What are the Future Plans regarding Pakistan Team? | Interim Chief Selector Speaks Out:
The year 2022 has not been a very ideal year for Pakistan fast bowlers in Tests as the team’s top tier quicks failed to contribute much in the longest format of the game due to injuries. The absence of Pakistan’s apex fast bowlers forced Babar Azam’s team to endure a disgraceful defeat at the hands of the English team in December.
With Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah out of the team, the selection committee had to suffice with wet-behind-the-ears pacers for the historic series against England. This coupled with subpar curation of pitches were of the reasons behind 2022 being a miserable year for Pakistan’s fast bowlers in red-ball cricket.
Apart from Test cricket, Injuries have also haunted Pakistan team in the shortest format of the game lately. As stated by the Skipper Babar Azam, post the final of the recent T20 World cup, Shaheen’s departure from the field after ‘landing awkwardly’ while taking a catch in the high-voltage final against England took the match away from the green team.
These events have exposed the lack of available backup players for the team. Despite producing fast bowlers of superlative quality that too in great quantity, the team did not have a lot of pacers with experience to replace the injureds.
Pakistan’s newly appointed interim chief selector, Shahid Afridi, has the plans to strengthen the team’s bench strength by having two battle-ready teams for Pakistan in order to avoid unwanted consequences of inconveniences like injuries. Afridi while talking to media in Karach on Saturday said, “I want to create two teams for Pakistan before my tenure ends in order to improve bench strength.”
It must be mentioned here that other teams like India, England etc have also prepared combat-ready players to play as a backup when needed to replace the injured or manage the workload.
The former Pakistan captain who was just recently appointed as the Chief Selector for the home series against New Zealand by the incumbent chairman of PCB, Najam Sethi, further talked about the pitches in home series throughout 2022. Afridi said that such pitches, which offer no assistance to bowlers, will halt Pakistan cricket from progressing.
“We can not become a top team by playing on these wickets. The wickets on which we’ve been playing are injurious to our bowlers, pacers will start having fitness issues and spinners will get their fingers injured.Who says we can not produce better wickets in Pakistan. We certainly can if we are allowed to do so.“
After drawing the First Test against New Zealand in Karachi, Pakistan will now take on the Kiwis at the same venue on 2nd January to play the second and final Test match.