Misbah is not the problem

Sacking Misbah is not the solution even if one were to overlook the preceding series triumphs.

Bilal Ahmad February 23, 2012
If attack is the best form of defence, Misbahul Haq surely doesn’t believe in it. He is a calm character whose presence on the field is barely felt at times and – on some occasions - hardly even matters. He's patient so he waits until he gets a chance to pounce and at times, it backfires.

But he has built a reputation, and a good one, to steer Pakistan past many obstacles in dire circumstances and, while the adrenaline levels remain low, fans ought to be proud of the results 'captain cool' has achieved since he has taken charge.

The criticism remains, like for every leader, that he misses a trick or two. At times it’s frustrating to even imagine a character like Misbah lead a traditionally mercurial, yet excitingly talented, Pakistan line-up. The recently-concluded One Day International series, where Pakistan were exposed in every department of the game in each match, has given an opportunity to his critics to come out with all guns blazing.

Sacking Misbah is not the solution even if one were to overlook the preceding series victories. It should not even be considered as a choice. This will compound problems since there was never a deputy – and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is to blame for it. The board is happy to bring in Dav Whatmore as the coach to instill professionalism, and I concur, keeping in mind the 2015 World Cup. But what about the leader? Surely, there has to be a deputy named to succeed the 37-year-old Misbah.

Forget the leadership crisis – there isn’t one just yet. Batting is and has been the main worry. Make them face a few quality pacers and you’ll see them offer a catch behind the stumps or dance around, ungracefully, on the crease. In Australia and New Zealand, where the next World Cup will be held, their problems will double. Facing two new balls from each end will cause additional issues.

While there have been moments of brilliance and some talented men with the willow are present, the package lacks spark, adaptability, consistency and in some cases maturity – Umar Akmal being a fine example. Why not experiment with separate teams for limited-over’s cricket and Tests with only a few commoners?

Fast-bowling, Pakistan’s stronghold, was damaged the moment Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were banned but spinners more-than made up for their absence. But in limited-over’s cricket with the bowlers’ quota of over’s and defensive fields, their effect lessens considerably. Batsmen no longer fear charging down the track and their intent of scoring runs quicker put Misbah on the back foot even further.

They say winning isn’t everything since a defeat teaches you so much more. Only if Pakistan is willing to learn, the 4-0 whitewash can be seen as a blessing in disguise since the preceding Test series put us over the moon and for any team, that is not a good sign.

Bilal Ahmad Designation: Sub-Editor English Paper Department: Business
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


sherry | 10 years ago | Reply its not about statistics or record of his captaincy, its just that he is cursed.
Fahad Ali | 10 years ago | Reply Yesterday's calamity was just the finished product of a lacluster mental side of our Cricketers. Whehter we like it or hate it, he is still the ONLY finisher for us. He does best what he does. If we want to say farewell ot him, what have we got now? No one really. PCB needs to ponder over and think about the future. Yesterday's 11 was NOT a T20 lineup, in my eyes. You can't have Asad, Malik and Misbah all in one T20 11. I see too many dot balls, too much of milking around. I see all of them in the 1990s mode. Save wickets and vice versa. We have two options in my eyes. Misbah is not the problem that is for sure. First option, is to keep going the way we are going and we will always remain the team that could win so much, but may never win too much. We will keep trying the ones who have never taken our team into the new 'era' of post Millenium time. And we will keep seeing this sort of a misery every now & then. The other oprtion is to take one step back, to take 2 steps forward. Keep Misbah in the Tests as a captain. Bring in a new captain for ODIs with Misbah and Younis being given a farewell. Make a fresh, energetic and 'modern' T20 team. I might sound outrageous, but bringing in a new T20 captain straight from the domestic den won't be bad idea considering that we are intending to build on our Cricket. But I see PCB sticking with option 1. I just don't see PCB dudes to be this bold. God Bless Pakistan Cricket, but Misbah we still believe in you!
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