When we talk about Pakistan cricket these days we cannot complete the discussion without discussing about Misbah-ul-Haq. In fact it will not be wrong at all if I say that Pakistan cricket is revolving around Misbah-ul-Haq these days. It is because he is in prime form and runs are flowing from his bat.
Let’s have a look at Misbah’s recent performance. He was leading run scorer in ODIs in 2013 and has scored most 50s and worth mentioning thing is that he has done all this with a healthy strike rate. It really wasn’t an easy task to do for 39 year old Misbah as since the beginning of the year 2013 he was under the gun of many critics in his own country. Perhaps he is the only player with so many haters in his own country, sad but true story.
Misbah-ul-Haq made his debut in 2001 but cemented his place in the team in 2007 after his brilliant performance in ICC World T20 where he almost won the title for Pakistan and surprised one and all.
Lays too slow due to which pressure mounts on other batsmen and in order to score quick runs they lose their wickets. But nobody ever try to know why he plays slow. It is actually because of other batsmen especially the openers who get themselves out cheaply and leave the team in trouble with scoreboard 50/3 or 70/3. Then comes Misbah who has to occupy the crease first, rotate the strike and then slogging in the death over’s. Misbah-ul-Haq has so many responsibilities on his shoulder. In batting he has to do all the hard work from beginning till the end. He has to build up the innings.
Misbah’s batting average in all the formats of the game can tell you that he is a consistent player and everybody knows this. But the reason why people criticize him is his strike rate, at times he pese days he has to do the finishing job as well as there is nobody in the team whom you can trust in to do this job. And when it comes to fielding he has the job to lead the team. According to critics Misbah is not a match winner but when we look at his career stats most of his 50s came in winning causes. He handles the pressure situation better than any other player in the team. He has helped Pakistan chasing some big totals and he has done this number of times. No need to highlight his match winning performances as there are so many to mention.
He is the most educated player in current Pakistani team. He is an MBA and he shows his management skills on and off the field. With so many haters criticizing him all the time but Misbah hardly replies them. The problem with Misbah is that he is 39 year old and because of his age nobody knows that whether he will play in 2015 World Cup or not. But his current form is giving us indication that he will not only be part of the team in 2015 World Cup but he may also be leading the team. This will be the best chance for Misbah to finish his career
When it comes to captaincy his record is good enough. He was appointed captain in 2010 after the controversial England tour and since then he has done this job brilliantly. Critics call him a defensive captain but overall his record is good. Winning Asia cup, beating then no.1 test team England 3-0 in 2012 , ODI series win against India in India , beating current no.1 test team South Africa in test match in UAE and then in the ODI series away from home and recently victory against Sri Lanka in UAE are his greatest captaincy feasts so far .
Misbah on a high, he can do this by performing well for the team first and then for himself. This is the only way he can silent all his critics and turn himself into a hero in the eyes of Pakistanis.