Year in review for Pakistan: One Day Internationals
Pakistan went through an uncertain period in One Day Internationals as the team failed to perform consistently throughout the year but there were still many moments worth remembering.
In the 50 over format Pakistan played its first series of the year in 2015 against New Zealand away from home which was seen as a good preparation series before the upcoming T20 World Cup but unfortunately Pakistan lost the series 2-0.
Pakistan’s next ODI assignment in 2015 was the World Cup and as always the people back home had pinned high expectations from the team but unfortunately the dream could not be materialized. The jinx of losing to India at mega events also could not be shattered as we lost to our old foes once again.
Wicket keeper batsman Sarfraz Ahmed was in the news for not being included in the side in the first few matches but as soon as he was given the green signal he replied in emphatic fashion and paved Pakistan’s path to the quarter final of this mega event.
Although Pakistan were knocked out of the World Cup by the champs themselves but pace bowler Wahab Riaz’s spell in that match and in particular against Shane Watson will be remembered for times to come and according to many great players it was the best spell of the last decade.
Misbah-ul-Haq had already announced that the World Cup will be his last outing in colored clothing along with Boom Boom Shahid Afridi but it was not pleasant ending for both these greats of the game.
After Misbah’s departure Azhar Ali took over the reins but his tenure began with a terrible tour of Bangladesh as the team were whitewashed in terrific turn of events. This was start of brilliant run of from for the Bengal tigers as they defeated India and South Africa in their respective ODI encounters as well.
Finally after a gap of 6 years international cricket returned to Pakistan when Zimbabwe toured Pakistan which once again stressed the fact that Pakistan is a safe country for cricket. Pakistan won the ODI series 2-0 after the last ODI was called off.
In order to qualify for the ICC champions trophy Pakistan had to overcome a tough challenge in the shape of Sri Lanka. Although this was a stiff challenge but once again Pakistan proved that they are an unpredictable side as they snatched the series 3-2 and booked their place in the mega event.
Pakistan’s next ODI challenge was against the minnows Zimbabwe where Pakistan tried few youngsters as a part of the long term plan. Pakistan did manage to win the series but they lost the second ODI in controversial fashion when Pakistan were closing in on victory but umpires called off play due to bad light.
The last series for the men in green in 2015 was with England but to cap off the year Pakistan could not raise their game as they were trounced by the Barmy Army in convincing fashion (3-1).
Mohammad Hafeez was the top run scorer for Pakistan with a total of 782 runs along with 2 hundreds and 5 fifties.
Wahab Riaz was the top wicket taker for Pakistan with 32 wickets to his credit.
Pakistan had fairly lack luster outings in the 50 over format and lots of work needs to be put in because we have some tough away tours coming up in 2016.