Team Pakistan has been clinching victories after victories — in all formats of the game, both at home and away. The latest victory has come against the Zimbabweans on their own soil in the second game of the two-test rubber by an innings and 147 runs. This led to Pakistan completing a whitewash of the hosts, as they had also won the first Test, quite comfortably too, by a margin of innings and 16 runs. Before that the Babar Azam men had also won the T20I series 2-1. Not just that, Team Pakistan had also trounced South Africa at home in January-February this year — winning the Test series 2-0 and the T20I series 2-1. In a return tour to South Africa in April, the team clinched the ODI series 2-1, and T20I series 3-1.
Against Zimbabwe, there were noteworthy performances from both batsmen and bowlers — including a double hundred by Abid Ali in the second Test and a century each by Fawad Alam and Azhar Ali in the first and second Tests respectively. A quick-fire 97 by left arm off-spinner Nauman Ali in the second Test while batting at number nine also deserves praise. Besides there were five-fors by Hassan Ali, Nauman Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi — all in the second Test. Unfortunately though, fast bowler Tabish Khan, who debuted at the age of 36 on the basis of an eye-catching performance on the domestic circuit, could only bag one wicket. However, Tabish did bowl with a fluent action and reasonable pace and deserves to be kept with the team.
While overall, it has been a commendable team performance from the Men in Green, the assignments coming up next are a little tougher — Asia Cup to be hosted by Sri Lank in June, and Pakistan’s tour of England for 3 ODIs and as many T20Is. Pakistan team think-tank needs to analyse the performances of all the players minutely and work on building a formidable combinations for all formats of the game.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2021.