It seems like ages ago now but there was a time in the recent past when we had Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez and Junaid Khan in our team. They formed our bowling line up which if not the best, was one of the best in the world. At that time, batting first and scoring around 230 was seen as a winning total for Pakistan. Such was the confidence in all these bowlers. Now we have only one of them who is part of our current line up. Pakistan’s bowling crumbled for various reasons and suddenly the same total batting first does not in guarantee a win anymore. This concern was expressed by Misbah Ul Haq as well in his press conference. He mentioned how almost all the teams in the World Cup were capable of scoring 300 runs. In order to be competitive against the big teams, the top order needs to click and get over their fears. They seem to be in a mental rut, which is only making their performances worse (if that’s even possible). According to Misbah, the batsmen have still not gotten used to the conditions in Australia and New Zealand where there’s more pace and bounce compared to the Asian pitches. Our match tomorrow against UAE is the perfect contest to be a part of before the big match against South Africa. The top order can take this opportunity to get some runs under their belts and walk onto the field against South Africa more confidently. However, tomorrow’s match is also a must win to keep Pakistan alive in the tournament. Lets hope this is time the Pakistani team starts peaking.
–Shaan Tahir
shantahir@gmail.com