Pakistan team management has confirmed to the media that Misbah ul Haq will be playing the final Test match against Australia and will lead the team. Misbah who has been going through a bad patch in the runs in the Australia series said that he is contemplating retirement plans post this series.
So far Misbah has scored just 20 runs from 4 innings in the series and that he scored a duck in the Melbourne Test has brought him in this position where he being hurled with questions.
Misbah will play at Sydney and he will be captain,” the PCB’s director (media), Amjad Hussain confirmed the media thereby putting all doubts to a close.
So far the series has been an enchanting one with Australia dominating the series and Pakistan showing some glimpse of good performances from players but not contributing to the teams victory. With Misbah himself scoring just a handful of runs in the series and senior statesman Younis Khan also not scoring big, there is a definite hollow in Pakistan’s batting line up which is difficult to fill.
Both Younis and Misbah are in the wane of their careers and with Pakistan in a period of transition as a Test team, it will be interesting to see who fills up the big boots of Younis and Misbah.
With the Test series already decided, this Melbourne game is actually a dead rubber, but if Pakistan can win this Test match and Misbah can work his magic, the management might think of stretching his captaincy a bit more.
“I always believed that if I couldn’t contribute to the team then it’s no point staying there,” Misbah said after Melbourne. “This is a point where I need to think about that, even before the next game [in Sydney] and after the series. Next couple of days I will think about it and decide what to do. There is no point in hanging around and doing nothing.”, Misbah was quoted saying by one section of the media.
Previously during the England series at Dubai, Misbah expressed his interest of leading Pakistan against India when there were talks of an India Pakistan series to be held last year which finally was not to be.
I was thinking about my retirement long ago, even when I was playing against England in Dubai,” he said. “I was thinking then that we had possibly Tests against India, so I would play that and that’s it”, said Misbah.
Australia on the other hand have found their mojo in this Test series after going down to New Zealand in Brendon Mccullum’s farewell series. They have clicked well as a team and with key players performing they have looked the better of the two teams.
In Steve Smith and David Warner they have found batsmen who have taken up the responsibility of making the team play around them. In Usman Khawaja and Matt Renshaw they found two more batting stars who also have improved on their game throughout the series.
Their bowling also has looked potent and threatening with Mitchell Starc leading the attack and Nathan Lyon spinning his web around Pakistani batsmen.
Having said everything, this Test match is all about Misbah ul Haq and his legacy as a legendary Pakistan cricketer who has burdened the weight of the team for the number of years that he did. This Melbourne Test match is another opportunity for him to prove to the world that he still has some gas left in the tank.
This Test match could well go down to be a historic one if Misbah can inspire his team to victory. Melbourne beckons a victory from Misbah.