June 2017: Stun the cricket world by profitable the Champions Trophy, after coming into the match ranked No. Eight within the ICC ODI scores.September 2018: Fail to qualify for the Asia Cup remaining after a marketing campaign that noticed two huge losses to India, one loss to Bangladesh, and a near-loss in opposition to Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s journey from the highs of Champions Trophy to the lows of the Asia Cup has been nothing wanting a roller-coaster journey. The journey, and the workforce, might be described in a single phrase they’ve grow to be notorious for: Unpredictable. A easy look at their ODI fortunes because the Champions Trophy tells all of it: Pakistan whitewashed Sri Lanka 5-Zero in UAE, received whitewashed 0-5 in New Zealand, after which swept Zimbabwe 5-Zero in Zimbabwe, earlier than their failed Asia Cup marketing campaign.
The ups and downs will not be new to Pakistan cricket, however why are they unable to keep up the excessive requirements they set within the Champions Trophy?
Mohammad Amir’s kind, and the tempo mixture
One of many largest causes for Pakistan’s Champions Trophy triumph was their pacers’ bowling, particularly within the center overs. Junaid Khan and Hasan Ali typically gave Pakistan breakthroughs within the center overs, derailing sides earlier than the demise.
Nevertheless, Hasan has dropped a little bit of kind and managed solely 5 wickets within the Asia Cup, going wicketless in each matches in opposition to India. Somebody who has carried out worse is Amir. Ever since he ran via India’s high order within the Champions Trophy remaining, Amir has picked up merely three wickets from 10 matches at a bowling common in extra of 100! But, Pakistan persevered with him over Junaid, who received just one match within the Asia Cup, the digital semifinal in opposition to Bangladesh. And what did he do? Bag four for 19 – extra wickets than Amir did in additional than a 12 months!
Pakistan nonetheless have the depth within the tempo assault, with Usman Khan and Shaheen Afridi as different choices. They’ll have to get their mixture proper, particularly in circumstances that don’t help tempo bowling.
Lack of depth in spin division
Pakistan are over-reliant on Shadab Khan of their spin division. Whereas the opposite huge groups within the Asia Cup – India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh – have a minimum of two-three spin choices, Pakistan have solely leg-spinner Shadab and Mohammad Nawaz, the all-rounder who additionally bowls left-arm spin.
Shadab picked up solely 4 wickets from 4 matches within the Asia Cup, including to extra strain on an underperforming tempo division within the center overs.
The opposite spin choices Pakistan have are Yasir Shah, who has performed solely two ODIs since August 2016, and Imad Wasim, who was overlooked of the Asia Cup squad after he failed a health take a look at.
Fielding just like the Pakistan of the outdated
One of many huge enhancements in Pakistan cricket since Mickey Arthur took over as head coach has been their fielding. Arthur has made it clear that health is paramount, and that resulted in drastic enchancment within the facet’s fielding.
However they went again to their outdated methods within the Asia Cup. Pakistan dropped a minimum of six catches within the match, 4 of these in a single match in opposition to Afghanistan. Shaheen Afridi particularly was extraordinarily unfortunate as he noticed as many as three catches taking place off his bowling in that sport.
The catching, and the variety of misfields, didn’t assist when Pakistan’s bowlers have been already struggling.
Fakhar Zaman and Sarfraz Ahmed’s kind
Zaman and Sarfraz bat in two key positions; Pakistan look as much as the previous for good begins whereas the latter will get the sport transferring together with his busy batting. Nevertheless, Zaman had scores of 24, 0, 0, 31 and 1 whereas Sarfraz made 6, 8, 44 and 10 within the Asia Cup.
Barring the sport in opposition to Hong Kong, Pakistan have misplaced early wickets in every of the opposite video games. They have been decreased to three for two in opposition to India, Zero for 1 in opposition to Afghanistan, 58 for three in opposition to India, and 18 for three in opposition to Bangladesh. Briefly, their batting is over-reliant on Shoaib Malik, with help from kids Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam. Malik made 211 runs at 70.33 with two half-centuries, whereas Imam scored 225 runs at 56.25.
Nevertheless, they’ve typically been waging lone battles, which want to alter if Pakistan need to get again to profitable methods.
Main any facet throughout all codecs isn’t simple. It solely will get more durable if the facet is from the sub-continent. Sarfraz is probably feeling the warmth now. Sarfraz averages solely 26.50 as captain from 18 innings, nevertheless it’s his management on the sphere that’s come underneath the scanner.
A captain is just nearly as good as his workforce; issues have been superb when the bowlers have been operating via oppositions in center overs, however now that they aren’t in a position to take action, the captain has struggled to make it occur. Among the many varied examples of what he might have finished higher was the sphere placements on Wednesday. Pakistan had Bangladesh reeling at 12 for three with Junaid Khan respiration fireplace, however stored just one slip for Shaheen Afridi. The bowler discovered Mushfiqur Rahim’s edge, however the ball went via the vacant second slip area. A number of overs later, the identical occurred for Mohammad Mithun when he edged Hasan Ali via the vacant first slip space. Rahim ended up scoring 99, whereas Mithun made 60.
Sarfraz is commonly animated on the sphere, which doesn’t assist when the bowlers are already not getting wickets. He might maybe take help from a calmer head, like Shoaib Malik.
First Revealed: September 27, 2018, 12:10 PM IST