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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Misbah’s approach costs Pakistan dearly

 Pakistan could have easily won the second Test against New Zealand at Wellington but were denied a clean sweep against the hosts, thanks to extra-cautious batting by skipper Misbahul Haq. 
Chasing a modest and quite achievable target of 274 runs in 90 overs was by no means difficult, as the wicket was batsman-friendly and the Kiwi bowlers looked out of sorts against the Pakistani batsmen. When a captain is supposed to lead his side from the front and sets example before others to follow, how can Misbah, after losing the golden chance, be made the captain of One-Day squad. His position as Test captain is less than satisfactory. 
There is no question that he has played well with the bat and made important contributions in both the innings but as a leader his performance is below than average. Rather than focusing on team performance he is found trying to strengthen his position in the team though without realising how much time and how many deliveries he consumed in this process.
Misbah undoubtedly is a good Test player but by no means deserves a place in One-Day squad. The One-Day cricket is a different ball game and his style of game doesn’t suit that shorter format. Although Shahid Khan Afridi is not performing well as ODI captain yet he is a fighter by nature and can lead the side without any fear of any opposition. This is the right time that PCB should announce Afridi as ODI captain for the World Cup as delay in naming the captain will serve no purpose for the team and will only weaken the morale of the team.
Ponting’s example is before us as he was a complete failure against England in the recently concluded Ashes series, but the Aussie selectors reposed faith in Ponting and named him the skipper of the side for the World Cup. 
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