Thursday, July 15, 2010
Pakistan's young batsmen need encouragement
So, could have anyone envisaged a different outcome to what we saw yesterday? Pakistan went into this match with two debutants,who were made to look like lambs led to slaughter as they were batting at three and four in conditions that were completely alien to them, Kamran Akmal batting at six and Afridi at seven won't make the opposition bowlers have sleepless nights, and the opposition have some useful bowlers like Bollinger, Hlify and Mitch in their ranks. It can surely be said that Pakistan's collapse was on expected lines.
The key point to consider about yesterday's play was about the two greenhorns in Pakistan's side. I really feel sorry for both of them as they play all their cricket in Pakistan where the new ball won't move an inch, but suddenly they are thrust into batting at key positions on a pitch that is offering help to the medium pacers . It has to be said though, Pakistan don't have too many options as both their senior players, Yousef and Younis aren't in the squad. The only option they have is to move Umar Akmal up the order, but even he has played only a handful of tests.
I am also worried about the fact that Pakistan rarely give anyone a decent run in the side. For instance, Khurram Manzoor may not have the best technique going around, but I do remember that he scored a fighting half century in the final test in Australia, but now he finds himself in the wilderness. Alam did score a hundred on his debut, but hasn't got a decent run in the side either. The same can be said about the talented Butt as he has been in and out of the squad. Pakistan are known for chopping and changing, which never helps younger players in the squad.
As Yousef and Younis aren't in the squad, batsmen like Azhar Ali and Amin don't have anyone to look up-to either. Young players take sometime before they learn the tricks of the trade and if they have senior players to guide them, it would help the youngsters enormously. Actually, when Yousef made his debut in 98, he wasn't rated highly by Aussies, but with experience, hard work and with senior players like Ijaz, Sohail, Anwar and Haq around to guide him, he was able to make his mark as a batsman. Secondly, they also have a captain, who believes in slogging everything out of the ground, so he isn't someone they can look up-to for sure.
It is a tough road ahead for Pakistan's young batsmen as because of the situation back home, they have to play in alien conditions and they don't have senior players like Yousef, or Younis to look up-to for guidance. One can just hope that young batsmen like Azhar Ali, who actually looked good in his short stay at the crease work hard on their batting and do well for Pakistan, but with the way Pakistan's cricket is run, it is perhaps a wishful thinking on my part.