If one looks back and does even a very high level analysis of Pakistan’s batting performance over the last decade or so, they would know that how miserable it has been all this while and how it has gone from bad to worse.
Another trend that one could easily notice is that the aggression quotient has gone down substantially when it comes to how they have been batting in the recent past. And it is not natural for them we all know. From a side that the world knew as the most unpredictable, it has turned into one which the world knows with a good degree of certainty for their batting would fail.
While the history tells you all that, what it would also tells you, and there is a correlation going one here by the way is, that this change from aggressive mind set to a defensive circumspect one started happening about the same time when Shahid Afridi aka ‘Lala’ started coming down the order for Pakistan. It was considered as a damage control move but the reality is, that it turned out to be of huge damage to their cricket. Oppositions didn’t react of course, but they were quietly celebrating it all this while.
We must believe data and the data is shouting on our faces. On top of it’s voice it says ‘Afridi must bat top of the order’, because that’s where he is at his destructive best. Down the order he is a total waste. He isn’t someone who will revive a crumbling batting line up coming down the order. He is someone who best knows how to launch it at the top. And even if he fails then, their side has nothing to lose because anyhow he is not able to ‘boom boom’ at 7.
With the ICC World Cup in Australia just a few months away, the team management must take that call. Afridi more than anything is a mindset issue, and he should be allowed to set the mental tone upfront. Else ladies and gentlemen, keep watching the not so predictable Pakistan side, no harm, but then it’s no fun too, unfortunately!