Saturday, April 16, 2011

Why Misbah is still in the ODI Team!

A lot of people have been pushing for Misbah's exclusion from this format, however there is plenty of logic as to why Misbah is still in the ODI team which people are badly failing to consider. Reasons include:

1) Merit: First and foremost he was the leading run scorer in the ODI series against New Zealand and he was also the leading ODI run scorer for Pakistan in the 2011 ICC CWC. He has scored 5 half centuries in his last 11 innings. On ODI form alone his place cannot be questioned by any stretch of the imagination.

2) He has the Test Captaincy firmly in his hands. It always helps when the "real captain" or "major captain" of the national team is in and around the camp for the LO formats so he can keep a close eye on proceedings and share his vision, views and expertise with the management and LO captain. Therefore he should still play ODIs and T20s for however longer he remains captain of the Test team which should by another 2 years as he is building a strong looking side which is producing the desired outcomes.

3) Younis and Misbah were two class acts in whatever format they plan in and making drastic wholesale changes at once is not really the best way forward. You have to take one step at a time and keep a blend of experience and youth. You cannot really axe Younis Khan and Misbah Ul Haq simultaneously just like that. One needs to have at least one experienced batsmen around to help groom and encourage the youngsters and as Misbah has the leadership and superior form in his favour he unquestionably gets priority over Younis at the moment as far this role is concerned.

4) By playing in the LO formats it will help him keep his form, fitness and shape ahead of the Test Series which proceeds and which matters the most. A captain's performance and form accounts for a lot. Hence, if he is playing ODIs it could help the Test team gain as well. Tests have priority in a professional cricketing establishment.

5) Will help him adapt to the conditions ahead of the series which matters most. This should put him in good stead to deliver where and when it matters and look at some new faces from close up which he might be interested in seeing in his Test side for example.

6) Pakistan will struggle to bat 50 overs without an experienced soild anchor role batsmen in the middle order. This is the basic principle of ODI cricket, batting out your overs!

7) He is the Mr Cricket of Pakistan i.e. Mike Hussey of Australia who has a commanding presence at the crease and reads match situations exceedingly well and handles proceedings out there in the middle with a sense of authority, class and expertise. Misbah also has those capabilities as he has demonstrated in his relatively late and short career. Has Hussey retired from LO cricket? He is 35 after all. This is an example to refer to.

8) If a player is succeeding in Test Cricket he is more than good enough to succeed in relatively easier formats. Just a concept which tends to work out and more often than not is the reality.

Some thoughts for consideration here, but to be honest Misbah was never really in serious contention to be axed from the ODI team in the first place and was probably even going to end up leading the side in all formats during the WI tour when Afridi decided he wanted to take rest and who knows maybe Misbah will end up captaining Pakistan in the 2012 ICC WT20 or something of the sort if Afridi is banned or fined as he has been in the past. Misbah certainly has the credentials to stand in whenever needed and do a top job. He is still in the LO side and good to see if you consider the situation with a sense of perspective and clarity.

1 comment:

  1. 1) Misbah Ul Haq captaining Pakistan to their first ever Test series win in the Caribbean. Main objective of the tour will be that. Misbah batting at 4 in ODIs and scoring his maiden ODI century.

    2) Azhar Ali scoring his maiden Test century.

    3) Mohammad Salman performing well as Pakistan's premier keeping option.

    4) Wickets and runs for the mouth watering young beauty in Hammad Azam.

    5) Junaid Khan bursting on to the scene and capturing the attention of the commentators.

    6) Winning all 3 formats.

    7) Winning approximately 6/8 of the fixtures overall across all formats.

    8) Century from Ahmed Shehzad at some point during the series.

    9) One of the youngsters getting the MOTS award in the ODI series i.e. Hammad, Junaid, Umar Akmal, Shehzad, Shafiq.

    10) Wahab Riaz/Saeed Ajmal stepping up and leading the attack successfully as Pakistan's strike bowler in the ODIs.