(Note—all stats are from October 30, 2012 to March 1, 2015, the period in which the current ODI rules have been in force.)
Yesterday, we had a look at hardest batsmen to dismiss at the World Cup. Kane Williamson and Hashim Amla led that list that also included an anomaly: Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq.
The anomaly is not that Misbah can bat for long durations. It is that, unlike other cases, Misbah's batting long typically don't help the team win.
This needs to be viewed in two contexts. One: Pakistan’s overall stats in this period are poor. That’s a function of consistently underpar team performance. Since October 30, 2012, they have played 56 ODIs, won just 24 and lost 30.
Two – Misbah, who figures in 52 of those games, has constantly battled the pressure of wickets falling at the other end. This puts him on the defensive and leads to the consumption of a large number of deliveries. In that sense, he’s merely the product of the team requirement of saving wickets. But in doing so, he has earned that unfortunate nickname, Tuk Tuk.
As per the table, Misbah leads the Pakistan squad at the World Cup when it comes to crease occupation. He’s mildly better than Ahmed Shehzad. But the rest of the Pakistan top-order performs poorly. They’re also without the services of Mohammad Hafeez, who averaged 43.56 balls an innings and thus brought some stability to their batting.
The other senior players in the team disappoint: Younis Khan bats just 30 balls an innings, signalling that he's nearly finished as an ODI batsman. Umar Akmal has failed to transition into a reliable batsman, with an AB of 27.
Nasir Jamshed combines a lightweight strike-rate of 62.7 with middle-weight crease occupation of 39 balls, making him an altogether heavyweight burden to an ODI team. And Shahid Afridi's stats suggest he can no longer be counted as a proper batsman. Their consistent failures put immense pressure on Misbah to not lose his wicket.
Sadly, what works against Misbah is that he hasn’t been able to win games on his own—something which would have shut up his detractors.
As I mentioned yesterday, Pakistan lose 67% of their games in which Misbah bats 40 balls or more.
Pakistan have won 23 of Misbah’s 52 games. But in those 23 wins, Misbah’s AB falls to 42 balls and his AR also dips to 30 runs. It simply means that his overall stats have been boosted by big performances in defeats, such as the one against India where he hung around long after the contest was truly over.
Misbah reaches the 40-ball mark in 30 of his 50 innings, but Pakistan lose 20 of those games—a failure rate of 67%.
Long story short, if Misbah’s having a productive day with the bat, it usually means that Pakistan have lost the plot.