Misbah-ul-Haq – the unsung hero of Pakistan cricket




As I write this, Pakistan have yet again managed to gain a stranglehold in the Test match against New Zealand, and unless a miracle (or a sandstorm, as in that part of the world) plays it way, should be 1-0 up by the end of the game. For a team that hasn’t played test cricket at home since six years, it is a remarkable achievement to climb up to third in the ICC Rankings, and the man who has been at the helm of affairs during this time is the heavily criticized, hardly praised 40 year old Misbah-ul-Haq.

Misbah-ul-Haq – the unsung hero of Pakistan cricket

Misbah-ul-Haq – the unsung hero of Pakistan cricket

It is hard to understand the negativity aimed at Misbah. He was blamed for Pakistan’s loss in the inaugural T20 World Cup final loss to India despite being the top scorer in that innings. Four years later, as he tried guiding Pakistan’s chase in the World Cup final against India as wickets fell falling around him, he was blamed for being too slow. He may not have the flamboyance of Afridi or the experience that Inzamam brought to the Pakistani line up, but what Misbah does is bring to the team a sense of calm and stability to the troubled nation. A batting average of nearly 50 in fifty tests and an average of over 40 in 131 ODI innings don’t yet tell the whole picture.

It was only after the retirement of Inzamam that Misbah became a regular in the Test team despite making his debut in 2001. His solid defensive technique helped cement his place in the squad as the Pakistan team underwent a transition and by 2010, he was one of the most experienced names in the squad.

Misbah took over the reins of Pakistan cricket after the match fixing saga that hounded cricket in 2010, and despite Pakistan cricket always running in to troubled waters, Misbah has always stood firm. In 2011, he managed to lead Pakistan to one of their greatest wins, a 3-0 sweep of England, the then top ranked team. Even before the 2-0 thrashing of Australia, their first series win against Australia in 20 years, Misbah had a record that most captains would envy – highest run getter as a Pakistan captain, and a win against New Zealand would make him the most successful Pakistan captain ever, even more successful than the legendary Imran Khan and the great WasimAkram, and this he has done with a bunch of players, barring Younis Khan and Mohd. Hafeez,who have just begun taking baby steps in international cricket.

Even after the demolition of Australia and a record equaling fastest century in Test cricket, there was no over the top celebration from Misbah. Perhaps, it is this calm personality of his that helps keep the unpredictable Pakistani cricket on an even keel. With age not on his side, it is difficult to see Misbah continue playing after the World Cup. While he has remained Pakistan’s best batsman in the last five years, his detractors have not once stopped criticizing him for a failure or a slow innings. Maybe once he is gone, only then his true worth will be realized. Till then, Misbah remains the caped crusader or the Dark Knight of Pakistan cricket.

Tags: , , , , ,

Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

Cricket

IPL 2018: KKR to announce their next captain LIVE on the Star Sports network

IPL 2018: KKR to announce their next captain LIVE on the Star Sports network

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on February 24th, 2018

With dedicated 2 hours of daily time bands for VIVO IPL 2018 programming, Star Sports will now offer KKR and VIVO IPL fans a chance to witness Kolkata Knight Ri ..

Football

Juan Mata says Manchester United focused on Champions League

Juan Mata says Manchester United focused on Champions League

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on February 24th, 2018

The 2018 UEFA Champions League is getting down to the final stages. We’re currently in the middle of the round of 16, which is typically where the contenders ..

Tennis

2018 Australian Open: Federer hikes towards his fourteenth semifinal at the Melbourne Park

2018 Australian Open: Federer hikes towards his fourteenth semifinal at the Melbourne Park

Posted by: Mahalakshmi Murali on January 25th, 2018

The 19-time Swiss legend, Roger Federer, cruised into the semifinals of the 2018 Australian Open by brushing past his longtime Czech rival, Tomas Berdych. The W ..

F1

Life Lessons learned from Sports & Fitness #TOSBDay

Life Lessons learned from Sports & Fitness #TOSBDay

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on September 26th, 2016

Held on Sept 1st, The Outstanding Speakers’ Bureau (TOSB) Twinterview consisted of sports panelists such as Mark Gallagher (Public Speaker on F1 race), Shayam ..

Boxing

Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker set for huge showdown

Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker set for huge showdown

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on February 15th, 2018

It looks like it will be a scintillating couple of months for fans of elite boxing. There is the prospect of the rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Ca ..

Other Sports

Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker set for huge showdown

Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker set for huge showdown

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on February 15th, 2018

It looks like it will be a scintillating couple of months for fans of elite boxing. There is the prospect of the rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Saul ‘Ca ..

One stop guide to all the latest sports news, reviews, opinions, fixtures and live scores from India and around the world.

Copyright © 2017 | The Sports Mirror