Pakistan’s poor performance with the bat and Dhawan’s Brilliance

An analysis by Waqas Zafar
CricLens Staff Report
June 19, 2013

Pakistan cricket team is considered to be one of the best in the business when they play to their potential. Their vulnerability cannot be denied and this has left Pakistan cricket in a dilemma. Bowling has always been the backbone for this team but batting has been vulnerable and anyone can knock them over like sitting ducks.

The recent example of this dilemma is Pakistan’s awful batting performance in the ICC Champions Trophy 2013. Pakistan lost all of its three pool matches and the cardinal reason for this embarrassment was none other than Pakistan’s batting.Pakistan was unable to cross 170 runs in all three matches which utterly disappointed the Pakistan fans, eminently the people who came to cheer for their team in the stadium.

Imran Farhat and Nasir Jamshed opened the innings for Pakistan in the first two matches i.e. against West Indies and South Africa. In these two opening matches, Farhat missed the boat completely by getting dismissed for 2 runs in both matches. Like the way he got out against West Indies, he used to get back to the pavilion in the similar fashion when he started his international career in 2001. Another obstacle which has affected his performances quite badly is the lack of enthusiasm for scoring big. Farhat was dropped in the match against India, but his team-mates did not learn a lesson from the two matches and repeated the same performance against the arch rivals India, who folded Pakistan on mere 165 runs in 39.4 overs.

Nasir Jamshed, who has scored all of his three centuries against India, managed to do well in the first two games but was unable to make an impact against India. He should be blamed for not formulating his innings and throwing his wicket at very crucial stages of the match.

Pakistan’s poor performance with the bat

Pakistan’s batting performance Analysis

Mohammad Hafeez was pushed at number three position because his woes with the new ball continued and the recent example of this carnage was his battle against Dale Steyn, who had clearly dominated the combat. Hafeez was dismissed four times in three test matches by Dale Steyn, and this fact clearly depicts the story of his technique of his batting.

The stand out batsman for Pakistan in this mega event was Misbah. Misbah had to arrive at the crease very early courtesy consistent failure of the top order batsmen. He had to anchor the innings and at the same time save his wicket in order to prevent further carnage.

Asad Shafiq played against West Indies and India but could not do his job assigned to him as he was indulged into the team in place of Younis Khan. Younis was dropped because of his poor run in the ODI’s and Asad was given the assignment to anchor the innings by nudging the ball in the gaps and grab quick singles and doubles.

Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal are two very experienced contenders in this format of the game but they played abominable strokes leaving their team in a catastrophic situation.

Here are the statistics of Pakistan’s batsmen in the ICC Champions Trophy:

Batsmen

Total Runs

Average

Imran Farhat

4

2.00

Nasir Jamshed

94

31.33

Asad Shafiq

41

20.50

Mohammad Hafeez

38

12.67

Misbah-ul-Haq

173

86.50

Umar Amin

43

43.00

Kamran Akmal

23

7.66

Shoaib Malik

25

8.33

Virender Sehwag was replaced by Shikhar Dhawan for the ICC Champions Trophy as the former was having a torrid time with the bat. Dhawan smashed 114,102 and 48 runs against South Africa, West Indies and Pakistan respectively.

The below table shows the difference between the experience of Shikhar Dhawan and Pakistan batsmen:

Batsmen

ODI Debut

Matches Played

ODI Batting Average

Shikhar Dhawan

20th October,2010

8

47.57

Mohammad Hafeez

3rd April,2003

121

27.50

Imran Farhat

17th February,2001

58

30.69

Kamran Akmal

23rd November,2002

154

26.18

Shoaib Malik

14th October,1999

216

32.67

If we add the matches played by the above mentioned four Pakistan batsmen, it makes a total of 549 One Day International matches.

As Shikhar Dhawan is an opener, so if we go back in the past and statistically see that when Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhatplayed 8 One Day Internationals their batting averages were:

Batsmen

Batting Averages

Mohammad Hafeez

21.75

Imran Farhat

36.125

Here is the comparison of Pakistan batsmen and Shikhar Dhawan in the ICC Champions trophy:

Batsmen Vs. West Indies Vs. South Africa Vs. Pakistan/India Total Runs Average Strike Rate
Shikhar Dhawan 102 114 48 264 132.00 109.09
Imran Farhat 2 2 Did not play 4 2.00 26.67
Mohammad Hafeez 4 7 27 38 12.67 62.29
Kamran Akmal 2 0 21 23 7.66 47.91
Shoaib Malik 0 8 17 25 8.33 47.16

From the above statistics, it can be examined that Shikhar Dhawan had kept all the bowlers under his thumb right throughout the tournament whilst Pakistan batters had clearly lost the combat.

If we add the scores of Hafeez, Farhat, Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik in this tournament, they make a total of 90 runs whereas Shikhar Dhawan has scored 264 runs and this shows the story of Pakistan’s dismal batting performance.

Pakistan lost couple of early wickets in the first ten overs of the game which trickled the pressure down to the middle order, whereas India’s batting line-up clearly prevailed over opposition’s bowling line-up. Here is a table which shows the scores of India and Pakistan in first ten overs of the game:

Team Vs. South Africa Vs. West Indies Vs. India/Pakistan
Pakistan 18/2 (1.80 runs per over) 23/3 (2.30 runs per over) 43/1 (4.30 runs per over)
India 53/0 (5.3 runs per over) 66/0 (6.60 runs per over) 57/0 (5.70 runs per over)

The statistics show that Indian openers did not lose wickets and they scored at a brisk run rate.

The table below compares the strike rates of Nasir Jamshed and Shikhar Dhawan in the mandatory power play (1-10 overs):

Batsmen Vs. South Africa(Strike Rate) Vs. West Indies(Strike Rate) Vs. India/Pakistan(Strike Rate)
Nasir Jamshed 34.78 46.67 22.22
Shikhar Dhawan 83.33 138.46 119.35

All these statistics show that there is a big question mark on the selection of Imran Farhat, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal and Mohammad Hafeez and after this poor show with the bat some amendments must be made within the team in order to avoid further embarrassment in the future.

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