In It To Win It … Or Not?

In It To Win It … Or Not?

Watching Pakistan cricket team play a cricket match is like riding a roller coaster … sometimes you are at the highest level, sometimes at the lowest and most of the time you don’t know where do you stand! Pakistan’s opening match against the New Zealand side at Pallekele was one such experience where fortune shifted like a pendulum, ending in a well-fought win for the greenshirts.


Some might debate that Pakistan didn’t fare badly in the match where everything went their way, but the truth is, almost everything did. Yes I agree that the top order batted extremely well to score 177 runs in the stipulated overs. Nasir Jamshed was outstanding with 56 runs and was well-supported by skipper Mohammad Hafeez who managed 43. There is also no doubt that the quick scoring by Umar Akmal and Shahid Afridi in the final overs helped the bowlers since they had a huge total to defend.


But there were some cons in the match for the Professor XI, and most important was the batting order. Shoaib Malik remains a misfit in the side and it would have been better had Asad Shafiq or Abdul Razzaq featured in the final XI in his place. Asad is a stable batsman who can hold the fort as well as blast quick runs, something Shoaib Malik doesn’t have in his armoury. He may be a good fielder but so is Asad Shafiq. As for Razzaq, the seasoned all-rounder can bowl as well as bat, something Shoaib Malik used to do but doesn’t, anymore. He couldn’t score quick runs when he was required to do so, and had he not been sent to bat, I am sure Pakistan would have score more than their 177 runs!


The Pakistan coach needs to rethink his strategy regarding the bowling attack as well. For a team that has Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Raza Hassan and Saeed Ajmal as spinners, and Abdur Razzaq as a medium pacer, fielding 3 pacers is a luxury. Sohail Tanvir, Umar Gul and Yasir Arafat went for many runs during the course of the match, and had Saeed Ajmal not bowled the final over, there is a chance that Pakistan might have finished the match as the losing side. Pakistan must try Anwar Ali against Bangladesh and give one last chance to Mohammad Sami as well who is the fastest bowler in the world at the moment, and might just do the trick for the greenshirts. He is the ‘Imran Nazir’ of Pakistan bowling, and since Imran Nazir is in the side, why not Sami?


As for the fielding, Pakistani fielders fielded like schoolboys in a gentleman’s game. They need to raise the bar otherwise they will find themselves out of contention long before the draws are finalized for the Semi Finals. They could have won the match easily but bad fielding, hapless display of pace bowling as well as wrong selection could have resulted in a disaster. Pakistan must try new players in the match against Bangladesh on Tuesday, because after this match, they will face the heavyweights of the game in Super 8, and beyond.

Omair Alavi

A member of the Geo News team and writing articles on sports and entertainment since 1995.

  • Taj Ahmad

    Well said, Omair Alavi, PCB Coach, Manager and Captain must read your
    above article and good suggestions, I am sure, with your good suggestions
    and action of top PCB officials, Pakistan will surely win the final and bring
    the T-20 champion trophy home.

  • Umair Imtiaz

    Anwar Ali is not even in the squad einstein :) , you should have known this before blogging..and yes in the warm-up game against India shoaib malik had a strike rate of 200(not that im a fan of malik)….or u saw a different match?? of course he is not a power hitter as razzaq and will be found wanting when only power hitting is required im supporting ur claim that razzaq should be in the side but facts should be presented as facts regarding players and sami, dude seriously??? a disappointing and ill-informed blog

  • raj

    very very lame article.. the things that has been suggested does not make any sense. Firstly, Asad shafiq is not a big hitter whereas malik is (if you remember his previous innings). Malik could be handy with the ball when seamers are not in form (which is the case in this tournament). Shafiq is good batsman but he is not a t20 player mainly because you don’t have enough time to get settle and hit when you are bating at number 5 or 6 so Malik is a better option always as an experienced all rounder. Secondly, Abdul Razzaq and i agree he should be in the team but not at the cost of Malik. Arafat should go out and razzaq should get in by that we would have 2 good all rounders who can play on any condition. As far as fielding is concerned, Pakistani people play on streets and they would never be good at fielding so expecting them to raise bar is useless. And the biggest joke of the article is Mohammad Sami. He is not intelligent enough after getting so many chances. He has no mind when bowling. He got his chances in previous matches and Pakistan cannot afford a 4 over spell giving 50 runs. Its better to have Gul and Tanvir in the team as they are wicket takers and sami is not. You can be expensive in this form of cricket but you got to be a wicket taker. All in all, this team is much better and if batting click every time, its tough to beat them.

  • Junaid

    All the team of Pakistan is OK , for God Sake just replace Sohail Tanveer with Razzaq thats it, sohail tanveer is useless. Razzaq is far more better than sohail. Gul is a big threat for opponent i agree but Plz i request hafeez that when u feel that Gul is not working during particular moments then try immediately spinners , change strategy accordingly. Best of Luck Pakistan, “Revenge of Mohali has to be taken Insha Allah” from India

    • raj

      Suhail is wkt taker.. its yasir who needs to sign off now..

  • Zeeshan

    Anwar Ali is not in the team for T20. I think we are fine with Shoaib Malik since he could be more handly than Razzaq on the turning tracks. Wish Asad Shafiq could bowl since in T20′s you need more of an all-rounder.

  • Adnan

    I think Umar Akmal is not require in the side. What his performance is. If you check the track record and gave him a lot of chance its better to give him some rest so he will understand. He should learn from Khoali. Captain should give chance to Razaq and Umar should sit out. If Razaq in the team he can bowl and bad which is the big advantage. What i feel here you need that type of bowler who can bowl after 16 to 20 overs. I m sure Sohail can not bowl and always you need to keep Saeed Ajmal overs. So better to take the decision on Umar Akmal and Tanvir. Secondly I do not think Sami was a good choice to keeping him in 14. He is quick but what is the use of pace if you can not take wicket or stop runs. Shoaib malik require in the team if wickets fall early we should send him early. Umer performance in 10 matches, -, 23,10,2,2,13,-,0,-,52, Why he is in team ????????. We should see every player what he is doing.

  • Nabeel

    Not a good analysis