India v Pakistan, Champions Trophy, Group B, Edgbaston June 15, 2013

The day the laughter died

Pakistan were cheered fanatically to three defeats and an embarrassing Champions Trophy exit
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Pakistan can be such a romantic team. They're essentially homeless. Have a giant. Are captained by a nice human piñata. Coached by an aged cherub. Have a yoda-like spinner. The Jamshed. And, as always, have a quality kit.

But, they've lost three from three.

It's hard to fault their bowlers. It's easy, and utterly correct, to blame their batsmen.

It's hard to see how Imran Farhat would play in any other team in this tournament. Or even for Ireland, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh or Japan. Yet he played twice. TWICE. Mohammad Hafeez faced 61 balls, had a high score of 27 and an average of 12.66. Shoaib Malik faced 53 balls, had a high score of 17 and averaged 8.33. They had three players score over 27 in three games.

Nasir Jamshed and Misbah-ul-Haq aside, it's almost unfair to call them batsmen. Their batting is essentially rotten fruit sitting in rancid milk in the bottom of a rusted can. Even the rats wouldn't eat it.

It's not really a surprise that their totals were 170, 167 and 165. If they played against India again, it would only be fair if India had just 25 overs in which to chase their total. You could also suggest that Pakistan could have 100 overs, but the evidence suggests they can't last 50, let alone 100.

Their coach, Dav Whatmore, said, "I thought he did a very good job." He was referring to Trent Woodhill, Pakistan's batting coach. If by 'did a very good job' he refrained from beating any of the players with their own bats when they were dismissed, he is correct.

Against India, with Misbah and Jamshed failing, they seemed as likely to score 200 as any of them are of ending up 200 years old.

They even managed to lose the game on a ball they should have got a run-out from. By the end of the game the holes in the crowd were where the people in the green shirts, with the green face paint, wearing green scarves had been earlier.

The real shame was that the Pakistan supporters deserved so much better. Every time Pakistan have played in this tournament there has barely been a spare seat. They've travelled to the grounds in novelty green double-deck buses. They've stood and waited for their heroes for ages after the game. At The Oval, Ramiz Raja walking out on the ground was greeted like he was a god. Wasim Akram walking out was treated like the god of gods. They've come to each game, and even sat and watched their team bat. Which must have hurt their pride, and their eyes.

It's amazing that they even had the pride, or energy, to dance to the repeated playings of the catchiest song ever, "Dil Dil Pakistan". In fact, "Dil Dil Pakistan" was played more often in this tournament than Pakistan hit boundaries. By the final group game, if a Pakistan batsman managed to not be dismissed on a delivery, they would play the song. Because they couldn't actually wait for one of them to doing something good.

The only truly great thing the Pakistan team managed this tournament was a Pepsi ad starring Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan. The ad features someone removing a room service tray only to see Irfan's head: a painted Irfan pretending to be a water feature to trick Dav Whatmore. And Saeed Ajmal in an afro. The ad was meant as a comedy, and is quite funny.

Unlike the Pakistan team, which was meant to be serious and played for laughs.

As Whatmore said: "We're one ODI victory from having a good series." Or to put it another way, they were one ODI victory away from being thrown out of the tournament with one win.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • espncricinfomobile on June 17, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    Why are they carting Malik around? Hafeez is a good bowler as a batter he is over rated. I think Mumbai team has more batting depth than Pakistan

  • android_user on June 16, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    I believe that pakistan cricket is without future. Ask these questions below and you will get the answers in auto mode 1. Why a 39 old player leading a side when he was about to retire had he been not selected by his national team ? 2. Pakistan batting not in this series but for long time is dependand on keeping wickets in hand & just forget about run rate. How this gonna help when teams play strike players first and then select rest players. Unable to see any strike player 3. Pakistan are not playing cricket in home soil and they should give chance to themseleves by wining major tournaments and not by getting kicked out of tournament in first round. 4. Can you take any one of them to australia ? Batsman only 5.If u r steuggling in homely friendly conditions of England then u r in deep trouble. Making major changes will spoil the team. So romove players carefully and replace them gently as if they belong thr and not being formal as they are (un)fortunatly a test playing nation.

  • huhohuhohuho on June 16, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    i personally believe that we should drop shoaib,kamran,Farhat and Misbah. I know he played well but he's 39 years old we should look towards the future and he may not even be there for the 2015 world cup. We should bring Ahmed Shehzad and other players who performed well in the domestic circuit like sohaib maqsood, muhammad rizwan and haris sohail. make hafeez captain because hes younger and he can serve for more years. My eleven would be Ahmed Shehzad,Nasir Jamshed,Hafeez,Shafiq,sohaib,haris,rizwan,wahab,ajmal,junaid and irfan. i did not add umar amin because he himself says he is a test player

  • dummy4fb on June 16, 2013, 16:51 GMT

    As a fan of Pakistan cricket since 1967 I am feeling so hurt being let down by all involved not just the batsmen who failed. It was obvious to anyone with a bit of knowledge of cricket that this batting line up was the worst in the whole tournament. In fact I commented on ESPN Cricinfo when the squad was first announced that this was the worst team ever to visit UK since I have been a fan of Pakistan cricket. I also predicted TEAM PAKISTAN will loose all three games. I am surprised that the pace bowlers did so well given their limited experience. I just hope the people who were involved with selecting this batting line up (key personnel in PCB, selectors, captain, coach etc) should do the honourable thing and resign. If they don't they should be sacked along with Farhat, Hafeez and Malik who should never again represent Pakistan.

  • dummy4fb on June 16, 2013, 14:54 GMT

    well being a supporter of pakistani team,i am very disappointed by this performance by missbah 11,but this is not the end of world,we should remember india's performance in 2009,2010 and 2012 's in icc world t20 and their performance in last champions trophy,they were also very pathetic in these tournaments but comparing that indian team with this indian team will show us that they have improved their cricket a lot,so we should hope that one day pakistani team will also bounce back.so i am very hopeful that this team will show goodperformance in future.

  • ALI_A on June 16, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    One of the most honest articles written.

    Its pretty simple POLITICS POLITICS POLITICS. YES 3 TIMES.

    The team selection is very wrong and Jarrod Kimber rightly picked out the three main problems which is approximately a 1/4 of the team. Hafeez, Malik and Farhat have all had many chances but still slide into the team like snakes.

    None are willing to take responsibility for the faults however claim to represent the team and a huge supporting fan group are disappointing time and time again.

    The fans would have been more content with the likes of Afridi and Nazir who could have atleast put up a show in one of the games. Where as the trio always fail to impress with the test cricket style pathetic batting.

    Things need to change and the selection and politicians involved need to represent the country instead of chasing money.

    Finally regarding yesterdays defeat India beating Pakistan was no surprise making the whole excitement dying out.

    Personally it isn't nothing achieved for India.

  • JaDeD_INDIAN on June 16, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    @Saad Amjad -UAE is not a neutral site anymore i think UK or Aus would be a neutral site and we should have a test series there even i'm interested to know the result.

  • manopriya on June 16, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    One of the best article written about Pak team performance vs their fans support. "It's hard to see how Imran Farhat would play in any other team in this tournament. Or even for Ireland, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh or Japan. Yet he played twice. TWICE." Is there no one who could go to Pak selection committee and ask this question in an interview? though the answer is quite clear in Imran Farhat's cricinfo profile's relation section.

  • EddieKhan on June 16, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    @ Lach-Ferragh agree with you friend... this result reflects the failure of PCB Selection committee and some showstoppers who are not promoting young legs whom are really performing way well in domestic circuit as compare to the guys in team mainly Imran, Shoaib and Kamran... I am surprise how this batting order justify the talent Pakistan have ...where is Haris Sohaill, Umar Akmal, Babur and Hammad Azam...really a shocker for pakistani fans

  • intcamd on June 16, 2013, 12:25 GMT

    I don't like articles like these. I am an India supporter, but Pakistan can be a strong side. So they had one bad tournament. India has disappointed so often too. Their tours of England and Australia in 2011 are so abysmal and etched in memory. Who cares about a meaningless one day tournament - it is tests that matter, and until India can reverse their horrible and putrid result of those tours IN Australia and England, Indian fans have no business celebrating all that much. As for Pakistan, their batting has never been that good historically, but their fast bowlers wow, that is another matter altogether