Pakistan vs Zimbabwe: We Need A Few Cricket Victories!

Posted on January 20, 2008
Filed Under >Syed Ahsan Ali, Sports
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Syed Ahsan Ali

When a newspaper editor told me to do a piece on tour of Zimbabwe cricket team to Pakistan for five limited over internationals before we get to the serious end of the things when Australia is scheduled to play a three Tests and five ODI s series in Pakistan in March-April, 2008, I was little surprised at the fact that there are still some Pakistanis out there who want to peek into what is going into Pakistan cricket these days.

In the photo above Timycen Maruma is cleaned bowled by Yasir Shah during Patron’s XI v Zimbabweans match at Karachi.

After a four day match in Karachi, which the local side convincingly won by an innings an 34 runs, the tour now goes into ODIs with first one to be played in Karachi on Jan 21, 2008. Let us take a look at Pakistan’s chances and team mix for this series.

Pakistan’s most loved and glamorous sport has unfortunately become nothing but a mixture of controversies, more controversies, injuries, personality clashes and rhetorical statements.

Pakistan’s spineless exhibition in India also failed to create any ripples in the cricket management. It seems many Pakistanis are feeling too despondent by the mess created by our superstars and by administrators of cricket authority. People may also be overwhelmed with things going on in political, social and economic arenas that they became numb towards recent cricket performance of Pakistan. As of today Pakistan has fallen down to #6 in ICCs ODI rankings as well as in ICCs test rankings. This situation can be bolstered by few victories against Zimbabwe in coming days. Another thing that can spark a hope in cricket loving Pakistanis is the selection of young faces that can pull their team out of this muddle.

15-man squad has some fresh faces for Pakistan. Five youngsters have been selected for the first two one day internationals including an opener Jamshed Nasir and two fast bowlers Samiullah Khan Niazi and Kamran Hussain, one wicket-keeper Sarfraz Ahmed and Fawad Alam the all-rounder. Is this selection pointing at the discontent with experienced fellows such as Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Kamran Akmal, Umar Gul and available set of openers? This policy of nurturing pseudo super-stars has already proven itself good for nothing. Now we seem to be experimenting with another extreme by giving chances to youngsters only. But both policies are not good enough to produce results for Pakistan cricket. We should dump both theories and adopt another policy of doing our selection meritoriously which is the best possible solution to become potent force at an international level.

Rumors of Shahid Afridi being picked as the skipper of Pakistan cricket team died with the announcement of the squad where PCB seemed fine with giving one more chance to young skipper against somewhat feeble-looking Zimbabwe. May be this could be the last chance to get things in order for Shoaib Malik; both as retaining his position in the squad and secondly as skipper to handle things more maturely. But dwell more on the point of retaining his position in the side concerned, I think he is a utility player and an intelligent cricketer and it would be little too harsh to snatch his place in the side.

X-raying the opponent makes us little comfortable in our armchairs but still we cannot take them lightly. They are young but eager side to do well on the tour especially when they can see cracks in Pakistan team after disastrous Indian tour. This is the same side that dumbfounded Australians in their encounter during T20 Championship and spring one of the few biggest upsets game has ever seen and recently entangled Windies in a mess during 50 over cricket. So beware wherever they get low and slow track in Pakistan, they are very much capable to force unsure Pakistani batting line-up to flounder. So keep your fingers crossed.

Records and history overwhelmingly seem to favour Pakistan. 33 ODIs have been played between Pakistan and Zimbabwe, and Pakistan has won 31 of them whic gives them a winning percentage of 92.64. Hopefully, Pakistan team would pull out the upcoming series successfully but as we all know that you never know with unpredictable Pakistan cricket team.

Players to watch out:

Zimbabwe: Brendan Taylor, reliable wicket-keeper and batsman in the middle order. He is one player who can face fast stuff from Pakistanis.

Pakistan: Samiullah Khan Niazi, young Pathan with the ability to run through a side as he done against Zimbabweans in a side match. Pakistan needs a fast bowler who can make big names such as Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, and Mohammad Sami uneasy sitting in front of their TV sets and thinking about getting ready to be challenged because they think they are indispensable.

Photo Credits: Cricinfo

34 responses to “Pakistan vs Zimbabwe: We Need A Few Cricket Victories!”

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  2. Owais Mughal says:

    Photo of the winning Captain with the cup here

  3. Owais Mughal says:

    this 5-0 clean sweep comes after a gap of 4 years.

    (1) The last time Pakistan had won 5-0 in ODIs was against New Zealand in home series in December 2003.

    (2) Before that Pakistan beat Bangladesh 5-0 in home series in September 2003.

    (3) Before that Pakistan had another 5-0 clean sweep against Zimbabwe and in Zimbabwe in December 2002

  4. Owais Mughal says:

    Well, Pakistan completed the much needed 5-0 clean-sweep today. When I say ‘much needed’, it is because it will help boost team’s morale.

    I realize it came against the weakest team in current ICC rankings but a win is a win nevertheless and it will help build team’s confidence.

    Congratulations Pakistan.

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