Monday, July 19, 2010

Pakistan vs Australia 2nd Test 2010: Salman Butt has a Tough Task Ahead

In a repeat of what had been a regular picture of a test match involving Pakistan and Australia over the last one decade, Australia convincingly defeated Pakistan by 150 runs in the first of the two-match test series which is currently going on in England.

In the aftermath of the defeat at Lord’s, Shahid Afridi retired from test cricket just one match after coming back to test format following a four-year absence in the longer version of the game. Now, his deputy on the tour, Salman Butt, would lead Pakistan in the second and the final match with Pakistan needing a victory to level the series.

Pakistan could not even draw any test match against Australia over the last decade. So, winning the second test at Leeds starting from 21 July would take more than 100 percent from each of the Pakistani players. Stand-in captain Salman Butt now has a very tough goal to accomplish.

Pakistan’s batting line up, which was already missing Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan, would look feebler in the absence of Shahid Afridi and it could be an added pressure on opener Salman Butt. Though the possibility of brining back either Yousuf or Younis as Afridi’s replacement is being discussed at the moment, it is less likely that there would be any change in the current Pakistan squad ahead of the second test.

So, that means Pakistan would have to rely more on their experienced batsmen like Salman Butt and Kamran Akmal. The condition is so critical that even just a year back Butt and Kamran were among the younger members of the squad, and now they are among the experienced players.

Leg spinner Danish Kaneria is the most experienced member of the current squad with 59 test matches to his credit and interestingly there is a possibility Kaneria could be replaced by off spinner Saeed Ajmal who has played just 5 test matches so far in his career. Shoaib Malik could be the replacement for Afridi.

Overall, Salman Butt is facing perhaps the toughest job in his career. He must make a very good contribution with his bat and get the best out of a pool of inexperienced players, many of whom are playing just because the experienced player are missing. However, Butt could also be inspired to accomplish something that even many of his great predecessors could not achieve.

No comments:

Post a Comment