This is perhaps the weakest Pakistani team participating the cricket world cup campaign. We all saw amazingly super test performances of Pakistan against Australia in the UAE which seem to be a good run into the World cup. But unfortunately after Ahamd Shehzad’s head injury and second test against New-Zealand, this team now appears to be going nowhere. Numerous injuries, doubtful selections and bad performances in the New-Zealand keep our chances at the lowest during the upcoming ICC cricket world cup, 2015.
Selection Question marks??? Omission of Fawad Alam was the greatest disappointment and left many around the world stunned. This Guy fails to satisfy selectors even after impressive performances at domestic and International level. His safe and handy approach towards batting makes him among the ranks of Misbah as most reliable batsmen. He can be a useful bowler as well along with safe pair of hands in the field. My personal feeling is that Azhar Ali should have been considered due to his cool head and reliable performances. The inclusion of above players would have had much more stability within team Pakistan‘s middle order and greater chances to play 50 overs respectfully.
Ehsan Adil is yet another shocking selection by the selection committee instead of Sohail Tanveer who has more experience and exposure. Taking Bilawal Bhatti to New-Zealand is also beyond my comprehension. His dreadful bowling performances are self-explanatory to give him some more time before getting further chances at international stage.
Chucking Issues, A Setback to team Pakistan: The timing of chucking issue is very important which forced three of the world’s top ten bowlers out of the World cup including Saeed Ajmal and Muhammad Hafeez from Pakistan’s side. Many circles in Pakistan have a feeling that like many other past incidents, it’s an effort to hurt Pakistan’s world cup chances. ICC should implement such regulations in a manner which could provide a sense of rationale and equality if they want to establish credibility in the hearts of millions of cricketing fans around the world.
Traditional Approach, Main Weaknesses: We have to rise above the typical 90’s strategy which have no place in today’s fast moving world cricket. We see lot of records broken these days due to proactive and smart approach towards the game. Teams like India and Australia are never afraid of chasing and for Pakistan chasing even 200 becomes a limping scenario. Our batting stability is one main issue in which our set batsmen gets out irresponsibly rather than going for a big score. Even if we somehow manage to get a good partnership at the top order, fall of 2-3 quick wickets leave us in tatters. Such issues need to be addressed and resolved sooner rather than later.
Importance of Pakistan’s World Cup Campaign: Pakistan Cricket has fallen down largely in the past 10 years. Increasingly bad Law and Order situation of the country keeps foreign teams at arm’s length and we have to play our home series in UAE. Pakistan players are always victimized by the ICC be it the matter of giving code of conduct sentences or banning the players. Foreign media specially English and Indian media always find something wrong within our ranks and try to degrade us by all means like spot fixing issue. This is a big time to respond to all this; we have greater objectives and points to prove rather than just having it as yet another sports event.
Cricket Integrating the Nation: Last time in 2011 world cup, we saw total unity and glee amongst the Pakistan nation for almost a good one month. Players were praised for their fighting performances despite losing the semi-final. Our nation still has craze and passion for cricket as ever before; they want to see the guys fighting for the dignity of green flag. This is a big time to raise and provide some fun and ‘Khushi’ to our depressed nation.
Key Factor: Being brave and attacking is the only way I see if Pakistan is to make any progress in this world cup. It’s better to lose playing aggressive cricket rather to be extra cautious and get embarrassed. We have also seen in past where ordinary teams from Pakistan have performed so well whenever they played their natural game without fear and that’s what team Pakistan fans around the world would like them to do; i.e. to play their natural game and give extremely tough time especially to the Big Three of ICC.
Way Forward: Despite of all the misfortunes discussed above, there is no lame excuse of not having a backup eleven to be brought in case of and surprised injuries and omissions. It requires sincerity and detailed planning to develop long term & backup strategy. Keeping your players up to date and having a preemptive eye on the player’s styles to avoid shocks like Saeed Ajmal & Muhammad Hafeez. Selection on merit and keeping national interest at the top will always give good results as drawing room politics will always reflect bad performances in the ground.
Gone are the days when we were most excited and praised team in the world having a capacity to shock anyone on the given day; but still, we as a nation all support them. Hoping to get a wholehearted Pakistan performance to rock the ICC cricket world cup 2015 and lift the whole nation…
This article was published at following, dated 6th February, 2015
Article No: 31