World Cup Opener: WI Expose Pak Weaknesses

The Pak team simply has way too many shortcomings and the World Cup opener just confirmed that. Without Shoaib and Asif at the start and Razzack in the middle overs Pak’s bowling simply lacks the strength to curtail or bowl out the opposition. Mohammed Hafeez and Rao Anjum are great back up bowlers who can easily do justice to being the fourth and fifth bowlers but to expect these folks to do more than that is a clear sign of weakness in the team composition. To make matters worse Rana is far from his best at the moment. That really leaves only Umar Gul as the main strike bowler. Danish Kaneria’s fielding weakness is hard to hide and his position in the team is probably just a temporary fix until Afridi is back. In the final analysis, however, Pak lost this match more so because of its batsmen than its bowlers.

242 was by no means a difficult target. Firstly, it required some disciplined batting without the need for heroics. Unfortunately, heroics is what many of the top order batsmen attempted. Imran Nazir, Hafeez and Younis Khan were all out to needlessly ambitious strokes. That left Inzy and Yousuf fighting to consolidate and at one point it looked like they would. However, after both of them left in quick succession, Pak completely lost the plot. Shoaib Malik has done well at the top of the order and its not clear why Pak would not continue with him and Kamran or Hafeez at the opening slot. That should free up the middle order for an extra batsmen or all rounder to come in after Inzy.

As for the WI this was a good comeback game after the disgraceful practice match against India. Samuels looked in great touch and though Lara looked equally in good form, failed to carry on to a big score. Sarwan chose to be aggressive from the word go and was lucky to survive a first ball duck. After the bad start, the WI did well to reach 242. Backed by some disciplined bowling and tight fielding the WI quite comfortably bowled Pak out below 200.

Author: Pran Kurup

Pran Kurup is founder and CEO of Vitalect, Inc.

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