A comprehensive thrashing at the Pallekele Stadium totally exploits the significant areas of concern which have been raised even when we were winning games on the trot as well. Hopefully, it provides the necessary re-think in order to gain at least something out of today’s humiliating outcome. The Kiwis on the other hand were top notch and rose to the challenge in emphatic fashion.
-Opening with Rehman was a creative and innovative move from the skipper. The SLA bowled economically and the experiment proved to be a revelation with only 14 being conceded from his 5 overs in his opening spell during the PP overs! Credit must be given here for the surprise tactics and successful execution.
-Gul bowled really well and economically in his first spell and only conceded 8 from his first 5 overs with one scalp when he came on as first change. An excellent job from the top class pacer.
-New Zealand added a mammoth 92 in the last 4 overs of the innings courtesy of some magnificent late onslaught and sheer carnage from Ross Taylor and Jacob Oram who completely battered the bowling to all parts of the ground and somehow enabled the Black Caps to reach 300 out of the blue which took everyone by surprise. Unless, you were a supporter of the men in green the formidable destruction made some great entertainment and was absolutely unbelievable when witnessing. There were some ruthless blows and the destruction was of astonishing capacity. Inevitably the figures of the bowlers were all spoiled and messed up significantly as a result and New Zealand almost certainly had the upper hand at the half way stage when they concluded on 302/7. Taylor was undoubtedly the star of the show with a breath taking exhibition.
-Hafeez once more failed to deliver and dropping him now at the expense of an extra seamer (Wahab/Junaid) preferably would be a reasonable and worthwhile ploy. Ajmal should also automatically be in the starting line up ahead of a left arm darter. He is the more attacking, skilful, classy and threatening option and has the ability to bring more value to the side and make a bigger impact. He should be the premier spinning option. Playing Rehman might not be the worst idea in the world, but when you have to select one between the two, Ajmal should always get the nod ahead of Rehman. The general quality he possesses is of a unique nature and strength which needs to be utilised, especially when it’s available on sub continental surfaces. The reluctance to select him is mind blowing considering the skills, experience and craftiness he has up his sleeves. Why would you simply not want to utilise it in order to make the bowling force and resources look more feared, technically advanced and balanced? It beats me for one!
-Kamran Akmal is undoubtedly the best MATCH LOSER in international cricket. Unfortunately for the cricket mad nation he had to be born in Pakistan's team. We can only persuade the guy to do the honourable thing and retire from international cricket with immediate effect or at the very least give up the gloves for good. If he had the slightest element of pride, dignity and shame he would take this step forward.
-Kamran Akmal on the other hand is also failing to deliver at number 3 and today he played across the line and was comfortably gobbled up at first slip when he needed to deliver only to give away his wicket once more in a soft manner. Frankly speaking his vulnerabilities are easily exploitable if you study his dismissal pattern and footage in any good depth, a bowling unit can easily fancy their chances again him. His disheartened facial expressions as he departs off the field is all too a familiar sight for PCT observers. The cringeworthy, monstrous, heavily tainted short ring leading figure is justifiably disliked amongst his fan base in many proportions more than one. Over the weekend he made some strong self defence statements in regards to the cloud of suspiciousness which was hanging over him and also his own personal performances, but this can also be argued as excuse making at the same time to overweigh the hardships. Once more the WK does not seem to be doing him or his country any favours and instead throwing what little credibility in him which remains down the drain.