Captain Calm Misbah not to guide Pakistan anymore
Misbah-ul-Haq, the man still criticized for his defensive batting approach especially his performance in 2011 semi-final against India, wanted to end his ODI career on a winning note as he had announced his retirement after the World Cup.
Pakistan’s first game in the world’s top cricket event was against archrivals India. Chasing 301 target to win the high voltage encounter, no batsmen could stick to the crease except for the captain as he went on to score 76 runs. The team went on to lose the match by 76 runs.
The batting department of the green shirts was in disarray and Misbah had to watch the wickets tumble on the other end. He was dismissed for seven runs in the match against West Indies and the team lost the game by 150 runs.
His second half-century of the tournament came against Zimbabwe as he scored 73 runs with the help of three boundaries. He then raised bat for his third half century of the World Cup against United Arab Emirates (UAE) as he made 65 runs which included four fours and two sixes.
Misbah continued his form in the World Cup by scoring his fourth fifty against South Africa by scoring 56 by hitting four boundaries. He was unlucky in the game against Ireland as he was hit wicket after scoring 36 for the team.
In the crunch quarter-final against Australia, the green shirts captain contributed 34 runs before he was caught out in the mid wicket region as he tried to slog Glenn Maxwell for a six.
It was not just Misbah’s consistent form that helped the team won matches, it was his attacking field set which helped the team in scoring wins in the tournament.
Despite his criticisms, Misbah’s achievements speak for their own. He became the only Asian captain to lead his side to victory in an ODI series in South Africa. He also led his side to a victory in India as well.
Misbah had taken the reins of the team when Pakistan cricket was passing through a critical phase after the spot fixing scandal. He proved as stabilizing factor to guide the Pakistani cricket out of the dire straits.
The green shirts captain may have said farewell to his ODI career but his legacy as a consistent performer with a calm mind will surely live. Misbah will also be remembered as one of the most criticized yet performing players of Pakistan cricket who instead of responding to his critics lets his bat do the talking on his behalf.