With Pakistan-India series around the corner, much hype has already been created both in the media and the social world. But if you don’t want your blood pressure to mount during the matches, take my advice, and stay away from over-confident media reports on Pakistan team’s performance. And if you happen to be on Twitter, do not log in until the series starts, because I’m sure you would not want your timeline to be flooded with over-confident tweets. This time, keeping your expectations high would be the most foolish thing to do, because our squad for this series is weaker than the giant Indians. But we can expect the unexpected from our ‘unpredictable’ boys, can we not?
Talking about the ODI squad, I have full confidence in Nasir Jamshed. He has shone whenever given a chance. M. Hafeez will be a good opener to start with. Need I say anything about him? They call him ‘Professor’, I ask why? Mr. Professor, forget about the captaincy equations and concentrate on your batting. We need you for your batting, not your captaincy.
Azhar Ali and Younis Khan are expected to steer the innings the usual way. YK at least doesn’t need to be told about what he has to do, he knows it already. You just have to give him some space and time. Also making their way into the national side, would be debutants Haris Sohail and Zulfiqar Babar. Both have performed well on the domestic front but what to be seen is that will they be able to muddle through the pressure of an international match, that too of one against India? Spearheaded by Umar Gul and with the ‘jaadugar’ Saeed Ajmal in it, the bowling line up seems strong enough.
Now to the T20 squad. You would be joking if you say you didn’t feel someone’s absence in the above paragraphs. Yes, I’m talking about Shahid Afridi, who couldn’t make it to the ODI squad, but is a member of the T20 team for the tour. Afridi, however, can play the ODI series too, if he manages to perform well in the T20s. With Afridi giving consistent poor performances over the past months, the selectors’ decision to exclude him from the ODI squad did not come much of a surprise to most of the people.
But, oh well, he’s Afridi and statistics and performances fail against him. He can silent his critics with just one stupendous knock. One match-winning show and all his poor performances would be forgotten. That’s how we Pakistani fans are.
Umar Akmal is the man we expect would outshine everyone else at the event. He never lets his country down and that’s what we love about him. He keeps our hopes alive till the very end. Remember World Twenty20 semifinal against Sri Lanka this year?
Ahmed Shahzad performed tremendously well for the Lahore Lions during the recent Faysal Bank T20 but what needs to be seen is that will he able to continue with his incredible form in India? Let’s hope for the affirmative.
Just as I’m about to end this article, the frenzy and tension regarding the series has already embraced me. Whatever may the result of the series be, one thing is definite that we’ll get to see some nail-biting encounters, exciting cricket and action packed performances that we have longed for, for quite some time now. May the best team win? NO! Let’s hope and pray Pakistan wins! Come on Pakistan, let’s paint the Indian soil green.