Misbah-ul-Haq is undoubtedly one of the greatest captains to lead Pakistan. When he took charge of the team, the team was in shambles after the match-fixing scandal but he led the team with an example to become the first Pakistani skipper to guide his team to number one in Test cricket. The right-handed batsman has enjoyed an illustrious career but one incident that will always haunt him is his shot in World T20 final in 2007 that gave India their maiden title.
Chasing 158, Pakistan were looking all set to win the inaugural edition of the World t20. With in-form Misbah on strike, Pakistan needed 13 from the final over. Seeing the ball in new-comer Joginder Sharma’s hand Misbah would have fancied his chance. Joginder Sharma started with a wide, and Pakistan went very close to a victory when Misbah hit a six off the second ball. With only six needed off the final four balls, Misbah tried to play an audacious shot. Moving across his stumps, he went for the scoop down to fine leg. He failed to hit the ball cleanly and the resulting shot went directly into Sreesanth’s hand.
The Pakistani Test skipper recently opened up about that shot and said that the scoop shot was his pet shot and he always backed himself to go for that shot.
“I think it is that kind of shot which I used to play mostly during my tape ball days. That used to be my pet shot,” Misbah said. “The moment I knew that there is nothing I can do, I used to go for that shot and never missed. During the World T20, I don’t know how many boundaries I scored with that execution and before that as well.
“It was like, whenever I was in such situation of the last wicket with five runs needed, I always thought of going to level the score with a boundary first.
Recalling the catch, Misbah explained what went wrong on that day.
“Sometimes your execution can go wrong and at times your strength becomes your weakness. You know that when you play such ramp shot, one has to pick the delivery as early so that it goes far. I did totally opposite of that as I played that very close to the body and the ball went up in the air. There was enough amount of time for a fielder to get under it and grab the catch,” he said.
“Dhoni was standing very close to me and my plan was to hit that ball above the keeper. There was not much pace and I knew that. I knew that If I go for a straight shot then there was a chance of miss hit and most of the fielders were up with extra cover as well because Joginder Sharma didn’t have much pace and I anticipated him to bowl a bit fuller length,” Misbah added.
The 42-year old admitted that he regretted the shot but moved on later.
“Yes there was regret, but I think very soon I wiped it from my mind by thinking that it’s a past now and in order to move forward, I have to stop thinking about it,” he said.