Well done, Team Pakistan

Published: November 27, 2011

Under Misbah’s captaincy, Pakistan has become what it never was previously: a team that is consistently victorious. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The nature of Pakistani cricket fans is such that winning cricket matches isn’t enough for us; we want our players to be unpredictable, flashy and eccentric. That is why a hit-and-miss batsman like Shahid Afridi, equally capable of reaching dizzying heights of brilliance and moments of sheer stupidity, is a folk hero while the solidly dependable Misbahul Haq has never garnered much affection or respect. Now may be the time to change that view. Under Misbah’s captaincy, Pakistan has become what it never was previously: a team that is consistently victorious. If winning series in all three formats of the game against Sri Lanka was not enough to convince the sceptics then nothing will.

Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka are teams recovering from the loss of their best bowlers — Sri Lanka to retirement, Pakistan to prison. What our complete dominance showed is that we still have the best bowling reserves in the world. The surprise, though, was the batting line-up. Previous Pakistan cricket teams have had individual batsmen that rank among the best in the world but have also been prone to inexplicable collapses. The current batting squad is devoid of stars but heavy on reliability. As much as we love to moan about Misbah’s slow strike rate, his dependability is the glue that binds the batting. Given that both he and Younis Khan are in the twilight of their careers, it was also very encouraging to see the maturity shown by Azhar Ali and the late blossoming of Mohammed Hafeez’s talent.

Crediting our comprehensive victory against the Sri Lankans to the change at the top of the Pakistan Cricket Board may be premature but going forward it will be a welcome respite to have a chairman who doesn’t seem to go out of his way to antagonise star players. The return of Shahid Afridi, after his pointless feud with Ijaz Butt, also points to a new future, one where infighting and rivalries can be banished and forgotten. Given our history this dawn may be a false one and the cricket team could soon revert to type.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 28th, 2011.

Reader Comments (13)

  • Nov 27, 2011 - 9:35PM
  • Blithe
    Nov 28, 2011 - 1:53AM

    Misbah is a good and consistent captain.

    Recommend

  • Ch Allah Daad
    Nov 28, 2011 - 3:40AM

    Well done, you are the best.

    Recommend

  • Nov 28, 2011 - 9:09AM

    Well credit goes to Misbah ul Haq. Its the command which lead to victory, and our Captain is Misbah ul Haq

    Recommend

  • hAssan
    Nov 28, 2011 - 10:00AM

    dont forget tht afridi was the one who gave pakistan the stability, and he did set up the winnning combination which was just inherited by Misbah!

    Recommend

  • Afridi's Angel
    Nov 29, 2011 - 4:41AM

    Fantastic Work, Misbah :) You & Shahid Afridi are keeping the team motivated to doing the best job & making the most of each person’s strength & abilities :)

    Recommend

  • Ehsan Malik
    Nov 29, 2011 - 10:16PM

    winning formula is a United team.for team Pakistan. Everybody giving thair best. Well Done. You deserve nation’s congratulations.

    Recommend

  • zezu
    Nov 30, 2011 - 12:17PM

    Honestly speaking after all these years watching cricket, i feel now that i have been cheated. After match fixing / spot fixing saga, i have lost the lust for the game.

    Now if Pakistan is playing with good spirits and winning; is it because of the verdict and fate of Salman, Amir and Asif ??

    Recommend

  • Dec 1, 2011 - 12:55AM

    Yup, our team is doing great, but wait for the series against England, that will be the real test

    Recommend

  • JD
    Dec 2, 2011 - 8:09PM

    I will not criticize for the sake of criticism. Misbah is doing a good job, no doubt. But talking about Sri Lanka series.. don’t rule out the notion of internal politics in their team resulting in their catastrophic performance. Secondly, I think the cleansing of Pak team from fixing ‘to some extent’ has given them stability, not Misbah. Give the same team to Younis Khan and watch what he does.. cause he is more aggressive than Misbah in captaincy. Anyways, both are good captains. Best of luck to Pak team!

    Recommend

  • F Khan
    Dec 4, 2011 - 12:02PM

    I will only say well done pakistan after i see them playing well against australia,india & south africa.

    Recommend

  • HATIM HUSSAIN
    Dec 5, 2011 - 10:17PM

    So far so good. Winning covers blemishes. It remains to be seen how Misbah’s team perform against tougher sides like Australia, England and South Africa? However credit must go to the Captain as he is leading from the front in gradually making his side a formidable one.

    Recommend

  • MAD
    Dec 7, 2011 - 2:51PM

    England will be the real test of ability and spirit.

    Recommend

More in Editorial