The first task of any pick-up cricket game, as any Indian schoolboy in recess will tell you, is to choose two sides. Two captains, usually arbitrarily chosen, will select among what’s available and the smart ones will end up with a balanced side — some great batsmen, some great bowlers, and then the fat kids.
Apparently, Pakistan’s selectors need to visit Bombay’s maidans (or even their own). This current team is an absolute tragedy. By that, I don’t mean they’re awful, because they’re not. If anything they’ve shown more resolve and steel in Lord’s than at any moment in Australia (and I don’t even think they were that bed then). And that’s wherein lies the pathos: this team has incredible bowlers who are knocking off Australians in just over a day. But their batsmen couldn’t even last more than 40 overs, sending them once more to the trenches (and four more Australian wickets taken).
Just for my heart’s sake, I’d like to see a completely bad team, one with bad bowlers and bad batsmen. After the beauties that Asif bowled, or that wonderful Kaneria over against Johnson (leg-spin, leg-spin, top-spin, googly), it’s heartbreaking to see this team go down to defeat because their main batsman probably wouldn’t be allowed in R-rated movies in America (that is, he’s young). Next time, Pakistan, just put Younis Khan back in — or at least call Javed Miandad out of retirement.