Shan Masood Steps Into a New Persona Silently.

Shan Masood

Shan Masood Steps Into a New Persona Silently -Shan Masood emerges subtly from the shadows in his most recent avatar. The new Test skipper of Pakistan has overcome several challenges throughout the years.

Shan Masood

Shan Masood is a man who appears to be absent a lot, but he is always present. Masood seems to be involved in every pivotal occasion in Pakistani Test cricket, like that character in a soap opera that is included in the credits but features more than most key characters. You believe the authors have put him to death, that his character arc has made it impossible for him to make another appearance. And then he’s brought into being again through reimagining. The newcomer, the exciting opener, the valuable number three, and the calm, collected figure in the changing room is Shan Masood.

And then you look up to see him standing by Pat Cummins with the gold Benaud-Qadir Trophy shining between them in the intense early afternoon sun of Perth. He’s discussing the pitch with Cummins, including how spicy he anticipates it to be (“very,” in case you were wondering). He’s speaking to a handful of reporters, not quite as many as around Cummins (the captains’ news conferences were held in the outfield, so nobody lingered longer than necessary), but still a good dozen or so. He is discussing Usman Khawaja’s shoes, leadership, legacy, and the Pakistan Way. The Test skipper Shan Masood is the most spectacular reincarnation.

How did this come about? Really, how does anything in Masood’s career happen?

It has felt true about every brief term he has had in the side, even if he only returned to the Test team five matches ago. While he didn’t light the world on fire, he did manage to score his first half-century in more than three years, the majority of which he spent, you guessed it, off the pitch. During that period, he was named vice-captain of the ODI team despite not participating in any ODI matches for three years. However, he was promptly dropped from the team.

Shan Masood Briliance Performance
Shan Masood Briliance Performance

It doesn’t matter how much or how little he is present; Masood is always on Pakistanis minds. Supporters of the languid elegance that runs through his purple patches insist that his record has never been a true reflection of his abilities. His calm demeanour is frequently praised as a priceless asset in the frequently chaotic dressing room, and his relentless work ethic to maximise his potential is frequently mentioned as the standard that senior pros should strive to meet. Additionally, selectors are constantly thinking about him since, although though he has only participated in 30 of the 78 Test matches that Pakistan has played since his debut, he is the only member of this team to have participated in at least one Test match annually since 2013. By now, if he played football for a club, he should be getting a testimonial. Sarfaraz Ahmed is the only one with more experience.

And despite all the talk of a rich, effete upbringing that critics have called totemic of the institutional favouritism that exists in most Pakistani institutions, Masood has the kind of steely will that only the most malicious would deny him in order to survive ten years in Pakistani cricket.That was made clear by a debut score of 75 against an attack that included Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, and Jacques Kallis. It was cemented in stone with a century in the fourth innings to complete a world record chase in Sri Lanka. He was benched again after two Test matches, and his three subsequent comebacks to the team lasted two, one, and two matches, respectively.

Masood was inserted at number three minutes before the toss, courtesy to an injury sustained by Haris Sohail on the morning of a Centurion Test. This was the last sustained run he would be permitted in the team. With every Test completed before lunch on the fourth day, the unintentional starter turned into an unlikely star for Pakistan during an otherwise miserable tour, placing second overall on the run-charts in a series that Pakistan lost 3-0.

It was followed the next year, in possibly the most miserable of several miserable tours by Pakistan to Australia, with solid performances in Brisbane and Adelaide. In Adelaide, he scored a hard-fought 68 runs in the second inning and received starts in all four innings, showing resilience that few of his peers could match. Even though Masood had more options than most of his peers in life, it goes without saying that attending Durham University or Stomford School doesn’t fully prepare one for life in South Africa and Australia.

However, Masood is nonetheless vulnerable to criticism despite his modest gestures and generally inoffensive disposition. Due to their tense relationship, he failed to win over Babar’s followers after the former captain reluctantly resigned and Masood rose to prominence. Even though Masood the cricket player took the brunt of it, Masood the person also suffered; a heartfelt social media post commemorating his sister’s death anniversary drew a lot of criticism and little compassion.

And even though Masood’s track record makes him a target for criticism—even mockery—when he takes over as captain, he has only done the one thing in Pakistan that is necessary to have a chance: hang around. After being ignored by the system so many times, most cricket players would eventually fade into obscurity, but Masood has persistently pushed himself into the discussion. He was killing it on the List A circuit if red-ball runs dried up.

In the event that that failed, he led Multan Sultans to the PSL championship game and emerged victorious from the competition the following year. If Pakistan didn’t work out, he travelled to England for the County Championship. His analytical skills in cricket are highly regarded; he worked as a broadcaster for ESPNcricinfo for the 2021 T20 World Cup. He was Pakistan’s leading scorer in the World Cup final at the same tournament the following year.

Masood can wear a lot of hats and looks nice in them all, but he will probably never have felt better about himself than he did today, as he put on the green blazer on an unbearably hot day. He might have been as close to the trophy as he would get all month with that one hand. However, this side already seems to be shaped in the likeness of its commander, enticing to watch even though it is filled with glaring flaws that they would do everything in their power to hide.

Masood departed the press conference outside as soon as it was over, disappearing into the tunnel; it seemed fitting that he had left as fast as he had arrived. As usual, he’d made as little news as possible while discussing in detail. He avoided getting sucked into the narrative surrounding Khawaja’s shoes, was circumspect about team selection, and was neutral on Pakistan’s style of play. He left without saying goodbye because, well, this is Masood and he would definitely return.

As expected, a half hour later, someone looking down the media box saw a figure emerge over the boundary and head towards the Pakistani team’s huddle. This time, he was wearing a Pakistan training uniform instead of a green blazer as he moved to take his spot among his colleagues. The same old Shan Masood, another headgear.


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