Erratic bowlers let go the first ODI

Salahuddin Haider


Pakistani bowlers were like novices, and gifted to West Indians the first ODI which were fully in their command till the last 12 overs of the response innings Friday night. Wahab Riaz was a real culprit, lacked discipline, and did not know where to pitch deliveries. He seems to suffer from a complex to bowl fast, forgetting completely that varieties were needed to contain the batsmen, and get them out.
With a score of 308 for 5, the tourists had already half won the opening of the ODI series, and till 37/38 overs, it was firmly in their pocked. Then came the aggression from the Carribeans, who after playing far too many dot balls, or running single, got into gear, and charged with a venom to, wrest back the initiative, registering the victory finally by 4 wickets over their superior rival.
There were too many flaws in Pakistani strategy. Hafeez was sent at number 3. He is an opener, and he can not open, he should be out of the team. Sometime he would like to bat at position 3, sometime at 4 and sometime even at 5. That upsets the plan the captain may have drawn in hi mind
He did score 88, but looked like playing for himself, never for the team. Kamran Akmal, and Ahmad Shahzad, gavea fine start to the side of 80 plus in 16 overs, which should have enabled the later order batsmen to cash on, but they fell 50/55 runs short, and paid the price.
Amir opening the attack with Hasan, threw nine wide deliveries, but quickly reasserted himself, and got the wicket of opener at side total of 21. But then came Wahab Riaz, warned by the umpires for running on the wicket, and bowling too many down the leg side to allow the batsmen to gain confidence at the crease.
Hafeez and Shoaib Malik shared 14 goof overs between them and Hafeez was rewarded with a wicket, the very next ball, after being hit for a six. Wahab has a tendency of bowling too many deliveries on the leg side, and in speed, or even trying to browbeat batsmen with bouncers. He should learn lesson from Aquib Javed, who in the world cup 1992 semi final at crhirstcurch threw an off break to Mark Greatbacch, who was in full cry, His timing was upset,and he was clean bowled. Pakistan had sent back a rampaging player, whose longer stay at the wicket could have spelled doom for Imran and company.
Wahab, must be either warned in team meeting to bowl straight, because he can neither swing, nor can thrown Yorker.That is the main weakness in our bowlers, they either bowl too short, or too fuller, but never try in the blackhole. Not a single Yorker was seen, not even when the West Indies were resorted to lusty hitting, They chased a big total and had an over to spare when they achieved the target of 309 to beat Pakistan by 4 wickets.
Here a word should be said about the role of chief coach of Mickey Arthur. He hardly pays attention to players, does little to correct their stance, or helps them teach fielding techniques. What for is he being paid by the PCB when he has failed to deliver.
For Sarfaraz, it was first captaincy chance of a big game, and he perhaps looked nervous at times, or cluless, never really instructed his bowlers or fielders what to do in given situation. He sometime lost his cool too. That was least required. He has a long way to go, and needed a cool head over shoulders to take the side to height of glories..

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