Pakistan cricket and its medieval mindset.

Pakistan cricket is like an elephant on top of a tree. No one knows how it got there, but its fall is eminent. After being demolished by India, trounced by Zimbabwe and luckily eluding an early flight back home, PCT has to iron out many creases and folds. Even when PCT wins matches, the flaws are prominent. Negative mindset, medieval strategies, lack of planning, mediocre selection and sub-standard leadership are all salient takeaways from a Pakistani fixture. However, the flaws are masked by victories which only burgeons the predicaments.

The predominant issue is of mindset. Our cricketers play the modern-game with the age-old mindset of settling in and keeping wickets. The opening pair of Babar Azam and Rizwan wastes six overs (30%) of the 20 they can play in getting their 'eye-in.' It is pertinent to highlight that while they are getting their eyes-in, only two fielders are allowed outside the 30 yard circle. For most teams, this is the time of attack and setting of tempo to ease pressure on the middle order. Using the fielding restrictions to your advantage is what modern-day cricket is all about. Once the restrictions are lifted, then the run-rate drops which is expected. That is why you must capitalize on the restrictions first-up. Both our openers are world class players in their own right, but their combination up-front leaves a lot to be desired. When they bat extensively i.e. for 10-12 overs, the scoring rate is almost always sub-par for which the middle order has to compensate with swinging at every delivery. This leads to premature fall of wickets and the middle order becomes the sole recipient of ridicule. Once you try to justify your selection by promoting yourself up the order and play cricket of the 70s, you jeopardize the entire innings especially when the desired target is 200+ or you are chasing down 200+. Pakistan's recent performance proves that in T20s, this strategy cannot work. It is a fast paced format which requires a fast paced approach. Both Babar and Rizwan need to improve their strike-rate in the first six overs for them to cement themselves as all format and T20 worthy players. The rest of the team comprises of all-rounders and finishers who need to improve their judgment. Asif Ali falls prey to the slightest of turn and variation which makes him ineffective, Iftikhar is a one-match wonder with similar style of play as the openers, Shadab is the most promising so far. Not only does he bowl brilliantly, his...

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