Misbah-ul-Haq is back to Boxing Day Test after a long seven years. The hiatus for the player was a tedious one, being dropped from every form of cricket by the team. In the last Boxing Day Test, Misbah scored 261 runs playing 11 innings all together. However, he continued to play in the domestic circuit until being selected again for the New Zealand and Australia tour. It was an enterprise from Mohammed Yousuf, the new captain of the team. However, the player being inducted again on the international squad is playing with similar response.
In the first inning, Misbah blasted off with 65. But for the score, he seemed to toil hard. His difficulties playing under the hot sun was quite apparent. The woes seemed to overcome him in the second inning, when he could not survive a single ball. In the first over of the fifth day, his performance did not recover. He played two balls and was ducked. His comeback was evidently not up to the expectations, but the selectors or his teammates do not seem to be bothered as they should be. Back in 2009, the situation was quite different, when there was a unanimous voice against the player.
In the Brisbane Test, he was among the specialist batsmen who could not accumulate good runs. He was dismissed at paltry single digit scores. He was uneasy at the crease and fell into the traps of Jackson Bird easily. The player is now 42 years old and a little nervousness is acceptable, but only to the point that it does not disrupts the performance of the team in overall. Grant Flower, who is the batting coach of Pakistan, said that the player is not worried and he is mentally strong and relaxed. Flower also mentioned his experience and is sure of his better comeback.
Misbah also practiced an extra with the coach on the nets. Younis Khan, the senior player in the team was also a favorite for Flower. The coach said that the players looked much better and had his best net practice for ages. On the other hand, Mohammed Amir had his right knee strapped for the bruise he had in Brisbane Test. The bowler was in the net practice session and is expected to play well. Sohail Khan was not in the training due to his health.
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