ISLAMABAD - Disastrous batting display by the green shirts helped South Africa humiliate Pakistan by 117 runs in the fifth and final One-day International at Sharjah, thus inflicting 4-1 disgraceful defeat on the Pakistan team.

Different quarters have been blaming Dave Whatmore for the debacle performances of the national team for the past 20 months or so, but nobody is raising eyebrows over the PCB and its panel of the selectors, who are solely responsible for whole disaster. Majority of the selected players are even not capable of being the part of the playing XI and it were they who were the main reason behind the national team downfall. While on the other hand, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has other ideas as personal interests have been given preference over national.

Pakistan bowling was always their main weapon and it was just because of bowlers, the national team managed to win majority of the matches, but it was time and again mentioned that this team lacks fast bowlers and it will be very difficult for these ordinary bowlers to give tough time to the mighty South African batting line up and the same happened and the outcome was shameful series defeat in the hands of Proteas. M Hafeez was a total flop despite enjoying too many chances. He even doesn’t know how to bat on straight deliveries? The way his off stump was uprooted on a simple ball clearly shows his caliber as a batsman.

Umar Akmal, who is a natural talent and highly gifted player, not only disappointed the entire nation but also let himself down. Pakistan team wasted all the seven reviews they sought during the entire series which speaks volumes about Misbah’s inability to read the situation. How could it be possible for players to decide themselves about going for review? Shahid Afridi still acts like skipper as he went for straight review in the previous match, without even bothering to consult with keeper or captain. This attitude is by no means acceptable at such level.

Entire Pakistan batting flopped miserably in the five-match series, with only exception of Ahmed Shahzad and real find of the series Sohaib Maqsood, who is a tailor-made replacement for Inzimamul Haq. Sohaib have already shown tremendous technique when he played all the African bowlers at will so he must be encouraged and given maximum exposure to convert him into one of the world’s best players.

Umer Amin, Asad Shafiq, Hafeez, Umar Akmal and Afridi were the big flops in the entire series. Afridi was the main reason behind Pakistan team’s series defeat as he threw away his wickets cheaply and did not contribute well for the team with his bat. Umar Akmal deliberately under-performed just to make way for his elder brother Kamran Akmal, who is now very much in the picture and certain to be recalled for South African series to be played in South Africa. Umar had done same thing in the past too and time is ripe the PCB must take strong action against Umar Akmal and others who deliberately under-performed just for settling personal scores.

Misbah has well passed his peak days so the PCB should give the responsibility of captaincy to the one who may lead the team in all the three formats. The new captain will surely lose some matches, but soon he will get out of the phase and start giving more than desired results after gaining confidence and experience.

The PCB should get rid of these so-called super stars at one go and give chance to the players who have been performing well in domestic circuit on consistent basis. Keeping faith in aging stars who are not even giving ordinary performances deprives young and talented players who are long waiting for their turn after scoring loads of runs in domestic cricket.

Even the very best coach of the world can’t change the fortunes of the national team, if players are not willing to listen and not ready to change their approach. It will be better for the PCB to hire a local coach, which will help the board in both ways as first, he will cost cheap for the board and secondly, he will not face any problem in communicating with the players to train them in a better way. The ball is now in the PCB’s court either they adopt a clear and better policy or they are ready for more pathetic results in the upcoming series.