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For shame!

Some blame Azhar Ali for how one dimensional he is. Others focus on Sarfraz’s inability to take pressure. Questions are being raised on Hafeez’s inclusion once again. Will Asad Shafiq ever take the next step in his long awaited progression? Harris Sohail’s carelessness comes under the microscope. What was Babar’s run, stop and run method? All these questions are being shared on by journalist, fans and experts too.

But there is this malaise that goes way beyond the any of the aforementioned players. It has been like this since perhaps forever. In the 1999 World Cup as a 10 year old, we knew Pakistan needs to bat 1st or the batting would just give in. That team had Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi, Inzimam ul Haq, Yousuf Youhana (at the time) Ijaz Ahmed, Moin Khan, Wasim Akram, Azhar Mehmood, Abdur Razzaq and Saqlain Mushtaq. It was equivalent to modern day England, with their number 10, having a test hundred. Still, when chasing under pressure, they wilted.

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Every time we hope the outcome would be different, but Pakistan finds a unique way to succumb. There have been anomalies, mostly against Sri Lanka doing that Magrib chase or the chase in Kandy. But the feeling just never goes. Needing under 30 with 6 wickets in hands, yet things done seem to get any easier. It is beyond any cricketing explanation. It is not just with a certain set of players, because this curse has been handed over like baton from generation to generation. The haunted past is creeps into the present every time. There are no answers. Just disappointment. Even if you desire head to roll, it wont make a difference. I am not sure anything would!

Qissa e dard sunatay hain k majbor hain hum.

Asjad Khan

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