Don’t discount Pakistan cricket after one defeat

Don't discount Pakistan cricket after one defeat
Imad Wasim celebrates dismissal of South Africa's captain AB De Villiers with his teammates. (PHOTO: AFP)

“Shameless,” “Abysmal,” “shut Pakistan cricket,” “sack the coach and the captain,” “overhaul Pakistan cricket,” “sack the board,” and “GO Nawaz, Go,” were some of the reactions after Pakistan’s 124-run defeat against arch-rivals India in the opening match if the Champions Trophy.

One expet, a former Pakistan pace bowler, demanded Pakistan “should not play India in the next five years to avoid embarrassment.” But all the 20 million inhabitants of Pakistan become “self proclaimed” experts, giving their verdicts after only one match.

Before the Champions Trophy, Pakistan Cricket Board had announced a three-member committee to analyse the performances of the coaching staff in the last 12 months but after India’s defeat it was projected as if the committee will probe the defeat against India.

The manner in which Pakistan lost was poor but after all that was the first match. Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur and captain Sarfraz Ahmed came under tremendous flak and there were calls to remove them. Barely five matches into captaincy Sarfraz was discarded as if he doesn’t know the intricacies of the game.

The fitness of the players was called into question yet again. A month ago neutral observors like Ian Bishop and Jeff Dujon — former players turned commentyators — touted Pakistan fielders’s vibrancy in the field during the ODi series in the West Indies. But defeat against India left observors to blame the fitness of the players as “shoddy” and “irrepairable.”

Natural was the reaction as the defeat against India is intolerable. But from experts to fans to former cricketers, don’t leave the return door open. They get so hyper in their reaction that they blast each and every thing that come their way.

It is often said about this Pakistan team that we have to see which Pakistan has come on the field, a determined one or a disjointed unit. On Wednesday, every thing looked changed. Captain made some good decisions, bowlers bowled a superb line and were aiming for wickets, fielders were vibrant and no catch was dropped.

While chasing they kept an eye on Duckworth-Lewis formula which deals with rain interrupted matches and most of the time Pakistan was above that D-L target and in the end it proved all was well that ends well.

This is Pakistan cricket team. So next time discount Pakistan cricket team only on your perils.