An alarming situation in Pakistan’s cricket as Azhar Ali XI badly exposed in a two-match Test series against Australia, losing both matches by an innings margin.
Poor planning, lack of experienced bowling attack and relying on just a couple of batsmen dented the tourists after a nightmare in T20Is just two weeks ago. Neither Babar Azam will save you every time with his patience nor Yasir Shah with a fighting century. Some solid stance is needed when playing against oppositions like Australia.
Batting falls apart
Pakistan’s batting line can surprise you anytime. You can’t expect much from Pakistani batsmen as they can be at best on their day otherwise they would fall against underdogs like Afghanistan. You never know.
No clue how to bat in Australian conditions. From experienced Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq to some newbies everyone found it difficult to stand in front of the Australian bowling attack which includes the likes of Mitchel Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Nathan Lyon.
Babar Azam, as always remained in the frontline for Pakistan’s batting as the right-handed batsman finished as the top-scorer with 202 runs in four innings including a century.
Yasir Shah, with his top-notch knock of 113 runs in the first inning of the second Day/Night Test, scored 181 runs in two innings. He was followed by Mohammad Rizwan who scored 132 runs in as many innings.
Yasir Shah with the bat
Yasir Shah caught the attention of former cricketers and cricket fans for his maiden century knock but there are people who are criticizing him for not fulfilling his actual role in the team.
The right-arm leggie with over 200 wickets in Test cricket completely failed to get off the mark with the bowl. His poor figures of 205-4 (First Test) and 197-0 (2nd Test) raised many questions on his selection.
Head coach’s aggressive approach
If this was the aggressive approach of Misbah then how can you expect the team to advance in the ICC Test championship? The head coach-cum-chief selector should think about it.
The national team had just won two ODIs against Sri Lanka in Karachi. Whereas tasted a humiliating 3-0 T20I series defeat against Sri Lanka at home ground, lost 2-0 each in T20I and Test series against the Aussies.
This shows how Misbah dealt with things after taking charge of the team earlier this year. Some people initially criticized him for like and dislike as on his first assignment he surprisingly brought in two of the most controversial players of Pakistan Ahmed Shahzad and Umar Akmal. The things are turning out to be tough for Misbah and the team.
Misbah-ul-Haq’s captain also failed
Now, what the team management has to say about Azhar Ali’s performance. Will he be removed for his performance? Because the last captain of the national team was dismissed due to his individual batting failures in few series.
The newly appointed captain Azhar, an apple of Misbah-ul-Haq’s eye, has scored just 62 runs in two matches against Australia meanwhile the team was expecting much more than this from the skipper.
In the last two years, Azhar has only scored 602 runs in 25 innings at an average of just 24.08. He has 13 scores of less than 10 while 16 scores of 15 runs or less.
Home series against Sri Lanka
Is the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka a challenge for Misbah and co or will it be another learning phase? And if it remains the same then cricket fans want to know when will this learning phase end?
Because cricket enthusiasts, former cricketers want to see Pakistan on top and not at number eight where they stand after losing their first Test series in ICC Test Championship.
Strong execution of plans is needed if the team wants to achieve good results against Sri Lanka, this time a full-strength squad. Otherwise, the same old story will be repeated.