Tag 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
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
Going by his briefing after the UAE game it has to be asked: Have the defeats and narrow escape against Zimbabwe befuddled Waqar enough to have a memory loss? Or is he just taking the media to be duds? He is already accountable after previously losing all sense of balance in the team as to play four specialist bowlers in the game against West Indies but now he has revealed an inert panic state. Or is there another game being played out as there has been in Pakistani cricket since the last two decades. Is the unprovoked panic simply a happenstance or is it part of a more thought out plan? Wonder what the odds are on that? Continue reading
One of his targets has been Ijaz Butt who was the chairman of PCB when Shoaib was, according to himself, unfairly sidelined from the Pakistan team in the middle of the 2011 World Cup and missed his much desired farewell in the semi final at Mohali. Others included Inzamam with whom he had a contentious relationship throughout the time he played under him and Kamran Akmal, who dropped sitters off him in that tournament and who he reportedly had a physical altercation with during the drinks break in the game against New Zealand. Continue reading