Pakistan needs two strikes in force | sports
sBatting is one of the most important aspects of modern cricket, especially in its shortest form. In a T20 game, each side gets 120 (legitimate) balls just to score. Therefore, there is hardly a place for a newcomer to play point balls. The loss of one or two wickets does not prevent the team from launching a counter-attack.
Power batting is now not limited to late-order batsmen nor is it the domain of top batsmen. Sometimes, if the regular batsmen failed to deliver the ball, the bowlers took responsibility and put the team out of crisis.
With a comprehensive performance against South Africa, the Greenshirts kept their semi-final hopes alive. Although this seems unlikely, Pakistan is technically not out of the tournament yet. Today’s matches will determine which two teams advance to the last four of this group.
The scenario is not new to Pakistan. Many times in the past we had to wait for other teams’ matches to see if we progressed to the knockout stage. In the ongoing T20 World Cup, and despite their losses against India and Zimbabwe, the green jerseys are waiting for a miracle from Zimbabwe against India or from the Netherlands against South Africa.
The real problem for the Pakistan cricket team in the T20 format in recent times has been the lack of power batsmen, especially in the early innings.
Editorial Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan cannot be shot hard. If Pakistan needs to chase 180-200 runs, neither of them have the ability to score 9-10 runs apiece in their first six overs (power play).
In the higher order, Pakistan needs players like Jos Butler, Alex Hales, Quinton de Kock, Rohit Sharma and Martin Guptill who can hit fours and sixes from the offs.
Pakistani batsmen have always been in trouble on Australian soil. Pakistan first visited Australia in 1964 to play a one-off Test match and since then it has been difficult for Pakistan to make its mark on Australian soil.
Over a dozen World Cups Over more than 50 World Cups and half a dozen T20 World Cups, Pakistan have never beaten Australia in the knock-out stages. The victory over the Netherlands in the ongoing World Cup was Pakistan’s first win in any T20I in Australia.
Babar and Rizwan, who have been successful in their opening runs in T20I cricket, have failed to fare well in Australian conditions. Babar scored just 14 in the first four matches, at an average of 3.5 and a strike rate of 46, while Rizwan managed 71 in the same number of matches at an average of 17.75.
In the World Cup, the batting department appears to rely heavily on out-of-order openers. The repeated failures of the top hitters Asif Ali and Hyder Ali frustrated the Pakistani fans.
The Green Shirts lost a lot of games due to poor batting in the middle order. Asif, Haider and Khushdil Shah were given enough chances, but they all disappointed the fans.
There is no doubt that Asif is a talented batsman who can hit sixes cleanly and he proved it at the 2021 World Cup in the UAE. He first won the match against New Zealand when Pakistan were 87-5 in their 15th over while chasing 135. Asif shared an unbeaten 48-run partnership with Shoaib Malik, hitting six in a row in the 17th minute which helped Pakistan win easily. . He scored 25 off just seven balls.
In the next match, against Afghanistan, Asif again emerged as the hero for Pakistan as he scored four points in the penultimate game. Pakistan need 24 off 12 balls. Asif hit two of the first three balls of the 19th over Karim Jannat’s goal for six before depositing the last two balls into the stands as well.
But in the ongoing World Cup, Asif fails to do well despite being one of the most devastating middle-order batsmen in PSL history. He hit 216 sixes in 176 T20 innings.
Haider and Khushdil are great batsmen in Pakistani domestic cricket, but unfortunately they fail to deliver OIs.
At the time of selection for the T20 World Cup, Chief Specialist Mohamed Waseem said, “We have tried to cover all our bases by catering to the modern brand of T20 cricket which will be required for a solid performance in the men’s T20 World Cup tournament.”
On Asif and Khashdil, he said, “They are the best in the available group of middle-level batsmen and we are confident that they will give us solutions to our medium difficulties through solid performance.”
Sharjeel Khan is an explosive opener and on his day he can take the match away from the opposition in the first few overs of the match.
Azam Khan is considered as one of the best power hitters in the country. Hits the ball for six mammoths. He has an impressive strike rate of 157.41.
A batsman cannot win every match. Management must develop power hitters who can perform consistently.
The Pakistan team needs some explosive players like Shahid Afridi who was known for his six-hit ability. When he is on song, he can rip off an opponent’s bowling. His career batting average was an astounding 154.21.
Pakistan cricket now needs some new faces to help gain momentum especially in T20 cricket.
In July this year, PCB appointed former batsman Mohamed Youssef as the permanent batsman coach for the Australian national team, while former Australian batsman Matthew Hayden is the batting advisor for the ongoing T20 World Cup.
Without a doubt, Yousuf is one of the best batsmen that Pakistan has produced in history. He was an elegant fielder and played riskless cricket. With his batting style, he is useful for ODI and Test matches, but for the shortest form of the game he cannot be a good coach. He played T20 cricket for Pakistan only against England on English soil with an average score of 26 and a strike rate of 116.66.
Now a hitting power coach is the team’s need. Selectors must spot power hitters.