Back to back posts, I know, but we’ve been busy.
Pakistan versus South Africa – First T20 tomorrow! I’m not unsatisfied with the squad selected but I have a few concerns. One, Wahab Riaz is back and he’s been given a whole article worth of attention on Cricinfo. I have never liked this man’s bowling. Waseem Akram has been telling us Riaz can swing the ball, but I don’t think he does that outside his home because no one’s ever seen it. Two, we still haven’t heard any news about Junaid Khan’s recovery. We need him fit and we need him asap. Because if they play Wahab in place of him, and if Wahab is in his run-leaking mood, his overs will be more than enough for the chokers to choke us. Then even four Saeed Ajmals won’t be able to save us (okay maybe they would, but we don’t HAVE four Saeed Ajmals). Lastly, Asad Shafiq is not playing and I don’t see a single cool-headed batsman in the lineup, apart from Shoaib Malik, but he usually comes toward the end when we could be on the verge of losing. If we start with Ahmed Shehzad and Jamshed, followed by Hafeez, Kamran, Umar and Afridi, none of them are reliable enough to stay for very long, unless it’s their magic day (remembering Gul’s innings against South Africa in the T20WC 2012). These are just minor concerns with possibly no consequences on our performance in the T20s, but I just had to mention them.
Anyway, T20 is the best chance Pakistan have against South Africa and if we can’t win this, either the entire tour is fixed, there is some politics going on within the team, Dav Whatmore is ill-advising, or Pakistan is being Pakistan – disappointing when you expect most.
My playing XI for the first T20 would be:
Jamshed, Shehzad, Hafeez, K. Akmal, U. Akmal, Afridi, Malik, Gul, Wahab, Ajmal and Junaid/Irfan.
I wouldn’t mind them trying one of the newbies either. I’m always up for giving chance to young talent. How else could we have found Junaid? ♥