There are two types of demonstrations of aggression in cricket. One is the mindset of the captain and the team which affects their game and other is the type which we have seen in Sarfraz’s captaincy (i.e. absence of mental calmness) in T20I and ODI series against West Indies.
In sports, there is a very thin line between success and failure. It won’t be inappropriate to say that luck matters the most while taking quick decisions in crunch situations.
Sarfraz Ahmed was recently appointed as captain of T20Is and ODIs and vice-captain of Test side by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Sarfraz is famous for his aggressive mindset and aggression on the ground. For too long, Pakistani nation bawling out for an aggressive captain and some people along with the PCB officials were at belief that Sarfraz can be the one. Thus, they handed over the captaincy to him but there is a catch for Sarfraz! In Pakistan, whatever the decisions you make, you can be judged on the outcome and Sarfraz should know this.
Let’s take this example, a batsman comes at the crease while his team is struggling. He comes down the ground and tries to hit the ball over the fence to put the pressure on the bowler. If he is successful then he will be applauded and if not, people would call him foolish.
For years, bowlers have been delivering out-dipper to Hafeez to take his wicket but he punished the same ball in 3rd ODI against West Indies.
In PSL 2017 final, which was held in Lahore, Sarfraz showed his aggressive instinct when he was attacking the Peshawar Zalmi’s bowlers after quick blows to his team. Hafeez had got better of him after he was hit for two consecutive boundaries. Sarfraz was criticized badly by the cricket pundits citing that there was no need to go for another hit after scoring two consecutive boundaries while he was applauded for the same display of batting against Lahore Qalandars when Gladiators chased down the target of 200.
This is the thing that Sarfraz needs to learn.
He is a man with aggressive mindset but the question is; how aggressive he can afford to be?
One thing that Sarfraz surely knows is that the Pakistani nation doesn’t tolerate defeats so it leaves one question; can Sarfraz fly high like McCullum by carrying the fear of failure? Sometimes aggression can win you matches and sometimes your gambles can make you pay. McCullum completed his regime successfully and set the example by his aggressive nature but expecting those results from Sarfraz like McCullum produced for New Zealand would be unfair because Sarfraz is not McCullum, Pakistan is not New Zealand and Pakistani fans are different from New Zealand’s fans.
There is a lot of talk going around regarding Sarfraz’s behavior with his players on the field. In 2nd ODI against Windies, he was spotted scolding players and laying finger on Imad Wasim. In 3rd ODI, he even missed the chance of a run out while he was shouting at fielder.
This is where Sarfu needs to improve. This attitude won’t help him in future. He is not Imran Khan and I don’t think players will tolerate this behavior of him in future. Even Shahid Afridi (who was in favor of Sarfraz as national team’s captain) warned him to keep his cool while playing in the field. If Afridi is giving him the advice then Sarfraz should take it because he knows our dressing room better than anyone else.
Sarfraz has huge responsibilities on his shoulders. People are expecting results from him. He needs to control his aggression to his own team’s need. Our team is in recovering phase and they need a leader and I believe that Sarfraz can be the one if he remains calm on the pitch and produce good results because in Pakistan, failure is not an option.