Thursday, 12 March 2015

Unpredictable Team Pakistan. By Asif Shinwari

The Article written by Asif Khan Shinwari.
Pakistan-cricket-Unpredictable World Cup 2015

It all started with a bad day while playing against the Indians. On a Sunday, when almost everybody wakes up late, it was not the case when the two biggest rivals of the world cricket were to face each other in their first match of the World Cup. Exactly at 8 O’clock, kids and elders alike, all were glued to their television screens and those who had no access this luxury at their homes, had their ears fixed onto their radio sets.
The nation was praying that this time their heroes beat the Indians in a world cup match. Never has been Pakistani team able to beat the Indians in a world cup match. Maybe this time we can beat them and settle the score with them, everybody thought and said with immense excitement. Yet, it seemed impossible due to unavailability of many key players of Pakistani team due to injuries and other problems. Everybody just wished that somehow, this time history won’t repeat itself for the 6th time.
In the end, again, it were the Indians who came out to be victorious in an easy win against Pakistan. Except Misbah, famously known as Tuk Tuk, none of the other team members were able to give a tough time to their opponents. India retained its record by defeating Pakistan for the sixth time in a world cup match. The nation will now have to wait for MS Dhoni words to come to true who said in the post-match ceremony that it would not always be the case.
Like the famous Indian ‘Mauka Mauka’ man, every cricket fan in the country was disappointed to his core. My disappointment too was unexplainable and like everyone else, I too am waiting for the time when we will beat India in a World Cup match.
The wish to beat India turned into a fear of survival when the West Indians alias Kali Andhi, gave a crushing defeat to Pakistan by a huge margin of one hundred and fifty runs. When Chris Gayle scored 215 runs against Zimbabwe, someone on the social media posted that if it were alone Chris Gayle playing Pakistan, the team would have lost by 38 runs, a reference to the number of runs made by the whole Pakistani team against the West Indian team.
Now the anger of the nation held no bounds. Some held Younis Khan responsible while others gave the “credit” to the acting wicketkeeper Umar Akmal who dropped some crucial catches which could have changed the course of matches had he caught them. The criticism against Umar Akmal however had more substance because catches win matches.
At some places, even symbolic funeral processions of Pakistan Cricket were observed. Those who used to give a reference to the similarity between the team of 1992 and the team of 2015 were now openly saying that the only similarity is that both Pakistan and England teams would soon meet eachother at the Airport.
Having realized all this, perhaps the men in the green also woke up. It was time now to show their best performance in the field. The third game against Zimbabwe was a do or die game for them. The batting once again collapsed, Nasir Jamshed, once again, could not cross the double figures. The birthday boy Shahid Afridi was out for a duck. The skipper Misbah, as usual, scored a fifty but in the end it was Wahab Riaz whose first maiden fifty in an ODI made the team able to score 235 runs. A score too low in modern day cricket keeping in view the fact that others teams are scoring three hundred plus runs on average.
During the chase, the Zimbabwean batsmen gave a tough time to Pakistani bowlers. At one moment, it seemed that Pakistan would lose, but then a miracle happened and the bowlers made the win possible for Pakistan. The win, no doubt, gave a new life and energy to the team.
The team carried the newfound energy to the fourth match against UAE and were able to score three hundred plus runs for the first time in the tournament. Fortunately the in-form Tuk Tuk skipper Misbah Ul Haq was not the only one to score in this match, he was equally supported by his other teammates Sohaib Maqsood, Haris Sohail. The selfie king Ahmad Shehzad scored an excellent knock by scoring ninety-three runs. Boom Boom Afridi also scored some quick runs in the end and the team was able to score its first triple century of the tournament. In reply to the huge total, the weak UAE team did not pose any significant threat to the Pakistani Bowling Line. However they did manage to bat till the last over of the game, and lost the match by 129 runs.
The Pakistani Cricket team is the most unpredictable team, a statement that fits it well. And, they proved this once again, while playing against South Africa. No one was expecting that the team which almost lost its match against a weak Zimbabwean team would defeat a much stronger cricketing side.
Sarfaraz who was given a chance for the first time in the world cup against South Africa became a viral sensation. Everyone was saying that Sarfraz would not betray, a reference to the famous line in Indian Movie, PK.  and he should be played in the rest of the games. Everyone wondered how Waqar Younis, the Head Coach, did not believe that Sarfraz could be able to bat as an opener and was not given an opportunity to play in earlier matches. Some even suggested that the Head Coach himself needed coaching for he didn’t know about the abilities of his players.
One may term it a bad luck for the South Africans or a good luck of Pakistani team, however in any case, it’s the unpredictability of Pakistani team makes them able to beat anyone. No just wins, we can lose against any team, just like we lost to Bangladesh in 1999 and Ireland in 2007. We are unpredictable in its true sense.
The nation had completely forgotten the initial defeats against the Indians and the West Indians. The days of criticism and despondency were over. Once again, Pakistani players were hailed as Heroes. TV Channels once again began to praise the Shaheens. Those who had laid the funeral procession of the team were now celebrating the victory by having Bhangras, cutting the Lambo Cakes and distributing sweets.
However again, yes unpredictability is good if we can win matches, but we know it’s not going to the case if we just relied on this trait of Pakistani team. What’s most needed at the moment is that the batting order clicks for Pakistan. The opening pair has to give a good start, the middle order should support Misbah, the only inform batsman of the team and Boom Boom Afridi has to take responsibility and play sensible cricket. In bowling, it would be good that the team play with five specialist Bowlers and an all-rounder to support them. And last but not the least, the team should concentrate on their fielding which has always been our weakness.
Since Cricket is the only thing that keeps the whole nation united, everyone hopes that the team would perform well and learn from their mistakes. Winning or losing is part of the game, however, what’s more important is that Pakistani team put their 100% while playing cricket. If they do, they have all the talent and potential to once again repeat the history of 1992 and win the World Cup. And without a shred of doubt, I can say that nothing can better help heal the wounds of our nation, which is hit badly by the scourge of terrorism, than the gift of winning a world cup by Pakistani team.

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