Sunday, November 18, 2007

Shoaib Malik Bakes Some Humble Pie

Javed Miandad, Rashid Latif, Aqib Javed, and Mushtaq Mohammad are some of the many former players and cricket related personalities that criticized Pakistan skipper Shoaib Malik after Pakistan lost the ODI series to India. They were quick to jump on him openly stating that he lacked the skill to be captain, didn't deserve to be in the team, isn't confident of himself, and does not have the backing of the team.

Today, with an 82 ball 89 coupled with 3 crucial wickets, Malik baked some delicious humble pie for all these men. Not only did he lead from the front with bat and ball, but he also ensured that Pakistan go into the test series with confidence after a thumping win against the Indians. In my preview earlier today, I said that Pakistan's bowling looked thin without the 6th bowler and India would probably easily chase any total - I'm glad that it was skipper Malik who proved me wrong.

Today Malik took the field without the vice-captain Younis Khan, the motivator Shahid Afridi, and senior player Mohammad Yousuf (who conveniently rested after his 74). Yet he proved that he has it in him to lead from the front. The commentators went on about how the Pakistanis were fielding fresher legs and looked a better fielding unit - have these guys forgotten that Younis and Afridi are probably the best fielders of the side?

Pakistan played like a unit today and were marshalled extremely well by Malik. As I mentioned in my preview; give the boy some time, he will learn. Malik hasn't even been in the job for a year and people are gunning for his neck - ever heard of something called patience? You can't expect the boy to deliver results in a matter of days. Pakistan needs to learn how to persist.

The test matches start in 5 days and I'll cover my thoughts on them in the next few days. For now I hope everyone enjoys the humble pie baked by Shoaib Malik.

Make your pitch on this post...

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4 Pitched:

  1. obaid said...

    Malik did step up his own game today.. I didnt watch live coverage of him in the field, only watched highlights of the wickets. I think he will consistently need to play like he did and lead from the front with bat and ball. Obviously he cant turn out brilliant individual performances in every game, but atleast he has to step up and move up the order + ask for the ball, which he did today

    Secondly there was little pressure on him today. The turning point will come when he can captain well under pressure. Id also like him to turn to the seniors like Younis and Yousuf for advice and be open to ideas.

  2. Q said...

    I think Malik is always open to ideas. In the little time hes been captain he has always been seen discussing on field tactics with Younis and Afridi. Yesterday when neither was there, he was constantly chatting with Salman Butt and deciding on bowling changes, field placings, etc.

    Yousuf is not tactically sound thus getting his advice is no point - he knows one thing only and he does that better than anyone else - how to bat!

    I don't agree that Malik wasn't under pressure during yesterday's match. He was under the most pressure he has ever been as captain. People from all corners were asking for him not only to be stripped of the captaincy but sacked from the team altogether.

    There was criticism left right and centre from former players, administrators, journalists, fans, everyone.

    And he answered to all those in the best way possible.

  3. NAzhar said...

    I agree with Obaid...Shoaib Malik had no pressure in the 5th match and that is why he did well both as captain and batsman. Ramiz made a very good point in one of the matches that he should be thinking as a batsman and not as a captain when he is batting...I think if he does that he will be better in both.

    He needs to be approaching players for advice was evident Dhoni was doing that...not so much about Shoaib Malik

  4. Q said...


    Malik was under more pressure than ever before during the 5th ODI. No one had questioned his place in the team or ability as captain the way they did after the 4th ODI.

    Did u hear what Miandad, Mushtaq, Rashif Latif, Aqib Javed, Wasim Akram, Inzamam had to say abt Malik? I think all that criticism pumped him up. The pressure was definitely there. If not for winning the match, it was there for him to hold on to the captaincy and place in the team and regain the confidence others had in him when he was made captain.

    Malik approaching Younis, Afridi, and Butt was quite visible during the matches.

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