Pakistan= Mohammad Hafeez+ Ahmed Shehzad+ Shoaib Malik+ Wahab Riaz + Mohd.Amir. But, India= Virat Kohli. That’s enough! Isn’t it? At least, the way Pakistan looks, as of now, it seems just the brilliance of attacking star batsman and dynamic leader- Virat Kohli is enough for them.
It’s that news again, flashing in front of global sporting headlines and making news everywhere- whether on Facebook, Twitter, innumerable news apps or blog sites: India thrash Pakistan. Winning this time, by a whopping 124 runs (D/L method).
So what happened?
In perhaps one of the finest instances of Team India coming together to contest in a battle of epic proportions, Pakistan were crushed on 4 June 2017 at Edgbaston, England. The match seemed, sadly, like a one-sided battle and therefore, offered, in equal measure- grief on the other side of India’s border. The same news, though, brought to Indian fans, both in India and elsewhere- a wave of tremendous joy.
In what could be equated to be Football’s equivalent of a Manchester United versus Liverpool or, a clash of mighty mythological Titans- say, Zeus versus Thor, India’s neighbours bit the dust. Again. But India’s thumping victory in a rain-marred encounter did more than dampen the confidence of Pakistan, who contested with no ordinary talents; Azhar Ali, Mohd. Amir, Wahab Riaz, Babar Azam and, Hasan Ali.
Kohli’s men’s triumph, therefore, in some ways, exacerbates Pakistan’s problems, that seem to have taken a toll on their cricket.
Or, maybe, could it be because Pakistan’s Cricket Team is no match to India. Here are e picked up some major weaklings in Pakistan’s armoury that hold no power to shake the self-confidence and powers resting with Virat Kohli’s men.
Here are 10 reasons that prove Pakistan’s armoury has severe weaklings that hold ordinary or power when compared to Virat Kohli’s men:
Pakistan’s Top Guns, possessing vital experience have retired
Recently, two of their finest careers followed the ‘Shahid Afridi route’ i.e., headed toward the sunset. In Misbah and Younis’ exit, recently against the West Indies in a successful Test campaign to the Caribbean put curtains on a career that carried Pakistan for over a decade and a half, resulting in somewhere between around 18000 international runs. Add to that, the loss of someone like Shahid Afridi, a genuine all-rounder and you see their current side lacking in flair and temperament- key values that are determining the success of Kohli’s young brigade. Also, for lasting success, a side’s ought to balance between the experience it has to the advantages that a youth bring to its unit. Pakistan, it seems, are majorly lacking in the former.
India has got the IPL but Pakistan’s PSL hardly matches India’s lofty standards and scale
T20s are in since a light years now. In stark contrast to the famous Indian Premier League, that recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, Pakistan have, if not more than it’s own version of a T20 carnival- the PSL. But truth be told, despite now beginning to get the likes of a Gayle, Pollard, Bravo and Kevin Pietersen to play in Pakistan, the PSL is the size of a candy when compared to India’s IPL; perhaps a triple-scoop chocolate sundae. It also helps then to have the availability of world-class talents as mentors of IPL outfits such as a Sachin, Mahela, Ponting, Jonty Rhodes and Stephen Fleming; names that need no introduction whatsoever.
Pakistan are the only Test Playing nation that hardly plays at home, while India rules at Sub-continent and elsewhere
In a situation that could be equated to an example of one having lots of potential, fame, talent, with spending the entire day running around, only to head back toward the evening to another person’s home and not yours- Pakistan are world cricket’s homeless nation. In lines with the bitter acrimony resulting from the conflicts between Pakistan’s cricketers and the ever-fledgeling and complicated PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board), the national side hardly ever gets to play at home. Especially during Misbah Ul-Haq’s inspirational reign as captain, Pakistan were made to play much of their Cricket, in particular, contests against South Africa, Australia and, West Indies in the UAE. Once, playing in the homely comfort of a Lahore, Rawalpindi and other choicest grounds, Pakistan’s team found a home in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. India, on the other hand, have had a massively successful summer season at home, wherein they’ve managed to defeat not just New Zealand and England but even tamed Steven Smith’s Australia. And, the pitches, it must be said, weren’t always batting friendly. Remember Pune? Remember, Bangalore? Kohli’s men sailed through some acute challenges recently.
The decline of Pakistani fast bowling
This isn’t to say that the likes of Wahab Riaz or Junaid Khan aren’t around. In fact, their team has only been bolstered by the return of Mohd. Amir, who made a successful comeback to international cricket following his omission concerning match-fixing. But, given the sheer lack of experience that Pakistan’s leading bowlers contest with, when compared to mighty workhorses of India- B. Kumar, Mohammad Shami and, Umesh Yadav, with Ishant Sharma giving them company- things don’t look too bright for a side that once rode its fortunes on the in-swinging and reverse-swinging brilliance of a Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Even when the likes of Abdul Razzaq and Shoaib had left, Pakistan had the services of a potent threat in Umar Gul. But what’s become of him now? Newcomer, Mohammad Irfan, who had been around for a good 3-4 years has also been consumed by the greed to make a quick buck. It’s been a year since the tallest fast bowler in the history of Pakistan played a game, in connection with his omission following links to a Dubai-based bookie.
Pakistan’s batting is brittle, inconsistent and lacks purpose vis-a-vis India’s fluent batsmen
Just how much can an Azhar Ali, combined with a Shoaib Malik or Mohammad Hafeez- Pakistan’s vanguard of modern batting- contribute, when compared to an India that have the services of a Dhoni, Yuvraj, Shikhar, Rohit, Kohli, Jadeja and, Pandya?
Here’s a fact you can’t evade. Three of Pakistan’s most capable batsmen including Malik, Shehzad and Azhar Ali hold a combined tally of approximately 10,900 runs. Impressive, right?
Here’s what Dhoni, Yuvraj and Kohl’s joint tally indicates, sans the likes of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan: 23000 runs.
Need one say more?
Their current pace spearheads lack direction and their only talented spinner hardly gets a game
India mustn’t have found it too difficult in negotiating with Wahab Riaz when their batsmen pummelled him to all parts of Edgbaston, sending him, on a few occasions, out of the park. On current experience courtesy number of appearances for Pakistan, Wahab Riaz is Pakistan’s weapon of choice. But is he really that good? For someone who, not only holds the dubious record of bowling the most expensive ODI spell ever: 10 overs- 110 runs- 0 wickets (vs England) as well as the most expensive ODI spell in a Champion’s Trophy game: 8.4 overs- 87 runs- 0 wickets- things don’t seem too inspiring for Pakistan. Furthermore, it doesn’t help that where other leading pace bowlers, such as India’s Mohammad Shami or New Zealand’s Trent Boult or Australian Starc deliver modest no-balls, Riaz oversteps miserably. In not giving Junaid Khan, who’s been around for 6 years now but played in 58 ODIs, Pakistan seem to be committing hara-kiri. Their Test premier; ace spinner Yasir Shah’s hardly been given a chance to play ODIs.
India won’t mind that, right?
Only yesterday did we see express fast bowler Wahab Riaz being escorted out of the park on account of sustaining another injury. Did Rohit and Shikhar put him to that? Or maybe, Yuvraj’s blitzkrieg- 53 of 32- added to the ‘injury’? But constant hamstring and sore back have been their case. The same’s been happening to Irfan and Junaid. And even Amir doesn’t seem to be truly fit or at the peak of his physicality. This only adds more life to Pakistan’s opponents, such as India, who made light work of their not so promising opponents.
Butterfingers! That’s what Pakistan’s got. It didn’t happen for the first time in a game of such mighty importance such as their tie against India on June 4, 2017, that sitters were dropped. And in dropping Kohli and Yuvraj, Pakistan, as they’ve often done, were quick to immolate themselves in mediocre cricket. Look at India’s fielding, that stands at such a contrast to Pakistan’s! If there was Raina then, there’s Jadeja now, in addition to captain Kohli and Dhoni. Oh, Yuvi’s around too. Bad news fellas!
Pakistan lack India’s confidence of taking on any side
Maybe it’s just the West Indies or an Afghanistan now that can make life easy for Pakistan, who recently won in the Caribbean for the first time ever. But sadly, in the wake of the terrorist attack on Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, their Cricket Board has cut all ties with the troubled nation in the sub-continent. India, though, have no concerns like these whatsoever. Today, most teams, regardless of form or fortune desire to play versus India. While many would find BCCI and it’s apparent power wielding to be an answer, it might not be true for the form and consistency that Kohli and men demonstrate and have been, in the last 4 years- in particular.
How do you describe him depends on how much respect you have for him or just how jealous you are of inarguably, world’s leading batsman.
Is Kohli the best in the world since Sachin? Is he the best right now in India, across formats? Not exactly Steven Smith’s best friend but certainly an opposition demolisher- include the likes of Johnson to Malinga, Dale Steyn to Faulkner, Wahab to Jerome Taylor, Virat Kohli’s the engine of India’s run-producing machinery.
And now that he’s the captain, one is seeing his capabilities as a leader who motivates his young men just as much as he sides with them in their sorrows. Good times, one would note. Sorry, though for Pakistan, who clearly seem to be missing Misbah!