Beyond the Boundary: If PSL performances aren't the right way forward, the PCB must then seek new methods to define their standards for selection

MenInG

PakPassion Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 2, 2004
Runs
217,249
Many thanks to @mominsaigol for his insightful review of Pakistan's disastrous ICC T20 World Cup 2024 campaign where he analyzes the performances of players and looks ahead at the way forward for the PCB to recover from the current downward spiral.


avINOYe.png


Introduction

Pakistan's recent cricket campaign has been marked by a series of underwhelming performances, culminating in an early exit from the tournament. Traditionally, these reviews are conducted post-tournament, but given Pakistan's premature elimination, it's apt to analyze the players' performances now. This article focuses on the main games against India, the USA, Ireland, and Canada, evaluating each player's contributions and assigning a performance rating out of 10.


Player Performance Review


Babar Azam (C) - 2 out of 10


Babar Azam has to be analyzed in two ways: as a captain and as a player.

As a captain, Babar Azam was extremely poor during the USA game, consistently repeating the same tried and tested mistakes such as having Iftikhar Ahmed (Chacha) in slip despite his known poor slip fielding. His field placement in the final over, bringing long-off into the inner ring, was inexplicable when USA needed 5 off 1 ball. Additionally, opting to bowl Mohammad Amir in the super over, despite Naseem Shah's superior performance, was a questionable decision.

During the India and Canada games, Babar improved slightly in field selections, but elementary mistakes persisted, such as Iftikhar being in slip. The exclusion of Abrar Ahmed, despite his proven capabilities, was another significant oversight.

As a batsman, Babar was equally poor. His slow scoring on favorable pitches against the USA, combined with a lackluster performance against India, and a run-a-ball 33 against Canada, were significant letdowns. His innings against Ireland, scoring only 32 off 34 deliveries, further highlighted his struggles. Such performances from a top-order batsman are simply unacceptable.


Mohammad Rizwan (WK) - 3 out of 10

Rizwan had a slightly better outing than Babar, with a half-century against Canada leading to Pakistan's only win. However, his overall performances were poor. His dismissal against Bumrah in the India game was costly, and his slow scoring was inexcusable even on a difficult pitch. Rizwan made 17 off 16 against Ireland, getting out by attempting a leg-side shot that he tried to hit for six – a disappointing performance.

Surprisingly, Rizwan's keeping was subpar throughout the tournament. He missed multiple run-outs, overthrew the ball, and wasted numerous DRS reviews. These mistakes contributed significantly to Pakistan's losses.


Usman Khan - 1 out of 10

Usman Khan was a major disappointment. Despite high expectations, he failed consistently as a batsman and did not impress in the field. His decision to skip playing for the UAE in favor of Pakistan seems regrettable given his lackluster display.


Fakhar Zaman - 1 out of 10

Fakhar Zaman struggled throughout the tournament, managing only a few flashy sixes but failing to provide substantial contributions. His poor performance raises questions about whether he should be given his opening slot back or dropped from the T20 setup altogether.


Saim Ayub - 1 out of 10

While it is unfair to judge Saim based on limited opportunities, his performances were not up to par. His past record shows a pattern of underachievement, suggesting that he may not be suited for the international stage. His batting woes were evident against Canada and Ireland, where he failed to improve on elementary mistakes such as getting out to the same types of deliveries. Against Ireland, he was dismissed by skying the ball, and against Canada, he got caught on the leg side – mistakes that have plagued his game repeatedly.


Iftikhar Ahmed - 1 out of 10

Iftikhar Ahmed, often referred to as "Chacha," had a disappointing tournament. His performances with the bat and in the field were substandard. His failure to finish games and poor fielding were significant drawbacks.


Azam Khan - 0 out of 10

Azam Khan failed to score a single run during his campaign. His performances before the World Cup were not stellar, and he was poor both as a keeper and a batter. His selection raises questions about nepotism.


Shadab Khan - 2 out of 10

Shadab Khan played a crucial innings against the USA but was expensive with the ball. He failed to make significant contributions in other games and did not bowl effectively. His role in the team is questionable given his inconsistent performances.


Imad Wasim - 3 out of 10

Imad's bowling economy was commendable, but his lack of wickets and poor batting overshadowed these efforts. His fitness and running between the wickets were also concerning. His three wickets against Ireland helped redeem his performance slightly.


Shaheen Shah Afridi - 2 out of 10

Shaheen was expensive and largely ineffective, failing to deliver in crucial moments. His dropped catch against the USA was particularly costly. His three wickets against Ireland did little to improve his overall rating.


Naseem Shah - 6 out of 10

Naseem was one of the few bright spots, bowling well against India and showing commendable effort with the bat. His overall performance was decent, though not spectacular.


Haris Rauf - 5 out of 10

Rauf was the highest wicket-taker for Pakistan, with his best performance coming against India. However, his poor final over against the USA and inconsistent bowling marred an otherwise strong showing.


Mohammad Amir - 4 out of 10
Amir's bowling was on par with Naseem's in terms of economy and wickets, but his poor performance in the super over against the USA was a major letdown. His wides and poor deliveries in crucial moments cost the team dearly.


Abbas Afridi - 1 out of 10

Abbas Afridi only played one game, a dead rubber against Ireland, but went for an economy of 10 in the 3 overs he bowled, failing to take a single wicket. His inclusion in the squad is questionable given these standards.


Overall Ratings

Babar Azam: 2 out of 10
Mohammad Rizwan: 3 out of 10
Fakhar Zaman: 1 out of 10
Usman Khan: 1 out of 10
Saim Ayub: 1 out of 10
Azam Khan: 0 out of 10
Shadab Khan: 2 out of 10
Haris Rauf: 5 out of 10
Mohammad Amir: 4 out of 10
Shaheen Shah Afridi: 2 out of 10
Naseem Shah: 6 out of 10
Imad Wasim: 3 out of 10
Iftikhar Ahmed: 1 out of 10
Abbas Afridi: 1 out of 10

Overall Team Performance: 2.21 out of 10 (Extremely poor, and deserved a group stage exit)


Conclusion and perhaps, the way forward

Pakistan's early elimination from the tournament highlights significant deficiencies in both player performances and strategic leadership. The critical analysis of key players reveals a combination of poor form, questionable captaincy decisions, and a lack of adaptability to different match situations. Moving forward, it is imperative for the team to address these issues, particularly in terms of leadership roles, player selection, and tactical flexibility. The questions surrounding the future of certain players and the overall team strategy need to be answered to ensure a stronger and more cohesive performance in future tournaments.

Lastly, the PCB must also address why PSL superstars such as Azam Khan, Shadab Khan, Usman Khan, and Saim Ayub are unable to replicate their PSL form at the international level. If PSL performances aren't the right way forward, the PCB must then seek new methods to define their standards for selection. Otherwise, the hopes of Pakistani fans for a return to the glory days of 1992, 2009, and 2017 will sadly remain unfulfilled.
 
I think PCB can get a better understanding from how other boards have selected players looking at conditions, experience, potential rather than solely relying on league cricket performance.

International cricket has two major factors that affect performance:
1) Quality of opposition is far greater
2) The pressure of playing for the country is different to being a mercenary in second tier leagues, were one has little accountability.

It's perhaps time to look at selectors who are not part of the Pakistan/PCB set up and are more knowledgeable on these matters. International selectors will not be influenced by various factors like, friendship, agents, TV appearances etc.. etc.. No way that a person like Ricky Ponting would select anything like Azam Khan to represent a country!
 
Good writeup.

The problem with the PSL is simple - the average foreign player is not better than the average local player. A foreign IPL XI would batter it's Indian counterpart, but the reverse would be true in case of PSL.

PSL is Faisal Bank T20 with a DEI quota, so it's not a barometer for international success.
 
The problem with the PSL is simple - the average foreign player is not better than the average local player. A foreign IPL XI would batter it's Indian counterpart, but the reverse would be true in case of PSL.

PSL is Faisal Bank T20 with a DEI quota, so it's not a barometer for international success.
It's not just a PSL problem, the quality of many leagues are equally questionable. Azam wasn't picked because of a good PSL, he was unimpressive this year. Azam's case was made on the basis he was good in the CPL, which was even worse quality wise. The standard of cricket is worlds apart. A smart selector would have realised this, or would not have been influenced by external pressures.

Therefore I make the case for getting intelligent selectors from other countries, who are outside the Pakistani sphere of influence.
 
Good article @mominsaigol, but I feel Naseem's rating should have been a bit higher.
How high? Remember this rating isn't just for themselves. They are competing with the entire planet. Naseem's outing is nowhere near as good as other bowlers of this cup.

Max I can give him is a 7. Another key thing to note is that 2 out of 3 games he played were in NY as well.

Still a rating of 6 makes him look a million dollars compared to anyone else. Infact I think Rauf and Amir are a bit high instead. With both having a one point decrease. Naseem at 6 however is fine
 
It's not just a PSL problem, the quality of many leagues are equally questionable. Azam wasn't picked because of a good PSL, he was unimpressive this year. Azam's case was made on the basis he was good in the CPL, which was even worse quality wise. The standard of cricket is worlds apart. A smart selector would have realised this, or would not have been influenced by external pressures.

Therefore I make the case for getting intelligent selectors from other countries, who are outside the Pakistani sphere of influence.
Besides IPL and SA20 (kudos to Graeme Smith), no other league rises above the equivalent domestic competition.

Selectors of other countries benefit from having their players participate in the IPL.

Pakistan selectors are in a tough spot. If you acknowledge PSL performances don't count for much, then audience apathy will set in and the league is doomed. But if you pretend they're worth something, then you effectively gamble with the national team's performance.
 
I would give Abbas Afridi a 2, for his batting. Without that maybe we couldn't have finished Ireland game either who knows.
 
I think psl performance alone can't be used but you can't write it off completely. It should be a combination:
1. Psl performance (current and last season)
2. National team performance
3. A team for those who haven't played intl
4. First class experience (some experience is essential for both batsmen and bowlers otherwise they are rushed too early , don't know how to bring consistency, handle different conditions, fitness, etc.)
5. Foreign league performance

Between above you can identify talent and choose who to give more chance to groom for future with national setup. Take the period from one world cup to next to groom next major group and get rid of old tried and tested failures even if they have some psl performance.

Lastly, in some cases people who performed in psl weren't even selected or given chance e.g. Usama Mir or Abrar. Or players who performed in international but failed in psl were discarded completely (e.g. Haris). In these cases international performance should be given more weightage.
 
Rizwan should also be given a score of 2.
He should but he got a half century against Canada and got Pakistan over the line, otherwise that too was a loss given how the tail starts from no 4.

Granted the Canada game was a dead rubber.
 
I think psl performance alone can't be used but you can't write it off completely. It should be a combination:
1. Psl performance (current and last season)
2. National team performance
3. A team for those who haven't played intl
4. First class experience (some experience is essential for both batsmen and bowlers otherwise they are rushed too early , don't know how to bring consistency, handle different conditions, fitness, etc.)
5. Foreign league performance

Between above you can identify talent and choose who to give more chance to groom for future with national setup. Take the period from one world cup to next to groom next major group and get rid of old tried and tested failures even if they have some psl performance.

Lastly, in some cases people who performed in psl weren't even selected or given chance e.g. Usama Mir or Abrar. Or players who performed in international but failed in psl were discarded completely (e.g. Haris). In these cases international performance should be given more weightage.
Problem is all of this isn't the criteria pcb uses to select.

Saud shakeel has far better numbers in psl then rizwan having the higher avg and sr but had less runs due to less games played.

Pcb and babar select who they wish. All these selections belong to babar with the exception of fakhar, Usman, Abrar and Azam.

Azam was selected due to nepotism, He's talentless and just an average league player who can give entertainment. Pcb was desperate to select him for the nepotism factor, Hence all they needed was a few sixes on a school boy pitch to make their decison when obviously it was wrong. Every tom dick and harry knew he'd be a failure with the bat and a bigger failure with the gloves in the world cup. The NZ series and England series made it clear.

Abrar wasn't even selected for wc 2023 due to babar wanting to protect his buddy shadab. He was forced by pcb due to getting flack for it, But even then he never selected him.

Usman was selected for the whole going to UAE drama ans they wanted to use him as a success story marketing gimmick which obviously didn't happen as usman failed.

As for fakhar, Its mostly due to odi performances, but even then babar has tried his very best to use fakhar as a scapegoat for either his buddy Abdullah who he has good rapport with and fast tracked him into the squad despite Abdullah only having 7 List A's to his name at the time, and in t20 for rizwan.

It's less about psl and more about babar's gang of hoodlums. Tayyab tahir went unnoticed on psl but he had an avg of 42 and a sr of 152, That is grounds for an immediate callup but he wasn't even in kakul.

Last year tayyab was in the team and discarded without even playing a single game simply because tayyab is not a friend.

This whole clique is a scam that is conning people.
 
I would give Abbas Afridi a 2, for his batting. Without that maybe we couldn't have finished Ireland game either who knows.
He is a better bowler but sometimes your performance doesn't reflect your capability. That's what happened to him against Ireland.

He is a very handy lower order batter who can get you a quick 15 to 20 runs so I will give him 4 out of 10 for now.
 
He is a better bowler but sometimes your performance doesn't reflect your capability. That's what happened to him against Ireland.

He is a very handy lower order batter who can get you a quick 15 to 20 runs so I will give him 4 out of 10 for now.
Why would you give him a 4? This isn't about player capability, it's an assement on what they played and how they played during the cup, Hence why abrar isn't on this list as he never played a single game?

Dude had an eco of 10 and was wicketless. Max you can give him a 2 based of batting down the lower order but that's it.

The ratings may seem harsh from me, but what can you expect? This is a team that crashed out In group stages.
 
Why would you give him a 4? This isn't about player capability, it's an assement on what they played and how they played during the cup, Hence why abrar isn't on this list as he never played a single game?

Dude had an eco of 10 and was wicketless. Max you can give him a 2 based of batting down the lower order but that's it.

The ratings may seem harsh from me, but what can you expect? This is a team that crashed out In group stages.
Fair enough to criticize him on his economy, but not based on just one game. He played against a strong Irish batting lineup without any prior practice so we can give him some roon.

You know we would have lost this game if he hadn't formed a partnership with Babar. So considering that it's fair to give him at least 4 points in my opinion.
 
Fair enough to criticize him on his economy, but not based on just one game. He played against a strong Irish batting lineup without any prior practice so we can give him some roon.

You know we would have lost this game if he hadn't formed a partnership with Babar. So considering that it's fair to give him at least 4 points in my opinion.
Bro, It's a player Performance Review, Abass had one game and we are rating based of one game in the tournament. So max a 2.

This isn't a potential thread otherwise fakhar would be a 10? Because fakhar has the most impact and potential out of anyone else in the dugout? No one else gets massive scores like he does?
 
Haris Rauf 5/10!??? He should be 0 out of 10. Couldn’t defend 12 of 3 balls against part time cricketers. He is a brainless bowler who doesn’t belong anywhere near a Pak shirt. Don’t forget he cost us the game against India in the last T20 WC also. It doesn’t matter taking wickets when there is no pressure. Performing under pressure especially as a senior player is what counts.
 
Haris Rauf 5/10!??? He should be 0 out of 10. Couldn’t defend 12 of 3 balls against part time cricketers. He is a brainless bowler who doesn’t belong anywhere near a Pak shirt. Don’t forget he cost us the game against India in the last T20 WC also. It doesn’t matter taking wickets when there is no pressure. Performing under pressure especially as a senior player is what counts.
So you think he deserves the same rating as Azam Khan.
 
Who would have thought that Haris Rauf would get such a high rating? Especially given his performances leading up to the WC.
 
He should but he got a half century against Canada and got Pakistan over the line, otherwise that too was a loss given how the tail starts from no 4.

Granted the Canada game was a dead rubber.

He lost us the game vs India and he gave away a few runs due to his handling behind the stumps.
 
Haris Rauf 5/10!??? He should be 0 out of 10. Couldn’t defend 12 of 3 balls against part time cricketers. He is a brainless bowler who doesn’t belong anywhere near a Pak shirt. Don’t forget he cost us the game against India in the last T20 WC also. It doesn’t matter taking wickets when there is no pressure. Performing under pressure especially as a senior player is what counts.
Shaheen dropped a catch off his bowling.
 
PSL has a strong money backing and is the Golden Goose for PCB.

PCB has no option but to continue to big up this tournament to make sponsors happy, but behind the scenes, they must come up with better metrics for evaluating players for national roles.
 
Last edited:
Back
Top