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IT’S PAKISTAN, ALL OVER AGAIN!

By: Omair Alavi The script is similar to the one they have followed in the past – Misbah and his men were part of a self-destruction process that is too common for those who cheer for them. Pakistan became the first team in the history of the game to have lost a match after declaring...

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 30, 2016 | Last Updated: 5 years ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Dec 30, 2016 | Last Updated: 5 years ago

256952.3

By: Omair Alavi

The script is similar to the one they have followed in the past – Misbah and his men were part of a self-destruction process that is too common for those who cheer for them. Pakistan became the first team in the history of the game to have lost a match after declaring their first innings at a score above 400 runs. Who is to blame for the debacle? The batsmen didn’t play to save the match; the bowlers didn’t stick to a plan and the fielders, well the least said about them, the better.

The selectors are also to be blamed for this pathetic performance. It has been over a year now for Mohammad Amir and he is clearly not able to justify his place in the side. Yes, many a catches have been put down on his bowling but he should work hard on his accuracy, rather than depending on others. Rahat Ali should have been axed for the ODI series rather than Yasir Shah but in Pakistan, you can have as many left-arm pacers in the side as you want. Don’t be surprised if one day, the whole team is comprised of left armers as a tribute to Wasim Akram. Wahab Riaz must be dropped for the next match and Imran Khan be included because we need bowlers who can take wickets, rather than those with potential to take wickets. With short pitched deliveries, you are more likeable to go for runs than end up with wickets and the sooner the Pakistan bowling coach learns that, the better for the team. Oh, Azhar Mahmood himself was never a good bowler in Tests; expecting him to wonders will be too much!

As for the batting, well a lot has been said but nothing has been done. If Misbah ul Haq was practicing with a slab, then why the hell did he play the shot expected from Rahat Ali in the second innings? If Younis Khan was uncomfortable in swinging conditions, what was the batting coach doing? I was not a fan of Mickey Arthur when he was selected and his performance Down Under has made my belief stronger. He is the one who supported Azhar Ali as ODI Captain and we will hardly put a fight in the series considering the squad that was selected. Junaid Khan should have been in the team for Australia but he is playing domestic cricket or being an analyst on TV. Mohammad Asif should be given a chance because he remains the only bowler who can produce magic on Australian pitches. The selection of Mohammad Irfan is a positive step but will he listen to Azhar Ali the captain this time – remains to be seen.

It’s about time that Sarfraz Ahmed be made the captain of Pakistan team in all three formats. He is the only player in the current team who can play aggressively and be a thorn for Australian bowlers. The way the batsmen panicked in front of Nathan Lyon was shameful considering no one in his own team was expecting a wicket from him and we saved his career by generously handing him 3. Had there been an intent to go all guns blazing, Pakistan might have won the match and squared the series rather than go down 2-0. Whether Misbah hangs up his boot or Younis thinks of retirement, Pakistan lost a chance to beat a weak Australian team; instead they made them strong again by performing below par in a Test match where they scored 400 plus, where rain intervened on first 3 days and where people were expecting may be too much from them.

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