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Lilliputians vs Gulliver

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LILLIPUTIANS Vs GULLIVER

A mismatch though, but the Lilliputians almost chained the Gulliver in the T20I series, winning the second and losing bravely in the rest of the first and third match. This is indeed a good food for thought for Pakistan as they struggled against the weakest T20 Zimbabwe team which failed to even qualify for the T20 World Cup.

My only concern is about the domestic cricket system in Pakistan which has failed to locate abundant talent scattered all over the country. The selectors have to pick from the available 20-25 players and they are just swimming in the well rather in an open ocean with no space in the bench strength. A weak middle order and lack of power hitter at the beginning of the tail is clearly visible. They have yet to find a replacement of match winning all-rounders like Abdul Razzaq or Shahid Afridi. This T20I series has exposed all those in the system who matter and once the best T20 team is now downgraded with very little chance of any noteworthy performance in the coming T20 World Cup.

Now coming to the two Test match series, one should acknowledge that despite limited players available in the musical chairs, the chief selector has done a fine job in placing the right player in the right position. Abid Ali and Imran Butt in the opening is the best tonic that we were looking for and down under experienced Azhar Ali and Fawad Alam have added the much required support in the middle. Now let's look at the backbone of our team skipper Babar Azam. Is he going to be the best batsman of the world in the coming years or will he crumble down with his dual role!

While watching Babar in the field I felt that the captaincy crown on him appears to be a little heavy at his blossoming time. Though one can’t read anybody's mind but the facial expressions are definite pointers of the thought process that goes on in the brain. In my view PCB has taken a premature decision which is likely to affect Babar's red ball batting as we saw him in the two Test matches against Zimbabwe. PCB should have carried him at least for another 2-3 years as vice-captain only under an experienced captain enabling him to give 100 percent to his batting simultaneously learning how to bear the pressure of the matches at crucial times of decision making. However, the coming years of playing against superior teams in away series will surely test his metal.

Summing up the series, I take it as a second step forward from net practice to open grounds practice at Harare as the real strength of Pakistan team will show up against England and Australia. The sorrowful tale of South Asia cricket is that the next door India is unwilling to play with Pakistan which has kept both the countries at a loss to show the real strength of Asian cricketers. Concluding my views I must give full credit to Zimbabwe which has raised a young team fighting the giants in the shortest version of the international game.

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