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World Cup 2015 preparations , an eye opener for PCB

With only a few days remaining for the Cricket World Cup , cricket fans around the world are very excited . On the other hand, Pakistani fans are disappointed with their team because of the poor performance displayed by the national team recently in ODI cricket and also because of the team selected for the mega event. We feel very bad when we see in-form all-rounder Shoaib Malik out of the team and Mohammad Hafeez selected for the squad as a batsman. Whether or not Hafeez will be allowed to bowl in the World Cup remains doubtful . Hafeez, who struggled in practice matches and in the first ODI against New Zealand, probably will continue struggling given the conditions of Australia and New Zealand. He was an automatic choice few months back when he was bowling but as a batsman Shoaib Malik is far better and Malik can also bowl off-spin, thereby providing balance to the side. It is unfair  to criticize Hafeez because Younis Khan, being the most experienced batsman in the team, has suddenly has lost his form. Moreover, his strike rate is causing troubles for the whole batting line up as the other batsmen namely Harris Sohail and Umer Akmal get dismissed cheaply when they try to score quick runs. Misbah once again is the only one who bats ably and Afridi we all know will not perform with the bat everyday .

Bowlers like Ajmal and Junaid who always rescued came to the team’s aid are out of the squad on account of their injuries. Harris Sohail will have to bowl all ten overs of his as we don’t have anyone else . Ehsan Adil , Rahat Ali and Irfan are the other bowlers we are left with and only Afridi remains the only one with enough experience, otherwise all others are new faces comparatively. Sohail Khan, who didn’t play ODI series against New Zealand, may  be used as a secret weapon by the team management during the World Cup . Pakistan definitely is missing an all rounder in the team who can bowl as well as  bat and provide the balance to the overall squad. Batsmen are struggling to score runs , bowlers are very inexperienced and even genuine all rounders are not present in the team. These conditions will be new to bat as well for wicket keeper Sarfaraz. He did play a match in Australia but that was a test match in 2010 .

Pakistan as we all know is an unpredictable team and can beat any team, any given day. However. we have to look at the mistakes we have made whilst selecting the team . Yes the Ajmal issue and injuries affected our preparations but this also shows that we don’t have a sound back up plan ready. Hopefully we will do well in the World Cup and will surprise everyone like we always do but still there are lots of lessons to be learned . Lets hope that we do learn this time and prepare well in advance for such events .

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