Right time for Misbah-ul-Haq to announce retirement - Bazid Khan
After a series of failure in the Test series against Sri Lanka, Misbah roared back into form in the ongoing series against England, wherein he recorded scores of 51, 107 and 87 in his last three innings.
Misbah looked assertive in the second Test in Dubai where he notched a fine century after 14 innings as Pakistan went on to take an unassiable lead in the series 1-0 with the 178-run win.
Even though he has been among the runs, Misbah doesn't have the age on his side as he will turn 42 in May 2016.
Before the start of the series, Misbah expressed his willingness to retire from the game with a series against India, which was scheduled in December as per the Future Tour Program.
However, the tour is unlikely to go ahead as per the plan with the rising political tensions between the two nations, raising questions about Misbah's retirement plan.
Bazid, who is well known for his role as a television commentator and expert analyst, wants Misbah to retire on a high after the ongoing series against England.
“The end of the England series is the right time for Misbah to retire," said Bazid in an exclusive interview to PakPassion.net.
"If that India series had happened or if it does happen I think it will be the last series for him because he’s 41 now. He’s done his bit, he’s scored a lot of runs.
"He’s a brilliant batsman and a brilliant captain and all the accolades are for him.
"It’s the first time I’ve heard him talk about retirement so if that’s a clue to go with it might be his time because he’s never ever talked about retirement and never even discussed it vaguely.
"He himself mentioned that he might be looking to retire so I think that’s a big clue because a person like Misbah would never even ponder that thought if he was not seriously thinking about it.”
Bazid also lavished his praises on the veterans Misbah and Younis Khan for carrying them through despite the lot of criticism around questioning their abilities.
"Misbah and Younis are pretty much the same in that when people start doubting them they come up with bigger performances and bigger runs.
"Younis churns out the runs and if anybody knew how to bat on tracks which are slow and which spin a bit, and how to get runs on them then Younis is the man.
"He’s got the best ever game for a UAE pitch or a pitch where it stays low.”
Stating that reflexes on countering the bouncers might be an issue as they get old, Bazid felt that the pitches in United Arab Emirates doesn't have the necessary carry in them to trouble batsmen.
"It’s late on in his career now so that short ball issue will come because it comes to every player when they’re the wrong side of 30.
"It came to Sangakarra a bit at the back end of his career and even to Misbah to some extent, even Ponting for that matter.
"So that will come but in UAE he doesn’t have to bother with the hook shot because he can leave a couple of bouncers and then there’s lots of opportunities to score off the front foot.
"I think in England or Australia you won’t get as much opportunity drive the ball and get those boundaries and get the runs flowing."
Another batsman who has grabbed the attention in the series is Shoaib Malik. Returning to Pakistan Test squad after five years, Malik amassed 245 in the first innings of the Abu Dhabi game, but after that he has failed to cross double figures with his scores reading 0, 2 and 7.
Malik was constantly troubled by the short pitch deliveries from the England opening bowlers, James Anderson in particular.
With a possible return for Azhar Ali in the third Test, Malik might find it tough to retain his position unless Pakistan decide to leave Shan Masood.
Bazid feels Malik is more suited down the order than countering the new ball at number three position.
“Shoaib Malik is much more suited down the order, I don’t think he’ll be batting at three in the long-term.
"He’s brilliant on slow low wickets – against the spinners he is fantastic. The question mark is whenever he goes abroad to play, that’s the issue.
"Overseas he’s not been the same player as he is when batting at home or in subcontinent conditions.
"If you want to play him overseas you will have to shift him down the order number five or six."
The third Test between Pakistan and England is scheduled to begin in Sharjah on 1st November.
© Cricket World 2015