Pakistan Cricket team inconsistency, in a nutshell, can only be described as monumentally disastrous.
Just as an example, just go over these statistics of Pakistan Cricket Team, the winners of the champion’s trophy.
Pakistan New Zealand Clash
The 5-Nil whitewash of ICC Champions Trophy winners, having the top-ranked bowler (Hassan Ali), top all-rounder (M Hafeez), and No. 4 batsman (Babar Azam) in the ranks is not a freak occurrence. Pakistani players, especially Batsmen are notoriously inconsistent. I’ll only talk of games No 3,4,5,6 (three ODIs and one T20) that Pakistan lost (except the Duckworth Lewis losses) and draw lessons.
Inability to collect ones’ and twos’. To rotate the strike requires finesse and control, which our batsmen lack. Their balance is shaky from the word go and they eventually get out to ordinary deliveries, as they aim to heave balls out of the park.
Muhammad Amir who is virtually unplayable with his pace and movement just got two wickets in 4 One-Dayers. Rumman Raees got 8 wickets overall. It’s very hard to believe that Muhammad Amir can get rid of Virat Kohli on successive deliveries and can’t handle Taylor, Guptil, and Munro. M Amir’s underperforming seems deliberate. Pakistan bowlers allowed Williamson, an average batman into the elite top ten ODI batsman lineup.
The ever-elusive opening pair. The moment Azhar Ali didn’t click in the three ODI too (6,6,0), selectors rotated Faheem Ashraf, Umar Ameen with Fakhar Zaman. Faheem Ashraf mind you have never opened for Pakistan. The result as expected were disastrous as is evident in the next four matches scores:-
- Fakhar Zaman was 2,54,3,12
- Faheem Ashraf 10,1,7,23
- Umar Amin -,-,2,0
Low top-order runs. Pakistani top order couldn’t even get into double figures. It’s safe to say that the ODI series loss happened because of the top-order collapse. Fakhar Zaman was 2,54,3,12 in four innings. Babar Azam 8,3,41,12; M Hafiz 0,81,-,6;. There is no excuse for an international batsman not being consistent. The balls they got out on were simple balls with a slight twist.
Instead of countering the New Zealand bowling, after the first two losses, selectors rotated the top order lineup. Azhar Ali, M Hafiz, Shoaib Malik were out; Haris Sohail, Fahim Ashraf, and Umar Ameen were brought in. The replacement didn’t make any impact. So what was the point?
Pakistan’s total scores for game ODI#3,4,5 & T20 # 1 are 74,262,256,105. No international team can hope to defend such a low. Pakistan as usual managed to elevate average Bowlers like Santner and Boult to the top ten ODI bowlers list.
Therefore, the Pakistan Cricket team always stays inconsistent, only waiting for the spark that would galvanize them to action.
That spark is getting fairly rare now.
Here are my 5 reasons for the Pakistan Cricket team inconsistency in cricket:
Lack of batting talent
Batting is a skill that has to be taught early. Pakistani street cricketers only want to hit every ball out of the park. The crowd loves that and the only criteria for selecting openers is how many they can smash to the boundary. That does not make level-headed batsmen for international fixtures. The wrong selection criteria at the mohalla level carry on to domestic cricket. Every Pakistani who has played mohallas cricked knows that the guy who tries to take ones’ and twos’ in an innings would never get a chance to bat at the top again. We relish sloggers and fireworks like Shahid Afridi and not innings builders like Younas Khan. A batsman who rotates strike is never the star. No wonder solid batsmen never rise to the International level.
Isolation from the Cricketing world
Since the Board of Cricket India (BCCI) has un-officially banned cricket matches with Pakistan, the quality of players coming up is drying out. Who would want a career for their child in a sport that does not make money? Pakistan Cricket is going the route Pakistan Hockey took a decade back, thanks to India again. Pakistanis even have to go to foreign websites like Cricket Buzz to get updates on Pakistan Cricket News.
Low investment from locals
Pakistan cricket or any sport needs investment to help it grown. Pakistan’s market is not mature enough, and not regulated enough to ensure the smooth flow of investments into sports, let alone cricket. Pakistani businessman is happy jetting off to western countries to the party but does not feel the need to help the government build an ecosystem of sports investment, that would benefit all. Pakistani bureaucrats are also very incompetent and need training from some developed countries in policy and implementation skills.
Pakistan Super League
Pakistan Super League is a good start, but the rot set in earlier on the players’ careers cannot be corrected so late. Pakistan Super league only happens once a year, if you are lucky. A player cannot live off of that. The deficiency of a good batsman is very glaring in PSL, where it is mostly filled by foreign drafted players.
Pakistanis are not patient
Pakistani society is a hard society and is not patient. This makes finding a good batsman with a sound temperament very hard. Pakistanis want quick fixes to their problems because they feel no one will give a sh*t otherwise. This translates into the playing field and we never find good batsmen.
Pakistan has very little exposure to batting coaches
Since India has turned off the tap on cricket for Pakistan, their western stooge cricket boards like Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket have also stopped inviting Pakistani batsmen to gain vital coaching experience. This has created a void that cannot be filled for a very long time. Also, looking at Pakistan Cricket Matches Schedule for 2020, you can very well see why the existing batsmen do not get sufficient exposure.
Pakistani pitches are not professionally made
Bumpy, dry, cracked, uneven, and soft pitches do not make for a great batting experience. The pitches in Pakistan have suffered since the dry spell of the War on Terror and are still barren. Hence, Pakistani batsmen don’t want to have their heads smashed on uneven surfaces. No pitch, no batsman.
Pakistan Cricket Board is incapable
Pakistan Cricket Board under Ehsan Mani seems sleeping. It works well when you have hundreds of millions in your bank account, but does not work for a bankrupt country like Pakistan. The dynamism of Najam Sethi, although he may be a pain in the neck for some, is sorely missed. These political appointees cannot produce real world-class batsmen, because they themselves are average. Look at this Current Pakistan Cricket Squad, do you see any match-winner Batsmen?
Pakistani society does not produce genuine leaders
For an investment starved Pakistani society, producing genuine leaders, that are one in a million, is a long shot in the dark. Average leaders, that slip through the cracks, produce average results and that too inconsistently. Just look at Current Pakistan Team Captains to see what I mean.
So there you have it Pakistan Cricket team inconsistency may be legendary, but it is not without reason.
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