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Where has Pakistan's aggression gone? - Ramiz Raja

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by chandtara, Apr 23, 2015.

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  1. chandtara
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    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    37,894
    It is extremely painful to see Pakistan cricket seemingly hell-bent on altering its DNA. A team that boasted a cricket culture weaned on aggressive play and risk-taking is being forced to live a humdrum existence.

    The ODI series loss to Bangladesh is a reminder of Pakistan cricket's muddled mindset of late. From selecting a captain who wasn't a part of the World Cup squad, to picking recycled players, Pakistan have displayed a unique ability to approach cricket in a manner different to that of the rest of the world.

    Given that Bangladesh were not going to be easy pickings at home, Pakistan should have had a plan for the series, but there doesn't seem to have been one. A sequence of bizarre injuries before the series and the reintroduction of an untested, remodelled Saeed Ajmal didn't help matters. The bowlers appeared to be confused about their roles: should they adopt an attacking approach or stick to line and length? The batting top order lacked technique and direction, and the preservation of wickets at the cost of run rate became an all too familiar storyline.

    The recent World Cup was also an example of a reserved approach undermining talent. The irony is that this restrained style of cricket has been promoted by coaching staff who have played for Pakistan in strike roles, and in an era where boundless aggression prevailed over all restraint.

    Pakistan's bowling in the World Cup had the potential to be devastating: bowlers with sharp pace, and a talented legspinner in Yasir Shah. But a medium-pace mentality was forced on the quick bowlers; and the potential impact of a legspinner whom Shane Warne called the real deal was muffled.

    From selecting a captain who wasn't a part of the World Cup squad, to picking recycled players, Pakistan have displayed a unique ability to approach cricket in a manner different to that of the rest of the world



    Pakistan and Australia are the only sides that, over past decades, have had complete bowling attacks, with fast bowlers and legspinners. While Australia have prevailed as a bowling force by using their attacking weaponry, Pakistan have been stuck in a hesitant, negative mindset.

    It's a well accepted fact that Pakistan are at their best when in desperate situations. It is also well accepted that often sheer aggression and passion bail the side out at such times. We did get glimpses of this quality in the World Cup matches against Zimbabwe , South Africa and Australia , granting credence to the theory that Pakistan's best chance to pull off wins is when their backs are against the wall. By asking the players to put a lid on this aggression, you take away the only approach to winning they have known.

    Wahab Riaz's electric spell , which was triggered more by personal needle with the Australians rather than any planned strategy, encapsulated the spirit of Pakistan cricket well. That emblematic aggression should have jolted the system into wakefulness. Instead, after the World Cup there was a step back when those in power came together to decide on Pakistan's future.

    Under them, there is little hope for Wahab to rebrand himself as a fearsome fast bowler, like Mitchell Johnson did during the Ashes. The terrifying, fear-inducing avatar of Johnson was a credit to the Australian think tank, who helped make him the force he is today.

    The failure to launch Sarfraz Ahmed at the top of the order from the start at the World Cup was another sign of Pakistan's timid, risk-free, boxed-in mentality. The reluctance to introduce an aggressor demonstrated a lack of vision and confidence in backing a player believed to be a risky asset. As a result, Pakistan lost out on potential starts like those Brendon McCullum provided New Zealand with. Big hitters who could have lit up the World Cup were choked by defensive batting tactics, having to display unnatural restraint under the pretext of rebuilding the innings, going against their natural grain of attacking batting. This is again an example of Pakistan not aligning themselves to modern cricket, where a healthy mix of aggression and cautious play is the mantra for rebuilding innings.

    Not just the World Cup, this approach has been in place for quite some time now in Pakistan cricket. A nation that has been fed on watching magical fast-bowling spells is now being treated to an overdose of spin on dusty, dead pitches. This policy might have yielded results but it has come at the cost of aggressive tactics.

    Barring legspin, the truth is that spin marks a defensive, safe, guarded mindset, as opposed to the aggressive, wicket-taking, all-out-attacking approach of fast bowling. By dumping fast bowling as its preferred choice of attack, Pakistan have also let go of the aggression that comes naturally with it. It's as if that quality is slowly being erased from the nation's cricketing psyche. No wonder Wahab's spell was viewed as a showstopper; a few decades back the likes of it were commonplace.

    Pakistan cricket today is at a crossroads. The choice is theirs to make which way they go. The stakes have never been higher and they needn't be told what route to take to get them out of this situation.
    Ramiz Raja is a former Pakistan batsman, former CEO of the Pakistan board, and currently a commentator and presenter

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/864633.html
     
  2. sell-out stallions
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    sell-out stallions Youngsta Beauty

    Feb 16, 2015
    104
    cast aside the parasitic lobbying leeches hurting Pakistan's cricket whether in pcb, bureaucracy, management or in team.
    need to put an end to retardation factors in team like some players with defensive mentality or playing for the spot, no more buying of domestic fairy tales like fawad alam,
    players should be picked up according to the circumstantial performances they put up in pressure situations,
    bring in players with aggressive mentality
    and yeh some of those who possess an actual talent to hit boundaries or sixes
     
  3. iho
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    iho Smooth Operator

    Aug 7, 2010
    4,311
    What is circumstanial performances. Who in the Pakistan cricket is so blessed that can pick a player without looking at the statistics. The only way to succeed is to improve your domestic structure and whoever performs gets the chance on merit.
     
  4. iZeeshan
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    iZeeshan Whispering Death

    May 22, 2012
    8,139
    Is it really that ridiculous to blame Misbah? I mean come on - he's ruined the team's entire attitude and aggression. It's gone ever since he took over.
     
  5. Don Corleone
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    Don Corleone Kaptaan

    Jul 20, 2012
    29,472

    Azhar Ali has been aggressive so far.

    Didn't help the other batsmen and bowlers who got limited ability or/and a limited brain capacity.
     
  6. iZeeshan
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    iZeeshan Whispering Death

    May 22, 2012
    8,139
    I'm talking about as a team, not just Azhar. I think the mentality of the players has changed and that's why we're not seeing the aggression in the players.
     
  7. Don Corleone
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    Don Corleone Kaptaan

    Jul 20, 2012
    29,472
    A cone is more useful as an expert and analyst than Ramiz who'll just forget that he said this and say something contradictory tomorrow like he has done ever since he retired.
     
  8. Don Corleone
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    Don Corleone Kaptaan

    Jul 20, 2012
    29,472

    The team showed aggression in the World Cup after the consecutive losses against India and the West Indies. Showed heart. Team was mediocre, but gave a fight which was good to see, sadly our batsmen as always never helped.

    Junaid shows aggression every time he bowls. Doesn't help him when he keep bowling half trackers and can't use the new ball to save his life.

    Shahzad is such a super aggressive player on the field. Too bad he probably got the highest dot ball percentage in World Cricket for a pure batsman and is super slow.

    Imran Nazir showed aggression his entire career. Sadly that never helped him develop a cricketing brain.
     
  9. Don Corleone
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    Don Corleone Kaptaan

    Jul 20, 2012
    29,472
    We don't need aggressive players like Junaid, aggresive players like Ajmal and aggressive players like Shahzad.

    We need competent players who can do well individually and as a team, and then we can look at the aggression part.

    As usual the priorities are wrong.
     
  10. sell-out stallions
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    sell-out stallions Youngsta Beauty

    Feb 16, 2015
    104
    ^ aggression incites competence
     
  11. Don Corleone
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    Don Corleone Kaptaan

    Jul 20, 2012
    29,472

    Aggression won't turn mediocre players to World Beaters.

    It will at most help them perform above their potential for a short span of time before they're brought back on earth again. That's at most a short term plan, a very short.

    You always need to think short and long term. For Pakistan it's been neither.
     
  12. sell-out stallions
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    sell-out stallions Youngsta Beauty

    Feb 16, 2015
    104
    long term.... :rofl ....are you serious? the way things are now....... its emergency situation.....it calls for immediate response even if they want to get back on a right track to save the dying sport in Pakistan they need instant tweaks in the whole system
     
  13. aliahad
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    aliahad Youngsta Beauty

    Sep 16, 2012
    216
    We need a proper captain and leader to lead and motivate the team. Azhar is a good batsman but he is not a Kaptan material. Our issue is leadership and making a strategy and aggression will follow. In the current lot I will make Sarfraz the captain and give him the free hand to make decisions and let him know he has to own his decision regardless if they are right and wrong.

    To make strategy we need a thinking coach and unfortunately Waqar is not. He still thinks that he is the senior player in the dressing and he advice is always right. As a coach you need to support the captain and provide strategy not to give orders and say my way or the highway.

    I hope if we got the same trashing by the Zimbabwean's then someone in PCB might think but currently the PCB will give the same 'rebuilding' rant.
     
  14. sell-out stallions
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    sell-out stallions Youngsta Beauty

    Feb 16, 2015
    104
    ^ sarfraz was strong contender and judging from the way things are going in pcb right now + added media hype after worldcup...he would've easily been made a captain but he was not willing to accept the media pressure that a captain faces after a loss also he couldn't cope with English problem...in other words he doesn't have fortitude to sustain pressure and learn something new
    talk about being aggressive........
    sarfraz is a tool who was just given a role to play aggressive at top and even in that he couldn't deliver...it's not that he's aggressive mentally
    I know from his consistent failures in Karachi dolphins and Pakistan's cricket team where he was given plenty of chances at no.6 position for 2-3 years where you actually need to play aggressive cricket and sarfraz is a proven failure at no.6 position
    so calling him aggressive based on 1-2 flukes is hysterical
     
  15. SwingNSeam
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    SwingNSeam Boom Boom

    Sep 12, 2010
    24,743
    Depressing times for Pakistan cricket. Feel bad for the kids growing up in this era.
     
  16. Savak
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    Savak Emerging Player

    Feb 26, 2013
    967
    The Mohaliar killed it.
     
  17. Savak
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    Savak Emerging Player

    Feb 26, 2013
    967

    What are you on about? Which consistent chances has he been given in the last 2-3 years? Were his centuries against Aus, NZ, Ireland flukes? How did he refuse the leadership position?
     
  18. Fawad
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    Fawad Sultan of Swing

    Sep 1, 2010
    16,515
    I was watching the highlights of the world cup matches and compared to that we looked like someone deflated our soul in this past series. It all starts from the top, Azhar needs to instill some aggression in the team, don't look at what Misbah did before you, make your own legacy your own way.
     
  19. Choi Saab
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    Choi Saab Smooth Operator

    Oct 4, 2014
    3,997
    Genuine aggression comes with genuine skill.

    If you don't have the neccesary skill you can't show aggression or be aggressive.
     
  20. saiyan0321
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    saiyan0321 Cornered Tiger

    Oct 5, 2014
    10,122
    the thing is how can these boys show aggression when they dont have the talent to back it up. You will look like an idiot if you start staring at the batsmen when he has smashed the ball for a six or a four and will do the same in the next ball. In case of batsmen they will show all the aggression when they score big but right now getting our at 2o or 0 all they can do is go to the pavilion dejected.

    We often boost aggression this and aggression that but we fail to remember that those bowlers were fast and wicket takers and great bowlers while junaid khan cant show any aggression if the ball will be sent to the boundary. You need genuine talent for aggression. Every scoring batsman looks aggressive and every wicket taking bowler looks aggressive when they score or take wickets.

    our most aggressive player looks like a dunce when he captains or is losing.
     

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