Misbah-ul-Haq: Tribute to Pakistan’s most successful captain

Source:  Samaa Published in Sports on Thursday, April 06, 2017

KARACHI: “Captain Cool” Misbah-ul-Haq announced his retirement from international cricket. He will hang up his boots after the upcoming test series against West Indies.

Misbah captained Pakistan in 53 Tests out of which the side won 24, lost 18 and drew 11.

Misbah can be defined as a man of precision, immense patience who has the capability to frustrate bowlers with his defensive batting mindset. This helped him build strong foundations needed for playing test cricket.

He was selected in the national side after scoring loads of runs in the domestic season in 2002. However, he was inconsistent with the bat and did not play a single test match from 2003 to 2007, after being dropped from the side.

He burst into the cricketing scene as he nearly helped Pakistan win the first ever World Twenty20 in South Africa. He became Pakistan’s best player in the tournament and carried that form to India, where he scored 464 runs, which included couple of tons, in the three-match Test series.

Misbah 2

Misbah became the vice-captain of Pakistan in 2008 but his form dropped once again and was dropped from all three formats of the game. He was not selected in the tour to England in 2010 and was made captain of the Test side against South Africa in late 2010.

Pakistan drew 0-0 against South Africa in the test series but clinched a 1-0 series victory against New Zealand in early 2011 at their home turf.

The batsman was widely criticized for his performance in the World Cup semi-final against India. He took the reins of the test team and clinched a 3-0 clean sweep against England in 2012, who was the No. 1 test side at that time.

Misbah led Faisalabad Wolves to the T20 Championship title in the 2012-2013 season and they also qualified for the Champions League T20. In 2012-2013, he also led Pakistan to a famous 2-1 ODI series victory against their arch-rivals India.

Cricket - India v Pakistan 3rd ODI Delhi

His leadership came under question after his side lost the ODI series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates but the cricket board decided to keep him skipper until the 2015 World Cup. Under his leadership, Pakistan became the first sub-continent side to beat South Africa in a bilateral ODI series in their own turf.

South Africa Pakistan ODI Cricket

Pakistan repeated their solid performance against Sri Lanka, winning the ODI series comfortably and squared the Test series 1-1. He played a key role in the third Test match to help the side won the series 2-1. He made over 1,000 runs in 2013.

He led Pakistan from the front in the 2-0 Test series win against Australia and drew the Test series 1-1 against New Zealand. However, his side was beaten by the Black Caps in the ODI series. Misbah decided that he will hang up his boots from one-day cricket after ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

After being eliminated from the World Cup, people started to ask question on when he will retire from international cricket. He continued to play in the longer format and Pakistan became the No.1 Test in 2016. His leadership skills were questioned after suffering back to back whitewashes against Australia and New Zealand.

Misbah has hoped to end his Test career on a high note. He took the reins of the team when it was in doldrums and took them to moments of glory.