Wednesday, January 27, 2010

When tail-enders take no responsibility...

When an Aussie bowler who made an ODI debut at the age of 30+ and in his second one dayer picks up his first 5 wicket haul against a team who have a history of winning a world cup and making it to the finals of another, one has to indeed question whether Pakistan are indeed interested in playing serious cricket be it the one day or test cricket. If one goes through the scorecard of yesterday's third one day international between Australia and Pakistan, the Pakistani captain did the same mistake that he was found doing in the first ODI.

This time at Adelaide as well, Mohammed Yousuf went in for just five bowlers who bowled their full quota of 10 overs each. May be, had the ICC not imposed any such rules regarding the number of overs a bowler can bowl in an ODI match, Yousuf would have even gone in for just one or two bowlers to bowl the entire 50 overs. The other side of the coin is also that the Pakistan side had hardly any bowler who could give the main bowlers a break and step in as a part time bowler. Such is the destiny of today's Pakistan cricket.

If the recent past is given a close look at, chasing a total of even 300+ is not considered a difficult task. May be this doesn't hold good as far as Australia is considered. At the end of the day, anyone can come out with a reason regarding their team's loss. And how much weight that reason can be given becomes a different issue altogether. Compared to the previous ODIs, Pakistan have been putting a better performance each time they faced the Aussies. They bought the Aussies close to 50 overs in the first ODI while chasing 275. And in the 2nd, they utilized an extra bowler though they ultimately got out for 127.

Now, in the 3rd, Pakistan despite losing 4 quick wickets for 60 runs put up an 85 run partnership that could have well been converted to a winning total of 287. Some irresponsible shots from the blades of Shahid Afridi and Naved-Ul-Hasan have to be dealt with seriously if this is not happen once again. It looks like the PCB has failed in handling Afridi, who has the power to make it big but is allowed to play reckless shots, which are at most of the times irresponsible. Such shots can make only a gully cricketer and not an international. It is no more than a black mark on Afridi for playing such shots.

A 19 year old Umar Akmal along with Fawad Alam were found playing decent cricket compared to what Afridi & Naved played. Tail end batting is assumed by the Pakistani players to just give an entertainment to the crowd and nothing else. It is the performance of these tail enders who make a difference between a victory and a defeat. Pakistan have to learn from the Aussies who had a last ball victory in the ICC Champions Trophy which was made possible by tail enders Brett Lee & Nathan Hauritz who put up a 19 run partnership and also stood for 20 balls without taking unwanted risks like the ones taken by Afridi & Naved.

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