Stories about captain

I dare to defend Misbah

“I hate Misbah!” “He made us lose another game.” “This is what to expect when you have a captain like Misbah!” Try as I might to close my eyes to this increasingly trite propaganda, I find escape impossible. So here I offer my two cents, because if there is one thing I abhor above all others, it is the mindless hate leveled at those who don’t defend themselves. After his recent performance in the fourth One Day International (ODI) of the West Indies vs Pakistan series, Misbah has managed to prove himself worthy enough to be respected as the captain of the team. During this chase, he went ...

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Cathay Pacific: The flight unfit for flight

The aircraft, having boarded on time for a 00:20 hours departure on June 15, was on the runway when the captain announced that a technical fault was making it impossible to take off and we had to get back to the base for maintenance. So, okay, approximately 300 passengers on board the Cathay Pacific flight CX2700 decided, these things happen. We should be 20 minutes late but safely in the air soon. Not the case. The aircraft would approach the runway, gather some speed and then turn around to the base. After three hours of maintenance we were off-loaded from ...

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Why Hafeez should replace Misbah as captain

Since the dreadful English summer of 2010—when Pakistan lost three key players due to the spot-fixing scandal—Misbahul Haq has been leading the Pakistan cricket team in at least two formats of the game. Considering the tough circumstances, Misbah has done a commendable job—both as a player and as a captain. Some of his achievements include the Asia Cup title (2012), ODI series win against India (2013), and a Test series white-wash (2012) against the then world number one Test side England in UAE. It was Misbah’s calmness that helped improve the team’s Test ranking to number four. As a captain, he has won nine (four losses) out of 20 ...

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Pakistan versus South Africa: Are we prepared to handle the heat?

So it’s time, again. The South Africa versus Pakistan Test series starts on February 1, 2013. Exactly a year after Misbah’s boys conquered the world number one side, they face a similar challenge when it comes to statistics, only this mountain they have to climb is much steeper than before. England was the best side in the world then, and South Africa is at the moment. The two series cannot be compared because the differences are obvious; Pakistan faced the world number one last year in the UAE, “a home away from home” on the slow and low tacks. Now, however, the battle ...

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New skipper, new squad: Let’s beat Sri Lanka!

The Pakistan Cricket Board announced the squads for the tour to Sri Lanka yesterday. The three formats got their own tailored squads with the T20 squad coming up with the biggest surprise. Hafeez has been made the captain for the format and vice-captain to Misbahul Haq in the other two formats as Misbah stood down from international T20 cricket. No formal retirement announcement has been made as yet. Hafeez is affectionately called ‘The Professor’ amongst the team members and is known to think deeply about the game, its strategies and plans, making him the most logical successor to Misbah. He will ...

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Why we hate Misbah

First of all, let me apologize for the misleading headline. This is not a hate article about Misbahul Haq, nor is it one which supports him. When Pakistan lost to England, almost all of us decided to blame him for the defeat. Like all of our country’s misfortunes and losses, we decided to make our captain the scapegoat. Let us recall the events that culminated in Pakistan’s defeat. We had an opener (Hafeez) who didn’t score a single run, Afridi who got run out for three and didn’t take any wickets, Umar Gul who got hit around by Pietersen, a pitch as dead ...

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Misbah is not the problem

If attack is the best form of defence, Misbahul Haq surely doesn’t believe in it. He is a calm character whose presence on the field is barely felt at times and – on some occasions – hardly even matters. He’s patient so he waits until he gets a chance to pounce and at times, it backfires. But he has built a reputation, and a good one, to steer Pakistan past many obstacles in dire circumstances and, while the adrenaline levels remain low, fans ought to be proud of the results ‘captain cool’ has achieved since he has taken charge. The criticism ...

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The rise and fall of Dhoni and Clarke

It is often said that success is easy to obtain but very difficult to maintain. Winning the World Cup was the biggest thing that happened to Indian cricket in recent times. It was a rather young side that went on to scale new heights a few months ago. Maintaining momentum and hunger after such a spectacular achievement was a big challenge for India. Sadly, the team failed to live up to that challenge. Looking at India’s overseas record in Tests since the World Cup, it is evident that the fizz has gone out of their performances. Also, considering the current scenario, it ...

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The topsy-turvy roller-coaster ride of Bangladesh cricket

A year ago, Bangladesh cricket was settling down after a win against England and a loss to Ireland in the space of five days. They had barely sat down after the rollercoaster ride when crushing series wins over New Zealand and Zimbabwe followed. Then a World Cup came along, throwing up some more shockers: be it the stinkers against West Indies and South Africa or the unforgettable win over England. Just months later, Bangladesh cricket is staring down the barrel again, losing the Test and One-Day International (ODI) series against Zimbabwe. As in September 2010, on the eve of the historic New ...

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Has Dhoni lost the Midas touch?

The same captain who inspired India to a World Cup win not long ago followed by the IPL trophy for his franchise. He was the captain magnificent, leading from the front and was always calm in the face of the storm, thwarting it to achieve sometimes improbable wins.  However, those days seems to be long gone. Six months after what were surely the best moments of his life, his world has come apart. Once the euphoria of the trophies wore off and Dhoni and his team came up against test champions England, they were crushed! Dhoni’s own form with the gloves and ...

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