Pakistan cannot change!
This has become the most commonly used expression to describe Pakistan’s victories and defeats in all formats of cricket.
The Sarfraz Ahmed-led side were thought to have started a new chapter in their cricketing history when they won the Champions Trophy last year. A new foreword was written which stated that the team is ready to grow: from a mercurial side, which would amaze and amuse audiences on their chosen days but also lose in the most impossible circumstances, to a more consistently performing unit.
Congrats Pakistan on T20 series win against NZ & number 1 ranking in the ICC T20 world. Lots to learn from this tour though. Keep supporting team Pakistan. #PakistanZindabad pic.twitter.com/O8ntUGdp2g— Babar Azam (@babarazam258) January 28, 2018
Promises were made by the captain and the coach, future plans were discussed, strategies were outlined, but, maybe, Mickey Arthur and Sarfraz Ahmed forgot who they were talking about.
History is witness to the fact that Pakistan have always been in the limelight when a bilateral series or an ICC tournament kicks off. Pundits scratch their heads more often than not to decide which Pakistan side will walk onto the pitch on any given day.
Post-Champions Trophy, the Test team, which become a force to be reckoned with on their new home the UAE, lost 2-0 to Sri Lanka in the two-match series.
This has been a tough tour but we have come out of it as the Number 1 T20I team 💪💪💪. Thank you for all your support during the tough times. Now get ready for the Number one T20I team’s premier T20 league; @thePSLt20. #PakistanZindabad #Number1 pic.twitter.com/5fhaz7Bvzh— Shadab Khan (@76Shadabkhan) January 28, 2018
One can argue that the gulf created by the absence of veterans Misbahul Haq and Younus Khan was too hard to fill, but it didn’t point towards such desolation. However, in the ODIs, Pakistan thrashed Sri Lanka to reiterate their status as the champions.
But when the same team visited New Zealand for a limited-overs tour at the start of January, everyone believed they were going to put up a good fight against the Kiwis, maybe in a lost cause, but there was hope in experts’ words and in the minds of country’s fans.
But Pakistan cannot change!
They were beaten down and out in the ODI series, with the Men in Green not even coming close to winning any encounter. The humiliation was too much. Questions were raised against the credibility of the young team who had recently brought home silverware.
Success is measured by hard work, discipline and a will to win..You have proved that today by winning the series and becoming #No1 #T20 team in the world..Congrats Team Pakistan 🇵🇰 @realpcb take a bow! #NZvsPAK #PakistanZindabad 💪🏻.— Waqar Younis (@waqyounis99) January 28, 2018
And when they went into the T20I series, once again, everyone wrote them off, and they made sure everyone stuck to their stance with a harrowing performance in the first shortest-format encounter.
But everyone had again forgotten — Pakistan cannot change!
Fakhar Zaman broke out of his cocoon and took on the Kiwi bowlers who thought they had slayed the monster. Sarfraz, after the chastening, remerged as the authoritative leader of the pack and was seen more animated than ever to spoil the Kiwis’ party. The surprising packages were also there, once again from youngsters, where Shadab Khan the leggie, Aamer Yamin the all-rounder, a returning Ahmad Shahzad, and batsmen Haris Sohail and Umar Amin played cameo roles in team’s victory.
Thus, history and now evidence support the claim that Pakistan cannot change. You think they’ll fall, they’ll rise up better than ever. You vote in their favour and they’ll make sure you start questioning your choices.
You cannot and should not expect consistency from Pakistan, because their volatile nature of play is what makes them one of the most interesting sights when they walk onto the cricket pitch — hardest to beat, easiest to down, both at the same time, but not predictable, never!