Pakistani batting: A lost cause

While new players might still struggle, at least initially, they cannot do much worse than the present set of batsmen.


Editorial November 12, 2013
Twenty20 today, many players will be taking the field with huge question marks over their future in the national squad. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Nothing seems to be going right in Pakistan cricket. If it is not the Pakistan Cricket Board’s tussle with the courts, it is the complete lack of performance of the national team, especially its batting, which is letting the fans down badly. It is not just the 4-1 margin of defeat against South Africa in the One-Day International (ODI) series that has deflated the fans, it is the demoralising manner of the defeat, the lack of spirit and imagination of captain Misbahul Haq in marshalling his troops on the field, and the equally listless and painful display of the batsmen that has also been disheartening. Where once Pakistani batsmanship was defined by the class and elegance of the likes of Saeed Anwar and Inzamamul Haq, we are now left to wince at the sight of our batsmen struggling to barely clear the in-field. Time and again, their technical deficiencies and mental frailties are exposed, their poor show punished by dropping them from the side, only for the same batsmen to return after a brief hiatus, but with little sign of improvement in their game. Pakistan’s batting is going through a deep crisis but there seems to be no answer to this predicament. Perhaps, it is time to give hitherto untested players a chance instead of repeatedly relying on the same set of players. Sohaib Maqsood’s performance in the last two ODIs shows that there is a case to be made for injecting new blood. While new players might still struggle, at least initially, they cannot do much worse than the present set of batsmen.

The poor fielding of the team has also let them down badly with dropped catches and missed run-out chances being constant features. The bowling was largely competent, though marred by some diabolical selections, with the in-form Junaid Khan only coming into the side in the last two ODIs. As Pakistan get ready to once again take on the Proteas in the first Twenty20 today, many players will be taking the field with huge question marks over their future in the national squad.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 13th, 2013.

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COMMENTS (8)

A. Khan | 8 years ago | Reply

Everyone laments the batting but no one admits the reason. These "batsmen" have come up playing street cricket which does not require one to build his technique or a sound defence. Its swing or miss at every ball. Granted Saeed Anwar also came up the same way but there are very batsmen in the world, let alone Pakistan, who have Anwar's eye and timing. Afridi is also another one but his game has fallen away as he has aged. He has openly admitted his birth certificate does not reflect his true age, hence his continuing failure in last few years.

But I digress. Aspiring young batsmen in England and Australia have access to coaches who drill them in technique, hence they turn into technically correct batsmen. India has the same problem as Pakistan. Their batsmen thrive in local conditions (low and slow bounce) but are exposed time and again in faster bouncier conditions.

Much as our retired batsmen claim to be coaches, they simply cannot train others as they lack the key skills themselves. The previous generation Majid, Zaheer, Miandad honed their skills in county cricket as did Imran and Wasim/Waqar, where they had professional coaches who brought out the best in them.

Kamal | 8 years ago | Reply

Wrong. Wrong. Everyone avoiding mentioning the core flaw in Pakistan batting.

MOVING THE REAR LEG (CLOSEST TO STUMPS) PREMATURELY.

And Misbah and Younus the worst violators of this basic Rule 101 have now left the impression on the rest of the team that this is acceptable and the done thing. Nothing would destroy the batting of a new talent than this fatal flaw.

And by the way, Misbah and Younus have started doing this since mid-2000s, as their confidence has started to wane.

Therefore, Misbah and Younus have to be removed from both the Test and ODIs.

T20s is just street cricket, so doesnt matter.

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