Comparing two captains-Afridi with Dhoni
Without any prejudice or personal vendetta against my captain Afridi, I will be very much judicious in my observation and comments so far as the performance of the two cricket captains is concerned. I am also very much conscious of the fact that many of my beloved compatriots both within the country and overseas like me may not like my comments for obvious reasons to praise Dhoni but yet I have to say spade a spade whether one likes it or not.
Pakistan faced India in World Cup Semi final but failed to beat the rivals though the victory was not that distant away in any case but we never ever rose to the occasion neither in fielding nor in batting and resultantly we had to pay very heavy price rather double the price-we let India qualify for final which in turn earned them gold medal. It is undoubtedly a universal truth that never both teams will win, rather on the contra, one wins and the other loses so from this point of view either Pakistan or India was destined to lose but yet I will prove it in black and white that performance wise we were never in the run though our team was very much in the playing ground.
It merits to mention that Pakistani bowlers contained Indian batsmen to just 260 runs which was much lower than their expectations as their commentators were predicting to be around 300+ so from this angel Wahab Riaz deserves due praise to single handedly uproot 5 of their star batsmen including captain Dhoni otherwise the situation had been different. It also proves that our other bowlers could not do much damage as expected of them. Sachin Tendulkar, the world-best batsman scored 85 and got the prize for man-of-the-match had been dropped not once or twice rather four times at 27, 45, 70 and 81 by Misbah ul Haq, Younus Khan, Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal respectively proves our efficiency and proficiency in fielding. Had he been out when he was 27 or 45 the situation had been different altogether but we must curse ourselves and not Sachin to be honest.
As far as batting is concerned, it is much regretted to say that whatever our bowlers had earned after shedding their sweat, had been washed off in very disgraceful manner and some of those who jolted us at such a critical moment must be severely punished to stab us in the back. Younas Khan heads the list. He is one of the star batsmen so far as Pakistan is concerned but he did in Semi is not comprehensible. He must be stripped off instantly on two counts-dropping the catch of Sachin and scoring just 13 runs. He should have been dropped from the team rather than inflicting such a blow. Who voted for him to play in semi and on what basis? Misbah deserves some praise to score maximum runs in the innings but for what when he could not score faster which was the call of the time. He was not playing in any league match where one can afford some sort of slackness but playing in knock-out demands different approach altogether. He had been called back to play in World Cup means that he should rise to the occasion otherwise why did we give him a place?
Shahid Afridi who is known for bat and not ball has really dismayed the whole nation and to me he should be held responsible for our defeat in semi final. He has taken maximum wickets in the tournament earns his bog plus but it does not mean that he should be prolific with bat. Why did he prove timid and hollow is my direct, bitter and piercing question to him? Didn’t he, through such like logistics, demoralize other batsmen? What prompted him not to open the innings when he had been successful opener in the past? How can he justify not coming at 3 or 4 down when the team was in deep trouble and struggling for runs and even the public at large expected him to come upfront? What could be the rationale and prudence on his part to prefer Razaq to be ahead of him in batting? How come he scored just 19 runs in the semi when we were dying of runs? Did he bat at the semi as captain, no, never and certainly not? Should we not punish Afridi for not only just throwing away his wicket but sinking Pakistan too?
Dhoni, as per the initial batting line up for final match against Sri Lanka, was shown at number six but once three Indian wickets have fallen down he could hear the warning bells and hence he promoted himself and came ahead of time to hold the reins and it really proved worth. He kept cool, controlled his nerves and played very sensibly but aggressively resulting in that he not only steered him team to win the gold but also earned man-of-the-match award. One should not forget that captain is the leader of the whole team who not only sets the tempo, tone and mood of the team as a whole but also makes necessary changes as the ground realities demand and this is what Shahid lacked bitterly but not Dhoni who is the most expensive player in the game at this pint of time in any case.
With my honest and solemn prayers
Sincere Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait