Heartbreak Hotel for Pakistan Cricket

Posted on January 18, 2010
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Sports
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Owais Mughal

I know I am putting this post right after our ‘I am grateful..’ post but Pakistan has just lost a Test-Cricket series in Australia by 3-0 margin. So while I am grateful, I am a little bit disappointed too. Just a little bit. Actually today’s white wash didn’t disappoint me as much as captain Yousuf’s comments later on. He has said that ‘Our team is young and I am satisfied with their performance’. Yesterday he also gave a statement which basically said that in the past Pakistan had brought star studded teams to Australia and lost; atleast he brought a young team and lost so he is better than previous Pakistani teams. As long as our aim is to lose better than previous teams, we are aiming too low. Seems like the word win was not even in the aim. Can anyone imagine such statement from our previous captains like Imran Khan or Wasim Akram? That was probably the difference between the two teams. Australia is also a very new side but they were playing with a hunger to win.

Pakistan has now not won a single test match in Australia since December 4, 1995. During second test match of this series Pakistan at one time needed only 125 runs to win with 9 wickets in hand. At that instance I was naive enough to actually put a draft post at ATP celebrating Pakistan’s win in Australia after 15 years. I did not publish that post and then I fall asleep. I woke up few hours later to see the heartbreak hotel. Pakistan had lost remaining 9 wickets in 89 runs and lost the match. I was so glad of not publishing the post earlier and then deleted my draft write-up with a heavy heart.

Pakistan’s last victory in a test series was in 2006 in a home series against West Indies. It is easy to demand resignations, sweeping changes, sending all current players home and rebuilding the team from scratch but the scary thing is that Pakistan has no batting talent for test matches besides what we’ve got in the current team.

Who can name atleast 4 batsmen of test calibre that can replace the current bunch in test matches? Only Taufeeq Umar (Age 28, Test Average 39.29 from 46 innings), Asim Kamal (Age 33, Test Average 37.73 from 20 innings), Fawad Alam (Age 24, Test average 41.66 from 6 innings) and Yasir Hameed (Age 31, Test Average 34.52 from 45 innings)’s names come to mind. And then we have Younis Khan (32 years old) with Test Average of 50.09 from 112 innings. I think it won’t be long before we see Younis back in action in Test Matches. We need batsmen for test teams with solid 40+ averages.

In the current team following are the Test-Cricket batting averages of our stars.

(1) M Yousuf: 53.07 overall and 29.66 in current series
(2) Salman Butt: 30.96 over all and 46.66 in current series
(3) Khurram Manzoor: 29.63 overall and 38.50 in current series
(4) Shoaib Malik: 36.11 overall and 38.50 in current series.
(5) Umar Akmal: 48.16 overall and 33.16 in current series.
(6) Misbah-ul-Haq: 33.6 overall and 25.33 in current series
(7) Faisal Iqbal: 26.76 overall and 24.25 in current series.
(8) Kamran Akmal: 33.55 overall and 16.75 in current series.

Besides the current team, if I may say, the tier two batsmen are not worth of 2 day matches, let alone 5 day test of test matches. I closely followed the premier domestic QeA trophy matches this year and there is no batting talent for test matches to speak of. I know I am making a very general statement but this is truly what I believe and what I saw from QeA matches this year.

Now twenty20 format is a different ball game. We will find many batsmen in Pakistan very capable for Twenty20 but the technique and temprament needed from a test match batsman seems to have got lost in Pakistan.

Fielding and catching also needs to be improved tremendously. Pakistan dropped 14 catches in 3 test matches – the highest I’ve ever known to be dropped by Pakistan.

I won’t put much blame on bowlers as I think we have got ‘OK to better’ bowling talent in the team.

What do our readers think?

26 responses to “Heartbreak Hotel for Pakistan Cricket”

  1. Owais Mughal says:

    After coming out of Karachi airport and while talking to media today, team coach Intikhab Alam said:

    “It must be remembered that Pakistan have never fared any better in Australia.”

    This tour’s stats:
    Lost Test series 3-0,
    lost ODI 5-0,
    lost T-20 1-0.

    Can anyone have fared worse than this. I think not

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