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Mediocrity won't win you Tests, Misbah tells batsmen

Published Sep 14, 2013 05:17pm


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“You can't win Test matches with twenties and thirties.” -Photo by AFP
“You can't win Test matches with twenties and thirties.” -Photo by AFP

HARARE: Pakistan's batting woes returned to haunt them as Zimbabwe pulled off a dramatic 24-run win to level the series on the fifth day of the second Test at the Harare Sports Club on Saturday.

Inexperienced Zimbabwe fast bowler Tendai Chatara took five for 61 as Pakistan were bowled out for 239 despite an unbeaten 79 by Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.

“The batting is a bit of a worry,” said Misbah, looking ahead to Pakistan's next Test series, against world champions South Africa in the United Arab Emirates next month.

“All the batsmen have to learn from their mistakes. You can't win Test matches with twenties and thirties. You have to score big runs like Younis Khan did in the first Test.”

Younis scored the only century of the series, an unbeaten 200 in the first Test, which Pakistan won by 221 runs at the same venue.

Misbah and opening batsman Khurram Manzoor both scored two half-centuries in the second Test, while Younis contributed 77 in the first innings. But the rest of the batting failed against the spirited Zimbabwean attack.

“Zimbabwe deserved the victory,” said Misbah.

“They played excellent cricket in the first Test as well. From the start they were positive and they kept us under pressure throughout the game.”

Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor praised his team. “It takes a lot of character to come back from a big loss. Beating a world-class team is a wonderful feeling.”

He said the bowlers had performed particularly well considering the team did not have a bowling coach.

Taylor said Zimbabwe's performance in the first Test, in which they were on top for much of the match, had shown the importance of not relaxing.

“Even though we won the Test we learnt a lot from the way Pakistan went about playing.”

It was only Zimbabwe's fifth win against a major Test nation - their third against Pakistan - and their most significant victory since they beat India in 2000/01.

Resuming at 158 for five, Pakistan suffered an early blow when Chatara trapped Adnan Akmal leg before wicket with only five runs added. Akmal, who made 20, went back to a ball which angled in towards his stumps.

Abdur Rehman scored 16 in a seventh wicket partnership of 34 with Misbah, who was content to continue to bat watchfully, as he had done on the fourth afternoon, before Rehman was caught behind off Tinashe Panyangara.

Chatara returned to the attack and immediately claimed the wicket of Saeed Ajmal in almost identical fashion to the way he dismissed Akmal, with the batsmen going back to a ball which cut back sharply and hit him on the pads.

Misbah faced 161 balls in reaching 58 at lunch. He stepped up the pace after the interval, keeping the strike with singles in the first two overs from Chatara and Brian Vitori, then taking 11 runs off an over from Chatara, including two boundaries. Two more fours came from Vitori's next over.

The second four off Vitori meant, however, that Junaid had to face the second new ball, which was taken with 26 runs needed. Chatara had Junaid caught at gully with the fourth delivery.

Last batsman Rahat Ali edged a single off the next delivery. Seeking to retain the strike, Misbah pushed the last ball of the over into the covers but sent Rahat back as Hamilton Masakadza swooped to pick up the ball.

Rahat was unable to regain his crease and was run out comfortably, sparking exuberant celebrations by the Zimbabwe players.


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Comments (60) Closed

Khushnoodul Haqe Sep 14, 2013 05:52pm

Learn cricket from India, how to play. India is great.

Effy Sep 14, 2013 06:03pm

time for Misbah to retire.........

Navaid Sep 14, 2013 06:49pm

@Effy: Time for M.Hafeez to take a hike from test cricket..............FOR SURE

Mushtaq Sep 14, 2013 06:58pm

We Pakistanis need to learn on how to be calm in situations like this. Everyone is throwing blame on Captain. One person can not do everything. It is a team work. Our team is lacking professionalism and commitment. This is all due to uncertainty and fear every player has in his mind. Everything must be contractual based with a minimum performance required. Performance should be rewarded and limitation should impose financial penalties. This will give players free minds to play and prove. We don't play lots of cricket and in our limited resources of games, teams don't flourish. Zimbabwe team is new and they are learning too. They had the opportunity to prove themselves and the result is there. Our team of new players need time and a senior captaincy is the only way they will learn. I am not a big fan of Misbah but what other options we have. In our current capacity he is the only person with some experience to lead test matches. Bowling was always our niche in cricket. Lets search for another young gun and bring him out, hoping we will not repeat our stupidities like some.

Noman Majeed Sep 14, 2013 07:14pm

Dead Slow, over defensive Misbah is real cause of fear in National players.

bilal Sep 14, 2013 07:21pm

@Effy: dude !! cricket ain't a one-man's a team sport !! misbah did nothing wrong, instead he along with younis khan, led the way with the bat !! blame the rest of the batting line-up, such as azhar ali, hafee and asad shafiq who all failed miserably...there's only so much misbah can do and he certainly isn't at fault !!!

hafeez khsn Sep 14, 2013 07:36pm

Zam played a very good their bowling fielding perfect. they deserved this win. Pakistan batter always fsiled.Specialy the opners. Hafeez should not be included in Test team.somr younger boy should be chance in the coming series with S.Africa and Sri Lanka. they should learn from their failiars.Hope Mr.sathi will take some action.

Zoab Khan Sep 14, 2013 08:42pm

@Khushnoodul Haqe: India cricket can be described in 2 sent: Lions in Indian flat pitches, mediocre on swinging tracks.

no thanks. We don't need to learn anything from Indians.

Shail Sep 14, 2013 08:56pm

I can see why Pakistan is going down with such acceleration. Apart from their players Even majority of their cricket fans don't have cricketing sense or understanding. I just get amused when more number of Pakistanis blame Misbah's batting. For an outsider like me, he along with Younis are the only two batsmen they have got at the moment. Rest of them are so much under-cooked.

Sarah Sep 14, 2013 09:05pm

@Effy: So rest 9 who are all scoring 0 can make up with 11 score of 0.Is that what you want? Misbah and Younis are only 2 proper batsman in team.Rest just fill up remaining 9 slots.Need Umar Akmal and Taufeeq Umar currently.

Rogers Evans Sep 14, 2013 09:08pm

We, Pakistanis, do not have basic structure of cricket in country. But we compare ourselves with India. At least India has basic structure in country. They have Cricket Academy. What do we have ? Boys keep playing "GULI DANDA" in streets for some time. When they are bit grown ups, they hold bats and ball and start playing cricket in streets or some open places whitout pitches OR normal grounds or instructors. So we must create basic structure at all levels with democratic board for this game in Pakistan., otherwise cricket here in Pakistan will meet the fate of Hockey. I hope, some resonsible person is listening.

asad Sep 14, 2013 09:35pm

@ Khushnoodul Haqe , how can we learn from India when they learned from us.

Ebrahim Sep 14, 2013 10:13pm

@Khushnoodul Haqe: Pakistan cricketers should learn from Zimbabwe tailenders.

Ray Sep 14, 2013 10:34pm

@bilal: Misbah selected Hafeez over Taufeeq Umar. He selected a very mediocre Rahat Ali over many better bowlers. As it is, Pak isn't getting enough international games, and when they do, it is wasted by Misbah's poor selection tactics / politics. Say what you will, but Misbah has got many tactical flaws as a captain.

optimist Sep 14, 2013 11:20pm

It is a matter of great shame for Pakistan Cricket. When Pakistan started the 2nd innings I knew they can simply discount for Hafeez and Azhar as these type of players can never perform under pressure. Manzoor innings was a bonus but after scoring 50 in a crucial match when his eyes are set he should never have gone out. The last hope was one between Younus and Misbah to stay till the end and Misbah did exactly that. But the biggest disappointment was Asad Shafiq. Pakistan has now dropped down to 6th position in test ranking as the difference between Australia and Pakistan was only one point. To qualify for the test world cup they must be the top four team. Pakistan is already not playing enough tests to maintain the test rankings, and if they lose to Sri-Lanka &they will go down to 8th position and eventually take the hockey route of not even qualifying for the world cup. The one ODI loss and now this test loss is an eye opener for PCB.

Anand Sep 14, 2013 11:48pm

@Khushnoodul Haqe: Dear, Pakistan does not have shortage of talented players. The only shortcoming is that they have lost self belief. They need more psychological counselling than Cricketing lessons. At present they are down with no moral boosting events.

I am sure they will bounce back. I feel they have talents which can match classical players like Miandad, Zahir Abbas, Inzy etc. Believe in yourself, that is the key. However everything is easy saying than done.

mazen Sep 15, 2013 12:45am

This was the much-needed loss that Pakistan yearned for anxiously. For the last few years, Hafeez has been given a safe passage in spite of his pathetic opening batting in test matches. He averages only 10 in the last test series played against SA. And now he couldn't able to score significant runs when needed.The truth is that he and Azhar ali can't take control of the moving ball. India was thrashed in England and Australia with these humiliating figures of 8-0, and then at they were beaten by England with a handsome margin of 2-1. What they did? They inducted the fresh blood by ousting the old horses from the squad. I still doubt that they can beat SA, England and Australia in their home, but at least they are damn good in ODIs. Pakistani old horses are dragging the team to some respectability especially Misbah and Younis. Hafeez should be shown the doors by restricting him for just t20 and odis.

Indusonian Sep 15, 2013 02:52am

Misbah needed to be fired asap or see further humiliating episodes of losses in the future.

matt Sep 15, 2013 03:27am

the bottom line is there is no batting talent in pakistan azhar ali and asad shafiq are medicores at the best now your experts viz basit ali and rashid latif will blame it on karachi ,lahore rift

matt Sep 15, 2013 03:34am

pakistan has no batting talent get rid of azhar ali and asad shafiq

AH Sep 15, 2013 04:02am

@Noman Majeed: Really?? Every time he comes in to bat, there are normally three or four down and a few runs on the score board and he is the one to blame?

AH Sep 15, 2013 04:10am

@Khushnoodul Haqe: I am not sure what is there to learn from India here? India got a beating of 8-0 in a row abroad, then lost a series against ENG 3-1 at home but then they defeated AUS at home. So, IND has not really had a good test recod on foreign tours in recent times either. IND has performed much better in ODIs than any other format of the game but the discussion here is focused on test cricket.

Sarah Sep 15, 2013 05:07am

@Noman Majeed: Is Misbah going to bat for even liabilities Hafeez,Azhar Ali,Asad Shafiq? Its team game man and he is not holding their bat or their feet to score runs.There technique is completely flawed and not good enough for any class of cricket.

Ashar Sep 15, 2013 05:45am

OK, so that's why you forgot about Mohammad Yousuf. He is still a class batsman. The best in Pakistan, give him a chance.

aleem Sep 15, 2013 06:08am

Misbah is the main backbone of this batting line-up. Hafiz would never perform in a test under Misbah, just to fail him as a captain. Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq are real mediocre bunch, so we need to replace both asap. Bowling is ok but definately has a margin to improve.

SM Sep 15, 2013 06:42am

Is Misbah out of his mind or do he think that every one in this nations is foolish when he says, " batsmen have to learn from their mistakes". This naive statement is like a tape-recorded which he plays at the end of every series. Should Faisal Iqbal, Farhat and Hafeez learn from their mistakes after a decade, or should Asad become a top batsman when the next series arrive. Why doesn't he say that enough is enough and I don't want to take wheelless cars to my next assignment. Why didn't he had guts to lay off Hafeez for the second test? Why doesn't he say that he would rather lose with some youngester who might then turn out to be future heroes?

AJ Sep 15, 2013 07:18am

@Noman Majeed: Misbah is not the cause but the lack of application and technique is the reason behind the failure of others.

Munir Sep 15, 2013 10:02am

Poor performance by batsmen except Younus, Misbah & Khurram Manzoor was the cause of defeat. Team needs badly a batting coach. But rhe PCB should avoid considering Inzamam because he may give good batting tips but will shift the focus of team away from cricket field to religian and Tableegh. It had caused the dip in performance in his time. Miandad & Zaheer are better choices.

Zia ur rehman Sep 15, 2013 11:10am

People talk so much about cricket talent in Pakistan, but I wonder where is this talent?? Almost all players playing cricket at national level have been given a chance to prove their metal at international level but none has produced the desired standards to retain place in national side. PCB need to introduce landmark reforms to improve cricket standards otherwise we will have no place in international cricket...

Googlie Sep 15, 2013 12:33pm

How to get over the agony of continued failures of cricket in Pakistan? 1. Get a professional to head PCB (DNA to NS is a story of complete failure, they are just political appointees who do not understand an iota of Cricket!) 2. Enforce zero tolerance for unethical code of conduct. 3. Develop separate teams for T20, ODI and Test. 4. Test batsmen and bowlers need to be coached by former test players, need to be taught how to use their brain, how to handle stress. At present Hafeez & Misbah et al play all format of cricket like T20. Pakistan needs to rely on specialists (expert batsmen and bowlers) for tests. A person with brain, one who can think of a strategy, need to be appointed captain!

Muhammad Sep 15, 2013 01:05pm

Mediocrity will not win matches... that's so true, not for batsmen BUT also for the skipper.

How long will Misbah continue? True, batsmen were failure... and batting has never been Pakistan's strength. However, more shocking was the way too many runs were given away. Just see how Australia and England rotate their bowlers and bring fielding changes. Pakistan stuck with same bowlers for long like its a formula... without any imagination and aggressiveness. Misbah batted fine... okay. But he's never been an inspiring captain.


Hazratullah Mohmand Sep 15, 2013 01:24pm

@Munir: When you suggested Miandad it seems that you are ignorant of what his character is like. During an gathering many moons ago with ex PCB Chairman, he said that Miandad is a divisive character, a 'sazishi'. In this regard, a religious Inzi would be much better than someone who is well-known for fomenting groups within the team.

Asif Sep 15, 2013 02:05pm

The problem with Younus khan and Misbah is that although they contribute to the team totals, they are too slow. Even if they bat for say 3 hours the score doesnt progress much and the pressure is not released. I can understand if they take their time to score thier first 20 or 30 runs but after that they should be able to rotate the strike and get the score moving quickly. Someone like Umar Akmal should be a perfect partner for them. He is the only one in the team who is capable of playing attacking cricket. I think Fawad Alam and Faisal Iqbal should be given an extended run in the test matches. It seems favouritism to certain players is going on. With results like these Dev Whatmore is a waste of time and money.

Sheharyar Sep 15, 2013 04:36pm

@Asif: I guess you are talking about One Dayers & not Test Matches? If Misbah's run do not please you then bring Afridi and he will score 1 in 10 matches that he plays and will still be your favorite.

Sheharyar Sep 15, 2013 04:41pm

@Muhammad: Yes Misbah go, as we want our team to collapse within 100 runs, which they are very capable of. Please go as your slow runs are not tasteful enough for Pakistani Audience who like to applaud Afridi's 0,0,0,0,6,0,0,6 kind of innings.

Sheharyar Sep 15, 2013 04:45pm

@Shail: Well Said, couldn't agree with you more

Ahmed Chohan Sep 15, 2013 05:34pm

No one can ask Misbah to retire, specially from the test cricket, until there is a better substitute for his place. He scored two fifties in the first test, a 79 in the last innings, how can you blame him?

This last innings 70 saved him or he has very strong critics. Yes he was unlucky this time, unlucky in the T20 final against India, but 'Luck favors the brave', sensible aggression is the key to successful batting. Great batsmen keep bowlers on their tows, putting them to defense.

He needs to improve his game, its not enough! His inability to finish, and the way he gets stuck in his shell often depicts lack of batting skills in him. He is only present because there is no replacement for him. In good teams even Kalis often struggles to make it to top 11.

Professionally he is a much better player than Inzamam, but Inzi was a better batsman. In the end what matters is if you are on the winning side or the other.

Talha Nazr Sep 15, 2013 06:23pm

@Khushnoodul Haqe: Yeah rite... The great indian team....that got a constant batering from pakistan in the 90's....The great indian team that has not been able to produce a decent fast bowler despite of 1bn indians.....Ok we are not performing well at this point in time...But this is how sports is .....Indian is an Average team with a good captain...that why you guys are performing ok....India is not a world beating team...unlike Australlia of the Steve Waughs Era or Westindies in its prime....

Tahir frm kashmir Sep 15, 2013 06:44pm

Now the problem z nt only batting bt bowlng department z also dwindlng day by day...We r fed up wd Tuk Tuk...He mst retre now,...Pak mst drop Hafeez,azhr,asd shfq agnst ...I am msng Mohd.Amir vry much

Asif Sep 15, 2013 06:51pm

@Sheharyar: I am trying to emphasize that scoring at a reasonable rate helps the team cause better. This is an area where Misbah and Younus can improve and I am talking about test matches. BTW I think Pakistan should continue with Misbah as captain. He conducts himself with dignity on and off the field. I am not a big fan of Afridi.

Aslam Sep 15, 2013 07:39pm

Pakistan needs to find skillful batsman who can play. Just doing tuk-tuk like Younus, Misbah is non-sense and building up the pressure on themselves. Batsman who can take the singles should not selected to represent at international level. Batsman at No. 1, 2 ,3 position needs to do some homework. Humiliation was due the over-defensive approach of batsman.

Que Sep 15, 2013 09:41pm

This has to be said again and again till the change is made: Misbah's lack of aggression is the reason this match was lost. Just to clarify my argument: When Pakistan was 7 down with 54 runs to win, Tuk TUK then realized he has to play aggressive; which was too late!! At that point the loser approach captain was sitting at 56 runs with 151 balls faced!!! I mean come on; play the strokes and get over with game BUT - NOT!!! This dude CANNOT be captaining Pakistan side anymore; he has a sour loser approach in test & ODI!

ammar Sep 15, 2013 10:19pm

As much as I would like to believe that Asad Shafiq is great, its his time to go. He has been given enough chances to prove -- and he has successfully failed at every step.

Ahmer Sep 16, 2013 07:39am

Misbah Sir. Please talk less and practice hard.

Nadeem Mirza Sep 16, 2013 07:37am

Misbah, batting is not,"a bit of a worry please,

Asif Sep 16, 2013 08:27am

@SM: Because Misbah believes in buddy system and that is why he is caring this dead weight (Hafeez, Younus) and got rid off young talent like Anwar, Harris Sohail, Shahzad, and would not pick young talent. I do hope that he would not last till next world cup, as his buddy Hafeez going to select him for good old days................

Anup Sep 16, 2013 08:47am

Few of the basic problems with Pakistani cricket are politics and infighting happening. Another issue is isolation at international level due to internal security problems. I don't know why many Pakistani citizens in each and every issue start relating themselves to India. There are better role model cricketing countries like Australia, England, South Africa and even NZ.

faisal baloch Sep 16, 2013 12:47pm

@Effy: ok, he retires, than? the rest can manage 100 runs in total?

faisal baloch Sep 16, 2013 12:50pm

@Ray: mistbah is not the selector!!! he can only choose from the selected bunch of old aged fast bowlers he is given. IT should be the selection committe that should be fired

bilal Sep 16, 2013 02:32pm

@Ray: thats besides the point !! whoever is selected for pakistan are expected for perform !! they're professional cricketers!! be it hafeez of whoever, they're expected to perform atleast against the likes of zimbabwe who happen to be the weakest team !! and it's not misbah's fault that hafeez or azhar ali can't bat !! even club cricketers are better than hafeez and company !

Tauseef Farooqi Sep 16, 2013 02:44pm

The only way we can regain our glory is by firing Misbah and bringing someone (anyone) who can get the best out of the team instead of further killing their already dead spirits............

Que Sep 16, 2013 03:38pm

This has to be said again and again till the change is made: Misbah's total lack of aggression is the reason this match was lost. Just to clarify my argument: When Pakistan was 7 down with 54 runs to win, TUK TUK then realized he has to play aggressive; which was too late!! At that point the loser approach captain was sitting at 56 runs with 151 balls faced!!! I mean come on; play the strokes and win the game BUT - NOT!!! This dude CANNOT be the captain of Pakistan side in any format; he has a sour loser approach in test & ODI!

Nasser Sep 16, 2013 03:48pm

@Shail: Well said,Shail! Exactly what I have always been saying. A nations that adores Afrid's batting and not Misbah's are uneducated enough to know about statistics and to know the fineness of test cricket.

bilal Sep 16, 2013 03:58pm

@Ray: talking bout rahat ali, the poor guy did his job, he took 5 wickets in the 2nd innings, which helped pakistan restrict zimbabwe to 199 and a lead of only 264!! chasing 264 against a mediocre bowling attack such as zimbabwe's, shouldn't have been difficult !!!...our bowlers did what they had to ! blame the batsmen who couldn't even chase down 264 !! pakistan won't get to face any easier bowling attack that zimbabwe's, i can assure you !!

Cosmic Lion Sep 16, 2013 04:50pm

I really don't understand why Misbah gets roasted in these forums. May be the gentlemen in these forums did not forget the scoop shot he played in the T20 final ;-) My guess is captaincy in tests in general is amount managing bowlers. They did a fine job. Batsmen failed miserably. Not sure if you can blame Misbah for it.

Tufal Sep 16, 2013 05:50pm

Misbah is called an 'Anchor'. An anchor is a device normally made of metal, that is used to connect a vessel to the bed of a body of water to prevent the craft from moving by immobilizing it ' . Thats exactly what this loser does to the team. His fear of losing his own wicket has costed his team many matches . My request to Misbah is to do this one favor to Pakistan and stay in Zimbabwe , call it home .

revolution Sep 16, 2013 07:00pm

I think its unfair to criticize Misbah, he as a batsman did his job, its the other batsman that need a slap on their wrists, as a top order batsman, you are suppose to perform and show your skills, get rid all the batsman and bring in new talent, they have been given too many chances which they have failed miserably.

Suleman Sep 16, 2013 07:43pm

@SM: Are you talking about Cricket Australia, England or New Zealand? which world are you living in?

F.R Sep 16, 2013 08:25pm

Misbah should stop lecturing other players... They all have mastered his tuk tuk style which will not win matches... Scoring 50s means nothing if you are able to win matches for country. It is Misbah's fault for loosing second test match. He should have scored faster to win match.

Asif Sep 17, 2013 12:08pm

@Anup: Very wise words Anup. Actually many people of the two countries are just emotional and react without thinking. They do not miss any opportunity at taking swipe at each other. The result of one match will make them think that their team is the best or worst. Lot of times they are barking at the wrong tree.