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Who has what it takes to be Pakistan's next captain?

Updated Jun 26, 2013 07:11pm


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A cricket captain, particularly in Pakistan, really has to lead by example. -Photo by AP
A cricket captain, particularly in Pakistan, really has to lead by example. -Photo by AP

Where is Pakistan’s next captain?

That is the question on the minds of Pakistani fans, analysts and former greats alike.

The entire Pakistan cricket setup needs a overhaul, however, with the 2015 World Cup only 19 months away, Pakistan cannot afford to be too radical – at least for now. The most obvious flaws, though, must be addressed immediately: flagging batsmanship and to a great extent Pakistan's current approach to cricket.

Some are eager to jump the gun while others have called for a more long-term approach which includes rebuilding the domestic structure, revamping of the board and basically tying up all the loose ends before expecting results from the team. While batting misfortunes have been discussed in great detail already, Pakistan’s approach is very much tied to leadership, hence, worthy of an evaluation before or after the World Cup.

Taking charge

It is common knowledge that the role of a cricketing captain is quite unique as compared to any other sports. Unlike football or hockey for instance, a cricket captain does not simply toss the coin. He has to plan, implement, evaluate, amend, re-plan and execute again. This process is constant, until the match is over.

This is a job that requires that the man in charge is one who can wear different thinking caps.

A cricket captain, particularly in Pakistan, really has to lead by example. He has to fulfill his role as a player, whether that's as a batsman or bowler, as well as keeping the team together and bringing the best out of them. Victory can mask a slump in form but losses compound the failure of the captain as a player even more.

The history and legacy, the success and failures of the men in green are all indicative of something very Pakistani. It is the natural flamboyance that has always been the hallmark of Pakistani teams which were the envy of the world in the not too distant past.

Abdul Hafeez Kardar, the first captain of the Pakistan team, started this tradition of exuberance, which resulted in some notable victories at the start of Pakistan’s journey in top-flight cricket, mainly due to his aggression and willingness to let the players exhibit their natural flair.

But then, somehow it was lost. Our teams of the 60s and early 70s struggled to take the tradition forward. The best they achieved were safely played, drawn series with only a handful of significant wins. Then in the late 70s, Mushtaq Mohammad brought that aggression and flair back to our national team – this served him and Pakistan cricket well.

It was then that the world really took notice of a team which was capable of beating even the best.

Imran Khan took the aggression of the Pakistanis to another level. He was always known for playing to win, not to save matches. Javed Miandad was in the same vein as were most of the captains that followed. Wasim Akram, who captained what was arguably the finest assembled bunch of players for the World Cup in 1999, was also a proactive captain.

A new direction

A look at the team today and the one thing that is clearly missing is that intensity. The intensity that turned those “cornered tigers” into World Champions.

The current captain, Misbah ul Haq, has been our best or next best batsman in the recent past. In 2012, he led the team to a historic 3-0 Test series win against the world number one side of that time, England. Still, if the performances under his leadership are recalled, the one element that seemed absent was the willingness to preempt.

Misbah is a cool customer, who believes in playing for safety first and going for victory if the opportunity really presents itself. He has brought the element of pragmatism into the team which was good for the team after the spot-fixing saga that left the team in tatters. The players were lacking confidence as each and every action of theirs was being viewed suspiciously and Misbah’s pragmatism served them well in the aftermath of the scandal.

Defensive tactics worked for the team and resulted in occasional victories. Misbah’s strategy suited not only himself but Pakistan cricket too – supporters praised the team even when they only managed to draw series. But, with the passage of time, it started hurting our cricket. The naturally flamboyant players simply cannot afford to remain defensive in their approach.

Already 39, and by his own admission in some recent interviews, at the sunset of his career, Misbah must start thinking of the legacy he will leave. He may or may not be part of the team when the next World Cup starts but it will be wise to explore the options Pakistan has as far as leadership, and ultimately, the direction the team wants to go in are concerned.

There are a few tried and tested names who have been recommended by former players, some with little or no captaincy experience.

Mohammad Hafeez

He has been made the captain of the T20 team, a move, termed by some, as a learning curve for him, so that he can take over from Misbah when needed. He has shown some brilliance with the bat and the ball as well, whenever he played as a captain, however, his Test and ODI batting average is nothing to write home about.

As captain, his tactics during games suggest that he is always crunching in his head, always trying to out-think the opponent. The recent T20 series against South Africa personified what's good about Hafeez. The Test and ODI series, in which he wasn't the captain, highlighted what could be his undoing as a long-term candidate.

It is his flaws as a batsman which make his position at the top of the order questionable and puts into doubt his place in the Test and ODI teams. If he is allowed to continue to bat at one of the top three positions his career might end much sooner.

If he is willing to move down the order and play more of a batting all-rounder's role, he should be retained in all formats. He can continue to captain Pakistan in T20s, a format that suits his style. But if the above mentioned culture of the Pakistani team is the barometer to go by, his role as a specialist batsman and ultimately that of a leader in ODIs and Tests becomes uncertain.

Shahid Afridi

Afridi, who has already served as captain, may be given the job again. He may be only 32, but the dip in his form which has been going on since almost a year now, indicated that he may only be able to play for a couple of more seasons. Secondly, his indifferent attitude, at times becomes a curse for the team. Ideally, he should not be considered for the position but keeping the strange ways of Pakistan cricket in mind, who knows he could make a comeback as ODI captain.

Younis Khan

Younis' name has also popped up in the media and some former players believe he should once again take the reins. It will, again, be a stop-gap solution as Younis had previously relieved himself from captaincy duties. His contributions to Pakistan cricket aside, it is not a good idea to depend on someone who has already accepted the fact that he cannot handle the burden of taking the team forward.

Hence, for all logical reasons, he should not be considered either.

Azhar Ali

Some quarters have asked for Azhar Ali to be made skipper. Since his debut against England at Lord’s in 2010, Azhar has been pretty much a permanent member of the Test squad. His batting average of 41 in 27 Tests may not raise eyebrows in most cricketing countries these days, but in Pakistan's scenario, it is actually quite decent.

His limited ability and approach are reflected in another number, his strike rate of 39 in Tests and 64 in ODIs. He is a defensive batsman for sure and that has benefited Pakistan's frail batting order in Tests. But, importantly, he is almost bound to apply the same approach if asked to captain the side. His value as a Test batsman, and perhaps ODIs in the future, means he must not be put in a position where his confidence as a player also suffers.

Asad Shafiq

Asad is widely believed to be the best of the recent lot of batsmen in the team. He averages 40 in Tests while his strike rate of 42 is slightly better than Azhar’s. His ability to absorb pressure also sets him apart from some of the new players in the team. When required, he can be aggressive. His partnership with Younis Khan against South Africa during the second Test in the recent series was quite a fair testament to this effect. He is one player, who is likely to be a part of the team for the years ahead.

Considering the limited number of choices, Shafiq may be a good choice as captain but it will not end there. Our board, media and more importantly, the fans would have to support him just like South Africa did, when Graeme Smith was made captain at 22.

Hammad Azam

He was the star performer during the 2010 U19 World Cup and has since played eight ODIs and three T20s for Pakistan. He is a naturally gifted all-rounder, although the current team management believes his bowling is on the weaker side. If the 'long-term approach' is going to be employed, Azam can be a good candidate for captaincy. But first, Pakistan must include him in the fold and maximise the player's potential as an all-rounder.

The scarcity of options, as this list suggests, means the Pakistan Cricket Board, which itself is in transition these days when it comes to a leader, may go for the most obvious choice when the time comes. Whether it works only time will tell but at the moment it is also indicative of another deficiency in the Pakistan setup: the lack of natural leaders, men who put up their hands in tough situations and take the team across the line.

Shoaib Jamil tweets @ShoaibBinJamil


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Comments (86) Closed

Osman Jun 25, 2013 06:43pm

There is only one choice as team ODI captain from the list above: Hafeez.

My ODI and T20 Teams for the WI Tour: ODI: Nasir Jamshed; Ahmed Shehzad; Hafeez (c); Umar Akmal (wk); Fawad Alam; Haris Sohail; Hammad; Umar Gul; Ajmal; Junaid and Irfan. Reserves: Asad Shafiq; Sohaib Maqsood; Adnan Akmal; Ehsan Adil; and Anwar Ali.

T20: Nasir Jamshed; Ahmed Shehzad; Hafeez (c); Umar Akmal (wk); Asad Shafiq; Haris Sohail; Afridi; Hammad; Umar Gul; Ajmal; and Junaid. Reserves: Sohaib Maqsood; Adnan Akmal; Ehsan Adil; M Irfan; and Raza Hasan.

Irshad Shirazi Jun 25, 2013 06:42pm

We are so bankrupt in our resources that Misbah remains the only viable choice as captain into the foreseeable future. Hafeez's slump in form makes him uncertain for the job. In fact, if this slump continues, his very place in the team would come into question. Afridi has no place in any form of the game anymore and Younis does not want the job. In any event, He is should now only be considered for Tests and should not be brought back in other forms of the game. Yousuf could have served the game a bit longer, both as player and captain, but got nipped in the bud.

Ali Dhaduk Jun 25, 2013 06:54pm

A couple of things:

Misbah's contribution to Pakistan cricket will be far reaching. Most people do not realize but his career has brought about a respect for performing and putting your time in the domestic circuit. Which is a huge paradigm shift for Pakistan cricket and will be fruitful in the future and provide a respect to merit.

The problem with Pakistan is that the senior players have all been tested and most need to retire. The young ones lack experience. They require long stints as captains in the domestic leagues to pick up the art.

saad khan Jun 25, 2013 07:17pm

One other thing that we are forgetting is the risk that comes with a young captain. Our cricket team culture is filled with politics and divisions. If we make a young player captain he will struggle to keep the seniors in the team in check. Pakistan cricket needs a senior player to be captain just because of the respect he gets from the youngsters which does not cause too many disputes and divisions. Like Inzimam, Imran and Wasim Akram. This can be gauged from the fact that when Moin Khan was captain he still would ask everything from batting order changes and bowling changes from Wasim Akram. I would love Hammad Azam to be made captain of the side, he is a aggressive player, can hit the ball a long way. So what if his bowling is weak I am sure he can do no worse that what Shoaib Malik has been doing with bat and ball. Firstly we would like him to be included in the side and then see if he would be suitable to be made captain

Aamir Khan Jun 25, 2013 07:48pm

If we want to compete in next world cup then we need to get rid of; 1. Misbah 2. Shoiab 3. Akmal brothers - all of them

We need to bring 5 new batsmen, younger and energatic. Sure they will perform. Bowling side looks ok to me.

Capt C M Khan Jun 25, 2013 07:54pm

As Wasim Akram said Build your team around Misbah. As Sethi said make the selectors accountable. Get in new blood never mind we loose, we do not want to loose with old blood. There is no place for Kamran and Adnan Akmal, nor Malik, nor Farahat even Hafeez should be dropped. Misbah Capatin and Hamad Azam vice Captain.

Ranjit Jun 25, 2013 07:59pm

Absolutely yes a good and competitive Pakistani cricket team is missed by all fans of the game however the modern era clearly shows that natural flamboyance and exuberance, the author writes of, will clearly not be enough as the game has moved on. Technical ability, fitness levels, diet, discipline and training methods are vital for success on the field. A calm, confident, naturally gifted and responsive captain is the other key ingredient vital for success. Hope the Pakistan team can sort itself out and that quickly too so that we once again see real competitive cricket in the subcontinent.

Mansoor Jun 25, 2013 08:12pm


Asif Jun 25, 2013 08:58pm

@Mansoor: For God sake let's not bring the spent forces like Razzaq, Afridi, Younus and get rid of Malik, Imran Farhat, Akmal brother's, Hafeez and bring the new blood and talent that Pakistan has not shortage off. Let's bring back Shehzad, Hammad, Harris Sohail, Fawad Alam, and too many to mention here. If we bring back our spent forces it is going to do more harm than good as fans are already turning off from this current pawaa / parchee system. Bowling is doing great so let's not tinker with it. Leave gul out and bring Anwar Ali back that bowl bananas from both the sides........Enough of this crap

Zakir Jun 25, 2013 09:34pm

what i think M Hafeez has great talent, he should be captain in al formates....

Faisal Taquie Jun 25, 2013 09:36pm

The equation is quite simple. If Pakistan wan'ts to win then it must do away with the baggage that is Misbah, Hafeez, Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal. Their positions should be taken by Jamshed, Shafiq, Azhar Ali, U. Akmal, and Hammad Azam! My vote is for captain to be U. Akmal or Hammad. Both are young and aggressive, they just need to be nurtured.

Azher Jun 25, 2013 09:55pm

Asad Shafiq is the best choice for captain. He is our best batsman with Mishbah. Asad should be made the vice captain in all formats and given captaincy after Misbah retires. Hafeez is no good and i think that experiment has failed and should not be in the ODI squad.

Rogers Evans Jun 25, 2013 10:04pm

My captains are :

a) Test Match : Younis Khan and Azher Ali as his Deputy. Misbah should retire now. b) ODIs and T 20 : Shahid Afridi and Abdur Razzaq as his Deputy

Guys, do not forget that it was Afridi, who brought Pak Team into confidence and stability after Spot Fixing scandle. He took this team to WC Semi Fnals, only to lose because of Misbah's batting. The only weak point in Afridi is that he talks too much, which must not be a disqualification. He can be guided on this aspect.

noor Jun 25, 2013 10:20pm

Apart Hafeez (to some extent), every other option is rubbish. (sorry for harsh words)

Asif Jun 25, 2013 10:29pm

Only issue is Asad has failed in ODI over the last three years. He averages only around 25.

YK and Afridi have also been not performing. A captain needs to be in the playing XI on his performance. Sadly we have only two options

  1. Misbah
  2. Hafeez if he is willing to bat at number 7 as an all rounder, sort of like Ravider Jadeja. Then we can have 6 batsman over him and ask Umar Akmal to keep
Shamshad Nabi Jun 25, 2013 10:40pm

You are absolutely right . Abdul Razaq is needed back . He will make a great Captain for Pakistan .

Mohammed Abid Jun 25, 2013 11:21pm

Asad Shafique or Nasir Jamshed would be a good start as Captain and vice captains for the Pakistan future.

Great young players from Pak internal trophy need to play as a team for consistence..

aisha Jun 25, 2013 11:37pm

Misbah needs to be blamed for Pakistans recent misfortune for supporting natural preferences and keeping the likes of Shoaib malik in the team

MuhammadAnas Jun 26, 2013 12:40am

I think the picture says something. Make Shahid Khan Afridi as a Captain. Just look it once again.. :D

Jan Jun 26, 2013 01:00am

I think Pakistan cricket team resembles Pakistan government. No one plans for the future. If someone is in the form on the spot and shows good performance in one or two games then that is the pick and if a real talent doesn't do good in couple of games then everyone push for his retirement. First thing firts, the selectors really need to be honest and work for the PAKISTAN CRICKET TEAM instead of making someone happy for their own benefits. The selection committee should have members from recently retired players who knows current games psycology. Player past and current records should be analyzed and also what is going through their personal life. I think there is no shortag of talent the only thing that is holding us back from going to the top is dishonesty, personal gains, and trying to hurt each other psychologically.

asad Jun 26, 2013 01:37am

Younis fits for the captaincy job. He has T20 title under his belt. He can become a great captain if people like malik, akmal, afridi,farhat and hafeez are out of the team. Give younis new team and you will see great results.

Rajiv Jun 26, 2013 02:00am

Unlike football or hockey for instance, a cricket captain does not simply toss the coin. He has to plan, implement, evaluate, amend, re-plan and execute again. This process is constant, until the match is over.

@ Author: Rubbish... ever played anything else except Cricket? or at least .. watched any other game?

Kumar Jun 26, 2013 02:06am

Looking at current Pakistan Team, None of them have a ability to bring back the team as before. Need fresh blood. Find one..

Naeem Syed Jun 26, 2013 02:23am

The only face you can see clearly in the picture>

khurram Jun 26, 2013 03:24am

We need to change the whole team, especialy on the batting side. Make a new team of young guys including hammad azam, ahmed shahzad, the bowlers who bowled india out below 100 in U19 world cup and then never appeared. For a captain, my choice would be hafeez, but he has to bat down the order to allow a new batsman at the top 3 positions to give that extra allrounder advantage.

khurram Jun 26, 2013 03:24am

and a correction on the message we get once we post comment on Dawn:

Wrong: "Your comment has been posted and awaiting for moderation" Correct: "Your comment has been posted and awaiting moderation"

zahid Jun 26, 2013 03:44am

In pakistan cricket is all about Politics therefore a Captain will be selected on political bases.

who made Iqbal qasim as a Chief selector, its politics Javid Mainded selection as a director, its all politics

once again its all politics no merit.

anwar khushab Jun 26, 2013 03:55am

A strange article. The first requirement for a captain is that he should be an automatic selection. Of the players discussed, apart from Misbah, only Asad Shafiq comes near filling that bill. But even his batting form has been uneven. [I wish that in addition to looking at the batting averages, the selection committee also looks at the coefficient of variation (the standard deviation divided by the mean) which shows the fluctuation in relation to the average. This would give a much better measure of the consistency of the batsman.] It was also strange not to find any mention of Nasir Jamshed as a longer term prospective.

hammad Jun 26, 2013 04:20am

@Rogers Evans: well said...PCB should read your statement

AJ Jun 26, 2013 05:01am

Pakistani cricket fans aren't different then their team and their selectors. I just wonder how can they be so supportive of including a player like Hammad Azzam in the team when he is a total failure even at first class level. If I managed that First class team, I would have taken him off the playing eleven because of his stats. Leave international matches aside (8 matches 2 wickets and batting averaging 19) his first class batting average is only 24 and in 36 first class matches he took only 56 wickets. In 40 domestic OD matches his batting average in only 29 and he managed only half a wicket per match. Strange that boys who average 50+ in the first class and take 5 wickets per match, prove to fail in internationals but we want a mediocre player to be included and made captain.. The problem with pakistani cricket public is that they get a single blastning innings of a player to get hold of their heads and then they keep on dreaming of a similar innings from that particular player for a decade of failures. Exactly as it is with Afridi's batting. And Afridi knows that and thats why he would never try to build a sensible innings before blastning it high.

AJ Jun 26, 2013 05:07am

Shafiq has not scored a century in 40 ODI's and his batting average is only 28. Any indian middle class batsman could have scored at least 4 centuries in 40 matches. Pakistan should try Hafeez to bat at 5 down and if he succeeds on turning wickets then he is a possibilty otherwise he will be a big failure in the worldcup which is to be played in Australia. Umar Akmal and Haris Sohail are the real future and should be given a longer runs irrespective of success. Umar Akmal should be given approval of playing his own way. Those who are pressurizing him to play like Misbah are foolish. His game is built on Viv Richard style. Umar Akmal, in my opinion is a future captain who will always go with an aggressive approach.

Butt Jun 26, 2013 05:12am

Misbah should be remove right away from the captaincy. Do we now want to honor Misbhah for his bad performance as captain and make him captain again just like rental power case. Even a five year old kid will not choose him as a captain.

Amer Jun 26, 2013 05:18am

We do need Afridi besides Misbah in the batting lineup and also Afridi needs to be the captain the guy got an aggressive character his presence on the field is always known to everyone he lead the team to the WC semi's and also won T20 WC for us yes he is out of touch lately but surly he can turn his performance around and get a young player in the likes of Asad Shafiq as a vice captain and try some new talent the PCB should've done that on the SA tour CT and the up coming WI tour

Farooq mughal Jun 26, 2013 07:02am

I was taking this article seriously, until Hammad Azam's name was mentioned as a potential captain. O, Please ! this kid is the most overrated cricketer we have around. He played a match winning game to beat India in under 19 , three years ago and since then has has not convinced me that he belongs to even the first class level of cricket in Pakistan. Very Ordinary bowler and batsman, A club level cricketers. I want him to give some notable performance to deserve a place in the team first. BTW, he never captained even at school level.

s.khan Jun 26, 2013 07:06am

The captain also creates cohesion in the team and inspire confidence. Anyone who is not accepted by the players, has ineffective leadership style, play favorites won't do the job successfully. Besides technical skills, captain should have good leadership ability. The team in many cases has played nervously. A psychologist can help instill the confidence and team spirit.

My opinion compales me to say that batsman like Ahmed shahzad ,imran nazir,abdul razzaq,shahid afridi,and M yousuf are left behind ' if still left than there is something in pcb ,as for as captain is concerned he should be under choice of players-they sho Jun 26, 2013 07:52am


Noman Jun 26, 2013 08:27am


You should analyse the way Asad has been used in ODI matches rather than looking at the average only. He has hardly played a full series or tournament and always used as a scapegoat of collective batting failures. The biggest injustice to him was done just after an impressive debut in WC. Pakistan toured WI and Younis Khan was not made part of team hence Asad got a chance to prove himself, He scored two 50's in 3 matches he played(if i remember correctly ) and one of those was notout in a successful chase, guess what he was dropped for next 2 matches for what reason? simple:he should not be allowed to settle in. Again fast forward to UAE series against england where despite performing very well in test matches and saving us from collapses he was booted out of first 2-3 ODIs, when he was finally included in 5th ODI, he cracked another half century. Yet again , in the next series he was not included in playing eleven and this circle of injustice has been going on with him ever since. Take recent champions trophy as example, whole batting lineup except misbah and nasir failed yet it was asad who was dropped after playing only one match and then included in meaningless match against India where he was top scorer again. Guess what, if noone take notice of this politics being played with this talented player, he would again find himself out of playing eleven. So rather than doing a lazy analysis of looking at averages, do take into account how well a player has been used and given chances.

Although he does not need any parchi but both Misbah and Yousaf has already said that Asad is the future of our batting as he is the only one with the technique and temperament to play against top bowling attacks and perform under pressure

Give him 2 full ODI series and if he does not emerge as top scorer , I would be supporting his exclusion but for now stop calling him a failure!

SKhan Jun 26, 2013 08:35am

While, I can understand the people comments about making young players like Asad, nasir, Azhar or hammad azam as next captain, I think it would be a great injustice with their careers.

Hafeez shortcomings as an opening batsman have been badly exposed but despite that fact, his bowling and to some extent fielding , along with his experience now make him the only reasonable but temporary choice for limited overs formats.

For test matches, hafeez does not even deserve to be part of playing eleven so making asad shafiq/azhar ali as vice captain will give them the right progression path under Misbah guidance to be developed as future captains. Most of the teams these days mark one or two young players to be groomed as future captains but in our case its more haphazard and solely based on how much cricket have one played.

Shaikh Jun 26, 2013 09:09am

I only wish the comments here would mean something to the Selectors,they probably read the comments and say" You can suggest all you want,But we are only going to play Imran Farhat,Shoaib Malik,Kamran Akmal,Misbah,Hafeez,etc,etc".

iqbal Jun 26, 2013 09:12am

If shoaib malik can be brought back the way we saw why not bring back shoaib akhter as captain and medium pace bowler.He deserved captaincy and underperformed because of dropped catches behind the wicket by akmal. Otherwise Razzak need a chance as a captain. We should also play left arm spinner why was he left behind.

kamran Jun 26, 2013 09:31am

In one and half year time(after worldcup) next captain will come into sight. Please don't bring more chaos in the team by finding next captain at present. For now form a team under Misbah's captaincy by bringing young batting talent.

johny blue Jun 26, 2013 09:44am

My view is little different. i think pakistan team should plan according to 2015 world cup. so, misbah is 39 and at 2015 he would be 41. so, first misbah would be retire. second, only other stable player in team is ajmal. he is 35 but, i think he can play till 2015. so, he should be captain. he is great bowler and aggressive player. we should not forget that next world cup is at Australian bouncy pitches. so, we cannot keep three spinners. so, afridi should not return. because he would be useless as batsman and not worthy as spinner. hafeez is disappointment. but, he is quite good spinner with general batting. so, he should be at number 6. razzaq is nice choice for number 7. he can fullfill 4th fast bolwer slot at australian pitch at world cup 2015. i think umar akmal is best player among all akmal brothers. he should be given more freedom. he should be open with naser jamshed.. and also, he should start keeping permanently for them. pakistan need a stable player at number 3. he should be technical correct player. so, azhar ali or other talent can be best for number 3. shafiq can be good at 4. we need a good talent at number 5. or we can rotate among 5,6 and 7. by razzaq,hafeez and any new talent. rest 8 for ajmal and 9,10,11 place would be good for fast blowlers. may be riaz,irfan and other fast bowlers can be rotate according to conditions. SO, THINK ACCORDING TO 2015. MY VIEW IS AJMAL WOULD BE ONLY CHOICE LEFT. BUT, I DO NOT HEARD ANYONE TALKING ABOUT HIM AS CAPTAIN. ANY REASONS?

mj Jun 26, 2013 10:02am

I just dont understand why selecting a new captain is always considered a foolproof solution to our teams poor performance in a series. This time around, it was clear that the inability of some players to learn from their past mistakes led to our dissapointing exit.

Ali Jun 26, 2013 10:38am

Asad is only a batsman... and the writer didn't take pain to highlight his tactical mind or captaincy traits which were searched in the character of Hafeez, Misbah, Younis and Afridi. It was simpy his batting qualities which was presented as his qualification as a captain, Although in recent times, his batting too has already been exposed with some weaknesses and he has not proved equally useful in ODIs. Nay for Asad Shafiq as captain, not because he cannot be a good one but because it might be a injustice with his burgeoning career.

Mirza Jun 26, 2013 11:08am

The phenomenon that has been the key to failures of the Pak eleven is the internal politics of the players and groupings. Being non-cooperative with the captain and expressing their dislikes by the means of poor performance has not been a shame for such players. Each member of the team has to know deep inside his conscience that he is not playing for the captain or anyone, but for Pakistan. It is not the captain or the team that is at stake, it is the pride of the country that they are representing at stake. Patriotism is missing in the team. Selector,, coach, captain, all can play their part in selection and may even select the best talent, but it is on the field how sincerely each one performs is that matters most. Likes of Akmal brothers ad Shahid Afridi are not short of talent, but have often displayed their dismay at any odd by throwing away their wickets. We need a true "Pakistani" team who play as a unit and for the country and not for materialistic gains or self pride. Any differences should be settled off the field and not on the field.

Mirza Jun 26, 2013 11:35am

The phenomenon that has been the key behind failures of the Pak eleven is the internal team politics and groupings. Those involved in such acts forget that they are representing and playing for their country. The team that played the recent CT was never short of talent, but was short of patriotism and self esteem. What players need to understand is that it is the pride of the country that is at stake more than theirs. Selectors, coaches, captains, all may select the best talent available in the country, but it is the individual performance of each player on the field that counts. Likes of Akmal brothers and Afridi are not short of talent, but have often displayed their dismay at any odd by throwing away their wickets - without shame. Though the characteristics for the captain outlined in this article are quite valid, but what needs to be worked upon more is developing patriotism. The players should play with a clear conscience that they are playing for Pkistan's pride and not for materialistic gains. Their pride is linked to the country's pride. Any differences should be settled off the field and NEVER on the field. I find nothing wrong in Misbah's captaincy save his age. His captaincy was quite obviously intentionally dented.

My opinion compales me to say that batsman like Ahmed shahzad ,imran nazir,abdul razzaq,shahid afridi,and M yousuf are left behind ' if still left than there is something in pcb ,as for as captain is concerned he should be under choice of players-they sho Jun 26, 2013 12:03pm

Jameelahmed@My opinion compales me to say that batsman like Ahmed shahzad ,imran nazir,abdul razzaq,shahid afridi,and M yousuf are left behind ' if still left than there is something in pcb ,as for as captain is concerned he should be under choice of players-they should be agreed with each one and above player should be given chance in each match+

Farhan Jun 26, 2013 12:19pm

The problem with the team is batting - not captaincy. Because of infighting and lack of natural leaders, Pakistan should reduce captaincy to a ceremonial role. Hire the best cricketing brain as coach who should then be proactive and spoon feed instructions to players.

Also Misbah is performed well as a captain and as a batsman. You cannot expect him to start hitting out when he always comes into the game at crisis time.

Hey Jun 26, 2013 01:14pm

Stop fixing games, the rest will take care of itself

pct Jun 26, 2013 01:32pm

i think we should take a step forward and pick some young blood for captain..we should first groom JUNAID KHAN as a captain in domestic cricket,inspect him and if he performs good there then we should appoint him captain of international team,because i think so he has aggresion,good mentality and talent..he is a quick learner it would be a great idea..may be som people will disagee with me..

saylani Jun 26, 2013 02:19pm

I would say we should stop playing any international cricket abroad, play domestic as much as possible all over Pakistan for next two years select best captain and team from domestic cricket then go out to play abroad and show the world what we can do, at the moment we are not worth a penny misbah in or afridi out will not make any diff we will still loose big time.

akbar Jun 26, 2013 02:52pm

@Rajiv: You're talking rubbish mate.

A cricket captain is the most pro-active captain of any of those sports. He has the final say in the field and needs to change tactics, every second if needed, to suit, unlike other sports.

akbar Jun 26, 2013 02:50pm

@Faisal Taquie: What rubbish. Why do people always rate the Akmal brothers. They are the biggest let downs in Pakistan cricket.

Ali Jun 26, 2013 03:35pm

Pakistan team need passion, eagerness, activeness, attack, agility etc etc. these qualities are trademarks of this team. they gel when they attack. this should be kept in mind when in planning pakistan cricket matters, selecting captain and players. Professionalism is simply not our cup of tea. Pakistan thrive on talent. we won in 92 because we attacked which brings best out of raw talent.

mohammed Jun 26, 2013 04:59pm

In my opinion there is one guy who might be a ideal candidate for Captaincy. He might not be experienced at International Level but has played International cricket before. he has captained for Karachi Blues in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and has one the trophy too. He is Mr. Khurram Manzoor he is Young and Enthusiastic Lad. He is also in probables for West Indies tour so why not give him a chance and see..

Rashid Kharal Jun 26, 2013 05:19pm

Since the topic is who should lead Pakistan Team in future. Misbah, Afridi, Younis, Razaq are past now. lets talk about future. I wonder after reading comments here, many of us do not know what is the role of captain. Hammad Azam, Asad Shafiq , Azhar Ali, and Razaq are not suitable candidates for captaincy. Keeping in view long term strategy i would rather suggest to retain Misbah as Test Captain, Hafeez as T20 Captain whereas for ODI's after giving few more games to young Umar Amin, give him the role of an ODI captain. He is educated, confident young lad. Technically sound left handed middle order and occassional bowler suitably fit into this role.

asgher Jun 26, 2013 06:18pm

Its not exactly a trick question.... Answer is Shahid Afridi Because if it wasnt for Zaka Ashraf we would have won the last worldcup Because Misbah-Hafeez disputes are only going to get uglier day by day.

Because cannot afford to goto more tournaments with this problem. The problem will only increase if you make either one of them a captain. We can simlpy take this bone of dispute and give it to afridi who will whip everybody to get their performance sorted before the worldcup.

Mohammad Merchant Jun 26, 2013 06:51pm

Article is very well written.I want to point out something which is missing. First selection commitee should select players without interference purely on marit and performance only. Selection of captain and players should be on their technique,temperment, ability to perform under pressure and fielding.Reasons of our batting failures are all of these. Pakistan need Pakistani coaches.Our immediate need is head coach like Mohshin Khan.Our batting coach should be Inzammul Haque.We need Pshycratic to deal with players mental toughness. We also require team manager who can handle the press as well as players. Captain should be knowledgable and innovative but level headed who can take decesion according to situation of match.

Dr Muhammad Oqais Khan Jun 26, 2013 08:34pm

Pakistan is having batting person as a Captain since Waqar Younis had left in 2004.. Why should PCB not try Umer Gul as a Captain who is one of the Most experience Bowler in the side and has performed well in all format of the game... This will also ease up some pressure from the Batsmen as well...

Zaheeruddin khan Jun 26, 2013 08:35pm

In my opinion Afridi is the best suitable candidate for the captaincy position, he is aggressive and a best fighter. Currently none of the players closer to his mental toughness

usman Jun 26, 2013 09:04pm

I have been saying this now multiple times that experiments of making Jr. players captain has always failed in Pakistan (examples Miandad and Malik - both times ended in revolt of Srs) so please dont destroy the Jr. players by putting them in this tough position. I blame Misbah for the current problems of lack of talent as he never took risk of playing and grooming a young player. He played every game with a safe approach and hence his reliance on older players. He even messed up the confidence of Umar Akmal.

The choice is very logical that we need a Sr. guy as captain who is respected by all the team members and has the capacity to think out of box plus a proven track record. In all the choices only Younis Khan fit that category. He is very well respected by young and Sr. players plus he has won us 20/20 WC (even though his style of playing does not suite that format but his brilliant captaincy was praised by everybody) and he took us to the semi final of last champions trophy in South Africa. He encouraged young players like Umar Akmal, Mohammad Amir, Shahzeb Hasan and Fawad Alam during his captaincy.

The only reason he gave up captaincy was when 7 or 8 corrupt cricketers took oath on Quran to play under him. He even told then PCB chairman Mr. Butt about it and wanted him to back him up with some changes but when Mr. Butt refused he step aside in order not to harm Pakistan cricket.

Please make him captain of test and ODI till 2015 and let Misbah be there as batsman. Groom then a younger man under Younis to take over. But this will never happen as Younis will not take safarshi players with him and this may not be liked by our Board and selectors.

pct Jun 26, 2013 09:21pm

i dont know what is the problem here to appoint a bowler in this article there is no name of bowler is suggested exept hammad which is batting all rounder..

saad khan Jun 26, 2013 10:08pm

@AJ: Although I do agree that stats are important but they should not be the only thing to consider when selecting. If first class stats were anything to go by then today we would not have seen Inzamam or Wasim Akram. In a country like Pakistan where the structure of domestic cricket is so poor first class records may not give the whole picture. The thing why cricket fans like Hammad Azam is because they see talent. Give him a chance to perform he can not do any worse than what Shoaib Malik has been doing with both bat and ball, if he does not perform trust me no fan would want him to be included in the team let alone be made captain.

kamran Jun 26, 2013 11:48pm

A REMINDER, Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat and Kamran Akmal has to RETIRE from all formats of cricket. And, Shahid Afridi is only suitable for T20 cricket. T20 suits to his personality. For ODI we need our batsmen to stay and score. At present we need to play all 50 overs. Ahamad Shahzad, Umer Amin, Asad Shafiq and Umer Akmal should be in ODI eleven. IN ODI Afridi should be replaced with HammadAlam/Wahab.

Prakash Jun 27, 2013 12:54am

The correct question should be, 'does pakistan need a new captain?'

Pakistan needs 3-4 batsmen who can perform in all conditions. Batsmen of the calibre of Inzamam, Yousuf, Saeed Anwar, Sohail and Salim Malik.

Pakistan never had a settled captain in the 90s. Wasim, Aamir Sohail, Salim Malik, Rameez Raja, Moin Khan, Rashid Latif, and the list goes on. They all captained Pakistan. But Pakistan was still a top side. The reason was simple, their batsmen performed. Pak has always had a top bowling line up, they need some good reliable batsmen!

Kammikameen Jun 27, 2013 12:53am

Are you guys like nuts? Afridi for captain? Really? What's next?

Kos Jun 27, 2013 01:40am

Keep Misbah captain until the world cup because he is the best batsman/best fielder in the team which has been recognised by the cricinfo panel of journalist by including him in the champions tophy team and also in the ICC team which is an honour to Pakistan. I can see Imran,s determination in Misbah and he can win the World Cup for Pakistan in 2015.

khurram Jun 27, 2013 01:57am

pay me 3.75 lac every month as a salary, around 300,000 for each International Match Played and I'll show u how cricket is played... That's what every Pakistani things when they are not playing in the 11.... and Once They Do! They forget everything and take all of this forgranted.... Problem is with the attitude, we need someone to morally train our players as most of them are much less educated and dont seem to have much of self respect.

Mohammed.Merchant Jun 27, 2013 02:53am

I think Younus khan has all the abilities of good captain. His only problem is age. I think he has couple of years left in his career. He quit the captainship because manager Yawar Saeed has created a group which revolted against him. Mohshin as a coach along with him will bring our glory back. We were good when Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal were not in the team. They play politics in team and creat group. They should be replaced by Zulqarnain Haider and Ahmed Shehzad.

ailly Jun 27, 2013 03:49am

This article indeed carry some weight ... for suggesting better ways to improve our flailing cricket including board, selection and management.

Looking forward to 2015 WC is a wishful thinking, lets hope we can achieve that. I have tried in the past as well, and would re-iterate again, we need to bring in someone as head of PCB who must be experienced and know how to make a system in place to hunt talented boys and keep seniors under control with an iron-fist like Nur Khan. No nepotism be allowed while selecting future teams. Bring in people for running PCB ( not like Najam Sethi ) who are passionate about game, who were witty, innovators in their playing days not merely passengers on tours or were just required to do fill-in jobs.

We don't need foreigner coaches in the PCB, which is a major tumbling block in progressing our cricket for one reason; language problem. Most of our talented and young guys do not speak neither can understand English which creates a gulf between coach and players and in return between players and the board members. This communication had literally destroyed our International cricket. Further we need to get our players educated at least they can offer some interviews at the end of the match, if required.

Notwithstanding, we need to have a captain on long term basis ( Graeme Smith is not correct example here, not only senior players but SA board supported him alike, in length ) who can carry on the team for next 3/5 years. Suggesting a time period appointment will not work in our system.

I may attract lot of criticism, but I must emphasize that for future selection we need to completely ignore Akmals, Farhats, Afridis and Hafeez altogether. Hafeez may be good but only for T20 or may be good in ODIs on dead wickets in UAE, India or Pakistan ( whenever out cricket adjourns its journey ). These named players have led ways to groups within team, which had given courage to novices like Umar Akmal who sided by his brother by faking an injury when Kamran was dropped from a match. Give such players a cold shoulder much the same way as they gave cold shoulder to the nation and our cricket. That's the only way forward we can build a good, competitive and champion team, where selection hallmarks should be performance based, not relation based.

ChooseTheTeamFirst Jun 27, 2013 06:08am

Well before Pakistan select its captain, some questions need to be asked:

  • Who's (one of) the best performer with the bat or the ball?
  • Who can take the entire team into confidence and not lead to fractures and groupism?
  • Who is young enough to lead the team for at least 2-3 years? (given the world cup in 2015)
  • Who has a temperament like Dhoni, or is revered like Imran, or performs like Wasim Akram?

It not easy to answer these questions given the current set of players. May be they should work on a team first before wondering about the captain. Misbah is an old player, but then given the current batsmen in the team, he may be the best choice for now.

I believe, captains need to be trained for years and not placed abruptly. There has to be a natural progression. That's why vice captains are for.

Shahid Jun 27, 2013 07:25am

Asad Shafiq should be the future captain of Pakistan. He is our best batsman as of now.

MSASH Jun 27, 2013 09:18am

@Rajiv: No matter how you put it,Cricket team captains have more work to do than football or hokey team captains

Noman Jun 27, 2013 10:05am


Hats off to you for thinking about Khurram Manzoor who besides Asad Shafiq is the only one possessing a combination of sound technique and temperament.. Not many people even mention or support his inclusion in team but he definitely is the most deserving one to form an ideal partnership with Nasir Jamshed. People perhaps forgot that he made a fighting 77 in last test against Australia on the same tour when we were whitewashed in a shambolic manner and how cruel to boot him out after that.

Not sure about him being future captain, though, needs proper time to get established in team and then probably in 2-3 years time, he can be talked about as future captain.

Que Jun 27, 2013 10:07am

Afridi is the choice AND the best choice!!!!

Asjad Jun 27, 2013 11:40am

I'd take Yonus Khan as captain with complete authority and make Umer Akmal his deputy. That said Umer Akmal needs a seasoned team man groom him like Yonus Khan.Sincerely believe that Umer Akmal has that flamboyance,taking a punt kind of attitude that had served Pakistan well in the past.For me he has been the best batsman for Pakistan since probably Inzimam or Saeed Anwar. Has to be guided by like A.B Devillers. Asad Shafiq's style thus far has showed that if made a captain, he'd turn to more an Misbah than Wasim Akram.

Farrukh Amanullah Jun 27, 2013 12:14pm

@Rashid Kharal :Maybe the team should be from Punjab as per your selection not from Pakistan. Why else would you suggest Omar Amin with an average of 15 in ODIs to be captain. Racism and prejudice ki intiha hai. The problem is not the selectors. Problem is within our sick mind which cannot think outside the racial and ethnic shell.

salihakhan Jun 27, 2013 01:15pm

I think problem is not with the captaincy, dilemma is of security of place that our players are not enjoying,if pcb made them secure of having permanent place you will find the best captain from this team

shahid Jun 27, 2013 03:42pm

@Noman: Khuram manzoor plz reconcile he cant be considered at domestic level...faulty technique and poor fielding

Najeeb Jun 27, 2013 03:57pm

I think its time to pick new young energetic 4 -5 boys ,they should learn under the captancy of misbah and then later on hafeez

Temp Jun 27, 2013 05:55pm

World cup "Only" 19 months away! How is one and a half year "only"?

Osman Jun 27, 2013 07:11pm

@Temp: With the team in shambles, 19 months is too short to fix a big problem... if "only" u can get that!!

kamran Jun 27, 2013 09:12pm

@Que: Afridi's temperament only suitable for T20. Afridi lacks nerves during clutch situations. That's his personality. We need ODI/Test player to be the captain. Test matches has also recently evolved and has come very close to ODI approach. Now takes 4 days to finish a test match. In my view our test and odi batting line up should be the same. Captain has to be a strong ODI/Test player.

CricScience Jun 28, 2013 01:39am

How about Saeed Ajmal? He is world class and no body can doubt his ability

Klasara Jun 28, 2013 01:47am

@Temp: That's not exactly very long to 'groom' a captain or completely overhaul the team is it? The best teams out there plans years and years least 4 years in advance...that's how much time there is between each world cup, if you are aware?

Ahmer Jun 28, 2013 10:13am

Afridi is the only captain who can motivate the team as of now.