Stories about Test cricket

Misbahul Haq, only second to Imran Khan and Javed Miandad as captain!

On January 14, 2013, I wrote a piece stressing the fact that Misbah is very much a necessity for Pakistan’s One Day International (ODI) cricket. I argued that Misbah has been far better than his colleagues and should not be dropped, predicting that he will fine tune his game-plan and will improve as a batsman. Well, as it turns out, Misbah has indeed stepped up his game since then. Misbahul Haq of Pakistan bats during the ODI match between South Africa and Pakistan at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on March 21, 2013 in Durban, South Africa. Photo: AFP Almost a year ...

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Pakistan vs Sri Lanka: Team green is breaking records and flying high!

Many young cricket fans in Pakistan regret being deprived of watching the great moments of Pakistani cricket live in Sharjah. Whether it was Aqib Javed’s seven-wicket haul against India in 1991 or the great six of Javed Miandad – these youngsters missed these classic moments which were later discontinued due to the ban on the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. But this regret was wiped out on January 20, 2013 when the Pakistan cricket team added to the countless memories of the Sharjah ground by achieving yet another milestone when they gave birth to a new world record in Test cricket by chasing a target of 300 ...

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Remembering the ‘Prince’ – Brian Charles Lara!

This is how it would happen – all cricket lovers would be hooked to their television sets, analysts would gush out new superlatives and the Caribbean beaches would light up to a string of thumping music. All hell would break loose as Brian Charles Lara, a bat in the cup of his palms, would stride out of the dressing room, sensing a rat on the cricket pitch.   It would truly be a sight too bewitching for any cricket lover and if it happened to be his day, then even the most skilful of bowlers would smell the dust. Why, you ...

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Is fast-bowling a fading art?

Ever since I started following the game of cricket, the aspect that has fascinated me the most is the sight of a genuinely quick paceman running down from his bowling mark to rattle a batsman. I still remember the day I entered a cricket stadium for the very first time – early 2000 – only to witness the run-up of the legendary Waqar Younis. Although I observed the craftsmanship of Wasim Akram as well, the swift yet smooth approach of the other ‘W’ mesmerised me the most. I used to be hooked to the television screen just to see Waqar Younis running ...

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In the streets of Pakistan, shine tomorrow’s stars

Every Pakistani boy who has even a tiny bit of interest in cricket must have played street cricket, at one point or another in his life. The game is coined as street cricket or galli cricket in Pakistan as it is mainly played on residential streets in cities.  This form of cricket is played with a tennis ball covered with electric tape. Taping the ball is sheer skill and every boy that has played the game has either mastered or tried mastering this art. The ball should remain round shaped after the taping otherwise it will move around in the air as well ...

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Zaka Ashraf: Another sad change in Pakistan cricket leadership

A change in leadership is needed. No, I’m not referring to the upcoming elections, nor am I talking about our favourite pantomime villain Misbahul Haq. I am in fact, referring to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairperson Zaka Ashraf, our supposed saviour from the tyranny of Ijaz Butt. So focused, it seems, are we on Ijaz Butt’s disastrous tenure that we fail to see the many failures of Zaka Ashraf and his lack of achievements. However, this article is not a comparison between the two; it only deals with the latter and his regime. A fresh start Although the PCB was riddled ...

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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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Could India or Pakistan mimic Australian discipline?

The news of axing of four players – Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James  Pattinson and Usman Khawaja -from the selection for the third Test match in Mohali came as a shock to many judging by the reactions of the former players and media alike. However, Australian cricket is known for its ruthlessness and no nonsense attitude. At first, it seemed like a harsh punishment. The only thing these four players were guilty of was not submitting something akin to a half page review of how the team could improve to the coach in the stipulated time frame. It may seem all the ...

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Pakistan versus South Africa: Plenty to learn still

Despite promising much, the Pakistani cricket team could deliver little against the South African juggernaut. It was a sound thrashing and a reminder that despite their resurgence over the past couple of years, the tourists have still got plenty to learn. A number of things went wrong for Pakistan right from the beginning. Starting with team selection, Rahat Ali – who was only sent as reinforcement – was chosen ahead of the first-choice Mohammad Irfan and Ehsan Adil. Regardless of the fact that his bowling was mostly ineffective, it is the manner of his selection that should raise serious questions. Irfan and Ehsan Adil must ...

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Farewell Ponting: You will be missed, but never forgotten!

Monday, December 4, 2012 marked the end of an era when Ricky Ponting walked out for the last time in an international match at the fall of Shane Watson’s wicket – a reality not lost on the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) crowd as they rose in unison to applaud him. Smith gathered his team in a guard of honour and they clapped Ponting to the crease.

Ponting is carried off the WACA in Perth by team mates David Warner (L) and captain Michael Clarke. Photo: Reuters

After the Australian openers had laid waste the opposition bowling, Ponting ...

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