Just weeks after the inaugural World Twenty20 final in South Africa, Misbah-ul-Haq once again came agonisingly close to taking Pakistan to a memorable win over old rivals India. And once again he choked when the time to deliver the killer punch came.
However, the 33-year-old batsman who is trying to consolidate his position in the Pakistan middle-order, is not fretting over it. “The important thing for us is that we won the match and are now even with India in the series,” said Misbah, who made a valuable 49 only to lose his wicket at a crucial time while trying to back paddle an Indian pacer with Pakistan still needing 39 to win.
“It would have been great had I been able to stay there till the end and help us win but Shahid (Afridi) and Sohail Tanvir finally won it for us in the end and that’s what matters,” he pointed out. As a team Pakistan won but individually it was another failure on the part of Misbah, who desperately lacks the killer instinct that made the man, whose place Misbah now occupies in the middle order, one of the greatest batsmen of his era.
Inzamam-ul-Haq time and again finished matches for Pakistan in an illustrious career and if Misbah has to ensure that he stays in the playing line-up, he will have to do a better job at the end of the innings than he’s doing now.
“I’m confident I can do it,” said Misbah, who got out twice in the World Twenty20 championship against India at the twilight stage of a run-chase after taking Pakistan very near to victory “Surely my team needs me to play better and I’m working hard to improve my performance,” he said.
Misbah is one of the team members who are being closely monitored by national selectors back home. After a successful international comeback at the World Twenty20 stage in September, Misbah failed to impress much in the home series against South Africa in which Pakistan lost both in Test and one-dayers.
A selector recently confided in ‘The News’ that it would get very difficult for Misbah to justify his place in the team if he failed to give more consistent performances on the tour of India where Pakistan still have to play three more one-dayers before the start of the three-match Test series on November 22. Misbah is aware of his situation but rather than losing his sleep over it, he wants to enjoy his cricket and focus on hitting some prolific knocks.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Saturday, November 10th, 2007 and is filed under General, Cricket.
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