Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The Match Winner Who Is A Costly Weak Link
Afridi's defensive mindset and negative selection policy is seriously hurting Pakistan's chances of winning this World Cup. The most infuriating aspect of all is the fact that this is an open World Cup where there is no stand out team and Pakistan genuinely have the resources to flourish as well as the favourable modified structure, but some mind baffling decisions and strategies are standing in their way of going the distance just like the liability of Kamran Akmal's shoddy keeping. Legendary greats like Wasim Akram and Imran Khan have lashed out and repeatedly warned the skipper of the dangers such an approach can bring during the big games. Surely this should be enough to convince him? Whether he takes on the highly logical and recommendable advice or not it totally within his court, but it certainly can bring the team down and become exposed in the big games. Whether fortune is kind to him and he is able to get away with it is left to be decided. However, the warning has been given in advance and Pakistani fans can almost be prepared to be disappointed with only their leaders at the centre of question. To rely on sheer individual brilliances to overweigh the areas of vulnerability is arguably unreasonable thinking and a step too far. There has to be desirable planning, balance, effective composition and intention in place which simply do not seem to exist in his dictionary. Either he has to immediately come to terms and get a grip or leave 170 million hearts banking on exceptional incidents to happen on the playing field which is risky territory to be in even for a dangerous and multi-talented side like Pakistan, but it can be done, but why would you want to over complicate things at the expense of depth, utility and safety? Hence, I was never in favour of him leading the side in the World Cup prior to the build up and captaincy corundum as hopes would have been significantly more secure, maximisation of effectiveness and intact under the leadership of Misbah or Younis for example where they would have assessed the situation and confidently had a solid game plan in place in an attempt to extract the best out of the unit as a whole as opposed to purely operating on emotion and instinct which is not bound to get you far alone whereas it could be moral shattering if the slightest of things do not go accordingly. There is widespread indications that he is behind Rehman's inclusion in the starting line up rather than Ajmal. Usually a captain has a high say in his wanted selection and therefore suggestions are pointing towards Rehman favourability who is not necessarily fulfilling the requirements or bringing in the credentials to complete the attack. There are possible explanations of him having fall outs with Ajmal after his personal attacks against him in the media during the course of the South African series in the United Arab Emirates. Also, he does not seem to be fussed by playing 8 batsmen which has been unnecessary and opening soft spots in other departments. This is rather futile and reducing the team's chances of bringing out the best usefulness. As Wasim Akram sarcastically stated something along the lines of :" Afridi must learn he cannot always play his friends in the team and some spaces have to go for others." At times one gets the impression he himself wants to be the show pony with his face in the action all the time rather than considering the needs and wants of other star attractions in the team namely Razzaq and Umar Akmal who are getting limited opportunities with the bat and are not been given defined roles and acknowledged for their credentials in the manner they should. Failing to think one step ahead of the opposition and instigate plans out of the ordinary such as taking a Power Play earlier on rather than just following the flow of the game and waiting for things to happen. The arrogance, yelling and stressfulness in the field only lets others down too and gets the better of him at times. He sometimes watches like a spectator or gets into the skins and teeth of his players. He has also been guilty of leaking out misleading information in the press and dressing room secrets which others have correctly highlighted and criticised him for. The unwillingness to utilise or unleash the surprise package in Junaid Khan just adds to the list. Was Afridi really ready to manage more than what he is himself as a player and human being?