The classical form of cricket gave a glimpse of its deformation, when a 17-year-old boy, who had his name in the team’s starting XI only as a specialist spinner, took just 37 balls to score in three figures, which is one of the great individual achievements of the sport. The dawn of the modern era was already evident in the 20th century following the majestic show by Afridi.
As time passed, the teams were seen adapting the modern conditions. Especially, when the format of Twenty20 cricket made its way to the international arena of cricket, it had a whopping effect not only on the One Day Internationals format but also on the purest form of the game, Test cricket.
The infamous encounter between Australia and South Africa at Johannesburg in 2005 further increased the spark in speculations circulating about the transformation of the game.
A decade later, England decided to absolutely change their way of playing cricket. As the favoured results require sacrifices, England for the sake of modern cricket, had to sacrifice the mega event like the World Cup, where the team was knocked out in the group stages.
The shocking result left dark marks in their cricketing textbook, but their revamped system, saw those marks being removed in a way that their darkness could never be on display again on pages of the book for at least a decade. They bid adieu to their old fashioned players and welcomed players who had flairs of modern cricket in their cricketing resume.
A similar procedure was followed by India in the leadership of Dhoni, who understood the original roles of the players like Kohli and Rohit. For the future of these players and modern cricket, India had to sacrifice the place of some of its cricketing marvels.
Who would have thought that the players like Gambhir, Sehwag, Harbhajan and Zaheer who had a huge role in the major triumphs of the team, will have to part their ways with the international circuit, early from their potential departure time?
But the sacrifice resulted in the enormous rise of Indian cricket such that their batsmen and bowlers are leading the charts of rankings, and they themselves as a team, are one of the top sides of the world.
The side which indicated about the dawn of modern cricket is itself not ready to adopt the modern playing conditions. It seems that it is light years behind the modern style of playing the game.
As it appears, Pakistan cricket is always opposite to fashion and trend on display in a specific era. We saw Pakistani players having those records to their names like fastest fifty, fastest hundred and fastest ball delivered, the achievements, which were considered mind-boggling at that time.
But when the world cricket was actually eyeing on the team to perform according to the new standards of the sport, it turned opposite and followed its old tradition of not following the ongoing fashion. Pakistan picked players who couldn’t rotate the strike properly, let alone, gaining services of the proper strikers in the side. The playing style of each player in the major batting positions has a resemblance of accumulation gameplay, which left slogging services unavailable in the side.
The nation which once had a reputation of producing the best express pacers, was playing a Test match twenty years later with bowlers, who were barely crossing the mark of 140 KPH.
The World Cup is approaching and the men in green are unable to find a player exclusive of the finishing role. They experimented with accumulators and old horses for the number six position but failed to evaluate results in their favour.
The curiosity is increased to see how Pakistan eyes to change its fortunes in the mega event without following the standards required for excelling at the modern form of the game.
If Pakistan still manages to do well despite the odds against them, it will be proved that the path they follow is always opposite to the running speculations. It will be concluded that their cricket was established to demonstrate the term unpredictability so their manner of doing things couldn’t be assumed.