It’s not all Sami’s fault

Published: June 21, 2012

PHOTO: FILE/AFP

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.

Amna Lone

Amna Lone

A sub-editor for The Express Tribune’s editorial pages.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Shoaib

    Nice work..well written. Though sami should have used his brain as he has almost a decade of experience but again inconsistency is what u associate with him whether it be selection or performance!! The main problem was the team combination and composition as well as substandard fielding.Recommend

  • JB

    The reason why Sami is in the spotlight for these losses in addition to Misbah, Afridi and Younis is the fact that these players are supposed to be veterans and should have the maturity to change their playing style according to the situation. Sami has been given ample chances and unfortunately, he is bowling the same way he bowled in his debut. No new variety, no slower ball even. I think its time these ‘veterans’ (including Younis and Afridi, who I am a fan of btw) should call it quits and let the team prepare for the next world cup. Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/#!/Rehman0092 Rehman

    WOW how easily writer blames Younus Khan for defeat against England in ODIs. For her kind information he only played 2 ODI against them.

    Sami was mediocre bowler, he is mediocre bowler and he will be a mediocre bowler.

    There is no learning curve Recommend

  • Faraz

    For sure he should be blamed he should have learned some thing from Chima… :p
    Sami is doing same blunders since every domestic t20 final…
    That over was nothing new for a dolphin supporter we are use to it… Recommend

  • frabia

    Catches win matches! Our fielding was the main culprit! Manny a innings are made huge due to misfielding and in this the number of times we couldnot catch or stop the ball was appalling.Agreed the batting is amiss- middle order collapses however will not blame the batsmen or bolwswers in this particular match than the sheer laziness and bad judgement in fielding. Funny you haven’t mentioned it at all whereas even their own feilding coach Julain Fontaine has tweeted” Pakistan fielding coach Julien Fountain tweeted ”You can lead a horse to water,but you cannot force it to drink.”Recommend

  • Godil

    Dropping out Saeed paid offRecommend

  • http://glenns-busy-corner.blogspot.com/ Glenn Ryall

    As someone who plays cricket himself and enjoys watching it, i was stunned by Pakistan’s performance.

    But common you just cannot blame Sami for everything, i believe match practice is very important which for Sami was not there. He played the first ODI and then came to play the last one, just does not make sense to meRecommend

  • Arif B

    Nice general assessment but you miss the point. Pakistani batsmen had put up a fairly competitive score which the SL batsmen had struggled till the end to chase. It was entirely because of some loose and indisciplined bowling by Sami at the death that we blew the game. Why he was included in the side at the expense of Ajmal is inexplicable.Recommend

  • Yousaf

    Why Ajmal was sitting outside?!!!!!Recommend

  • Anum Athar

    Yes its not all Sami’s fault!
    A much tried and failed player brought into the squad for no reason at all. His selection defied all common sense much like the selection of Shoaib Malik in the T20, which we all know is for political reasons only!
    And also the captain and coach made a decision that misfired completely, bringing in Sami in place of the 2nd ranked bowler in the world…

    Please get some new fresh blood in the team, for how long will they give chances to these failed players rather than bringing in well deserving players?Recommend

  • liyaqat

    Well Wether Sami played well or not ..doesnt matter since Pakistan doen’t have much options in the pace deptt. so we have to stick to himRecommend

  • saif

    IT IS SAMI’s FAULT!! come on, the guy was supposed to protect ONLY 18 runs in the last over and he gave them all out by throwing consecutive in-line perfect half-volleys?? I don’t think any bowler in the world doesn’t know that you don’t target stumps in the last over of a match!!! useless bowling.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    Of course its not all Sami’s fault. Our fielding, right down to the last over, was atrocious, and it was our batting that put us in this position in the first place. And Saeed Ajmal, the world number 2 that everyone’s talking about, gave away 23 runs in 5 balls against Hussey to lose us the T20 semi-final match in 2010. Umar Gul’s lost matches with his bowling, including the semi-final against India, and no one’s blamed them or questioned their place in the team.
    As a fast bowler bowling consistently above 90 mph, Sami should have tried to bowl a yorker every ball of that last over, something I know he is capable of, since he has done it before. But, in the end, its not Sami’s fault. We wouldn’t have been in this position at all if our batsmen had done the job in the previous two matches that Sami had missed. I hope he’ll play and perform in the Test series and manage to make a place for himself in the team.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    @saif:
    Now its 18 runs? Soon you’ll be saying it was 24 runs, and then higher. Did you even watch the match? Or did you just hear about it from someone else? Are you losing your memory?Recommend

  • S.F.Ali

    Wah Faraz….The Dolphin thing you said is 100% correct, we are used to it.Recommend

  • Kamil Ghumman

    very well written. But still Sami can not be let of the hook . The guy has 121 international wickets to brag about. So he should have used his brains and tried to get pak over the lineRecommend

  • shiraz

    Its not Sami’s fault. The whole is playing miserably and you just can not blame Sami for everything. I think apart from Misbah, Asad and Azher ,the whole batting sucks. Fielding is pathtic. What can the bowlers do ? Recommend

  • http://www.ladieskorner.com Ladies Korner

    For sure he should be blamed he should have learned some thing from Chima… :p
    Sami is doing same blunders since every domestic t20 final…Recommend

  • Usman

    Sami is a very good fast bowler with decent speed and is needed in Pak squad as we have not seen any super fast bowler in the recent pas years. But problem with Sami is – he does not use his brain while bowling. He needs proper coaching. He is not mature enough to tackle pressure in big matches. Recommend