Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Misbah was not the issue in ODIs; Afridi is not the issue in T20s !

Every time Pakistan loses a match, the fans blame the captain; and this seems to escalate every time a world event is around the corner.

Misbah was not good enough to lead the ODI side. Azhar Ali is not good enough to lead the ODI side. Shahid Afridi is not good enough to lead the T20 side.

Then who the hell is good enough?

Just like Misbah copped an unfairly huge amount of criticism for Pakistan's abysmal ODI performances under his captaincy, Shahid Afridi is the man that the entire Pakistan seems to be after.

What everyone fails to realize that whether it has been Misbah, Hafeez, or Afridi at the helm of our ODI or T20 teams, Pakistan has been in a constant decline in these formats for the past 5 years. The reasons for this decline are plenty, but the choice of captain is not one of them.

The same Misbah led Pakistan to the top of the test rankings. The same Misbah led Pakistan to the bottom of the ODI rankings.

So no, it was not Misbah's captaincy. He was the most consistent batsmen our ODI team had. And no, it is not Shahid Afridi. He is the only match winner our T20 team has.

The problem has always been our batting and that will not change even if you bring back Imran Khan to captain our ODI and T20 teams.

The only reason our test team has been so successful is because we have had the same set of batsmen in stable batting positions. Hafeez, Azhar, Younis, Misbah, Asad, and Sarfraz have been a constant, while the likes of Taufeeq, Khurram, Shan, Shehzad have rotated in the second opener's position. This has been the case for the past 5 years.

Take one look at the ODI and T20 teams and it is a model of inconsistent selection. Players are chopped and changed, their batting positions are moved around. Nothing is stable.

I just can't understand why the team management can't apply the same success formula. The same consistency of selection and the same stability to the batting line up.

And for God's sake stop criticizing Afridi. He has got a month of international cricket left in him. Support him and let him retire in peace.

Hadh hoti hai!

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