Misbah worried about World Cup

Captain fears for Pakistan cricket after 4-1 drubbing at home to South Africa.

Afp November 12, 2013
The highest total score Pakistan were able to post in the ODI series was 238, with the highest batting average being 38.6 by Ahmed Shehzad. PHOTO: AFP


Misbahul Haq says Pakistan’s trouncing in the One-Day International (ODI) series against South Africa is an ominous portent before the 2015 World Cup.

Pakistan went down by 117 runs in the fifth and final match in Sharjah on Monday, losing the series 4-1. Batting was once again the problem with Pakistan as they folded for just 151 in 35.3 overs after being set a target of 269.

Misbah said the consistent batting failures are worrying.

“As a captain this is very difficult for me and these are worrying signs for me before the World Cup 2015,” he said.

Pakistan have been let down by their batsmen since their 3-0 Test rout in South Africa. They also lost the ODI series to the Proteas 3-2 in February-March this year.

In June, they lost all three of their matches in the Champions Trophy in England, and despite their one-day series win in the West Indies, the batting remains a headache. In September, Pakistan lost a one-day game and a Test match against cricketing minnows Zimbabwe.

“Every player has got adequate chances, more than two series, and yet they are not performing and it’s a big worry,” said the captain.

“But rather than making a big hue and cry over it, we must sit down and think seriously about it. As captain you are responsible,” said Misbah, who took over as Test captain in 2010 and one-day skipper in 2011.

Asked if he wants to keep the captaincy until the 2015 World Cup, he replied: “I always say this and I maintain that I want to play as long as I am fit.”

De Villiers satisfied with team’s performance

Misbah’s counterpart AB de Villiers said victory in the one-day series is a step in the right direction before the World Cup, to be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

The captain, who hit an unbeaten 115 on Monday, said the victory had lifted the Proteas after their 4-1 loss in Sri Lanka in July.

“We really hit an all-time low in Sri Lanka and moving up from there is pleasing to me and the coaching staff and the whole team,” he said.

He added that batting was tough on a slow Sharjah stadium pitch. “It was one of the harder innings that I have played up until 60-70 runs. It was bloody difficult.

“Facing [Mohammad] Irfan there was difficult. Saeed Ajmal was bowling well and [Shahid] Afridi bowled an amazing spell, and I felt I couldn’t get the ball off the square.

“But once I hit a couple in the middle in the 42nd and 43rd overs it felt really good, and I took my opportunity and followed through nicely,” he concluded.

Pakistan eye top spot in Twenty20s

Meanwhile, Pakistan aim to win the two-match Twenty20 series against South Africa, starting today, to go to the top of the rankings in the shortest format of the game.

Besides improvement in the rankings, both the teams will also seek a tuning-up for the fifth edition of the World Twenty20 to be held in Bangladesh in March and April next year.

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez said his team, ranked second behind Sri Lanka, is eager to win both games.

“Of course it will be a big thing if we attain the number one ranking, but for us it is more important to win Wednesday’s game and then think about the second,” he said.

Both matches will be played in Dubai, with the second clash taking place on Friday.

Pakistan’s Twenty20 squad includes Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shehzad, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Shahid Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood, Abdul Razzaq, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Malik, and Abdur Rehman.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2013.

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MZM | 9 years ago | Reply

@rafay mahmood: Did I mention Afridi? You grow up before attacking on me through your baseless assumptions.

Pakistani | 9 years ago | Reply

@rafay mahmood: Well, obviously not afridi but maybe Saeed Ajmal. The problem with Misbah is that he does not inspire his players at all. He is the first person to criticize his players rather than looking at his own innings. Yeah, you can argue he stabilizes the innings and he make fifties but at a slower rate, but he does not win us matches. As captain, you should be able to take the game on your shoulders if your team fails. That is what a true captain does. That is exactly what De Villiers did when he made his century and got SA out of trouble in the last match. To lead, you need to be be inspirational and supportive and Misbah has none of those qualities. He is the most senior player and that is the reason he is the captain. We need to groom a new player to be a captain. Forget about World Cup 2015 because it is too late but if I was the head of the PCB, I would think about the test championship 2017 as my target to build a new team. Restructure the domestic circuit, make it more competitive, groom a new captain, and axe the old guards and blood in the youngsters. They will fail initially but they will learn and perform better the next time.

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