Stories about captaincy

Despite continuous ODI losses against England, I still have hope for my team

The pounding taken by the Pakistan team in the third ODI against England didn’t come as a surprise for me. I mean, we are ranked number nine and were playing against a team ranked number five in the world. The difference in rankings was obvious on the field. England outclassed Pakistan (like they have been throughout the ODI series so far) in every department. England’s players celebrate victory in the third one-day international (ODI) cricket match between England and Pakistan at Trent Bridge cricket ground. Photo: AFP England has been good in the field, exceptional with the ...

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Removing Azhar Ali from the cricket team will result in a long-term loss

An out of favour batsman, who had remained in the shadows for long and was deemed surplus to requirement in the shorter formats, was, out of the blue, asked to lead a side. Not any ordinary side, but a side that was plagued with groups, seniority-‘juniority’ prejudices and a quota system that has seeped into our roots. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) gambled on Misbahul Haq when they not only brought him back into the Test side, but to the shock of many, made him captain. The gamble succeeded and Misbah went on to become the most successful captain in ...

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Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, a duet like none other

Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were the two stalwarts of Lankan cricket for more than a decade. The contribution they have made to Sri Lankan cricket is extremely significant and which separates them from the rest in terms of stature and amount of runs scored. I had the pleasure of watching them throughout their respective careers and during that span of time, and every now and then, they surprised me with something absolutely spectacular. Elegant and graceful shorts were perhaps the only shorts in their books. From Jayawardene’s sublime inside out shot over cover, to perfect square cuts of Sangakkara, every shot they ...

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Misbah in the context of Pakistan’s lifesavers

A few days ago, I read a blog by a passionate Misbahul Haq fan, thanking the Pakistan captain for all that he has achieved, and asking his forgiveness on behalf of the fans who have harangued and disrespected him for so long. Photo: AFP Like almost all other reflections on Misbah, this one described him by describing Shahid Afridi first, and explaining that Misbah was all that Lala is not. When I asked some Misbah fans why he is not contextualised in Pakistani society the way Afridi is, someone answered that it is because honest and hardworking people never get anywhere in Pakistan. [caption id="" ...

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Wahab Riaz can fill Misbah’s shoes

Pakistan’s World Cup campaign came to an end yesterday, and while many expected the Aussies to emerge victorious, very few had expected Wahab Riaz to put up a fight the way he did. Photo: AFP Pakistan’s batting and fielding proved to be the biggest shortcoming yesterday, yet again, and defending a measly total of 213 proved too much for the bowlers this time. While Australia managed to dominate most of the match, there was a short spell of 12 overs or so when this was not the case. In a single spell of six overs, Wahab showcased an epic display of fast-bowling which had ...

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With their powers combined, this is what an India-Pakistan combined XI would look like

Tomorrow, all statistics and records will go out the window – it will be all about which players perform best as a unit under pressure. But before the big eleven, let us see which team has the better players. Rohit Sharma versus Nasir Jamshed The competition for the opening slot is as good as a walk over. All the talk before the World Cup around India’s batting is about Virat Kohli but at almost 28, this World Cup comes at the prime of his career for Rohit Sharma. Sharma has an average close to 39 but he is one of those ...

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Is Kohli better than Tendulkar?

The past week has been a sad one for the cricketing community with the untimely demise of a young Phillip Hughes, falling during a first-class match in Australia. If anything, this incident reminds us that life is short and very unpredictable, and should be celebrated for every moment of joy that it may bring. While we mourn Hughes’s death, I would like to focus on another young cricketer who brings joy to millions who follow him. Virat Kohli has been one of the best ODI batsmen of the last few years. Statistics may not always do justice to a person as ...

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The king of comebacks

Cricket is a love story, a baffling relationship, one that tugs at your heart, crushes and then serenades you all over again. The love you try relentlessly to give up on, the one you know you’re always going to run back to. Pakistan cricket has shattered us and then put us back together more times than I can remember. Misbahul Haq is our messiah, a patient captain, a world class player who took over the team when our hearts were irreparably broken from the spot fixing scandal and nurtured us back to health. And every few months, he finds himself ...

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Pakistan versus Australia: Our middle-order conundrum

A lot has happened in Pakistan cricket over the last two decades. Teams have been shuffled around, captaincy has been tinkered with, the management has been a chaotic mess, the administration is a shambles, so on and so forth. A lot has changed; however, if there’s one thing that has remained synonymous to Pakistan cricket for years now, that is our batting woes. The predictability is so obvious that it’s almost becoming funny now. The best way to gauge public sentiment about Pakistan’s batting is to observe comments, tweets and statuses on social media when we’re chasing – be it ...

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Captain Shahid Afridi: Out with the new and in with the old?

On September 16, 2014, the stars once again aligned themselves for 34-year-old Shahid Afridi who was appointed as Pakistan’s T20 captain. It is believed that he will retain this position until the T20 World Cup in 2016. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), in true Pakistani fashion, has decided to adopt the ‘live for the moment’ mentality with absolutely no regard for the future of T20 cricket in the nation. What is the point of employing the same individuals in the same positions time and again and expecting different results? Was it a lack of better options that forced the board to make this decision and ...

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