The Pakistan cricket team is your worst enemy. They have given their fans unexpected highs and they have fallen to extreme lows. The road to the 2019 World Cup for Pakistan this year has been paved with defeats. First they were blanked in a series of home against Australia and then lost a four-to-zero series against England.
His self-destructive abilities have been well known over the centuries. Here are three things that could cost Pakistan during the World Cup:
All teams rely on long-term strategies, when it comes to selecting teams for an event such as the World Cup. With a head of selection like the great Inzamamul Haq in charge, we thought that the same could be expected of Pakistan.
However, it was found to be far from the truth. The first cracks appeared when management decided to rest most of Pakistan’s key players in a series against an Australian team that had nothing to do with an incredible victory of the series against India.
This decision resulted in a loss in the series of five niles at home, which stripped the players of their confidence and added unnecessary pressure on the administration before the mega event.
A defeat in the series against England did not help either, since the selected squad was full of injuries and physical fitness problems.
The initial announcement of the World Cup squad sent a clear message that mediocrity would not be tolerated. Fast bowler Mohammad Amir and batter Asif Ali were excluded from the team.
The couple was told to earn their way back. The message was clear and refreshing for a Pakistan selection committee that has historically given up under pressure.
Asif Ali seized his opportunity with both hands scoring two fast fifty in consecutive games against the number one side of the world.
Mohammad Amir, however, was not so lucky and contracted chicken pox. What should have been the end of his possibilities turned into an instant “get out of jail” card, since he has been added to the World Cup team without appearing in a single match.
There is nothing inherently wrong with Amir’s selection. The problem lies in the inability of the selection committee to make decisive decisions and stick to them.
Their mediocre strategies of key players at rest before the key series have taken away all confidence from the team and created unnecessary pressure for the players. His indecision has caused instability in the Pakistan lineup that will end up costing Pakistan the World Cup.
The form of Sarfaraz Ahmed.
It is no secret that the Ranger and Captain Sarfaraz not only play, but also capture the Pakistan team in the worst form of their career. He has been unable to score big when given the opportunity. His 97-run innings in the final game against England were an aberration rather than a regular occurrence.
In most cases he lowers the order. His lack of power punches is on the screen, which affects the chances of Pakistan in each game.
He has reached a point where he has to hide behind batters that are not full time, like Imad Wasim, with a round head, and fast bowler Hasan Ali in difficult situations, when the team needs fast runs.
In a time when 300 is the new normal, teams can not afford to have specialized caregivers who do not add value to the batting line.
Sarfaraz to his credit is a great accumulator and the perfect hitter to build a solid base for power hitters like Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik and Asif Ali.
His insistence on breaking down the order takes away his strength, which is finding holes, and focuses on his weakness, which is the power stroke.
The simple remedy for this is that Sarfaraz advance the order; however, that seems unlikely and could be problematic for Pakistan during the event.
Fielding has always been the Achilles heel of Pakistan. However, in the past, individual performances were so strong that they overcame deficiencies in the field department.
Bowlers like Shoaib Akhtar, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis in bowling did not require too much help from the outfielders to win their side games.
However, the current crop is nowhere so experienced or skilled as to be able to destroy the opposition on its own.
The only chance that Pakistan has the advantage over other teams in the World Cup is on a united front, where bowlers can make tight lines and the fielders should make sure not to spill opportunities and stop the race.
As we saw in the England series, such a fielding standard still eludes Pakistan. All the talk about fitness and better fielding led to one of the most lackluster fielding performances. Pakistan was whitewashed on one side of England that made Pakistan pay for each mistake.
The World Cup will have teams that will be ruthless in terms of capitalizing on field errors. If Pakistan does not get their fielding performance, it will be very difficult for them to compete with other teams during the event.