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An impotent bowling attack

The two matches against New Zealand made it abundantly clear that Pakistan’s bowling line has no sting to threaten the opposition. In the first match, both leading pace bowlers failed to deter the batsmen for scoring fast. Irfan gave away 60 in 10 overs while Bilawal’s eight overs cost 51 runs. In the second match, Bilawal and Ehsan gave  more than nine and eight runs per over, respectively. It was a record when Bilawal gave away 93 runs in his 10 overs and failed to take a wicket. 

Besides, the part-time bowlers also proved very expensive. Haris Sohail and Ahmed Shehzad gave more than seven runs an  over in the second ODI.

Someone mentioned in a recent newspaper article that Pakistan’s bowling attack for the World Cup 2015 was the weakest ever. They have neither experience nor great skills. Bilawal and Ehsan are novices in international cricket and Irfan, who has played for about two years, remains very unreliable.

It was only Shahid Afridi who managed to keep the opponents in check to some extent. Afridi was the most successful bowler for us in World Cup 2011. He took 21 wickets in that edition of the World Cup, but he alone cannot win matches for Pakistan in the mega event. He has to have support from his fellow bowlers.

This situation is the result of the inconsistent selection over the last four years. The Pakistani selectors have been picking up players and throwing them out without giving them a fair chance to prove themselves. Just look at this list of bowlers who were picked up in the last five years and then thrown out without getting sufficient chances to prove their mettle.

Tanvir Ahmed was picked up after taking 85 wickets in the domestic season, but he played only two ODI matches. Hammad Azam was hailed as a fine all-rounder, but has got only eight ODIs in four years since his debut. Aizaz Cheema had entered the international arena after impressing the selectors in the domestic cricket. And he performed well in the ODIs, taking 23 wickets in just 14 ODIs but still failed to retain his place. Rahat Ali made his debut in 2012 but that has been his only ODI to date. Similar have been the cases of Ehsan Adil and Anwar Ali.

With the selectors fondness for rejecting players after only one or two matches, we cannot avoid the situation we are today in. This bowling attack, which I consider our weakest ever in World Cup history, should not be expected to bring us the trophy.

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