Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thoughts From a Pakistan Fan

Proper preparation prevents poor performance.

If this was England, they would have made sure they at least organised 3 warm up matches before the first test and arrived a good month before to acclimatize to the conditions. That’s how they won the Ashes and beat India in India after 28 years. Preparation played a big part. Even in the UAE, they played 2 warm ups. 

Rather than trying to protect and pride on their top 4 test match status, all the focus from the PCB heads have been on the Twenty20 World Cup and a one day series in India.

The purest form of the game has to be made a front line priority.

You would have thought after whitewashing the previous number 1 side and going undefeated for 7 series in a row that would be the case.

We will bounce back in Cape Town. The Misbah-Shafiq stand was reminiscent of Cook-Prior at Ahmadabad, not only in their approach, but also the situation of the game. Both came in defeated causes, however were crucial in minimising the humiliating, restoring pride and giving them some positives to take away with an eye on the coming tests. They have spent valuable time in the middle, kept South Africa in the field, made them work for their wickets, frustrated them greatly, taken the test deeper and lifted the morale of the camp. Misbah batted like a wall, glue, a rock, and battled for his runs which he does ever so well in a crisis when the side are up against it and undoubtedly helped the less experienced Asad Shafiq get through the extended evening session, who also defended tightly and stroked them nicely.

When Sri Lanka have been bowled out for 43, New Zealand have been bowled out for 45, Australia have been bowled out for 47, Pakistan have been bowled out for 49, doesn’t that tell you something about the quality of the bowling and the difficulty of the pitches?Dale Steyn deserves his due. You can criticise Pakistan all day, but one should at least have the courtesy to appreciate a sublime bowler, a sublime talent, a once in a generation bowler, a lethal bowler who has found the edge and ran through the defences of many highly respectable test match batsmen. In an age where batsmen dominate, seeing the ball angle, swing, zip through like it does when Steyn is charging in; is agreeably a refreshing sight. His accuracy is unerring, his swing is late, his pace is always up, and his attitude is one of a man who refuses to give up.
This is undeniably the best ever South African test side that are tipped to dominate the world game in the test arena for many years to come. There are at least 5 players from the current side that would get into an all time South Africa test XI. Pakistan are a solid, consistently performing unit under their current captain, however it’s more through the qualities of team work, tactical nous, collective efforts, structured game plans and a stable environment that has contributed to their success as opposed to individual talent or sheer natural ability of an individual person. There is a debate that Younis and Ajmal will get into an all time Pakistan XI, but still it would take some convincing for others. The difference between the sides in sheer superiority, recognition and natural ability needs no further explanation.

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