The most remarkable aspect about Misbah-ul-Haq is his unflappable temperament. It shows in his batting, which reached unprecedented levels of consistency in 2011, and in his captaincy, which helped lift Pakistan from the depths of the spot-fixing saga in England in 2010. Taking over as leader immediately after that episode at the age of 36, Misbah’s calm approach was exactly what Pakistan cricket needed after the tumultuous period it had gone through.
As a batsman, Misbah can either defend dourly with unflagging patience, or irritate bowlers with his improvisations. It helps that his defensive technique is sound: that solid foundation has helped him bat for long periods in Test cricket. That aspect of his game was in evidence right from his first Test innings in 2001, when he survived over two hours to score 28 in Auckland. He should have played much more international cricket thereafter, but was held back by his inconsistency. For four years between 2003 and 2007, he didn’t play a single Test, and only turned up for a handful of ODIs.