June 11, 2013

An international joke

The performance of a majority of Pakistan's batsmen, and of the people who pick them, has become laughable
48

A batting order to forget © ICC/Getty

Has there been a worse Pakistan batting order since the era of Kerry Packer? Even if there has, Pakistan's current bunch comes close. Misbah-ul-Haq and Nasir Jamshed aside, this is a batting order to forget, except it keeps being rammed down the throats of Pakistan supporters.

And there were plenty of these fans filling The Oval and Edgbaston, turning both neutral matches into home games. On each occasion Pakistan's batsmen failed their legions.

How far do you fault individuals for a lack of skill? A deep malaise lies at the heart of Pakistan's cricket structure that nurtures such ineptitude. Hashim Amla, Man of the Match, was lost for words when asked to critique Pakistan's batting failure. "What do you want me to say?" he laughed.

Misbah, meanwhile, described the performance of his own batsmen as a total flop. Whichever new regime sweeps through the corridors of the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, to be installed as the next Pakistan Cricket Board, needs to understand that the performance of the majority of its batsmen, and the people who select them, has become an international joke. Pakistan's batting problems are chronic and multiplying. The words on the lips of Pakistan's green army witnessing events at Edgbaston were also chronic and multiplying, as well as blue and four-lettered.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • android_user on June 16, 2013, 5:10 GMT

    sawed ajmal is the only player who can withstand international cricket

  • SebV on June 12, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    I can't believe a comment criticising Misbah has been "featured". As a non-pakistani I can tell you that it's only because of Misbah that your team is at least posting something. Who's stopping the rest of them from batting well? If you leave Jamshed aside and also Shoaib Malik since he is way past his prime, what are Farhat, Hafeez, Amin, Akmal doing? Misbah's slow game is not putting anyone under pressure to hit out, they should learn the patience game from him and other teams, get set before playing the big shots.

  • Imran-Afzal on June 12, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    Thanks to the great Mr. Iqbal Qasim (the Legend) for such great selections .... I think he will again resign with honour and will join his bank ... without being held responsible for such selections

    I think Mr. Qasim is responsible for such pathetic batting line up / performance of Pakistan. He should be immediately fired from the post instead of accepting his resign.

  • wrenx on June 12, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    Amongst all the batsman-bashing, let's not forget to praise our bowlers, they bowled like champions in both games. We can't ask for anything more of them, only for our batsmen to give them more runs so they can stand half a chance of winning us a game

  • getsetgopk on June 12, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    So the team isn't doing very well i.e. Players aren't playing flair because the effects of the slow batting from the captain Misbah have trickled down to the rest of the team and the reason for all ills is Misbah, not Hafeez not Farhat and not Malik. I have never heard such a moronic thing in my entire life that I followed cricket. Who stopped Farhat and Hafeez from expressing themselves? I could literally see Imran Farhat's legs shaking while he was batting, poking and prodding until he got his wickets smashed. There was no Misbah in the middle when these two were batting. A batsman that doesn't have a perfect defensive shot in his book is not a batsman. And if you can play a good defensive stroke then more often you can smash the ball around for 4's and 6's and not get out. Amla was dubbed a test batter, look how he changed, look at Misbah, the only guy hitting 6's in Pak these days. Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Ramiz Jr. Hammad Azam should be drafted in ASAP n dump the rest

  • somethingdifferent on June 12, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    In recent times, Shoaib Malik has done nothing worthwhile apart from one innings against India. In last one year, his 200 runs in 12 ODIs @ 24 and 2 wickets @ 54 only show his steep decline in form. For someone who started as an off spinner and was slated as an all rounder during most part of his career, it is senseless to constantly select him as a specialist batsman without any noteworthy performance at the expense of more talented, technically better and young batsmen. It is high time that we look beyond stale experience. If he needs to be replaced with an all rounder then Hammad Azam is an obvious choice, however if Shoaib is to be replaced by a specialist batsman then Umar Akmal is the most deserving candidate. He is one of the most talented batsmen at the circuit and despite his inability to convert starts into sizeable scores he contribution to the team would be far greater due to his brisk rate of scoring and spectacular fielding. More to follow

  • somethingdifferent on June 12, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    Mohammad Hafeez's lack of skill against genuine pace and moving balls is exposed completely. That is the reason for his continuous failure against quality bowling attacks, which puts enormous pressure on the middle order. As a top order batsman in the last 12months in 16 Odis he has scored 448 runs @23. It is clearly evident that he is not doing what is needed of him. However he is a fine utility player and should be retained in the side, not at the top of the order but somewhere down, may be at 5, especially since he is more at ease against medium pace and spin bowling. This may provide the much needed stability to the wobbly middle order. In the shorter format Haris Sohail may be ideal player to bat at number 3. He is rated very highly, with good temperament and technique and is considered to be good future prospect. However he needs to be provided with adequate opportunities to show his talent and establish his position in the team. More to follow.

  • somethingdifferent on June 12, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    It is known to everyone that the reason behind the humiliating performance in the Champions Trophy is primarily poor team selection. However it requires a complete analysis of the weak links of the team as it seems that the PCB think tank is unable to grasp the intensity of the situation and to think out of the block to find a remedy. Imran Farhat has failed to do justice to his talent although he has been around for almost 12 years now. His 1700 ODI runs @ 30 with strike rate of under 70 & 1 hundred ( in the career) and 226 runs @ 28 with strike rate of under 60 (in last 12 months) hardly justifies his selection. It is perhaps time to move on now. Ahmed Shahzad is a good replacement. He has a wide range of strokes & is a very agile fielder. His inclusion will also bring a sense of urgency in the batting which is presently severely lacking and is much needed in the shorter format. He could form a formidable opening pair with Nasir Jamshed. More to follow.

  • dummy4fb on June 12, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    I dare say that lack of professionalism and application cannot hide behind the words revolt and the like. People should understand that cricket has become too technical from many angles; at least opposite bowlers learning weaknesses of batsmen before hand and bowling according to the planned fielding set up. Likewise, our bowlers not learning the weaknesses of opposite batsmen (and in fact loosing control on ball too often) and thus leaking runs including bowling wides and no balls at wrong times. THE PROBLEMS RESIDE IN APPLICATION OF BRAIN INSTANTANEOUSLY. Our players will never learn unless they are taught cricket from scratch, and that is really a difficult proposition with this disposition.

  • wrenx on June 11, 2013, 23:35 GMT

    We don't need sweeping change, we need SENSIBLE change. Let's proceed with sensible change, on evidence-basis. Hafeez has proven time and time again he is not a capable top-order batsman, but that his all-round skills are valuable. Shoaib Malik has failed consistently. Straight swap: Malik out, Hafeez in as a lower-order all-rounder. Show Farhat the door; thank him for his services for Pakistan cricket and instil upon him that he need not come knocking ever again. Move Misbah up the order. There is no absence of promising talent knocking on the door - start giving opportunities to Harris Sohail, Ahmed Shehzad and yes, Umar Akmal. Treat him like a proper batsman, not a lower-order slogger, and he should perform once again. Stick with Nasir, Shafiq, Azhar, we'll need them all in the Test side so show them some face. And for God's sake, cut Misbah some slack, he's the only one who isn't embarrassing us