Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Records in All 3 Formats Merged

Most Runs

Kumar Sangakkara (2267)
Mohammad Hafeez (1885)
Misbah ul Haq (1813)

Most Wickets

Saeed Ajmal (89)
Bishoo (65)
Umar Gul (65)

Most Catches

Virat Kohli (31)
Misbah ul Haq (30)
Darren Sammy (30)

Most 50s or above: Kumar Sangakkara with 18

Most 100s: Bell, Cook, Dravid, Hafeez, Sangakkara, Taylor with 5 each

Most time at the crease: Kumar Sangakkara and Misbah ul Haq were the two who faced over 3000 deliveries

Highest averages: Cook, Misbah, Taylor were all averaging well over 50

Highest partnership aggregates:

Jayawardene and Sangakkara with 1499
Dilshan and Tharanga with 1274
Guptill and McCullum with 1166
Misbah and Younis with 1082

Only ones with over 1000 runs

Most Dismissals: MSD with 74

Most 4s: Mohammad Hafeez with 219

Most 6s: Shane Watson with 57

Most ducks: Bishoo with 9, for batsmen Mike Hussey with 4

Most Test Wins: England and Pakistan with 6

Most ODI Wins: Pakistan with 24

Most T20 wins: England and Pakistan with 4

Most overall wins: Pakistan with 34

Most defeats: West Indies with 24

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Performance Predictions of Batsmen


Mohammad Hafeez = 1 ton and 1 50

Taufeeq Umar = 0 50s

Azhar Ali = 3 50s and a 30 odd

Younis Khan = 2 100s and 2 50s including 150+ score

Misbah ul Haq = 2 50s and 1 ton with no score of below 25 and an unbeaten stay along the way

Asad Shafiq = 2 50s

Rest = 0 50s

Andrew Strauss = 2 50s

Alastair Cook = 3 50s

Jonathan Trott =  1 100 and 3 50s

KP = 1 100 and 1 50

Morgan = 0 50s

Bell = 3 50s

Prior = 1 100 and 2 50s

Rest = 2 50s

Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011 Test and Overall Stats

^ Pakistan's 2nd best year in terms of the most test wins in a calendar year and their highest W/L ratio too and joint highest difference between test matches won and lost in a calendar year

A record number of international wins for Pakistan in 2011 and a complete contrast to the horros which were witnessed in 2010

Best test year for the men in green for over a decade
                                    Joint highest number of test wins in the calendar year and highest W/L ratio too

                                                     Pre Misbah ul Haq

After 15 months as test captain of Pakistan the team have broken into the top 5 and not too far behind Australia and going into the 100+ points

Pakistan were the most dominant international side in 2011

Pakistan have won more matches of cricket in 2011 than any year before as long as they have been playing on the international scene

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pakistan In 2011 Tests Review and Overall Review - Their Best Ever Year?


1-0 vs New Zealand away
1-1 vs West Indies away
1-0 vs Zimbabwe away
1-0 vs Sri Lanka in UAE
2-0 vs Bangladesh away

Margin of victories

10 wickets
196 runs
7 wickets
9 wickets
An innings and 184 runs
7 wickets

Never before have they had a higher W/L ratio in a test calendar year or had such a large difference between test matches won and lost.

Never have they won 4 test series in a calendar year since 2002.

Their 34 international wins is their highest ever in a calendar year and the most in 2011.

They have won the most tests in international cricket this year along with England at the highest W/L ratio.

The leading test wicket taker in 2011 is a Pakistani (Saeed Ajmal).

Misbah ul Haq was named captain of the year by the cricketer magazine.

Misbah ul Haq has taken the most catches by a fielder in the year 2011.

3 Pakistan batsmen were in the top 10 run getters for tests in 2011 through: Taufeeq, Misbah and Younis.

They are now 5th in the ICC rankings and have gained points this year.

In 10 tests this year they have posted above 340 in the 1st innings 8 times and crossed the 400 mark in the first innings 5 times and 4 times above the 450 + mark.

They have even declared the innings 3 times which they did not get a chance to do all last year

They have only lost 20 wickets once in 10 tests.

They have had 10 test centurions this year which is 8 more than what they had last year.

They have an 8-0 record against Bangladesh in test cricket from 8 tests, a 16-9 against Sri Lanka from 40 tests, a 9-2 against Zimbabwe from 15 tests, a 16-15 against West Indies from 46 tests and only 7 defeats in as many as 50 tests against the Kiwis.

Mohammad Hafeez and Misbah have featured in all 34 wins and Hafeez has been involved in all 47 matches.

They have had 3 of the 4 highest run aggregate partnerships and all of the 4 highest number of balls faced for partnerships in tests this year with Azhar and Taufeeq facing 250 overs and only being dismissed 8 times at an average of 82.
Younis and Misbah have been involved in the most 100 partnerships this year with 4 century stands.

2011 Test Records For Team Pakistan
MOM Awards


MOTS Awards

New Zealand = NA
West Indies = Saeed Ajmal
Zimbabwe = Hafeez
Sri Lanka = Saeed Ajmal
Bangladesh = Younis Khan

Top 3 run getters

Taufeeq: 831 runs at 46
Younis: 765 runs at 85
Misbah: 765 runs at 70

Top 3 leading catchers

Younis: 14
Azhar Ali: 11
Misbah: 10

Top 3 leading wicket takers

Ajmal with 50 in 8 tests
Rehman with 36 in 8 tests
Gul with 34 in 8 tests

Most Balls Faced

1) Taufeeq: 1876
2) Azhar Ali: 1829
3) Misbah: 1771

Highest Scores

1) Taufeeq Umar's 236 against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi
2) Younis Khan's 200* against Bangladesh in 1st test
3) Mohammad Hafeez's 143 against Bangladesh in 1st test

Most Maiden Overs Bowled

Abdur Rehman: 116 at economy of 2.29
Saeed Ajmal: 112 at economy of 2.44
Umar Gul: 48 at economy of 3.03

Leading run scorer by test series tour

New Zealand = Misbah ul Haq
West Indies = Misbah ul Haq
Zimbabwe = Mohammad Hafeez
Sri Lanka = Taufeeq Umar
Bangladesh = Younis Khan

Leading wicket taker by test series tour

New Zealand = Umar Gul
West Indies = Saeed Ajmal
Zimbabwe = Aizaz Cheema
Sri Lanka = Saeed Ajmal
Bangladesh = Rehman

Highest batting average by tour

New Zealand = Misbah ul Haq
West Indies = Misbah ul Haq
Zimbabwe = Younis Khan
Sri Lanka = Azhar Ali
Bangladesh = Younis Khan

Highest Partnerships

Younis Khan and Asad Shafiq for the 4th wicket against Bangladesh in the 1st test
Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali for 2nd wicket against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo
Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar for 1st wicket against Bangladesh in the 1st test

Highest Partnership Aggregates

Taufeeq Umar and Azhar Ali with 656 at 82 ( 3 100s and 3 50s in 8 innings )
Mohammad Hafeez and Taufeeq Umar with 587 at 32 ( 2 100s and 2 50s in 19 innings)
Younis Khan and Misbah ul Haq with 571 at 82 ( 4 100s in 9 innings)

Centuries Scored

Taufeeq Umar = 3

Mohammad Hafeez = 2

Younis Khan = 2

Misbah ul Haq = 1

Azhar Ali =1

Asad Shafiq = 1

Most Scores of above 50

Taufeeq Umar = 6

Mohammad Hafeez = 4

Azhar Ali = 8

Younis Khan = 6

Misbah ul Haq = 8

Asad Shafiq = 3
Umar Akmal = 1
Adnan Akmal = 1
Tanvir Ahmed = 1

Most Not Outs

Misbah ul Haq with 5 in 16 innings and 2 of them when he has scored 70* or more

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quotes on Misbah

“He has a statesman like demeanour. He has the best cricketing brain and intellect in the country. He has a rare quality which so many Pakistani captains have lacked with that he handles adversity analytically and not emotionally. He is a clear winner; note his outstanding domestic record as captain. A very suitable candidate to repair the damage Ijaz Butt and some players have done with the international cricketing community. Ideally he should have been appointed captain 6 years ago” : Geoff Lawson in October 2010

“Youngsters are benefiting from Misbah’s professional approach”: Mohammad Akram September 2011

“Misbah is very wise and is handling things very well”: Wasim Akram (December 2011)

“Misbah deserves credit for the recent success of the team”: Basit Ali (October 2011)

“Brace yourself. Barring injury or something drastic between now and the end of the England tour Misbah would have led in 15 tests straight. That is a record only bettered by Waqar and Inzamam as long as the days of Imran and Miandad. How would he have managed this period of unimaginable stability? I’m still unsure and how would he have managed it to the extent that no one thought was possible” – Osman Samiuddin. (November 2011)

“He has one of the best techniques in the world when it comes to defending watchfully and tightly prodding forward against spinners with bad pads around”: Waqar Younis (November 2011)

Maravan Atapattu: “Best Pakistan team since the team with the 2 Ws” (November 2011, when Misbah was captain)

“This is the best Pakistan team I have played in” – Younis Khan (November 2010)

“Misbah saved Pakistan cricket, In this melee, entered Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan’s go to man at the age of 37. Why the nation’s most naturally gifted cricket captain since Imran Khan has stayed on the sidelines for so long is an intriguing question. Great credit should be given to him though, for he has gradually becalmed a swirl-pool of ill-discipline and inconsistency marring Pakistan cricket for so long. ” – Saifur Umair from Express Tribune

“There is calmness and brightness when Misbah is at the crease”: Ramiz Raja

“Misbah is Pakistan’s best player and he should be batting in the top 4”: Imran Khan

“Misbah deserves the credit for uniting this broken team”: Aamir Sohail (March 2011)

“The Misbah question is why there is a question? Pakistan undefeated in a test series since the shameful tour of England. Away wins against New Zealand and Zimbabwe, draws against South Africa and West Indies. And a ‘home’ success against Sri Lanka. A sequence of results which exceeds expectations. As a captain Misbah has the 2nd highest average by a captain after Don Bradman (minimum qualifications of 10 tests). Why the murmurings of discontent” – Kamran Abbasi (November 2011)

“He is calm, disciplined and calculated” – Waqar Younis (November 2010)

“Misbah should be appointed test captain” – Ramiz Raja (October 2010)

“Misbah is an educated person and has the respect of the team” – Younis Khan (December 2011)

“Misbah should captain Pakistan in the World Cup” – Abdul Qadir (pre 2011 CWC)

Rameez pointed out that like him, Misbah had done his MBA and given a new lease of life to his career at the age of 33, when most contemplate retirement."I admire that person who is respected in the dressing room. I don't bother about what he does off the field in his spare time. But at an age (33) when most people think about retiring, Misbah has shown strength of character by excelling at the top level and surprised everyone with his performances," Rameez said. (2008)

"I have to give full credit to Misbah as he has stabilised the team and leads from the front. His performance is also outstanding. He makes the boys feel comfortable and relaxed so they actually enjoy their cricket. He is mature and willing to listen. The only unfortunate thing is the age factor which is not in Misbah's side." - Waqar Younis (2011)

"His brain works like a computer" - Sunil Gavaskar (2007)
"This man has nerves of steel under pressure" - Ravi Shastri
"I've said this before, I was asked about Misbah before the [2011] World Cup on who should be captain, and back than I was quoted as saying Misbah should be captain. A lot of people went to Shahid [Afridi], said a few things, saying “Azhar said Afridi shouldn't be captain”. I had a reason for saying it – the reporter I was talking to, I was just chatting with him like a normal person talks to another. What I said was “The World Cup is a big competition. Therewill be a lot of pressure on Afridi, and he is a match-winner. Afridi should just concentrate on his game. If he does concentrate on his game, he will win us matches. If he has the pressure of captaincy, then he will have the captaincy, the media pressure, handling the team and also his own performance. There will be so much pressure on him, and it will affect his performance.”From that point, I said Misbah should be made captain, Misbah is a very sensible individual, whereas Afridi is a little hyper. And he can't control his emotions in the way Misbah can, which is there for all to see. " - Azhar Mahmood (Decmber 2011)

"Misbah is calm and composed, tactically astute and, every now and then, willing to gamble. Not long ago, Pakistani observers were convinced he could not re-enter a middle order populated by talented newcomers. Now fans are ruing the fact that he is already 37 and won't be around for much longer" - Saad Shafqat

"Misbah may have copped a lot of criticism for his painfully slow batting in ODIs, but he still averaged above 50 with 9 fifties in 2011. His slow approach may not be suited to the modern demands of the game, but he ensured that the word 'collapse' was taken out of the equation when Pakistan were playing." - One of Cricket's most leading sites across the globe.

"Younis and Misbah have set high fitness benchmark" - MKH Oct 2011

Responsibility. Some thrive on it, others crumble under its weight.
Being made captain of an international cricket side is certainly a responsible position. Being made captain of Pakistan in the wake of the Lord’s spot-fixing scandal that had consumed the previous skipper Salman Butt had even more responsibility attached to it.
Such was the burden placed on Misbah-ul-Haq’s shoulders.
Pakistan could easily have imploded. But it didn’t and Misbah must take a lot of credit for that.
At the Reverse Sweep, we find it absurd that Misbah attracts so much criticism from Pakistan cricket followers on blogs and Twitter. - November 2011

Kudos for the current Pakistani resurgence, though, goes primarily to Misbah, whose calm leadership and even calmer batting have lent stability to the most storm-tossed vessel on the high seas. The contrast to his disgraced predecessor could hardly have been starker. Among the new, true allrounders - i.e. those picked across all three formats - none averaged more than his 57.20. The first 40-year-old national skipper since Imran Khan? Don't put it past him. - Rob Steen Cricinfo Mid December 2011

"I think Misbah is an intelligent player and composed captain, and he communicates well with the players. He has also quickly picked up the confidence to push for victories, plus he is batting extremely well. I tell him to just go out and get runs and don't waste any innings. He has served Pakistan cricket very well." - Mohsin Hassan Khan December 2011

Younis Khan at Pakistan's dinner function : "I have played under so many captains but found Misbah - the best ever captain in my career" - Younis Khan via Umar Farooq Kalson Pakistan's cricinfo correspondent who attended Pakistan's dinner evening function along with the squad for the England series to celebrate their success in 2011 today

"Misbah, with the team that Waqar built, has been able to get Pakistan back to the 1980s formula: lay the foundations at the top – regardless of the format – and then proceed; when bowling, force the team to give their wickets away, rather than pursuing them. In the absence of bowlers the quality of Imran and Wasim, it’s the trio of spinners who are the stars. And each of the trio takes his wicket by choking the batsman until he submits rather than the swift blow to the head preferred by the stars of the 80s and 90s. But, this is a strategy acceptable to Pakistan only under Afridi, but not under Misbah, it would seem.

The indifference towards Misbah stems from his refusal to go for targets, firstly in the South Africa series last year, then again in the recently concluded Sri Lanka series. However, what he does is logical. A team with the history of poor chasing and collapses – particularly in fourth innings – has every reason to be cautious. Furthermore, isn’t that what Imran did? After all, Pakistan’s greatest captain – that paragon of aggression – drew more than half the matches he led. His reputation as the leader is built upon his captaincy in ODIs. But isn’t that what Misbah does: cautious in Tests, attacking in ODIs?" - Medigag from Dawn

“The way Misbah is captaining the Pakistan team in test matches; Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should appoint him as captain for ODI series against New Zealand and also in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.His own performance with the bat is also very impressive which adds to the team confidence" - Zaheer Abbas February 2011

“Afridi has failed to lead from the front and on the other hand, Misbah has taken the pressure on himself and led from the front in test matches which is more difficult form of cricket. I think Misbah is the right choice to lead Pakistan in ICC Cricket World Cup 2011,” - Sikander Bakht February 2011

"Long-term success in any top-level sport begins first with learning how not to lose. Pakistan’s great team of the 1980s boasted Mudassar Nazar as its opening batsman, the scorer of the slowest century in Test cricket. The next step is learning how to win from different positions. The final milestone is domination. Team Misbah are finishing stage one, and the England series will be a proper examination of their progress." - Kamran Abbasi December 2011

"The level headed, intelligent and sensible captain of Pakistan. A cricketer who has flourished since taking over the role of Pakistan captain and thankfully has let his cricket do the talking. A man who doesn't feel the need to give interviews to the media every other day to justify his popularity.A man who feels he doesn't need to invite the media around his house to keep them "on side".A man who doesn't feel the need to pay for the media for their meals whilst on tour. A man who has done the hard yards in domestic cricket over the years and deserves every success. A humble, hard working cricketer who has the respect of the dressing room, the PCB and all the backroom staff. He'll have his work cut out in the upcoming series against England, but one thing is for sure, Misbah will give his all ! " - Saj from Pakpassion in January 2012

Misbah's updated profile description on ESPN cricinfo after all his success in 2011 reads as follows: it was in 2011 that Misbah truly rose above the crowd and established his credentials as a top-class batsman and a leader of men. Perhaps it's his degree in business management that has helped him manage, and get the best out of, a team as unpredictable as Pakistan - January 2012

"Spoke to Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq today. Came across very well and seems to be handling a difficult job with grace and good humour" - Dean Willson from the Mirrow January 2012

"His captaincy has had a calm influence on the players. He sets good examples and his own game has improved by a mile," added Raja, referring to a Test batting average touching 76 since Misbah's appointment."It was an important phase that was handled manfully by everybody - the captain, the board and the players." - Rameez Raja January 2012

"Yet under Afridi’s captaincy, the Pakistani team could internally combust any second. A brainwave was always just around the corner. A captain’s temperament reflects largely on his team’s performances. Mercurial leaders often breed unpredictability. Precisely for this reason, the calm and composed Misbah is an ideal man for leading Pakistan.Far more important than the results is the unbridled joy of watching a Pakistani team playing consistently solid, controversy-free cricket. These are attributes which a cricket fan like me has longed to witness. Finally, we have a captain who can collar his players, and on the back of stellar personal performances, command enough respect to instill a fighting spirit into the team. " - Safwan Umair

"For now, results are the only way to be taken seriously. On that count Misbah-ul-Haq’s team have over-delivered. Does it matter how they have done it? To my mind, it matters little. Pakistan cricket was a shipwreck waiting for a Viking burial. There was only one way to go and that was down to the depths of obscurity with the wailing of legends for a death song." - Kamran Abbasi December 2011

"Pakistan have played to their strengths (their bowling attack) and within their limitations (the pace of their batting). Simply put, Pakistan have wicket-taking bowlers and defensive batsmen, a formula that has succeeded thus far. Asking this batting line-up to score at four an over would be suicidal." - Kamran Abbasi December 2011

"Many were, at best, indifferent about Misbah before the tour, but he has begun to gain greater acceptance; some are relieved to have come upon such a calming influence, others resigned to a successful streak of pragmatism. His 66 at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, which laid the way for a shaky three-wicket triumph but a thumping 4-1 series win over Sri Lanka, captured the effect well. It was not a flashy intervention, but it was serene and came precisely in the kind of middling chase Pakistan often fluff." - Osman Samiuddin November 2011

"Not least of Misbah's achievements as captain - and this includes the series with South Africa - is that it went off without anybody being killed. No one ran away and no bookies have yet been sighted. Daniel Vettori even completed his press conference duties without insinuating anything untoward about Umar Gul's fine fourth-evening spell in Wellington. It is a minor triumph. There is no shortage of remarkable stories in Pakistan cricket but Misbah's is something else altogether" - Osman Samiuddin January 2011

"History may not remember Misbah as the most dynamic or visionary captain. But bearing in mind the hand fate dealt him and the context in which he took on the job, he may prove to be exactly the right man in the right position at the right time. Pakistan cricket has had plenty of flamboyant, unpredictable individuals. It could, perhaps, do with a little more calm, a little more predictability and a little more teamwork. Pakistan may yet come to be very grateful for Misbah-ul-Haq." - George Dobell from ESPN cricinfo

"Misbah is a very cool and calm character and what I saw in the Tests was very impressive, he handles things well and is somewhat like Ranatunga and he has the patience to wait until he achieves what he wants to," said Atapattu of the 37-year-old. November 2011

"Misbah became a professional cricketer late in his career, after completing an MBA degree aged 25. He was always considered to be one of the smartest men in the team, but only secured a permanent place when the selectors were looking for someone to take over from Salman Butt. A shrewd and pragmatic captain, the only trouble is that at 37 he may be too old to lead the side for long." - Andy Bull From Telegraph January 2012

"Comparing the 13 Tests under Misbah with the 13 before them shows that Pakistan have conceded almost the same number of runs (7007 versus 6964) and taken wickets with a more or less similar average (29.07 versus 33.16), but the batting average under Misbah has almost doubled, from 24.30 to 41.80. In other words, Pakistan's bowling was strong before, and continues to be strong under Misbah, but now the batsmen are giving their bowlers enough runs to play with. The result is that Pakistan have won seven of the 13 Tests under Misbah, compared with three wins and eight losses in the 13 previous Tests." Saad Shafqat

"Misbah has got it right. He may be risk-averse by nature, but he has managed to translate that into a cohesive unit that is showing results. That is a remarkable achievement." - Sikander Bakht January 2012

"Leadership has enhanced Misbah's batting, in particular his responsibility in constructing an innings and that is a handy trick. Certainly he hasn't looked out of depth, or naïve, on the field, to some extent proving Lawson's assessment that he handles problems analytically not emotionally. Years of domestic leadership have no doubt helped.PS Misbah would make a great chairman of the PCB in another 15 years!!! Lawson once signed off. Best reserve a copy of that book now." - Osman in January 2011

Misbah has been a knight in shining armour, if there ever was one, for Pakistan cricket. If it weren't for him, who knows where we might have been today. - Well Pitched

"Misbah has regenerated Pakistan, averaged 80, and held them together again today. The most important cricketer in the last year" - Wisden editor Scyld Berry

"He has learnt that he does not need to have a charismatic authoritarian stature or exhibitionist religiosity to bag the players’ and the media’s respect. He just needs to be Misbah — a contemplative selfless professional who articulates only on matters he knows best but is extremely private about his social and religious musings. Perhaps every other player needs to become a Misbah (and seems to have become); and maybe so does the Pakistani society as a whole." - Dawn

Misbah is the CEO, and Mohsin is the supportive and watchful chairman, standing steadfastly behind him. What they are doing together is not merely working, it is working wonders - Saad Shafqat ESPN cricinfo

Geoff Lawson on Pakistan's test series win:" I predicted that they would win the series before it started. I just think Pakistan has been playing some terrific cricket, particularly under Misbah. I have been saying for several years that he should have been the captain. They play very consistently and he’s a great leader and tactically he is outstanding. Obviously the players have a lot of respect for him, and it seems to be that everyone is playing for the team and no one is playing for themselves, which you couldn’t say that for a lot of past Pakistan teams."

Aamir Sohail on Misbah ul Haq talking to says : I will be as diplomatic as possible, but whoever criticises Misbah ul Haq does not know anything about cricket at all. Those that criticise Misbah need to read coaching manuals and sit down with ex cricketers and to learn about the psyche of cricket. His critics were waiting for his team to fail against England and they were saying that they have only beaten the likes of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Critics were saying that the Pakistani players that did well against the lesser teams will fail against higher profile opposition like England. Even the great Pakistani teams of the past lacked cricketing discipline and relied mainly on talent. Misbah’s philosophy is based on discipline and I am sure his philosophy will have a major impact on Pakistan cricket in years to come.

"England need to look at the way Misbah-ul-Haq plays the spinners. He plants his front foot down and either plays through extra cover or hits over the top. Unless you are a brilliant sweeper, that is the way to play." - Michael Vaughan

England were good in Abu Dhabi but Pakistan were better, ripping an absorbing Test match from the grip of their formidable opponents. A series win in such a thrilling manner has surprised even Pakistan’s careworn supporters. Misbah’s Pakistan, of steel, unity, and joy, has given the whole nation a cause to celebrate. - Kamran Abbasi from ESPN cricinfo

It would be an exaggeration to say that Pakistan’s cricket could have died of shame after the spot-fixing, but it could have wilted and declined, scandalous and homeless. But Misbah has stopped that happening, by averaging 80 as Test captain, and by his leadership. In his calm, cautious and cunning way, Misbah has been the most important cricketer in the world in the last year. Misbah is not as good a player as Inzamam-ul-Haq, But Misbah has something of Inzamam’s lordly demeanour, and he is a far more impressive captain. But his characteristics were just what Pakistan needed after the manic captaincy of Shahid Afridi and the criminal one of Salman Butt." - Scyld Berry Wisden Editor

"The performance of the team recently is down to Misbah Ul Haq. Mohsin Khan will be doing nothing. I am quite aware of what his capabilities are, from the time I was coach of the Pakistan team. He was in charge of the National Academy in Karachi and not very 'cluey' in his job. This is down to Misbah and his senior players and his organisation. I still think if Pakistan wants to go ahead, they still need a quality coach. Dav Whatamore is the right person." - Lawson

Michael Atherton - "Misbah ul haq is a Natural leader, A Natural player. He took over this side after the series here in England which would be remembered for all the wrong reasons and he has united this side I mean Pakistan are now looking like a much better team than before and Misbah has done outstandingly well for this Pakistan side and has so far let nothing come in his way"

"Pakistan confirmed to me this week that they are by far the best team in the Sub Continent at the minute.... By a country mile.." - Vaughan January 19th 2012 when Misbah led Pakistan to a 10 wicket win over the world number 1 ranked side to go 1-0 up in Dubai

"It is only because of the happy environment that Pakistan went out there believing they could win and they floored the best team in the world. It was an outstanding performance." - Raja Jan 2012

Serene characters like Misbah are few and far between in Pakistan cricket. We’ve seen the hot-headedness from Younis Khan, Ijaz Butt and Shahid Afridi in recent times and the chaos created by the match-fixers Salman Butt, Mohammeds Asif and Amir. Misbah is a man with such wide ranging qualities (also holds a MBA in business management) that he could easily take up the coaching role or a board position once he retires form playing – something I hope he does. This man should be backed to the hilt. - Stani Army June 2012

"Pakistan should be proud of their skipper and all he has achieved. I like his stoic nature and canny leadership. Appointing him as captain is the best decision the PCB has made for a long, long time." "At the heart of Pakistan’s revival has been Misbah himself." "He was entrusted with the seemingly thankless task of rejuvenating the side."... "He has shown the way, top scoring for Pakistan since he became captain with 1037 runs at an impressive average of 74.07. He clearly relishes leading the side." "There was much work to be done to restore pride in Pakistan’s cricket and to achieve this, the PCB made their best decision for many years – they turned to Misbah." By Miles Reucroft

"Misbah is very mature and he has been in and around cricket for a very long time.Having an older, calm, experienced player in charge of the team has been a very positive move for Pakistan, he is doing an excellent job.” - Former Pakistan Captain Majid Khan

"Misbah annoys you as a bowler at times, because we couldn’t seem to get him out for anything less than fifty the last time he was here. He is a great batsman but tends to get under your skin the way he plays. But I think that’s more credit to his game and us not being able to get him out more than anything else." - Tim Southee

"Then during the match when Kohli was out, Shahid Afridi approached me and said to me Yuvraj is in now, what are you going to do? I said I wanted to bowl a yorker straight away. But Shahid asked me to bowl a length ball so he [Yuvraj] would get out in the slips. However, I urged Shahid to let me bowl the yorker regardless of the consequences. I was prepared to be hit for a six or four, but I really wanted to bowl a yorker to him first up. Misbah was standing close by, so he also suggested to Shahid to let me bowl the yorker. So Shahid agreed and said alright bowl the yorker. In the end, by the grace of God, I was able to do what I had said a couple of days before the match. I bowled him out on the first ball – it was definitely a joyous moment." - Wahab Riaz

"Misbah bhai has pushed me a lot. I have played under him under Faisalabad and SNGPL. He’s always behaved very well as captain and I always thank him for whatever opportunities I’ve been given such as touring and league cricket - his backing has helped me a great deal along the way. He even says that I am his favourite bowler!" - Asad Ali

"So often, the best innings are not about the strokes a batsman plays, but those he does not. They are about discipline. About concentration. About denial. Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq defied England on a day when the bowlers, led by Stuart Broad, were on top. Misbah is the spine of the Pakistan team. Without him their batting would appear fragile and, in both Tests so far, he has provided resistance at a time when it appeared England's bowlers could take the initiative. " - George Dobell in Abu Dhabi January 25, 2012

Mark Nicholas in his piece for his cricinfo debut:
"And finally to the Test team of the Northern Hemisphere winter and to Misbah-ul-Haq. Not since Imran Khan has a group of Pakistani cricketers looked so comfortable with one another. Probably it was the winning but there was something quite patrician about Misbah's leadership - aloof and yet complicit. He never looks much of a batsman but averages 45 in 34 tests. He knows how to get it done and has passed this instinct to the others. How he loved it when they swarmed upon England, gloaters all. It was at Lord's that the storm clouds of spot-fixing had gathered and on supposedly neutral ground that the score was settled. How England must have suffered from this glaring portrayal of redemption. Misbah may not last, at least not like Clarke surely will, but he will not forget 3-0 against the colonial father in the Middle East. That was the Pakistan dream."

"A huge bonus for you will be that Misbah-ul Haq has taken over the captaincy. He is a bright, well-educated man, who understands the game exceptionally well. When in doubt, ask Misbah who should be in the team and he will give you players who aren't someone's second cousin's brother's uncle but rather are the most skilled for that position. He is a winner and plays no favourites, and will be an excellent sounding board for whatever strategy you feel will work best with the team. He sets a perfect example in work ethic and discipline, and it does make a difference when the senior players are doing all the right things, especially in their culture of age and respect going hand in hand." - Letter to Whatmore A former coach welcomes the new arrival with a few words of advice Geoff Lawson

Misbah's real problem - and it is a problem without a solution - is that he is not Afridi. The populist adoration for Afridi - for his charisma, his talent and his aura - is boundless. Misbah, with his more prosaic qualities of reliability, calm and consistency, is overshadowed by comparison. While logic might back Misbah, emotions are with Afridi. When Afridi drops a batting glove a nation stoops to pick it up. When Afridi fails with the bat - and, unpalatable though it will be to Pakistan supporters, he fails with the bat rather too often - a nation mourns his ill fortune. When Misbah scores 50, a nation frowns upon the slow pace at which he scored it. Misbah could invent a cure for cancer and someone will claim that Afridi would have done it with more panache. - George Dobell

“Everyone is impressed by the fact that he speaks well and sensibly before the media and secondly he is not fond of giving unnecessary or controversial statements in the media on any issue. He is seen as not only a good captain but an excellent ambassador for Pakistan cricket” - PCB Chairman on Misbah as Captain

Rambo recently said: “You can bet your bottom dollar on Misbah in tough situations.”

"Questions about Misbah’s suitability for the captaincy will persist, the nature of the beast is at odds with the mood of the herd, but sport is a results business first and Misbah has them aplenty to support his case for caution. This Misbah fellow might not be to everybody’s taste but he is tenacious and capable of surprise." - Kamran Abbasi 11/11/11

"Misbah is a very fine player and a top captain; previously he whitewashed world’s number one team. Actually Pakistan nation’s mindset is to be blamed here, they remember your bad performances but never appreciate your good ones. People remember and curse Misbah bhai over his innings against India in Mohali, but they don’t really understand the fact that had Misbah not stuck around, Pakistan would have been bundled under 140; and would have lost by 130 runs. I’d take a 30 runs loss over a 130 runs loss on any day. I don't find it much a worry, it's a Mentality that's come over the last few years." - Sadaf Hussain

"Misbah-ul-Haq’s Pakistan has a layer of ice smothering the fire in its veins, unlike any Pakistan team that has blown hot and cold before it. Forget rankings, Pakistan cricket and its supporters are feeling on top of the world." - Kamran Abbasi January 28, 2012

"But Ajmal’s ascent would have been difficult without the stability of Misbah’s captaincy. Misbah has flirted with Pakistani hearts before, only to break them. In Test cricket, as captain of his country, he has discovered a river of love. The only debate about Misbah’s captaincy is the run-rate of his batsmen, such a trifling matter in the grand order of Pakistani controversies that it speaks volumes about the success of his methods. Misbah has brought tenacity to Pakistan cricket, best exemplified by the fascinating partnership between Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq in Pakistan’s second innings. Previous Pakistan teams would have succumbed to a base instinct to blast their way out of trouble, yet Misbah’s young troopers dug in, deeper and deeper. A partnership alien to the Pakistani spirit, albeit hewn of Misbah’s cool resolve, forged the winning margin." - Kamran Abbasi 28/01/12

"This was the examination of Pakistan's progress that was anxiously awaited, a bout with the world's No.1 Test team, a tussle that might expose the illusion of Pakistan's cricketing resurrection. Instead, Misbah-ul-Haq's team moved their supporters a few steps closer to heavenly rapture." - Kamran Abbasi 19/01/12

"With Saeed Ajmal in such mesmeric form and Misbah's leadership more impresive by the day, Pakistan are capable of turning their Middle East abode into as much of a fortress as Karachi once was. On this evidence, Pakistan can be a power again in Test cricket and the world game will be better for it." - Kamran Abbasi 19/01/12

"But the first match after that shameful day at Lord's in 2010 was always going to carry a thrilling significance for players and spectators of both teams, Pakistan's in particular. Team Misbah's stylish victory has restated that precious ability of sport to cleanse sins and lift hearts. For its manner and its poignancy, Pakistan's ten-wicket triumph will rank among the greatest in its gripping cricket history." - Kamran Abbasi 19/01/12

"Determination and tenacity are trademarks of this new Pakistan, although there is no shortage of skill in the spin attack, the best in Asia, or the pace of Umar Gul, a threat with new ball and old. In Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, Pakistan have young batsmen of sound temperament, a trait often lacking in emerging Pakistani talent. At the helm, Misbah, the mild-mannered miser of Mianwali, has galvanised his troops in a fashion unseen since the days of Imran Khan." - Kamran Abbasi 06/02/12

"Misbah-ul-Haq’s Pakistan worked a miracle to inflict a whitewash on the world’s top side, only the fifth occasion that a Pakistan team has achieved that landmark. England were expected to be formidable opponents, likely to expose Pakistan’s progress as superficial. England improved with the series but not enough to challenge Pakistan’s dominance. The rapid progress that Pakistan have made in the last 12 months was sealed with an English kiss." - Kamran Abbasi 06/02/12

"When Misbah ul Haq took over the captaincy, it was an emergency for Pakistan cricket. I’d liken him taking over the captaincy to a time when a serious accident had just occurred. It was an accident where emergency treatment was required to stop the bleeding. Firstly the bleeding had to be stopped, the minor injuries had to be addressed and then finally long term medication being administered to enable healing to take place. Initially Misbah stopped the bleeding that was happening in Pakistan cricket, then he looked into the minor injuries and now we are seeing the right kind of medication being given to the Pakistan team by Misbah to enable them to recover fully. He has approached the situations and scenarios that he has had to encounter since taking over as captain very methodically and the best thing that he has brought with him is putting the emphasis on cricketing disciplines." - Aamir Sohail

Monday, December 12, 2011

Most Test Wins As Pakistan Test Captian

How far further can Misbah climb up the ladder? Only 7 captains out of 29 who have been handed the leadership have won more tests as Pakistan captain and a few them are shady characters linked with deliberately throwing matches i.e. fixing. Out of the lot, Misbah has the highest W/L of 6.0 and only Imran has a higher difference between matches won and lost by just 1 higher than Misbah. Out of the 7 after Imran he is the 2nd most ‘well rounded’ in terms of off field accomplishments and the ability to speak diplomatically and present a thorough professional account of his side. A series draw against England will ensure Pakistan have had their longest undefeated test series streak since the 1980s and 2nd longest ever, however with 3 consecutive test series wins one cannot rule out a 5th test series win as captain against the number 1 ranked test side either which surely will be a fitting legacy to his golden run as Pakistan captain. Ramiz Raja surely did well to recommend him for the job after the tour of England in 2010 when Pakistan required an honest,educated and experienced captain. (Written by Maaz - ace backer of Misbah as a player and captain)

Friday, December 9, 2011

135 AO Plays 132/0 On Day 1 Of The Series!

That was truly a tremendous day all around for the visitors. The bowlers were top notch and really showed their superiority and dominance to run through the Bangladeshis in Chittagong who seemed to lack any plan or purpose at the wicket when approaching proceedings. Ajmal continues to add to his tally and Rehman is closing in on reaching 50 test victims with his left arm spinners. Yet against Misbah elected to put us in the dirt first up and yet it worked with a justified performance from the bowlers who responded and put their hand up. 6 times when Misbah won the toss he has bowled first on 5 occasions. The 4 previous results have been comprehensive victories 3 times and a commendable draw the other time.  Team Pakistan have been on the field on day 1 of a test match 12 times in their last 13 tests with only 2 losses. Taufeeq and Hafeez have statistically reached a historical milestone by appearing in 11 consecutive tests over taking the likes of Anwar and Sohail and Mudassar and Ramiz and they have been fairly consistent by Pakistani tendencies in their opening stands. This is their 3rd century stand from memory in the last 11 tests. It’s vital both get some runs under their belt ahead of the England series because although they performed respectably and made their mark on the Sri Lankan series, majority of the contributions came from the resilient and gutsy middle order (Azhar, YK, Misbah) and they (openers) didn’t really take the world by storm, especially after the first test. Hopefully, looking ahead, we can add a further 250 odd tomorrow and only lose a maximum of 4 or maybe 5 wickets and get through a wicket less session during the process. Should be looking to bat until lunch on the 4th day and win by an innings and plenty. A sizeable lead of 300 would be more than sufficient, but it’s important the batsmen get runs under their belt. 3 50s and 1 ton from the top 6 needed and also a 50+ score from one of the number 7-10 batsmen. Disappointing performance from the Bengalis once more, their test status is being questioned and rightly so because there is no fun in seeming teams humiliated by some hefty margins; it’s not a healthy advertisement for the sport at all. They are definitely starring down the barrel of a mammoth loss and have been totally beaten and beaten badly. They look completely demoralized and short of confidence. It's just a no contest.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pakistan In 2011 ODIs Review

The 3-0 clean sweep against Bangladesh means that Pakistan has won more ODI encounters this year than any other year before with 24 victories and just 7 losses to go along with 1 NR during the 2nd one day international against New Zealand in January this year. Never before had they had a more successful year of one day international in terms of the number of wins and that too at a W/L ratio of well above a 3.0.

Misbah’s side has won 6 consecutive ODI series as well as a semi final appearance at the 10th ICC CWC. 5 of the 6 series have been away tours with the other against the WC finalists being played neutrally in the UAE which they won comprehensively.

They have won more than any other country in ODIs this year by a margin of 3.

3-2 vs New Zealand
3-2 vs West Indies
6/8 wins at the 2011 ICC CWC.
2-0 vs Ireland
3-0 vs Zimbabwe
4-1 vs Sri Lanka
3-0 vs Bangladesh.
Pakistan has won 12 of their last 13 one day internationals since Misbah became full time ODI captain as well. Misbah has won 13 out of 14 one day internationals as captain with 4 consecutive series wins and has the highest winning % by any captain in ODIs with a minimum qualification of 10 ODIs.

The greens have won 22 ODIs in a row against Bangladesh - the joint highest ever with Australia against Zimbabwe. They have a 28-1 record against Bangladesh. They can over take Australia's record against Zimbabwe on 12th March during the opening fixture of the 2012 Asia Cup in Dhaka.
Pakistan’s 3 leading run getters in One Day Internationals For 2011
Hafeez: 1075 runs at 37 (3 100s and 5 50s)
Misbah: 964 runs at 54 (9 50s)
Umar Akmal: 785 at 41 (6 50s)
Pakistan’s 3 leading catchers in One Day Internationals For 2011
Misbah: 15
Younis: 13
Umar Akmal: 13
Pakistan’s 3 leading wicket takers in One Day Internationals For 2011
Shahid Afridi: 45 wickets at 21
Saeed Ajmal: 34 wickets at 18
Mohammad Hafeez: 32 wickets at 25
MOM awards
Hafeez: 6
Shahid Afridi: 5
Umar Akmal: 4
Misbah: 2
Younis Khan: 1
Aizaz Cheema: 1
Junaid Khan: 1
Umar Gul: 1
Ahmed Shehzad: 2

MOTS Awards

vs West Indies = Mohammad Hafeez
vs Zimbabwe = Younis Khan
vs Sri Lanka = Shahid Afridi
vs Bangladesh = Umar Akmal
WC = Shahid Afridi named in team of the tournament
vs New Zealand = NA
vs Ireland = NA

Leading wicket taker by tour

vs New Zealand = Wahab Riaz
vs WC = Shahid Afridi
vs West Indies = Wahab Riaz
vs Zimbabwe = Aizaz Cheema
vs Sri Lanka = Shahid Afridi
vs Bangladesh = Mohammad Hafeez

Leading batting average by tour

vs New Zealand = Misbah
vs WC = Misbah
vs West Indies = Misbah
vs Ireland = Younis Khan
vs Zimbabwe = Mohammad Hafeez
vs Sri Lanka = Umar Akmal
vs Bangladesh = Misbah

Leading run scorer by tour

vs New Zealand = Misbah
vs WC = Misbah
vs West Indies = Mohammad Hafeez
vs Ireland = Younis Khan
vs Zimbabwe = Mohammad Hafeez
vs Sri Lanka = Umar Akmal
vs Bangladesh = Umar Akmal

* 13/17 wins batting 2nd
* 10/15 batting 1st
* Never lost having posted a total of above 180 when batting first unless the ODI was determined by D/L method
* 6 totals of above 250 when batting 1st in 14 ODIs
* The top 2 bowlers on the ICC ODI rankings are Pakistan off spinners: Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez
* Umar Akmal is the only Pakistan batsmen in the top 10 in ODIs
* Hafeez is the 5th leading run scorer in ODIs 2011 overall, Misbah is 7th, Umar Akmal is 12th and Younis Khan is 14th
* Had Umar Akmal not thrown his wicket away in the 90s during the 2nd ODI in Dubai, Pakistan would have had 13 wins in a row which is their highest in ODIs and the 3rd highest of all time after Australia and South Africa
* Shahid Afridi is the 2nd leading ODI wicket taker in 2011 with 45 scalps
* Last year Pakistan won just 5/18 ODIs. This year they have won 19 more than what they achieved last year
* 3 Pakistan spinners are in the top 6 leading ODI wicket takers of 2011
* 3 Pakistan fielders are in the top 6 leading catchers for ODIs in 2011

Below: 06/12/11

Below: 23/11/11

Below: 14/09/11

Below: 30/05/11

Below: 05/05/11

Below: 05/02/11

Pakistan Cricket Achievements Up Till Now - A Major World Cricketing Force - A Reputation To Pride On

1992 World Cup Champions

2009 ICC World T20 winners

World Number 1 on Test Rankings in 1988 - for 2 months

World Number 1 on ODI Rankings in 1990 - 1991 for 3 months

2008 Kitply Tri Series Winners

2000 Asia Cup Winners

2007 Inaugural ICC World T20 Runners Up

2006 Under 19 World Cup Winners

2004 Under 19 world Cup Winners

1999: Asian Test Championship Winners

1999: World Cup Runners Up

1988 and 2010: Under 19 World Cup Finalists

2011: SAARC U25 Winners

2011: Titans Winners (indoor event organised by Jimmy Adams)

Hong Kong Sixes 5 times winners – the joint highest with England

3rd Highest W/L ratio in the history of tests after England and Australia with over 100 test victories

One of two teams with Australia who have registered over 400 ODI victories

The highest number of T20 international wins with 31 victories in 50 encounters and the only country to reach the final 4 in each of the global editions

One of 5 nations who have been World Cup holders along with Australia (4), West Indies (2), India (2), Sri Lanka (1)

1979, 1983, 1987, 2011: World Cup Semi Finalists

2010: Women’s National Team were Asian Games Winners in China

2004 and 2009: Champions Trophy Semi Finalists

2002: Tri Series Joint Winners with Australia

2008: U15 World Cup Runners Up and Winners of the Knock Out Tournament in the West Indies

2000: Sharjah Cup Winners
2002: Sharjah Cup Winners
2003: Sharjah Cup Winners
2001: Sharjah Cup Winners
1999: Sharjah Cup Winners
1990: Sharjah Cup Winners
1991: Sharjah Cup Winners
1989: Sharjah Cup Winners
1986: Sharjah Cup Winners
1993: Sharjah Cup Winners
1994: Sharjah Cup Winners
1996: Sharjah Cup Winners
1999: Sharjah Cup Winners

Basically the KINGS of the Sharjah Cup - note that is was some times held twice a year

2000: Tri Series Winners in the West Indies

2004: BCCI Platinum Jubilee Match Winners at Eden Gardens

1996/97: Tri Series Winners in Australia

1998: Sahara Cup Winners in Canada

1996: Sahara Cup Winners in Canada

2000 Under 15 World Cup Runners Up England
1996 Under 15 World Cup Runners Up England
2002 Khaleej Times Under 15 Winners

1999: Pepsi Cup Winners

Won 12 consecutive ODIs in 2007-08 which is the 3rd longest streak

Won 7 T20s in a row in 2009 which was the longest streak at the time

Things Not Done

Been whitewashed in Australia in the last 3 test series visits and never won a test series in Australia

Never won a test series in the West Indies

Never won an ODI series against South Africa

Never won a World Cup Match Against India after 5 encounters

Have won the Asia Cup only once out of the 10 editions whereas Sri Lanka have won 4 titles and India have won 5 titles respectively

Never won the ICC Champions Trophy out of the 6 events that have been contested

Never won a test series in England since 1996

Never won a test series in South Africa

Out of the 6 teams that have been number 1 on the ICC test rankings Pakistan have been there for the smallest amount of time - 21 months less than South Africa the next overall best

Out of the 6 teams that have been number 1 on the ICC ODI rankings Pakistan have been there for the smallest amount of time - 4 months less than India the next overall best

Never won a test series against Australia since 1994

Appeared in less World Cup finals than Australia, India, Sri Lanka, England, West Indies

Monday, December 5, 2011

30 Predictions and Wants Against England In The UAE

1) Undefeated in all 3 series formats, winning 2 of them.
2) Same top 6 to be played in all 3 tests.
3) Graeme Swann to have a SR of above 100 whereas Ajmal has one below 80. Swann to have an average nearing 40 whereas Ajmal to have one below 32. Ajmal to have 5 more wickets than Swann and out bowl him in terms of average and SR as well as the overall wicket tally.
4) Win at least 5 of the 10 internationals and lose only a maximum of 3.
5) All the Pakistan batsmen from 3-5 to have an average in excess 45 from Pakistan during the course of the test series.
6) Azhar Ali to face 750 deliveries in the 3 match test series and set the benchmark, preferably even spend more deliveries at the crease than Trott.
7) Misbah to face 450 deliveries in the 3 match test series in the 1st innings alone.
8) 3 centuries from Pakistan’s batsmen.
9) Azhar Ali averaging higher than Trott.
10) Misbah averaging higher than Strauss and taking more catches than Strauss.
11) Having at least 4 Pakistan batsmen averaging in the best 7 from the 3 match test series.
12) A Pakistani batsman to play a 300 ball innings.
13) Hafeez going at under 3 and taking 4 wickets during the test series.
14) Rehman going at under 3 and taking 9 in the tests.
15) Leading overall tour wicket taker to be a Pakistani.
16) 3 Pakistanis in the top 5 test series leading wicket takers.
17) Gul and Ajmal to have at least 25 wickets combined in the test series at an average of under 33 and an economy of well below 3.
18) To post at least 330 in all first innings and ensure the innings duration lasts longer than 130 over mark and even take that to above 155 and overall total of above 450 once in the test series.
19) 2 50s from the Pakistan openers as a bare minimum individually in the series combined and post above 50 for the 1st wicket the same amount of times as a minimum expectation.
20) Misbah to score 4 50s and a valuable 35+ including an unbeaten one in the 10 internationals and average higher than Cook as well in the one day internationals. Not allowing Cook to pass more than 50 twice in the 4 ODIs whereas Misbah gets at least one if not two. Overall Misbah should be targeting above 500 runs aggregate in this tour in all 3 formats combined at an average in the 40s or higher.
21) Avoid any controversies on Pakistan’s side.
22) Only lose 1 wicket or less per session on 8 occasions which will be a sign of the batting continuing to click and the team’s hopes to be on track.
23) Younis and Misbah to pile on over 100 for the 4th wicket if and when they get together in the tests or if not for the 3rd wicket in ODIs.
24) Highest tour runs scorer and catcher to also be a Pakistani in all 3 formats combined.
25) To bat more overs than England during the first innings in at least 2 tests and also win the first innings as a result 2 times. Overall to bat for at least 35-40 overs more than England in the first innings and show a level of endurance and resilient batting durability.
26) Winning an ODI by 60 runs or 6 wickets. A really comprehensive show along the way.
27) 2 Pakistani MOMs in the test series and the MOTS to also be a Pakistani.
28) Ensure we do not go 1-0 down in either test or ODI or even T20s and overcome series LOI decider choking tag should the series go down to the wire which surely will happen in either the T20s or ODIs with it being a 4 match and 3 match series respectively.
29) A half century and a 40+ from numbers 7-11 in the test series. Lower order needs to show some depth and all roundedness.
30) A Pakistan bowler to take double figured ODI series wickets and really dominates proceedings and show why they are ranked so highly. Hafeez and Ajmal to take 12 between them in the 4 ODIs or more at an economy of under 4.5 and average of below 25.
31) Most productive tour partnerships to be Pakistanis in the test series. 3 in the top 5 aggregate if not better. Pakistan to continue their success in knitting together long, reliable, frustrating, composed and tiring partnerships even if the tempo is circumspect and old fashioned if you like during the process.
32) Ajmal to take at least 15 wickets in the 3 tests.
33) Overall the batsmen from 3-6 battling it out for overall 2100 deliveries combined or more in the test series and all spending valuable time in the middle.
34) Remove the last 4 for a maximum of 120 or under consistently during the test series.
35) 3 batsmen from Pakistan to score over 300 in the test series and all batsmen to score at least 150 in the test series. To have 13 scores of 50 or above from Pakistan's batsmen.

Top Performers Prediction


Youngsters in Tests

Azhar + Junaid

Experienced names in Tests

Younis + Ajmal

Overall Key Batsmen: Younis Khan
Overall Key Bowler: Saeed Ajmal
Overall Key Fielder: Azhar Ali

MOTS: Azhar, Younis, Misbah, Ajmal


Youngsters in Tests

Cook and Bresnan (now Broad)

Experienced names in Tests
Trott and Swann

Overall Key Batsmen: Trott
Overall Key Bowler: Swann
Overall Key Fielder: Cook

MOTS: Trott, Bell, Swann, Prior


Youngsters in ODIs

Umar Akmal + 2nd opener depending on who is selected + Wahab Riaz

Experienced names in ODIs

Misbah + Hafeez + Gul

Overall Key Batsmen: Misbah ul Haq
Overall Key All Rounder: Mohammad Hafeez
Overall Key Bowler: Wahab Riaz
Overall Key Fielder: Younis Khan

MOTS: Mohammad Hafeez


Youngsters in ODIs

Kieswetter and Finn

Experienced names in ODIs

Trott and KP

Overall Key Batsmen: KP
Overall Key Bowler: Swann
Overall Key All Rounder: Patel
Overall Key Fielder:



Youngsters in T20s

2nd opener + Aizaz Cheema

Experienced names in T20s

Misbah and Afridi

Overall Key Batsmen: The 2nd opener depending on who is selected
Overall Key All Rounder: Mohammad Hafeez
Overall Key Bowler: Saeed Ajmal
Overall Key Fielder: Misbah ul Haq

MOTS: Misbah-ul-Haq/Abdul Razzaq if utilised properly and fit



Bairstow and Dernbach

Experienced Names

Morgan and Swann

Overall key Batter: Morgan
Overall Key All Rounder: Bopara
Overall Key Bowler: Jade Dernbach

MOTS: Morgan

Most catches: Younis and Misbah

Most runs: Misbah

Most wickets: Ajmal

Pakistan’s 5 most valuable players

England’s 5 most valuable players

Outsiders who will shine:

Azhar Ali
Steven Finn

Players who MAY struggle
Umar Akmal

Key Mouth Watering Battles

Strauss vs Misbah

Both leaders are very diplomatic, educated and experienced. They are two of the most well polished individuals in the sport with their off field achievements to complement their on - field sublime consistency and cherishing track records. These qualities will surely be useful in rejuvenating the relations between the two countries as both leaders present a thorough professional account of their side in their mannerisms, level headed quotes and ability to speak professionally with the press. Negative headlines and poor sportsmanship does not serve any healthy purpose to promote sport and both surely will be doing their level best to ensure things do not go out of bounds.

Both captains are tactically and strategically well known for their credentials amongst their team members and both like to lead from the front and set the example. Both of them have top notch slip fielding capabilities. Both of them know how to gel and extract the best out of their teams. Both of them have test averages in the 40s and are willing workers at the crease. Both of them are in their mid to late 30s. Both have a set and well tried workable strategy they employ at the toss if they end up calling correctly. Both have that element of sedateness and classicalness in their batting approaches. Both are controversy free characters. Both are generally rated highly by pundits. Whoever performs better could turn out to be a decisive factor in the final outcome.

I think Strauss is susceptible to spin bowling on the slow and low wickets in the UAE whereas Misbah knows the conditions better than most which will give him somewhat of an advantage to capitalise on. Moreover, some of the Pakistan bowlers have seen Strauss before whereas Misbah hasn’t played a test against England before. Strauss last played an international in August whereas Misbah has been playing all 3 formats regularly. Misbah has the height and physic to counter the tall English seamers and is pretty sound and steady against all types of spin bowling so will negotiate with Swann who will be far less threatening than his dominance in 2010 where he averaged just 12 per wicket. Strauss prefers pace on the ball and spin will be an integral part of deciding this series so the Middlesex opener will need to adapt. There might even be a temptation to give the new cherry to the Professor first up with Strauss and Cook both being left handers. Misbah will know the importance of removing Strauss early and will be doing his level best to give him some headaches in the field when he walks out to bat with his solid temperament, measured approach and firm resistance. One can expect him to outshine his counterpart.

Swann vs Ajmal

The ultimate battle of the series. Saeed Ajmal is the number 1 bowler in ODIs and number 2 in T20 internationals whereas in tests he was the leading wicket taker last year with 50 scalps which no one else had achieved in just 8 tests. Swann on the other hand was considered as the number 1 spinner in the world pre 2011 and in the early stages of 2011 and even still nowadays by many. Swann was phenomenal against Pakistan when they toured in 2010 with his sharp spinning off breaks and nagging guile, albeit against a weakened Pakistan batting line up. He is more of a conventional off spinner who will plug away with dip, drift and focus on maintaining a strong line and length, enabling him to attack both sides of the bat. Against left handed batsmen, Swann is a clever operator bringing the slip and LBW into the equation with straighter ones, non turners and ones which fizz past the outside edge. However, Pakistan only has 1 left hander in their top 7. Saeed Ajmal is more threatening and possesses greater variety with his ability to bowl both sides of the wicket and turn the balls both ways sharply as well as getting his deliveries to skid and zip off the surface, varying his trajectory and bowling at a variable pace in the air. The batsmen always tend to be searching against him and Saeed has played enough at the highest level now that he can figure out batsmen himself and really understand his strengths properly. I expect the solid, dependable, technically well equipped and disciplined Pakistan batting line up to play Swann better whereas the England top order might have more trouble picking up on Ajmal’s wide range of deliveries whereas for the tail they wouldn’t stand much of a chance unless Ajmal is bowling poorly and if recent form is anything to go by, he certainly shouldn’t. Ajmal will be pumped up to show his uniqueness and one expects him to do better, especially considering the greatest player of spin between the two teams is from the hosts, Younis Khan.

Trott vs Azhar Ali

This will be a key battle between these two resilient, determined, steady, spirited, mentally strong and workman alike gritty crease occupiers who can scrap, graft and value their presence in the middle with their disciplined approach and exemplary defensive game plans to provide the balance, variation and stability in posting totals and battling through sessions with character, heart and a clear sense of plan. They can tire, frustrate, grind, apply, accumulate and gradually work over the opposition step by step with unflappable concentration, tight line of defence, patience to absorb the pressure and tough it out and also the stamina and self trust to last the duration. Who will be tougher and more irritating to dismantle and dislodge? Both will be looking to outperform each other and provide more trouble than the other to the opposing bowlers. From Pakistan’s point of view, they will be hoping Azhar can show the same levels of gutsiness, application and grittiness to get stuck in or dig in deep and long through long partnerships, wicket less sessions and regular 250-300 minute innings and beyond. Azhar should be targeting to perform to same level if not better than Trott, at least through a 'psychologically imposing angle' with at least 3 fighting half centuries during the course of the tour. His record in the UAE is quite remarkable with 5 half centuries and 1 century in 5 tests. Azhar has only been dismissed once for less than 50 in the luxurious set ups of the Middle East Dessert. Both have played 4 tests against each other and have been performing admirably at the all important one down position since debuting in 2009 and 2010 respectively. I back Azhar to notch up the scores and average above 40 in the series and potentially even do better than his opposing number. Misbah’s men can take plenty of confidence from Azhar’s emergence as the new “Wall” of world cricket, that can really provide the responsibility and dependability which is required at this level on a regular basis with such a chanceless and sturdy style of operation. His approach provides the direction, calmness, structure and re-assurance when taking things into perspective and Strauss could argue the same with Warwickshire batsmen. Ali will compete well with Trott.

KP vs Rehman
KPs struggle against slow left arm orthodox bowlers speak for themselves and has been well documented and picked up on by many columnists and pundits. Rehman is likely to get the nod in the starting line up and surely he can be a threat for the mighty flamboyant aggressor. Either way there will be drama when the two go head to head with KP looking to take him apart. Rehman must ensure he holds his nerve and keeps it simple. He should be studying footage of how other left arm spinners have troubled KP in the past and take that into consideration. Rehman was the joint quickest Pakistan spinner to the milestone of 50 test wickets.

Anderson vs Gul

Anderson was accused of ball tampering by Gul last year so there will be some fierce competition between the two when they go head to head. Both are the senior pacers who will be looking to make a statement on those docile tracks. One can expect plenty of sledging and chin music when one is facing up to the other. Anderson will need to concentrate on penetration and pace as there will not be much sideways movement or swing available whereas Gul will be trying to shape the ball across the English left handed openers with the odd one fuller in length and darting back into those pads as the surprise change up. Gul should be focussing on giving the two a stern test of their patience. Gul will inevitably take the new cherry and will need to ensure he doesn’t provide too much width to Strauss or stray on those legs of either opener where they are very strong. Anderson will fancy getting Taufeeq and Hafeez early by getting it to deviate a fraction in those nagging channels.

Swann vs Younis

YK is a master class at encountering spin and was on an exile from national representation when the hosts toured in 2010 and played Swann woefully as the Nottinghamshire finger spinner averaged a phenomenal 12. Swann would not know what has struck him when he faces up to YK who is so tight at prodding with the full face in front of the front pad when he plants his first stride down and sweeps productively, drives smoothly and nudges around the corener tidily. YK covers the angle and spin, operates with soft hands and dabs the ball on to the turf with a firm sense of authority. If Swann gets him early, the off spinner has seen the back of prolific batsmen of spin bowling. It’s a first class education seeing YK negotiating with the spinners in the manner and ease in which he does. YK will know Swann personally from his Nottinghamshire days in 2005 so there is a possibility that they have faced up to each other in the nets in the past although that all counts for nothing in a match context.
Bell vs Shafiq

Both are technically well equipped. Both are short in stature. Both field as bat pads. Both rely on timing and elegance as opposed to explosiveness. Both bat at number 6 in the lower middle order. Both generally play spin pretty efficiently. There are some key similarities between the two although Bell is far more experienced. Can Shafiq compete and match him? England would not have seen much of the Karachi batsmen before and therefore he could be difficult to figure out first up. The pundits in the sky studio picked up on his deficiencies against short pitched bowling where he looked all at sea and therefore the tall visiting pacers might be testing him out by getting him to smell the leather. Shafiq will need to look to survive against the 2nd new ball as this is a likely time when he will be out in the middle and will need to be addressing the shorter stuff by dropping his hands and swaying out the line. There may well be times where he will be asked to shoulder the responsibility batting with the tail.

Cook and Trott vs Taufeeq and Azhar Ali

Bothhave been highly effective 2nd wicket stands for their respectivecountries. Both have a left hand right hand combination. All players involvedaverage in excess of 40 at test match level. Both partnerships have beenextremely reliable for their countries. Both rely on perseverance, resistance,controlled stroke play, mental toughness and grit to get through and look toset up the foundations for a sizeable total. Both enjoy batting with each other for both sides and have a sound understanding of each other. Both are bound to perform, but who will edgeout the other? It will be an intriguing contest seeing the pairs battling it out in the middle against some fine bowling line ups. It’s a close call.

Trott vs Wahab

After the throat grabbing incident on Monday 20thSeptember at Lords which delayed the toss for the 4th one dayinternational this was one exciting head to head we all looked forward to, butWahab has been excluded for non cricketing terms is has been understood and itis expected he will continued to be ignored for the forthcoming series, but incase he does make the squad this will be one to keep a close eye on.

Cook vs Junaid

Junaid tends to land his deliveries in the corridor of uncertainty as he probes away trying to get the Essex man pushing forward. The disgraced teenage sensation troubled him in the summer of 2010 with this line of attack and while that disgraced teenage sensation may be in prison now serving his 6 month sentence, this may not be the end of the miseries for Cook because the hosts as ever produce talented fast bowlers who fall like leaves and Junaid is no exception. Cook may be relieved with Amir’s absence; however that’s not to say he will not get through uneasy as Junaid has the potential and firepower to knock him over early in the piece with his whippy action, whole heartedness and splendid control of his line and direction. Surely Cook will be challenged.
Swann vs Taufeeq

This is more of a mini battle. Taufeeq is vulnerable against the slower bowlers. Swann will be licking his lips and will be all over him like a hot knife through butter unless Taufeeq finds a away of hanging in there, getting to the non strikers end and getting the bat down in front of the front pad. Swann is bound to have Taufeeq’s number.
England left handers vs Hafeez

Hafeez has a remarkable track record against left handed batsmen. The ‘Professor’ as he is known in the dressing room and amongst his fans as well because he likes to share his thoughts openly, is a cunning operator and has made many left handers his bunny, namely Devon Smith and Tamim Iqbal. This time he will be up against batsmen with greater pedigree, but even then he has actually troubled batsmen with his own guile and variations in all forms of the sport so we cannot rule him out. England have several left handers in their batting order and Hafeez can work them out if he is thrown the ball by Misbah-ul-Haq. One skids ongoing straighter, one drifts in from wider of the crease with a fair deal of revs, one turns and bounces after pitching. You can regard him as an all rounder. His bowling is mighty effective and consistent with those nagging trajectories, undisputable control, regular economical figures and subtle varieties. He has even opened in test matches and with 2 left handed Poms padding up first, there may be a temptation to give him the new cherry.

Mushtaq Ahmed's Presence In The English Camp

The former Pakistan leg spinner who has was integral member of Pakistan’s victorious World Cup campaign in 1992 with his mixture of leg breaks and googlies has been a regular member of the English coaching staff over the years where they have reached record breaking highs. England will be looking for his advice and services more than ever against Pakistan. Mushy, the Sussex living legend, will undoubtedly be an influential figure. He has already voiced his excitement for the series and was relishing the battle between the spinners. It should be interesting to see if Panesar has worked on his bowling if England do decide that 2 specialist spinners is the formula to go by.