Adaptation is the secret of success. Building a robust test team is no rocket science. One has to be just one step ahead of the competition. Just closely watch how South Africa, England and Australia are focusing their time and energy on keeping a top level in test format. Moreover, until and unless Pakistani players are given rigorous sessions of fast pitches, with special bouncing balls, to expect our batsmen to perform better than their opponents, is to live in a fool’s paradise.

As they say, practice makes one perfect. And for an ordinary person, it was never difficult to predict the outcome of the ensuing Pakistan Vs South Africa Test encounters in South Africa. Particularly when Misbahul Haq is known for his pessimism, he spread his negative energy. To think that you have lost, without even trying, can be a killer blow. A positive attitude brings strength, energy, motivation and initiative. Just before the start of the series, his comments left no doubt that he had surrendered the series before even a ball was bowled.

As Viv Richards said “Cricket is a mind game.” And as Imran Khan said “playing for a draw is the best recipe for defeat.” If the objective of any captain, before entering the ground, is to wait and see, rather than win, how can he marshal his players to victory? You have to create opportunities, like they say you have to create run outs. At times, you have to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. In any sport, one team wins and the other loses. There is no harm in losing if, you give a good fight. The only objectionable thing is abject surrender.

Now, someone must tell Misbah that, “In any fight, if a wolf is given to lead the lions, all lions will die fighting like a wolf. However, in any fight, if a lion is given to lead the wolves, all wolves will put up a fight like a lion, irrespective of the outcome of that fight.” Our team management should have told Misbah that offense is the best defence.

SYED NAYYAR UDDIN AHMAD,

Lahore, February 26.