ISLAMABAD - Pakistan players pulled off one of the most sensational victories in the second Test against Sri Lanka in United Arab Emirates (UAE) to shut their critic's mouths.
The victory was made possible by each and every player’s contribution, despite dropping a number of catches, conceding 87 runs first innings lead. Green shirts always looked determined to snatch victory and level the three-match Test series which was a wonderful gift for departing head coach Dave Whatmore, who is about to complete his two-year tenure next month.
Pakistan looked down and almost out of the Test, as soon as Sri Lankan team which played very negative cricket that cost them dearly at the end. Sri Lanka posted a reasonable 428 runs in the first innings.
Debutant M Talha proved his selection right by grabbing six wickets in the match and showed the selectors that what he possessed and what the selectors missed by not selecting him for the earlier matches. His sheer pace and sharp swinging deliveries proved very hot for Sri Lankan batsmen.
Azhar Ali also proved his selection right by playing the match-winning knock. It was blistering innings by Sarfraz Ahmed which paved the way for the green shirts to chase down a very respectable 302-run target and that too in only 57.3 overs. It was also very first defeat for Sri Lanka after giving 300 plus runs target as they had never lost a Test in the past whenever they set 300 plus runs target for any opponent.
The victory has raised many questions needed to be answered by the team management, as why they continue with out-of-form M Hafeez and Rahat Ali, what were the reasons behind ignoring pace bowler M Talha and Same was the case with Azhar Ali who was cornered by the selectors but when he was given change he showed his caliber and shut his critics mouth with his superb performance.
Misbah also played brilliantly in both the innings, but Younus Khan disappointed with willow as he is a big match player and team heavily rely on his batting abilities so he must realise the importance of his batting for the team and country. Asad Shafique once again flopped miserably to contribute with the bat so he must spend time in the nets to remove his batting flaws, otherwise, he will lose his place even in the Test squad.
Pakistan team management should work on the likes of Umar Akmal, who is an asset for Pakistan team, and instead of wasting his talent, he must be polished well. Sarfraz Ahmed although managed to bat well in the second innings, yet if he really wants to cement his place in the team, he should work hard both behind and in front of the wickets.
The PCB should not make decision in haste regarding appointment of coaches and must hire local coached who are far better than the foreign coaches . Pakistan is blessed with so many past greats like Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Inzamamul Haq and many more, who can resolve Pakistan batting woes and will also cost much cheaper. If the PCB hires any one among the local ones, it can help Pakistan team in removing inconsistent performers tag and bringing much-needed stability in the results which is the dire need of the hour.