Pakistan cricket plunged to the depths of despair on Sunday, after the men in green added one more harrowing defeat to their log-book.
Even as utmost restraint is shown in tabling this post mortem, one is forced to confess that the battering by the Bangladeshis in Mirpur is going to rank amongst the most depressing losses suffered by Pakistan, as the lack of depth in the once extremely rich talent pool is ruefully exposed.
While one understands the need for increasing the patience quotient with a new look team, yet the one-sided nature of the series leaves the mind numb— after all, it took Bangladesh 16 years to beat Pakistan in an international and within two days they doubled the number of their wins, that too with consummate ease.
The hammering is going to test the temperament of both the team management, as well as the PCB officials, who have handed the leadership baton to Azhar Ali.
The PCB handpicked Azhar as the leader of the ODI format with both his predecessor and head coach backing his credentials; astonishingly the duo didn’t find Azhar good enough to seal a World Cup berth but chose him to lead in the ‘new era’.
Meanwhile on Sunday, the Bangladeshi batsmen carted Pakistan all around Mirpur, turning the chase of 240 runs into child’s play—earlier in the day Azhar’s men had scratched and prodded around to reach 239 that too was only possible after a revival by Saad Nasim and Wahab Riaz.
The gulf between the two teams was enormous with the tourists wilting under pressure through a series of poor shots at the top of the innings and with the ball, even the usually dependable bowling unit crumbled against the rampaging duo of Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim.
Bangladesh coasted home and exorcised the demons of the past (31 ODI defeats to Pakistan) at this rate the Tigers are firm favourites to register an emphatic whitewash.
Pakistan have big issues to deal with and Waqar and his team of coaches have to dig deeper than ever if they are to bring some semblance of respect back for their battered and bullied charges.
The experts are already blaming the selectors for taking Bangladesh lightly and making sweeping changes to the squad. The detractors are opining that the newly installed selection committee has wreaked havoc by dismantling the core of the team.
This month long tour (Three ODIs, one T20, two Tests) can be painfully long and ardours one if the results don’t improve immediately. The fans and experts are seething but better sense and wisdom must prevail and the PCB must not make more changes for the heck of it.
Over the years the board’s tendency of playing to the gallery has been a major hurdle in the execution of long term plans and strategies.
Pakistan have lost and have been woefully short of international class but the youngsters must be backed and given an extended run. Perhaps Mohammad Rizwan, Haris Sohail, Saad Nasim, Rahat Ali ,, have already endured the worst, now they must be given the opportunity to rebuild after the catastrophic Mirpur storm.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2015.
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