a perfect example. If they play a long innings(in terms of balls) they get bogged down and dont score. They need to learn the art of scoring freely once settled down. Kohli is a good example though he has not set the world on fire yet in tests.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | September 15, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    @Landl47, I would have to agree with you re the batting. There seems to be a huge reliance on the veteran pair of Misbah & Younis, without those 2 batsman Pak would have lost this series 2 nil. Azhar Ali looked like a very good prospect a year or 2 a go but dosen't seem to have kicked on. I agree the bowling is in better shape but it's still not great. The seam bowling looks pretty ordinary. There's Gul to come back but none of the others I've seen look like they are really good enough. Ajmal is Quality but as you say is not getting any younger, Rehman is a decent bowler but outside of Asia there are few surfaces nowadays that will turn enough to warrant playing 2 spinners.

  • POSTED BY Dannymania on | September 17, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    @satishchandar I agree 100 percent with this comment. it says it all. The fact of the matter is, that misbah needs to forgive us pakistanis for our mistakes in the past lives and retire now. We are absolutely sick of the defensive cricket that he plays and makes the others play. Yes, he scores runs but Boycott also scored runs..Its absolutely the same scenario.Misbah might also end up getting a SIR before his name but as we know, that didnt make everYone love Boycott.BOycott was a selfish player, so is Misbah.Please retire Misbah.Please yar.

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | September 16, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    @ jw76 - I hear you. But we've always been a bowler friendly team. We've always been hostile to opposition. We leaned that from 1954 tour of England and that's been the Pakistani Brand of Cricket ever since which Ramiz Raja recently referred to as well.

  • POSTED BY jw76 on | September 16, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    Haleos - regarding Misbah allowing tail-enders to face too many balls, I think he did the best he could. He did make mistakes now and then, as he is human, but I wonder if you have ever batted in such an extreme situation as he was in. He has not the talent of Younis Khan and others, and he is 39, but by fierce determination he has made himself into a formidable Test batsman. He had to make numerous decisions against tight bowling and tight fielding as to whether to take singles or not, often his efforts to push singles were frustrated by the bowler or field, and most of all he had to ensure simply that he did not get out himself by playing the wrong shot in an effort to keep the bowling. I was there and saw the whole picture - I could see what a tremendously difficult task he had, and he did manage to farm the bowling far too much for my liking! The man cannot do it all himself, and you should rather blame the lower order who failed to give him enough support.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | September 16, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    @jw76 - of course you would be impressed. He won you the match :). I have never seen a top order batsman letting the tailenders face so many balls. Barring VVS of course who was a master of that art. In his case though the tailender performed well and made him a hero. Misbah is unlucky not to have good tailenders. Anyways the fans are right in criticizing him. It hurts if one of your batsman keeps performing but still you loose the match.

  • POSTED BY jw76 on | September 16, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    As a Zimbabwean, I am amazed at so many negative comments about Misbah on Cricinfo by Pakistanis. I have been really impressed with him ever since he took over as captain and brought order to a team in chaos. My respect has continued to grow through two tours to Zimbabwe. He is a strong leader who takes his responsibilities very seriously, and if he is slow at times in his batting, it is because he is fully aware of how fragile his batting line-up is and how badly he is needed to stay in there and guide his partners from the middle. He was truly magnificent in the final innings of the Second Test, standing there like a great rock as he fought to the last ditch for Pakistan. No man could have given more. In addition, relationships between the teams on and off the field were good, I hear, whereas in the past many previous Pakistani teams have, let us be honest, been unpopular throughout the world for their antagonistic approach. Pakistan, appreciate a great man!

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | September 16, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster - LOL. 6 misbahs and 60 days of test match to get a result. Pakistan will definitely win provided they bat first and declare after 2000 runs. they will have approx 10 days left to get the opposition out twice.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | September 16, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    It is a trend nowadays for Pakistan. Whenever their batting fails(which is most of the times) their bwoling steps up and wins the match but if their bowling does not fire, they loose. Zimbabwe are good but still Pakistan is a very good team they should not have lost. They bat like they are playing timeless test match. Run rate is not that important but when you get bogged down opposition has better chances to getting you out. Afridi may last 10 balls but he will score more runs in those balls compared to others who would take over 100 for the same.

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    We need more quality batsman like Misbah, Unfortunately only he is a complete batsman in this team now, all other are walking wickets. Younis performs once in 5 matches and Misbah 5 out of 5. Even Miandad or Inzamam I don't think were able to perform as consistent as Misbah is.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | September 16, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    Misbah is right but nothing can be done. With the advent of T20 batting talents likes Inzi, Maindad, Anwar etc would be more difficult to come by. These guys were special and they took all the formats seriously. Well both the formats in their case. Yougnsters today do not have patience to play long innings. Afridi(although no longer a youngster) is a perfect example. If they play a long innings(in terms of balls) they get bogged down and dont score. They need to learn the art of scoring freely once settled down. Kohli is a good example though he has not set the world on fire yet in tests.

  • POSTED BY SirViv1973 on | September 15, 2013, 20:56 GMT

    @Landl47, I would have to agree with you re the batting. There seems to be a huge reliance on the veteran pair of Misbah & Younis, without those 2 batsman Pak would have lost this series 2 nil. Azhar Ali looked like a very good prospect a year or 2 a go but dosen't seem to have kicked on. I agree the bowling is in better shape but it's still not great. The seam bowling looks pretty ordinary. There's Gul to come back but none of the others I've seen look like they are really good enough. Ajmal is Quality but as you say is not getting any younger, Rehman is a decent bowler but outside of Asia there are few surfaces nowadays that will turn enough to warrant playing 2 spinners.

  • POSTED BY Dannymania on | September 17, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    @satishchandar I agree 100 percent with this comment. it says it all. The fact of the matter is, that misbah needs to forgive us pakistanis for our mistakes in the past lives and retire now. We are absolutely sick of the defensive cricket that he plays and makes the others play. Yes, he scores runs but Boycott also scored runs..Its absolutely the same scenario.Misbah might also end up getting a SIR before his name but as we know, that didnt make everYone love Boycott.BOycott was a selfish player, so is Misbah.Please retire Misbah.Please yar.

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | September 16, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    @ jw76 - I hear you. But we've always been a bowler friendly team. We've always been hostile to opposition. We leaned that from 1954 tour of England and that's been the Pakistani Brand of Cricket ever since which Ramiz Raja recently referred to as well.

  • POSTED BY jw76 on | September 16, 2013, 16:25 GMT

    Haleos - regarding Misbah allowing tail-enders to face too many balls, I think he did the best he could. He did make mistakes now and then, as he is human, but I wonder if you have ever batted in such an extreme situation as he was in. He has not the talent of Younis Khan and others, and he is 39, but by fierce determination he has made himself into a formidable Test batsman. He had to make numerous decisions against tight bowling and tight fielding as to whether to take singles or not, often his efforts to push singles were frustrated by the bowler or field, and most of all he had to ensure simply that he did not get out himself by playing the wrong shot in an effort to keep the bowling. I was there and saw the whole picture - I could see what a tremendously difficult task he had, and he did manage to farm the bowling far too much for my liking! The man cannot do it all himself, and you should rather blame the lower order who failed to give him enough support.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | September 16, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    @jw76 - of course you would be impressed. He won you the match :). I have never seen a top order batsman letting the tailenders face so many balls. Barring VVS of course who was a master of that art. In his case though the tailender performed well and made him a hero. Misbah is unlucky not to have good tailenders. Anyways the fans are right in criticizing him. It hurts if one of your batsman keeps performing but still you loose the match.

  • POSTED BY jw76 on | September 16, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    As a Zimbabwean, I am amazed at so many negative comments about Misbah on Cricinfo by Pakistanis. I have been really impressed with him ever since he took over as captain and brought order to a team in chaos. My respect has continued to grow through two tours to Zimbabwe. He is a strong leader who takes his responsibilities very seriously, and if he is slow at times in his batting, it is because he is fully aware of how fragile his batting line-up is and how badly he is needed to stay in there and guide his partners from the middle. He was truly magnificent in the final innings of the Second Test, standing there like a great rock as he fought to the last ditch for Pakistan. No man could have given more. In addition, relationships between the teams on and off the field were good, I hear, whereas in the past many previous Pakistani teams have, let us be honest, been unpopular throughout the world for their antagonistic approach. Pakistan, appreciate a great man!

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | September 16, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster - LOL. 6 misbahs and 60 days of test match to get a result. Pakistan will definitely win provided they bat first and declare after 2000 runs. they will have approx 10 days left to get the opposition out twice.

  • POSTED BY Haleos on | September 16, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    It is a trend nowadays for Pakistan. Whenever their batting fails(which is most of the times) their bwoling steps up and wins the match but if their bowling does not fire, they loose. Zimbabwe are good but still Pakistan is a very good team they should not have lost. They bat like they are playing timeless test match. Run rate is not that important but when you get bogged down opposition has better chances to getting you out. Afridi may last 10 balls but he will score more runs in those balls compared to others who would take over 100 for the same.

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    We need more quality batsman like Misbah, Unfortunately only he is a complete batsman in this team now, all other are walking wickets. Younis performs once in 5 matches and Misbah 5 out of 5. Even Miandad or Inzamam I don't think were able to perform as consistent as Misbah is.

  • POSTED BY on | September 16, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    This is stupidity that Misbah should resign. At this time team is fighting at least in his captaincy. There is no one available for captaincy in Pakistan for the moment. He should be play as captain till World Cup 2015 in Australia. His performance is good as player as well as Captain of the Pakistani team. He is asset to a cricket . Pakistan lost two test before this even home series when star players were in the team. Its not Misbah Job to play others role every one have its own. He was keeping strike at least for 4 balls. 7 batsmen went to pavilion when he was on crease. He is giving more then 100%. At least Pakistani team is fighting against others team even they have no opportunity to play at home. Our youngster need confidence. Every player should play his natural game as Khurm Manzoor played in second inning and I hope Misbah never insist not to do. He just says stay on crease and hit completely when every you get loos ball. But over batsmen are doing this on mood.

  • POSTED BY satishchandar on | September 16, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    Once Mohammed Asif told, i would rather bowl to a batsman like Dravid than Sehwag because, a batsman like David will keep my good balls good ones and make me settle in my rhythm with which i can get the other batsman out. That is what Pakistan is doing. When there was no time and no wickets, Younis stepped up ante like anything and scored 200 but none takes the risk in other situations.. They allowed the bowlers to settle well into rhythm. And another option would be, to induce a leftie into the middle order. There is no right hander in the batting lineup which makes bowlers to settle into groove if they find the line and length..

  • POSTED BY ProdigyA on | September 16, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    Tell us something we don't know Misbah. It's the same old story and even if the balling was great they could not even bowl out Zim to a small target. Just pathetic.

  • POSTED BY arif_cric on | September 15, 2013, 20:29 GMT

    the result of this match is good for pak cricket.. bcz from pak people to pak ex cricketers all they criticise misbah for every defeat... instead of supporting him now whos to blame for this result... come on guys he is a good player and team player wheter it is test or odi he play for team only... it is understandle t20 not suitshim... but another fact is that his team only going to play champions league t20 in india which is not include any player from national side exept ajmal.. misbah team is champion of pak t20 tournament. misbah team is defeated every pakistani t20 champion player teams and won the tournament....

  • POSTED BY Paki_123 on | September 15, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    Misbah always blame on batting Unit, Looks like he is right, our batting don't have enough depth even to pass 250 runs against the team like Zimbabwe or Bangladesh. But when Afridi was captain, same team performing batter, even under Younis Captaincy as well. (Afridi with inexperienced team play worldcup semi final, Younis give was T20 worldcup with few some young talent as well). The major difference is he does not trust on youngster and always give them a feeling that if you fail to runs, you will be out, but this is not applied on Hafeez. So youngster lose confidence and use a defensive approach to save the wicket to make his place in team, and at the end fail to play their natural game, Please Misbah we need you as a batsmen but not as a captain, we need some aggressive and risk taking captain who knows the importance of youngsters and give apposition a tough time, You are 95% predictable and the other team knows you will never go for kill.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | September 15, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    Six Misbahs are needed for this Pakistani team if they wish to make runs. Without Misbah, they would have lost even badly to Zimbabwe. Some of the young Pakistani batsmen are so poor that it is worrying times for Pakistani cricket.

  • POSTED BY imranmujtaba on | September 15, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    Misbah is a real culprit - he is selfish, didnt try for complete s single on last wicket so keep his average, didn't challenge the fielder ..... Worse mistake made by PCB to make him captain who is a such a slow thinker, dont know how to take single double and rotate strike..... Now as captain he changed whole team wayof thinking in last 2 years - now no one knows how to take single double in the middle .... as a result no enough score on board against worse bowling attack !!!! need a change....

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | September 15, 2013, 19:29 GMT

    shameful defeat for PAK, MR. TUKTUK is only responsible for it & should goback home.

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | September 15, 2013, 19:20 GMT

    Kingsland Selection Board announced PAK future TEST team: 1) Younis(CAPT) 2)Nasir Jamshed 3) Ahmed Shahzad 4)Khurum Manzoor 5)Shoiab Maqsood 6)Shan Massood 7)Umar Akmal(WKT) 8)Ajmal 9)AFRIDI 10)Junaid 11)Irfan

    Following players has been dropped forever; Mr. tuktuk, Mr. Professor, Adnan Akmal, Asad Safiq, Azhar Ali.

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | September 15, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    Congrat to ZIMBABWE...PAK TEAM really hurt in huge defeat, Only one person was responsible who is Misbah-Mr. tuktuk. He should resign from cricket now that a bottom line.

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | September 15, 2013, 19:12 GMT

    PAK TEAM really need improvement, Only one person was responsible who is Misbah-Mr. tuktuk. He should hat-off now and shamefully resign from all cricket formats..LALA AFIRDI should be back as CAPT.

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | September 15, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    Weldone Zimbabwe...Shamful performance from Misbah side. PAK TEAM really needed young players. PCB should kickoff Asad Safiq, Azkar Ali, Adnan Akmal, Mr. tuktuk, Professor, whoe continue wasting PAK nation money.

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | September 15, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    PAK TEAM really needed young players. PCB should kickoff Asad Safiq, Azkar Ali, Adnan Akmal, Mr. tuktuk, Professor, whoe continue wasting PAK nation money.

  • POSTED BY Crick_Expert on | September 15, 2013, 19:03 GMT

    The big reason for PAK TEAM defeat was Mr. tuktuk batting, and then his CAPT without planning.

  • POSTED BY on | September 15, 2013, 18:22 GMT

    Misbah needs to drop himself as he is a defensive captain and a batsman, i know most people will argue and say that he has been Pak main run getter in 2013 and even in this last innings in Harare but my question to everyone, how many games where Misbah scored 50's, Pakistan actually won?

    He was highest run scorer in Champions trophy yet Pak lost all games, in WI pakistan won because Umar Akmal played that attacking hand else Misbah tried his best to lost that series too. Now in Harare, he only started to look for runs when Pakistan were 8 down, what the hell was he thinking before that? Why not to look for runs when game is even rather all is lost? he has just two games, even block or big runs but no singles and rotation of strike and his 3 hundreds in 41 test just shows he can't score big and in tests you need big hundreds not a 50 of 200 balls at a strike rate of 25.

    Hafeez should be sent to club cricket as that's his level.

  • POSTED BY SL_rockz on | September 15, 2013, 18:01 GMT

    Misbah was a great captain i feel.He cannot make a team himself along.ppl who blame him sud understand that fact. He has to make runs with lot of care and has to concern about his wicket more than a normal day.Coz wickets were tumbling at the other end and if he plays one wrong shot the game is over by then.There we had a close game to talk about (and for some ppl to blame misbah as well) only cos he was there at till the end.But what if other proper batsmen played well.Then misbah could play freely.Pple balme when he kept is wicket and scored cautiously to make a game of the match which was long over if he was out and ppl blame him , if he was out for one wrong shot when he tries to score aggressively to get runs...Both occasion he is blamed for not scoring aggressively and giving his wicket at wrong time etc.But haters should remember if there was no Misbah there is No post match to discuss or u to blame...Match is lost with one session earlier humiliatingly.

  • POSTED BY on | September 15, 2013, 17:46 GMT

    When zim batted first on a wicket which offered assistance to seam bowlers, Pak should have taken the advantage by getting them out under 200, and should have secured 100-150 runs lead in first innings. But their poor batting in first innings made the things worse for them in second innings. If Misbah is not going to take bold decisions, he himself will suffer, and bold decisions includes keeping hafeez, akmals, maliks, farhats away from test team. its now or never.

  • POSTED BY DataQue on | September 15, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    This has to be said again and again till the change is made: Misbah's lack of aggression is the reason this match was lost. Just to clarify my argument: When Pakistan was 7 down with 54 runs to win, Tuk TUK then realized he has to play aggressive; which was too late!! At that point the loser approach captain was sitting at 56 runs with 151 balls faced!!! I mean come on; play the strokes and get over with game BUT - NOT!!! This dude CANNOT be captaining Pakistan side anymore; he has a sour loser approach in test & ODI!

  • POSTED BY Rubic on | September 15, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    In preparation to SA series..I'd set-up two teams..First one lead by a mediocre batsman..our dear Misbah..will give him all Hafizs, Farhats, Maliks, akmals and his other choices… The other would lead by a mediocre test leg spinner..Afridi..will give him everyone else Misbah rejects and will put them to play a three test series…I am 100% sure..just an aggressive mind set will do miracles for the second team and that will be the REAL PAK CRICKET…

  • POSTED BY AmanKhan on | September 15, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    Misbah must resign from captaincy from both testes and ODI. He must resign from ODI. Because of him the nature of our team changed from attacking is defensive and that is the major cause of losing. We like attacking cricket even if we lose some times. There is no need of Hafiz in Tests. Hafiz don't deserve to be the captain in ODIs. Because both Hafiz and Misbah are very negative to new comers especially to those they don't belong to their domestic teams.

  • POSTED BY 14.08.1947 on | September 15, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    PCB shouldn't take any decision by anger-emotion. But they need to analyse the Problems which is damaging the Pakistani Cricket Team. My suggestion would be to let Misbah-ul-Haq lead the Team at least until the SA Series. And they need to continue to give the Youngsters in every Format a Chance and they have to DROP Hafeez. He is useless for Test Format! The playing Test vs SA: 1.Taufeeq Umar 2.Khurram Manzoor 3.Azhar Ali 4.Younis Khan 5.Misbah-ul-Haq 6. Fawad Alam 7. Adnan Akmal 8.Abdur Rehman 9.Saeed Ajmal 10.Rahat Ali 11.Junaid....I know there arent much changes, but with Taufeeq Umar the have a professionell Opener and better than to select Farhat,Faisal Iqbal,Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal again!!! Actually the same Team need to be groomed as a Unit!

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | September 15, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    Pakistan's batting looks to be in desperately bad shape. They are relying almost entirely on Younus and Misbah, age 35 and 39 respectively. None of the others look even close to test standard.

    The bowling is alright for the moment (though Ajmal is approaching 36, another old-timer), but unless Pakistan find some good young batsmen it's going to be lean times ahead.

  • POSTED BY on | September 15, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    Take heart Pakistani cricket. The frailties of a mediocre side was cruelly exposed. Two senior cricketers do not make a team. It is time to look at long term planning and invest in the young cricketers who have the temperament and skill for the long format of the game. To the Board, I would say forget about instant gratification to win. The talent is just not there as a team for such a strategy. Perhaps, at the heart of this whole matter is the coaching. For a country that has produced many a world class star, particularly in batting, is there no one available to coach some of these youngsters. One small, but key factor exposing the vulnerability of the current crop is the commitment to the front foot even before the ball has left the bowlers hand. Manzoor is a case in point. The fact he scored two fifties is a good thing, but batting two feet outside the crease and committed to the front foot before the ball has left the bowlers hand makes him vulnerable to be exploited.

  • POSTED BY Happy_AusBang on | September 15, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    Let us accept the fact that the team is suffering from a lack of talent. PAK have tried so many players in the last few years. They need to work on their mindset. They are simply unable to cope with pressure. I thought Misbah of all people knew how brittle is PAK's batting. Still he kept exposing Rahman and Junaid to an attack against which they were clueless. He will be facing the same situation many more times so he better start working on a plan for this scenario.

  • POSTED BY MeijiMura on | September 15, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    Pakistan were never going to make 250+ batting last on that wicket. In fact they did well get as many as they did in the second innings. They had to make it count in their first innings, but let Zimbabwe's tail flourish and then conceded a sizeable lead. That is where they lost the game.

  • POSTED BY mhk21 on | September 15, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    hmm Misbah to the point as always .... what needs to be done is sort out with the opening spot ...clearly hafeez is not good in test cricket he needs to work accept that and concentrate on the one day format only ... asad shafiq is a good prospect , he is young and has talent and has played against good against SA and SRI as well , you don't kick people out just based on a 2 test match series , stick with him . Mansoor has been given a lot of chances he doesn't seem good enough , taufeeq has to take his position and we need to transform Jamshed into the test side , he has a lot of potential and playing him in the longer format will actually do a lot good to him to help him build his temperament.

  • POSTED BY Gurudumu on | September 15, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    It seems that my view that Hafeez does not have the skills to succeed in Test cricket has been vindicated. Again, I'll ask the question - who's his all powerful benefactor? Surely Umar Akmal is a talent worth nurturing and persisting with. Pakistan needs one the past great Pakistani players as the coach , with the caveat that, there is no political meddling. Barring that, Pak cricket is headed for the doldrums.

  • POSTED BY smjr on | September 15, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    People are criticizing Pakistani team but they forget that in the earlier two losses suffered by Pakistan in test matches against Zimbabwe in home and away series the team is packed with star players like saeed anwar, Amir sohail, Inzamam, Wasim, waqar, Aqib, Muhammad Yousaf, Ijaz Ahmad, Shoaib Akhtar, Moin Khan, Mushtaq Ahmad, Salim Malik, Rashid latif. The test matches played in Peshawar in 1998 and in Hararre in 1995. Now what some one has to say about this team led by Misbah. I think we should be fair in judging where we stand in the world of test cricket before Zimbabwe series. In fact the team that played with discipline and patience won the match. The first test match was won due to Younus heriocs otherwise we may loose that test match.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | September 15, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    I wont call shafiq and azhar as culprits bcz they are new to the game and they need experience. but really sad to see hafeez playing unprofessionally. he is a senior player and needs to be a role model

  • POSTED BY Dannymania on | September 15, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    i think misbah should just retire after this. He is not happy with the team's performance but we, the pakistanis, dont like him!Most of us think that the pakistani team lost because of Misbah's captaincy.He is too defensive and he makes the team defensive over all..Please please oh GOD please, retire now misbah and let us be.

  • POSTED BY on | September 15, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    I am sorry, but being gracious time and again at defeats away from home doesn't cut it.I have nothing against Misbah the batsman, but I am increasingly uneasy with his captaincy and understanding of the game/situation. For someone who has been the captain of this team for a long time(by Pakistani standards) He sure doesn't know the abilities of his team mates well. He should be the first one to step in and maybe ask for hafeez to leave test batting to more sound batsman. Also, in this particular match,I thought he made a big blunder by exposing both Rehman and Junaid to pace time and again. Rehman is abysmal against pace, his batting record shows, so why did he expose him to pace attack for 5 or so overs. He should have farmed the strike against pace and exposed him only to spin, he started attacking and farming the strike only once junaid came and I think that was a little too late, considering how long our tail is.

  • POSTED BY cricinme on | September 15, 2013, 9:04 GMT

    Now everybody pls don't say bring back Afridi.

  • POSTED BY on | September 15, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    to be a good enough batting side you need good strong number 3 and number 6 batsmen...du plesis amla kallis duminy, bell trott prior, kohli dravid raina dhoni pujara, ponting hussey bevan, sangakarra, lara... thats wat makes the foundation of a batting line up... pakistan have no clue and nor does misbah. this isnt the 1930s not just you got to score more you got to score faster. not just pakistan can score look at their scoring rate. appauling and disgusting. this team i.e players coach management has no respect for the nation nor its people who so proudly once followed and enjoyed the game.

  • POSTED BY on | September 15, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    The defeat was inevitable.First to blame is the selection of the team.Despite poor game Asad was taken and sunk.I was recalling the memory of 2003 test against BD,where Inzi alone fought till the end. misbah cud not do it.

  • POSTED BY on | September 15, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Selectors are diectlly respnnsible for our team's poor performance in Zimbabwe. When players like Saeed Anwar(33),Yousuf(36) Asim Kamal ,Taufiq Umar and Abdul Razzaq are discarded without replacements ,this is what happens to teams.In fact Hafeez is paying for his high-handed treatment of Abdul Razzaq; God is just.There is still time to make up for the wrongs , do justice and so seek God's help .

  • POSTED BY RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on | September 15, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    i would be surprised if south africa require more than 3 days to beat this team, next month even considering the flat pitches in the UAE.

  • POSTED BY alisaqib610 on | September 15, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail and Umar Akmal should be in the squad for the South Africa series since they have very good avergaes.

  • POSTED BY on | September 15, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    we want captain like imran who brought Inzy and wasim akram from nowhere.pakistan has talent we want some who has the power of Imran to take those bold decisions

  • POSTED BY Pathiyal on | September 15, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    the front-line batsmen did'nt show any sense of commitment! also, i thought misbah with his herculean capabilities could have won the match had he kept majority of the strike to himself considering the pressure situation!

  • POSTED BY Sangeetchauhan on | September 15, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    every time Pakistan lose because of dreadful batting that the same case against Zimbabwe's bowling did their job brilliantly one thing must be concern for pakistan to improve their batting to challenge top teams

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | September 15, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    Misbah, it's not like you had only eleven players to choose amongst? You were given a pool of players and you should have seen writing on the wall and dropped Hafeez. And what were your input on Taufeeq's exclusion? So yeah, in the end you are equally faulted. This continued fear of losing your place to a youngster has brought Pakistan Cricket to it's kneel.

  • POSTED BY ehsanrockss on | September 15, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    first of all i'd like to congratulate zimbawe for their historic win, i think pakistan is going to suffer againt southafrica with this team, hafeez, rehman and shafiq should be kicked out from pakistan team

  • POSTED BY Rubic on | September 15, 2013, 1:13 GMT

    How about himself..a captain who let no 8, 9 , 10 and 11 playing half (14 overs) of the total 28 overs Pak played after the dismissal of Adnan...as I said before...Misbah is mediocre batsman who can only do the support job and never expect him to step-up and win a match for his team..as usual..he is happier with 60-70s not out...

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | September 15, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    Zimbabwe won 8 days out of 10 in two tests. Zimbabwe could have won the first match too if it was not for Younis to play an innings which comes once a 5 years. Azhar Ali, Asad and specially Hafeez was the biggest failure. Hafeez has now an average of 11 in last 10 matches. Only time Hafeez has ever succeeded is against poor bowlings of Bangladesh, Ireland, India and Zimbabwe. He is a shame to play a player with his records just as it would be to bring Faisal Iqbal back. Misbah played Hafeez again in the 2nd match instead to replacing him so he and Pakistan paid the price. Conclusion, Misbah must be fired as captain, Hafeez must be out and Asad Shafiq must be kept to the bench.

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | September 15, 2013, 0:25 GMT

    It is a shame for the selectors and PCB itself who go on with the policy to play the failed players like Hafeez, Faisal Iqbal and others for decades instead of trying up-coming talent. How in world would you expect a player to perform at the test level and gain an average of +40 when their first class average is below 35. We would like to have Toufiq Umar, Umar Akmal and Haris Sohail in the team for SA series.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | September 15, 2013, 0:14 GMT

    Pakistan always been well respected team in all formats . But now days pak team going through such hard time . But they will bounce back for sure .

  • POSTED BY Chaudry_Cricket on | September 14, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    Misbah as a batsman I will always admire you. You played another fantastic knock AGAIN. But sometimes a loss is your fault because to be fairly honest we know Hafeez is your golden boy you just are not brave enough to take tough decisions after the first test you should have not played Hafeez but you did and well Hafeez did what he does best (being a failure). You back the wrong players and to be fairly honest you as a captain have ran out of ideas and can not rile youngsters up. Fantastic batsman though you should continue in the team as senior batsman but not as captain.

  • POSTED BY Herath-UK on | September 14, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    He is unfortunate that he has very little support from his team. I feel his batting is in the mould of Thilan Samaraweera who sticks it out but with no batting stars other than Younis he is found wanting as a captain. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • POSTED BY Ramu444 on | September 14, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    Misbah and Younis performed outstandingly.i do not want to see Hafeez,Shafiq and Azhar in SA series these three are useless,they are mainly responsible for this defeat

  • POSTED BY blogossip on | September 14, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    sorry but Misbah you need to understand scoring at a moderate rate does make an impact while chasing. Fact that runscoring was pretty slow with old ball allowed anither bite at new cherry. The tactics of allowing too many dot balls helps bowlers more than batsmen. Its time this mindset should be changed

  • POSTED BY SyedArbabAhmed on | September 14, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    @SyedArbabAhmed

    2nd Test b/w #PakVsZim again proved that Pakistani batsman don't learn from their mistakes & Misbah as always can't finish the game, ahh...and Pakistani batsman simply r neither good technically nor mentally

  • POSTED BY romirom on | September 14, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    ya u r right misbah. Bating the main culprist. Because tis pitch is not unplayable one. A quality bating lineup can score 300 plus each time against any bowling lineup. Hafez is the main culprist. Than shafiq and azhar ali. Hop tis was the last test match for hafez. I dont wan see him anymore atleast in test matches.

  • POSTED BY on | September 14, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    M.Hafeez,Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are the real culprits.Recall Taufeeq Umar and Umar Akmal for S.A series.

  • POSTED BY PAK_CricFan on | September 14, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    its really sad to see such results but Misbah is right that young guns will learn through experience as its a fact that Pakistan is not having home conditions advantage which make practice matches of touring parties out of the system for young players and also A-teams are not touring Pakistan so where else these young players will learn. unfortunately they ve learn alot by playing international cricket. both these main issues are most of the time being ignored while making comments to current Pakistan team's batting failures. i am hopeful that in couple of teams Pakistan will find some good batsmen.

  • POSTED BY on | September 14, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    not much contributions from Hafeez, Asad, Adnan & Azhar meant there was lot to ask misbah & younas. they collapsed from a good position in 1st innings and that proved costly.

    Batting was problem but what are they doing to fix it? How much bad hafeez has to perform to be dropped? Just because he was termed VC for 2 years does not mean a default selection.

    Hafeez has a horrible year in test cricket. 5 matches avg less that 10. even ajmal has more average than him.

    Just knowing everything about game ( professor ) is not enough you have to do some practical demonstration.

    Azhar is also inconsistent and asad was out of sorts. 4 innings and not much contribution. We also need to change keeper. If our top6 are great batsmen then we can afford only keepers but in this batting line up we need a batting keeper.

    SA series coming up and atleast 3 places should be sorted. Khurram can have another go but not that much promising. Hafeez, adnan & 1 of azhar/asad has to be dropped.

  • POSTED BY Waqas.Parvez on | September 14, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Asad ali should be dropped in the next test match, im very much disappointed with hafzi performance he is now been very predictable by the opposition how to take his wicket (slip), I believe umar akmal should be given a chance instead of asad.Misbah has done nothing wrong in this series as an individual you can't ask more from a captain and batsmen. Rahat has shown his talent with consistent line and length and should be a key factor against south Africa along with junaid (who is outstanding).

  • POSTED BY atif74 on | September 14, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    Major mistake by misbah today was giving strikes to tail enders. After Adnan dismissal, misbah should be keeping most of the strike but he wasn't doing it. i saw Ajmal taking single on last balls and similarly, Misbah taking single on first ball and exposing tail against Zimbabwe. He Should learn from Inzi / Miandad who took maximum strikes when batting with tail enders.

  • POSTED BY Rexton87 on | September 14, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    With Pakistans's number two ,three and six only contributing 30 runs between them while chasing a modest target, the writing was very much on the wall. We must understand that some spark and out of ordinary performance are always needed for victory. Playing with fear and constraint get you nowhere. One explosive performance was all that was needed which could have compensated for failures of others. But when all batsmen follow the path of mediocrity defeat usually follows and so it proved.

  • POSTED BY Rexton87 on | September 14, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    With Pakistans's number two ,three and six only contributing 30 runs between them while chasing a modest target, the writing was very much on the wall. We must understand that some spark and out of ordinary performance are always needed for victory. Playing with fear and constraint get you nowhere. One explosive performance was all that was needed which could have compensated for failures of others. But when all batsmen follow the path of mediocrity defeat usually follows and so it proved.

  • POSTED BY Rexton87 on | September 14, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    With Pakistans's number two ,three and six only contributing 30 runs between them while chasing a modest target, the writing was very much on the wall. We must understand that some spark and out of ordinary performance are always needed for victory. Playing with fear and constraint get you nowhere. One explosive performance was all that was needed which could have compensated for failures of others. But when all batsmen follow the path of mediocrity defeat usually follows and so it proved.

  • POSTED BY Rexton87 on | September 14, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    With Pakistans's number two ,three and six only contributing 30 runs between them while chasing a modest target, the writing was very much on the wall. We must understand that some spark and out of ordinary performance are always needed for victory. Playing with fear and constraint get you nowhere. One explosive performance was all that was needed which could have compensated for failures of others. But when all batsmen follow the path of mediocrity defeat usually follows and so it proved.

  • POSTED BY atif74 on | September 14, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    Major mistake by misbah today was giving strikes to tail enders. After Adnan dismissal, misbah should be keeping most of the strike but he wasn't doing it. i saw Ajmal taking single on last balls and similarly, Misbah taking single on first ball and exposing tail against Zimbabwe. He Should learn from Inzi / Miandad who took maximum strikes when batting with tail enders.

  • POSTED BY Waqas.Parvez on | September 14, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Asad ali should be dropped in the next test match, im very much disappointed with hafzi performance he is now been very predictable by the opposition how to take his wicket (slip), I believe umar akmal should be given a chance instead of asad.Misbah has done nothing wrong in this series as an individual you can't ask more from a captain and batsmen. Rahat has shown his talent with consistent line and length and should be a key factor against south Africa along with junaid (who is outstanding).

  • POSTED BY on | September 14, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    not much contributions from Hafeez, Asad, Adnan & Azhar meant there was lot to ask misbah & younas. they collapsed from a good position in 1st innings and that proved costly.

    Batting was problem but what are they doing to fix it? How much bad hafeez has to perform to be dropped? Just because he was termed VC for 2 years does not mean a default selection.

    Hafeez has a horrible year in test cricket. 5 matches avg less that 10. even ajmal has more average than him.

    Just knowing everything about game ( professor ) is not enough you have to do some practical demonstration.

    Azhar is also inconsistent and asad was out of sorts. 4 innings and not much contribution. We also need to change keeper. If our top6 are great batsmen then we can afford only keepers but in this batting line up we need a batting keeper.

    SA series coming up and atleast 3 places should be sorted. Khurram can have another go but not that much promising. Hafeez, adnan & 1 of azhar/asad has to be dropped.

  • POSTED BY PAK_CricFan on | September 14, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    its really sad to see such results but Misbah is right that young guns will learn through experience as its a fact that Pakistan is not having home conditions advantage which make practice matches of touring parties out of the system for young players and also A-teams are not touring Pakistan so where else these young players will learn. unfortunately they ve learn alot by playing international cricket. both these main issues are most of the time being ignored while making comments to current Pakistan team's batting failures. i am hopeful that in couple of teams Pakistan will find some good batsmen.

  • POSTED BY on | September 14, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    M.Hafeez,Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq are the real culprits.Recall Taufeeq Umar and Umar Akmal for S.A series.

  • POSTED BY romirom on | September 14, 2013, 17:49 GMT

    ya u r right misbah. Bating the main culprist. Because tis pitch is not unplayable one. A quality bating lineup can score 300 plus each time against any bowling lineup. Hafez is the main culprist. Than shafiq and azhar ali. Hop tis was the last test match for hafez. I dont wan see him anymore atleast in test matches.

  • POSTED BY SyedArbabAhmed on | September 14, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    @SyedArbabAhmed

    2nd Test b/w #PakVsZim again proved that Pakistani batsman don't learn from their mistakes & Misbah as always can't finish the game, ahh...and Pakistani batsman simply r neither good technically nor mentally

  • POSTED BY blogossip on | September 14, 2013, 18:52 GMT

    sorry but Misbah you need to understand scoring at a moderate rate does make an impact while chasing. Fact that runscoring was pretty slow with old ball allowed anither bite at new cherry. The tactics of allowing too many dot balls helps bowlers more than batsmen. Its time this mindset should be changed