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Pakistan hit an all-new low following Asia Cup exit

Pakistan, Asia Cup T20, World T20, Afridi
Pakistan have tasted defeat in seven of their last 10 One-day internationals increasing concern about where the team is headed before the World T20 in India.

Highs and lows are not new to Pakistan cricket. A graph of their performances should resemble the topography of a mountain range, and a rather long range at that. Their five-wicket defeat to hosts Bangladesh in the Asia Cup knocked the Men in Green out of the Twenty20 tournament.

This result is absolutely unacceptable for a side who have played more T20 Internationals than any other nation – a whopping 101 since 2006. Only India and Afghanistan have a higher winning percentage than them and yet they seem to struggle at every second opportunity. You would think that a side that has played so many games would have the format figured out by now.

Pakistan started their winter with controversy over the inclusion of Mohammed Amir in the playing XI. Mid-way through the winter Amir seems to be their best player. His fellow left-arm pacer Mohammed Irfan has done well for himself and so have Sarfraz Ahmed and Shoaib Malik, who seems to have a new lease of life. But the others have a lot to answer for.

Khurram Manzoor did not play a single game in the preceding Pakistan Super League. Yet the Pakistan selectors have deemed him good enough to be selected for the Asia Cup and the World T20. The PSL was supposed to be a launching pad for Pakistani dominance in the two global tournaments. Sadly it’s nowhere close to the case and fingers are being pointed at their senior-most player.

Maybe the problem lies with Captain Shahid Afridi. His constant ‘will-he, wont-he’ retirement swivel dominates headlines more than any Pakistani performance, particularly considering he has stopped contributing meaningfully with the ball, bat and tactical nuance. Immediately after their Asia Cup exit Javed Miandad asked for Afridi to be sacked, saying he stopped being a reliable performer years ago. Afridi has represented his nation since before the turn of the millennium. Maybe it’s time ‘Boom Boom’ is only chanted in retrospect rather than the present.

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