Monday, November 7, 2011

Pakistan Dominant in 2011

So, with the 3rd test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka ending in a draw, Pakistan ended the series with yet another test series victory under Misbah-Ul-Haq.

This is now the 5th consecutive test series that Pakistan has played under Misbah's leadership. This is also the 5th consecutive test series that Pakistan has not lost.

That surely must be some sort of record! When was the last time Pakistan played five test series without losing even one?

With draws against South Africa and the West Indies, and wins over Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe, Pakistan's test outfit is looking quite strong.

Those results are even more astonishing when you consider the fact that their opening bowling pair, arguably the best opening bowling pair in the world, are currently in jail!

So what do these wins mean for Pakistan? They are still the 6th ranked test team according to the ICC rankings, but Pakistan's record this year (2011) is immaculate and better than all other teams, except England.

Pakistan's win-loss ratio and percentage of wins during 2011 is second only to England, whom they will incidentally be facing at the start of next year. England was also the last team Pakistan played against before this no-loss streak started under Misbah.

With their next test assignment against Bangladesh next month, Pakistan is sure to improve this record even further.

Pakistan's astounding performances in tests this year have come on the back of some remarkable performances from their bowlers, as well as, their batsmen. Its the bowling, however, which has really shone, even in the absence of the likes of Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, and Mohammad Aamir.

Saeed Ajmal is the leading wicket taker in tests this year, with 41 wickets in 6 matches. I wonder how many he would have had, had he not missed 2 of Pakistan's tests this year.

(Note: wicket tally does not include Bishoo's 6 wicket haul in the on-going India vs West Indies test)

What makes Saeed Ajmal's feat even more note worthy is that he has 14 more scalps than Graeme Swann, who is widely regarded as the best spinner in international cricket currently. What's more, Ajmal has played 2 fewer tests than Swann this year!

Even the Pakistan batsmen have fared well this year, with 3 of them making the list of top run getters this year.

Pakistan's rise this year is not only restricted to test cricket, as their record in ODIs is also immaculate.

Only Australia has more wins than Pakistan in ODIs this year, and if Pakistan can register a victory over Sri Lanka in the first ODI in Dubai this Friday, they will be level with Australia at the top of the ODI table for 2011.

So what is really behind Pakistan's success in 2011?

Is it Misbah's leadership?

Is it the fact that Misbah has trustworthy team mates like Mohammad Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal who have played under him for Faisalabad for over a decade now?

Is it the emergence of batsmen like Azhar Ali, and the re-emergence of the likes of Taufeeq Umar at the top of the order?

Is it the fact that bowlers are taking more responsibility in the absence of the jail birds?

Is it the safe hands we have behind the stumps now and no Kamran Akmal to drop the easy ones?

Or is it merely the fact that the spot fixing scandal has ensured that all shady characters are out of the team?

Whatever it is, Pakistan have managed to grab all chances by the balls this year and made it their very own 2011.

Make your pitch on this post...

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4 Pitched:

  1. Abdullah said...
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  2. Abdullah said...

    If Misbah draws against Bangladesh and England then he has the 2nd highest undefeated test series streak by a Pakistan team ever after Imran Khan etc in the 80s.

    He has the highest ever W/L ratio in international cricket by a captain with only 1 defeat in 19 internationals as captain across all formats.

    Records Of Pakistan Captains In Modern Era Across All Forms Of The Game:

    Shahid Afridi, 54 Matches: 26 Wins, 27 Lost, 1 NR

    Shoaib Malik, 56 Matches: 36 wins, 19 Lost, 1 Draw

    Misbah, 19 Matches: 13 Wins, 1 Lost, 5 Draws

    Younis Khan, 38 Matches: 14 Wins, 19 Lost, 5 Draws

    Mohammad Yousuf, 17 Matches: 4 Wins, 12 Lost, 1 Draw

    Misbah averages 81 as test captain after 10 tests. Only Don Bradman has a higher average as captain.

    Ajmal is also the leading wicket taker in all formats combined in 2011...he did not play any ODI or test in New Zealand and missed over half of the WC games as Rehman was selected in the starting line up ahead of him...

    Pakistan have maintained the same top 3 for 10 tests in a row under Misbah and only had 7 different batsmen in the top 6 in 10 tests..there is continuity and stability in selection and consistency in performance..

  3. Anonymous said...

    What needs to be considered, and what is reflected in the ICC rankings in the quality of opposition that Pakistan has faced in those series which they haven't lost. Swann is the best spin bowler in current times, really? A close look at his record in the sub-continent and against teams from the sub-continent will remove all such misconceptions.

  4. Fayez said...

    Really? England has only played 8 test matches this year? Top teams used to play around 15 - 20 per year not too long ago. I guess they're all now busy playing T20 intl, IPL, etc.

    What's been most refreshing about this undefeated streak is that Pakistanis haven't really made a big deal about it. Very unlike us :-)

    Watching Pak play test cricket recently has been great. Since Inzi's retirement Pak had stopped playing test cricket like it should be played. Love watching Pak score a 2 an over :-)

    Junaid is awesome!!!

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