Not long time back Pakistan had celebrated her rise to Number 1 position among the cricket’s Test-Playing countries. It was quite a proud moment for us. One wishes it had not been so short-lived. One also wishes Pakistan had not slumped to Number 7 position in such a short time. The manner in which Pakistan Cricket’s humiliation was completed in Dubai at the hands of Sri Lanka should put to shame two key men in the debacle.
One of them is my hero—Inzamam ul Haque. The other is the team’s head coach Micky Arther. I have refrained from bracketing Captain Sarfaraz with them, for the simple reason that he himself is not responsible for having been over-heralded by some quarters that include Media also. His rise to the captaincy of the team in all the three forms of cricket has been phenomenal. And his fall in form as a batsman of high quality has been just about as disturbing. In the last twenty innings he has played, he has shown some of his calibre in only THREE— the last one being his second innings in the Dubai Test. One had hoped he had kept his cool a little longer and tried harder to reach the target. He is certainly not made of the stuff Test Captains are made of. Had he more cricketing sense he would have prevailed upon the team management to create space for one more spinner in the team. Going in with three medium pacers on these tracks was at best innocent woodenheadness. Hafeez in place of Shan Masood, and a spinner in place of a pacer would have given the team a different look. Hafeez’s off spin has never failed to create inroads.
The problem is that there is a strong media lobby that has razors up their sleeves for the players with non-Karachi credentials. The problem also is that Inzamam gets under the influence of this lobby quite handily.
What is the job of a Head Coach, if not to help the captain make correct decisions regarding batting order? We do need an experienced batsman at No 6 position.
Let Babar Azam flourish at Number three. He after getting dropped to No 5 position suddenly became a shadow of himself!
Better luck next time.
And more common sense.