By Irum Saleem
It is said when you give command to a mule over horses then what happens we have seen with the Pakistan Cricket Team.
Babar Azam is a captain and a very timid one. He can’t be a dare by his docile nature
Dawn also writes saying in the big games, Pakistan fell short. Well short against India, by a whisker against Sri Lanka, and quite short of what was expected. As the world’s top-ranked ODI side, Pakistan entered the Asia Cup with high hopes. They were, at the very least, expected to reach the final of the tournament before next month’s World Cup in India.
But the Super Four stage proved a hurdle too high. Thursday’s loss to Sri Lanka by the barest of margins in Colombo brought Pakistan’s campaign to a close. It was a nerve-wracking finish, but in all fairness, Sri Lanka held the upper hand for most part of the rain-curtailed game with Pakistan only getting close after a late flurry of wickets. It was a second successive loss for Babar Azam’s side after being thrashed by India in a match that spanned two days due to rain. India’s record 228-run victory over Pakistan had put the national team in a perilous position, setting up a virtual semi-final against Sri Lanka.
The threat of rain persisted, Pakistan knowing they would be out of the final if the game was washed out. Injuries had seen Pakistan losing front-line pacers Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah but they had their chances in a match that was reduced to 42 overs per side. The biggest went a-begging when wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan floored a catch off Charith Asalanka, who hit the winning runs on the last delivery of Sri Lanka’s innings. But at least, unlike the preceding game against arch-rivals India, Pakistan showed some fight.
Coach Grant Bradburn had termed that defeat a ‘wake-up call’ with Indian batters tearing into Pakistan’s much-vaunted bowling attack. An insipid batting performance, lacking any conviction, was to follow.
Pakistan’s only wins at the Asia Cup against Nepal and Bangladesh have put Babar’s captaincy into sharp focus. Pakistan have struggled in the middle overs while bowling and there have been questions over all-rounder Shadab Khan’s value. The spinner bled runs during the Asia Cup but Babar has persisted with him.
Opener Fakhar Zaman seems out of touch and failed to provide stability at the top of the order. There have been bright spots, however, most notably Iftikhar Ahmed’s all-round contributions. A brutal assessment is required before the World Cup. Some tweaks could see the team return to its winning ways.
It is better to send Babar home and make Mohammad Rizwan captain to lead th team in the World Cup starting next month. PAK DESTINY