We have frequently discussed the poor performances of Pakistanis in the IPL on this site. However, there needs to be a thread totally dedicated to just why Pakistanis, generally considered as good Twenty20 players, cannot outshine their Indian, Australian, South African and Sri Lankan counterparts?
Let’s examine the statistics of Pakistani players. The much hyped Twenty20 specialist Misbah ul Haq has only managed 32 runs in 4 matches. Shahid Afridi has made 80 runs in 8 matches and has taken 7 wickets at an average of 26 and economy of 8. The Sialkot golden boy Shoaib Malik has scored 52 runs in 7 matches and has taken only 2 wickets at an average of 43 and economy of 10. Mohammad Asif has also been disappointing with 7 wickets at an average of 38 and economy of 9. Salman Butt has made 72 runs in 5 matches whereas Hafeez has only managed 54 runs in 7 matches and 2 wickets with an economy of 7 and average of 34. Only Sohail Tanvir has shone in this format so far, with 11 wickets at an average of 12, economy of 6 and strike rate of 13. Shahid Afridi’s bowling has also been decent with 7 wickets and a good economy rate of 8. Shoaib Akhtar cannot be discussed in the same vein as the rest as he has only played two matches although the initial signs have been encouraging.
Many people are blaming the captains of the respective teams for not giving Pakistani players enough chances. However this is loose talk as in Twenty20 you have to take chances right from the word go and as we all know fortune favours the brave. Yes luck has a lot to do with it and that is acceptable. We can say that Pakistani players may have been unlucky but sometimes you have to make your own luck and apply yourself. In terms of chances Salman Butt has opened in most of Kolkata’s matches so we can’t say he is coming lower down the order and has no chance of getting comfortable at the crease. The same argument applies to Hafeez who has also batted in the top order mostly. If anyone has been unlucky it is Shahid Afridi who needs to bat higher up as he is not clicking in the middle or lower order. Asif also has been given plenty of chances with the new ball so his fans can’t say Sehwag has been unfair to him. And our beloved captain Malik has come in those situations plenty of times where there are many balls left for him to build his score and play a good knock but he has not capitalised on those occasions and only has himself to blame.
Is this an indication of lack of quality? Most of these players featured in last year’s Twenty20 Cup where Pakistan reached the final and looked like a formidable unit. So that reason can be immediately discounted. Is it the hype and extravaganza of IPL? It could be, but all the players would be facing this hype and razzmatazz and we cannot limit this factor just to Pakistanis. It is the fit and seductive cheerleaders? No it cannot be even though Afridi thinks it might. You also have such liberally dressed spectators in Western countries where these players frequently tour. Is it the pressure of performing in front of Indian crowds? No it cannot be that either, as Pakistanis have performed admirably in India in the past, although much less so in the more recent past. Or is the fact that playing for a different team other than the team of your own country means lack of commitment or motivation? We have discussed this as a possible reason as well, but it would not justify why players like Warne, Watson, McGrath, McCullum or Jayasuria have fired in this League.
Regrettably it all boils down to lack of overall application and commitment. This poor show in IPL epitomises the problems currently being faced by the PCB and the Pakistani team. It seems as long as the players are getting the remuneration for playing, nothing else matters and no problems or criticisms can be worked upon. It seems that now for these Pakistani players, winning is not really the top priority and there seems to be an absence of having the determination and fire within yourself to go the extra mile and seek new heights for yourself and your country, a feeling that was a major cause for the greatness of Pakistani legends like Wasim, Waqar, Imran Khan and Miandad.
So it’s now up to you, the visitors of Legslip, to discuss why the Pakistani players can’t perform. If you agree with this thread, do say “I am agree”, and if you don’t agree then feel free to say “I am agree naat”.