Pakistan’s Mohammed Hafeez (L) and Safarad Ahmed (R) celebrate with team mates at the end during T20 cricket cricket match between Pakistan and New Zealand at the Dubai Cricket Stadium in Dubai on November 2, 2018.
Pakistan is proving to be a powerhouse in T20 Internationals. Winning 11 successive T20 series is remarkable in many ways.
Many continue to believe that T20 victories are a fluke, terming the format as bang-bang cricket, but Pakistan has now proved that one can win consistently in T20 matches against the toughest of opponents.
Their stupendous show in the series against Australia and New Zealand here will place them strongly on top of the Twenty20 ICC ranking table over second placed India.
Be it in any format, dominating over all countries is a huge morale-booster.
Pakistan have often been labelled as an unpredictable team, but through this string of series victories they have made a strong case for removal of the tag.
One of the common queries to skipper Sarfraz Ahmad on the eve of these two series was whether their poor show in the Asia Cup would affect them.
Sarfraz had noted that Asia Cup was history and their focus would be on the series ahead.
To wear such a positive outlook, especially after losing to arch rivals India in the Asia Cup, required tremendous mental strength. Sarfraz, who thankfully, was not removed from captaincy by the selectors, managed to inspire confidence in his boys.
Pakistan has a history of doing well under a strong captain. Imran Khan and Misbah Ul Haq could carry their teams to many glorious moments because their players knew that their captain was powerful, positive and stable. Pakistan has always been at the mercy of armchair critics because one series defeat was enough for many to forget all that was achieved in the past.
Many also forget the fact that Pakistan is a team on exile. To be the best in the world in a format without playing at home in front of their home crowd is not easy. It is the abundance of natural talent and resilience in the team that is pushing them to great heights.
Sarfraz rightly commented after their second successive series win that his boys deserve all the credit. The biggest compliment that Sarfraz could get came from New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, who sportingly commented that it was important to take little lessons from the way Pakistan play their cricket.
Compliments like these are needed for a team that is fighting all odds to win tournaments rather than nit-picking on their faults at their slightest failure. There are many youngsters in the team and they need to be able to play with confidence and not under pressure.