Thursday, December 1, 2011

Best Era of Pakistan Cricket?!

Ever since I have started following Cricket I've heard two things about Pakistani Cricket Team..

1) When it's their day they are the World's most dangerous team.
2) Pakistan are inconsistent, they blow hot and cold far too much.

The first quote has been tagged with Pakistan Cricket since the early 1990's but critics say they have never played to their potential. With the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoaib Akhtar in the fast bowling ranks, Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Danish Kaneria in the spin department. Brilliant wicket keepers like Moin Khan, Rashid Latif, Kamran Akmal. Dangerous All-rounders such as Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi and Azhar Mehmood, World Class batsmen like Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-haq, Salim Malik, Ijaz Ahmed, Muhammad Yousuf.. Pakistan team was easily a world beater and could have ruled an era of cricket, but they never did just because they did not play up to their potential. There are many reasons for that...Match Fixing, Internal fighting, Jealousy and over confidence are a few visible ones.

World Cup 1999 was the best example of how Pakistan can blow hot and cold.

Pakistan are Inconsistent. They will beat Australia one day, they will lose to Ireland the other day. The only reason I see for this inconsistency is that they have always relied on Individual brilliance to win a match and never fought as a team unit. Some day Wasim and Waqar will rattle the opposition, the other day Inzamam or Yousuf will lead you out through a tough situation, next day you had Razzaq or Afridi winning you a match single handedly. In a team game Individual brilliance will win you a couple of matches here and there but you cannot win consistently.

They have played well in patches and there have been three of them which stand out. The best time perhaps that Pakistan had as a team was the two year period under Waqar Younis from January 2001 to December 2002. Here are the stats for the test and one day Internationals respectively. The highlights being the ODI series win in Australia and Test Series win in England.

Played: 54                                           Played: 18
Won: 35                                              Won: 11
Lost: 18                                               Lost: 6 
W/L Ratio: 1.94                                   W/L Ratio: 1.66

The next best time they had was for a longer period August 2003 to December 2006 which was mostly under Inzamam-ul-Haq and Bob Woolmer when Pakistan were able to play consistently and without too much changes in the team. The highlights were the Series win in India and England.

Inzamam's era had its highs and lows though. The oval fiasco was the biggest of them. The most successful length of Pakistan cricket also ended in the worst possible way when Pakistan's World Cup dream ended in the first round in 2007.

Played: 87                                           Played: 35
Won: 51                                              Won: 15
Lost: 34                                               Lost: 11
W/L Ratio: 1.50                                   W/L Ratio: 1.36

The next best phase they are having is right now, under the captaincy of Misbah-ul-Haq and coaching of Waqar Younis (who just recently resigned, but played an integral part to unite the team after the spot fixing fiasco) and that is due to one simple reason. Pakistan are playing as a team and every player is looking to play its part and they definitely are not relying on Individual Brilliance. Although they have played just 10 Test matches their W/I ratio is better than any other team. On the other hand they have been the second most successful team in the ODI format with a W/L ratio of 2.44, only India have done better with a W/L ratio of 2.55. 

Played: 32                                           Played: 10
Won: 22                                              Won: 4
Lost: 9                                                 Lost: 1
W/L Ratio: 2.44                                   W/L Ratio: 4.00

As long as I have followed cricket I can easily say that this is the best 'TEAM' Pakistan has ever had as they are playing to their potential, and taking no credit away from Afridi, who along with the senior players, during the ODI series of the disastrous tour of England vowed to take Pakistan team at the top and ever since the South African series 2010-11 Pakistan have been consistent. So is it the best era of Pakistan Cricket?! It is early to suggest that and the real test of this team will come when they take on England earlier next year and perhaps India later, with the series in Srlianka and Australia's tour of Pakistan on the cards next year as well this will decide if Pakistan have left the 'Inconsistent' tag behind and firmly gripped the "World Beaters' one. :)


  1. You started following cricket late :)
    what about the team that played the 4th world cup !

  2. Sir these three are the era during which Pakistan had the best win loss ratio since 1947 ... During the 1987 WC days, we were a top ODI side but never won many test matches and played too many draw games :)

  3. in that case , the title "best era of Pakistan cricket" is debatable .. it should be more like the era in which win-loss ratio was the highest

  4. Also , will you please give us the win-loss ratio against Australia , South Africa and India in this best era ? I would love to see that

  5. I'll look for the stats for these teams asap but WIN-LOSS ratio is the best way to analyze the best era and it was also used by the Wisden Almanak to decided for the best era of of world cricket! :)

  6. Common Rafay , we all know our team , beating Westindies , Banglasdesh and a broken Srilanka aint a big deal , we must admit that this team is a weak team , why are we trying to run away from the reality ?

  7. ummm yeah that's a point :D but hopefully the England series will decide the way we are heading! atleast we are consistent!

  8. Just for info.. 1987-1991:

    Test vs AUS 6-1-1-4 W/L of 1.0
    ODI vs AUS 16-8-8-0 W/L of 1.0

    Test vs WI 6-2-2-2 W/L of 1.0
    ODI vs WI 25-10-14-1 W/L of 0.78

    We did not play against South Africa..

  9. No one asked for above statistics , totally out of context . I talked about the world cup 87 , that never meant 87-91 any ways !

    well as far as W/L ratio is concerned , Scotland ranks number 3 in one-day Internationals in 2011 if we just see the W/L ratio , leaving behind India , South Africa , Srilanka , NewZealand and West Indies ...

    Sorry Raafay , even you know the truth but may be it is getting difficult for you to show flexibility and respect my views so I Quit the debate with a few last words "Even I love my country and team and of course want them to be on top , but unfortunately we are not on top right now , we are weak and we can improve it only if we accept it

    take care

  10. Oh oh sorry Sir I thought u were talking about the post 87 era! and I'm never saying its the greatest team we ever had, they aren't even close to the team we had in 1990's I'm just saying they are consistent than some of our previous teams and shared the three most consistent era's :)