Misbah ul Haq, the senior most captain any test playing nation ever had, playing internationally, needs to stay on the team. Why, you ask? The biggest question mark on his performance may not be the right approach.
Let us have the top three reasons why Misbah must be leading the Pakistan test team.
Leadership Vacuum in Pakistan Team
The biggest problem right now facing the test team in Pakistan is the leadership vacuum. It is not easy to fill the shoes of someone who has done so much for Pakistan. Despite the fact that no international matches have been played in Pakistan, he keeps himself and his team motivated. It is heartbreaking not to see our team playing in front of us. Secondly, succession planning has always been a terminal issue with PCB. If we have a look at the history, transition from one captain has never been comfortable. Azhar Ali has performed exceptionally well, but the recent test where Misbah was not there, we did not see the kind of captaincy we would expect from someone expected to take charge.
Focus on Bowling More Than Captaincy
All these years, we have always been crying about our batting. But now, if we have a closer look, batting has done wonders for us. Consider batting with hard, fast and bouncy pitches with an Australian attack and likes of Mitchel Johnson, swinging both ways. It isn’t easy if not impossible to play. So, we need to give confidence to our bowlers. We lack the kind of bowling attack which can take both ends and keep the pressure. Yasir Shah or Muhammad Aamir cannot do the trick. Other players must also step up their efforts to deliver the goods. Otherwise, we would keep on leaking cheeky singles, stoppable doubles, and nicely placed fours.
Each Team Membership Must Take Ownership
It is a problem with almost all the Asian teams, but Pakistan has typically been criticised. In the format of the game, we usually win with one or two or three individuals performing in bowling or batting. Teams with having a fair share of success at the test arena fire from all cylinders. Their batters and bowlers all do a pretty decent job at doing their job well enough. Therefore, PCB needs to have a second look at each of the players’ performances. It is now time to move away from nepotism and stop tolerating poor performances for long. There is no dearth of talent in Pakistan, but unfortunately, we keep on flogging a dead horse. Unfortunately, cricket is an 11 players’ game, and heroics of one player can hardly make a difference, typically against likes of Australia, and South Africa.
Let us for argument sake imagine that even if we replace the captain, he can make sure his individual performances is outstanding. Unless the entire team starts contributing with a better aligned, more disciplined and enthusiastic bowling attack, wins would dry up in the future.