Full name : Misbah-ul-Haq Khan Niazi
Born : May 28, 1974, Mianwali, Punjab
Major teams : Pakistan, Khan Research Labs, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sargodha
Playing role : Middle-order batsman
Batting style : Right-hand bat
Bowling style : Legbreak
An orthodox batsman with reasonable technique, Misbah-ul-Haq caught the eye with his unflappable temperament in the tri-nation one-day tournament in Nairobi in 2002, scoring two fifties in three innings, including one in the final against Australia. But before Pakistan could hail him as a possible middle-order mainstay, Misbah's form slumped - he didn't manage a single 20-plus score in three Tests against Australia and was duly dumped. Pakistan's abysmal World Cup campaign - and the wholesale changes to the team in its aftermath - gave Misbah another chance to redeem himself, but he did little of note in the limited opportunities he got.
Even though Misbah had not represented Pakistan for about three years, a run-filled domestic season, followed by club cricket in England, and Inzamam's retirement from ODIs prompted the board to award Misbah a central contract in July 2007. A month later, he was surprisingly picked, ahead of Mohammad Yousuf, for the 15-man squad for the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa. He repaid the selectors' faith by finishing the tournament as Pakistan's best player and nearly taking them to victory in the final. He was duly named in the team for the Test and ODI series that followed against South Africa.
After an unremarkable series against South Africa, Misbah was by far Pakistan's best batsman through the Tests against India, amassing 464 runs in three matches, including two centuries. He was ice-cool in crisis, rescuing Pakistan on several occasions with spirited rearguard efforts. His remarkable rise continued as a mere six months after being picked for the ICC World Twenty20, he was made vice-captain and handed a top-category contract in January 2008. His form deserted him again in 2009, and he dropped from all three squads for the series against New Zealand - but made yet another return to the side in October 2010, this time as captain for the Tests against South Africa.