Pakistan Cricket Team Legends: Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq

YOUNIS KHAN:

It was 26th of February of year 2000 when a player from Mardan with limited abilities made his test debut and was a part of the team which consisted of the greats like Inzamam-ul-haq, Ijaz Ahmed, Saeed Anwar and a rookie but potentially talented Muhammad Yousuf but who knew that the same guy would end up being the most successful test cricketer for Pakistan with 10 man of the match and 4 man of the series awards in tests and 15 man of the match and 2 man of the series awards in Odis,Also 2 man of the match awards in t20i. There were quite a few ups and downs as far as his limited over career is concerned but was certainly a maestro when it came to the test cricket. Younis Khan now holds the record for most number of runs for Pakistan in tests and the only Pakistani cricketer to cross the 10k runs barrier,also holds the record of scoring a ton against each and every nation and has the 6th most hundreds (34) in the history of test match cricket.In 2014,he held the record of scoring the highest number of tons (6) alongside David Warner in that particular year.His 34 tons consist of 6 big double tons and a majestic triple century at the national stadium,Karachi. Apart from this,under his captaincy Pakistan was able to win a major title after almost two decades surely talking about the T20 World cup 2009. He was certainly a born leader whose leadership qualities did get tested by politics and controversies that are unfortunately an eternal part of our cricketing structure and only after winning the World cup and making us reach the semifinal of champions trophy (Younis Khan’s drop catch of Elliot was considered the turning point of the match and was accused of match fixing too) he did resign from the captaincy. Talking about the passion and brilliance of this man then who could forget his match winning innings against Srilanka to help us win a series while chasing a mammoth fourth inning of total of 370+ or who could forget the consecutive tons against the Kangaroos and the Kiwis. As a cricket fan the greatest inning of Khan which would always end up as one of my personal favorites was his match winning double ton in England, a player who was down and out, asked to prove his credibility time and again, who was just jumping around and struggling to get some runs under his belt came up with the most prolific reply and that too when it was needed the most. That was certainly an inning of substance and just a reflection of the great man’s tremendous career. He is the only one having an average of 50+ in all four test innings, now that’s certainly remarkable. Younis Khan always loved to score runs against the arch rivals India scoring 1321 runs with an average of 88 that includes 5 tons and 4 fifties. Younis Khan is an example of patriotism and sheer hard work. With his limited abilities, he showed us that if you’re sincere and honest with your work then you’re certainly on the right track. Hard work does pay off and Younis Khan is certainly a prime example of this quote. Very few sportsmen have gone through the kind of tragedies that Younis Khan have gone through. Despite of being one of the greatest ever pakistani batsmen, his cricketing career hasn’t gone through a smooth ride and on personal front, things have been terrible. Despite of all the hardships,Khan continued sporting a smile and has gone on with the job for his nation. Following the career of Younis Khan very closely has motivated and inspired me a lot. He is certainly the “Khan of Mardan” and “Pride of Pakistan“. He has achieved a lot in his career, we as a cricket fan owe him a lot. Its certainly hard to believe that i won’t be able to see another Younis Khan classical inning under pressure but as Khan himself said that we hope that the younger lot will be able to fill up his shoes. Wishing him a brightest of future ahead, hoping to see him in another roles with the same spirit of making this team great and making this nation proud, Thankyou very much LEGEND, Thankyou YOUNIS KHAN.

 

MISBAH-UL-HAQ:

Although making his international debut back in 2001, his breakthrough came when was selected for ICC World T20. Misbah was influential in his prolific T20 World cup 2007 and was the leading scorer for Pakistan in the tournament. He is a middle-order batsman best known for his composure with the bat whilst also having the ability to be an aggressive big shot player when required. Misbah holds the world record of scoring most runs without century in ODI career. Misbah holds the record of the fastest test half century and shared the record for fastest test century with Sir Vivian Richards, which was later broken by Brendon Mcculum. Misbah has an MBA degree in HRM from the University of management and technology in Lahore, Punjab. Misbah also holds the record of leading Pakistan in 51 test matches as a captain (most by any Pakistani) averaging around 55 as a skipper. It was 2010, when a scandalous incident took place that not only shattered the pride of the nation but also the team combination. That was the time when Misbah took over the reigns and provided team with the most needed stability and discipline which our system had been lacking from years. Who knew that a player who had been criticized for his defensive approach throughout his career and was given a lot of false nicknames will end up being the most successful test captain in the history of Pakistan cricket. Only Misbah had this tendency of converting his critics into lifetime fans with his patience and hard work. Misbah also holds the record of most series wins by any Asian captain (10) surpassing Dhoni and Ganguly (surely talking about test cricket only). He also holds the world record of scoring the most number of fifties (15) in a calendar year in ODIs, he achieved this feat in 2013. He’s the only asian captain to beat South Africa in their own backyard in ODIs. He also holds the record of most centuries by a Pakistani skipper in test cricket. At the age of 42 years and 2 months, Misbah also became the oldest captain ever to score a test century. Only second captain from Pakistan to win the Asia Cup (2012). Eighth Pakistani player to hit centuries in both innings of a test match. Only Asian Captain to win 4 or more Test matches against England. These were only some physical stats that did show how good a player or captain Misbah had been but the moral stats or the hard word he had put in to make this team the number one test team of the world can’t be described in words. Misbah-ul-Haq is a prime example of the quote ” Age is just a number”, it certainly is because at the age of 42, Misbah is still the most fittest player in the team. He was certainly a tough nut and he always believed in hard work and answering his critics through his performance rather than reacting over the timeless criticism he faced throughout his career. Misbah-ul-Haq has played a great role in making this team stable, He had been successful in leading and taking the wrecked ship out of storms irrespective of the circumstances he faced personally and professionally. Misbah-ul-Haq will certainly go down as one of the greatest test captains of this era and its certainly hard to believe that there would be no Misbah now to save another collapse for the team but hopefully we would find someone to fill up his shoes as well, its certainly hard but not impossible. Hoping to see him in better roles as he’s certainly the one that could help the system and could navigate it towards the right path. Wishing him the brightest of future, ending the timeless critism he faced through his own words “It is very easy to point fingers at others sitting at home, but very difficult to play the game.” Thankyou so much legend,Thankyou MISBAH-UL-HAQ,Thankyou KAPTAAN!

Author: Taimoor Qureshi

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