What’s the story?
Former Pakistan skipper Javed Miandad has claimed that there is no replacement available for Misbah-ul-Haq and hence the 42-year old should decide when he wants to give up his captaincy despite leading his team to six successive Test defeats.
“The problem is we don’t have anyone to replace Misbah. This shows how weak our cricketing structure is. Everywhere in the world there’s a system in place and players come and go. But unfortunately, we didn’t adopt any such system. Why are we now asking him to leave? Have we prepared any replacement for him? Unfortunately, the answer is no and now it’s entirely up to Misbah to decide himself when he wants to quit,” Miandad was quoted as saying to Associated Press.
In case you didn’t know...
Pakistan collapsed to a 220-run loss in the Sydney Test with skipper Misbah playing an uncharacteristically poor shot in the second innings. Going by his sequence of such strokes in the series and the lackadaisical captaincy approach to boot, the writing seemed to be on the wall for the experienced campaigner.
However, at the end of day press conference, he did not show any immediate signs of calling it quits. Seeing as Pakistan’s next Test assignment will be in March-April against West Indies (as per ICC’s Future Tours Program), Misbah revealed that he would think about his future in the coming months.
The heart of the matter
The reaction in Pakistan has not been favourable to Misbah with the likes of Wasim Akram and Ramiz Raja urging him to bid adieu. But, their former teammate Miandad surprisingly decided to take the other route.
He opined that Misbah would be concerned about the lack of feasible contenders to replace him at the helm of affairs and has thus refrained from announcing his retirement. Not stopping there, Miandad lashed out at Pakistan’s defensive mindset in the Australia series while questioning the players’ calibre as well.
Pakistan will take on Australia in a 5-match ODI series starting from the 13th. All eyes will be on skipper Azhar Ali who has had a rather poor start to his limited-overs captaincy. Despite the odds being strictly against his team, the 31-year old would want to extend his Test batting form to the 50-overs format and make a strong statement.
Miandad’s statements make no sense whatsoever as Pakistan have two replacement options in Azhar Ali and Sarfraz Ahmed. Even though they might not seem to match up to Misbah’s stature, time waits for no one and the veteran obviously cannot carry on forever. As for replacing him in the middle-order, there are plenty of young batsmen toiling away in the domestic circuit hoping to receive that one opportunity.