The Story Of Two Cricket Skippers: Pakistan And Bangladesh
As expected Pakistan completed a clean sweep in the recently completed test series against Bangladesh in their away tour. At no circumstances they were really seriously challenged by their opposition, and their command of the game was striking all along. They always were on the driver’s seat, and even when they faced small upsets, they recovered admirably. Great performance from a team which had been struggling only recently!
It appears in Misbah-ul-Haq Pakistan has finally found a man who can bring stability to their mercurial cricketers. Misbah may not be an Imran Khan, but his leadership is no less commanding. He is cool and composed and is just on the other end of the spectrum from Pakistan’s all time great Imran. Nevertheless he is equally effective, and his poise is always there to guide his band.
Pakistan never lacked in cricketing talents. They have produced world conquering bowlers and batsmen in droves. Their problem was guiding their hugely talented, but quick silver temperamental blocks to a mean fighting machine. Imran was the first one who was able to do that with his steely personality, now Misbah is doing it with his soft touch.
I thought Misbah’s influence was most evident when Umar Gul was batting on the 3rd day. He clearly had instructions from his skipper, and he was playing straight bat, curbing his natural aggression, and using his feet. What a demonstration of head down cricketing from a tail ender! Team discipline and intent at full display! It was just a contrast on the other side.
In a moment of rage the Bangladesh Cricket Board had sacked Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal from the team leadership after their Zimbabwe debacle. Bangladeshi cricketers are often blamed for their temperamental behavior, but the selectors who are supposed to be matured are even worse. With one stroke of a pen they did immense harm to a young cricketing team that had lot of potential, and was just banding together as a cohesive unit. At the time of their action I had written expressing my feelings that the selector’s action may harm the two young men who are still coming into their grooves. It appears now, although Shakib has recovered from that fiasco, Tamim has suffered from it—his performance has never been the same after that. He has lost concentration and his natural flare, and that is a great loss for the team.Continued on the next page