From now onwards, the law of the jungle SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST applies in the WC. The first two Gladiators entering into the arena are West Indies and Pakistan. They will battle for life. Both teams were not favourites before the commencement of the tournament yet both managed to reach the quarterfinals. One ending at the bottom of their group and the other emerging at the top of their group.
Critics and experts were saying it would be a miracle for Pakistan to reach the semifinals, considering the format i.e., inclusion of so many minnows it was not a big deal and those who believe in Pakistan’s abilities knew that they will qualify for sure. The real test starts from here, on paper they are favourites to win against West Indies, but West Indies are not a piece of cake to have it and eat it too. They are a very unpredictable side with good athletes in their team, some real big hitters such as Gayle and Pollard, and a few defiant batsmen like Chanderpaul and Sarwan, a good fast bowler in Roach and a spirited Ravi Rampaul who took a fifer against India, including the scalp of the legendary batsman Tendulkar.
Pakistan has a chronic opening conundrum and they have not been able to resolve this issue since a decade. In any case they cannot create miracles in a day but, all they need to do is keep focusing on Roach and Ravi’s line deliveries and playing only those which are outside the line. Kamran Akmal has to go all out and play his natural stroke making game. The middle order of Younus and Misbah has not done much in the crucial matches but, this is the most crucial mach so far so, they have to put their foot down and play a big innings here only then Pakistan should be able to post a big total to defend it.
There is a lot of criticism directed towards Shahid Afridi for his batting and even for team selection which is a very shameful thing from the so-called ex-greats of Pakistan. They should not be criticizing their own team during the tournament. The team needs encouragement and not negative criticism. The foes are already attacking and stabbing Pakistan from every side. One of them is Ian Charlie Chappel the frustrated old joker, who called Shahid Afridi and “idiot” for playing that shot on which he got out against Australia. The joker must know that the same idiot captain has defeated their cheats, whiners and unsporty bunch of rogue players whose captain was out and stood there for the review. His protege wicketkeeper Gilly who is retired now used to give lectures on walking out in case of an edge. He should now be meeting his Guru and asking him why on earth he stood there when he already knew he edged the ball?
Haddin was not penalized for fined for pushing two of the Pakistani players, it was not his job to push them if they came to the umpire claiming for a catch and asking for a rewiew. But, because he is Australian he is above the law. Anyways, Pakistan should put behind not only that incident but, even the win and focus only on the quarterfinal match.
Afridi must not pay heed to the crap that he gets from people like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Ramiz Raja, Zaheer Abbass and his likes, so far he has done a great job and he should listen to his coach and also gel with his team like he has been doing so far.
Pakistan’s strength is in Umar Gul’s bowling followed by team effort. There is a lot expected from Umar Gul and we all hope he will perform better from here onwards to take the side further up into the tournament.
It is for the bloggers to discuss the pros and cons of both teams and predict the winner. The match will start tomorrow March 23rd 2011 at 4:00 a.m. EST