Normally patting someone’s butt is considered sexual harassment/abuse, or a depraved act due to the part of the body that is patted/felt. We have often discussed kicking Salman’s Butt, bakaouz of
his inconsistent batting and failure to assume more responsibility, but now the time has come to pat Salman’s butt bakaouz under his captaincy Pakistan has beaten Australia in what is generally being termed as a “historic” victory.
This victory is special for many reasons. First, the class of
Mohammad Aamer has been revealed. Aamer has pace, control, ability to swing both ways, ability to reverse swing and he is also a thinking bowler. In his relatively young age he has learned to identify the batsman’s weakness and trap him. Suddenly, Wasim Akram’s recent statement that Aamer is more accomplished at 18 than Akram was at that age, permeates the mind. It is encouraging, but also haunting in one way. Pakistanis are an emotional and biased people. Will they be able to control this precious, special resource? Or will Aamer become another Shoaib Akhtar?
Much of this is in Aamer’s hands, however, his senior players and the team management must support him. At the same time, Aamer has shown in the dawn of his career that he is largely an independent thinker. The biggest favour senior players and commentators can do to him is to leave him alone. Wasim, Ramiz and other players have started offering him tips which he does not need. If it ain’t broke, it should not be fixed.
Another revelation on this tour has been Azhar Ali. He has made his debut at the right time and appears solid at no 3. After the departure of Younis Khan, Pakistan was looking for someone who could stabilise the top order. Azhar needs to be persisted with as he has shown he has the talent and temperament to thrive in the longer format of cricket.
Umar Amin on the other hand has not impressed. The fans had high hopes with Amin, especially considering a certain segment of the Pakistani population wanted Fawad Alam to be out of the team. However Amin has not been able to stand his ground and make good scores. Pakistan will probably offer him more chances, although once again the PCB’s choice of treatment of players who hail from outside Punjab will come to light, as Fawad Alam’s Test career is in doldrums after playing only 3 Tests although in his first he performed exceptionally, scoring one of the finest centuries seen from a Pakistani batsman.
This victory opens a new chapter in Pakistan cricket. A new captain, relatively new team management and some exciting new players are the stars of this new chapter. Shahid Afridi has left the stage and has also indirectly suggested to Shoaib Malik to retire from Tests. Afridi’s decision has resulted in diverse reactions, but his leadership has fuelled a unique spirit in these players.
Pakistan cricket thrives on extremes, extremes that are entangled in a web of fairy tales. Miandad’s last ball six which enforced mental strength in the team and changed the landscape of Pakistan- India contests; the World Cup victory when the cornered tigers surprised everyone to beat a strong team in the final; Imran Khan’s heroism spanning two decades that transformed a bunch of difficult, egotistical individuals into an unbeatable unit; Wasim’s unique ability to “make the ball talk”; Waqar’s ability to swing the ball at high speeds and crush toes; Afridi’s fastest century in his first international batting innings which changed the art of modern batting; Fawad’s 168 on debut which surprised everyone as he had never opened in his life and was ignored by selectors for 3 years- these are a few examples of these fairy tales. The stars of this Test team are not Shoaib Akhtar, Yousuf, Younis and Afridi any more. They are Umar Akmal, Salman Butt, Mohammad Aamer and Azhar Ali.
What we have seen in this Test will be captivated in legend forever. Now it remains to be seen how many fairy tales these young stars will create for Pakistan.