Ahmed Shehzad celebrates his century during the match. PHOTO: AFP
Pakistan have just completed their first series win after exactly 809 days and undoubtedly, it could not have come at a better time. As Pakistan cricket lovers we expect our team to bounce back at the most crucial times, and this has been no different.
Many of the team’s problems have been solved in the four matches we played in this series. Mohammad Hafeez and the young Ahmed Shehzad have come together to give us a stable opening pair that we were not accustomed to. Although, they may not have scored well together, they have both shown the patience and explosiveness to score centuries at the top.
Misbahul Haq, who is in the best form of his life, has shown us that he may have learnt how to actually finish games (refer to T20 World Cup 2007), but I would still not trust him to finish the upcoming World Cup final if we play India.
Wahab Riaz, may not be as talented as the suspended bowler Mohammad Aamir, but his partnership with Umar Gul has become a nightmare for batsmen during the batting powerplay; these players have proven to be great exponents of the reverse swing in all parts of the world such as England, UAE and now New Zealand.
The only player who has been a disappointment is Sohail Tanvir; in the two years he spent away from the national side, he seems to have become a spinner who bowls the occasional faster delivery. He may have hit 14 crucial runs in the previous game but definitely cost the team more with his slow bowling and woeful fielding.
In less than three weeks, this series win will be a distant memory as the World Cup campaign will begin. Conditions will be different, the captain might be different but one thing is certain: when Umar Akmal comes to the crease, wearing his green lipstick, to bat in the quarter-final, the whole of Pakistan will know that something special is going to happen.
Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated that Riaz and Gul have played in South Africa. These players have played in UAE.