Pakistan's middle order batsman Misbah-ul-Haq at 36 has not played a World Cup before and that he is playing this one at all. This is the major reason of his last axing from three formats no less, which until circumstances thrust him into Test captaincy last October. As the foremost domestic batsman in the 2000s, many felt he had been treated unfairly in not being given good opportunity between 2003 and 2007. But, like the champions and good artistes, he does comebacks exceedingly well. In 2007, after a four-year banish, he nearly won Pakistan a world title. In this newest come back he has been even more extraordinary; 65 against Kenya in Hambantota was his ninth international fifty in 12 innings across Tests and ODIs.
Misbah-ul-Haq said during the practice at the Premadasa in Colombo, "I have always said it is important for any player to get some self-belief and confidence back. You set up scoring runs, the team starts believing in you and people's prospects of you boost and that gives you self-belief. And as your confidence builds your performance gets better. The player actually remains the same before and after, but with confidence higher, you perform better."
Misbah's comeback has fitted in flawlessly with a steady upswing in Pakistan's batting results over the last year or so, an under-scrutinized facet of their performances. In 20 ODIs in Sri Lanka, England, the UAE and New Zealand, Pakistan have made 250 or more 13 times. Every member of the top six has made contributions at various stages, so that the problem has been one of plenty, of pacing an innings, of assembling the order so that impetus is not squandered and constancy always present.
In the first match of Pakistan World Cup Campaign on Wednesday, Misbah has come, mostly at five and has batted often in rhythm with Younis Khan. Though the poor start then highlighted the tranquil the pair brings, against a better assault more vigor might be needed through the middle, an Umar Akmal breaking up the pair. Misbah said, "The situation as it is, with the way the batting order is, all our batsmen have scored runs". "Kamran Akmal comes in at three and he has opened, Younis at four who has mostly played at three, the openers did well scoring hundreds in New Zealand, so we do not really believe that our batting is rusty. We've got guys scoring runs and performing. Our batting order is fine and it is a good combination at the moment. Whatever the team needs, will happen. None of the players have any issues with where they are batting and what number." "To get a good first win in this kind of tournament, with most of your batsmen scoring runs and then convincingly get them out, the morale gets high and players get into touch. It is a very imperative match for both outfits."