Over the years ‘unpredictable’ was the tag given to the Pakistan cricket team, but with every passing game, it is becoming more and more evident that there is nothing ‘unpredictable’ about the national team’s batting abilities.
Put them under a remotely tense situation and then see them implode with a mind numbing approach. Similarly the writing was very much on the wall once the Sri Lankans had set the visitors a 271 run target in the second Test of the series in Colombo on August 17.
In a short span of time the top order was blown away with the scoreboard reading 50/5. It was only due to the efforts of wicket-keeper batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed that the team reached a slightly respectable score of 165 to hand a 105 run win and a 2-0 series whitewash to the Islanders on August 18.
After the Galle implosion one had hoped that the batsmen would have learnt their lesson and worked on at least lessening the impact of Sri Lanka’s left-arm wizard Rangana Herath, but all such thoughts were duly brushed aside as the spinner doubled his impact in Colombo.
Herath snapped 14 wickets in the match to give the hosts a first-ever whitewash against their opponents.
Pakistan have a lot of soul searching to do and the new team management of Waqar Younis, Grant Flower, Moin Khan and Mushtaq Ahmed has to infuse an attacking instinct in a team that under Misbahul Haq has stagnated alarmingly.
Since the 3-0 whitewash inflicted on England in early 2012, under Misbah, Pakistan have failed to win even a single Test series. While formidable opponents like South Africa have recorded thumping wins, and even the unfancied Zimbabweans succeeded in squaring a series 1-1 last year.
Misbah, who is one of the oldest captains to lead a Test team in history, has clearly looked out of sorts and recently has given the impression that he is just waiting for things to happen, but unfortunately in the cut-throat international competition a team taking a backseat is jumped on all over by the opposition.
A new team management has been brought in but it seems that a change in the leadership is also a dire need of the hour.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2014.
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