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Just before the New Zealand and England series, head coach Misbah ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis announced their resignation from their respective coaching roles.
It came in as a complete shocker to not just Pakistan but people around the world. Perhaps this is the first time such a dramatic moment took place where coaches announced their resignation a month before the mega event.
For the upcoming home series against New Zealand, Abdul Razzaq and Saqlain Mushtaq will take over the coaching positions. It is unclear whether they will stick around for the England series and the global tournament.
With the end of the Misbah era, we will recap and review how Pakistan has done under his coaching since the 2019 World Cup.
Pakistan under Misbah ul-Haq
Pakistan started under Misbah ul-Haq with a 2-0 series ODI win over the Sri Lankan side. However, that was quickly put aside when the second-string Sri Lanka T20I side whitewashed Pakistan. Following this, the then all-formats captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was immediately stripped of his captaincy. His replacements were Azhar Ali for Test cricket and Babar Azam for the white-ball cricket.
Pakistan’s powerful moments came in the Test series at home when Test cricket finally returned.
Fans expected them to win over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, which Pakistan did with ease. However, the big challenge for the newly appointed Test captain Babar was against a perfect South African side.
Only once in their history, Pakistan defeated South Africa in a Test series. Overall, they had won only four matches in total. Pakistan won 2-0 against the touring Proteas, which was the highlight of Misbah’s coaching.
There has been a good improvement in Test cricket. Under the previous coach Mickey Arthur, Pakistan did not have good luck with the T20I side. Pakistan slipped to 7th in Test rankings. To improve in the traditional format is a good booster, especially with the World Test Championship ongoing.
Since 2013, Pakistan had not defeated Australia, England, India, New Zealand, or South Africa in the ODIs. These five teams have been in the top five in the ODI rankings since 2012.
Earlier this year, they defeated South Africa in the ODI series away. They won the series 2-1, making their second series win in South Africa in eight years.
For T20Is, Pakistan has won four of their last five T20I series. Two were consecutive wins over the Proteas, one over Zimbabwe, and recently against the West Indies.
|Pakistan’s record in matches – Under Misbah ul-Haq|
Pakistan under Misbah has won only one away series against the West Indies recently. They have lost in Australia, England, and New Zealand.
The more painful defeat was in the England series 2020. The series was struck with rain consecutively, especially in games two and three, which ended in draws. The first Test match had a result, but it did not go in Pakistan’s way.
A usual Pakistan collapse in the third innings of the first Test saw England setting a target of 277. Pakistan had them limping at 117-5. How did the men in green lost from there is beyond many’s understanding? It could have been Pakistan’s first series win in England since 1996.
Some defeats questioned Pakistan’s ability to win matches from the more challenging situations, especially chasing. Two losses came against the Zimbabwe team, one each in ODI and T20I. The T20I game was the first time Pakistan lost, bowled out for 99 while chasing 119.
There was also the whitewash in the T20I series against Sri Lanka, which was Misbah’s first assignment in the shortest format of cricket.
But if there was an opportunity to win a rare/ first series, it was in England.
The ODI series that was played earlier had a fresh look England side after their main squad had to go in isolation. Many fans saw this as an opportunity to win their first ODI series in England since 1973.
It ended horribly for Pakistan. In the first two games, their batting failed them. In the last match, they could defend a target of 320 odds. This also made them lose 30 precious Super League points.
Then in the T20Is, Pakistan had already taken a 1-0 lead. They have never won a T20I series against England. They saw an opportunity to grab it. They couldn’t win in the second game, but they had their chances in the third match. Unfortunately for them, they were at the wrong end.
As much as Misbah was criticized for his coaching of Pakistan cricket, his Win/Loss ratio is far better overall than his predecessor Mickey Arthur. Despite Mickey having a very strong W/L in the T20Is, he could not have a better record in the ODIs and Test. The ODIs were still marginal, but Test cricket was where he did not enjoy his time.
Misbah, meanwhile, has won more matches than losses across formats. There have been some perfect moments for both coaches, but Misbah maintaining a W/L record over 1 in every format has been a good sign.
|Win/Loss record – Mickey vs Misbah|
Are you satisfied with Misbah as Pakistan’s head coach? Share your thoughts in the comments below.