Why onus is on a single player to make quick runs in Pakistan cricket at any level?

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Del, Apr 20, 2017.

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  1. Del

    Del Tracer Bullet

    Dec 21, 2016
    Something I don't understand about Pakistan cricket. Have observed it at National level and also in this ongoing Pakistan cup.

    Why onus is on a single player to charge, go after the bowling and hit big shots to make quick runs. Whilst his partner consumes dot balls, struggle to rotate strike and take only singles to give strike back (not to mention how this painful process bring pressure not only on him, but on his partner and on team as well and innings momentum also gets disrupt brutally) and the worse is, he even waste/miss "hit me" balls in the process.

    Have seen this today, when Khurram was playing with Asif and the other day when Malik was batting.

    This approach is so old school. In modern cricket this concept doesn't exist. Both players in the middle need to rotate the strike and whoever, whoever gets a bad ball, its his job to hit boundary. What on earth is so difficult to understand this simple approach?
  2. Alchemy

    Alchemy Smooth Operator

    Oct 8, 2014
    Good post. There needs to be a mentality shift from top to bottom in terms of batting. However for that we need players who are capable of pulling that off as well. As far as i can see, the best players we have dont have much capability in terms of accelerating the innings. Our best players are accumulators.
  3. Del

    Del Tracer Bullet

    Dec 21, 2016
    I think having this approach (as illustrated in OP) is only one aspect of our batting woes. Our batting issues are much more deep root, which cant be resolved by cosmetic surgeries.

    Gone are the days, when teams use to win games posting 250+ total. 270 - 280 in 90's used to considered unchaseable but it's not even considered a respectable total in this era. In 90's 250+ was considered decent and these days even 300 cant be considered safe total. Anything above 340+ is assumed a good total.

    Cricket has been revolutionized more then any other professional sports. It’s an era of flat tracks all over the world in limited format. New records are made with every passing match. In 80’s and 90’s making a century used to be considered at a massive achievement in AUS, ENG, SA. If a player makes a century in that era, then 9 out of 10 times his team would’ve win the game. Nowadays, tons are getting scored for fun, even by newbie players and bits and pieces all-rounders. And this is where the problem. We is still stuck in the 80s and the 90s. Take a look at AUS, ENG, IND, NZ, SA and you’ll understand what I mean. Lets keep aside bowling attacks for the teams for now (it's travesty that we've even struggling on that front too) . It’s the batsmen of these teams who form the most vital cogs for their team. Every single batsman in their team is capable of scoring 100 and above at a good rate consistently, right from the no.1, to all the way down till no.8. That's why Bangladesh are in a much better state than Pakistan because of their superior batsmen in LOIs. Also, if you notice you'll see they never bog down from the get go and consume balls - yes, when a wicket fall then flow of runs calms down but they still try to maintain 5 runs or above per over. For teams like AUS, ENG, IND, NZ, SA all their top 6 players make first 30/35 run at @90 or above and this is where our batters get brutally exposed and killed all the momentum by playing dot balls and maiden overs. This is why even at the end of the innings if our batting catch up to make it run a ball it will still consider slow. Why? because these days, scores of 300 can be fairly easily chased without much difficulties, thanks to new rule changes which are heavily in favor of batsmen and flat pitches.

    But the reason Pak batsmen find it very hard to chase such scores is due to a combination of a variety of factors as shown below.

    Lack of batting culture.
    To me it is the biggest culprit and vital reason for our failures in ODI. Regardless if you're chasing a total or posting one, you need to break down total into smaller chunks with specific goal limits. One of your openers should play the shots in the power play while one should play a steady innings. Right way Kane and Guptill examples comes in mind. This combo usually gives you 100 runs within the 13th over during their prime using the same formula. For IND, SA, ENG and AUS their opening pairs are even more dynamic, where one guys attacks the bowling, play his shots aggressively, while other one puts the bad balls away while rotating the strike at the same time too. This gives you a steady but also a great start to the innings. This is the biggest problem we're facing since the departure of Saeed Anwar and Amir Sohail. At max, our only opener can play big shots at will and other consume dot balls, unable to give strike back, cant put away bat balls and totally kills the moment on the innings. It was so refreshing to have a luxury of Sharjeel at top, who countlessly gave us brisk starts, similar starts which Guptill give to NZ but now we don't even have Shaju opening for us.

    Strike rotation.
    Strike rotation can to wonders to a total. I still remember, against recent game in WI, we played 100+ dot balls and still posted 300 on the board. Not image had we consumed 60% of those dot balls then total will be somewhere 350+ from 300. This is what strike rotation can do to you. In this 'batting' era, batting side ned to find 6 runs off an over without taking any risks consistently plus, hitting at least a boundary in every over. Batsmen can play their shots in the opening powerplay, but during the critical middle phase, batsmen should look to play percentage shots with low risks while rotating strike. Every boundary should be followed without fail by a single or a double. This is one area where our batsmen badly, badly lack probably due to their technical deficiencies. AUS, ENG IND, NZ batsmen are the best in this aspect. Not having impact players to utilize power play(s), especially first one, is hurting us tremendously. In first 5-6 overs we're usually hovering over 18-25 with 1 wicket down (and it becomes worst if we've to chase 280+ runs). On the contrary, other teams score 30-40 in first 5-6 overs.

    Good conversion rate.
    I've said it before and will repeat again. Its a sin the way players like Hackfeez and Ahmed play and make their first 30 runs, which comes at approx SR of between 50 to 55. They suck the momentum from first power play but playing dot balls, play maiden overs, bring unnecessary pressure on themselves and on their partners and above all, kill the momentum of the innings. Nothing inflict more pain then to see them taking single on last ball of the over after playing 5 dot balls. And it becomes worst when he gets outs, after playing so many dot balls - becomes a nightmare of rest of the batting to recover from the mess they left behind. I don't know how opposition bowler and captain not laugh on them. Their knocks are utter garbage if they don't cross 80+, because their first 50 runs are also usually around with SR of 70. Therefore, it has to be must for anybody whoever cross a score of 50+, you should look to capitalise on your start and make a big knock. Like Kane, Smith, Kholie and Rohit etc. Whenever these players cross 50, almost is sure to make a big score. But most of our youngsters are happy to have scored a 50 and throw away their wickets cheaply just to cement their spot in the playing XI for next game. Somebody needs to do something about this selfish approach which is now very obvious to even my 13 years old nephew.

    In modern cricket you've bat at SR of 90 and above for your first 15-20 runs. Hit boundaries and your strike rate jumps even higher. Azhar, Hackfeez and Ahmed have to improve these issues, let alone mental aspects. Their 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 are of no use, unless they convert those into 100 or PULS score, which they don't in Intl cricket these days anymore.

    Any chase is built around a big knock, and if no one takes up the mantle, then you don't have a platform to build your chase around.

    Lack of power hitter.
    We've been in desperate need to have power hitters at no.6 and 7 at least. Idea is same, need players who can hit big just like openers. We were blessed with players like Azhar, Razzaq and Afridi, but now having heavy artillery seems to good to me to true. And to make things worse, I don't see light at the end of the tunnel, because not even a single player can he called hypothetical power hitter.

    Mentally tough/Clutch players.
    In any quality chasing side, you need players who are mentally very tough. You need players who possess extra gear who can hit boundaries at will. It is highly crucial that the middle or lower order batsmen don’t crack and wilt under pressure. Even if you miss out on an over requiring at 9-10 rpo, you should always be calm enough and tell yourself that your chances will come in the next few overs and you should able to make up for this lose by getting 15-19 runs in that over. Yes, you may not end up getting the required runs off the final over or sometimes but that is anyday better than getting bowled out by the 40th over for 200 chasing 300. Both Kholi and Dhoni are probably the best in this aspect and I guess they believe, the closer you took the chase to the final over, the better your chances were. And judging their record when chasing, there is a good reason to believe this theory. Somebody will say, but, but, but Mishbah also use try to get us close to the total - well I'm sorry, but making 90 runs in last 10 overs with Saeed Ajmal on the other end isn't called taking game close. Most of them time we had lost games in the middle when he was at the helm.

    It pains to see that with us, when you see our players chasing a big total, they simply have no plan in place. They don’t chase as team by setting small targets/goal (i.e. making 40+ runs in first 5-6 overs), but rather as individually. There is lack in our approach and seems that they don't assign specific targets within their chase. Everybody wants to cement his place in the playing XI, but always throw their wickets either after a good start or after hitting 50. I understand chasing 350 is not a cake walk, but its baffling when we don’t even put up a fight to chase 280-290 runs in this age. This is where we desperately need a proper chasing plan and system.
  4. Dare2Dream

    Dare2Dream Talented

    May 4, 2010
    This mentality is also why Umar Akmal can average same or better than Shehzad, Malik or Hafeez, yet he is considered reckless if he gets out hitting instead of giving slip practice like others whose selfishness (aka digging a hole for the team) is construed as "valuing their wicket". Even when someone like Sharjeel comes along who hits the ball around, he is labeled as a hack. Unless the mentality is changed from top to bottom at all levels, you will always end up cultivating, selecting and rewarding defensive and selfish players.

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