Pakistan: Reliable? Organised?

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Probably a fight - not sure really

A reliable and organised Pakistan cricket team is essentially just a theoretical construct. Nevertheless, Misbah-ul-Haq has got them about as close as they ever get.

In recent months, they’ve reached a state of solidity they rarely experience. They’re scoring runs, they’re taking wickets and they’re winning pretty much all of their matches. The first Test defeat in the West Indies is their only real blemish since the World Cup and if they haven’t played the toughest opposition, there’s also the fact that the opposition has little impact on win/loss ratios for Pakistan – they seem perfectly happy to beat South Africa and then lose to the Faroe Islands under-11s in their next match.

Nothing scares the other Test nations quite like the rare occasions when Pakistan’s chickens retain their heads and stand still for a bit. They know that were Pakistan to stop deliberately quaffing poison for even just five minutes then no side could even hope to compete with them.

Most Test teams would struggle were they unable to play any home fixtures and all of them would consider the incarceration of their two best players a catastrophe. These things are but pebbles under the wheels of the Pakistan monster truck. How long before that monster truck attempts to drive straight up a waterfall?


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  1. 13.2 No run. On a length outside off stump, carefully watched through to the keeper by the batsman

    13.3 No run. Another one left outside off stump. This is excellent stuff from the Pakistani openers, not being drawn into anything silly, but they are building well

    13.4 One run. Nudged away into the off side for an easy single. Calm, impressive batting here

    13.5 Twenty-five runs. Lovely batting. Came down the track to the bowler while he was still in his run-up, reached him eight yards short of his delivery stride, picked him up and ran twenty-five while carrying him under his arm, then placed him head first into the large fish-shaped sponge cake that the batsmen had built at mid-off in the previous over. And that’s the 700 up for Pakistan. The batsmen come together to touch gloves and sing all eleven verses of Where Do You Go To My Lovely.

    13.6 No run. Left outside off again to finish the over.

  2. I do agree with the observation that Misbah has gotten them to play as a unit. But then again, as far as I can see, Younis is the only proper test batsman in the side. Of late, they have started to rely more on Afridi’s spin bowling than their speedsters – a worrying observation given Pakistan’s propensity to unearth fast bowlers from dust and unleash them on an unsuspecting opposition. Yes, they have stopped lighting themselves on fire, but they’re still a far cry from being a proper test team. But I do hope they get back their mojo. Test cricket is much richer with a full-strength Pakistani side.

    1. We disagree. Some of the younger batsmen, like Azhar Ali, are surprisingly doughty; Misbah and Mohammad Hafeez are being weirdly consistent; Umar Gul’s frequently excellent and Junaid Khan should be back in time for the England series. Also Saeed Ajmal.

      It’ll never last, like, but that’s half the point, innit?

  3. Can’t agree more. They never cease to amaze me. Would love for us (India) to be playing them soon. Pity bout all this hostility. It’s terrible in general but catastrophic when it gets in the way of a good cricket match.

    1. It’s good to see comments with an appropriate (for King Cricket) sense of proportion.

      But perhaps you have spotted light at the end of the humankind tunnel, Nash. If every nation of the world loved cricket sufficiently, all international hostilities might come to an end. Not because mankind had ceased to be an intrinsically violent and pugnacious species, but because good international cricket matches had become paramount. Or at least, far more important than a mere nuclear spat.

    2. Ged, I believe that was the exact logic for promoting cricket in the empire. That turned out well, it seems.

  4. Misbah on the Bangladesh tour and how the team is going:

    “Despite achieving some good results we still need to overcome some of the mistakes we committed. The management as well as the players are determined to overcome them because England will be really tough.

    “Our targets on the Bangladesh tour were to keep consistency in our performance, overcome some of the mistakes and improve our rankings, and we achieved that.”

    What is this? Reasonable? Inoffensive? Dire. He hasn’t even once accused a team-mate of infidelity or conspiring against him. Misbah hasn’t even threatened to retire once.

    Misbah on why Pakistan are working well right now:

    “The best part about this team is that we have good coordination among the seniors and juniors,” Misbah said. “The support staff is helping players, and each and every player realises his duty, and that will help us against England.”

    Excuse me?

    “good co-ordination”. “The support staff is helping”. “Every player realises his duty”.


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