Stories about Asad Shafiq

Misbahul Haq, the man who broke cricket beyond repair

As ungentlemanly as it is to castigate someone in the aftermath of a retirement, such is the rage I harbour for the man named Misbahul Haq that I’ll break this sporting code. Before I tear into my vitriolic rant, I’ll start by saying that I have nothing against Misbah ‘the person’. In fact, as a captain, he did a stellar job staying clear of any controversies a la the Salman Butts and Wasim Akrams of these shores. I’ll give him that. Statistically speaking too, Misbah, I’ve come to know, was better than some of our better ones. He also deserves some ...

Read Full Post

Who will the next Misbahul Haq be?

After having been thrashed by the mighty Australians on their home turf, Pakistan looks to adjust to life after Misbahul Haq and Younis. Whether the two get a go in the upcoming series remains to be seen but the future doesn’t seem too bright for the men in green unless the management finally decides to make a new young team from scratch. Like all great teams of the past and the present, Pakistan must delve deep into their domestic structure and search for answers before it’s all too late. Whilst one might argue that Pakistan’s domestic structure is full of ...

Read Full Post

What happened to Pakistan at the Gabba?

Pakistan’s predictable unpredictability is their biggest threat towards both the opposition and, regrettably, themselves. In the last three Tests, Pakistan have lost nine wickets in the final session, almost pulled off the biggest chase ever in Test history. Pakistan’s cricketing woes are largely representative and reminiscent of Pakistan’s general attitude towards everything ranging from religion to politics – a middle ground just doesn’t exist. At the Gabba, Pakistan earned themselves a moral victory and were rightfully praised for all their efforts. Momentum, despite losing, had tilted slightly towards Pakistan and it was still there for three and a half days of ...

Read Full Post

Why has Umar Akmal disappeared from Test cricket?

In 2009, I watched a 19-year-old batsman score a century during his Test debut in New Zealand. He took on the likes of Shane Bond, and made it look relatively easy. Umar Akmal blitzed his way through to 129 on debut, and followed it up with 75 in the second innings. A star was born, or so I thought. Fast-forward seven years and the same cricketer is struggling to score runs in the Bangladesh Premier League. How times change. It saddens me to see such a talent being wasted, especially considering Pakistan’s batting stocks are so low. But how did ...

Read Full Post

Could Salahuddin and Hamza replace Misbah and Younus?

Pakistan’s loss to New Zealand has been associated with many reasons including old horses, Younus Khan and Misbahul Haq, showing signs of aging, senior batsmen, Asad Shafiq and Sarfraz Ahmed, not playing to the best of their abilities, lack of match practice prior to the series and unfamiliar conditions. Many former players including Mohammad Asif, Muhammad Yousuf and Shoaib Akhtar, to name a few, have been extremely vocal about their criticism of Pakistan playing their home matches on flat decks in the UAE which has done more harm than benefit to our cricket as a whole. While their arguments do have ...

Read Full Post

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

The alarm bells were not ringing in the desert heat; they were, in fact, ringing aloud in the immediate aftermath of the Pakistan team’s recent achievement; drawing the Test series 2-2 in England. On the back of a resounding victory at the Oval, Mickey Arthur stated that the plan that won Pakistan that Test was, in fact, a plan that Pakistan would adopt moving forward and is seen as the long term solution for the batting line-up. But did it really win us with that Test? After much deliberation, when Arthur was appointed, it was seen as a step in the right direction to modernise ...

Read Full Post

What’s right with the Pakistan Test team, is what’s wrong with the ODI team

A good Test player won’t necessarily be a good ODI player. Some examples of this theory are Justin Langer, Alistair Cook and Younus Khan. Similarly, a good Test Captain may not be as good as an ODI Captain; for example Alistair Cook, Michael Vaughan and Misbahul Haq. Yes, you read that right. Misbahul Haq is a champion – a champion Test captain testified by the number one Test ranking that now rests with Pakistan. But, what he brought to the ODI team is still on display, even during the last two years (when Azhar Ali became the skipper). Misbahul Haq is a champion.Photo: Reuters The defensive ...

Read Full Post

Was it truly necessary to suspend Misbahul Haq right now?

Pakistan lost its first Test series in Christchurch after seven consecutive Test series. Tours to New Zealand and Australia have always been tough for Pakistan. After Pakistan’s unsatisfactory performance in Sharjah against the West Indies, there have been doubts regarding our batting line up against New Zealand and Australian conditions; thus resurfacing and strengthening the fear that the Pakistani team will struggle in such trying conditions. Misbahul Haq is a legend in the current team. He has played many match-saving and match-winning innings for Pakistan. His captaincy and batting ability is the reason why Pakistan is placed in the top half of the Test playing nations’ ranking charts. Misbah has ...

Read Full Post

Beating New Zealand will not be a walk in the park, Pakistan

Twenty-four victories, eight losses and 21 draws; Pakistan’s head to head Test match record against New Zealand is nothing short of enviable. It is Pakistan’s best record against any Test playing opposition, excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, and is testament to the unsurprising fact that the men in green have not lost a Test series on New Zealand soil since 1985. As a result of 12 consecutive unbeaten Test series in New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud is Pakistan’s happiest hunting ground outside of Asia. However, while history and numbers dominantly favour Pakistan, the upcoming two Test series in ...

Read Full Post

What can Pakistan expect to achieve in the Test series against West Indies?

Thirteen days after Dave Richardson presented the ICC Test Championship mace to Misbahul Haq and Pakistan contentedly sat on the top of the ICC ranking table, India dislodged Pakistan from the number one position that is now theirs to claim for a while – unless New Zealand can steal a win in the third and final Test and Pakistan clean sweep the West Indies. Pakistan Test captain Misbahul Haq (R) receives ICC Test Championship mace from ICC Chief Executive David Richardson in Lahore on September 21, 2016. PHOTO: AFP Number one or not, everyone can agree that ...

Read Full Post