Having just watched Ian Bell make his 16th test century against India I thought Michael Atherton made an interesting comment about how great Ian Bell has become and that he probably would'nt have made a century batting at number 3 a few years ago because he just wasn't good enough. Now I think this perfectly illustrates team Englands view to batsmen which when you come to think of it seems like a pretty common sense approach:
Step 1: Find talent
Step 2: Nurture Talent
Step 3: Reap the rewards (In this case 16 test centuries from Ian Bell)
Now Ive been thinking about this next point for a long time now about how Pakistan can always produce young talented batsmen who start with a bang then just fizzle out in to obscurity e.g. Imran Nazir, Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, Asim Kamal, Khurram Manzoor, Umar Amin, Fawad Alam etc. These batsmen have been a part of the Pakistani view to batsmen:
Step 1: Find talent
Step 2: Play young batsmen
Step 3: Drop young batsmen
Step 4: Replace with new talent
Step 5: Repeat Process over
Now don't get me wrong I am not naive enough to think that the Pakistani batsmen that I have mentioned are born test cricketers or are even as good as Ian Bell but you have to agree with me that the majority of these have all had success at some point in their test careers (Imran Nazir test century against Walsh and Ambrose, Imran Farhat has test centuries, Asim Kamal 99 on debut against a strong SAF side, Fawad Alam 140 odd against Murali in SL opening the batting for the first time!). Now again you may not believe that these players are good enough test cricketers but these feats however large or small should have surely lead to more of these players becoming mainstays of the Pakistani line up.
I find it so frustrating that all this talent is just wasted, can you imagine if Ian Bell was a Pakistani batsmen? He would have been dropped at the start of his career never to be seen again and Pakistan would have been robbed of a great player.
Now I know Pakistan cricket is a mish mash of every drama in the world run by people with no idea of the game but it's not rocket science!! You need to give talent the greatest chance to succeed not just look for quick fixes all the time.
I hope that with Waqar Younis as coach he has some semblance of sensibility and trys to develop some of the young batsmen we possess otherwise this cycle will continue.....