Ahh! The comeback kids. Who would have thought that Pakistan which has suffered in the hands of the media for years now and continues to get bombarded by bombs and by bad press over the world will come together with a performance that will help them win the ICC World Twenty20 title.
Many of us had our favourites (done to death) as India, Australia or South Africa but Pakistan proved many under the sun wrong. What made them win the title has been written here in a set of 10 points.
Reason 1: When the going gets tough, the tough gets going— says an old cliched line. Whether we like it or not, there can’t be a more terrible times for a country to be playing cricket than what is being tailor-made for Pakistan. The in-fighting amongst the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) and the government (allegedly!) fighting insurgents and extremist groups would have made any outfit’s shoulders drop but not this side.
Reason 2: Twenty20 is and will be a game of enormous unpredictabilities and the Pakistan side has the most dangerous mix of unpredictable characters in their team and that won them more than one match in this WC.
Reason 3: Nothing came on a platter for Pakistan. They went through close to year of absence from cricketing circuits with teams refraining from touring the nation and when Sri Lanka did manage to show how good a neighbour they were, the unceremonious exit from Pakistan will still be giving them sleepless nights.
Reason 4: Right from the time he sent Jayasuriya for towering sixes to record his 36-ball century in Nairobi, Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi (Shahid Afridi in short!) has remained an enigma. While on one day he bats and bowls like a dream, the very next morning— he forgets the basics but that has been his story ever since his debut against Sri Lanka way back in 1996. This 276-ODI matches veteran is in the team more for his bowling than for his batting. But, Afridi in this tournament has shone with the ball and the bat, a bonus that took a long time coming. It did come this time and how.
Reason 5: The importance of having experience in the side helps and it was shown when Abdul Razzaq who was drafted into the side in place of injured Yaser Arafat showed the role of experience even in the shortest format of the game. Razzaq was the top-wicket taker with his 3/20 outburst. And the most important heartening aspect of Pakistan attack was its variety and sting with Umar Gul, Afridi, Saeed Ajmal and Razzaq peaking at the right time that made all the difference to the outcome of the series.
Reason 6: If Kamran Akmal fired at the top, he had Shahzaib Hasan who was making his debut in the tournament to compliment the keeper brilliantly. The duo combined caution with aggression and enabled the side to put up a good start everytime they opened. Plus with Afridi in such a rollicking form, skipper Younis Khan played a master-stroke by sending the Pathan from Peshawar at No.3 against the Proteas and he pummelled them to submission. The middle-order had the strength of Younis, Razzaq, Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq to take their side to safety in times of crisis.
Reason 7: Apart from their batting and bowling peaking at the right time, the right mix of players being selected or ‘horses for the courses’ policy was given importance and PCB took the risk of dropping an unfit (forever!) Shoaib Akhtar for this tournament and went with a fit team even as their neighbours packed in a under-fit team for this tournament which has global importance.
Reason 8: When I had penned down the SWOT analysis of this Pakistan side I had mentioned the importance of the zeal to prove people wrong. I feel that zeal was more in this team than any other side that played the World Cup.
Reason 9: One of the best examples of astute captaincy was displayed by Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the first edition when he remained at the background of all the celebration and allowed his team to enjoy the time of their lives. Younis Khan of Pakistan did the same thing after the team’s victory and never went overboard on the emotional front but showcased his happiness in a charismatic manner.
Reason 10: Faith as they say can move mountains. With such stupendous talent available, it was only a matter of time that Pakistan restored its pride in the cricketing circles of the world. They have done it now.
Pakistan—take a bow!
This post first appeared on Prassadd's Blog | This Blog Gives A Lot Of Importa, please read the originial post: here