Champions Trophy winners Pakistan were handed a real lesson in one day internationals by the Kiwi’s as they whitewashed Pakistan. Pakistan started the tour with ray of hope after a win in the tour game. However the five one day internationals prove a nightmare for the green shirts. New Zealand won the first match comfortable by 61 runs by D/L method; otherwise the margin of victory could have been more. The second match was also decided by D/L method with New Zealand winning by eight wickets to spare. The third match was a real lesson for Pakistan, set a target of 258 by the Kiwi’s, Pakistan was bundled out for merely 74 runs giving New Zealand a 183 runs win.
The 74 runs Pakistan put up included the two high scores of 14 and 16 scored by the number 10 and 11 batsmen. Pakistan fought better in the 4th ODI but once again fell short losing by five wickets. The margin of victory in the final match for New Zealand was small but that was against thanks to heroics by Pakistan’s lower order batsmen. So how a team that won the Champions Trophy merely months back get hammered like this? The answer is rather straightforward, the team was comprehensively outclassed in all departments be it batting, bowling, fielding or captaincy. Despite below par bowling it was Pakistan’s batsmen that looked completely out of sorts and the team management was perhaps even more clueless judging by the batting order. Fakhar Zaman was the top scored for Pakistan in the series with 150 runs in 4 matches (that included two fifties). Muhammad Hafeez managed 148 runs at an average of 29. Leggie Shadab Khan was the third highest run getter for Pakistan with 140 runs to his name. The only player who truly impressed with the bat was Harris Sohail who managed to score 113 runs in the two matches he played. Captain Sarfraz Ahmed scored at an average of 19, Veteran Shoaib Malik at an average of 12 and run machine Babar Azam could manage runs at an average of just 6.2 with 10 being his highest score. If Pakistan is serious about the upcoming World Cup it will have to reassess its options and seriously start planning for it. The current team looks like a random bunch put together that is no doubt talented and experienced but is not being properly used. The team management will also have to take some tough decisions regarding non-performing senior members of the squad. Everything we do from now on should be with the next World Cup in mind.
Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the PML-N and currently living in self-imposed exile in London due to health reasons, will...Read more