Typical Pakistan: magnificent one day, diabolical the next (according to the format)

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Pakistan have actually achieved an even more impressive feat than becoming the top-ranked Test side. It takes a particular kind of artistry to become the top-ranked Test side while also maintaining ninth position in the one-day rankings. Hats off.

So what’s the difference? An obvious answer would be ‘Misbah-ul-Haq and Younus Khan’ but the truth is Pakistan weren’t actually that good even before that pair retired from the format. Aside from two series against Zimbabwe, a 3-2 win against Sri Lanka last year is all they’ve really had to celebrate in 50-over cricket since beating the same side in 2013.

Not that they’ve played series against West Indies, India or South Africa in that time. Haven’t we had this conversation already?

Sticking with those unarguable arbiters of worth, the rankings, it’s interesting to look at Pakistan’s individual batsmen and bowlers too. Mohammad Hafeez is their highest-ranked one-day batsman in 22nd place, followed by Ahmed Shahzad in 35th and Azhar Ali in 49th.

Somewhat unexpectedly, their bowling rankings are just as bad. While Mohammad Irfan is 10th, next best is Wahab Riaz in 45th and Yasir Shah in 49th. Perhaps this is a product of the ever-changing nature of their attack and perhaps their overall underperformance results from this too. Perhaps underlining that, Irfan has been dropped for this series.

Umar Gul’s back though. People have been talking a lot about Pakistan defying stereotypes this summer, but bowlers don’t come much more Pakistani than Umar Gul. He’s played for Pakistan over 200 times and we still can’t work out whether he’s the world’s shittest fine bowler or the finest shit one.


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  1. They seem to have left their traditional commitment to running each other out entirely to one day cricket. With twice as many run outs as Pakistan usually have in every one day series, they have developed batting issues.

    Also, their fielding is pretty ordinary and that counts for a lot more in the shorter forms.

  2. I note that you used the phrase, “Umar Gul’s back” without explaining that you mean that he has “returned” rather than suggesting that he has “Marie–Strümpell arthritis or some such”.

    I’m disappointed, KC. Disappointed.

      1. In other news, Jesse Ryder’s back! As in, he’s arrived in New Zealand again after being released by Essex. He hasn’t developed a lumbar sprain or anything like that, although for a man of his commendable girth that surely must be an inevitability one day.

  3. As Oscar Wilde said “It’s better to be a foolish wit then a witty fool”

    He leg glanced the next ball for 4.

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