Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Bravo Team Green!

Bravo Team Green - Pakistan
7 March 2015's match between Pakistan and South Africa was simply outstanding. Loved it! What a brave and commendable performance by the Pakistani cricket team! And an entertaining and exciting show for the audience.

Luckily, South Africa asked us to bat first after they won the toss. Perhaps they thought they'd bowl us out for a low score, and secure an easy win. Pakistan, however, proved them wrong, and in fact surprised most people by winning a crucially important game against a notably tough opponent.

The evening before the Pakistan-West Indies match, I thought that if Pakistan won the toss, there would be some chance for us to win the game. Of course, I candidly assumed we would logically opt to bat first.

Since as long as I can remember, Pakistan has lost most games of cricket when it has chased a total, be it large or small. For one, our batsmen - though undesirably undependable - play relatively better when they start the game. Secondly, our bowling side has the enigmatic knack of taking wickets, and limiting the other side before they reach the posted score.

However, on 21 Feb 2015, I was sad to see Pakistan bowl the first innings against the West Indies. The mere fact implied that our team was very likely to have a rough and tough game. Later, I was shocked to find that Pakistan had won the toss, and for some inexplicable reason, chosen to bowl first.

"How could they win the toss, and intentionally choose to lose such a crucial game!" I couldn't believe it, and still regret that toss decision.

Nonetheless, with Pakistan's progressing performances, I am happy to see the green team regain its confidence and 'success glory' after two initial consecutive defeats in the big tournament.

I have been following cricket for more than a decade now, and have repeatedly acknowledged Pakistan's cricket team to be a close representative of Pakistan and its people. Broadly speaking, the team has the following traits:
  • Lack of unification and team spirit
  • Big dreams but no intelligent game plan
  • Unpredictable and undependable nature
  • High energies, spontaneity, and erratic performances
  • Individual contributions instead of zealous teamwork 
  • Lack of organisation and direction
  • Casual and non-professional attitude
  • Lack of determination and committed action
  • Occasionally outstanding but consistently confused
  • Lack of confidence and self-esteem
  • Skilled but not bold, able but not consistent
  • Lack of cohesion and stability
  • Insecure and lacking self-confidence
  • Seeking reassurance from others to reaffirm self abilities
  • Hoping for a miracle

Like many sports, cricket demands team work. The game is, of course, about good sportsmen - batsmen, bowlers, fielders - under the leadership of a robust captain. We have the skills, but we need to muster confidence, courage, commitment, and consistent team efforts to achieve our collective goals.

Lately, Misbah ul Haq has demonstrated to be a very able captain. I am particularly impressed by the way he handles stress, and doesn't take consequences of a dismal performance at heart. He rejoices and bucks up the team with the small 'victories' in a game, and stays calm and composed even when things are going the other way. This simple and stable captaincy seems to be a productive and healthy change for Pakistan's cricket team.

Our next match will be against Ireland on 15 March 2015. In light of the 'toss theory' applicable to our team, if we bat first, we stand a hopeful chance of winning the game. However, with the confidence that we have mustered with our recent strategic wins, if we are required to bowl and chase, we will still be high-spirited and focused to be the winning team.

Bravo team green!

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