Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cricket - Play Your Best Team

Pakistan cricket has long been a victim of different agendas being in the forefront of our selection, preparation and in the end our performance in various series and tours. The latest and really one that has hampered our progress in the cricketing world since the disasterous '99 World Cup final is 'preparing for the next World Cup'.

After every World Cup we begin planning and preparing for the next World Cup and the PCB is completely obsessed with this planning and preparation (not sure what exactly they do as far as preparing and planning because really they have no results to fall back on). Usually what this planning and preparing for cricket's biggest event entails is enthrusting 'young blood' in our team and historically calling for an end to some of the greatest cricketers - most recent example being that of Inzi.

What this does result is in lack of consistency in our team, no rhythm and no chance of any team synergy or spirit to develop. Players are brought in for one or two matches and then dropped and other players, always the youngsters, are given a chance and then dropped after a few failings. This miserable cycle is repeated until the World Cup when we suddenly realize that all these youngsters we had been trying for 4 years really do not stand up to the task and then we enthrust our senior players and try to field the best players in our line up. We saw this with Saeed Anwar in the 2003 WC and most recently with Azhar Mahmood in the 2007 WC.

This strategy, I hate to use this word but for lack of finding any suitable alternative will resign myself to using it, always fails. This strategy is so flawed and is really the sole and primary reason for our poor outtings in the last two WCs.

Winning is a habit and a good one to have generally in most things in life, but definitely a must to have in the sporting world. The best and most guaranteed way of winning is to play your best side in every match; and I mean every match! We can take a leaf from Australia's page on this one and really learn that lesson. If we play our best available players in every match, we will automatically be ready for the next WC. If nothing else I hope our new Australian coach can instill that in our board and team; why does my gut tell me the board will not listen!

Make your pitch on this post...

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2 Pitched:

  1. Q said...

    I agree Nazhar. All teams should look to play their best XI in all games, but i also believe in the rotation policy that the Aussies use so well - that builds up the bench strength and when a player is needed to fill the boots of even a ponting when he's injured, the replacement is up to the task.

    I hate the fact that the boards, especially PCB, look to phase out senior players after a world cup. On the other hand, I also don't respect seniors who hang around to play for that 1 extra year just cos the world cup is round the corner. If its time to go, its time to go.

    Take Sanath Jayasuriya for example. I completely admire the man. Everyone thought that after the WC he would announce his retirement but no hes continuing and playing amazingly well. He hasn't said he wants to play 1 more world cup, nor has the board come down on him to ask him to move on so they could try a new opener and groom him for the world cup. This is the ideal scenario of how it should be.

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