Shoaib Akhtar Movie Score: four / five
Shoaib Akhtar has credited the Pakistani captain Misbah-ul-Haq for the turnaround in team’s game over the last couple of months. Akhtar says he had a chat with Misbah a few weeks back and he had told him just to play some brave cricket out there.
Pakistan was right down at the mat after losing three One Day Internationals on the trot against a young Australian side which was playing without their regular captain Michael Clarke.
Especially, the last ODI that Pakistan lost was totally embarrassing. They couldn’t score two off a part time off spinner in the last over.
There was complete chaos in the Pakistani changing room after that. The stand in captain Shahid Afridi returned back home and made some controversial statements.
Nobody knew who would lead Pakistan into the forthcoming World Cup, but, Misbah steadied himself amidst all that uncertainty and led by example in the test series against Australia and now, he is doing the same in the series against New Zealand too.
After whitewashing the Kangaroos, the Pakistanis are now leading 1-0 against the Kiwis and according to Akhtar, the captain deserves the credit for that.
Speaking to a website the other day, Akhtar said, “You always need your captain to be in form because if he is in form he can keep the other players on their toes and that’s what Misbah seems to be doing now. He has runs behind him and he is captaining more confidently.”
In the second test match against Australia, Misbah scored a hundred in just 57 balls in the second innings. By doing so, he equalled the record of one of the greats of all time i.e. Sir Vivian Richards.
Misbah, in total, got two centuries in that Australia series.
Ravi Bopara just can’t believe that he has not been named in England’s 15-member squad for the ODI series against India. It’s a big surprise for him as it is for all the cricket fans in the country.
However, the all rounder has not given up on his World Cup chances yet. He is hopeful that he would get a recall for the matches against Sri Lanka that will be played towards the end of this year.
According to Bopara, when one of the members of the selection committee rang him, he thought it would be to tell him that he was selected, but, to his shock, it wasn’t the case.
In an interview yesterday, Bopara said, “When my phone rang and I saw the selector’s name on the screen, I thought he would just let me know that I was in the squad, but, what I heard from the other side was unbelievable. For a few seconds, I thought this must be not for real, but, unfortunately, that was and that happens in sports.”
“I was told that my performance for the ‘A’ side was good, but, sadly, there was no place for me in this squad. The selector did try to convey to me that I was still in the mix and a recall in the next series was not out of the equation.”
“When such things happen to you, you start thinking a lot, but, I am not going to do that. I believe in my work ethic and I am hopeful about my future.”
Many English commentators have criticized Bopara’s omission from the ODI squad. The former captain Michael Vaughan even went on to say that the Essex man had been the best limited-over player for the Three Lions in the past 15 months and his exclusion is senseless.