Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Misbah Ul Haq - Captain Fantastic

Over the years I have criticized Misbah no end for his ODI captaincy and for his ODI batting. I believe replacing Shahid Afridi as ODI captain in 2011 with Misbah was one of the gravest mistakes ever committed. Misbah's defensive approach crippled Pakistan's ODI team and we are all aware of the sad state our ODI team is in.

The same approach however did wonders for the Test team, and for that I applaud Misbah Ul Haq the Test Captain and the Test Batsman.

What Misbah achieved in his almost 7 years as captain of Pakistan's Test team is unprecedented in the history of Pakistan cricket.

Here is a look at his accomplishments as a Test Captain.


Number 1 Test Ranking for Pakistan.
Most Test wins ever for a Pakistan captain.
Second most Test wins for a captain from the subcontinent.
Most test wins away from home for a subcontinent captain.
Most Test series wins for a subcontinent captain.
First Test series win over Australia in over 20 years.
3-0 clean sweep of England when they were Number 1.
Pakistan's record and world's 6th highest run chase in Test cricket.
World's fastest run chase in Test cricket.
Pakistan's first ever Test series win in the West Indies.
Most Test wins by a captain from the Subcontinent in the West Indies.

These achievements by the team under Misbah truly make him the greatest Test captain ever for Pakistan; and probably from the Subcontinent too.


Misbah recently became the 7th batsman from Pakistan to score 5,000 Test runs. He ended his career as the 6th highest run scorer for Pakistan in test cricket. One can only wonder how many more he could have scored had he played as much as the ones above him.


Misbah scored over 80% of his Test runs - 4,214 to be exact - as captain of Pakistan. He scored 8 of his 10 Test centuries and 35 of his 39 fifties as captain.

He is not only the highest run scorer among all Test captains from Pakistan, he is also the highest run scorer among all Test captains from the Subcontinent; and the only batsman from the Subcontinent with over 4,000 Test runs as captain.

Among all Test captains, Misbah has the 8th highest runs tally and has one of the best averages among the top 10 highest scoring captains of all time.


Misbah not only contributed to Pakistan's test wins as a leader of the troops on the field; he also led from the front as a batsman scoring more runs than any captain from the Subcontinent in Test victories.

Among all Test captains he has the 7th highest runs tally in Test victories, and his phenomenal average of 69.7 is the third best of all time, behind two great Australian captains.


It is quite ironic that a man who became known as "Tuk Tuk" due to his ultra defensive batting holds the record for the fastest fifty and second fastest century scored in Test cricket.

When he got that century off only 56 deliveries against Australia, it was the joint fastest ever in the history of the game. It was bettered by Brendan McCullum.

Misbah's retirement is one of those rare Pakistani sport retirements that have come at a time when he was still at the top of his game. Rarely have Pakistani greats bowed out the way Misbah did after Pakistan's first ever series victory in the West Indies.

It was a match and series that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Misbah was truly captain fantastic for Pakistan and one of the best leaders to serve our nation. There hasn't been anyone like him, and I doubt there will be any in the future.

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