We often hear from cricket experts that Pakistan is blessed with immense Cricket Talent; however the performances of the team sometime does not reflect so. The reason lies behind the poor selection of players. When there is a lot of talent, it is difficult to identify the suitable ones for international cricket. However, I feel that the selection criteria for the players even selected on merit is quite questionable. There are two factors which we need to look at:
1) Selectors choose the top performers of domestic cricket for the national team. They have failed to understand that every top performer in domestic circuit cannot be selected for international cricket as they do not meet its demand. We have wasted our time on testing players like Hassan Raza, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Sami and many more. They have been top performers of domestic cricket and have been given few chances, but since they lack class and technique to survive in international cricket, they have failed to succeed. The selectors must realize that they just cannot blindly select a top batsman or bowler of domestic cricket; one has to consider mental strength, their attitude and most importantly technique.
Lets take an example of a batsman. There are batsmen who are not technically very good, but they are surviving in international cricket like Sehwag, Chris Gayle etc. However, they do not have poor techniques against both fast bowlers and spinners. Sehwag has minimum foot movement against fast bowlers, but his foot movement and technique against spinners is very good. Hence, he is a successful batsman. For a good batsman, it is very important to have good technique at least against one kind of bowler. A batsman who only relies on talent and has poor technique against both kinds of bowler will fail in international cricket. So the selectors must pick the top performers of domestic having decent technique and temperament.
2) Even the teams of t20s and ODIs are selected on the basis of first class performances, which is a different game altogether. First class is a longer version of game, while ODIs and t20s are shorter version of game. All formats have different requirements and one cannot select an ODI player only on the basis of first class performance. Although, there are some players who represent the team in all formats, however most of them cannot do that. Shahid Afridi is a kind of player who has not been successful in tests because it requires extreme temperament. Our selectors only base the performance of first class and select the player. They fail to understand that it is not necessary that such a player would be successful in shorter version. Wajahat ullah Wasti is another example who was given chance in ODIs against his temperament, which did not produce good result.
I hope selectors note down strength and weaknesses of players and according to team’s requirement select them. They must set certain criteria for the selection of players. If the selection criteria of our team improve, I am pretty sure that Pakistan will do well in future tournaments.