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Pakistan's Chasing Ghost

Pakistan failed to chase down a get-able target yet another time in Tests. The margin this time came down to 4 runs - and as they say - the closest defeats are the bloodiest.

Winning and losing is part of the game. Unpredictability is what differentiates sports played by humans from a game performed by robots. It all reverses when a particular outcome - be it winning or losing - starts to become predictable with robotic accuracy. This has what it become in case of Pakistan’s handling of run chases.

For Pakistan in the recent times, chasing in 4th innings of a Test has become like being chased by ghosts. Whenever Pakistan is put to chase, it looks more like its Pakistan team that is being chased, by the ghosts, rather than Pakistan team chasing a target.

It can be argued that Pakistan was never a side good at innings 4 of a Test. Such arguments can only be settled by looking at the related facts across the eras of Pakistan Test Cricket history. So let’s have a look at it.

In all, Pakistan has batted 4th in a Test on 140 occasions where it managed to come out winners on 59 occasions, mustered a draw 32 times while failed to save the Test 49 times. In percentages, Pakistan has won 42% of the run chases, drawn 35% and lost only on 23% occasions.

If the targets and results are broken down into ranges, here’s the picture that it paints:
Pakistan's 4th innings run chases Summary

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The last time teams competed for the tile of Champions of the Cricketing World, the last three teams to remain in the hunt were all from Asia. 3 out of the 5 teams to win an ICC ODI World Cup have been from Asia. The same 3 teams have also won the next big tournament in Cricket, ICC Champions Trophy. If this is not enough to underscore the impact of Asian Cricket in the World, 6 out of 14 International teams officially ranked by ICC for the ODI format are from Asia.


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Pakistan's ODI Ranking - October 2002 to June 2018

 Here's a quick look at Pakistan's ODI Ranking since the inception of Official ICC Rankings in 2002.



A timeline of all records for Highest ODI Team Total

Record Totals in ODIs since ODI #1

A complete list of all Team totals that stood as record at the time.

The overhauling of Pakistan Test side goes a step further

England vs Pakistan at Hedingley, Leeds, June 1, 2018
Usman Salahuddin becomes the 9th Pakistani to make his debut in the last 12 Test matches, in a period of roughly 19 months. Here are some more interesting stats about this recent overhauling of Pakistan Test side.


TV, Radio and Web Shows

On Samaa News - 30 March 2022

On Dawn News 26 Feb 2022

On Samaa News 21 Feb 2022

On Dawn News 14 Feb 2022

Radio Caravan - 17 May 2019

On Radio Caravan - 4 May 2019

On Dawn News TV -- 24 April 2019

On Hum News Live - 28 March 2019

On Radio Caravan - 20 April 2019

On BBC Urdu

On BBC Urdu
Discussion about ICC Rankings Update