Yes, we lost. Who is the culprit?

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Isn’t this hard for Cricket fans in Pakistan to even express their emotions after the one-sided affair on Sunday; that was supposed to be a “MATCH”?

As a diehard cricket lover, like millions others, I generally tend to stay away after each such loss; don’t feel like talking about cricket for a few days. I remember, after 2011 semi final, I went on a drive on motorway to Islamabad and returned the same night. One thing that has transpired me to write today, we as a nation are still not addressing the right issues.

A quick view over the social media and you’d find that the major culprits are Shoaib Malik, Hafeez, Imam ul Haq and Micky Arthur. Few would be making fun of Sarfraz’s yawning images and that’s it. That further frustrates me, and honestly I’ll not be surprised if Sarfraz is asked to continue captaincy after the world up.

In my opinion, no one is more responsible for this state of affairs than Geo Super, Yahya Hussaini and a bunch of Karachiites sports journalists. (No offence to Karachiites. Karachi presented some of the best batsmen Pakistan ever produced ). Yes, Sarfraz is the biggest reason. But who brought Sarfraz in the team? Just recall the days when Kamran Akmal was keeping wickets or even Umar Akmal. The moment Kamran dropped a catch, this so-called and self-acclaimed sports expert, Yahya Hussaini would start a rigorous campaign for bringing Sarfraz in the team. Remember how Sarfraz came in the 2015 WC? Remember the Bollywood copied mantra, “Sarfraz Dhoka Nahe Dy Ga”? And Karachi journos will portray it a pinnacle between Karachi & Lahore.

Sarfraz is the guy who is not even physically fit to play any sort of sports. He is the dumbest captain ever emerged at the scenes of international cricket. I haven’t seen anyone more coward, more lazy and more brainless cricketer ever than Sarfraz. Ok, what happened after the 2015 WC? Misbah and Afridi both retired. Azhar Ali became the captain which wasn’t a very good choice. Upon Afridi’s retirement post 2016 World T20, Sarfraz became the T20 captain and upon Azhar’s failure, he became the captain in all formats. Sarfraz Ahmed is arguably the most incompetent cricketer ever to play for Pakistan in tests. Limited shots, poor technique, he only played in the team because he was the captain. Pakistan won a bunch of T20 matches under his captaincy. If you analyse his performance, his role as a captain; you’d be highly disappointed.

Few quick wickets, some runs at the top, and Pakistan will win riding on individual brilliance. No senior player was allowed to settle in the team because that would soon become a threat to Sarfraz’s captaincy. Remember the Champions Trophy final? Look at the batting performance of Azhar Ali and Muhammad Hafeez during CT. Why were they dropped? And since Pakistan didn’t play any one day matches soon after, so nobody remembered them. Sarfraz would not come to bat and would avoid coming to bat in T20s as late as No. 9. No contributions whatsoever. Ever, ever and Never!

I am bit amazed at people who blindly supported Sarfraz and now they are blaming him. Aren’t they responsible too?Ain’t we the people of Pakistan make a collective voice? Don’t we see the power of social media? Had people raised voice, Sarfraz would have been changed a long time ago.

People are talking about Malik and Hafeez. Yes, Malik was out of form, but why would you select him? He didn’t do well against England in the ODI series. You played him because he offered an extra bowling option. Pakistan played with 4 bowlers in the matches against Australia and England and it worked; besides Malik’s own batting woes. Hafeez was the man of the match in the only match Pakistan has won, and batted well against Australia too. If you have someone like Sarfraz batting at No. 5, then opponents know that there is no depth. This added extra pressure on the Top 4, who were doing well before this match against India.
And what about Mickey Arthur? He is one of the finest coaches in the world cricket at the moment. He coached South Africa and Australia as well. He is a good cricketing brain. But what a coach can do, when he gets a brainless captain like Sarfraz?

Can we highlight a few names that are not being discussed at all?

Inzimam ul Haq. One of the Pakistan greats and widely respected figures. He was the coach of Afghanistan before becoming the chief selector. Nobody will dare questioning his selection. People are after Imam, who is one of the finest openers Pakistan produced in last 5-7 years. He still averages over 60, has performed in all sorts of conditions. Inzi has put the career of Imam at stake by sticking to a job he can’t do. So overtime Imam takes guard and walks in the field, he has an added pressure of performing consistently. Mind you, he is the one who has brought stability at the top order.

Hassan Ali. Has anyone even discussed him? For some strange reasons he is an automatic choice in any XI Pakistan fields. He averages over 55 in the last two years with the ball, always concedes 60-70 runs in an ODI and barely picks wickets. Pakistan has never dropped him, barring the Australia series where he was ‘rested’. His only ability notable during this period was to swing the bat in the lower order. Remember Jason Gillespie was dropped after scoring a double hundred in a test match and then never played for Australia again? Just look at his facial expressions. He never seems concerned with whatever is happening. At least in last one year, I’ve not seen him in positive body language.

Shadab Khan: What does it take to improve your batting or bowling? He has been a fine kid, but look at his performance against India? He bowled short and India’s wrist spinner Kuldeep bowled fuller in rough patches. Do you need a coach to show you rough patches on the pitch?

Imad Wasim: If ‘Railu Katta’ could be personified. He is just a slightly better version of Fawad Alam. My major concern is that he is the next candidate for captaincy, merely because he can speak English!

Azhar Mahmood:
A fine all rounder in his cricketing days. He would have played a lot more matches for Pakistan had Abdul Razzaq not been there who was clearly a far better batsman and superior bowler. For me, Azhar Mahmood is the prime culprit for ruining the legacy of Pakistan’s bowlers. His bowling plans have never worked. Just wonder what makes him a bowling coach.

With no hopes that things will improve, and Government all set to restructure the domestic cricket, that will only torment the cricket.
So here we now in 2019. Pakistan team needs a leader; who can be your next captain?

Written by: Yousaf Rashid

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