Category Archives: Cricket
As someone said, the game was lost by Joe Root (and his advisors) when he chose to bat on a pitch which had been under covers due to rain a day earlier, and had a tinge of green on it. Perhaps he was smitten by the words, attributed to WG Grace, who had said once, “When you win the toss – bat. If you are in doubt, think about it, then bat. If you have very big doubts, consult a colleague – then bat.” Continue reading
I say an extra batsman because Pakistan doesn’t really have anyone in the bowling ranks who is a speedster. Hasan Ali seems the obvious choice for an apples to apples replacement and can make the ball talk on his day. But it’s an experienced bowling attack (Anderson and Broad have nearly a thousand Test wickets between them – 941 to be exact) that Pakistan’s frail batting may well fall pray of. Even Mark Wood or Chris Woakes can do a bit on the slope at Lord’s. Continue reading
He will be hard pressed to decide what his batsmen’s true worth is – Canterbury or Northampton. For that matter is Hobson’s Choice for both are Division Two Teams. Worse, Pakistani batting fared poorly against Kent who were placed fifth in Division Two last season.
Yes, it was overcast, the ball was seaming but if one watches the dismissals of top batsmen there was the perennial playing over the inswinger, the dab to the wicketkeeper or first slip and the mistimed cut for a play-on to the stumps. All reeking of lack of technique and a limited overs attitude. Continue reading
You see, important was not who they select but how they select. Also, will it reveal a policy statement that they might not convey overtly? After all selection is a long term game. It’s like chess. You play to a strategy and plan several moves ahead. You also have to prioritise who you will send ahead for the first charge and whether you have picked the knight or the rook or the bishop to deliver your check mate.
While the selection committee has done well to give a chance to some deserving players, one or two of whom should have been a regular by now, the observation is that they have played to the coach’s tune. Continue reading
But as I said at the beginning, they are reflections of who Shaharyar Khan is: conservative and careful. That may not be a bad thing on occasions but cricket today requires aggressive risk takers. Men who pounce on the moment and make inspired choices.
Like Javed Miandad when he rallied against the selectors in taking a 19-year old Wasim Akram to New Zealand when he had no first class season behind him. Or Imran Khan picking out Inzamam from the nets when the selectors had said he would come to nothing at the international level. Also driving down to Gaddafi Stadium after watching a lad named Waqar Younis bowl in a televised final; or putting faith in a 17-year old Aaqib Javed. Continue reading
What he didn’t hold back of course was his annoyance, to put it lightly, of some past cricketers who had become too personal in their criticism of him. “Pull me up for strategy and tactics but not for who I am” was his gripe. On cue the retorts came back from those he had directed his ire at and we all saw some stuff being thrown back.
Sad that it has come to this. A captain bullied and half cursed simply by those who have ganged up on him. That he has indicated he has set no timeline for his departure altogether from Pakistan cricket means we will be seeing some more targeted censure of his self for the foreseeable future. Continue reading
And just how much one attacking innings can inspire a team can be seen by what it did to Pakistan when Sarfraz blitzed his way through Steyn and Co. at Eden Park. Will Sarfraz do it again at Adelaide today or will his stirring entrance at Auckland give wings to someone like Ahmed Shahzad or Umar Akmal or Sohaib Maqsood (if he plays) to do something similar? Or will the bowling attack see is through the Irish challenge? Whatever, the real Pakistan potential needs to come to the field today. Continue reading