It’s not all Sami’s fault
Pakistan’s stunning defeat in the final match of the One-Day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka has seen harsh criticism come ’s way and perhaps, rightly so. The fast-bowler managed to do, with some help from our fielders, what our batsmen have been guilty of doing quite regularly of late — snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
As much as the blame for the defeat may lie with Sami, it is important not to lose sight of the bigger picture. In the recent past, more often than not, it has been the performance of our bowlers that has bailed us out in tricky situations. Our batting has been the weak link, contributing to the team’s downfall frequently and the story was no different in this series either. Our bowling attack may need some fine-tuning but it is our batting line-up that requires a major overhaul.
Pakistani batsmen’s tendency to squander good starts and their general inability to chase down targets are known to all. These problems have also plagued past Pakistani teams that were far richer in batting resources. But when such a predicament is faced by a side that does not have the services of greats like Inzamamul Haq or Mohammad Yousuf to save the day after yet another collapse, it takes on much more distressing proportions.
Mohammad Hafeez’s abysmal form, which saw him rack up a grand total of 57 runs in the five innings he played, the sensational batting collapses suffered by the middle order, the inability of Umar Akmal to shed the tag of being a ‘promising youngster’ and finally come good on that promise and the decline of Younus Khan as an ODI batsman were the reasons behind this series defeat, as much as they were behind the 4-0 loss suffered against England earlier this year.
The solid display by Azhar Ali notwithstanding, it is clear that a revamp of the batting line-up is in order. The likes of Asad Shafiq, Nasir Jamshed and Hammad Azam need to feature more prominently in the side. They may not start delivering match-winning performances instantly, but their regular inclusion in the team — and not just sporadic appearances —will be a step in the right direction as Pakistan look for the ideal combination to overcome their batting woes.
Read more by Amna Lone here.
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