POTW : cricketerB94


PakPassion Administrator
Staff member
Oct 2, 2004
An excellent and detailed analysis of PSL 7 tactics in a reply to a post is this week's POTW

Congratulations to [MENTION=135338]cricketerB94[/MENTION]


Few comments point by point;

1) Rizwan is one of the best cricketing minds in Pakistan currently and is manifested by him winning 2 white ball titles in 1 year and we can say maybe 3 in 1.5 if we include the fact that he led KPK in 2021 as well until he had to leave and Ifti led them to championship as captain. Not only that, he has led Pak emerging and Pak A teams a few times as well doing a good job.

Shadab (Already) and Shaheen (Now) add a lot to the Pak leadership group but, in terms of numbers so far they havent achieved anything to say they are better captains than Babar. Yes I liked how Shadab and Shaheen have handled their players so far in league cricket and Shadab is already the vice captain of Pak whiteball teams but, there is no basis to say they are more suitable/better captains then Babar.

Babar Azam's captaincy record (Hopefully we are not gonna debate the international oppositions when a league is being used as benchmark of captaincy)

T20Is; won 74% of the matches, led Pak to the semis of WT20 2021 unbeaten, won first ever World cup match vs Ind
Test cricket; was the best test captain in 2021 winning 7 out of 8 test matches
ODIs; Pak won the 2nd ODI series in history in SA under his captaincy, yes loss in Eng was bad but, till now that's his worst series in terms of result as captain till no imo

Babar has been doing really well as captain in international cricket and has been improving. So one cant really say that Shadab and Shaheen especially are better captains then him. Shadab is the vice captain so he can make worthy contributions in that role.

In terms of numbers, how many domestic or U19 events had Babar won before getting the national team captaincy? In terms of numbers, how many matches have Shadab and Shaheen won in their first season as captain when compared to Babar? I think this will be fair analysis if we are comparing numbers. But I am not comparing their numbers to judge their captaincy. I don't care how many matches have they won when we compare their numbers as captain. For me, the captain is defined by his tactics, not his number of wins. I have seen the tactics from Babar which you would expect that even Umar Akmal can use to win matches and be that successful captain.

Ok I am going to state some of his tactics that I observed.

1- Over reliance on seniors. We all know that Malik was his call in the T20 WC squad. We all know that Malik have not retired from T20Is yet, because he knows that Babar is the captain of the T20I team.

2- Not trying anything out of the box. He did not use the emerging players or local players in his KK squad very well. Not giving bowling to Qasim, not giving bowling to Taha, not dropping himself to middle order, not giving Sahibzada Farhan any batting confidence even when he was domestic cricketer of the year. Meanwhile, Shaheen has given proper chances to Abdullah and Kamran (even in bowling) and he has given a lot of confidence to even Zaman Khan. Rizwan has made Khushdil a proper all-rounder and giving his emerging players proper chances.

3- Scripted captaincy. He is that type of captain that if Pakistan wins ugly, he'll not address the mistakes and play the same team in next match, just because Pakistan won. You can see this pattern the whole T20 WC. He did not change the team the whole tournament when everyone knew that Hasan was out of form. In all the matches, he had this tactic of bowling last 6 overs by pacers even when spinners were doing good in Aus game and Imad could easily bowl the overs of Hasan in that match as Wade and Stoinis were struggling against him.

I'll not mix up his batting with his captaincy. He is a very good batter and should focus on that. Sachin was a very good batter, but he accepted that he was not a good captain. I think Babar should do the same in favour of Rizwan because when we see the leadership skills - and in your case, numbers - then Rizwan emerge as a better option. Babar was made captain in the circumstances when there was no choice for captaincy available, Rizwan was not doing well in LOIs, Shadab and Shaheen were too young. But now Babar should know himself that there are better choices who can serve Pakistan better in that role. That will not take away the legendary batter status from Babar.

2- Hasan Ali breakthrough was with whiteball cricket into Pakistan team. He has done phenomenally well in some of the PSL seasons. Yes he has been bowling poorly in T20I cricket for sometime and deserves a rest or getting dropped. However, saying that he is not a T20 bowler is wrong with no long terms statistical basis for it.

Again you are more concerned about numbers instead of analyzing what's the actual problem with Hasan. Yes, his breakthrough into Pakistan was through white ball cricket but you need to observe the difference between Hasan of previous PSL seasons or CT17 and Hasan of now. Previously, Hasan had the sharp seam movement of ball through which he used to move the ball into right hand batters and away from left hand batters after pitching it. That movement always troubled the batters in previous PSL seasons and CT17. Now I don't remember the last time that I saw that movement. He is not able to do that with new ball or old ball. Previously, he was much quicker. He used to bowl normally around 145 kph mark, but now his speed has seriously declined. He mostly bowls around 138 kph mark now with occasional ball over 140 kph. This has made him a medium pacer instead of fast bowler, that's why he bowls a lot of very slow and hit me balls now. The only variety he has left is cutters, which too he does not pitch in the right areas more often and they become a gift to hit him towards fine leg or square leg boundary.

3- Wasim Jnr like so many others is still a work in progress. He will get better as he plays more cricket, any captain will have to use him for what he is. He is a player with a high potential but, is far from being a finished product and expectations should be such.

Yes, that's why I have not written him off. He is just not that bowler which we need for depth overs in T20Is. He can definitely improve in that area, but he is not there currently. What we are missing in the T20I team is a specialist depth overs bowler and Waseem is not that currently.

4- Lol! Guy was just the highest scorer in the World T20 averaging 60 with SR of 127. Few poor league matches does not mean your abilities are declining. Yes he is not in his best of forms and is still scoring 90 and 50s. When you are out of form, you just cant seem to do the things easily as you used to when in good touch (Kohli has been struggling for sometime finding his usual batting rhythm). Being out of touch is just a normal thing and many greats have gone through this multiple times in their careers, there is nothing alarming here (Check his whiteball stats in last couple of years - guy has been a run machine).

So, if having highest score in a competition is the goal instead of winning it, then people rightly call him statpadder. But I don't believe that he does it on purpose. He used to have this ability before this PSL to pierce the gap in off-side or cover on will. He just needed a little bit of width and the bowl always used to go out of the boundary. That was the difference in him and Shahzad. Shahzad also used to play those shots but was not good enough to pierce the fielders on off-side, and that converted a boundary ball into a dot ball. He has been doing the same this PSL because I can't believe that in a domestic tournament, the bowlers are bowling so tight in power play that he is not getting any width on off-stump bowls. That is why I am saying that he needs to work on that off-side game to pierce the fielders before he becomes Shehzad 2.

Agreed with no 5 and first half of no 6. Sharjeel has finished himself by putting in 0 effort to improve even a little bit in terms of fitness and his overall game. Still can be a dangerous player on his day but, with his current consistency, fitness and options which Pak has going around, its definitely not looking great for him.

Fakhar has matured and is in sublime touch since that semi against Aus and even in ODIs was exceptional in SA. However, the success which Babar and Rizwan have had in T20I cricket as openers, it would be a tough call to change that. However, all three are good enough players to adjust anywhere in the top 3 but, do we need really need a change is the question.

As I mentioned above, if Babar wants to be the opener, he needs to improve his power play game and get back that strength in those off-side drives to pierce the fielders. But if he is not able to do it, then Fakhar is better suited for power play overs. When you look at other top T20I teams, they have players like Finch, Warner, Roy, Buttler, Guptill, Rohit, KL Rahul e.t.c. to take full advantage of power play overs, but Pakistan have two accumulators as openers. I believe that Babar should be used as a floater in the T20I team like Aus does with Smith. If the score is 100-1, then other batters should come in. But if the score is 20-1, then Babar should come in.
Great post! Titan24 as always put across good points as well but cricketerB94 addressed them very well.

Babar the batsmen is not the issue as much as Babar the captain will be in crunch moments. Tactically he leaves a lot to be desired which was brutally exposed in the WC semi.

Pakistan is now stuck with Babar as captain for the foreseeable future unless Ramiz realises he's not suited to the role which is unlikely since Ramiz isn't the best at reading the game himself evident from his below par commentary.

So the only hope I have is that this abysmal season with Karachi helps Babar introspect and develop as a captain tactically. From what I've seen he's created a cohesive dressing room environment for Pakistan hopefully he can build a leadership group with Rizwan and Shadab to help him in crunch moments.
Thanks [MENTION=93712]MenInG[/MENTION] and everyone appreciating in this thread. :)
He is right about Babar’s captaincy but I disagree with the idea of making Rizwan the captain because it will block any proper T20 opener to come through the ranks.

Was Muhammad Harris a member of the KPK national T20 cup side? Was he given chances by Rizwan (c) to play in the national T20 cup or not?
I have come to the conclusion that Babar as captain is going the Tendulkar route as captain. When he was first appointment, there were no alternatives therefore it made sense to make him captain at the time but the emergence of Rizwan, Shaheen, Shadab removes that problem.

Pakistan need Babar the batsman the first and foremost.
Good post.

I think babars captaincy has more to do with the coaching setup we had. Very stale and dull without any out of box ideas.
He is right about Babar’s captaincy but I disagree with the idea of making Rizwan the captain because it will block any proper T20 opener to come through the ranks.

Was Muhammad Harris a member of the KPK national T20 cup side? Was he given chances by Rizwan (c) to play in the national T20 cup or not?

Yes Harris was a member of Kpk t20 side.He did give him a few chances but only Limited but once he did play Rizwan dropped down to 3 and rizwan was in the field whilst Haris kept wickets.
Hope Babar comes to his senses and steps down from the captaincy given that there are now other alternatives. Pakistan needs runs from him with the bat.
Good read and good discussion.