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

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

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  • fanedlive 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.


  • fanedlive 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.

  • fanedlive 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.

  • fanedlive 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.

  • fanedlive 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.

  • fanedlive 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 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.

  • fanedlive 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.

  • fanedlive 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!

  • fanedlive 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!

  • fanedlive 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.

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