It's a very weak Pakistan team that will be touring India

With Shahid Afridi gone for ODIs, the fifth bowler is going to be a cause for concern for Pakistan © Getty Images

The T20 and ODI squads for the Indian tour were just announced and guess what? Imran Farhat is back! I think it is safe to assume that he is becoming a bit of a tormentor for this cricket loving nation, but let’s not be too harsh here.

Farhat has already said that being a selector’s son-in-law puts additional pressure on him, so let’s be gentle on him. As for all the sports journalists, pundits and aspiring commentators, you may take it as a slap on your face. The selector wins again and you can’t do anything about it.

The Akmal brothers are both in, as per the law which states, “At any given point in time, at least one of the Akmal brothers has to be in the Pakistan team.”

So there you go, the law has not been violated and the two Akmals – Kamran and Umar – are selected for this tour.

The other big news is that Shahid Afridi has been dropped from the One-Day International (ODI) squad and this may turn out to be the most controversial of all decisions. Just wait until the team loses, because this is when all hell will break loose and it will be all because Afridi was not playing.

Also, combine this with the scenario that Afridi was able to connect with a few balls in one of the T20s. This will surely serve as a call for major riots from Afridi fans. The thing is, I can quote any number of statistics here, but then stats fail before Afridi; his omission or selection can never be justified logically.
Misbah-ul-Haq, Younis Khan and Azhar Ali are also selected and all three of them will anchor the innings. This makes me wonder who will be able to score runs around these anchors?

Hafeez and Umar Akmal are the two batsmen, who are still improving their batting talent. This leaves Nasir Jamshed, who no doubt is a breath of fresh air. I sincerely hope that he subjects the Indian team to an Alistair Cook-like misery.

The bowling selection includes familiar faces. Although, this is one of those rare periods in our cricket history, where our pace bowling attacks look weak. If you want to pin hopes, then expect them to win matches for the thousandth time in our cricketing history!

The only worry is with Afridi gone for ODIs, the fifth bowler is going to be a weaker link. The tall, lanky, seven foot one inch, Mohammed Irfan is given a second chance. Let’s hope, he can bounce the Indian batsmen out this time.

On paper, this must be weakest Pakistan team that is being sent to India. The team would require a miracle from the current batting line up to win any matches, by putting big totals on the score board.
Senior batsmen must perform like Inzamam-ul-Haq did on the last tour to India. It is not an impossible task, considering the batting paradise that we see in India for ODIs and T20s.

The bowlers must also show patience and bowl according to the plan.

Predictions

– Expect Kamran Akmal to drop catches.

– A successful batting chase will not occur on this tour.

– Pakistan will win no ODIs and one T20.

MS Dhoni will undoubtedly outsmart Hafeez on all occasions.

– Misbah will play just like the way he does.

Remember the time when India refused to play with Pakistan when the two “Ws” and a “single S” were at their peaks? I wish we could also do the same now.

In fact, the diluted soap/phenol/acid incident did raise my hopes briefly, but it seems like we will continue with the tour.

I am dearly and sincerely sorry for sounding so pessimistic. Believe me, as a cricket crazy Pakistani fan, I secretly pray for my predictions to go wrong. There is nothing that I would love more than to eat my words.
 
(Faraz Khan is a financial analyst with expertise in banking instruments which are heavily involved in economic down turns; a management consultant and a struggling blogger. He is fascinated by the left ‘wingery’ in Pakistan and tweets as @feeraz_khan. The above article is reproduced with permission from www. http://tribune.com.pk/)