Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Will you dare to dream?

Pakistan feel more at home in T20 and ODI cricket; they are not a strong test team.

They do not have batsmen who can stay at the crease for a long time.

Their batting will crumble against Australia's pace attack.

This tour should be treated as a learning experience for the young Pakistan team.

These were the kind of statements that were being made during the lead up to the first test between Pakistan and Australia at Lord's.

All true.

Even the most optimistic of Pakistani fans do not have high expectations from the inexperienced test team that is currently in England.

And no one has given them a serious chance against Australia and England, arguably two of the best test teams around.

With all this pessimism and caution surrounding the team, one man defied all logic and on the eve of the first test made the statement that "Australia are beatable".

That man was no other than the Pakistan captain, Shahid Afridi.

He was targeted by the Australians during the build up with Ricky Ponting saying that they will "sort Afridi out".

The Aussies know that Afridi is the pulse of the Pakistan team at the moment. All the players are feeding off Afridi's commitment and enthusiasm; they're all looking confident and aggressive - a mind set that has been instilled by Afridi.

So to target him is the probably the best way to target Pakistan.

Afridi knows only one way to respond and that is to attack.

Soon after Ponting came out to the crease Afridi was seen stretching his arms suggesting that he wanted to take on the Australian captain.

Even though Afridi lost the battle against his counterpart, his team has won the contest on day 1.

There was never any doubt that Pakistan's pace attack would trouble the Australian batsmen; they had done so previously at Sydney as well.

With Australia at 229-9 at the end of day 1, Afridi would be a happy captain.

He dared to dream that Pakistan could beat Australia in a test match, something they have not done in the last 15 years!

And his troops responded aptly in the field. There were no dropped catches; hardly any misfields; and every single player looked confident.

Even when Clarke and Katich were scoring freely, the Pakistani shoulders did not drop. Afridi kept the pressure on and he continued to attack.

It paid off handsomely in the end.

Pakistan's last few captains have been on the defensive side so to see an aggressive touch was a pleasure; it was as aggressive as it used to be in the Wasim Akram days.

And that is when Pakistan plays at its best.

The job is still not over as Michael Hussey, who took the game away from Pakistan in Sydney, is still at the crease; and Pakistan's weaker link, its inexperienced batting line up, is still to be tested.

But if Afridi can dream, why can't we?

Will you dare to dream that the Australian innings will be over within 5 overs in the morning?

Will you dare to dream that the Pakistan openers will put on a century partnership?

Will you dare to dream that the Pakistani debutants, Umar Amin and Azhar Ali will score memorable debut centuries at Lord's?

Will you dare to dream that Umar Akmal will tear Australia's attack apart?

Will you dare to dream that Shahid Afridi will make his bat talk and show the world that he is as capable in test cricket as he is in the limited over formats?

Will you dare to dream?

Make your pitch on this post...

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6 Pitched:

  1. Mudassar @ said...

    well obviously I will never dream such things, that like day dreaming.

    But you are right they got wht they needed in a captain a confident, aggressive and attacking full of energy who will have is skills sharpen by the end of the season. He wasn't that bad in first attempt either.

    But wht happened to batting lineup was embarrassing but yet not very surprising.

    I would not say match is on but there is plenty of room to fight out of your skin to achieve as dreams doesn't get true without efforts.

  2. Fayez said...

    Day 2 is done too. Australia leading by around 200 runs with 6 wickets in hand. Let us still dream that we can win. If we bowl really well we could get the remaining 6 wickets for 50, more realistically for 100. Let us dream that our batsmen can chase 250 - 300. Surely the Akmals won't fail 2 times in a row. Surely the most consistent Pakistani opening pair since Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail won't fail twice. Is it too much to ask for around 50 runs (in total) from the 2 debutants. Surely Afridi can play 30 balls instead of 15 (as he did in the first innings). I think all this put together will take us to our target.

  3. Fayez said...

    OK, lets keep on dreaming :-) If we thought chasing 250 - 300 with 10 wickets was possible, then chasing 326 with 9 wickets should also be possible.

  4. Q said...

    I'm dreaming.. Afridi will hit the winning runs!!

  5. Anonymous said...

    If only they had crumbled against the pace attack.

  6. Q said...

    it wasn't really that bad u know.. had Pakistan got 70 odd runs more in the first innings and had they restricted the Aussie tail in the 2nd, the game was theirs..

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