I am not a big fan of cricket, but in times when Pakistan makes it to the finals, seeing how the national team would fare is simply irresistible. Last night, I discovered a marked decline in my taste for Pakistani cricket. Having won like anything against India and Bangladesh, Pakistan lose to Sri Lanka after an effortless fight. And I figured out that the real cause of the defeat had more than just bad performance. That is, Pakistan has failed to appreciate the changing realities of cricket. While champions like Australia and Sri Lanka have developed sound winning strategies, Pakistan is still confused about what constitutes the basics of modern-day cricket. Performing Players Need Time and Good Nurseries The Indian’s have their popular Indian Premier League. Bangladesh is also planning one. On the other hand, Pakistan is still anticipating cricket messiahs from time-failed hatcheries of club and zonal cricket. No exposure, no sound players! Further, the opening slots for the batsman have not yet become stable. I mean where in the world can you see a ‘once opening Afridi’ thrown to number 8. If a player doesn’t remain stable for a position, there are hundreds waiting for just one chance back on the files of PCB. The case is no different for the balling attacks. Amir and Asif did look like replacements for Wasim/Younis, but stayed too short to grow. We need to make full-time vacancies for main ballers and batsman to cut it right. Cricket has become a Science Did you remember MacGrath? The Austrialian pacer was a batman’s nightmare because of his notorious line and length. He had the ability to toss all 6 balls bouncing on good length on the deadly off stumps so that the batsman could only avoid it or play it at the risk of a caught behind or a catch. Many other ballers have adopted the similar approach – identifying the opponent’s weak areas to get their job done. On the other hand our ballers keep loyal to their outdated balling styles no matter what is the situation or who are they balling to. Stats Speak Louder Than Words Here is what stats from cricinfo say about experience and class of Pakistani cricketers against the Sri Lankans. I just compared the batsman, but my fair guess says that the picture wouldn’t be much different in bowling as well.
What these figures show about is straight: Pakistan lacks far behind in the maturity. On surface, Pakistani cricketers appear as way too incompetive against the champions. Misba seems to be an exception, but our not-so-intelligent approach to cricket says he must be thrown out, not only from the captaincy but also from the team as well. The cricket of the Greens is likely to run with unpredictability until a prudent, practical and result-oriented approach is adopted by our players, our cricket board and the popular public opinion which very much seems to reflect on the playfields.