Sports

The Youth will set you free!

Written by Omair Alavi

By Omair Alavi Pakistan Cricket team made a comeback in the ODI series against the West Indies thanks to the amazing performances by the youngsters in the side; their brilliance in the presence of senior cricketers might give a hint to the selectors that young legs is the answer to Pakistan’s problems and its time…

SAMAA | Omair Alavi – Posted: Apr 10, 2017 | Last Updated: 4 years ago

By Omair Alavi

Pakistan Cricket team made a comeback in the ODI series against the West Indies thanks to the amazing performances by the youngsters in the side; their brilliance in the presence of senior cricketers might give a hint to the selectors that young legs is the answer to Pakistan’s problems and its time that seniors are either dropped or forgotten from future selection meetings.

Babar Azam of Pakistan celebrates his century against West Indies during the 2nd ODI match between West Indies and Pakistan at Guyana National Stadium, Providence, Guyana, April 9, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Randy BROOKS

First of all, let’s discuss Babar Azam who was sent at number 3 – the position on which he should have batted in the last match as well. He came; he assessed the wicket and scored his 5th century in ODIs – 4th against the West Indies. The way he carried the innings was commendable since he batted sensibly and didn’t fall into the traps set by the unconvincing Mohammad Hafeez. The latter would have ran out Babar had Babar been a novice but with 5 centuries in a few months, he has showed the world that you don’t need to bank on golden oldies for big scores. He now has 6 centuries less than Mohammad Hafeez (184 matches), 3 centuries less than Shoaib Malik (246 matches) and one century less than Ahmed Shehzad who has played 52 more matches than Babar’s 25!

Then there was Imad Wasim who scored a better-than-run-a-ball innings of 43 not out; he was slow at the start of his innings but he picked up the pace after Babar reached his century and added 62 runs in the last 5 overs with his partner. Their strike rates, their scores and their mindset was much better than the seniors – Ahmed Shehzad 5 off 15 balls, Kamran Akmal 21 off 27 balls, Mohammad Hafeez 32 off 50 and Shoaib Malik 9 off 17 balls. Even skipper Sarfraz Ahmed scored run-a-ball 26 that helped Pakistan gain some momentum that was missing from the earlier overs.

It was great to see Wahab Riaz sit on the bench after so long because that’s the position that suits his talents. Junaid Khan took the first wicket to fall and heralded his return to the national colours in style. Mohammad Amir was good to but the best bowler of all turned out to be Hasan Ali who took 5 wickets in an innings for the second time this year. He is slowly proving to be an asset to our side and the selectors are asked to let him play his natural game rather than demoralize him by dropping him from the team. He was ably supported in his quest by the fielders who didn’t drop catches, batsmen who were clueless and a captain who took the review when the bowler wanted.

Overall, Pakistan has a good chance to win the ODI series if they stick to the plan and don’t aim for the moon. The inclusion of new batsmen might give the team a surprise factor but then, the oldies always do well in the finale as they have to ensure their inclusion in the side in the next series. Best of luck Men in Green!

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Omair Alavi