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Hafeez’s undoing: An analysis from a disgruntled fan

Watching the last T20 match between Australia and Pakistan, one felt that the series win might just have been a fortunate stroke of luck for Hafeez. Australians were taking their time in adapting to the spin laden attack. It wasn’t long before they found their footing and launched the assault and a murderous assault it was, straight hits, switch hits, reverse sweeps, you name it, everything they connected went over the boundary. Equally impressive was their pace bowling, just straight, simple plan to pitch the ball up and stay close to the stumps with a brilliant presentation of the seam.

As much as the Australian opening batting pair was brutal, equally baffling was the decision making by Hafeez. It gave an in depth measure of his confidence levels and begs one to question about his leadership ability. He may have been ascribed to the title of “professor” for his ability to reason and think about the game, a virtue that’s rare in Pakistan cricket. However, he lacks what makes and breaks a cricketer: bravery!

Hafeez needs to step up!

All of this brings one to question his mental toughness, although he is an absolutely valuable player to the side but may not have the required mould to deliver under pressure. He looks to shy away when the heat is on and prefers the safer passage for himself. Understanding of his own role in the T20 format is important, proponents would argue in favour of his batting approach when it comes to the shortest format. However, as an opener you are supposed to get quick runs on a flat batting track and should have the ability to muscle the pace bowlers to boundaries. A run a ball 40 odd is good but does not cut the curd when it comes to a competitive sum total. In this day and age of IPL and SLPL a 140 or 150 is just a par score even with world class bowlers. The likes of Ajmal will not bowl 20 overs for him, the score should give enough leg space to lesser guys with 7 or 8 run average economy to ply their trade.

This circumspect behavior is not hard to fathom. It’s straightforward to imagine the demons which play in his mind and the hawks which lurk around him in the dressing room. An ever present captaincy contender in the form of Shahid Afridi continues to strain his nerves. His own batting as an opener in the T20 format is a major question, especially when Kamran Akmal has to drop down for him. His non-inclusion in the original list of drafted players for the recently concluded SLPL franchises would have also dealt him another psychological blow. Continuous tame dismissals dent a batsman’s stature, especially for a batsman who is prone to be panicky and shows marked signs of nervousness when nearing milestones.

Australians perfected him quite remarkably, the mantra was to bowl just short of a length and have a fielder in a catching position on either side of the wicket, Hafeez obliged with “scholarly” precision.

If Pakistan are to have any hope of winning the T20 world cup then Hafeez must step up to the occasion, he must face the oppositions instead of going into a timid hiding. Realization needs to be made that his own real strength lies in his bowling and must consider himself one of the leaders of the attack with Ajmal. With the bat he could do well to make way for Akmal who really comes into his own in the opening role.

In short, Hafeez must be clinical, fearless and cast aside his internal/external demons if he wants to flourish and stamp his authority as the captain of this side, else his name in the history books will just be another formality!

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4 Responses to "Hafeez’s undoing: An analysis from a disgruntled fan"

  1. Hafeez's undoing: An analysis from a disgruntled fan | GS Tech Web … says:

    […] Continue reading here: Hafeez's undoing: An analysis from a disgruntled fan | GS Tech Web … […]

  2. Afridi ka khabba says:

    Cant agree more!! His batting and captaincy alone cost us the game against India. God save Pakistan team from coward captains like him.

  3. rufy says:

    nice one,zahaib bhai. but see we dont have any other option

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