Mohammad Javed Miandad Khan
June 12, 1957, Karachi, Sind
Right hand bat
Javed Miandad is the greatest batsman Pakistan has ever produced. There was little doubt in the mind of Abdul Hafeez Kardar, Pakistan's first Test captain and influential administrator, when he first laid eyes on him as a youngster in the early 70s and famously predicted Miandad "the find of the decade." He wasn't wrong, as a stupendous debut series against New Zealand in 1976 started to prove.
Miandad was not of the classical school of batting, though he possessed a beautiful square cut and most shots in and outside the book: he was a fine early reverse-sweeper. But he worked the angles and spaces equally well; he knew above all how to score runs in almost any situation. These qualities presented themselves through his entire career and uniquely, not once did his career average fall below fifty. No Pakistani has scored more Test runs than him and, Inzamam-ul-Haq aside, probably no batsman has won as many matches for Pakistan.
There was often a touch of genie or genius about his finest innings, like his two hundreds in successive Tests in the West Indies in 1987-88 or the big double hundreds against India and England. Problems on the bouncy pitches of Australia or the swinging ones of England were overcome with time and, if people questioned his record against the West Indies, they never did after that 1987-88 series.
He was versatile as well, as evidenced by a marvellous ODI career. Here his supreme running - it is said that he was one of the early pioneers of aggressive ODI running - shot placement and mental strength produced outstanding results. All qualities came together in a near-miraculous ODI century against India in Sharjah which won the Australasia Cup for Pakistan in 1986. He often saved his best for India, never more so than when he smote Chetan Sharma for a last-ball six to win that final. The match led to years of Pakistani domination over India, particularly in the deserts of Sharjah. In 1992, battling age and back problems, Miandad played a lead role in Pakistan's only World Cup triumph, with six half-centuries.
He was also Pakistan's youngest captain and always considered to be the most tactically astute. Imran Khan often acknowledges the role Miandad played as vice-captain with key on-field decisions, though the two were chalk to the other's cheese. But as captain possibly he was too abrasive to get on with all of his players, as at least two player revolts against his leadership suggest. And coinciding with the leadership of Imran, he never captained in as many Tests as he might have done. As with most subcontinent greats, he possibly lingered for longer than might have been advised, finally bowing out in 1996 after, ironically, a loss to India in the World Cup.
The problems of captaincy re-emerged when he became Pakistan's coach, where he had his ups and downs. Results were mostly positive but constant bickering from players about his excessively hands-on approach wasn't so good. After three stints in charge, he parted company with the team in 2004 to make way for Bob Woolmer after being blamed for Pakistan's one-day and Test losses to India.
In October 2008, Miandad declined an offer to become Pakistan's coach again, but he was soon appointed the PCB's director-general, possibly a role of even greater influence. The move was hailed by many Pakistanis but it didn't last long - Miandad quit the job in January 2009, after differences with the board over the exact scope of his role.
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