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Comment: Pakistan impressive, but more work still needed

Umar Amin (right) with Jibran Khan Niazi
Umar Amin (right) with Jibran Khan Niazi
©Jibran Khan Niazi

I have been going to various clubs in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and I watched the batting of Umar Amin, who I see as a reliable one-day/Twenty20 batsman.

I was impressed by his action and consistent scoring against all type of bowlers including fast, medium fast and all types of spinners.

I caught up with him and we covered several topics about the current Pakistan team and the future of Pakistan cricket.

Umar Amin – career statistics

4 Tests – 99 runs @ 12.37

89 first-class games – 5,705 runs @ 38.80

15 ODIs – 269 runs @ 19.21

92 one-day games – 2,768 runs @ 32.56

10 T20Is – 76 runs @ 12.66

50 T20 games – 1,122 runs @ 29.52

While talking to him he said the Pakistan team is a balanced team and he praised the selectors and existing coaches but stressed the need for more practice and hard work. 

He also praised the recent performances by Pakistan and the coaches in all formats of the game – their victory in Test cricket he said was “inspiring”.

I do agree with him to this extent that Pakistani players have the potential and ability to perform against the strongest teams in the world but at present they need a reshuffle and some hard training to ensure consistently solid performances.

Though Pakistan registered a convincing victory in the one-day series as well as the Twenty20 Internationals against Sri Lanka away from home, I still feel there are inconsistencies and issues they need to iron out.

I can remember in the past when Pakistan had a very strong squad of bowlers and world-class batsmen did not enjoy facing their bowling. At present there is no genuine fast bowler and even the spinners have limited potential.

Pakistan desperately need a genuine spinner. Although Yasir Shah has produced some good performances and has earned the praise of Shane Warne, he has failed to prove his worth with consistent performances.

The fast bowlers such as Mohammad Irfan, Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali, Anwar Ali and Wahab Riaz have been given several chances, but none of them have inspired. Is this due to a lack of training and coaching? Pakistan have one of the world’s best bowlers as a coach but no bowler has shown much improvement.

In my view, the Pakistan Cricket Board now has to review and reflect on its recent success and build a new team with reliable batsmen and bowlers. The players should be reviewed at club level and talented batsmen should be selected from the grass roots. It is now the time to build a strong batting side with consistency as well as a strong bowling line-up.

Moreover focus is required to ensure the players play for the team instead of focussing on personal performances. Personal records are important but it not more important than the record and reputation of the country and the national team.

Off-spinner Jibran Khan Niazi has played first-class and one-day cricket for Sargodha, also playing for Pakistan University Grants Commission and Faisalabad.

© Cricket World 2015