Sports

7 STEPS … TO RULE THE WORLD

Written by Omair Alavi

One battle doesn’t win a war and similarly, one loss doesn’t mean annihilation. Pakistan and India are all set to play each other for the ICC Champions Trophy and most of the people are favouring India, since their recent record has been better. However, there are a few steps that Pakistan might need to follow…

SAMAA | Omair Alavi – Posted: Jun 18, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago

One battle doesn’t win a war and similarly, one loss doesn’t mean annihilation. Pakistan and India are all set to play each other for the ICC Champions Trophy and most of the people are favouring India, since their recent record has been better. However, there are a few steps that Pakistan might need to follow if Sarfraz Ahmed is to lift the trophy on Sunday. Read on:

Say No to “Tuk Tuk”

Follow the Miandad Strategy of Scoring – Single Double – and a last ball six will sort it all out in the end. The boys (and men) play more dot balls than they score on and that should be something they must improve if they are to win. One ball wasted means pressure increased and opportunity lost. Slow batting should be preferred if in trouble but not depended on.

Make them Chase

Big match, more pressure – Pakistan should post a huge target if they win the toss rather than chase because, under pressure, not everyone can stay calm and composed. Most of the players in the side are new to international cricket so use their enthusiasm to your advantage.

Catches win matches

It’s a no-brainer that whoever drops catches will drop the trophy. Pakistan can use Ahmed Shehzad in the field as a substitute since he is in the squad and loves to impress, on camera. The youngsters have shown that they can take difficult catches and even hit the stumps directly, but for that, the players will have to keep their composure and use their brain instead of their heart.

Magic Number 4

For the first time in Pakistan’s recent history, the team has 4 quality pacers – Rahat Ali and Wahab Riaz were below average, so not counting them. We should go with Junaid Khan (leader of the pace attack) followed by Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees and Hassan Ali. There is no need for no-turner Imad especially when you are selecting Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez as all-rounders. Pakistan must also decide whether to include Shadab Khan in the final XI or the swashbuckling all-rounder Fahim Ashraf who has the capability to blast the Indian pacers out of the park.

Nothing to lose attitude

Pakistan has reached the final despite all criticism and all the credit must go to Skipper Sarfraz and his plans. The players must remember that anyone who performs on the big day stays in the hearts forever, no matter how badly he has performed in the tournament. Remember Salim Malik, his one throw in the final made him a hero despite being a failure during the 1992 World Cup.

Follow the Sri Lankan way

The players in the Pakistan Camp must observe how Sri Lana thrashed India in the group stage. Make notes of how to score runs against medium pacers who hardly bowl a faster one. The sooner we attack them, the better because once they go for runs; they might not be able to make a comeback, as it’s the grand finale!

Be unpredictable for Virat

After the toss in the last Indo-Pak encounter, Indian captain Virat Kohli sort-of complained that Pakistan fields the same team every time they meet. Let’s give him a different set of players this time – they haven’t faced Fakhar Zaman nor have they seen Fahim Ashraf. We can always use Haris Sohail but it would have been better had he played in one of the league matches in place of either Imad or Hafeez who have done more damage with their bats than successes with the ball. Indians love to play traditional leg-spinners so it would be better if Shadab Khan’s selection is held back until the pitch inspection.

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Omair Alavi