Pakistan in Australia 2009-10 January 18, 2010

Pakistan's fielding caught in a time warp

There is not a cricket-playing country in the world as backward and as resistant to not just modernity but simple, natural progression as Pakistan
  shares 63

The broad point is often made in Pakistan that the world seems to be passing the country by. The extent of it can still be debated, but that the cricket world has long since left Pakistan behind cannot be.

This series, in the eyes of evolution, has been man grappling ape, mobile phones battling message-carrying pigeons. Australia, even this lessened, beatable Australia, has been at least a civilization ahead of Pakistan. There is not a cricket-playing country in the world as backward and as resistant to not just modernity but simple, natural progression as Pakistan.

This retardation pours out from their every pore, but it fairly gushes out when it comes to fielding. No side in the world is worse than Pakistan in the field, absolutely no side. It isn't just that they drop sitters, or are slower and stiffer in the field than the beings of a cemetery, though dropping nearly 30 catches in six Tests is bad enough. They were the last side to pick up as basic a fielding skill as the slide, or the outfield relay throw. And even now they do them with all the ease of a couple on a blind date. Nobody hits the stumps with less frequency than them.

This is science, but not that of rockets. Every side in the world has bettered itself as fielding standards generally have gone up from the 90s. It used to be a deeper scar across the subcontinent. But the breadth of change across India has been vast and it has taken in fielding; Bangladesh - a child of the 90s - has never been bad to begin with; Sri Lanka have made the biggest, most impressive strides.

Pakistan? On their best days they have remained as poor as they have been always, on their bad days they have gotten worse. If someone were to write a tour diary of Pakistan's last three trips, to Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Australia, it wouldn't be much different from the earliest such diaries Abdul Hafeez Kardar wrote in the 50s, replete as they were with accounts of endless dropped catches, written off as if they were somehow collateral damage in the great battle to be a good Test side. That's how little they have progressed over fifty years; mind you, no system of governance has been settled upon in that time, so what is fielding?

This team management's response, day after day, dropped catch after dropped catch, has been Luddite-headed and revealed an old, passé vision. 'What will a specialist fielding coach do? The same thing we are doing. This is a grassroots problem.' What Pakistan does in its fielding and catching drills is actually very little other than throw up high balls for players to catch and standard slip-catching routines. They don't think much more is necessary. So devoid of new ideas have they been that they were passed on a fielding routine indirectly by an Australian official, which it is believed, was the first time they had even practiced something different in months. It is broke. It needs fixing.

It is also widespread. When was the last time a Pakistani tailender transformed himself as did Jason Gillespie or Ashley Giles? Shoaib Akhtar did it for about six Tests in 2005-06 but anyone else? What Peter Siddle did in Sydney, none of Danish Kaneria, Umar Gul and Mohammad Asif are likely to do.

If someone were to write a tour diary of Pakistan's last three trips, to Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Australia, it wouldn't be much different from the earliest such diaries Abdul Hafeez Kardar wrote in the 50s, replete as they were with accounts of endless dropped catches, written off as if they were somehow collateral damage in the great battle to be a good Test side

Pakistan had two men in the 70s who so helped transform the art of running between the wickets: Javed Miandad and Asif Iqbal. Yet now they produce some of the worst, most inert runners. The two run-outs in Hobart pole-axed their reply, but the malaise goes beyond just bad judgment and indecisiveness.

Pakistan's batsmen are consistently the least likely to turn ones into twos, or twos into threes, and this is the bedrock of smart, modern batsmanship. There will always be one, two, maybe more, who do not ground their bats properly when running in, or those who don't back up at all as the bowler comes in. Who does that anymore?

Members of Pakistan's entourage have painted a picture of incoherent team meetings at the start of a day or in session breaks, random and ill-planned. Subsequently, Pakistan have been at their poorest when they needed to be at their sharpest. Both openers were dropped in the very first session of the series in Melbourne; Mitchell Johnson took two wickets in the first over of the last morning there; Nathan Hauritz took two wickets in an over soon after tea on the last day in Sydney; Ricky Ponting was dropped on nought on the first morning in Hobart; Peter Siddle took the key wicket in his second over on the final morning here; three-nil and all through the summer Pakistan have not identified key sessions and moments. These are sins of uncaring, unthinking, lazy minds.

The leadership was timid, the batting limited and Australia declared four times out of six against a bowling attack that is supposed to be Pakistan's strength; yet no stronger taste is left in the mouth as that of this vast, debilitating unmodernity, which inflicted a whitewash upon Pakistan itself. It is charming when they win with all this or push sides close, because it is a retro throwback to the times when talent and laziness could still win the day. But they lose more often because of it and it is infuriating.

On the fourth morning in Hobart, Intikhab Alam gave some catching practice to Kamran Akmal, regular stuff with one throwing a ball at a crouched, slow Intikhab who would open the face of the bat and edge to Akmal. He managed to give about five catches to Akmal, out of maybe fifty. The scene was everything, and nothing about it was right.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Dr_Omar_Khan on | January 20, 2010, 22:58 GMT

    Hi Osman. As usual very thought provoking article. This is my second attempt at feedback, first one got ignored! My concern is the lack of education of the team. We keep trying to compete at top level with such poorly prepared players, who for the most part, probably can read or write English. It's not something to laugh about or take carelessly. We are competing in an international sport with highly equipped technology. This game does allow the think tank of the team to support the captain on field (unlike many other sports). The fact our players do so well, it's remarkable and they should be lauded. PCB and the academy must ensure that education of it's players happens, esp the young ones and they must be groomed to be true ambassadors. It empowers confidence and equips them with tools to counter challenges in a calculated way. Talent is only part of the story. If we're looking for another Imran Khan, we should look for the complete package.

  • POSTED BY MFB76 on | January 20, 2010, 4:30 GMT

    I agree with Mr. coeurlion but then its wishful thinking. No where is sports more politicized then in Pakistan. They would never make Imran Khan the whip master cause of political reasons. They cant hide behind the lack of test cricket. Dont e have catches in one days and 20-20. This is all crap. Every ones accountable and so are they. Ask for an explanation,cut their pay checks. Is nt this is what happens to any one who does not perform. And shame on PCB or even offering players for IPL. Forget IPL and concentrate on Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY fadooo on | January 19, 2010, 21:58 GMT

    I think we should ban our team from playing any top level cricket, except for perhaps T20. This humiliation and heartache is the last thing that a battered country needs...

  • POSTED BY richard-munir on | January 19, 2010, 11:19 GMT

    Let's say it was poor fielding or batting or laziness, but still it was positive for the image of the country. let's not forget where and what kind of currant condition of their inside coutry they are coming and what kind of news from the country is coming from. it's so easy to criticize there performance and talk about only cricket. they are playing to make a difference in the mind of media or peoples back home that there's still some thing different to listen and watch and bombs ok. so my dear cricket writers or born geneses. i'm also not happy about the loss or black wash in these three tests of pakistan cricket team but i'm very happy that it shows that atleast peoples have some thing else to talk in the country. so be fair and have kind heart give positive advice and not try to be so much killer writer. just give them some time to gether ther mind. i'm glad that pakistan team is playing, and wish they perform sooner then later at test level as much as they are able of. thanks.

  • POSTED BY NadeemSalik on | January 19, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    I think we should do a few simple things 1) put a complete ban on anybody but the captain do any talking (never read any comments from any other country's manager or coach) 2) persist with one set of players for at least 10 to 15 tests at their set batting and/or bowling orders before making any changes (If you choose 11 complete jokers and let them play for some decent period of time they will develop some understanding while running between the wickets and some skill to stay and play) 3) for God's sake, if you can not change the domestic set up to make it competative, at least make some green top seaming strips and make sure anybody selected for tests have enough scores on his resume from the matches played on these surfaces and if none of that can be done then STOP PLAYING CRICKET - BAN IT

  • POSTED BY coeurlion on | January 19, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    Even as an Australian supporter, I have read many comments by fellow cricket lovers from Pakistan. The anger, frustration and sense of betrayal is palpable. And rightly so! From those comments, I have gleaned that the current team is a symptom of a much greater malaise. FWIW, here's my 2 cents worth. Make Imran Khan CEO of the PCB, give him far-reaching powers and a 5 year mandate... that is to resurrect Pakistan cricket, from grass roots to elite level. He can hire what assistants he requires... if they be foreigners (eg. Lawson), then so be it! Make it clear that NOBODY'S position is safe. Merit, talent, passion, excellence and performance should be encouraged and rewarded. Do not perform... you're gone! I may sound naive, but there is an old saying "a new broom sweeps clean". Desperate times need desperate measures... from the comments I have read and the Pakistani team performance, times are desperate. I personally do not want to see Pakistani cricket consigned to oblivion.

  • POSTED BY sandunk on | January 19, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    Pakistan should hire your services, you are an intelligent man who they are lacking to run their affairs!!

  • POSTED BY mubujk on | January 19, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    Pakistan will Bounce Back............. INSHA ALLAH

  • POSTED BY sohail77 on | January 19, 2010, 1:30 GMT

    Once again, brilliant commentary.

    Three types of changes are needed First are strategy-tactical from fielding to field placement. Most commentary is convinced that this needs to be modernized, ie from the heroic to the scientific. Second is the capacity for belief. If the comfort level is losing, then that is where the team will be comfortable. A sports psychologist or any type of therapist would help team members change their thought patterns, and when panic does set in, have patterns of thought to reduce panic (from deep breathing ...to visualising winning ...to just focusing on the next run, ie moment by moment instead of focused on the future). Or someone to jar the comfort level, create a new pattern. Third is the brain-mind-body connection ie visualizing winning, visualizing catching, hitting, ie training the body prior to practice to succeed. Most professional teams use all three approaches. Without them, it doesn't matter how many heros are on the team ...

  • POSTED BY imad13 on | January 19, 2010, 0:11 GMT

    Mr. samiuddin, yes all pakistani fans are very frustrated right now. But you do need to realize that Pakistan hasn't been playing any test cricket for a while now. Now if u add to that an inexperienced side, it makes for a mediocre combination.I know the fielding was very poor. But keep in mind that fielding in test cricket is not easy especially when u have an inexperienced team without much recent test exposure. One more thing we need to keep in mind is that the last time we won against australia was in 1994. Naturally the side isn't used to closing games. You pointed out that the leadership was timid. Again, Mohd. Yusuf is a new captain with a roster that changes every test match. For the board to expect this side to perform even at par, it needs to make sure that Pakistan plays a good number of series under one captain and a relatively stable roster.

  • POSTED BY Dr_Omar_Khan on | January 20, 2010, 22:58 GMT

    Hi Osman. As usual very thought provoking article. This is my second attempt at feedback, first one got ignored! My concern is the lack of education of the team. We keep trying to compete at top level with such poorly prepared players, who for the most part, probably can read or write English. It's not something to laugh about or take carelessly. We are competing in an international sport with highly equipped technology. This game does allow the think tank of the team to support the captain on field (unlike many other sports). The fact our players do so well, it's remarkable and they should be lauded. PCB and the academy must ensure that education of it's players happens, esp the young ones and they must be groomed to be true ambassadors. It empowers confidence and equips them with tools to counter challenges in a calculated way. Talent is only part of the story. If we're looking for another Imran Khan, we should look for the complete package.

  • POSTED BY MFB76 on | January 20, 2010, 4:30 GMT

    I agree with Mr. coeurlion but then its wishful thinking. No where is sports more politicized then in Pakistan. They would never make Imran Khan the whip master cause of political reasons. They cant hide behind the lack of test cricket. Dont e have catches in one days and 20-20. This is all crap. Every ones accountable and so are they. Ask for an explanation,cut their pay checks. Is nt this is what happens to any one who does not perform. And shame on PCB or even offering players for IPL. Forget IPL and concentrate on Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY fadooo on | January 19, 2010, 21:58 GMT

    I think we should ban our team from playing any top level cricket, except for perhaps T20. This humiliation and heartache is the last thing that a battered country needs...

  • POSTED BY richard-munir on | January 19, 2010, 11:19 GMT

    Let's say it was poor fielding or batting or laziness, but still it was positive for the image of the country. let's not forget where and what kind of currant condition of their inside coutry they are coming and what kind of news from the country is coming from. it's so easy to criticize there performance and talk about only cricket. they are playing to make a difference in the mind of media or peoples back home that there's still some thing different to listen and watch and bombs ok. so my dear cricket writers or born geneses. i'm also not happy about the loss or black wash in these three tests of pakistan cricket team but i'm very happy that it shows that atleast peoples have some thing else to talk in the country. so be fair and have kind heart give positive advice and not try to be so much killer writer. just give them some time to gether ther mind. i'm glad that pakistan team is playing, and wish they perform sooner then later at test level as much as they are able of. thanks.

  • POSTED BY NadeemSalik on | January 19, 2010, 6:08 GMT

    I think we should do a few simple things 1) put a complete ban on anybody but the captain do any talking (never read any comments from any other country's manager or coach) 2) persist with one set of players for at least 10 to 15 tests at their set batting and/or bowling orders before making any changes (If you choose 11 complete jokers and let them play for some decent period of time they will develop some understanding while running between the wickets and some skill to stay and play) 3) for God's sake, if you can not change the domestic set up to make it competative, at least make some green top seaming strips and make sure anybody selected for tests have enough scores on his resume from the matches played on these surfaces and if none of that can be done then STOP PLAYING CRICKET - BAN IT

  • POSTED BY coeurlion on | January 19, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    Even as an Australian supporter, I have read many comments by fellow cricket lovers from Pakistan. The anger, frustration and sense of betrayal is palpable. And rightly so! From those comments, I have gleaned that the current team is a symptom of a much greater malaise. FWIW, here's my 2 cents worth. Make Imran Khan CEO of the PCB, give him far-reaching powers and a 5 year mandate... that is to resurrect Pakistan cricket, from grass roots to elite level. He can hire what assistants he requires... if they be foreigners (eg. Lawson), then so be it! Make it clear that NOBODY'S position is safe. Merit, talent, passion, excellence and performance should be encouraged and rewarded. Do not perform... you're gone! I may sound naive, but there is an old saying "a new broom sweeps clean". Desperate times need desperate measures... from the comments I have read and the Pakistani team performance, times are desperate. I personally do not want to see Pakistani cricket consigned to oblivion.

  • POSTED BY sandunk on | January 19, 2010, 4:20 GMT

    Pakistan should hire your services, you are an intelligent man who they are lacking to run their affairs!!

  • POSTED BY mubujk on | January 19, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    Pakistan will Bounce Back............. INSHA ALLAH

  • POSTED BY sohail77 on | January 19, 2010, 1:30 GMT

    Once again, brilliant commentary.

    Three types of changes are needed First are strategy-tactical from fielding to field placement. Most commentary is convinced that this needs to be modernized, ie from the heroic to the scientific. Second is the capacity for belief. If the comfort level is losing, then that is where the team will be comfortable. A sports psychologist or any type of therapist would help team members change their thought patterns, and when panic does set in, have patterns of thought to reduce panic (from deep breathing ...to visualising winning ...to just focusing on the next run, ie moment by moment instead of focused on the future). Or someone to jar the comfort level, create a new pattern. Third is the brain-mind-body connection ie visualizing winning, visualizing catching, hitting, ie training the body prior to practice to succeed. Most professional teams use all three approaches. Without them, it doesn't matter how many heros are on the team ...

  • POSTED BY imad13 on | January 19, 2010, 0:11 GMT

    Mr. samiuddin, yes all pakistani fans are very frustrated right now. But you do need to realize that Pakistan hasn't been playing any test cricket for a while now. Now if u add to that an inexperienced side, it makes for a mediocre combination.I know the fielding was very poor. But keep in mind that fielding in test cricket is not easy especially when u have an inexperienced team without much recent test exposure. One more thing we need to keep in mind is that the last time we won against australia was in 1994. Naturally the side isn't used to closing games. You pointed out that the leadership was timid. Again, Mohd. Yusuf is a new captain with a roster that changes every test match. For the board to expect this side to perform even at par, it needs to make sure that Pakistan plays a good number of series under one captain and a relatively stable roster.

  • POSTED BY FaisalAhmed on | January 18, 2010, 23:22 GMT

    After whatever happened in Australia lot of stuff have been said . In my opinion in short there are 3 most important fields in which Pakistan cricket team needs changes as soon as possible. 1-Fielding2 Captain 3 Team line up.

    1-Team need a professional coach like Johnty Rods and special training camp at least 2 weeks before every series.

    2-It is time to select Shahid Afridi as a captain for all formats of the game. Pakistan team need a fighter like Afridi . What favors Afridi's selection? A- His capability of making right decisions on right time B- He can take entire team with him without any politics and personal liking or disliking involved C- After several years of last three Undecided ,CONFUSED and very Defensive captains like Malik,Younis and Yousuf, team needs a fighter captain who can lead from the front.

    3-Team needs fresh blood and players like Fawad Alam, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Tanveer Ahmed,Khurram manzoor, khalid latif and someone under rated and neglected like M. Sami

  • POSTED BY Robert100 on | January 18, 2010, 23:14 GMT

    As an avid cricketing fan - and a Kiwi - I can't help feel some sympathy (empathy even?) for Pakistan at present. Being 'at sea' on a cricket field is something that we Kiwi's have also excelled at over the years but I can not help agree with this article about how most criketing nations seem to have moved on far faster than Pakistan has. And although the article talks at length about the physical skills required there is only the implication in and around the mental side of the game - and as all New Zealanders know you don't go to Australia without your head well and truly 'in the game'. To me the most disappointing aspect was what, to an outside observer, seemed to be the lack of mental tougness at times. An easy comment to make from the sidelines I know but it is a vital part of the mix.

  • POSTED BY humayuntarar on | January 18, 2010, 23:08 GMT

    I think the heart rate checker used in this series sums up the whole thing.it shows how confident and fearless they were in the field.it was the lack of confidence and fear which won the series for australia.

  • POSTED BY Deenesh on | January 18, 2010, 22:07 GMT

    Poor Pakistan. "You can't teach an old dog new tricks". Yet this is the same team who won the T20 cup, and also the same team eliminated forst rund in the last major world cup. The same Pakistani team continues to baffle the world time and time again. As a national team, I'm sure they can AFFORD a fielding coach. If they can't, India can give them one. They have enough money as it is. As an indian fan, I feel happy when India does well, and Pakistan does not. However at the same time it distresses me to see such dominance and carelessness at the highest level, in the oldest format. Hopefully Pakistan will learn, but until they do we cannot expect anything more than the occasional good performance. Sri Lanka has come a long way as a sub-continental side, and they have by far surpassed Pakistan. if Pakistan do not mend thier ways, Bangladesh could very well take thier place as the eight major test playing nation. Pakistan could very well be on the brink of a dark age of talent extinction

  • POSTED BY IndusKnight on | January 18, 2010, 21:46 GMT

    This article sublimely captures the gloom Pakistan Cricket is in or HAS BEEN for a over a decade now. But this had to happen. The way Pakistanis do everything eventually had to transpire like this! Look at the politics and everything else, who's fault is it? We can't blame anyone but all the people of the nation. I live in Riyadh and the way Pakistanis treat and cheat each other is pathetic! What else can I say? We have such a wonderful country and we are just ruining everything. We will keep doing, I don't see how Pakistanis will change now!

  • POSTED BY MAYAKHAN on | January 18, 2010, 21:20 GMT

    Think out side the box! we are playing day and nights. Having net sesions feilding practises but we are still where we started off. Change mentality, change gears, show ownership, dignity and pride. Have a camp all over the country, there are players which have not formally registered with pcb but there is tallent in thr streets which needs attention. There is still hope...

  • POSTED BY zarayzmalik on | January 18, 2010, 20:47 GMT

    Pakistan has good blend of fast bowlers: M Asif, Sami, Aamer. They all need person like waqar to groom these individuals to become the best in the world.

    With regards to Spinners: i dont see anyone using his brains even 1% to the value of saqlain or shane warne.

    Batting: This is where we need a big time revolutionary change to bring new talent and get rid of all those incapable of keeping National flag despite the fact that they get paid as top 25% in Pakistan.

    Selectors: How can you make a better team with group of Iqbal Qasim,Ijaz Ahmed,M Shoaib. i would strongly suggest names like Zaheer Abbas and Javed Miandad.

    Board Management: They all should be asked to removed from office including the chairman.

    Safarshis: Imran Frahat,Abdul Rauf,Misbah.......... Come on Pakistan, Grow up and save country's name.

  • POSTED BY RehanBokhari on | January 18, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    By reading last paragraph, Intikhab has to be sacked as Pakistan coach. We need fresh blood. We should reinstate Younus as Captain and Mr. Yousaf can perform better as batsman because he is not a Captain material. The he can concentrate on Tabligue and just score some runs. Drop Shoaib Malik and Akmal brothers from the side, No politics. Make it clear to the cricketers, play with discipline otherwise you have no place in the team. Shoaib Malik flowing the foot steps of Ijaz and Ramiz, score few runs in last Test and save your place for next series. Otherwise these players hardly contribute when need. .

  • POSTED BY zarayzmalik on | January 18, 2010, 20:37 GMT

    Yousuf is not a good on-field leader, we should learn it now than later.Neither is he serious about his profession which is his livlihood. I was shocked to his comments "

    "I am a new captain and captains are not born. It takes time. I am willing to take help from anyone. They say I made mistakes. I probably did, for sure. It can happen. But tell me what to do, and then if I don't learn or am not listening, then criticise me. I am ready, I will speak to anyone about it."

    He has been playing since 1998. If he has not learnt in last 11 years then he can never learn. It's time for a big time change in pakistan cricket including the board,selectors.

  • POSTED BY Mehwish on | January 18, 2010, 20:26 GMT

    Absolutely agree with you, Osman. Excellent write up!. I can feel the pain whilst reading this, really was a heartburn seeing Pakistan lose 3-0. Did you see what Mohammed Yousuf said in the presentation ceremony, that he's happy the way the young side performed. He's such a shameless person, should be removed from his job of captaincy. I don't envision we can win any of the Test match let alone Test series in near future if we keep dropping catches, batsmen continue to play Tests like ODIs, having Kamran Akmal as a wicketkeeper and under such a nonaggressive captain. Lets see what our team does in the ODIs. By the way Osman I loved your answers on one of the popular Pakistan's News channel.

  • POSTED BY mnbutt on | January 18, 2010, 20:14 GMT

    Pakistan has always been poor in fielding....... i dont think it is an individuals issue....... if someone needs to be criticized it should be the board, and the selection committe....... What have the done in the country to improve cricket? in past 60 or so years what has been done to improve the cricket on domestic level or university level?

    The question remains to those in authority ......... why are good players not coming up........

    pace attack has always been Pakistan's speciality........ i can not believe that there are no more pace attack bowlers in the country

    I would just say that this is the shittiest management right now...... they dont know which player to send ...... which to keep and where to adjust and where to play the player.......

    Mohammad Yousuf might not be a great captain but if we can figure out when watching the game that he should attack when hussey was dropped and they just had 2 wickets left then why cant he figure that out.

  • POSTED BY mki_nh on | January 18, 2010, 20:02 GMT

    .....continued from my previous post Its too late for that, but our team should have been made to watch the innings of Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman against Australia and learn the techniques of the classic art of batting in test matches. 4. Have separate team for TEST and One dayers 5. Muhammad Yousuf is a great player but just not captain material. Bring Younis Khan back. It was a stupid decision to not to include him in the test side. I know his batting form has been terrible but at least he is a much better Captain and besides batting overall has been terrible anyways. 6. Make people with great cricketing sense like Imran Khan or Javed Miandad incharge of Pakistan cricket

    Pakistan cricket team has abundance of brilliance and talent and with the right approach starting from the top, there is no reason, they cannot climb back to be one of the top 3 cricket teams in the world

  • POSTED BY Sticky786 on | January 18, 2010, 18:41 GMT

    I am a British Pakistani. I live in England but my heart lies with Pakistan. Pakistans mentality is simply stupid. They need to play positive TEST cricket. Theres a difference between playing Positive test cricket, to playing Positive ODI's/TwentyTwenty. If india/sri lanka and bangladesh can improve their fielding skills then for what possible reason can Pakistan not? On the flip side, feel for the Pakistani bowlers, who were not backed up at all by captain or fielders. I would get not play Umar Gul, as he is too predictable in test cricket. Asif and Aamer played exceptionally well i loved it when watson was on 99 in the second test. The field placing there was awesome, realli tense cricket. they would have got him out on 99 if that buffoon didn't drop a sitter. Also. considering this was a PAK home series, i'd have preffered Aus in a neutral venue, not their own back yard!! Credit where credits due, AUS made the most of Pak's abyssmal cricket - well done - still hate you :)

  • POSTED BY Mehwish on | January 18, 2010, 18:39 GMT

    Absolutely agree with you. Excellent write up, Osman! I, too, felt the pain whilst reading this. But did you see what Mohammed Yousuf said in the presentation ceremony, that he was happy the way the young side performed, huh. Was such a shameless remark by him. He should be fired from the captaincy job. I don't think we're ever going to win a test match let alone test series if our players continue to drop catches, do not improve their fielding, batsmen continue to play it like a One Day match and under such nonaggressive captain. Lets wait and see what our team does in the ODIs. By the way loved your answers on Geo News Channel as well.

  • POSTED BY crickey_fan on | January 18, 2010, 18:37 GMT

    I'm an Indian supporter, but had wholeheartedly rooted for Pakistan in this series. In these days of T20, I watched about 75% of the cricket over the 3 Tests and felt sorry for the state of affairs in Pak cricket. Osman, you have documented the malaise, but its upto those running Pak cricket if they wish to tackle these problems. I hope they do, because Pak have lost that flair and confidence which made them such an irresistible force. I also do not fully agree with Yousuf's repeated comments that most teams struggle in Aus. Since 2003, India Won 2, drew 3 and lost 3 Tests (far from repeated white washes) and SA have won one series in Aus.

  • POSTED BY pulsarboyvikas on | January 18, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    Dear all its amazing to see so many concerned fans bout pakistans loss ;I am also a cricket lover and want competition to be tough.3 -0 scoreline is not only bad for pak but for d game of cricket also.what pakistan needs to do is first bring back some experienced players like waqar , wasim ,inzi into d management board.second they shuld prepare fast tracks at home so that their batsmen learn to play shortpitch stuff. Third they should look for asim kama he has got the temprament and technique to play test cricket.Fourth they should hire a fielding coach.Fifth they should atm least play ten test matches in a year.sixth they should stop the blame game and bickering .

  • POSTED BY bouncer1021 on | January 18, 2010, 18:21 GMT

    Like you said, this is not a rocket science if you want to solve the problem. You will never solve the problem if you have a 70 years old coach who has never played this type of cricket or fielded at the leves in todays cricket and to top that you now have your worst ODI fielder as your captain. No effort has been made to eliminate the problem since Sri Lanka series, PCB response has been to add one more bowling coach. How are you expected to win a game when the other side can bat 30 times in a test against your 20 wkts? Fielding and batting collapses have taken away series wins in SL, Champions Trophy, NZ and now Australia. Actually, now we have another problem that is making a very good side look like a club side, it's Yosuf's clueless and defensive captaincy. What is PCB going to do beside hiring another bowling coach?

  • POSTED BY YogifromNY on | January 18, 2010, 18:20 GMT

    As always, very good article, Osman bhai! I am an avid Indian supporter, but I fervently believe that a good, strong Pakistani cricket side is good for world cricket. Pakistan's always had a problem with their administration and leadership rather than the actual playing talent. Why is it that even good ex-cricketers in Pakistan are terrible administrators?

    As far as the fielding goes, you are right - the Pak fielding IS bad. But so too is that of the Indian cricket team, I am afraid! Bangladesh and Sri Lanka regularly produce much better fielding teams. Don't know why India and Pakistan have struggled with this aspect of cricket. Laziness?

  • POSTED BY bonner on | January 18, 2010, 17:54 GMT

    A 3-0 defeat is a bitter pill to swallow especially when the captain could only give vague answers when asked to identify the key areas of improvement. Pakistan aren't far away in my opinion. For a top level side that has suffered so much disruption in recent years there are many bright lights. Get the structure right in all levels of Pakistan cricket and some consistency in team selection would be good places to start. Turning strong individual performances into strong team performances should be the goal. Look at how Australia played with a 'modest' team - the batters formed partnerships and the bowlers hunted as a pack backed up in the field and by the skipper. Everyone doing a job. Simple as that. (the aussies dropped catches also!).

  • POSTED BY sahil_cricrazy on | January 18, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    OSMAN THIS IS BY FAR THE BEST ARTICLE THAT JUST SUMMARISES THE STATE OF AFFAIRS IN PAKISTAN CRICKET...I' M AN INDIAN BUT STLL IT'S BAD TO SEE SUCH A MEEK SURRENDER BY PAKISTAN AGAINST A LESSENED AUSTRALIA...I OWE IT ALL TO PATHETIC SELECTION POLICY....WELL FROM THE START I KNEW MISBAH WAS FLASH IN THE PAN...ONLY PAK SELECTORS UNDERSTAND FROM WHERE WAS FAISAL IQBAL REINVENTED!!!ISN'T ANY YOUNGSTER OTHER THAN UMAR COMING UP IN PAK.IMRAN KHAN MAD A LOT OF HUE AND CRY OVER HOPELESSNESS OF PAKISTAN DOMESTIC CRICKET STRUCTURE AND HE WAS OFCOURSE SPOT ON?...WHEN INSTEAD OF FORMER CRICKETERS GENERALS AND BRIGADIERS WHO ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE ANYHOW RUN THE SHOW THE OBVIOUSLY THIS WILL BE THE BYPRODUCT....INTIKHAB AS A COACH AND YOUSUF AS A CAPTAIN DON'T EXHIBIT THAT PROFESSIONALISM THAT'S A MUST NOW N MODERN DAY CRICKET...THEY ARE TOO SOFT AND UNPROFESSIONAL TO LEAD THIS SIDE...HOPE THIS SERIES PROVES TO BE A SORT OF REVOLUTION IN PAK CRICKET OTHERWISE DOOM IS WRITTEN ALL OVER....

  • POSTED BY krik4all on | January 18, 2010, 17:19 GMT

    At the end of Day 3 of SCG Test when Pakistan was strongly placed I was online with friend discussing the game. I told him Pkistan team will find imaginative and novel ways to loose the match and rest is story.

    State of Pakistan cricket is not different from the state of the country itself. Cricket team reflects every malaise and ineptitude inflicted to this country, but because we can be ultra-unrealitistically-optimistic, we can find some reasons for this continous tale of misery in the hope to rectify some of the ailments.

    1. Without Yunus and a good 5th bowler team lost its balance in batting, bowling and fielding. Farhat, Akmal and Shobaib kept dropping catches in slips & disease spread to all.

    2. Opening pair. Farhat is ill suited as an opener. He just does not have technique to play on surfaces outside Sub-continent.

    3. Critical No. 3 spot: Without Yunus, No. 3 spot was the second weakest link after opening pair it was like Pakistan was playing with 10 player.

  • POSTED BY swat1999 on | January 18, 2010, 17:17 GMT

    I very closely observed Pakistans last 3 series, I found Pakistans problem like... a) Poor catching & fielding b) Poor running between the widket c) Excited to facing spinners d) Panic to facing Riverse sweinger e) Panic while playing under pressure f) Poor captaincy g) Lack of skill about playing and speaking h) Lack of concentration while playing

    Wish players should take care & do more homework for future failure...

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | January 18, 2010, 17:17 GMT

    and you know I didn't know if to laugh or cry while hearing all what the old man had to say. He sounded so happy that uhhhhhha now we will go and beat rest of the world.

    Osman, every rational person can easily understand what Younes has been going through and what made him run away from the mad-house. And you know what is in it which I feel amusing and funny, Its the player power of non-players. Bits and pieces players like Akmal and Malik could dictate the terms. Leave a couple of players and there is not one who will be miles ahead of his nearest replacement but yet they play machoes. BUT why all this, Why cant Mr. Z oblige Butt sahib in steel mills, PIA, Railways or Wapda which already are hell driven by incompetent but chosen ones.

    I may sound a bit out of it, but honestly its much more to it. Should I say more!! then ask that chairman of selectors, isn't it shamefull act the way players have benn flying back and forth in wrong directions while the needed one was kept at home

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | January 18, 2010, 16:59 GMT

    Osman, my words may sound harsh and direct but try to feel them with passion and honesty; We are a bunch of corrupt people from top to bottom with few exceptions just like we do make rare exception on cricket ground too. No one wants to work for the money he gets, no one is honest to his cause and non is ready to own the total bullshit we are in. Cricket is just a small part of it. Look at their acts, listen to their explainary words, uf sometimes you just feel like pulling your own hair. Be it leader of the nation, president of Cricket affairs, chairman of selectors or coach and captain of the team all are so decieving, lying, covering up or trying to find excuses. I laughed when Ejaz Butt so disrespectfully denied the need for Saeed Anwar to hold a camp for opners, I cried when Yousef said we are inexperienced side, as if him, Misbah and Kamran the experienced ones were bearing all the burden and if Kaneria, Asif, Gul, Butt, Farhat, Faisal, Malik all were just new in the trade.....

  • POSTED BY FazalHadi on | January 18, 2010, 16:40 GMT

    Dear Mr. Osman, In emotions, we are forgetting the fact that this team has already lost the home matches, they are playing quite a few tests matches, Just look at the situation back home, what are you feeling about Pakistan as a country in general, where is Pakistan standing in modern globalized world, terrorism, curruption, poverty, electric, gas problems, Still they won the T20 world cup, still they push Australia on the verge of a loss in sidney, although these should not be excuses to prevent the weekness in the side, Yes there is no system in the board because there is no system in the country, dont expect to be an established Pakistan cricket team until we have an established Pakistan..Its all about system, there is no system in Pakistan and yet we are expecting system in Cricket board.....??

  • POSTED BY Anneeq on | January 18, 2010, 16:14 GMT

    First of all the openers are getting some uncalled for stick!! They have actually been one of the plus points, along with the bowling.

    One thing that really gets to me was the fear Pakistan showed a very average Aussie team. Sydney test, Watson said, 'we're going to win, we just need to get above 150 runs.' Yousuf: 'you never know whats going to happen with Australia, we might not win.' enough said really!!

    Yousuf said himself, Hauritz was presented with 18 wickets, not only that, they wrapped it up and put a pretty little bow on it too. Hauritz was only too happy to oblige. Lets be honest he is a v v v average player. He should not be taking 5 fors let alone be leading wicket taker!! A lot of soul searching is needed, our fielding, running between wickets, batting, decision has all been poor!!! I repeat this was a very poor Aussie team, we're not going to have a chance like this in a very long time to beat Australia in Aus, Yousuf has broken 170 million ppls hearts with this chara

  • POSTED BY ChameleonCric on | January 18, 2010, 16:13 GMT

    With the present state of batting, fielding and poor captaincy/field placing I can challenge this Pakistani team to play another 3 tests against Australia and win, I swear on my life they are NOT going to win. Actually we are still doing a noble and precious thing called "learning", we have been learning especially in tests against Australia on its soil for the past 10 years and more, and doing "substantial". Funny thing is, Yousuf says the team consists of juniors and they need to learn, on the other hand Intakhab alam says "seniors in the team need to learn", then again they say combinely that "we have learned a lot"!!.. tell me Osman, do we the die hard Pak cric supporters have been taught the wrong meaning of "learning" or actually it is the fan mafia which has the "grass-root" problem??

  • POSTED BY Cricistan.com on | January 18, 2010, 15:49 GMT

    Pakistan routinely have to take up to 15 wickets per innings to bowl the other team out. Imagine what bowlers like Asif, Aamer, Gul and Kaneria could achieve bowling to a field packed with South African fielders. Yet the PCB will maintain that there's no need for a proper fielding setup, after all paying for proper fielding coaches would take money out of the PCB officials pockets!!

  • POSTED BY moronosaurus on | January 18, 2010, 15:29 GMT

    Here's an idea that should appeal to the Pak authorities since it will piss off those in charge of Indian cricket. In fact, it should be implemented for that reason - improving the team's performance will be a bonus. The idea: hire Mohammad Azharuddin as fielding coach. He was one of the best fielders in the world, and more importantly, worked incredibly hard at it. (What was it, catching 500 balls a day, every day?) He worked at his fielding at a time when Indian cricket culture was rather like Pakistan's in its contempt of the task. He at one time held the record for most catches by a non-keeper in ODIs - maybe he still does. He's even a politician now, which can't hurt when it comes to navigating the quagmire of Pak cricket offialdom. Hell, at least ask him for a few cricketing drills.

  • POSTED BY ahmed_syed on | January 18, 2010, 15:08 GMT

    Intikhab Alam has repeatedly said that " Fielding is a grass root problem" which I agree with, but also believe that it can be fixed at the senior level now. I know they have coaches for everything now days, but they work. SA had Rhodes on their staff since God knows how long b/c they never wanted that kind of passion for fielding to disappear. Pakistan needs to take a page from the NFL and needs to hire COMPETENT coaches for all the aspects of the game and move away from the old school mentality. This should also be mandated on the junior level as well.

  • POSTED BY anwaralam on | January 18, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    The basic problem of the present day Pakistan cricket team is that they are not learning from their mistakes. Either because they fail to understand and correct their weaknesses or they take things very lightly thinking "are saab thik ho jayega". No. Not all. Some intelligence and skill is required in modern cricket. I fully asgree with Mr. Osman regarding his comments. I am a Bangladeshi but since childhood I have been an ardent supporter of Pakistan cricket team. Recently the Pakteam has been letting their fans down by reckless play in all departments. They are not playing for pride. Its time they should wake up and be serious to avoid defeats even now may be by Bangladesh which is doing well. Whereever they go, they should undestand the local conditiuons and play accordingly. RUNS WILL COME ONCE THEY STAY AT THE CREASE. This should be made mandatory and part of the improvement plan if they are to score big totals.

  • POSTED BY Junoonis on | January 18, 2010, 15:02 GMT

    We have a good bowling attack but its useless if you have a captain like yousaf who will set defensive field to a good bowling. He doesn't have any imagination or any grip on the game. He should resign from captaincy and let Younis lead the side, At least younis have self confidence and innovating thinking. Another issue that boggles my mind is when they sent back Fawad Alam, the guy average 41 in the test and 56 at the first class level and yet you are not playing him. Giving 2 chances to faisal iqbal is just crazy, his test average is 26 and first class average of 39. What we were expecting off him??

  • POSTED BY sudzz71 on | January 18, 2010, 14:28 GMT

    Pakistan Cricket and Indian Hockey are in a similar mess, what happens is that ocassionally there is sheer talent that rises up and becomes the hero of the hour but usually the stark reality is that there is a huge abyss in the way the sport is being managed.

    This manifests itself at the most inopportune moments in the most unexpected of places. Like another poster has rightly mentioned most Pakistani Cricketers play the sport for securing a future which is largely insecure and therefore they are incremental in nature as compared to say a Imran or Wasim or a Javed these people never had a money issue therefore they played the sport with a passion of a lover as against the current lot that plays as if they are workers..

  • POSTED BY khalidnazim on | January 18, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    Dear Osman, I hear and feel your pain. Only a Pakistani can be in a state of mind and soul to write this emotional and true account of affairs our cricket team which sort of are a reflection of the state our country is in and has been since its creation. For me it all boils down to the lack of leadership or the presence of inept, unprofessional, selfish and incompetent leadership that we find ourselves in this position. There is no lack of raw talent in cricket or in any other field in Pakistan. However, to able to rise to world level excellence, raw talent needs to be nurtured, groomed and made into an "effective" talent by developing work ethics, determination and sense of purpose in what you do. Change the current PCB management, let go of Inti, remove Mo Yo as coach.Replace them with people with right kind of work ethics and determination to change the mindset of our team. Cricket has the potential to change the mindset of our nation to become better or drag them down more.

  • POSTED BY sabirshah on | January 18, 2010, 13:42 GMT

    Dear Mr. Osman, ur articles are always fun to read and the present assessment you did about Pakistani team is perfectly right!!! I'd like to add just another phrase i-e'Pakistan cricket team is a HOPELESS CASE". Totally hopeless! The team members are not playing for the Nation at all. This team(the present one)showed their reall ugly face when they lost the 3rd ODI against NewZealand just to sack the CAPTAIn out. They forgot that the whole NATION is actually involved in the matches and all this brought was just a SHAME. These are WHITE ELEPHANTS ,rare and useless! winning against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh is not the true thing. Pakistan ranks just above Zimbabwe in winning test series in last 4years. Even Bangladesh has won the series. But Pakistan, where cricket is the 2nd biggest religion!couldn't give a single test victory to Nation??? When this team members will forgettheir personal records(although none of them succeeded to make one in a successful way) they will start to win.

  • POSTED BY SoulKeeper on | January 18, 2010, 13:14 GMT

    Osman: Whatever happened to Asim Kamal and what is keeping Pakistan selectors from playing him? From what I remember he had a pretty solid technique, good temperament and applied himself well. Can you please comment in this regard?

  • POSTED BY SFShere on | January 18, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    A very good article, every time pakistan team goes on a foreign trip their batting and fielding becomes a question mark. I was watching the last day of the Sydney test and let me tell you the field set was horrible the body language was like we already lost the test, we should have been aggressive not passive on that morning. Why we can't produce a CAPTAIN like Imran Khan or players like Miandad, asif Iqbal. Looking at the Pakistan team seems like everybody is playing a 50 over match not a test match except Mohammad Yousf. I believe in leadership who can guide and get the best from the individulas. We need to re-vamp the team/management and especially our batting.

  • POSTED BY eyelashcharmer on | January 18, 2010, 12:37 GMT

    Osman, best article..best review of the whole series!! you nailed it. Recently Intikhab Alam in his interview said that Pakistan team is learning from their mistakes which will help them in the coming series against Australia in Enlgand in July. If this series was of 5 test matches i bet Pakistan players would have dropped as many catches and their batsmen would have thrown their wickets as easily in those two tests as they did in this series. Pakistan players are famous of never learning from their mistakes, they repeat them again and again. Infact sometimes it seems they don't even realise they did anything wrong like for eg. giving an easy run to a new batsman on the first ball. Intikhab is totally hopeless, he has no aim and no new ideas for the team. I am not against a local coach but if they want to have a local coach atleast try to get someone who knows what he is doing like Rashid Latif, Wasim Akram or Moin Khan

  • POSTED BY Feeshan on | January 18, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    Hi Osman! Don't u think the pakistan team lost its plot after the retairment of Inzy? During the period of Inzy, the team was always positive with whatever they did. It all started during kitply cup in bangaladesh and asia cup under malik when they succeeded scoring over 300 even though they didn't loose wickets in first 10 overs batting at the rate of 2.5-3 rpo. That plan not only caused openers to block their wicket, even players like misbah, the then capt malik and to some extent younus. The man(misbah) who was called the rising star of world cricket was the victim of that plan. The tag of pakistanies called fearless which other wise called positsveness fell down. I think to lift the tag afridi should be given the chance, it also improves his batting so that u r getting like extra batsman. Age is not important to captain, if it was the concern, then south africa and india were not there where they are now under young guys like smith and dhoni....

  • POSTED BY Itchy on | January 18, 2010, 12:14 GMT

    Interesting take on fielding - several years ago Michael Bevan pointed out in an Ausralian team meeting that it was the one true 'team' activity within the game as what any fielder did impacted on the whole team (dropped catch, saved runs, etc.). Australia have had a specialist fielding coach for several years who is an ex-baseball coach - baseball standards of fielding are generally the highest for any similar sport so maybe Pakistan should look further afield for assistance.

  • POSTED BY fanofteamindia on | January 18, 2010, 12:11 GMT

    Its not the fielding or the running between the wickets that is costing Pakistan but it is the lack of talent or inability to identify talent.India's fielding is not spectacularly brilliant than Pakistan, but still India is able to consistently produce good batsmen who score that 20 odd extra runs which they lose in field.So,ideally Pakistan should find fresh talent and drop poeple like Kamran,Misbah,Faisal Iqbal,Shoaib Malik and search new Umar Akmals and Aamers first.Then they can look for good fielders.

  • POSTED BY Mahboob-e-Alam on | January 18, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    Pakistanis do well fielding in ODIs and T20Is.. i think they like the short & fast format of the game than the slower & long one...

  • POSTED BY lallusharma on | January 18, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    What Pakistan need right now is a full series with India. That should pump them up and surely they will return to form in all the three aspects of the game.

  • POSTED BY vatsap on | January 18, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    Guys ... give your team a break. They are playing test cricket after quite a while. The great Indian and Srilankan made a big butter finger of simple catches in the recently concluded series, tests, onedayers, u name it.

    Pakistan cricket needs time and more matches and some consistency in selection. Chill and back your boys.

  • POSTED BY djdrastic on | January 18, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    I thought you were a little harsh on the bowlers who solely rely on the fielders for taking the catches , otherwise you were pretty much spot on.

  • POSTED BY bnamarnath on | January 18, 2010, 10:29 GMT

    Hello Osman and CricInfo,

    I am not sure if any commentator in th world has gone this far to find words and situations within a country to point out the defeciences in a cricket team. This is balantly demeaning a total nation/culture/civilization for a team which is playing a game where losses and mistakes are a norm. There are difficult times for every team; If the statements in the first paragraph be made by a non-pakistani I am sure there will be called racist.

    The rest of the commentry is agreeable though.

  • POSTED BY CiMP on | January 18, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    In India fielding was considered a blue collar job by many young cricketers -except when Jonty Rhodes was playing and gave a high profile to excellence in fielding. Perhaps the same is the story in Pakistan. Cricket is a very simple game of runs - scored and saved and wickets. This basic idea is to be inculcated in the minds of all cricketers from junior level. That should erase the 'hierarchy levels' mindset in Indian and Pakistani cricketers which is a legacy of the feudalistic societies that we are. Fielding idols like Colin Bland, Gus Logie, Derek Randall, Mark Taylor, Mark Waugh, Eknath Solkar, Asif Iqbal, AB de Villiers etc. need to get 'glamorized' in media to inspire youngsters and make them look to make their mark as good fieldsmen too. Greg Chappell insisted on all Indian test players being good fielders too which did lift up the quality of Indian fielding a notch up. In the short term, may be some kind of 'fielding machines' my be used to provide practice to hone skills.

  • POSTED BY whoismyfirstlove on | January 18, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    I was in Wellington when Pakistan won their only test match for last few years and it was wonderful to do that in tough Wellington weather conditions and a bouncy wicket. though they still dropped almost 8 catches in that match as well.

    What should I say except that I am depressed with this performance. They are just not willing to correct their weaknesses. I know there are problems with Pakistan cricket the way it is being run, but when it wasn't like that.

    The only pattern I see with Pakistan is when they do well (e.g. winning T20 World cup), things go worse instead of getting any better. Bottom line of this series is:

    - not an honest selection of players (Imran Farhat, Salman Butt, Faisal Iqbal, Misbah; none of them deserve to be there) - internal politics (causing Younis Khan to relinquish captaincy and his place) - Absolutely non-sense coaching staff especially Intikhab alam - Negative mindset of the team management (saying that we are here to learn from Australia, not to win)

  • POSTED BY vijaykrish on | January 18, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    Ironical, considering that Javed Miandad taught a lot of us how to convert 1s into 2s & 2s into 3s - they shud appoint him as "running-between-wickets" coach to the Pakistan team !

  • POSTED BY Moin.Pasha on | January 18, 2010, 9:59 GMT

    Good analysis. Its time pakistan did something about their fielding and batting. Bowling has been good.

    Regarding the fielding standards, India is closing the gap and will start competing with pakistan in this regard.

  • POSTED BY JGuru on | January 18, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    Pakistan's problems in this series have all been very fundamental and it does not require a wizard to know where the real issue lies. There are serious discrepancies in coaching system. Revamp at domestic circuit is perhaps the need of the hour. They lacked not just brilliance in the field but also never been proactive. If Sydney debacle speaks volumes for the inability to convert chances to victories then battering at MCG and Hobart are clear indications of reckless cricket. Most of the issues surmounting Pakistan are the ones which need to be addressed at grade cricket level and not international level. Pakistan does not need innovative thinking to move forward. They have such class and talented cricketers that if they are shown the right way it would become a force to reckon with. Leadership crisis is hampering the progress badly. They need flag bearers like Imran to take them to a direction of safety otherwise this team will face the danger of getting into decline like never before

  • POSTED BY wakeel on | January 18, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    nice article..nd it drags one into depression! very negative but very true! solution i think is an immediate change in the board and then a change in the captaincy and the team environment!

  • POSTED BY Mirzamahmood on | January 18, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Osman, You have hit the nail on the head but the basic problem is with the people who have been running the game, PCB. Our players have always played for there jobs with the ambition of keeping their livlihood for as long as they can. They have generally not had those ambitions of being on top of the test world etc. This is because they dont want to take those pains that are required for self improvement. Player power has generally ensured that they keep their places and not let fresh players come in (often not even letting them a good look). Just look at the series played against lowly ranked teams, no new players are ever tested. This is because the Board has never taken charge (it is not an instituition and as such there is no consisstency). No change will happen until the system is cahnged. We dont have capable individuals in key posts. We have no selection criteria that would guide self improvement of young players. There is no ambition, people come to get and protect jobs....l

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Mirzamahmood on | January 18, 2010, 9:36 GMT

    Osman, You have hit the nail on the head but the basic problem is with the people who have been running the game, PCB. Our players have always played for there jobs with the ambition of keeping their livlihood for as long as they can. They have generally not had those ambitions of being on top of the test world etc. This is because they dont want to take those pains that are required for self improvement. Player power has generally ensured that they keep their places and not let fresh players come in (often not even letting them a good look). Just look at the series played against lowly ranked teams, no new players are ever tested. This is because the Board has never taken charge (it is not an instituition and as such there is no consisstency). No change will happen until the system is cahnged. We dont have capable individuals in key posts. We have no selection criteria that would guide self improvement of young players. There is no ambition, people come to get and protect jobs....l

  • POSTED BY wakeel on | January 18, 2010, 9:38 GMT

    nice article..nd it drags one into depression! very negative but very true! solution i think is an immediate change in the board and then a change in the captaincy and the team environment!

  • POSTED BY JGuru on | January 18, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    Pakistan's problems in this series have all been very fundamental and it does not require a wizard to know where the real issue lies. There are serious discrepancies in coaching system. Revamp at domestic circuit is perhaps the need of the hour. They lacked not just brilliance in the field but also never been proactive. If Sydney debacle speaks volumes for the inability to convert chances to victories then battering at MCG and Hobart are clear indications of reckless cricket. Most of the issues surmounting Pakistan are the ones which need to be addressed at grade cricket level and not international level. Pakistan does not need innovative thinking to move forward. They have such class and talented cricketers that if they are shown the right way it would become a force to reckon with. Leadership crisis is hampering the progress badly. They need flag bearers like Imran to take them to a direction of safety otherwise this team will face the danger of getting into decline like never before

  • POSTED BY Moin.Pasha on | January 18, 2010, 9:59 GMT

    Good analysis. Its time pakistan did something about their fielding and batting. Bowling has been good.

    Regarding the fielding standards, India is closing the gap and will start competing with pakistan in this regard.

  • POSTED BY vijaykrish on | January 18, 2010, 10:05 GMT

    Ironical, considering that Javed Miandad taught a lot of us how to convert 1s into 2s & 2s into 3s - they shud appoint him as "running-between-wickets" coach to the Pakistan team !

  • POSTED BY whoismyfirstlove on | January 18, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    I was in Wellington when Pakistan won their only test match for last few years and it was wonderful to do that in tough Wellington weather conditions and a bouncy wicket. though they still dropped almost 8 catches in that match as well.

    What should I say except that I am depressed with this performance. They are just not willing to correct their weaknesses. I know there are problems with Pakistan cricket the way it is being run, but when it wasn't like that.

    The only pattern I see with Pakistan is when they do well (e.g. winning T20 World cup), things go worse instead of getting any better. Bottom line of this series is:

    - not an honest selection of players (Imran Farhat, Salman Butt, Faisal Iqbal, Misbah; none of them deserve to be there) - internal politics (causing Younis Khan to relinquish captaincy and his place) - Absolutely non-sense coaching staff especially Intikhab alam - Negative mindset of the team management (saying that we are here to learn from Australia, not to win)

  • POSTED BY CiMP on | January 18, 2010, 10:17 GMT

    In India fielding was considered a blue collar job by many young cricketers -except when Jonty Rhodes was playing and gave a high profile to excellence in fielding. Perhaps the same is the story in Pakistan. Cricket is a very simple game of runs - scored and saved and wickets. This basic idea is to be inculcated in the minds of all cricketers from junior level. That should erase the 'hierarchy levels' mindset in Indian and Pakistani cricketers which is a legacy of the feudalistic societies that we are. Fielding idols like Colin Bland, Gus Logie, Derek Randall, Mark Taylor, Mark Waugh, Eknath Solkar, Asif Iqbal, AB de Villiers etc. need to get 'glamorized' in media to inspire youngsters and make them look to make their mark as good fieldsmen too. Greg Chappell insisted on all Indian test players being good fielders too which did lift up the quality of Indian fielding a notch up. In the short term, may be some kind of 'fielding machines' my be used to provide practice to hone skills.

  • POSTED BY bnamarnath on | January 18, 2010, 10:29 GMT

    Hello Osman and CricInfo,

    I am not sure if any commentator in th world has gone this far to find words and situations within a country to point out the defeciences in a cricket team. This is balantly demeaning a total nation/culture/civilization for a team which is playing a game where losses and mistakes are a norm. There are difficult times for every team; If the statements in the first paragraph be made by a non-pakistani I am sure there will be called racist.

    The rest of the commentry is agreeable though.

  • POSTED BY djdrastic on | January 18, 2010, 11:20 GMT

    I thought you were a little harsh on the bowlers who solely rely on the fielders for taking the catches , otherwise you were pretty much spot on.

  • POSTED BY vatsap on | January 18, 2010, 11:25 GMT

    Guys ... give your team a break. They are playing test cricket after quite a while. The great Indian and Srilankan made a big butter finger of simple catches in the recently concluded series, tests, onedayers, u name it.

    Pakistan cricket needs time and more matches and some consistency in selection. Chill and back your boys.