Bowling legacy lives on
As Pakistan registered their first win in over a decade against Australia it was fitting that two bowlers were at the crease. Without a doubt it is the bowlers who have won the match and settled the nerves of Pakistan’s supporters.
In Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, and the exhilarating Mohammad Aamer, Pakistan have a world-beating bowling attack—one that can provide the backbone for Pakistan’s recovery in international cricket. If Pakistan had batsmen to match, the world might truly be fearful. But that would be too much to ask and atypical of the Pakistan cricket we know, love, and pull our hair out over.
These young bowlers are fortunate to be supported by the wisdom of Waqar Younis, whose passion for his team has been evident on this tour. All the signals from the camp have been that the mood is good and the team upbeat despite a perpetual whirlwind that swirls around Pakistan cricket. The quick recovery from Shahid Afridi’s dramatic departure vindicates their claims.
Yet these solitary swallows of summer must multiply and fill the sky. Can Pakistan cricket make a habit out of winning? At least, for now, this season has taken a satisfying turn. And with fantastic Mr Aamer to lead the attack, the England series might not be quite the calamity that was expected.
In truth, Pakistan do need to strengthen their batting line-up even though the youngsters have done well and offered promise. The bowlers did just enough here to cover for the inexperience of the batsmen. Pakistan cricket is strongest when it has a formidable pace attack. Now that Aamer, Asif, and Gul are rising to the challenge, Pakistan supporters can begin to rest assured that they have a bowling line-up that does justice to the legacy of Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, and Waqar.
A welcome victory, then, for Pakistan. But a more important outcome is the influential role that Mohammad Aamer, the jewel in the bowling crown, played in this enthralling series.
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Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here