>> I vaguely knew that Pakistan had been doing well since the spot-fixing
>> scandal broke, but just checked their record under Misbah-ul-Haq. It
>> bears some reading...
>> 12 Tests: 6 WON, 5 draws, 1 loss
>> 6 Series: 4 WON, 2 drawn, NO losses
>> with 1 Ton, and TEN 50's...
>> as non-skipper.
>> And this is not against bottom-feeders.
>> 0-0 vs. South Africa (2T)
>> 1-0 in New Zealand (2T)
>> 1-1 in West Indies (2T)
>> 1-0 in Zimbabwe (1T)
>> 1-0 vs. Sri Lanka (3T)
>> 2-0 in Bangladesh (2T)
>> Some men are just born to lead, I guess. Its a pity that
>> Pakistan came to this realization so late, when Misbah was
>> already 36 (now 37 going on 38), and we may have been spared the
>> embarrassing gyrations from the reluctant Younis Khan, to the
>> recalcitrant Afridi, the inept Malik, and the crooked Butt....
>> Yes, we would have lost out on much of the drama, but a young
>> Aamir may have been bowling as well...
>> Rather than fret over what might have been, I am at least
>> grateful that Misbah is being given this opportunity at all, and
>> look forward to him continuing to drink from whatever fountain of
>> youth for the next couple of years.
>> England better watch out -- Pakistan may not be the pushover you
>> would expect on paper in January...
> Finally they get their shot at the number one team. If he can lead
> Pakistan to out maneuver England (The only Test team that Pakistan
> has lost their last series to except India but the last series
> there was 2007/2008) he can be deemed Kardar 2.0.
> The 1-1 result against this WI team is the obvious blemish. There
> were opportunities lost in NZ and against SL where they probably
> should have one a game more in each case but couldn't quite finish
> the job. The opportunities against England will be fewer if any and
> England have produced more than a few Dunkirks with their backs to
> the wall. The wickets should relatively favour Pakistan (Compared
> to the wickets in England) if they are similar to what they were
> this year but England does have the best spinner (Pakistan will
> have the numbers advantage) and the better batting lineup.
(nods) Good point about the Dunkirk rearguards. IIRC England produced
4 of them in critical situations during the rise to #1 under Andy &
Andy. Which changed how series' went, and consequently the test
rankings. The ability to dig in and resist long enough to convert a
loss into a draw is huge, and says a lot about team culture,
discipline, and sheer ***y-minded determination (grit). And of
course the Fletcher-mandated requirement that bowlers learn to bat
well-enough to have good defensive technique. This England bats very
deep. So deep that it almost doesn't have a tail in the traditional
sense, and certainly doesn't have any obvious rabbits. That depth has
changed losing positions into draws at the end, and also setup wins
when the other guys were looking threatening with counter-attacks
(think back to India in T1 and T2 this past summer).
England vs Pakistan should be a very interesting series between two
teams that have bagfuls of grit in their current squads. Pakistan
under Misbah are clearly a team on the rise, and England are looking
to cement the grip on the #1 spot. Could be a proper donnybrook! IMO
the only thing that could spoil things is if the pitches don't offer
enough to the bowlers and batsmen rule (ho hum).
Cheers, SDM -- a 21st Century Schizoid Man
Systems Theory project website: http://SportToday.org/
find us on MySpace, GarageBand, Reverb Nation, Last FM, CDBaby
free MP3s of Systems Theory, Mike***son & Greg Amov music at