ICC: Shambolic is a mild word to describe Pakistan’s 150-run defeat against the West Indies. It really hurts to see the planning of Pakistan’s think-tank in the ICC Cricket World Cup. The men in ‘shocking green’ look like a fractured outfit and the wounds are only getting deeper and deeper. The scars of defeat against India were still fresh and West Indies have simply rubbed more salt in them.
It seems Misbahul Haq is fast losing confidence in his bowlers and the batsmen are not coming out of lean form either. You play ODI cricket according to your strengths and if Misbah had chosen eight batsmen, what’s the logic of bowling first after winning the toss?
Pakistan’s bowling unit no longer has the class of Wasim Akram or Waqar Younis. And if a mediocre bowling attack doesn’t get enough support from the fielders, conceding over 300 runs is inevitable.
West Indies looked better prepared for this crucial Pool B match after Ireland knocked them over in the first match. They grafted their innings with a set plan. They didn’t look for big shots until the 40th over before launching a brutal assault on Pakistan’s inexperienced bowling attack off the last 60 deliveries.
Only experienced bowlers can master the art of bowling slow deliveries. Unfortunately, inexperienced Sohail Khan and Wahab Riaz obliged Andre Russell with so many of those slower ones that the ball disappeared to all parts of the ground.
Pakistan’s problem is they have only three full-fledged bowlers and in that too, Shahid Afridi is not getting much assistance from the wickets in Australia and New Zealand. Good teams will never allow Afridi to have numbers in the wickets column. They know Pakistan have enough weak links in their bowling and they can feast on them.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2015.
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