The script couldn’t have been more dramatic for the two legends of Pakistan cricket. Two players synonymous with Pakistan cricket, with Pakistan batting and known to get the team out of a precarious situation. And now, on Wednesday, as they gear up to face West Indies in the third Test, they need to fire on all cylinders, as does the rest of the team to pull off a victory. Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan will no doubt be the headline grabbers as Pakistan take the ground against West Indies in the third Test with the series tied at one-all.
Misbah, 42, and Younis, 39, have been cornerstones of Pakistan middle order ever since making debut in 2001 and 2000 respectively. Misbah played no Test matches between 2003 and 2007 due to his inconsistent batting nature and only a handful of One Day Internationals. This is visible in the comparison between the two on the number of Tests played. While Younis has played 117 Tests, Misbah has played 74 Test matches.
But Younis had the brevity to lead a Pakistan which had been embroiled in controversy in 2010 due to the match fixing scandal. He not only captained the ship but also brought about a miraculous 2-2 series draw in England. They then lost the series in Australia 3-0. But the West Indies series is evenly poised after the hosts inflicted a last-day demolition on Pakistan to dismiss them for a paltry 81 runs.
“It gives us additional motivation and I hope it’s the same for the team as well. Sometimes the emotion will come in when you have an occasion like this but it’s important for us to just focus on our jobs and score runs for the team,” said Misbah focusing on getting a win and not on individual honours.
Both Misbah and Younis have had an eventful series. Misbah stood unbeaten on 99 in the first Test and was dismissed for 99 in the first innings of the second Test to rack up an unfortunate record. On the other hand, Younis started the series with 58 runs which helped him go past 10,000 runs – first Pakistan batsman to reach the milestone. But he’s only scored 11 runs in the three subsequent innings.
“Ninety-nine is far better than zero, which is what I got in the second innings,” he said in the prelude to the third Test. “If we perform up to our potential we can beat any side. We have to get our disciplines right and be at the top of our game.”