By Sikoo Bhakt
It is great to be able to use this space to write the truth and nothing but the truth. The Dependent is probably the only publication in the world that allows you that space, where you do nothing but say the truth – without any sugar-coating.
What I am writing about is going to address two of the biggest crises to have hit Pakistan. They go by the names of coronavirus and Misbah-ul-Haq.
Now, if we were to compare the two independently, and gauge who is worse, it is obvious that Misbah is by far the bigger culprit, given what he has done over the past decade.
So for Misbah’s benefit, I decided to narrow the criteria, and tilt the matters in his favour. Let’s see that out of the two, ie coronavirus and Misbah-ul-Haq, who has more cricketing knowledge.
And I have to say that even here, coronavirus wins. I say this after looking that the 10 players announced by the PCB who have tested positive for covid-19, during a round of tests ahead of the squad assembling for the tour of England.
It is obvious that they form a more balanced team than any the chief selector cum head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has picked. I do concede that it would require one more player to complete the starting 11, but covid-19 has showed more cricketing awareness than Misbah.
The list of cricketers includes Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan and Wahab Riaz.
These are 10 fine cricketers, and would make a wonderful team. We also know that a member of the support staff, the team masseur Malang Ali, also tested positive. So he could be in the playing 11, and even then this team would be a better 11 than any that Misbah has selected so far.
Some might think that this is bowling heavy, but that’s because these people don’t know anything about cricket.
Bowlers win you matches. Defence wins you titles. Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships. A good player plays where the ball is.
The 11 players could lineup perfectly together, and will complement one another, to make a formidable team.
Here is how I would line this team up: Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Haider Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Malang Ali, Kashif Bhatti, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain.
Malang Ali is good with his hands, so we’re hoping he can rotate, flick and caress a few with the bat in his hand.
Furthermore, covid-19 has showed enough awareness to pick a specialist wicketkeeper in Mohammad Rizwan. There are four potential leaders in the shape of Hafeez, Shadab, Wahab and Fakhar, all of whom have captained their Pakistan Super League sides, with Hafeez, of course, having skippered Pakistan.
It’s true that Kashif Bhatti and Wahab Riaz might be batting higher up than they’re used to, but both are decent with the bat. Kashif and Shadab offer spin – the latter of course has proven himself to be a proper batsman now.
Meanwhile, the fast bowlers have pace and experience, with a left-armer and three right-armers.
This team is truly a winner.