What a Sunday for the English.
I'm not sure how badly bruised they are and how badly the British media has hurt them, but I do fear a severe backlash on the Pakistanis tonight.
On the flip side, the Dutch victory should have given Pakistan a wake up call, which should hopefully make them set things right tonight.
By right I mean the following:
- Open with Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad.
- Bring Fawad Alam into the XI. Bat him at 6 following Younis, Malik, and Misbah.
- Do not send Afridi to bat in the top 6.
- Play Mohammad Aamer. Give him the 1st over.
- Give Gul and Tanvir an over with the new ball. Only 1 over each.
- Bring a spinner on in the 6th over. Preferably Afridi. Let him bowl with Ajmal, Malik, Alam for as long as the spinners can keep a hold on the batsmen.
- Bring on Gul and Tanvir at the death.
- Younis: be a bit more flexible on the field.
- If you win doing this, hire me as an analyst or something.
Having said that, I have absolutely zero confidence in Pakistan following any of that.
They will probably open with Salman Butt and Shehzad, they will not play Fawad Alam, they will not give Aamer the new ball, they will not bring a spinner in the first 6, and the same new ball bowlers will bowl the first 6 overs.
But I don't doubt their ability to win the first game. The English are down and out and Pakistan should pounce on the opportunity.
Though following the above 9-point strategy should get them into good shape for the tougher games ahead.