Has the Australian team forgotten how many times they have been whitewashed by their South Asian counterparts?

Published: January 12, 2017
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Chappell should not only review his comments but also tender an apology to Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

Recently, Ian Chappell passed a comment, telling the Pakistan cricket team to either improve their game or stay at home. The former Australian captain went on to say that until the struggling side does not up their game significantly and provide some sort of a challenge to the home side, the Pakistan team will not be invited for any future series. According to Chappell, 

“Pakistan have now lost 12 Test matches on the trot in Australia, and somebody’s got to give them a kick up the bum. Cricket Australia have got to start saying ‘listen if things don’t improve we will stop with the invites.”

“You can’t continue to [play poor] cricket. You can’t bowl poorly, have conservative field placings and field sloppily and expect to play decent cricket in Australia,” he added.

I, for one, find Chappell’s comments inappropriate and arrogant, stemming from a lack of background knowledge.

What if India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka pass a statement of their own, stating that they will not be playing any future matches with Australia in the sub-continent anymore? As for performance, perhaps Chappell and the Australian cricket team have forgotten the times when they were whitewashed against South Asian teams in the last three years? I still remember how India hammered Australia by 4-0 in 2013, Pakistan by 2-0 in 2014, and Sri Lanka by 3-0 in 2015.

Furthermore, perhaps Chappell needs to take a look in the mirror and be reminded of the UAE match where Australia looked clueless when Misbahul Haq smashed the fastest Test century and Yasir Shah ripped them apart with his guile.

Where was Ian Chappell then?

I agree that our team’s performance has been dismal lately, case in point the recent tour of Australia. But the most unpredictable team also drew a series with England in 2016, in the same country where Australia faced a humiliating loss. Furthermore, the Aussies reached their embarrassment pinnacle when Australia were shot out for a meagre score of 60 in the first innings of the Nottingham Test, courtesy of Stuart Broad’s magnificent bowling spell.

By suggesting not to invite Pakistan, Chappell is setting a precedent that no team should play on fields other than their own home grounds as the record of nearly all Test playing countries on foreign grounds is unsatisfactory.

Interestingly enough, Australia is scheduled to tour India in February. It is predicted that India will whitewash Australia, given their form on home ground. If the said prediction comes true, will it be wise for any senior or former player from India to ask the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to question their decision of inviting Australia to tour in the future?

Not only does Chappell’s statement make no sense but it also does not meet the standards of someone of his stature. Never in cricket history has any captain come forward and passed such a statement. When did one team’s disappointing performance qualify as a criterion for revoking invitations for future tours? If the Australian team had been performing remarkably throughout, Chappell’s arrogant statement would somewhat make sense. But how can you point a finger and question a team’s participation based on a few dismal performances?

Chappell should not only review his comments but also tender an apology not only to Pakistan but to the International Cricket Council (ICC) as well, which has been striving to promote cricket all around the world.

Pakistan cricket is passing through tough times. No team has toured Pakistan for the last eight years. In this dire moment, Pakistan needs support from the ICC and other Test playing countries. Unfortunately, the power houses of cricket have always found reasons to side-line Pakistan, and Chappell just gave them another one.

In fact, in 2000, Australia was the first team to show reservations regarding touring Pakistan based on some flimsy reason. However, their decision did not stop other countries from touring Pakistan, until the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009.

On the contrary, Australia did not abandon its tour to England in 2006-07 even after the 2005 London bombings took place. Similarly, England continued their tour of India even after the disastrous Mumbai attack in 2010. In 1993, when the Tamil Tigers were terrorising Sri Lanka, the New Zealand cricket team did not abandon their tour, even after the bomb blast outside their hotel. But the same country, Sri Lanka, had a different approach for Pakistan when their team packed the bags and immediately left Pakistan after the attack in 2009.

Pakistan’s overseas record fares much better in comparison to other Asian countries. Pakistan is the only country to have won ODI series’ South Africa, along with setting remarkable records in England and New Zealand. However, Australia is the only venue where Pakistan’s record is poor. But this is simply because Pakistan does not tour Australia that often and are not familiar with their ground conditions. I am confident that if Pakistan were to tour Australia frequently, not only will their performance improve, but they might even win the series.

Furthermore, Chappell did not stop at the team but also took a jab at Misbah’s captaincy skills, stating,

“A lot of their struggles were because they had no leadership. There was no inspiration from Misbah, so things have got to change in Pakistan.”

Commenting on Misbah’s future as the skipper, Chappell went on to say,

“If I had anything to do with the selection then that will be it for Misbah as the captain, but in Pakistan they do some very strange things, so I wouldn’t bet on it.”

I, regrettably, agree with Chappell’s observation of Misbah. Pakistan did indeed lack inspiration and ingenious captaincy which failed to deliver its fruits even after experienced players in the squad.

Misbah should have thought out his strategy thoroughly after the first Test, especially when it came to using Yasir Shah’s talent. Shah continued to ball on the leg stump line to left handers and hence got hammered. A player that was meant to be the team’s ace player with his magnificent bowling skills was not resourced appropriately due to poor strategy and planning.

Pakistan cricket has certain flaws that are damaging its potential growth. Our selectors lack vision and keep recalling old war horses instead of grooming talented and skillful youngsters for the future. However, even with its flaws, our team has competed courageously with its mightier opponents from the very first day, and I am confident that we will overcome all hurdles and continue to perform better in the future.

I hope Pakistan prepares itself tremendously before future tours to Australia, if there will be any, so that critics like Chappell are proved wrong and do not even dare pass such absurd statements in the future.

Team Pakistan Zindabad!

Khurram Zia Khan

Khurram Zia Khan

The writer is the media manager of Asiatic Public Relations and tweets @KhurramZiaKhan (twitter.com/KhurramZiaKhan)

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

  • Avinash

    aussies have this knack of trash talking..especially when their going is easy. when their fortunes r down they r not that vocal. best response is to ignore this blunderheadRecommend

  • Nomad1412

    Pakistan has been hunting with the hounds and running with the hares for a long time. India has been hurt by “visitors” from Pakistan time and again, why on earth would India stand in solidarity with Pakistan? Especially for something as trivial as an ex-cricketer’s statement.

    Right, you will now say sports should be kept away from politics. But with so much animosity towards India in everything else and a concerted effort to place Pakistan in West/Central Asia or the Middle East, are we even in the same region now? Please do not trivialize the 2008 Mumbai attacks (It happened in 2008, not 2010 — Indians haven’t forgotten it) to the monthly killings, bombings, etc. that occur in Pakistan.

    No need to get so agitated, Ian Chappell has said lot of stuff even against the Indian cricket team. You don’t see us get so worked up and defensive, so why should you?Recommend

  • pritesh

    Thumbs up for South Asian solidarity !Recommend

  • gp65

    “As for performance, perhaps Chappell and the Australian cricket team have forgotten the times when they were whitewashed against South Asian teams in the last three years? ”
    False equivalence. You are comparing Australia’s performance in Asia against 3 countries over 3 years with Pakistan’s performance in Australia against just one country over 20 years.

    “What if India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka pass a statement of their own, stating that they will not be playing any future matches with Australia in the sub-continent anymore?”

    Why should India and Sri Lanka make rude comments to Australia? Please fight your own battles.

    ” In 1993, when the Tamil Tigers were terrorising Sri Lanka, the New Zealand cricket team did not abandon their tour, even after the bomb blast outside their hotel. But the same country, Sri Lanka, had a different approach for Pakistan when their team packed the bags and immediately left Pakistan after the attack in 2009.”

    False equivalence again. The Tigers did not specifically attack the NZ cricket team while the Sri Lankan team was fired upon.Recommend

  • NKAli

    Agreed! However, we have to start realizing that Test cricket no longer matters and is being held onto for sentimental reasons.
    The name of the game is ODI and T20 which are fast paced games and require quick change of tactics and cricketing gameplay. We have to prepare for the last two which are the money-spinners because Test cricket is ‘dead horse’ and needs to be given a decent burial. SalamsRecommend

  • Muhammad Yasir

    Pakistani team invited criticism of senior cricketers due to their poor performance. Chappell’s comment is absurd though but it seems he is disappointed with Pakistan’s performance and its improvement in the future that caused the insane comment.Recommend

  • Yogi Berra

    The question is how long Pak Cricket can handle international isolation? Without teams visiting Pakistan the youngsters will not watch quality cricket and get inspired. It seems to me the end of the road for Pak cricket although we may see one or two wins here and there. But over long term the writing is on the wall.Recommend

  • Zulfiqar Qazi

    Since when is unpredictability such a virtue? Every time that i hear a
    pakistani cricket fan talking about the pak cricket team they are always
    like ooooh the most unpredicatble team in the world – as if, being
    unpredictable is such a virtue to have in sports. Lets cut this nonsense
    that promotes that being unpredictable is such a lofty ideal to uphold –
    it’s not. Be predictable to win
    I agree with Ian Chappell. As
    much as I would hate to admit it, but let’s face it Pakistan is not the
    same side anymore. it is deteriorating much like other aspects of our
    national life. It is time to totally overhaul it. This news should be an
    eye opener not something to get mad about. Truth is often bitter.

    The
    write has also tried to put Pakistan together as a bunch with India and
    Sri Lanka. Look, Ian Chappell has neither talked about India nor Sri
    Lanka. There is no need for the write to group these south asian teams
    together just because Pakistan has been singled out for dismal
    performance. Why would you even do that? Why drag India into it??? Do
    you really think India is going to ban Australia even though it was
    Pakistan that he had talked about?

    Let us also just stop
    comparing ourselves with India please – India is far ahead of us in
    every field by leaps and bounds. There is no need to get angry at this
    — it’s the truth.

    Fix our house first and prove others wrong by action – getting mad is not going to get anybody anywhere.Recommend

  • Zulfiqar Qazi

    To continue my comment, unpredictable win is “winning by tukka”Recommend

  • BANA POST

    Action speaks louder than words. Nothing special about in talking south Asian SUCCESS records.The best way to command respect from your rivals (particularly from the Aussies) is that your performance on the field Rather than ranting They have great respect (fear) to performing team but they rarely shows outRecommend

  • BANA POST

    After a dismal performance, article of boasting Pakistan past records (in company of India and Srilanka ) do not give nice feeling .If a Aussi happens to read this article he will lough at youRecommend

  • BANA POST

    Ian is a true cricket critic whether u like him or not he admire good teams and never failed to hit hard even the Aussies over their pathetic performance.And remember he is an Australian that carry some unnecessary head weightRecommend

  • BANA POST

    Stupid theory A true Test player alone suit any form of cricketRecommend

  • Ram Dargad

    Though I partly agree with the author, please do not compare Mumbai terrorist attack with attack on Sri Lankans in Pakistan. England continued India tour even after Mumbai attack because they knew the terrorists were not from India. Abandoning the tour would have meant surrender to designs of those foreign terrorists.Recommend

  • Ibn-Arastoo Ibn-aflatoon Ibn-B

    Is the tribune an Indian publication? So many Indian sympathizers! It is better to be insulted by the Australians the Brits and the Europeans than to be associated with the Indians. Recall Pakistan is not part of Sout East Asia but Pakistan and Pakistanis ought to be associating with the west not the east. May Allah SWT save Pakistan and the Muslims…Recommend

  • twister286

    Not to mention AUS did refuse to play in SL in 1996 when the LTTE attacked the Reserve Bank of Sri Lanka…and ENG refused to play in ZIM during the 2003 world cup.Recommend