Grant Elliott was a South African, who played international cricket for New Zealand. He didn’t really fit into the modern New Zealand cricketer description. Bowling those dipply doppler and a nuddlers with the bat, he was perhaps more suited a county team than Brendon McCullum’s New Zealand. But the man completely bought into this attack at all cost ideology of the captain and had a big heart. So, he went on to become an integral part of New Zealand’s cricket history. One of his quotes which showcases the thinking process of the New Zealand team was
“You have to play like you don’t care, but you have to care a lot.”
This reflected on how the team was able to play with little fear when the stakes couldn’t be any higher. While, Brendon McCullum’s adventures with Lahore Qalandars didn’t go as planned, I think Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed can take a leaf out of his book when batting, at least. In the field, Sarfraz is complete opposite of Baz. It is his way of getting the best out of his players. But that style, has impacted his batting severely. Perhaps it’s time to get back to bat with freedom, playing almost a shot a ball. That is how Sarfraz turned from someone being kept out of the test side by Adnan Akmal, to leading Pakistan.
Like most Pakistan batsmen, Sarfraz has a poor record in South Africa. In 4 test matches, he has scored 83 runs at an average of 10.37. If one breaks it down further, 57 of those 83 runs have come in Centurion test, in 2013. A quick fire 40 in the last innings of the series, was perhaps what showed Pakistani selectors that little bit of fire in Sarfraz. Built on attack, he hit 6 fours and ended up with a strike of close to 90. A slash to 3rd man ended his innings.
Perhaps, its time Sarfraz frees himself up of batting responsibility and go in with a little bit of freedom. If the batsmen can provide him bit of a platform, it would be much easier to do so. In the press conference, Sarfraz looked at ease, making jokes and revealing a lot about the team etc. Ole Gunnar Solskjær, has come in the Manchester United dressing room and made it easier for the players to express themselves. Sarfraz needs to channelize his energy towards creating an environment which is best of the team and himself.