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  1. #1
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    "Pakistan is in a slump after seven defeats in their last nine Tests" : Fazeer Mohammed

    Writing in his exclusive blog for PakPassion.net, Fazeer Mohammed looks at the challenges confronting Pakistan cricket after the retirements of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq.




    Given what transpired in the final moment of their outstanding international careers, it appeared that destiny was on the side of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan.

    Yet while Shannon Gabriel’s inexplicable moment of madness in Dominica gifted the two departing heroes and all of Pakistan with the history-making Test series triumph in the West Indies, it is important for the long-term health of Pakistan cricket to accept that their era is over and to move swiftly and decisively towards shaping the national team for the many challenges that lie ahead.

    This is not about rudely consigning them to the rubbish bin of history. That is impossible, for they have both achieved too much in terms of individual performances and team results, and also conducted themselves in a generally dignified manner in front of an increasingly microscopic public eye to be forgotten anytime soon.

    So yes, there will be misty-eyed references to their achievements: Younis for the World T20 title, his peerless batsmanship over 17 years and scaling heights no Pakistani has ever reached before in Tests; Misbah for restoring pride, honour and dignity to a nation shaken by spot-fixing and other elements of corruption in the game, together with his own pragmatic, unruffled style of leadership and batsmanship that were essential for the time in which his career coincided.

    But in moving towards the next Test assignment in September, the game’s administrators in Lahore must be prepared to acknowledge - the 2-1 series win the Caribbean notwithstanding – that the national side is in a slump after seven defeats in their last nine Tests and while they will continue to remain dominant or at the very least competitive on slow and low pitches anywhere, cricket is about entertainment and marketability.

    At the moment, Pakistan are not an attractive team to watch, a far cry from the sides that had previously visited the West Indies who were not only brimful of talent, but possessed attacking, confident almost cocky individuals who were prepared to give as good as they got.

    Misbah’s team of 2017 have achieved what none before could, however they were facing opponents who may actually be overtaken soon by Bangladesh on the Test rankings. This manner of wearing down the opposition over five generally tedious days – that morning session on the second day in Dominica was especially forgettable - may bring the desired results but it doesn’t win admiration from the cricketing world.

    Of course this is not to suggest that there should be a devil-may-care attitude. Still it is worth noting that teams and individuals are revered in the world of sport more for the manner in which they play the game than the results and honours which come their way. There is obviously enough talent in Pakistan cricket for those inherent attacking skills to be harnessed in a positive manner.

    That’s why sorting out the succession issue to Misbah is so very important.

    His style worked effectively when Pakistan needed calmness and stability in the very choppy waters that came in the aftermath of the 2010 Lord’s scandal. Now though, there needs to be a recognition of the importance of playing first and foremost for the team and not being sidetracked and preoccupied with personal goals and milestones.

    Having seen Pakistan at close quarters over six Tests in the United Arab Emirates and the Caribbean over the past eight months, it is obvious that too much of that abundant ability is stunted by an apparent obsession with records. Almost every player seems to know exactly how many runs or wickets he needs to move up the ladder of top achievers.

    Worse still is the fixation with anything that is written or said about them by those in the media, especially former players, when they should be more concerned with letting their performances on the field do the talking. On at least one occasion in the West Indies queries were made by a Pakistan player about who on the television production crew would have been responsible for certain images being shown during a day’s play which he interpreted as making fun of him.

    If egos are so fragile as to be constantly scanning social media for any references to themselves then it explains to a large extent why a team rated number one after an excellent drawn series in England less than a year ago has now slumped to sixth after tours of New Zealand and Australia that exposed technical and temperamental deficiencies.

    Long after it is forgotten that Yasir Shah took 25 wickets in three Tests in the West Indies and that his very last ball of the campaign sealed the series win in sensational fashion, it will still be remembered first and foremost as a first-ever series win there by Pakistan.

    That is what matters, that is what Misbah and Younis helped to restore to a certain degree, and it is that principle of team and country first which must define Pakistan’s leadership and the way forward as they seek to build on the significant contributions of these two departed legends.
    Last edited by MenInG; 21st May 2017 at 15:13.


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  2. #2
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    Should ask Mickey Arthur. He seems to have all the answers

  3. #3
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    ' Having seen Pakistan at close quarters over six Tests in the United Arab Emirates and the Caribbean over the past eight months, it is obvious that too much of that abundant ability is stunted by an apparent obsession with records. Almost every player seems to know exactly how many runs or wickets he needs to move up the ladder of top achievers. '

    I can see what Fazeer Mohammad is saying... he is definitely referring to Ahmed Shehzad and a couple more here, since the commentators overly critcized them for their approach to the game...

    in ODIs we have Babar Azam, who puts team's chances of winning on the line to achieve personal milestones, like he did in Australia..

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by waleed88 View Post
    ' Having seen Pakistan at close quarters over six Tests in the United Arab Emirates and the Caribbean over the past eight months, it is obvious that too much of that abundant ability is stunted by an apparent obsession with records. Almost every player seems to know exactly how many runs or wickets he needs to move up the ladder of top achievers. '

    I can see what Fazeer Mohammad is saying... he is definitely referring to Ahmed Shehzad and a couple more here, since the commentators overly critcized them for their approach to the game...

    in ODIs we have Babar Azam, who puts team's chances of winning on the line to achieve personal milestones, like he did in Australia..
    Can you ever not think in a cynical way?

    Going by your logic the whole XI should be scoring 30+ each to get to/chase 300+ in ODIs. Cricket involves team work but it also equally involves individual brilliance which is exactly why we have ATGs and ATGs are measured by their individual performances and importance to their team.

    How can you criticise someone for scoring an almost run-a-ball hundred and not playing a cameo of 20-30 balls?

    Coming back to the Fazeer's post, I bitterly disagree with him. That is probably the worst possible way of looking at a player's achievements. If our middle order had been drawing tests and scoring double-hundreds then it would have made sense but everyone knows that it's been a while since we drew a test. The cricket world just has to accept that this Pakistan team was made in the Misbah mould of grinding and slow poisoning the opposition. This formula has worked quite successfully in SRL, ENG, UAE and WI where we have recently played a majority of our test cricket.

    In fact, I'd like to remind Fazeer that this was the exact same team that chased 300+ within 60 overs in Sharjah on a day 5 pitch. And a year later this team chased a monumental 380 on the 5th day in SL. I didn't find any "attractive" team that's done something even close to this recently. I can't even recall how many times this approach has worked during the whitewashes of ENG and AUS teams in UAE. This "attractive" and so-called "aggressive/attacking" mindset is not NECESSARY for success.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it

  5. #5
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    PPers may say that Fazeer has no idea of Test cricket.

  6. #6
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    8 of those were played outside of the UAE, once we get back "home" we'll start winning again like every other country in the world.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitthestump View Post
    8 of those were played outside of the UAE, once we get back "home" we'll start winning again like every other country in the world.
    Even at home he has a 2 to 1 win:loss ratio.

    And he has only faced the worst test team ever to tour UAE for a test series.

    There's nothing to write home about and this record is downright pathetic

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitthestump View Post
    8 of those were played outside of the UAE, once we get back "home" we'll start winning again like every other country in the world.
    It's not about winning or losing but the way our approach is. People are not interested to spend money to watch this team

  9. #9
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    Worse still is the fixation with anything that is written or said about them by those in the media, especially former players, when they should be more concerned with letting their performances on the field do the talking. On at least one occasion in the West Indies queries were made by a Pakistan player about who on the television production crew would have been responsible for certain images being shown during a day’s play which he interpreted as making fun of him.
    Wow, that is unbelievably thin skinned and petty - I don't think there's any surprises as to who that player is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    Should ask Mickey Arthur. He seems to have all the answers
    Give it a rest.


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