Botched test series


Simply unable to get the end game right

After an abysmal outing in the first test against New Zealand where Pakistan lost by a mere four runs the men in green equalized the series by completely destroying the Kiwi’s with a spectacular innings and 16 runs win in the second test. Yasir Shah obliterated New Zealand’s batting order twice with 8 plus 6 wickets while bowling behind a comfortable first innings total of 418 courtesy Haris Sohail and Babar Azam who got a ton a piece. Naturally the decider was going to be a high pressure game and buckle under that pressure we did. There was nothing exceptional about how New Zealand went about setting us a relatively achievable target of 280 in a minimum of 80 overs on day 5 but it was excruciating to watch Pakistan, true to form, botch up the endgame in such spectacular fashion. It is an accepted fact that for Pakistan chasing down even a reasonable total in any form of the game can go either way. Even worse this is an infuriating seventh time that Pakistan has managed to lose all 10 wickets on the fifth day of a test since 2016. This collapse was not dissimilar to previous ones – opening batsmen throw away their wickets, middle order comes under pressure resulting in soft dismissals with the tailenders left to pick up the pieces. Had they put up a fight to build up a better lead during their first innings perhaps the target would have been lower and more manageable.

Inconsistency remains a hallmark of our cricket. A deeper problem is selection. PSL has produced some exceptional talent like Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan and Fakhar Zaman to name a few. These players were instrumental in winning the Champions Trophy 2017. Yet we are nowhere close to the output India and Australia produce through their club cricket. With a new PCB chairman handpicked by one of the finest cricketers the country has produced now serving as PM; there is hope yet. However so far it is just more of the same.