|Event:||Pakistan in England 2010|
DateLine: 15th August 2010
A few days ago a man came up to me and asked me a few questions about the current Pakistani cricket team. He obviously knew that I had played cricket at the highest level for Pakistan and thought I would have the answers. But to be honest with you, when he provided me with all the stats and details I simply had no answer to his questions. Maybe you can help me.
Out of the current playing side, Azhar Ali scored two centuries and between the rest of the batsmen currently touring England, there is only one solitary century. Why is it that these players have been selected in the test team when players who have scored more have been ignored?
Why is it that a bowler who picked up 14 wickets in the last domestic cricket season is in the test squad while there are many bowlers who got over 50 wickets sitting back home in Pakistan?
Why has the Pakistani team been selected with young inexperienced batsmen competing against an English team which boasts a top order (top 6 batsmen) which has scored 151 first class hundreds. Pakistanís top order in comparison has scored only 67 first class hundreds and that too mainly due to the two openers. Itís a complete mismatch. Now we all know that Pakistani cricket is going through a tough period due to various reasons, hence itís not easy going for the PCB. I am sure they are doing all they can to bring Pakistani cricket back to its heights, but we all know it will take some time in bringing cricket back to Pakistan.
So how should they approach it? Firstly I think we are asking too much from our youth. It has never worked in the past and it will not work in future either. Selecting a young team and expecting them to perform better with time is a recipe for disaster. Itís not fair on the youngster to be burdened with the expectations to perform when they are not even ready for such a level. I am sure they are talented but with so many failures eventually they will get dropped and be lost for good like many others have in the past.
Why do we not learn from other nations who pick their batsmen when itís clear they are ready to handle the pressure of international cricket, not just when they look good? If a youngster doesnít know how to play a big innings at first class level, how could you expect him to do so, on the test stage against top teams in difficult conditions?
Let them develop their cricket skills and learn the art of playing long innings in first class cricket first by scoring at least 15 to 20 hundreds. A great example of this was the partnership between Zulqarnain Haider and Saeed Ajmal at Birmingham. Both are not in the team due to their batting but clearly showed they have the experience to handle the pressure. Even without the best of technique they showed itís more about determination. Determination is what is missing in our batsmen.
To include one youngster in a team of experienced players works, but one experienced player within a young team. I am not too sure. Many are claiming that the PCB has taken a step back in recalling Mohammad Yousuf to the team. I would disagree and say they have in fact taken a step forward and gone somewhat towards rectifying the mistake they made when they dropped all the experienced players from the team.
Good luck to Waqar and company for upcoming matches!
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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