Every time I start getting cynical about Pakistan’s chances in the upcoming world cup, something happens that immediately inflates me.
Dear Misbah…..Today it was you!
The way you played an invaluable innings which carried us over the finish line was immaculate.
This showed that you were and still are a world beater. With an average around 50 in test cricket and 42 in ODIs you are one of our most prolific batsmen. Our team has a lot of “good” players but you sir are a “genuine article”.
Your innings was a stamp of authority on the ever so ignorant “Tuk Tuk” laden criticism of your batting.
Your holding of one end at the crease has been made a “scapegoat” several times in the past but not anymore my friend ….
Perhaps i am being overjoyed and emotional about a win that actually doesn’t really count at all!
A match which the record keepers will not even bother looking at again. But deep down we all know that it wasn’t just a practice game that was being played against a B grade team. It was rather a match with one of the so called “BIG 3” teams .More importantly,a morale booster before the “mother of all” clashes on Sunday.
We were never considered “top dogs” for the race with all the fitness and chucking controversies taking most of our match winners away at a time when we needed them the most. This win, suddenly, has announced our team’s arrival in Aussie land as a possible “dark horse” for the ever so illusive title of “World Champions” .
There is one more aspect of your captaincy that enforced your declaration as the “skipper” today. Not only were the field placements aggressive and dare i say reminiscent of the glorious “Imran Khan era” but the decision to play five regular bowlers including two attacking leg spinners has proven beyond much doubt that u sir have “changed”.
You have finally taken on board the advice you have been given on multiple occasions by various cricketing maestros. May be you were waiting for the right moment to peak and peaked you have dear sir !
A win at this stage will go a long way in boosting your men’s resolve before the campaign actually kicks off.
You have rebuilt a team, despite many setbacks, most of which were not your fault anyway. This frail and dejected side has once again procured the confidence which was so obviously lacking in their recent performance against the black caps.
Let’s just assume that our team goes down against our arch enemies on the 15th despite playing positive .I am sure you will be forgiven for taking chances rather than playing “safe” !
You might also have a better chance of explaining yourself to the ever disgruntled public by playing 5 regular first line bowlers rather than 4 and consequently conceding an extra 40-50 “preventable” runs. Even if you play a second spinner in Yasir Shah and lose a game or two ,our memories of the 1992 World Cup are still very fresh where an innocent looking “Mushy” gave Graham Gooch, possibly one of the greatest England captains, a master class in leg spin by making him top edge a leg spinner and then stand remorsefully bewildered while Aqib takes probably the best catch of that particular World Cup.
We all know that winning is a habit, and the last thing we needed was a kick in the pants before the weekend’s big face-off against the overtly bloated “patakhay baz” neighbours.
As an ardent cricket fan ,i just want to thank you again for raising the hopes of our defeatist nation with a wish that you will not go back into the shell and ensure “consistency” in your recently discovered positive approach to the game .