A below-par performance

Published: June 20, 2012

The stunning batting collapses during the series exposed the extreme lack of form of some of our leading batsmen. PHOTO: REUTERS

The recently-concluded five-match One-Day International (ODI) series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka — in which the hosts came out trumps 3-1 after one match was rained off — has brought several problems plaguing the national team to the fore. The series loss against an opponent that Pakistan had dominated in the recent past is a worrying sign. Even more worrying is the fact that two departments, which have long been considered our weak links — batting and fielding — have shown little improvement, despite the appointment of a coach of the calibre of Dav Whatmore.

The stunning batting collapses during the series exposed the extreme lack of form of some of our leading batsmen. This was best exemplified by the dismal show put up by Younus Khan and Mohammad Hafeez, who averaged 3.3 and 11.4 respectively. In addition, the ham-handed fielding proved especially costly during close encounters. The role of the fielding coach needs to be evaluated here although it must be said that however hard a coach works on the players, the responsibility for rectifying their mistakes lies with the players themselves.

The lack of clear thinking on the part of the team management when it came to selecting the playing-eleven also contributed to the series loss as Pakistan were left ruing the decision of dropping their best bowler, Saeed Ajmal, from the final match. However, even more upsetting than this loss, were the reports of friction and groupings within the team. Pakistan possess the talent to recover from this below-par show, but recovering from any infighting within the dressing-room may turn out to be a tall order. As Pakistan take the field for the first Test on June 22 without captain Misbahul Haq, who will be serving a one-match suspension because of the team’s slow over-rate during the final ODI, one hopes that better results will be in the offing in the five-day format where the national side has enjoyed an admirable run of late.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2012.

Reader Comments (5)

  • HH
    Jun 21, 2012 - 9:07AM

    Who cares! I’ve switched from watching (boring) Cricket to watching Football six seven years ago.

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  • Jun 21, 2012 - 12:43PM

    The captain need to answer these questions, he is the one who is in the driving seat. He should no aggression, nothing to missed Fielding, drop catches etc.

    More Over the changes he made to the batting line does not helped at all. We need some one who is aggressive by nature, only he can drive this team .

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  • Maira
    Jun 21, 2012 - 1:22PM

    @HH:
    Good for you. Why did you bother to comment then?

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  • A.S.Ahamed Farooq
    Jun 21, 2012 - 3:19PM

    Pakistan teams performance against Sri Lanka in the One Day International series was highly deplorable.Their batting failed to come to grips with tight situations and simply collapsed while their fielding was horrible in spite of the availability of the services of a highly paid foreign coach.Now they appear to drop more catches than they did before the appointment of the fielding coach.Their ground fielding also has declined to the extent the fielders are unable to at least throw the ball accurately to the wicket keeper.Pakistan cricket will not attain the International standard unless and until their fielding is improved by leaps and bounds,

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  • Yousaf Ali
    Jun 21, 2012 - 4:04PM

    @Maira: just coz it is difficult to ignore cricket.

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