World Cup 2007 December 10, 2006

Rana and Rehman make the difference

Whenever Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif do return to international cricket, Pakistan might have a pleasant problem on their hands
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Whenever Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif do return to international cricket, Pakistan might have a pleasant problem on their hands. In their absence, Umar Gul has grown his hair, upped his speed, and seized the opportunity to become the team's spearhead. But the most encouraging news of the series thus far is that two bowlers whose positions might have been questioned have given Pakistan the edge.

Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, a man who once rose to the occasion like Gul, has recovered his fire. In England and India, Rana had looked anything but the clever strike bowler that he is. Since his omission from the Test series he has worked hard on his fitness and on his technique--he says with Waqar Younis--to recapture the form that had made him an essential selection.

The second revelation has been Abdur Rehman, a man who has been hanging around the Pakistan squad like an uninvited guest. He may not be the "youngster" that Inzamam described him as, prompting a fit of laughter from Ramiz Raja, but perhaps that's a good thing. On the evidence of these first two matches, Rehman is a highly skilled left-arm spinner. His action is a touch unusual with his head almost turned away from the batsman as he delivers but he has hit a near perfect line in this series. His general energy and tidiness in the field suggest that Danish Kaneria might never make it into Pakistan's World Cup squad.

Pakistan's traditional strength has been its bowling. In a World Cup year, the return of Rana and the revelation of Rehman are important landmarks. With bench strength comprising Shahid Nazir, Mohammad Sami, Shabbir Ahmed, Yasir Arafat, Danish Kaneria, and Shahid Afridi--that's before we dare to discuss the comeback of Pakistan's most notorious bowlers --Inzamam's team is shaping up nicely in an important area. Australia might be in for a contest after all.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dawar on December 16, 2006, 16:58 GMT

    we won karachi one day without the batting of Inzi & Mohd. Yusuf. First great bowling performance by Pakistan specially Rana Naveed.Mohammad Sami was impressive too.

    Still we need to work on our fielding & Keeping. Drop catches by Shoaib Malik & Kamran Akmal. ALso Kamran Akmal is not doing well behind the stump. A Razzak fielding was not satisfactory at all.

    Great batting performance by Mohd. Hafeez on his batting number.

    I think we should give chance to Faisal Iqbal instead of Shoaib Malik.

    Shoaib Malik is out of form, he made not out 34 in lasdt one day but please not pakistan was in very good position that time when he came to play in the flat wicket.

    This was his Captain who gave him oppurtunity to proof himself at number 4. I think Inzim should give also oppurtunities to Shahid Afridi, Faisal Iqbal & Asim Kamal the way he is giving to Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal & Razzak.

    Kamaral Akmal is not permenant solution to paly as a opener. Imran Farhat was not doing bad as other openers did bad in past. But they got penalties of oppurtunity from thier Captain. so we should keep same opening partners for whole serise.

    Dawar

  • Imran Quraishi on December 15, 2006, 21:19 GMT

    I have read almost all the comments posted by cricket lovers and 99.9% of the comments are that people are not satisfied with Imran Farhat's abililties to bat as his technique is worst than that of a club cricketer. What astonishes me is that if all of us can see this then why the hell Bari & Comp who is in charge of selection not seeing this and looking the other way. Guys may be it's just a rumour but I heard that Imran Farhat is dating Bari's daughter. So, now you know why he is still in the team.

  • Rizwan on December 13, 2006, 23:05 GMT

    We have always been strong in our bowling, our bowling is as good as any great team, the need of the time is to prepare some fast pitches in Pakistan so we could have a constant stream of great batsmen and we don't have to rely on the performance of two or three great batsmen we have.

  • inqlabishehzeda on December 13, 2006, 17:55 GMT

    poor selection of team 7 allrounders .There should have been atleast 4 specialist batsmen.Bits and Pieces can never win for you.Its the game of specialists.Mr Woolmer must remember that.

  • Asad on December 13, 2006, 14:30 GMT

    There was always a good chance of Rana making a comeback, it wasnt that he didnt have the skill. At one time he was an automatic seletion for the ODI side till Asif made giant strides as a bowler and Rana lost his touch. Now even as good a bowler as he is he will find it hard to find a spot in playing XI if Asif and Shoaib make a comeback with the 3rd spot probably going to Gul.

    Rehman had been the surprise package, he has shown a lot of maturity who has just entered the international arena. He is a clever bowler and handy lower order batsman, plus his swiftness in the field gives him a big edge of Danish who might be a decent bowler and has shown the capibilty of hitting some lusty blows with the bat but he is a pedistrian in the field.

  • King0fHearts on December 12, 2006, 23:36 GMT

    If you want to see a carbon copy of Abdul Rehman, the most recent debutat for Pakistan, Please just have a look at the clips from a Cricket Match at http://www.urducommunity.com/showpost.php?p=299946&postcount=34 I dont intend to spam or advertise through this. Just want to show a little that alot of talented cricket is being dusted probably because of lack of resources. The man in the picture is unplayable. Bowls superb spells. His best figures are 6 overs, 4 maidens, 6 runs (2nb) 3 wickets. And has played so many match winning performances.

    I dont know if it gets approved but its worth getting on the scene.

  • Ashaq on December 12, 2006, 15:13 GMT

    David Furrows its nice too see someone who I presume too be non-pakistani have such knowledge about pakistan cricket.I agree with youre points about Asif and Akhtar but I dont see as too how you can fit Shabir ahmed with all the controversy about his action.As for Sami he seems too lack any self confidence.Self belief is everything.Bit dissapointed that Shahid Nazir and Yasir Arafat dont fit in too the plans.

  • M.A.A. on December 12, 2006, 10:23 GMT

    Firstly Bismillah, & Many thanks to Allah SWT... :)

    All our questions will be answered in a few weeks time when we visit South Africa, and compete against a resurgent SA team.

    They've absolutely raped India.

    If we can hold on our own on thier home turf, then yes, we have a chance in the WC.

    If our fate is even half of what India have been served, then a lot of people will be reversing their own opinions/suggestions on this very board.

    For my part, I certainly will be praying for the best for Team Pakistan!

  • Shahneel Baray on December 12, 2006, 8:56 GMT

    DOWN WITH KAMRAN AKMAL! probably the WORST WICKET KEEPER in Cricket today! We have loads of replacements in our Domestic arena! half the match is won if the Keeper doesnt miss easy chances!

  • imran raza-vancouver on December 12, 2006, 7:30 GMT

    As Imran Khan always said, thereis talent abound in pakistan, fast bowlers esp.just keep popping up from no where. The selectors will indeed be faced with a pleasant problem while picking the 14 players for the world cup, and i dont envy them that job, may the best team be picked and goodluck to the laddies.

  • Dawar on December 16, 2006, 16:58 GMT

    we won karachi one day without the batting of Inzi & Mohd. Yusuf. First great bowling performance by Pakistan specially Rana Naveed.Mohammad Sami was impressive too.

    Still we need to work on our fielding & Keeping. Drop catches by Shoaib Malik & Kamran Akmal. ALso Kamran Akmal is not doing well behind the stump. A Razzak fielding was not satisfactory at all.

    Great batting performance by Mohd. Hafeez on his batting number.

    I think we should give chance to Faisal Iqbal instead of Shoaib Malik.

    Shoaib Malik is out of form, he made not out 34 in lasdt one day but please not pakistan was in very good position that time when he came to play in the flat wicket.

    This was his Captain who gave him oppurtunity to proof himself at number 4. I think Inzim should give also oppurtunities to Shahid Afridi, Faisal Iqbal & Asim Kamal the way he is giving to Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal & Razzak.

    Kamaral Akmal is not permenant solution to paly as a opener. Imran Farhat was not doing bad as other openers did bad in past. But they got penalties of oppurtunity from thier Captain. so we should keep same opening partners for whole serise.

    Dawar

  • Imran Quraishi on December 15, 2006, 21:19 GMT

    I have read almost all the comments posted by cricket lovers and 99.9% of the comments are that people are not satisfied with Imran Farhat's abililties to bat as his technique is worst than that of a club cricketer. What astonishes me is that if all of us can see this then why the hell Bari & Comp who is in charge of selection not seeing this and looking the other way. Guys may be it's just a rumour but I heard that Imran Farhat is dating Bari's daughter. So, now you know why he is still in the team.

  • Rizwan on December 13, 2006, 23:05 GMT

    We have always been strong in our bowling, our bowling is as good as any great team, the need of the time is to prepare some fast pitches in Pakistan so we could have a constant stream of great batsmen and we don't have to rely on the performance of two or three great batsmen we have.

  • inqlabishehzeda on December 13, 2006, 17:55 GMT

    poor selection of team 7 allrounders .There should have been atleast 4 specialist batsmen.Bits and Pieces can never win for you.Its the game of specialists.Mr Woolmer must remember that.

  • Asad on December 13, 2006, 14:30 GMT

    There was always a good chance of Rana making a comeback, it wasnt that he didnt have the skill. At one time he was an automatic seletion for the ODI side till Asif made giant strides as a bowler and Rana lost his touch. Now even as good a bowler as he is he will find it hard to find a spot in playing XI if Asif and Shoaib make a comeback with the 3rd spot probably going to Gul.

    Rehman had been the surprise package, he has shown a lot of maturity who has just entered the international arena. He is a clever bowler and handy lower order batsman, plus his swiftness in the field gives him a big edge of Danish who might be a decent bowler and has shown the capibilty of hitting some lusty blows with the bat but he is a pedistrian in the field.

  • King0fHearts on December 12, 2006, 23:36 GMT

    If you want to see a carbon copy of Abdul Rehman, the most recent debutat for Pakistan, Please just have a look at the clips from a Cricket Match at http://www.urducommunity.com/showpost.php?p=299946&postcount=34 I dont intend to spam or advertise through this. Just want to show a little that alot of talented cricket is being dusted probably because of lack of resources. The man in the picture is unplayable. Bowls superb spells. His best figures are 6 overs, 4 maidens, 6 runs (2nb) 3 wickets. And has played so many match winning performances.

    I dont know if it gets approved but its worth getting on the scene.

  • Ashaq on December 12, 2006, 15:13 GMT

    David Furrows its nice too see someone who I presume too be non-pakistani have such knowledge about pakistan cricket.I agree with youre points about Asif and Akhtar but I dont see as too how you can fit Shabir ahmed with all the controversy about his action.As for Sami he seems too lack any self confidence.Self belief is everything.Bit dissapointed that Shahid Nazir and Yasir Arafat dont fit in too the plans.

  • M.A.A. on December 12, 2006, 10:23 GMT

    Firstly Bismillah, & Many thanks to Allah SWT... :)

    All our questions will be answered in a few weeks time when we visit South Africa, and compete against a resurgent SA team.

    They've absolutely raped India.

    If we can hold on our own on thier home turf, then yes, we have a chance in the WC.

    If our fate is even half of what India have been served, then a lot of people will be reversing their own opinions/suggestions on this very board.

    For my part, I certainly will be praying for the best for Team Pakistan!

  • Shahneel Baray on December 12, 2006, 8:56 GMT

    DOWN WITH KAMRAN AKMAL! probably the WORST WICKET KEEPER in Cricket today! We have loads of replacements in our Domestic arena! half the match is won if the Keeper doesnt miss easy chances!

  • imran raza-vancouver on December 12, 2006, 7:30 GMT

    As Imran Khan always said, thereis talent abound in pakistan, fast bowlers esp.just keep popping up from no where. The selectors will indeed be faced with a pleasant problem while picking the 14 players for the world cup, and i dont envy them that job, may the best team be picked and goodluck to the laddies.

  • David Furrows on December 12, 2006, 5:56 GMT

    I am amazed at everyone expecting Asif and Shoaib to return.

    The outrageous intervention of the PCB CEO (trying to tell the two panels that the high nandrolone levels were due to supplements, which the appeal panel was biased enough to repeat as fact) has not gone unnoticed by WADA and the ICC.

    As things stand, the ICC and WADA can do nothing as Asif and Shoaib have only failed PCB tests. But if they play any ODI or Test the ICC can and will test them, and their nandrolone levels were so artificially elevated (presumably due to chronic injection of anabolic steroids) that they will obviously fail an ICC drug test, at which point their ludicrous defences will count for nothing and they will both be banned for the 2 years they deserve.

    Don't forget that the PCB only tested them because the coaching team strongly suspected them both of being drug cheats.

    If their levels go back below 2 they may well return. But last time they were measured they were 13 and 14 respectively, and the fact that they aren't being selected now suggests that in private testing they may still both be recording illegal nandrolone levels.

    So I think contributors to this blog should pay more attention to Gul, Sami and Shabbir and fantasise a little less about Asif and Shoaib.

  • Mawali on December 12, 2006, 0:39 GMT

    Abbasi sahib may Zues keep smiling on the Pakistan team and the larger cricketing plans. Pakistan at the moment is looking mighty good in the bowling dept. Althought the jury is still out on Rana, and might I add that Gul needs a tad growing up to do. Batting, well that's another subject, that might drive us all batty. I hope the PCB authorities will have the good sense to prepare some seaming bouncy wickets more in line with the lahore pitch, except kick it up a few notches. Glad to see Afridi back, would be even gladder when Razzaq leaves and Yasir Arafat is eased into the team as a regular. There is no law against wishing is there. Just having a little fun here. Peace!

  • cheripowers on December 11, 2006, 22:33 GMT

    Afridi is coming back - I'm very curious to see how he performs. I really hope he does well...definitely will be watching and praying that he fulfills his potential - he can be SO great and SO horrible...

  • Chacha Koora Kircut on December 11, 2006, 22:06 GMT

    A couple of wins against a weak and depleted team and we have lofty visions of holding the world cup! It seems absurd. Lets see how we do in South Africa. Can you honestly think that with clu cricketers like Hafeez and Farhat in the side we can pose a serious challenge?

    Lets get some people who can bat at the top order and then we can plan ahead. With reserves like Faisal Iqbal and Afridi perhaps we can pose a challenge in the women's world cup if you can fit these clubbers in skirts!

  • SAMI SYED on December 11, 2006, 20:07 GMT

    SAMI SYED from Toronto...

    Salaam again

    AFRIDI "BOOM BOOM" is back!!! Half and century and a Century in the ongoing domestic match with something like 3 wickets in the first innings. WELCOME BACK SIR!!!! Hope the best for you!

  • Mr & Mrs Malik & baby Tayyab on December 11, 2006, 20:01 GMT

    Guess who is back? Back again Guess who is back? Guess who is back?

    yes folks, its Afridi. He has performed brilliantly in the domestic circuit.

    It is envisaged that the 4th ODI will be devoid of our powerhouse super 3 middle order. Although I want them to return quickly as possible, I am really excited and cant wait to see the new look pak odi team-the average age being 25yrs. I hope they play with flair and with absolute freedom.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 11, 2006, 18:16 GMT

    HEAR, HEAR, HEAR........Shahid Afridi has been recalled because ofInzamam's injury and absence of YY's. Now he is going to raise his supporter's BP high untill he performs. I sincerely hope and pray for his success or else he will be dumped for the SA tour.

  • Nasir on December 11, 2006, 17:27 GMT

    Pakistas has always been a strong bowling side, so no matter whether shoaib or Asif are available, they will still be a strong bowling side. I think Pakistan must take care of Umar Gul. The way he has taken the role of spearhead is commendable. Pakistan must allow Rana to get into his stride. The wickets in West Indies will be on the slower side which will suit him.

    The real problems lie with the batting. Imran Farhat is a sitting duck for experienced attacks. Hafeez is far too inconsistent and unsure of his place. i wonder why Pakistan did not persevere with Shoaib opening the innings?

    The fielding is really poor and we are carrying too many pathetic to avergae fielders. Farhat, Rana, Inzamam, Yousuf are a few of our laibilities.

    Pakistan's weakness in the World Cup will be their batting wince the matches are expected to be low scoring. They need to pick up their top order and improve on their fielding.

  • Ghalib Taimur on December 11, 2006, 17:13 GMT

    Debate on Kaneria and AbdulRehman is quite simple who should be picked.Inzi has never been able to lead Kaneria in the field in an ODI and i certainly think that experimenting that move again just before the world cup would be senseless as Rehman is doing a good job.

    Another debate on all-rounders i think Pakistan must play only one of their off-spinning all-rounders Malik or Hafeez.If Abdulrehman is in the team one of these bowlers are useless.

    Last question mark is Razzaq I would say if you cant get a decent score with 5 specialist batsmen wht difference will another one make(Razzaq).

    Lastly Farhat will be out of the team for sure out of the South African tour so please start thinking on Butt or Hameed.

    I'd appreciate some comments on what I have said.

  • Qasim on December 11, 2006, 14:54 GMT

    Its funny how two games can change the entire view of the fans.....

    Rana is a good bowler no doubt, but he is too expencive in the ODI. Any good batsman can knock him around the grownd like Lara did.

    I wouldn't say yet that we are a competition for the South Africans let alone the Aussies. ODI's are won with batting, hunger and desire to never give up. If it was won with bowling then Pakistan should have won the previous two world cups. Am not saying that bowling isn't important, it is obviously important but it can't alone win you the world cup.

    For the last two world cup, Pakistan had the services of the greats like Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar and the sage, Saqlain Mushtaq. I agree, Pakistan currently have very good bowlers in Akhtar, Asif, Gul, Rehman/Kaneria but if you compare them at this stage of their careers to any of the previous greats, they don't even come close. Some poeple would now argue that Wasim, Younis, and Saqlain were past their best but even so, they could turn a match in a couple of deliveries.

    If Pakistan has any chance of winning the world cup, it will be because of an allround perfomance with the bat, ball and fielding.

    BATTING

    Openners:-

    I don't know why Pakistan are looking for a Saeed Anwar in Imran Farhat. Farhat is just another Afridi with no talent at all like Afridi.

    Hafees wastes his wicket when he's in his 20's and 30's. More of a test player then a ODI's player.

    In South Africa, I think Farhat will be exposed and Hameed will get a chance.

    Middle Order:-

    I don't understand why Younis Khan is played at number 3. A number 3's job is normally to stabalise an Innings, play with the requirements of the situation, if there are some runs on the board, when come in, a number 3 should be able to explode like Ponting or when there are crises, be defencive like Dravid. Younis Khan only has one mode, he takes his singles, go for some nice boundries on the off or down the ground then gets out in his 30's with the most unattractive and foolish pull or cut. The best player for Pakistan at number 3 is without any doubt has to be Shoaib Malik. He can play defencive when required and he can be explosive.

    Bowling:-

    Akhtar has pace, Asif can seam the ball and gets bounce, Gul can swing and seam the ball, Razzak can gets big wickets often (If you look at his wickets, he takes allot of big names wickets like Tandulkar and Lara) Kaneria has variety and Rehman seems to be looking good rite now. My only worry would be to include Rana or Sami in place of Akhtar, Asif or even Gul.

    Fielding:-

    Malik and Hafees are by far the best fielders in the team. Hameed and Rehman also are good fielders and If Afridi comes back, he is also dependable in the field. Although the likes of Farhat and Kaneria need to work on their fielding. Yousuf and Inzi need to work on his running between the wickets because in a world cup match, it will be the difference winning and loosing!

    I think because the world cup is in West Indies, it may be worth the risk to try out Afridi and Hameed as openers and play Malik at one down with Younis at 6 and include an extra specialist bowler. Although that should only be tried if and only when Afridi performs in the domestic to proove his worth a place in the final 11.

    Its funny to see that some of the Afridi and Sami fans want both of them to play in the team even though they don't even deserve to play for the Pakistan A team at the moment!!!

  • Zain on December 11, 2006, 13:50 GMT

    I think Reham can be Very Handyy

  • waseem mohammed on December 11, 2006, 13:34 GMT

    it feels good to be a pakistani seeing these stats.but this feeling was there with india when they were winning in subcontinent.pakistani batsmen are not technically but perhaps be mentally.they might be struggling in south africa with their batting but if they don't want to follow india's footsteps they must improve their pacebowling which was hammered by chris gayle.to avoid this hammering by the proteas at their home they must think about accuracy.

  • waseem on December 11, 2006, 13:11 GMT

    although rana and abdur reman have shown the quality which is reminiscent of the good ld wicket takers wasim akram and saqlain mushtaq when shoaib and asif do return it will be a very stupid decision not to include them as they are two bowlers who can and will take the game away from the opposition in he first fifteen overs rana can be the 3rd specialist bowler with abdur rehman as a specialist spinner but i still beg the question where is shahid afridi he needs to be in the world cup side without a doubt.

  • Noman Aziz on December 11, 2006, 13:10 GMT

    It’s good to see Pakistani bowlers coming to form against West Indies which obviously is good for the team. However the question here lies whether these bowlers will be strong enough to perform on big occasions and against mighty oppositions and under difficult conditions. We witnessed in the past the two Ws, Wasim and Waqar well equipped to take 10 wickets or defend any total on any given day. I just don’t see the same potential in the current Pakistani attack. Yes, it’s very good but it doesn’t intimidate an opposition. That same quality talent is missing. I just hope that Pakistan performs well in the coming World cup but in reality I don’t think they with current squad deserve to be world champions.

  • Ahsan Abdi on December 11, 2006, 12:39 GMT

    I think over reliance on Shoaib Akhter will be foolish on part of the Pakistani team. His history tells us that his fitness is always suspect. So a back up battery of fast bowlers is an absolute. Here is a thought for the test team.... how about expertimenting with 2 spinners, a left arm and a leg spinner combination- quite unique! along with 3 seamers, Gul, Rana and Asif and reducing the number of all rounders atleast for the test team. But experimentation can be done during the SA tour for the ODI team as well.

  • Syed Naumanuddin Hassan on December 11, 2006, 11:21 GMT

    How unprofessional can one get! I have seen Imran Farhat getting out in similar fashion about six or seven times now. Taking his place in the team for granted, well there is something called responsibility. I think such players do not have hunger for runs, merely making modest 50s satisfy them! I am puzzled to think that why don't they get some inspiration from there team-mates such as Yousuf and Inzamam. This is called making mockery out of your talent!

  • Ali Faisal on December 11, 2006, 10:52 GMT

    Rehman looks like a bright prospect, however i think there is a problem with his action. I hope not but I forsee some trouble coming his way after this series.

  • Suahib Jalis Ahmed on December 11, 2006, 10:46 GMT

    It's nice to see that things are starting to look good in the bowling department. Rana and Rehman were impressive.

    But one thing about yesterday's match. Cricinfo headlines read 'Farhat stars in seven-wicket win'. I just cant rate Farhat's innings as even satisfactory. He got the runs on the board. But it was an utterly irresponsible innings on his part. I dont think I have ever felt so angry while watching anyone play.

  • Khurram on December 11, 2006, 9:54 GMT

    i would like to discuss the team composition for the world cup.2 specialist openers, 3 seamers, 1 keeper, 2 all rounders, 1 spinner and then we are left with 2 specialist batsmen.The openers would be amongst Farhat, Butt and Hameed.Seamers from Akhter, Sami, Shabbir, Asif, Gul. Akmal takes the keepers spot. the two all-rounders to be picked from Razzak, Malik, Afridi and Hafeez. The spinning option can be filled in by any of the spinning all-rounder or Rehman or Kaneria. The pool of specialist batsmen would be restricted to Yousuf, Inzi, Younis and Faisal,who can be placed in the playing XI

  • Amir wahab on December 11, 2006, 9:48 GMT

    here u go GUYS!!! and welcome back to Rana.this time inzi 11 did some excellent job.keep it up,in bowling squad pakistan always top of the line but pakistan needs some improvement in batting line and there is someone waiting for that like YASER HAMEED so bob & inzamam need to think about it.

  • Hamzah Mahmood on December 11, 2006, 9:39 GMT

    The openers are our achilles heel. Imran farhat is too loose and takes too many risks. Hafeez looks ok but he still hasn't set the world alight with his batting. Pakistan are desperate for decent openers and until Mr Bari experiments soon with younger players this problem will remain. What i give for a Chris Gayle in a Pakistan team or even for the old Saeed Anwar.

  • Mustafa on December 11, 2006, 9:17 GMT

    for openers i will go with the current no more experiments..younis,yousaf,inzimam,kamran,shoaib,abdul razaq and asif are automatic selection. shoaib malik and abdul-rehman one should be in eleven and the same rule applies to rana and gul.

  • umar on December 11, 2006, 9:15 GMT

    d pakis have d most stable team right now...but thiz team is gud only for home matches...but when u go abraod for playing u have diff enviro+diff grounds...so shoaib n asif will add 2 d engine of d bowlion attack....while they shud make their main batsman working...m talkin bout kamran,hafeez,afridi,,,n etc....its juz a small word practice....n dats wt they need....else i believe aussies will have a tuff competitors thiz WC....coz revenge is wat pakis r famous of

  • Ali on December 11, 2006, 9:09 GMT

    Really , Cricket is not Cricket Without Shahid Khan Afridi " iAgreed with Pak. Selection commeetee Yes he has t been very well from last 4 series But they shud be kept in mind dat He s guy who has lifted whole in Single a Hand whether His Bowling or Batting .......Every player has to face Bad Form but it does t mean to thru him Anywayz we only can comment ...... But If Pak. wants to world cup then Afridi has to be place in The Last Squad.........I personally Prey for Him Inshallah he wud be impressed by His Domestic Perform to Everyone ......

  • Shahzad on December 11, 2006, 8:48 GMT

    Rana finding his form and Rehman making his presence felt in the team are two very good signs for Pakistan for the preparation of WC. I really think its about time Inzi, Woolmer and Co re-think about their inclusion of 3 allrounders in the team! Razzak is an automatic choice in the ODIs simply because of his hard hitting ability when needed. So they should decide between Hafeez and Shoaib Malik now. They both are very similar players as far as their bowling goes so the decision should be made on the batting skills. Pakistan should play with 3 specialist fast bowlers, one specialist spinner, 2 all-rounders, 1 wicketkeeper and 4 specialist batsmen. I really don't think Imran Farhat would be a smart choice outside subcontinent so I don't think our opening dilemma is sorted YET!

  • MUQEEM on December 11, 2006, 8:45 GMT

    yes it is truth that this guy having a good comback

  • imran on December 11, 2006, 8:37 GMT

    pakistan will never be a title contender for world cup because they are chockers. i cant imagine a good pakistan oneday team with out afridi.

  • IMRAN KHALIQ MALIK on December 11, 2006, 8:34 GMT

    I think Rana Naved, M Asif, Shoaib Akhtar and M. Shabbir will our priority and in case one is injured or not playing then M Sami may play. this is the combination with whom we can win any match with any team like Australia or South Afria. in spin i think, A rehman is a very good choice but in my opinion if rehman plays then we must leave Shoaib Malik and include one more specialist batsmen in his place in middle order or at no. three place. and of course big boom Afridi is also have his place in the team so there is a spectacular combination will made if our selectors do so keeping in view of upcoming world cup event. thanks

  • Faisal on December 11, 2006, 8:22 GMT

    Hello, I can't understand one thing, why pakistan do so much experiments with their batting order. As we saw a SUDDEN number player in form of Kamran Akmal. Ya, Afridi must be there in the team. Because i totally agree with geoff boycott, 'He is a useful cricket'. But waiting for your comments on batting order expertmentations :)

  • sulemanali on December 11, 2006, 8:20 GMT

    i think so pakistan need to m sami he was a good fast bowler

  • Majid on December 11, 2006, 8:08 GMT

    I am glad to hear the performance of our team. Inzamam has also changed in that he used to be pretty relaxed after victory but now he is still persistent as he said to ramiz at the final test against west indies. Younis khan seemed to be having a problem these days and as for afridi I am glad he's out since his shape hasn't been too good.

  • Dr. TAB on December 11, 2006, 7:29 GMT

    well we need aggressive players both form of games (in batting and bowling). Look at Australian team their big guns are Gilchrist, Ponting, Symonds, Hussey, Lee and MacGrath. For the batsmen least average is for Gilchirst (around 36). All other have very good averages. Compare it with Pakistan, we have only one batsman more than 40 (M. Yousaf). So on papers we are lesser also with bowlers, our bowlers never bowled in a precised length so we are less consistent. also our performance is unpredictable always. I think we need to all the basis before the worls cup. we have to look after the performance of AbdurRazzaq and Afridi very carefully. If they can not fire before Wc then how can they fire in the WC. Look at Australian, they drop Martyn as he just fail in two tests.

  • MANZAR on December 11, 2006, 7:29 GMT

    Although Pakistan are looking good in the bowling department they will need to improve the opening batting for the world cup. Too many times they've started off promisingly but fell before they could go on to post a large total. What happend to Imran Nazir? Any sign that politics in Pakistan cricket hasn't disappeared.

  • David Osbourne on December 11, 2006, 6:54 GMT

    Shoaib and Asif can't make to the world cup squad. The doping saga is far from being over. ICC and WADA are clearly unhappy with the "tempered" decision of PCB, and speaking on medical grounds -- there is no way their elevated nandrolone level can be brought down below the minimum acceptable levels.

    Shabbir has a suspect action and will remain in future too. Pakistan can't risk him getting a ban in the world cup. Malik and Hafeez can also be called for illegal action as many suspect their's too.

    Thats how I believe multiplicity of options aren't as many as many fellows in Pakistan believe. You have to have rely on what you have now. Gul, Nazir, Rana, Rao, Razzaq for pace attack and Kaneria, Afridi, Rehman for Spin department.

    Kaneria can be pakistan's trump card if used intelligently. Pitches in the carribbean will suit him and teams like West Indies, South Africa and especially New Zealand are very susceptible against genuine leg spin googly bowling. He may play a role what Mushtaq did in 1992 World cup.

    Gul, Sami, Rana, Kaneria and Rehman is the winning attack. Five bowlers and all are attacking and wicket taking, and possess the most lethal variety in world cricket today. Sami is a genuinly quick and can fire at 90 plus. Umar is the best exploiter of seaming conditions in Pakistan (true, after Asif), Rana is a natural swing bowler firing at good pace in higher eighties. Kaneria the most potent leggie in the circuit today, and Rehman very accurate and having a good arm ball and seems to have a good cricketing brain.

    So good luck Pakistan. You have the best variety bunch of attcking bowlers and you can take World Cup to your head quarters in Lahore. Once again...rely on what you have now and dont be too ambitious.

  • dr.faisal on December 11, 2006, 6:43 GMT

    i eould like to see rehman ahead of rana at number 8.with asif and shoaib comingin pakistan will have 4 frontline bowlers, with malik rehman would give ample variety in the spin department.what about afridi?he should not be omitted from the oneday squad.we all know his power and charisma.he should open in the wc with malik because hafeez and farhat are not atttackers of the ball from the start.while in that case afridi can blastaway in the small grounds in the westindies.

  • Shahneel Baray on December 11, 2006, 6:36 GMT

    From my point of view Batting: Farhat is managing it well. He is quite risky at times. But somehow he is surviving and producing results. Hafeez is still a tad bit out of touch in the One-Dayers. Check out his runs scored in the last 10 matches... 10, 20, 0, 24, 18 30. We need some big ones here. He is great for the tests at the moment. Younus needs to be more reliable when it comes to one-dayers. He is heading back to his old style of being undependable. His presence is perfect for the test squad since his style is more of a Single Double technique. Yousuf ... No Comments... The Master of Cricket! Inzi, his presence is enough even if he doesnt score! Shoaib Malik's becoming a little lazy again. I always thought of him as the most mature youngster in the Pakistani squad. He has it in him... wont take long to exploit it. Afridi has probably had enough. I think if we pick him, we may need to drop Shoaib or Hafeez.

    Wicket Keeping Kamran Akmal should be kicked out of the squad! I havnt seen a bad wicket keeper in the history of Pakistani cricket (Tasleem Arif, Saleem Yousuf, Moin Khan, Rashid Latif... these guys were Amazing). I dont think any team in the world has a keeper that bad rite now! He isnt that significant with the bat either. I mean you cant compare his batting with Moin Khan or Rashid Latif. These two used to guarantee 30 odd runs in 10-15 deliveries down the order.

    Bowling: I suggest the following: Asif and Shoaib opening the attack with Shoaib hitting the deck, Asif playing around the swings. Umar Gul who has groomed to become a fantastic bowler doing the seam movements. We already have Abdur Razzaq as an all rounder who is perfect and doesnt get hammered too much when he bowls. Abdur Rehman should only be introduced if we are playing on a bowling track in which case either Hafeez or Malik may need to be dropped.

    That makes it 4 fast/medium bowlers (Shoaib, Asif, Umar Gul, Razzak) 2 Spinners (Hafeez and Shoaib) 1 keeper (Anyone but Kamran Akmal) and 4 specialist batsmen (Inzi, Younus, Yousuf, Farhat)

    This is my Winning WC Combo!

  • Imran Sabih on December 11, 2006, 6:29 GMT

    A word of advice for PCB. With such a strong bench strength in Selection advisers, no need to spend money on paid selection committee. Lot of honorary advisers available to do the job. Say bye bye to Wasim Bari & company.

  • Mohammed Rafi on December 11, 2006, 6:17 GMT

    i think Afridi is a good opening for the team becouse i afirdi boom in start then the pressure gone all over from the team so my thinking about afirdi is postive in wc venue he will put allot effort pls include him

  • Mohammed on December 11, 2006, 6:13 GMT

    143 odi matches, 31.63 odi batting average, 2 centuries against hong kong and England Vice captain of pakistani team do you guys think we need him in the odi team c'mon dnt remember which match but i heard this commentator even mentioning how many chances will pakistan give to younis khan i think he dnt at all deserve to be in the odi squad if this many chances were given to imran nazir i think we would have already had the saeed anwer like opener and not only imran nazir any other batsmen given a chance at 1 down slot must have been a real successfull player but our great younis is good for nothing you can on rely on him wen inzi or yousuf have scored good enuf thats the only time u rely on him he does a make a diff in the test team but in odi sorry dude he out and the team can be really balanced

    ChEeRz Ali

  • Saif on December 11, 2006, 6:05 GMT

    We can not decide rana's performance in a single game.At any cost, Pakistan nee Asif&Akthar for the bowling department in the world cup series. Afridi can be on hold untill he prove his batting strength, which is definitely a plus in this skill.Kaneria is not to be part of oneday tournament. Inshaallah we hope pak will win this worldcup again with the lead of great batsmans Inzi bhai

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on December 11, 2006, 6:00 GMT

    Kamran here is something for your next Pak Spin. Every other legitimate contender for the WC has a backup wicketkeeper with International experience. Even SA who normally stick with Boucher have DeVilliers who has kept wicket in FC and Intl cricket. The only other one besides Pak who does not have a backup with Intl experience is NZ. So imagine this secnario, God forbid, Kamran Akmal, whose keeping has been crap for a while anyway, get injured in the first game of the WC. We now have to send for Zulqarnain for Sarfaraz or Mohd. Salman neither of whom have played an international match in their lives!! I would have said at least we have Moin Khan, but he is not even playing for PIA anymore. If for no other reason then that, I think we need to try a new keeper in the last two games of this series.

  • Tauseef on December 11, 2006, 6:00 GMT

    Although Pakistan are having a good run, the past two games against the west indians have not been convincing wins. I think there is a place for shahid afridi in the squad and i believe it should be at the cost of imran farhat as an opener. Farhat is not a convincing batsman, he's edgy and flashes at anything bowled a bit wide of the off stump. Afridi on the other hand has reasonable success in his flashy style and like chris gayle proved, a cameo is the best way to unbalance the opposition. And we all know that no one can produce a cameo like afridi can. Aside from that, although rehman is a good bowler, i believe he should not have a spot in the one day team over the expense of having an extra batsman or allrounder. In the odi team, pakistan has 3 spinners in malik, hafeez and afridi. If they are allocated full overs and used properly they can take wickets. They are not tid-bit pieces as if we look in the past Malik was selected because of his bowling. He is a specialist. These players have grown in their all round abilities.

  • Ehtasham Usmani on December 11, 2006, 5:56 GMT

    I think when shoaib & asif come back, the will replace Rao & probabaly one of these two Rana or Rehman. But I feel we need a genuine no 6 batsman who can stay at the wicket if wickets feel early and can also accelerate in the final overs. I dont know who can do this sort of role but neither malik nor i dont think are capable enough.. I think a batsman can be included in the eleven at the expense of one of these two.. and with akmal following can be ok at the end of an ininings.

    And plz dont try Akmal at 3

  • Ramzan on December 11, 2006, 5:44 GMT

    Ya, finally a competitive side for Aussi's, It's really great to have lot of players in form. This is bowling side. What about the batting side of Pakistan?? I beleive batting side should be improved more and more in order to compete Aussi's or to be compared to, most importantly, Paki's should have more than one open batting pairs. Absence of Farhat or Hafeez can make a real damage to the team now. You do well Inzi-team, i beleive you can bring back the world cup to our sub-continent again.

  • Sami on December 11, 2006, 5:37 GMT

    I resound Ashar Hameed's comments as under: Posted by: Ashar Hameed at December 10, 2006 3:09 PM

    Well said Kamran, but the last Para seems quite bold as this is the same team that failed to even move to the next round in the ICC Champions Trophy. M. Sami, i must repeat, is not a good bowler, in fact i think so lowly of his bowling and his figures and his lack of performance in comparison to the chances offered to him that it offends me whenever his name is mentioned. M. Asif and S. Akhtar are match winning bowlers and i think Umer Gul is one of the best finds after them

  • Shahbaz Faheem on December 11, 2006, 5:36 GMT

    I must say for Pakistan bowling was never a problem, though, Abdur Rehman is a welcome addition to the great looking bowling attack, except Abdul Razzak who looks a weaklink.

  • sader on December 11, 2006, 5:31 GMT

    afridi should get a come back. asif and shoaib are also strength bowlers and about spinners abdul rahman is performing dazzling these days

  • zulfiqar ali on December 11, 2006, 5:24 GMT

    Rehmam did prove that he is some one who has every intention to stay at the international sence. it is really a good addition as it would give varity to our attack. Rana is typical example of pakistani player who take time diguest the fame . i hope that his focus will remain on cricket. he is a lion hearted bowler and we need this breed for winning world cup.A word for Lahore track we need to have such tracks if we want our team to perform well abroad.

  • Haris on December 11, 2006, 4:58 GMT

    after the inclusion of Asif and Shoaib in our team it is obvious that our chances in the world cup are defintely high but the bowling combinations which the team management will choose is a very difficult task and there will be a high contention among all of them

  • Zuhair on December 11, 2006, 4:32 GMT

    I am afraid v r talking a bit too high for rana. He is not consistent enough. Matches on West Indian pitches will not be high scoring, and we cant play rana ahead ofShoab, Asif,Gul, Shabbir and even Rao!! Rana gives 15-20 runs more than required. Rehman is no doubt a fresh air in the team, and i would lov to see him playing in the world cup. We can axe Hafeez over him. Again, we will have 2 use rotation policy to play Rana, Hafeez, Rehman and Afridi. We can open with Kamran and Yasir (No farhat in my team), followed by Malik,Younis,yousuf,Inzi and Razzaq!! which is a long enough batting line up for my likings!! Keeping in mind the easyier pitches in west indies, we dont really need to strengthn our batting down to number 9. Instead we need to have better bowlers!! shoaib, Asif, Gul (Shabbir) and Rehman will do the job!!

  • Taimur Huk on December 11, 2006, 4:17 GMT

    pakistan hasn't faced a true test yet. congratulations to pakistan winning their first two matches against the west indies. but lets face it: west indies is a mediocre team and pakistan were playing on their homeground and they are used to it. plus, the pitches in south asia are flat and the weather is dry. not that i am discrediting the players; they did a great job. but pakistan hasn't faced a tough opponent yet and haven't played on pitches that spin and bounce a lot. in RSA, the pitches are bouncy and pakistan will tested to see how they perform on those kind of pitches. and the pitches in the west indies are also like this. how pak performs on these pitches will show if they are a championship caliber team. best of luck to them!!!

  • FAKHAR on December 11, 2006, 4:08 GMT

    Rana & Abdul Rehman Performance in 2nd One Day brillent Bowling Abdul Rehman is a well player after many Years a good leg spiner found to pakistan.Shahid Afridi No, No Bhoom,Bhoom,Afridi ,Afridi is a mantly fast player.He is no responcible player.

  • Haneef Mohamed on December 11, 2006, 4:05 GMT

    i agree with you only for the time being. b cos gul has grown up as a good bowler thats little longer enough naved has made a come back can accept but rehman is too early to make any comments although he looks promising. pak doesn't have a problem with the bowlers infact the batting line and the order is the major problem now as if who is going to bat at No. 1,2 and 3 positions. is farhat matured as an opener? or why don't afridi can be included as an opener instead farhat. let's see what happens, good luck for pak for the wc.

  • Raza on December 11, 2006, 3:53 GMT

    If Rehman is selected for the SA tour and performs well, then Afridi's place will be in question, despite the fact that Afridi can be quite useful on the field in terms of bowling and fielding. The difference is, Rehman has shown more maturity and level-headedness than Afridi, which is what matters in crunch situations.

  • Aurang zeb Khan on December 11, 2006, 3:38 GMT

    I think Farhat did a lot of mistake, and his 58 runs innings is full of follies. It was only the luck that he surivived. I am uanable to understand the criteriea of team selection. On the one hand they omit Afridi and on the other hand gining chances to Farhat. If we have to won the world cup or atleast to compete in an honourable way we should include Afridi in the Squad.

  • zeeshan tirmizi on December 11, 2006, 3:27 GMT

    well Pak against Australia? I won't bet money on that still.It's wishful thinking! we need solid batting lineup and what do we have at our hands? Openers:Imran Farhat: loose,unreliable,rash player whose technique and temperament will be exposed in SA in due course. Mohd Hafeez: I think he's a professional batsman and will get better with time.He needs time out there. Middle Order: the mighty middle order who hs been doing so well over the last 2 years.well you cant win against Australia nd even SA without all atleast 3-4 of your specialist bastmen performing really well.Only middle order is not the solution. I am still not sure about Younis Khan.He's not an ODI batsman and has a paltry record for a NO:3 proved by a couple of hundreds only in so many games. Dilemma of Bowlers: I think there shouldn't be ny question about Umar Gul.He had been simply outstanding.He delivered when it was needed the most in tough conditions and he is still improving. Truly professional attitude. Asif is probably the most exciting bowling find since Waqar Younis.So the top3 bowling slots should go to Shoaib,Asif and Gul.Pakistan needs one more bowler who can deliver 10 overs and still can take wickets.On tht slot I would prefer Afridi over Razzak.Afridi has the expereince nd mental strength of playing in big matches against big teams.I think he should be playing as an opener and Shoaib malik at no:3.This would probably leave younis out of the ODI squad which I guess we can afford. I am really surprised to see Kamran Akmal playing at no:3.Not his place by any means.He should b playing at lower down. Rana will be good for bench strength as well as AbdurRehman. Finally, a word about Sami.can we please stop talking about that great waste? he has had enough chances and he failed to raise himself on numerous occassions. I would be really happy if we would make it to the semi-finals even let alone talking about AUSSIES yet with out so unprofessional approach to the game. we have sacrificed every other single game for cricket proven by pathetic performance in the ongoing Asian games.still we are not even the best in that.same story for Pakistan.

  • Fayyaz Qadir on December 11, 2006, 3:13 GMT

    Well dont waste Afridi. He was doing so well early in the inings no matter what type of wickets but his bating positioned was changed. Anyway he should play early in the inings like 1,2 or 3 or at the most 4. He is much more capable bowler then thopught of he can take wickets also. In test his record has been neck to neck with kaneria. Even in test matches instead of kaneria chance should be given to Mansoor Mmjad who at occasions has shown that he is as capable as kaneria if not more and then batting ability is a plus. Hos come waqar is not working as hard on Mohhamad Irshad as Imran worked on him. Shoaib is leaving in a year or so we need another speedster Irshad is good if waqar can teach him the swing.

  • Karim Shaban on December 11, 2006, 3:08 GMT

    I agree with Kamran that in the two games of the series thus far, Rana and Rehman have been the difference for Pakistan. But let's not forget that it's just that -- TWO GAMES. The West Indian batsman aren't the best players of spin bowling, and Rana got some help because in the time between the Test and ODI sereis the Pakistani curators got divine revalations on how to make sporting pitches.

    For now, I think Rana needs to keep up the good work, Umar Gul should be prepared and trained to become the permanent spearhead (Shoaib is on his last leg anyway, so Gul is going to be at least one half of our new ball attack), and Rehman needs to do more to make him an automatic selection. He has had a commendable start though.

    And let's not start relying on a Shoaib and Asif return just yet, there are MANY possible twists in the story. They still need to survive a potential appeal from WADA - which is become extremely likely after the Nasim Ashraf revalations, and they need to pass PCB and ICC dope tests before the World Cup (your guess is as good as mine).

  • mike on December 11, 2006, 2:59 GMT

    Well you guys have got alot of kool comments in regards to players and the whole team settings. But, I am sure that Bob, the coach, has a better reasoning behing this odd combination of batting order as well as bowling order. I think after all it will end up being the best (possible) 11 players out of the whole sack. And evidently they have got to perform well enough to be the best top 11 players. So we have got to have faith in the coach and the captain. I am sure they will know when the time is right, who to choose and who to leave!! And I believe in the end all it matters is who wins the game, regardless of their players combination. I mean this is how we play anyother sport and I am sure that its the same in the game of cricket (as my understanding). We thought without Shaq Lakers will die!!!!! but it didnot realy happen we still have got Kobe and some other kool interesting players..So we still support LAKERS regardless.. So you guys should also support your team as they want to win and that has to be doe by the best possible combination of 11 players!!

  • Ali Afzal on December 11, 2006, 2:57 GMT

    I think the real good news for pakistan squad is invention of a left arm spinner which have given Pakistan bowling attack more variety because we had good fast bowlers and Danish Kaneria who is a better player for test matches not for ODI,s.but now we have a good spinner for ODI,s also.If i had been slector my choice would be Shoaib,Asif,Umer,Rehman,Razzaq,S Malik,Hafeez,Kamran,Farhat,Younis,Yousuf and Inzmam.What do you say?

  • Aneeq on December 11, 2006, 2:24 GMT

    It's a little too early to talk about Rana-Naveed reaching his top form, We still cant say that. But as far as his confidence remains high and he keeps on getting the Support he needs from Waqar Younis, i definatley think that with the return of Shoiab , and Asif Pakistan do stand in one of the top contedendors of the world cup along with Austrila.

  • ahsann on December 11, 2006, 2:17 GMT

    kamran what do you think will be made of shahid afridi with the supposed rise of rehman...and the fact that hafeez/malik are also back up bowlers? im sure he`ll return but at whos expense...and can he really get his batting rhythm back?

  • ali on December 11, 2006, 1:44 GMT

    Kamran Abbasi never said sami is a great bowler or he will play in the playing xi. he just said he is part of what is a good bench. shoaib went on to take steroids etc. sami can still bowl. he is better backup than what a lot of countries have.

  • Ali Rashid Cheema on December 11, 2006, 1:31 GMT

    Good to see Pakistan taking an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the ODI series. We did the same agaimst England in England before throwing it all away. I am sure we won't do that this time around though.

    Very happy to see Rana among the wickets. He was short of confidence when he returned from injury and had a poor ODI series in England and then the Champions Trophy in India. Our fast bowling depth looks good now. Shoaib, Asif, Gul, Rana, Shabbir, Sami, Nazir...and the list continues. Nice to see Farhat and Hafeez being given an extended run. I am sure Afridi will make the World Cup squad---whether he fits in the starting line up remains to be seen.

    No more controversies please.

  • Muhammad Usman Aslam on December 11, 2006, 0:57 GMT

    I would rather pick Danish Kaneria instead of Abdul Rehman.... coz he scores ahead in terms of much more experience....

    As for Shoaib.. Donno why people are so much against him all the times... Its the PCB mistake too in handling him poorly all these years, But i really feel if people give him respect and responsbility... The biggest proof is when he was made Vice Captain for the only time.. In the home series against South Africa.... where he bowled his heart out and was the leading wicket taker on those dead tracks of ours... So after all that he has gone through i really feel he will be different this time.... Razzaq and Afridi should be reminded to earn their places in the team through sheer hard work not by the talent stories about them..

    the most dissappointing thing is about Shoaib Malik.. He's not just performing the way we all expect of him... Perhaps its coz he did so well at the number 3 slot.. now that has been taken away... I hope he makes it for the number 6 slot.. he's a very utility player... we need someone sensible like him at number 6 who can not only graft his innings when needed and also tear any attack apart if the need arises...

    Go Shoaib .. its now or never....

  • Syed M. Hasan on December 11, 2006, 0:47 GMT

    I think Pakistan can have the best team in the world in batting and bowling. The big middle order in Younis, Yousuf, and Inzi are probably the best middle order in the world. Farhat should open because he has had some form of late. Hafeez is an excellent choice because he is a very smart batsmen and a pretty good spinner. Malik and Kamran should me powering our middle order, and last but not least in our tail we should have, Shoabi, Asif without a doubt. Either Rehman or Danish for our spinner, and for our final bowler you could really put anyone in there. Gul, Rao, Rana, Shabbir Ahmed, Shaid Nazir has been impressive, and yes even the faltering Mohammed Sami. Afridi and Razzaq have both had their chances and their is no room for players like them in a team such as Pakistan. . Pakistan i believe are now serious contenders for the world cup even if they are (God Forbid) plagued with injuries.

  • Omer Admani on December 11, 2006, 0:22 GMT

    Abdur Rehman was good, but the pitches had incredible nip in them for spinners. I am not convinced he should be in the team. Besides, we know that Ashley Giles is such a great failure for England; why would Pakistan want one? On the other hnd, too early to judge Rana again. His problem is his inconsistency and insistence to bowl short and faster than he can. These pitches have been bowler friendly, so we would only know whether he has improved when he bowls on slower pitches offering less to the bowler. Good wins nonetheless.

  • Faisal on December 11, 2006, 0:19 GMT

    i certainly think Rana deserves a spot in the playing eleven, the main reason is that he has what international cricket requires, with respect to bowling and batting. He is a good hitter and if he could consistantly bring the ball in to the left hander and out to the right hander at 130k/h than i think thats what Pakistan needs at this time. To me Pakistan pace attack should include Shoaib, Asif, Gul and Rana. As long as the spinners go...i would say shoaib malik and hafeez could do the job if not afridi. so u have 4 speacialist seamers 3 part time spinners and razzaq as a stock bowler...to me who does not deserve a place in the team is Younis Khan. Nothing against Younis bhai but he is a real time test batsman not ODI.

  • Azad Ahmad on December 10, 2006, 23:45 GMT

    Shoaib Asif and Shabbir should be out test match bowling attack while gul and rana and nazir should be in the reserves.Bye Bye to Sami for ever.

  • Muhammad Khan on December 10, 2006, 23:14 GMT

    JAVED A. KHAN from MONTREAL, CANADA you cant have all three all rounders in the squad, ODI's are won by batsman, and you can't have afridi open in the world cup unless you're chasing 300+. BTW, no room for Gul in your team.?

    -Muhammad Khan-

  • Abid on December 10, 2006, 23:11 GMT

    No doubt in ODI Rehman should be picked ahead of Kaneria and Rana ahead of Rao and may be Shabir but for world cup Pakistan must assess the pitches, and they may need to go with more clinical bowlers than going for pace.

    Pakistan should once again experiment with Afridi as opener (in WI) and keep bowling to Asif, Gul, and Shabir/Rana supported by Razzaq.

    Inform Afridi slogs can make Pak win any match, plus gives leg spin option, since Malik already bowl offspin.

  • Rauf on December 10, 2006, 22:57 GMT

    ...and S. Malik. Indeed, he has been consistent and has been scoring. But he has no finesse. Can Pak afford him at the next WC?

  • Daniyal Anis on December 10, 2006, 22:53 GMT

    I was surprise to see the bowling of rehman in the last test,in which he finally got the chance to show the talent he got..Although his skills were proven in first class matches but yet he has to do something in international arena which he has shown us in his last two games..After a long time pakistani side have got the good spinners after saqlain and mushtaq ahmed..the duo of pakistani spinners danish and rehman can be very usefull in upcoming world cup..But in onedayers we have to balanced the team with spinners,fast bowler and batsman,in westindies the wickets will support fast bowler and the return of asif and shoaib have strenghted pakistani side..These two fast bowler should be in the first 11..and rehman should be given chance in the side too...but rehman still have to prove that he is potential and consistent and his real ability will be seen in S.africa tour..Anyways hope pakistan do well in upcoming tours!!

  • Rauf on December 10, 2006, 22:43 GMT

    AA Don't quite agree with you on N. Rana. As well as he balled and his better fitness his problem is Gul now after Asif and Shoaib.Let's not even consider Shabbir, Sami...As Sean correctly stated forming and hanging onto a consistent team has been a problem for us. I. Farhat's performance in the 2nd one was mediocre. Would he last against better sides? I'd still opt for S. Butt, Yassir Hamid.. Finally Pakistan must rest S. Afridi. Regards.

  • awais on December 10, 2006, 22:41 GMT

    i have a few points to make:

    1)sami is useless, a bench weakness rather than strength 2)why are they not trying samiullah khan, at the very least he deserves 1 chance, maybe if pakistan win the next game, they could try him in the dead-rubber last game 3) problem with playing specialists like hameed is that players like abdul razzaq and shoaib malik usually bat better 4) afridi has always been the wild card, a risk, and every one knows it, he only plays better when assured of a place; brought back now, he will do even worse cuz of the pressure of keeping his place 5) pakistan should definately play 4 batsmen, 1 keeper, 2 allrounders and 4 batsmen (maybe 3 allrounders and 3 batsmen if u get akmal and afridi or akmal and hafeez to open--(our opening fails no matter who u try anyways)

  • Farooq S on December 10, 2006, 22:29 GMT

    I am so happy to see a full-time spinner, in the form of talented Rehman, in our ODI side after a long period of time. A spinner plays a vital role (Warne, Murli, Saqi) in ODI games. Rehman has been very impressive and making a difference. I am hoping that he will keep playing all ODI games from now and on. You go, Rehman! Keep it up!!!

  • Gary Niblock on December 10, 2006, 22:00 GMT

    Look, if Rana, Shoaib, Asif and Kaneria are deemed to be the 4 best bowlers in the country, they should play the World Cup. Fielding or no fielding. I'd rather have batsmen who can bat and bowlers who can bowl first of all. After all Imran could hardly field, Inzi isnt the greatest either and Sourav is average! Lot of people here sound like BD or Zim fans who maybe need to worry about such things! I know the Aussies would rather face Rehman than Danish!

  • David Furrows on December 10, 2006, 21:52 GMT

    Quite astonishingly, the one-day player I struggle to fit into a dream team is now Razzaq!

    Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup by fielding 4 wicket-taking bowlers: in 2007 their equivalents would be 9. Shoaib, 11. Asif, 10. Gul and 8. Rana Naved. You need four wicket-takers: otherwise players like Symonds, Pieterson or Flintoff can take the game away from you while your non-strike bowlers are wheeling away in the middle overs.

    If Kamran Akmal bats 7, which is rather high, that leaves six slots for specialist batsmen. If Younis, Yousuf and Inzy bat 3, 4 and 5, that leaves the two opening slots and the number 6 slot.

    You perm two from Hafeez, Farhat and Hameed to open, which leaves Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq and Shahid Afridi fighting for one slot at number 6 for a batsman who can bowl.

    And in spite of Razzaq and Afridi's ability to smash sixes, neither is good at running ones or twos and rotating the strike. Shoaib Malik is, and given his ability to bowl spin I would pick him ahead of Razzaq.

  • Faisal Sid on December 10, 2006, 21:28 GMT

    Why is there even talk about M Sami, just cuz Mr. Khan says he is a match winner does that mean we have to include him. We have all forgotten about the other ban - Shabbir - which has been lifted and will be available for the SA and WC tours. Now that would really add depth to bench.

  • Nader on December 10, 2006, 21:20 GMT

    Kamran, I have to say the comments on your blog from readers sometimes offer better insights into Pakistan cricket than what we hear from commentators on the TV and in the press. Keep up the great blog effort you have launched. It's a pleasure to read it.

  • Akhtar Syed on December 10, 2006, 21:10 GMT

    My several years’ observations about the Pakistani cricket players are very negative. In my honest opinion they are only good on the home fields. When it comes to play in the ICC major tournaments such as Champions trophy and the World Cup, the team always failed. I can’t wait to see their performances in the up coming World Cup. I believe that the Pakistani team will not make it even in the play off.

    Glendale Heighs, Illinois. USA

  • Naeem on December 10, 2006, 21:00 GMT

    If the ban on Shoaib and asif had lead to the situation of crisis for pakistan now their sudden return is having a great POSITIVE efFect on the moral of the team. i would say this short lasting ban on asif and shoaib has helped us alot. With boTh of them returning and A new discovery of a spinner in the form of Abdur rahman WORLD CUP 2007: WE ARE ON OUR WAY!!!!

  • SAEED ALAM on December 10, 2006, 20:50 GMT

    your analysis is based on matches on home turfs. don't forget the unpredictability of our beloved crickters and their record on bouncy/alien pitches.let us wait and see.

  • Ammad Siddiqui on December 10, 2006, 20:16 GMT

    Something is wrong with all of us. We can compete with Australia? Who are you kidding with? We are no way near as good as them. Every time I hear that Pakistan is capable of beating the Aussies I just think its utter crap. I remember when Woolmer came he made statments to making Pakistan a winning team in six months. Guys we might be good but not as good as Australia. We still have a long way to go.

    Imran Farhat- What is that dude doing in team? I see another Muhammad Sami in the making. He should be kicked out of the team. He doesnt deserve to be in team at all such a scratchy player he is. So what are the alternatives for opening slot. We always have Salman Butt and Yasir Hameed. And then we have Taufeeq Umar whose career has been ruined. He was such a great batsman, but thanks to the selectors fiddling with openers. And if you dont wany any them, then you always have Shoaib Malik. The guy was great at no 3, but since he has been replaced by Younis Khan they can use Malik as opener.

    Afridi could be bought back into side and bat down lower in the order. Faisal Iqbal is another option. We can have great hitters in Afridi, Razzaq and Akmal down the order.

    Abdur Rehman- I havent seen him bowl but its still early days for him. The opinion by Abbasi is premature even though he may be correct. Let him play a handful of more ODIs and we will see. Naveed was always good, he had just lost the plot for a while.

    Another thing. Never mention the name of Muhammad Sami and Imran Farhat in the camp. Because of them, careers of people like Taufeeq Umar, Asim Kamal and Shahid Nazir/Yasir Arafat have been destroyed. We just need pateint team selectors and in the end we might end up challenging Australia.

  • ahtesham qureshi on December 10, 2006, 20:15 GMT

    For the first time in years, pakistan seems to have a good combination of batting and bowling.This is the perfect order and they should use the same combination in South Africa. The only weaker part in the batting line up is Hafeez as an opener and I would be watching his performance closely in South Africa; he is an irreplacable off spinner for one day though.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 10, 2006, 20:13 GMT

    KAMRAN ABBASSI - if this is the mental pabulum you are giving to the selectors to select a team for SA tour or the World Cup 2007, then you are confusing the confused ones even more.

    The selectors have done this b4 i.e., bringing or keeping a new player (who plays to fill in the slot due to the absence of a regular player) who has performed moderately well in one game and then they completely forget about the class of a player who has been consistent in the past and has also proved his mettle earlier not just in one match or a series but in many matches and all over the world. If you look at the history of player selection it has always been on a very ad hoc basis.

    When Shoaib Akhtar came back from Australia Rana had to fill in his place so he got a chance and was lucky to perform well, but look at his stats they are nothing great. Pakistan still lost that series in Australia. Immediately after that trip to Aus., Pak went to India and won the series but NOT because of Rana. In the last 3 ODI's which Pakistan won, the first one because of Inzi (in Ahmadabad) and second one because of (Shahid Afridi's Kanpur massacre) by then India was morally down and out by Afridi's thrashing, so there is no big deal if Rana had gotten a few wickets against a dying team. In England this year, where he broke all the county records along with Mushy, he came back in the ODI squad after his injury and actually helped Pakistan loose against a depleted dying England team.

    In my opinion RANA should not be in the world cup squad ! In the last match, he was lucky to trap Lara on his first ball and then also got Gayle in similar fashion but only after being thrashed all over the ground. Rana is one of the worst fielders who makes a big show, he makes a big dive when it is not needed and the end result is; either he has dropped a catch or the ball has crossed the boundary line and he is lying on the ground in utter dismay and making faces.

    REHMAN should not be praised so much for taking just 2 wickets in each match and that too on home grounds, and that too, against a "West Indies Club Side" led by Lara and his deputy Chris Gayle. There is no Chanderpaul, no Sarwan, no Bravo and people have started talking about Rahman so high like he is next Saqlain Mushtaq. Rehman too, is a bad fielder, and gave away a few extra runs. There is no way he can justify his place against Shahid Afridi who is a complete player and not just a spinner.

    Those who were watching the game last night must have seen how Farhat dropped a simple regulation, chest level catch in the slips........and also his claim of picking up the ball cleanly to dismiss the same batsman 9 runs later seems rather dubious to me. It wasn't a clean pick, but the third umpire had another view. Despite his gritty 50 odd score which he wouldn't have reached there if Samuels had not dropped a straight forward catch. But Farhat will stay, he will go to SA and also be a playing member in the World Cup. The selectors don't see the basic flaw in Farhat's technique. To me he appears to be sleeping momentarily while he is fielding and wakes up to drop a simple regulation catch. Similarly while batting there is a sudden rush of blood to cut a loose shot! Farhat can be a reserve player, but Afridi must be in the team......of course along with Asif and Shoaib. 1. Hafeez 2. Afridi 3.Younis 4. Yousuf 5. Inzi. 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Razzaq 8. Kamran 9. Shoaib Akhtar. 10. Asif.

    The 11th player should either be a spinner or a fast bowler depending on the nature of the pitch and the playing conditions..... Rahman can come in as a spinner. Or Sami, or Rao or Yasir Arafat whoever is in the team can fill in that spot if a fast bowler is needed. I would prefer Yasir Arafat but I won't mind giving one LAST chance to Sami in S.A. because of his speed.

  • Mansoor Khandwala on December 10, 2006, 20:11 GMT

    Hats off too Waqar(VickY boy) not only to help Rana got his lost touch back but also helping Umer Gul who is improving every mtach he plays .I am sure if Mohhammad Sami is kept with Him(Waqar yonus) i have no doubt he has ability to become one of better bowler of this ERa. On the closing note for me Winnning test series in Austrlia is biggest prize in Modern Day cricket. than world cup.

  • Fawad on December 10, 2006, 20:11 GMT

    Salman Butt might be better then Farhat but has been figured out by the opposition already. He is pretty much useless against teams that use their brain (ie eng, aus, NZ). The flaws in his game get somewhat covered up on pakistani flat tracks but there is no way he wouldve lasted 5 overs had he player last night. All inzi wants from his openers is a 50 run opening parnetship. Afridi and Salman and even Yasir cant be depended on providing him that. Farhat may look like a tapeball batsman but he gets the job done. Biggest disappointment however has been Shoaib malik .. he once was considered in the same class as younis with potential to be better then yousuf but he seems to be fading away .

  • Arslan Shaukat on December 10, 2006, 20:04 GMT

    The emergence of Gul and Rehman and the return of Rana to form have indeed created a very pleasant dilemma for Pakistani team management. I hope, now that Asif & Shoaib are back, Inzi & Woolmer will rotate these fast bowlers in the build up to the world cup so that they remain match fit and fresh. This applies to Gul specially who has come back from a horrendous injury which kept him away from cricket for more than a year. He has been bowling non-stop since the England tour.

    Emergence of all these bowlers should also threaten Razak's place in the side, especially in test arena. The way I see it, those flat, slowish pitches in Caribbean suit Rehman (a slow left armer) and Afridi (a wrist spinner) more than Razak. Razak's contribution to Pakistan's success in the last year has only been with the bat and that too very infrequently. I think you should discuss Razak's role in the Pakistani side in a separate thread.

  • Rasheed on December 10, 2006, 20:03 GMT

    Why people even thinking Rana instead of Gul.It makes me sick.Regional politics?.Here is the team:[ImranFarhat,Hafeez,Salman],[Yousuf, Younus, Inzamul], Kamran, Afridi/Rahman,[Shoib, Asif and Gul]. Why three openers since,they are not that good and to take off pressure from the middle order.And Hafeez is a o.k bowler.Three Strike bowlers are good enough we need 2 extra bowlers economy bowlers.Three opener can put atleast 100 runs then y,y & I company will Inshallah make 120 or more.Kamran and the rest 40 and extra runs 10 that should be 270 minimum runs.And S,A& Gul will take care the rest.If Rahman shows good batting we will miss Afridi.We need to see if Afridi get back his form otherwise; out.With Australia everyone needs to be 10% better.Why not Razzaq he is usually expensive but to be honest Afridi/Rahman/Razzaq is the most confusing part of the selection.Well Hafeez/S Malik is also.Keep in mind Razzak is usually expensive.Salman is usually good against Australia.

  • Abdul rauf on December 10, 2006, 19:54 GMT

    Its a little too early to judge Rana and Rehman. Lets not forget that we are afterall playing at home. Many of our batsmen and bowlers do exceptionally well at home. What counts is how well they perform away from home, so lets be quietly optimistic about the two performers.

  • hamza salick on December 10, 2006, 19:51 GMT

    well i think it wud rather be a pleasant dilemma for pakistan if they have to chose their team in the world cup from among 13,14 very best of the players..rehman has certainly made a strong case for himself,so has rana naveed.i think rehman posseses the guile and most importantly the patience which kaneria misses..plus he can bat and field well too..n the best thing abt him is that he sticks to the basics..if he carries on his good work i think he can give danish kaneria a good rum for his money in the test side as well..as far as the seam attack is concerned, i think Pakistan shud have shoaib,asif,rana naveed n razzaq 4 the WC.i say rana naveed in place of gul coz he s an excellent bowler at depth..n y do we forget rao iftikhar when we mention our seam attack..i think he s the most consistent bowler with line n legth in the pakisatn squad..well @digitally urz i think farhat is a much better option then butt coz atleast he delivers...n butt has got the poorest of techniques 4 DA LURING BALLS OUTSYD OFFSTUMP AS WAS EXPOSED BY EVEN THE DOLLY INDIAN PACE ATTACK..!

  • Digitallyurz on December 10, 2006, 19:30 GMT

    Now what can I say for IMRAN FARHAT.....the way he batted today for his 58...believe me as a cricket lover and keen observer of PAkistani team, I felt really ashamed. Such pathetic display of play and missbut. I wonder if there is anyone luckier in cricket world than IMRAN FARHAT. He neither has a technicque for a good opener and on top of it he is butter finger. Just remind how many catches did he drop in recent time. Also remeind how many catcehs did he offer before throwing away his wicket.But still INZMAM is backing him. He plays so sqaure of the wicket, same problem like IMran Nazir, seldom drivesand on top of it he is one of the weekest opener I have seen on his legs/Pads . The way he was trying to slog today with out much success was astonishing. Please I want end to this agony of watching him in the team. Ask anyone witha good technical knowledge of cricket, Salman Butt is best among these guys including yasir hameed, taufeeq umer and Imran Ferhat.

  • Ali Memon on December 10, 2006, 19:26 GMT

    I truly believe that no dought about rana. he is the great bowler. But on the other hand its very diffecult to discuess and deside about the world cup squad. on the other side rehman is a good left arm spinner if compare with danish in ODIS. But i think in world cup people need hope that shahid Afridi is the part of the squade.

  • sakhir sajjad on December 10, 2006, 19:22 GMT

    shoaib and asif are the armoury of pak cricket team...but other players are also fine...Umar gul is doing a good job...but these youngsters are NOT enough for the world cup victory

  • digitallyurz on December 10, 2006, 19:17 GMT

    Well I am really happy for Abdul Rehman.It is still quite early to comment wether he can make a mark like saqlain but nice to see a good spinner in the team after a long time. His late but due arrival is because Inzimam doesnt feel secure witha specialist spinner in ODiz. Since made captain we have seen his poor and pathetic captaincy especially with spinners operating. even with 4-5 wickets down he gives open singles to the new batsman.I have never seen him attacing with a spin bowler.He seems to be without any strategy whatsoever with a spinner. Also after Saqlain Mushtaq ,wasted by AMMIR SOHAIL, we never had any match wining spinner which is essential weapon in any form of cricket. In Short Abdul Rehman could be the ingredient that was missing from the winning reciepe. Lets hope he is given enough chance.

  • ali on December 10, 2006, 19:06 GMT

    openers? regardless of whether they score they are way to shaky. lets go for inconsistent batsman with class. hameed and butt. they dont play and miss like these guys.

  • Adnan Rafiq on December 10, 2006, 19:03 GMT

    Okay, this is what I think will happen in the world cup: Shoaib Akhter would limp out of the field after bowling the first 5 overs of the first game. He would then be sent back home due to some sort of a fracture, stress-related or otherwise. So realistically, it seems like its going to be Rana, Gul and Asif as our top three picks.

  • Qazi Abdul Haque on December 10, 2006, 19:03 GMT

    Being a cricket lover i become unhappy when ever i see the waqar younis out from the field while inzi iz in coz he iz old enugh while waqar has stilla good career.which made me unhappy when ever i see him out from the field

  • ashaq on December 10, 2006, 18:54 GMT

    They say love is blind.It certainly is blind in the case off Afridi fans.I would like too know is how many times has afridi won a man off the match award in 233 odi.I think that should settle any argument as too whether afridi is a matchwinner or not.AS for being a crowdpleaser, and entertainer he difinitely is. But we need a team off professionals who can win the world cup,not someone whose only objective is too hit a few sixes.He has been the biggest under achiever in pakistan cricketing his refusal too change and be disciplined has been a let down.How can someone as talented as he is,with the greatest natural ability and a god given skill fail so consistently Afridi should be ashamed of himself for wasting a gift that he has been blessed.If he had been more professional in his attitude than he would have been competing with Lara, Ponting,tendulkar as the worlds Numero Uno.In the same manners he should be competing with shane warne,mushtaq ahmed e.t.c as the worlds premier leg spinner.But instead he has after 233 odi neither mastered the art off bowling nor batting.A perrenial under achiever the jack off all trades and competent at none.Yes afridi fans love can indeed be blind. AS for Abdur rehman a brilliant discovery so far hope he can continues. With waqar doing a good job as pace bowling coach.I think pakistan should bring back Mushtaq ahmed too help the likes off Hafeez,malik,and abdur rehman in the spin department.

  • Robanio on December 10, 2006, 18:45 GMT

    We are so good with ZERO and HERO hypothesis.Let Rehman play some matches before we call him a FINE FIND. Afridi doesn't deserve a place in team. I can average in 20s and make couple of hundereds in 20X10 matches. Its a positive bad news for Pakistan to be in tangle of who to choose for playing eleven. Inclusion should be based on performance not NAME TAGS. Akmal is talented, i wont mind him playing at different positions. Hafeez and Farhat are doing good. Pakistan has good chances of winning the W.C but less than Aussies and Africans. Good luck Pakistan.

  • Daniyal on December 10, 2006, 18:37 GMT

    The Pakistani team baffles me sometimes it struggles to score 150 others it struggles to defend 300. One would think we're only as good as the pitch is.

    I remember before the 1992 World Cup Pakistan was clueless when it came to chasing now our dilemma is putting up enough runs on the board for the bowlers to defend. On paper we seem to have a prodigious batting line up but in practicality its perhaps a team dependant on two superstars and one workhose.

    The bowling though is improving by the day even though we have not found a raw pace talents the likes of a young Waqar or even Shoaib but the seamers are effective. Rana is bowling well, the length is good and the line accurate much more than once could say for Shoaib or even those before him. The current stock of pacers/seamers are a hardworking accurte lot. The spin department is coming along nicely don't think we have a shot in this world cup but judging by how the development work under Woolmer is coming along we may have a good shot when the cup returns to the Sub-Continent is 2011 and what a party that would be!

  • Ahmed on December 10, 2006, 18:29 GMT

    Imran Farhat is the one who doesnt deserve to be in the 11 bcoz his batting is totally flawed and his fielding is ridiculous. Hafeez seems to be a very mature player. He definitely is a "Lambi race ka ghoda". Pakistan will do good to invest in Hafeez.

  • anees on December 10, 2006, 18:23 GMT

    the world cup 3 months away, but with this mouthwatering bowling attack at our disposal, im already looking forward to 2007-08 series against india and australia, australia may finally have a worthy challenger for their dominance

  • jim dhillon on December 10, 2006, 18:10 GMT

    hello everybody.....being an indian but a cricket fan i will say that Pakistan or any team is yet no match for Australia.....Aussies are very disciplined unit and they play for the team, their country..... Just from one series at home against WI we can not decide that Pakistan has a chance for winning the cup....Pakistan really disappointed me in champins trophy and same as India..... But if we want to win the world cup we have to improve our fielding and batting....And please include Afridi in the Team because people from other countries watch Pakistan play only because of Afridi...... And pakistan or any other Team is no match for Australia.....guaranteed.

    from vancouver

  • John Beamish on December 10, 2006, 17:57 GMT

    I can't fathom the wisdom of Pakistan selectors. Why would you ever play Rao Ifthikar(sp...?)when you have Shahid Nazir, Sami and Arafat sitting on your bench? I think Imran Farhat will be cruelly exposed in South Africa by Pollock & Co. The only thing that would warrant putting a bit of a flutter on Pakistan for the WC is that the conditions are going to be low and slow.

  • Mujtaba on December 10, 2006, 17:49 GMT

    I think Hameed should be included in place of Hafeez and Afridi for Abdur Rehman......

  • Asif on December 10, 2006, 17:40 GMT

    I think that Pakistan is mismanaging the team right now at a most crucial time. Let us remember that these 4 ODIs against the Windies and then 6 in SA are our last matches prior to the WC. The SA pitches have nothing in common with those in the West Indies, which makes these last few matches at home so much more important. It is in these matches that we should be finalizing our best 11 and giving them a chance to play together.

    With that having been said, there are so many glaring issues that need to be addressed. Farhat clearly does not have big match temperament, and Yasir Hameed deserves at least a chance; we have to get our opening pair well set before SA. I have no idea what is inspiring our captain to put Kamran Akmal in at 1 down; he is made for the middle order and needs to stay there. When Pakistan was on their most successful ODI run over the last 18 months, the most prolific #3 batsman statistically has been Shoaib Malik. Of course this would not even be an issue if our stalwarts Yousuf and Inzi were not afraid of coming in at 1 down. Finally, why are we even considering Abdul Rehman? He may do well against the lowly Windies in these friendly conditions, but how would he do against India, SA or Australia under more trying circumstances? He is raw and inexperienced and having an unknown quantity like that is the last thing we need for the WC. All of this experimentation right on the heels of the most important tournament is risky and dangerous. The omission of Afridi is simply preposterous, especially given the his success during our last tour of the Windies. He may be out of form now, but he is a match winner, with his bat, ball, fielding, and charisma.

    Let's hope that the powers that be come to their senses and help us choose the right team to win the world cup.

  • Tauhira on December 10, 2006, 17:38 GMT

    I agree that Umar Gul and AbdurRehman are performing up to standard, but I really don't think that they can be compared to Shoib Aktar and Danish Kaneria just yet. They haven't had the experience that Aktar and Kaneria has.

    [Tauhira from Jamaica]

  • mohammed Ajmal on December 10, 2006, 17:37 GMT

    Imran farhat should be dropped and afridi should replace him. Farhat cant feild and althoug he tries to bat like afridi he hasnt got the natural talent like afridi, and his shot selectio is almost as bad as afridi's

  • Shahzad Rana on December 10, 2006, 17:33 GMT

    Here we go again getting ahead of ourself contest for Australia YOU MUST BE JOKING

  • mohammed Ajmal on December 10, 2006, 17:32 GMT

    Why is everyone dishing Afridi for. He may be out of form, but there is no denying that with either bat or ball Afridi is a match winner. Every one goes to a rough patch with their form, even Inzi. I am disgusted to see that the selestors have not even considered him, the only way he is going to regain his form is if he has match practice. And if pakistan want to win the world cup they have to play him NOW.

  • Zed Fazel on December 10, 2006, 17:28 GMT

    On the whole a fair assessment. But I do not agree with when you have included Sami. I agree with comments by Ashar Hameed that he is a luxury Pakistan can ill afford. He has had enough opportunities and has failed to deliver. Recent Pakistan successes have proved that speed alone is not the solution if it is without line and length. The other player I do not agree with you is Shahid Afridi. No player has done as much disservice to himself as Afridi has done. Entertain the crowd? Yes by all means but not at the expense of team plans. He should take some lessons from the likes of Jaysuria,Tharanga,Kemp,Gilchrist,Dhoni,Pieterson and Gayle. 233 ODIs at a paltry average of 23.01! What a waste of talent. He also has had enough opportunities and Pakistan has to move on.

  • ltkrash on December 10, 2006, 17:22 GMT

    pak got good bowlin an batin but u cant always depend on demm theyre watn u called unpredictable they can win de world cup i am sure beat stupid aussus

  • Brian YYC on December 10, 2006, 17:11 GMT

    Already with Imran Farahat, they got a world class cheat. So they have that selection covered.

  • Rohan on December 10, 2006, 17:09 GMT

    Well you cam just not comment based on 2 games and moreso Pakistan is playing on their home conditions which always helps . Without taking anything away from the Pakistan bowlers, this Windies team has a depleted batting attack. They are missing Sarwan, Bravo and Chanderpaul who has shown in the recent past how important pieces of the Jigsaw and how important a role they have played in the recent Windies Oneday success.

  • Nusrat Hussain on December 10, 2006, 17:07 GMT

    Your columns are impressively knowledgeable and you do write with lot of reason. To conclude with "Australia might be in for a contest after all"-- I would caution, its too wishful and too early:)

  • Mubasher Naseer on December 10, 2006, 16:56 GMT

    One may have a special liking for a player but when commenting about selecting the best Pakistani team for the WC, I cannot fathom how someone can pick Sami over Rana and Gul. Rans does have a good ODI record to stand on, Gul by any standard has performed well on a regular basis. I saw him during the last tour in England bowl at Lords. And since then he has improved immensely, to the extent, that Rameez Raja commented that Gul can bowl well on any track. In the aftermath of Oval fiasco and doping charges against Asif and Shoiab, there are couple of things that have really boosted Pakistani cricket team ego and esteem, namely, Mohammad Yousaf historical performance and belonging to an elite league of batsmen in the world, and secondly, Gul's emergence as a strike bowler. It is unrealistic for anyone think that Sami should be in the team for the WC, let alone in the final eleven.

  • arslan atta on December 10, 2006, 16:55 GMT

    aoa sir. what about the team selection if abdul rehman fails in south africa? will afridi get a place and what are your comments on asim kamal? will he get HIS place back as he has got a great technique plz write your comments on asim kamal

  • Tamed on December 10, 2006, 16:53 GMT

    Shoaib & Asif! are you sure they are coming back?

  • musharraf naveed on December 10, 2006, 16:48 GMT

    it is good to see rana firing again and it will create a healthy competition between rana ,gul and shabir to accompany asif and shoaib in bowling line up, and selectors should give yasir hameed a achance to open with hafeez as imran farhat is only a club level batsman and fielder and he will exposed more on SA tour where pitches will be bouncy and fielders at their best. rehman is surely a good addition to team now razaq´s position will be in danger because malik is a far better fielder than razaq and can bat in tha same manner as razaq does in tha final overs i think younis should be replaced by imran nazir in odis or by yasir hameed at no 3 bcoz he is more suitable for test cricket. and finally i will suggest that first see pak team´s performance in SA then be optimistic for wc

  • Umar on December 10, 2006, 16:44 GMT

    I was quite sure that Abdur Rehman would be tried in tests but he was not. But in one-dayers, we need his all-round abilities.

    Rana coming back to form is a nice omen for Pakistan.

  • Imtiaz Awan on December 10, 2006, 16:43 GMT

    well Done Pakistan. But I still think its the right time to bring in Faisal Iqbal in place of Razak. Our batting is very brittle and needs to be strengthend by bringing in another specialist batsman. we can use Hafeez and Malik as 5th and 6th bowlers.

  • Akshay Gupta on December 10, 2006, 16:39 GMT

    Rana's comeback is good. However we should not jump to conclusions when it comes to "kid" Abdur Rehman. He has only played 2 mathces on slow Pakistan pitches against very weak and in-experinced batting line up of West Indies. That is no indication of how he would perform in South Africa or in Westindies if he is chosen for World Cup.

    I think Danish should definitely be part of Pakistan's World Cup plans.

  • ali on December 10, 2006, 16:36 GMT

    i want sami in the team he is much better than gul and rana

  • Taimur Huk on December 10, 2006, 16:33 GMT

    i agree that pakistan's biggest strength is its bowling. and now, with bowlers like gul, rana doing well, and with new bowlers like rehman, stepping up, i am even more confident in our bowling attack. with bowlers like shoaib, asif, and gul leading the way with a supporting cast of other good bowlers, pakistan's chances in the world cup improve. good job guys! keep it up!!!

  • Abrar on December 10, 2006, 16:28 GMT

    I agree with your views and sincerely hope that Danish k is out coz I feel presently he is the most over rated bowler in the squad.And if at all we need a leggie in the squad, Mushy is still getting wickets in county cricket, shud not be overlooked.

  • Jamal Ahmad on December 10, 2006, 16:28 GMT

    Got back from the stadium a while ago and it was a good win in the end. Pakistan do have some problems at their hand. I for one don't rate Hafeez as a good enough player to be in the final eleven. If all se seems to be gettin is 20's and 30's and taking his time doing so then we are far better off bringing back Afridi. In the WI he would do well as an opener.

    Shoaib Malik has had a good run at number three and also at six but he's not been in the best of form lately.

    As for Razzaq, hes a bit of a one dimentional player these days. Cant change between batting modes and isn't an automatic choice on his bowling abilities.

    All the best to Pakistan!

  • Ghalib Taimur on December 10, 2006, 16:23 GMT

    Talking of batting how about tryin Salman Butt again in place of Farhat who is too straeky and will not survive against Pollock or Mcgrath.Also with injury to Inzy and Younis probably out of next game how about trying Shahid Yousuf.He could be more useful than Malik as Maliks bowling isn't required following rise of AbdulRehman and i think Hafeez is a better bowler.

  • Mubasher Naseer on December 10, 2006, 16:22 GMT

    Always incisive in his comments but I would like to Kamran if you thought if Shoaib Akhtar would be a viable choice in the World Cup. From what I have seen, he lacks in his line and length and tends be be very expensive in an ODI format. Ideally, he should rely upon more on his yorkers rather than short pitch deliveries, but that remains to be seen. I would like to see Rana bowl well in the next two ODIs and in the forthcoming tour of South Africa to think that he belongs in the World Cup eleven. Sami should not be in the team because there is no evidence that he can be a factor in the World Cup. Mohaammad Asif and Omar Gul have to at their best for Pakistan to be in the semi-finals of the World Cup. I am frankly worried about Pakistani fieliding, especially the tenddency to drop crucial catches. Lastly, Pakistani team needs Shahid Afridi for the World Cup and I have no idea what Inzi and Bob Woolmer are doing about it.

  • Kamran Saeed on December 10, 2006, 16:20 GMT

    One Kamran to another : "How can you justify RAO IFTIKHAR ANJUM in the team .. He's such an ordinary bowler and I am sure he is playing because he has someone in higher ups that let him play - He would not make it to street level cricket in Karachi.. and you leave Sami out .. who in Imran Khan words "Sami has the speed to gun anyone out "

  • Tanweer Bukhari on December 10, 2006, 16:13 GMT

    Well done guys!!! All of you have showed un-matchable spirit to pull out this win.

    Keep the stone rolling till you meet Australia in the World Cup finals. And you must get double boost as your arch rivals are struggling in RSA.

  • Ghalib Taimur on December 10, 2006, 16:11 GMT

    I think Pakistans best bowling attack would comprise of Shoaib,Asif and Gul.The reason why Rana can't be judged now is because he has this tendency at times to bowl a very short length or a very fullish length which may go wrong in certain conditions.AbdulRehman has been good but we need to see more of him.

    I say make him a regular and get blokes like Razzaq,Malik in the team on basis of the pitch and play an extra specialist batsmen.

  • Safwan on December 10, 2006, 16:08 GMT

    no doubting the fact that pakistan have a very good bowling attack now with reak bench strength, but fro competing in the world cup against sides like southafrica, australia and newzealand they will need a very solid batting performance as well. YoU cant expect to win a world cup with a batting line that is brittle under seaming conditions. I believ the tour to South africa will be a real litmus test for our batsmen, if they do will there then coupled with a good bowling attack we might just be hopeful contenders for the world cup.

  • Qasim Shakeel on December 10, 2006, 16:07 GMT

    You are completely right about Pakistan having a problem on their hands just in time for the World Cup. This problem is not pleasant as you said, but it is rather deplorable. With the team finally meshing and winning some big matches against West Indies, the thought of all these great players ruining the teamwork set fourth by the current team really disturbs me. The World Cup is near and we don’t need the shuffle the starting lineup just enough to ruin the flow of our current team. I think by the South Africa series, Pakistan must have their 4/5 bowlers selected for the World Cup so the team has a chance of meshing together. We would all agree that Pakistan has a lot of talent, but can all that talent translate into a good World Cup. Apparently that was not the case in the last World Cup.

  • Adnan on December 10, 2006, 16:07 GMT

    Obviously,Pakistan has a good chance of winning,with handy openers and a bunch of great bowlers. Gud Luck Pakistan !!

  • mohammad shahid afridi on December 10, 2006, 16:06 GMT

    its good to see youngsters perfoming well as well as mohammad yousuf. he is the record making player

  • T. Ilyas on December 10, 2006, 16:05 GMT

    No doubt Inzi will be facing a pleasant problem in bowling department but if we analyse each of them then it should not be a difficult task to shortlist the best four or five bowlers. I agree that expereience does count but in my opnion players should only be evaluated on their present form rather than previous years achievements. If we talk of merits than Sami and Kaneria does not fit into current squad. No doubt Gul, Rana & Shahid has performed brilliantly for Pak during absence of S&A, therefore they should be rewarded for their heroics. Shoaib, Asif & Gul could be frontline bowlers whereas Rana & Shahid could fit as reserves.

  • moosa on December 10, 2006, 16:05 GMT

    i think that abdul razzaq is playing very badly in these series.he have been quite with both bat and the ball. we have bowlers in the team like rana,gul,rao who are doing their job.maybe pakistan can change razzaq with yasir hameed and get some more batting.

  • Asim Malik on December 10, 2006, 16:03 GMT

    Rana naveed has always been a better bowler than expectation other than the last few months.Good that he has struck his form again. Abdul Rehman is a good find and i am sure that management might give him a chance in world cup.Pakistan may enter the World cup with more talent than it can handle!!!

  • Junaid on December 10, 2006, 16:02 GMT

    Yes, Pakistan could not reach the next round of ICC trophy, but has beaten twice one of the finalists comfortably.

  • FAHAD HASSAN on December 10, 2006, 16:00 GMT

    Well, I will agree with you about the present statistics but will Pakistan be able to maintain the same form in the run up to the world cup. We are being too optimistic when we say that Pakistan can challenge Australia, the big question is that will they even be able to challenge South Africa .The resurgence of Rana will help, but his performance is too unpredictable .As for Abdul Rehman it is too early to really judge his mettle, his real test will be against high class teams. I wish Pakistan cricket team the best of luck for the future.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on December 10, 2006, 15:58 GMT

    Though Rana bowled brilliantly today and was well abetted by Gul and company, I don't think Pakistan will come close to winning the World Cup unless they do something about their opening position. Farhat, despite getting a streaky 50 today is at best, club standard. I'm just flabbergasted at how and why the selectors are sticking with him. It was downright embarrassing to see him swishing at balls outside his off stump, throwing his bat at balls bowled at him and being unable to hit balls delivered at his pads. At the end of it, it hit me like a mad truck. As scary as it sounds, is Farhat the best opener in the country? Even if, Hafeez is playing a lot better than Farhat, it is imperative that he too, tightens up his defense and vastly improves his shot selection. I hope Bob looks into this as soon as possible as the opening position is clearly, our Achilles heel and the main obstacle in our path to becoming world champions.

  • Waqas Ather Saeed on December 10, 2006, 15:57 GMT

    With the emergence of Umar Gul and Abdur Rehman and Rana back in form, this Pakistani lineup even without Shoaib and Asif has suddenly started to look formidable. Now the dilemma is, with Shoaib and Asif coming back, what would be the final bowling lineup. Shoaib and Asif pick themselves. Most people would say Umar Gul should be selected as the third seamer, but with Asif already back in the team, i think, given that he is in form, Rana should make the final eleven ahead of Umar Gul. Reason for that is, Umar Gul and Asif are pretty much the same type of bowlers. Rana on the other hand, despite being expensive at times, is a striking bowler. Plus he adds to the depth of the batting order. Abdur Rehman should play, even though many people might say that it is weakening the batting. But come to think of it, he has replaced Afridi in this Pakistani lineup, someone who has hardly contributed with the bat in the recent past.Im sure Abdur Rehman wouldprove to be a much more reliable lower order batsman compared to Afridi. One more thing, Abdur Razzaq should try to get more consistent with both bat and ball, because with Hafeez and Malik being more than capable of sharing the fifth bowlers duties, it would not be long when the thought of replacing Razzaq with a specialist batsman strikes te team management/selectors's mind.

  • Usman Anwar on December 10, 2006, 15:56 GMT

    It is a good thing for Pakistan that their bench strength is increasing but they are only useful if in a given match they perform. If you are to compare Australia to Pakistan, I would say that Pakistan doesn't have the bench strength like that of Australia. Pakistan team has been and is so unpredictable that on any given day a winning match ends up being lost. What Pakistan really needs is really good quality batsmen. Only than their bench strength will grow. Australia had Mike Hussey and they didn't even give him a chance until he was 31 yrs old and as soon as he was given a chance he has just taken over the show. That's what Pakistan needs a player of immense quality that can hold one end for as long as he wants with taking any type of pressure from anyone else. As for Shahid Afridi, well his magic works only on limited occasions. He is yet to prove that he is a quality batsmen. Just by demolishing a bowling attack for 7 - 10 overs isn't enough and even that doesn't work all the time. Mostly he is back in pavillion in less than 10 balls. Although Pakistan has found a bowler in Rehman they still lack the quality batsmen. 2 Y's and inzi alone cant handle the middle order which on a given day collapses like a school team. For Pakistan to be a force in the next World Cup they need at least 7 players firing and that doesn't include bowlers. Only than you can say that they can challange Australia .

  • Sikander Waheed on December 10, 2006, 15:55 GMT

    Abdur Rehman may be a good leg spinner, but I don't think he should be included in the one-day squad. By being a left arm spinner he has less chances of getting wickets (less LBW decisions). We need match winning bowlers - someone who has a chance of taking 4-5 wickets in the match. If you look around I don't think any team has a specialist left arm spinner in the team. It would be better if Pakistan include either Shahid Afridi, who can also get couple of wickets for around 40 runs and can turn the game in Pakistan's favor in just 5 overs, or get another fast bowler. With Shoaib and Asif returning we have the luxury of 5 match winning bowlers (Shoaib, Asif, Shabbir, Gul, and Rana). We don't have to play all 5, but 3 with Abdul Razzaq may be a good option. Abdur Rehman should be given a chance in test matches.

  • Asadullah Khan on December 10, 2006, 15:48 GMT

    If I were the captain of Pakistan team I'd go for a combination of Asif, Shoaib and Rana, as he swings the ball much more than Umar Gul and can bat well.

    In my opinion Abdur Rehman is a natural talent and I won't be surprised if becomes tomorrow's Muralitharan. But you still can't ignore the temperament of Danish Kaneria. I think he should be Pakistan's primary spinner in tests and Abdur Rehman should bowl only in the ODIs.

  • Imran Zia on December 10, 2006, 15:47 GMT

    Bowling may not be a problem for Pakistan at the moment but we still need runs on thee board. and this where Pakistan could be found wanting. The current line up is one batsman short and there are too many bowlers that will not bowl a ful quota. If Shoaib Malik, Mohd. Hafeez and Abdul Razzak are to be called allrounders they must bowl more overs between them. Then only Pakistan could play an extra batsman or even Afridi. At the moment the tail seems to be too long and there is no one who could effectivly bowl at the death overs. I fail to understand why Rana Naved cannot bowl inswingers (to RH batsman) with the new ball. If could do this he could be the most deadly bowler in this line up. He only bowls an offcutter. If could bowl even bowl a seam up delivery pointing toward legside he could cause problems. I think Waqar can do a lot to help him in this regard!

  • Junaid on December 10, 2006, 15:46 GMT

    I don't know what business Kamran Akmal has at No. 3 in presence of Yousuf and Shoaib Malik. Either he should be sent as an opener in place of streaky Imran Farhat or should bat at no. 7. Incidently, Imran Farhat should be dropped more for his poor fielding than his crazy batting. In the last few matches his dropped catches have been more expensive than the runs that he has 'managed' to score.

  • Momin Ali Khan on December 10, 2006, 15:43 GMT

    Good call! If I am to jump to a conclusion, I think Pakistan might just have an embarrassment of riches as far as the bowling resources are concerned. I agree with Ashar who puts it rightly that Sami is just an over-rated bowler - for once Imran Khan, I believe, has got it wrong by labeling him as a match-winner. But one thing which boggles my mind, most truly, is: Does the pace battery of Pakistan which includes Shoaib, Asif, Rana, Gul, Shabbir and Shahid Nazir have the capability to be good bowlers at all time of the innings? Or is Pakistan going to find that it has 4 bowlers who can bowl brilliantly and probingly with the new ball but are lack the ability to be more then fillers when it comes to the middle and the depth overs! Barring Rana, and to an extent Shoaib, I don't think any of the lads have an extremely effective slower delivery. And if Pakistan has to find out what combination it will use to open the bowling, bowl in the middle and then at the depth, the time is now.

    Regarding Rehman, I think his rise ends Danish's hopes of a journey to the world cup ... though not the smartest but Rehman is also a better fielder than Danish. But to me the more important question is: Does the rise of Rehman signal some sort of an end for the likes of Shoaib Malik - whose batting at best has been pedastrian off-late!

    A lot of thinking to do ...

  • waqas ali on December 10, 2006, 15:40 GMT

    rana comeback it is a great achievement for rana and our team.Rehman also is a good bowler.but one chance should for muhammd sammi.bye

  • Ahmad on December 10, 2006, 15:39 GMT

    I agree Pakistan does have a strong bench strength on paperto our bowling with regards , but when push comes to shove can they hack it? If there is an examination done on the recent past it would be quite evident that our batting has let us down after our bowlers have done a reasonable job. On occasions such as the ICC game against SA where we had them on the ropes and could not go for the kill was attributed to our multitude of "allrounders" that not being able to force the kill in the latter half of the inning. Good allrounders are worth their weight in Gold, but just stacking them up in the team for the sake of flexibility serves no purpose.

  • Mohsin Khan on December 10, 2006, 15:38 GMT

    With the emergence of Abdur Rahman, our bowling attack looks more balanced. Pakistan desperately needed a middle overs bowler and they have found one in Abdur-Rahman. Shoaib and Asif are automatic selection but the selection of the third bowler acting as a back-up to these two can be a problem. Personally, i feel Rao is the perfect third seamer who can bowl well in middle overs. Gul,Rana,Shabbir,Nazir,Sami are all fine bowlers but they may find it difficult to make it to the first eleven. Similarly, Afridi and Malik may also sit out if Abdur-Rahman and Younus are played. Hafeez is a good opener and a perfect sixth bowler. I am confused about who can be the other opner out of Farhat, Hameed and Butt. My personal choice will be Hameed for his technique.But the left-right hand combination advantage will be lost in that case. Afridi can also be an option for the opening position on the dead pitches of carribean. A middle order back-up can be perfect in the form of Asim Kamal if thinking rationally. It looks a good team for the world cup. Let's hope Inzi gets the team combination right.

  • fahd on December 10, 2006, 15:34 GMT

    Rana with just one good game cant be an automatic selection with shoaib, asif & gul in the team.Rehman i think has been a very good inclusion in the Pakistan team as the team has not had any specialist one day spinner since saqlain.

  • Touqeer Tariq on December 10, 2006, 15:33 GMT

    Good Show Pakistan!

    Pakistan must realize now that its strength is in bowling. So its necessary that we play with 4 specialist bowlers, NOT Three.

    Three bowlers strategy was good when Razzaq was firing with the ball but now he is not anymore a threat so we must play with 4 specialist bowlers with either Shoaib or Kamran playing at top order, most probably as openers.

    Its now between Shoaib Malik and Hafeez that who stays in the playing 11. I don't think that Pakistan needs Afridi in Middle Order as bowling allrounder since he can't take wickets consistently which Rehman or Kaneria can do. Of those 4 bowlers, one must be a spinner and Rehman is making his case stronger after every game.

    So playing 11 of Pakistan should have 4 Specialist Batsmen, 4 Specialist bowlers, 1 Keeper Batsman and 2 Allrounders; 1 Spinning and 1 Fast bowling Allrounder. I think it will be a great combination.

    But most importantly FOUR Specialist bowlers are Required even if we have to sacrifice a batsman or an allrounder since pressure cricket requires Tough Individuals NOT bits & pieces like Afridi.

  • waqas ali on December 10, 2006, 15:31 GMT

    plz plays the yasir hammed on for hafeez

  • Mohamed Jawath on December 10, 2006, 15:30 GMT

    I absoluteley agree with Kamaran. Pakistan badly needs a good spinner in one day arena. I feel the role Saqlain Mustaq's had played in Pakistan's ODI side hasn't been filled yet. May be Abdul rahman will fit for that position. As far as Rana Naveed is concerned i feel he should be in Pakistan's ODI side. I appreciate his commitment towards the side which is lacking in Shoaib Aktahr.

  • sean on December 10, 2006, 15:28 GMT

    well kamran i agree with you that pakistan do have a "pleasant" problem on their hands when asif and shoaib return. but it seems to me that pakistan even after such a long time are still unsure about their final squad and even the batting order. they've experimented so much and now look, they're a couple of months away from the world cup, yet they dont have a final say on their bowlers,openers, and even their #3 spot. kamran akmal has been promoted to the one down spot for the past 2 matches. now if he does not work they will put younis back. but i dont understand if they had to take this step why didnt they take it before? and without shahid afridi in the squad the pakistan team are losing a lot of energy and support. this new bowler abdur rehman is a good find too but lets hope pakistan polish him into an even better bowler instead of using him and abusing him and throwing him back to domestic. just like they did with Imran Nazir,Asim Kamal,Salman Butt,e.t.c. Inshallah Pakistan can clear up this jumble before the WC arrives.

  • saif on December 10, 2006, 15:27 GMT

    I think Shahid Afridi needs to be included in the team as he could be a very useful player due to his allround abilitie.

  • Mohammad Aftab Ahmed on December 10, 2006, 15:23 GMT

    Asif & Shoaib's return would indeed be "notorious". However, the PCB has already announced that thier return would be pending another internal dope test to ensure there are no traces of nandrolone in thier bloodstream, come the World Cup. Therefore, their participation for the event is still up in the air.

    Regardless, one can say that Team Pak seem to be resonably covered in this important area if these to don't make it - dope tests, form, and fitness pending.

    However, if Asif & Shoaib do make it to the WC squad, one would think that Kaneria, Rana, Sami, and Afridi would NOT make the starting 11 (though some of them should make it to the squad).

  • ridhwan on December 10, 2006, 15:22 GMT

    well i think if abdul-rehman fires then theres a slim chance of boom boom afridi returning in the near future unfortunately. I think the pakistan team is near enough complete for the world cup it has a balance of skilled batting and clever bowling. With the likes of rana,Gul and shabbir as second line bowlers we have the best bowling line up in the world. So inshallah we wil win the world cup.

  • Prof.dr.med.Kahn on December 10, 2006, 15:19 GMT

    So far, so good. Pakistan’s upcoming tour to South Africa will surely provide us an opportunity to measure how matured its batsmen are to play against quality seam attacks. The other important issue is that they must demonstrate us that they can remain calm and composed under pressure. Often, we feel as if the Pakistani batsmen lack this quality.

    Prof. dr. med. Kahn Meh

  • Talal on December 10, 2006, 15:11 GMT

    kamran

    Rana did get smacked for 21 runs of one over so i don;t think he is back to his ultimate best. We also have to remember that windies are missing key players in sarwan, chanderpaul and bravo. If we can beat or at least compete with South Africa next month it will give us a good indication on how pak will fare in windies. We still have two more one dayers to go, we need to remain clinical in order to boost confidence for the near approaching wc

  • Ashar Hameed on December 10, 2006, 15:09 GMT

    Well said Kamran, but the last Para seems quite bold as this is the same team that failed to even move to the next round in the ICC Champions Trophy. M. Sami, i must repeat, is not a good bowler, in fact i think so lowly of his bowling and his figures and his lack of performance in comparison to the chances offered to him that it offends me whenever his name is mentioned. M. Asif and S. Akhtar are match winning bowlers and i think Umer Gul is one of the best finds after them

  • Mani on December 10, 2006, 15:07 GMT

    I agree with you about Abdur Rehman. He seems like a handy spinner who is good with the bat as well. I think for world cup Pakistan would definatly face a delema about what bowlers go in a match with. But Inzi wouldnot have it any other way. Even if Shoaob amd Asif Do not play in the world cup ( Not Naderlon free ) I think Pakistan still have a good chance.

  • Omar on December 10, 2006, 15:06 GMT

    There was always a good chance of Rana making a comeback, it wasnt that he didnt have the skill. At one time he was an automatic seletion for the ODI side till Asif made giant strides as a bowler and Rana lost his touch. Now even as good a bowler as he is he will find it hard to find a spot in playing XI if Asif and Shoaib make a comeback with the 3rd spot probably going to Gul.

    Rehman had been the surprise package, he has shown a lot of maturity who has just entered the international arena. He is a clever bowler and handy lower order batsman, plus his swiftness in the field gives him a big edge of Danish who might be a decent bowler and has shown the capibilty of hitting some lusty blows with the bat but he is a pedistrian in the field.

  • munawar rizvi on December 10, 2006, 14:53 GMT

    you can't decide that from just one game

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  • munawar rizvi on December 10, 2006, 14:53 GMT

    you can't decide that from just one game

  • Omar on December 10, 2006, 15:06 GMT

    There was always a good chance of Rana making a comeback, it wasnt that he didnt have the skill. At one time he was an automatic seletion for the ODI side till Asif made giant strides as a bowler and Rana lost his touch. Now even as good a bowler as he is he will find it hard to find a spot in playing XI if Asif and Shoaib make a comeback with the 3rd spot probably going to Gul.

    Rehman had been the surprise package, he has shown a lot of maturity who has just entered the international arena. He is a clever bowler and handy lower order batsman, plus his swiftness in the field gives him a big edge of Danish who might be a decent bowler and has shown the capibilty of hitting some lusty blows with the bat but he is a pedistrian in the field.

  • Mani on December 10, 2006, 15:07 GMT

    I agree with you about Abdur Rehman. He seems like a handy spinner who is good with the bat as well. I think for world cup Pakistan would definatly face a delema about what bowlers go in a match with. But Inzi wouldnot have it any other way. Even if Shoaob amd Asif Do not play in the world cup ( Not Naderlon free ) I think Pakistan still have a good chance.

  • Ashar Hameed on December 10, 2006, 15:09 GMT

    Well said Kamran, but the last Para seems quite bold as this is the same team that failed to even move to the next round in the ICC Champions Trophy. M. Sami, i must repeat, is not a good bowler, in fact i think so lowly of his bowling and his figures and his lack of performance in comparison to the chances offered to him that it offends me whenever his name is mentioned. M. Asif and S. Akhtar are match winning bowlers and i think Umer Gul is one of the best finds after them

  • Talal on December 10, 2006, 15:11 GMT

    kamran

    Rana did get smacked for 21 runs of one over so i don;t think he is back to his ultimate best. We also have to remember that windies are missing key players in sarwan, chanderpaul and bravo. If we can beat or at least compete with South Africa next month it will give us a good indication on how pak will fare in windies. We still have two more one dayers to go, we need to remain clinical in order to boost confidence for the near approaching wc

  • Prof.dr.med.Kahn on December 10, 2006, 15:19 GMT

    So far, so good. Pakistan’s upcoming tour to South Africa will surely provide us an opportunity to measure how matured its batsmen are to play against quality seam attacks. The other important issue is that they must demonstrate us that they can remain calm and composed under pressure. Often, we feel as if the Pakistani batsmen lack this quality.

    Prof. dr. med. Kahn Meh

  • ridhwan on December 10, 2006, 15:22 GMT

    well i think if abdul-rehman fires then theres a slim chance of boom boom afridi returning in the near future unfortunately. I think the pakistan team is near enough complete for the world cup it has a balance of skilled batting and clever bowling. With the likes of rana,Gul and shabbir as second line bowlers we have the best bowling line up in the world. So inshallah we wil win the world cup.

  • Mohammad Aftab Ahmed on December 10, 2006, 15:23 GMT

    Asif & Shoaib's return would indeed be "notorious". However, the PCB has already announced that thier return would be pending another internal dope test to ensure there are no traces of nandrolone in thier bloodstream, come the World Cup. Therefore, their participation for the event is still up in the air.

    Regardless, one can say that Team Pak seem to be resonably covered in this important area if these to don't make it - dope tests, form, and fitness pending.

    However, if Asif & Shoaib do make it to the WC squad, one would think that Kaneria, Rana, Sami, and Afridi would NOT make the starting 11 (though some of them should make it to the squad).

  • saif on December 10, 2006, 15:27 GMT

    I think Shahid Afridi needs to be included in the team as he could be a very useful player due to his allround abilitie.

  • sean on December 10, 2006, 15:28 GMT

    well kamran i agree with you that pakistan do have a "pleasant" problem on their hands when asif and shoaib return. but it seems to me that pakistan even after such a long time are still unsure about their final squad and even the batting order. they've experimented so much and now look, they're a couple of months away from the world cup, yet they dont have a final say on their bowlers,openers, and even their #3 spot. kamran akmal has been promoted to the one down spot for the past 2 matches. now if he does not work they will put younis back. but i dont understand if they had to take this step why didnt they take it before? and without shahid afridi in the squad the pakistan team are losing a lot of energy and support. this new bowler abdur rehman is a good find too but lets hope pakistan polish him into an even better bowler instead of using him and abusing him and throwing him back to domestic. just like they did with Imran Nazir,Asim Kamal,Salman Butt,e.t.c. Inshallah Pakistan can clear up this jumble before the WC arrives.