Under the microscope; Pakistan cricket team

Hello, good morning sports fans, I hope you’re well, in good health and looking after yourselves. Sports fans, I want to talk about an issue important in the world of sports and that’s cricket.

To be more exact, I want to talk about Pakistani cricket and its current state of affairs. In short, they’re in a good state, but .. there is always a but. Sports fans and in particular Pakistani fans you will know they’re the most unpredictable team in world cricket.

Or are they? This is a tag that has been put around Pakistan’s neck in years gone by, but for these last five years? It’s harsh to say such a thing. Under the leadership of captain Babar Azam, Pakistan have been a very solid outfit.

Their tactics in T20 matches, the shortest format in the game divides opinion, but stats wise the 2009 World Cup winners and the 2022 runners-up do have pedigree in this format.

As much as I can argue this fact, Pakistan’s home form, which many see as a fortress has been anything but. The simplistic view, the men in green haven’t performed in test cricket, give Babar the sack.

This is a knee-jerk reaction, and if I put it bluntly, even a tad childish. For great things to be experienced in life, they come after times of patience. Test cricket isn’t Pakistan’s strongest format.

The reason for that I think is due to the management who looked to have prioritised the limited-overs game. Another dilemma for Babar and the coaching staff is that Pakistan’s best players have been excelling in the shorter formats.

For example Shadab Khan. Shadab has proved he’s one of Pakistan’s key men, so much so that he’s the vice-captain in the shorter formats. He hasn’t played in test matches for some time, Harris Rauf is another, but Shaheen plays in both.

Shaheen Shah Afridi is a key player for Pakistan, but the overload of matches has affected him as he has spent prolonged periods on the sidelines in the past six-12 months.

In the ODI and T20, Pakistan have on a large part a settled side, but the same can’t be said of tests. After a few different combinations, they seem to have a settled top order in all three formats.

The batting middle order in all formats isn’t quite so settled in all of the formats. Having said that, Pakistan are closer to finding a good combination in limited over matches.

They’re not a million miles away. Some people use England and their all-conquering test team of current as a yardstick to beat Pakistan with. Just remember though, once upon a time it wasn’t all rosy for The Three Lions either.

The moral of the story is there’s going to be more trial and error for the test side and to a point the limited-overs sides too, but the overriding message is, patience is needed.

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