Middle order December 11, 2006

Pakistan's virgin middle-order

Kamran Abbasi makes a case for a revamped Pakistan middle order
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It might have seemed unthinkable that Pakistan would be without any of their holy middle-order but it will happen in Multan. Injury, illness, and bereavement have conspired to rob Pakistan of Inzamam-ul Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, and Younis Khan. While those three should rest assured about their World Cup chances, the situation has started to hot up for anybody below them in the pecking order--and that means everybody.

The fourth one-dayer will be an expedition into virgin territory for Pakistan, which explains why Shoaib Akhtar is nowehere to be seen. Shorn of their Titans, Pakistan will showcase a new middle-order and a new captain.

On the captaincy front, Abdul Razzaq appears to be the next in line by dint of hierarchy and his momentary elevation to the vice-captaincy prior to the Champions Trophy. Some observers question Razzaq's place in the team but there should be no doubt about Razzaq's value as a giant-hitting middle-order batsman and a safe but unspectacular bowler in one-day cricket; it's in Test cricket that Razzaq's place is in serious danger. Yet there has been scant evidence of Razzaq's ability as a captain. The other obvious contender would be Shoaib Malik, and there was once talk of Afridi as a future captain.

The performance of Pakistan's middle-order will be the most fascinating aspect of the fourth one-dayer. Yasir Hameed deserves an opportunity and might make an ideal number three. The logic of Faisal Iqbal's selection is that he would play too. And I would slot in Afridi in place of Rao Iftikhar.

With their players on form Pakistan have mind-boggling options but when those same players misfire it can all look a desperate shambles. Any match without Inzamam, Yousuf, and Younis will be a real test for Pakistan's young team. Who will seize the opportunity to show some leadership?

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Khan Khalil on December 15, 2006, 19:23 GMT

    I think we should now days talk only about formation of team in world cup. If we will start from openers, they are always problem for pakistan and its never strenght of pakistan so i think now days opening with hafeez and Imran is fine. Then we have very strong middle orders with younus, yousuf and inzi. Our bowling attack is also very good and further strengtned with return of Asif, Athtar and Shabbir Ahmad. And also Rana, Umar gul and shahid nazir they are good bowler. So bowling is no worry. The only worry is our lower order which is lacking form and consistancy. Our teams real strenght from years is lower order. Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Afridi, Akmal these allrounders must pick their self up in both departments and improve thier batting and bowling. they all are full of abilities and they must show thier form in world cup. If they will use thier brain and pick thier abilities up, then our team can be a real chellange in this coming world cup.

  • Ans Mahmood on December 15, 2006, 7:19 GMT

    I believe Afridi should not be sent up the order. He has been around for almost 10 years now. But for the last 2 years, his presence in the team makes more sense to me. Primarily as a bowler but also as a number six or seven batsman who can hit a few boundaries in the last five or six overs. One more thing, selectors have not done justice with Yasir. His batting averages both in Test and ODI speak volume about his batting capabilites.

  • Avais Khalid on December 15, 2006, 0:42 GMT

    This was always going to be an interesting game from Pakistan’s point of view. It was a good test for this young side. As with every scenario there are some positives and some negatives. This game has clearly shown how lack of effective leadership can cause disarray in the ranks. The loss of the match doesn’t matter as long as we learn our lessons from this game and start by eliminating the players who have consistently been inconsistent such as Sami & Iqbal and Afridi who didn’t seem much bothered about the proceedings as has been the case in the recent past. It is by this process of elimination that we’ll be able to pick the best of the best. I believe all these players are very talented but in the end what counts is delivering in each and every way possible, fielding or batting or learning the art (or should I say the science) of leadership.

  • Dawar on December 15, 2006, 0:39 GMT

    Imran & Hafeez are much better than Salman Butt.

  • Ajmak on December 14, 2006, 19:32 GMT

    every one dishin afrid needs a slap, we need afridi, of course sometimes you fell like strangling him, but he is the most talented player in the pakistan team and last year he showed that, with the odi century against india and the test century against westindies. hes legbreaks are very valuable to the side seeing that kaneria wont be used. and instead of razzaq being captain it should be Malik or afridi

  • Maliks & baby Tayyab on December 14, 2006, 16:56 GMT

    They say even a fool is wise after the event.

    However,we all know that Afridi's consistant good performances have come from late middle order. So why on earth did he open. Farhat & Hafeez have opened all series and given reasonable starts, why experiment.

    It will be a huge shame if afridi is now dropped after one opportunity since his come back

  • Mythsmoke on December 14, 2006, 16:12 GMT

    My only problem is that some of the current young batting 'stars' of this team have made their mark in a two year period playing on flat pitches post the Australian tour. Guys like Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat (notable failure in Australia, Mohammad Hafeez (dumped from the team the last time south africa toured pakistan and pollock had him as a bunny for the incoming delivery, and even Razzaq (who can forget that 74 ball 8 or 9 that he made in Aus), Faisal Iqbal (notable failure in SA last time)..these guys will struggle in SA. Frankly, I think even Inzamam will struggle, he's old, shufles around and fast bowlers these days prefer to bounce him...maybe yousuf (another notable failure in SA last time) will come through..except, I dont think SA will drop too many chances.

  • Natasha on December 14, 2006, 12:46 GMT

    we just need pakistan team to put their heads toghther and win the match.. like they say a 'closed hand is better as a fist than an open hand...'

  • Ghalib Taimur on December 14, 2006, 8:23 GMT

    I would say get back Aamir Sohail as selector as he could atleast take some bold decisions.

    Sometimes i wonder also that Pakistan have got so many players who are one time wonders.How about giving those guys another shot.They might have gained some experience playing for a longer perod domestically.Some names are Misbah-Ul-Haq,Naved Latif,Imran Nazir,Qaiser Abbas...The bowlers list is even longer but we don't at this point have a problem in that department.

  • Talha on December 14, 2006, 7:18 GMT

    In this team Yasir And Asim Kamal Should deserves their places instead of farhat and Afridi

  • Khan Khalil on December 15, 2006, 19:23 GMT

    I think we should now days talk only about formation of team in world cup. If we will start from openers, they are always problem for pakistan and its never strenght of pakistan so i think now days opening with hafeez and Imran is fine. Then we have very strong middle orders with younus, yousuf and inzi. Our bowling attack is also very good and further strengtned with return of Asif, Athtar and Shabbir Ahmad. And also Rana, Umar gul and shahid nazir they are good bowler. So bowling is no worry. The only worry is our lower order which is lacking form and consistancy. Our teams real strenght from years is lower order. Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Afridi, Akmal these allrounders must pick their self up in both departments and improve thier batting and bowling. they all are full of abilities and they must show thier form in world cup. If they will use thier brain and pick thier abilities up, then our team can be a real chellange in this coming world cup.

  • Ans Mahmood on December 15, 2006, 7:19 GMT

    I believe Afridi should not be sent up the order. He has been around for almost 10 years now. But for the last 2 years, his presence in the team makes more sense to me. Primarily as a bowler but also as a number six or seven batsman who can hit a few boundaries in the last five or six overs. One more thing, selectors have not done justice with Yasir. His batting averages both in Test and ODI speak volume about his batting capabilites.

  • Avais Khalid on December 15, 2006, 0:42 GMT

    This was always going to be an interesting game from Pakistan’s point of view. It was a good test for this young side. As with every scenario there are some positives and some negatives. This game has clearly shown how lack of effective leadership can cause disarray in the ranks. The loss of the match doesn’t matter as long as we learn our lessons from this game and start by eliminating the players who have consistently been inconsistent such as Sami & Iqbal and Afridi who didn’t seem much bothered about the proceedings as has been the case in the recent past. It is by this process of elimination that we’ll be able to pick the best of the best. I believe all these players are very talented but in the end what counts is delivering in each and every way possible, fielding or batting or learning the art (or should I say the science) of leadership.

  • Dawar on December 15, 2006, 0:39 GMT

    Imran & Hafeez are much better than Salman Butt.

  • Ajmak on December 14, 2006, 19:32 GMT

    every one dishin afrid needs a slap, we need afridi, of course sometimes you fell like strangling him, but he is the most talented player in the pakistan team and last year he showed that, with the odi century against india and the test century against westindies. hes legbreaks are very valuable to the side seeing that kaneria wont be used. and instead of razzaq being captain it should be Malik or afridi

  • Maliks & baby Tayyab on December 14, 2006, 16:56 GMT

    They say even a fool is wise after the event.

    However,we all know that Afridi's consistant good performances have come from late middle order. So why on earth did he open. Farhat & Hafeez have opened all series and given reasonable starts, why experiment.

    It will be a huge shame if afridi is now dropped after one opportunity since his come back

  • Mythsmoke on December 14, 2006, 16:12 GMT

    My only problem is that some of the current young batting 'stars' of this team have made their mark in a two year period playing on flat pitches post the Australian tour. Guys like Shoaib Malik, Imran Farhat (notable failure in Australia, Mohammad Hafeez (dumped from the team the last time south africa toured pakistan and pollock had him as a bunny for the incoming delivery, and even Razzaq (who can forget that 74 ball 8 or 9 that he made in Aus), Faisal Iqbal (notable failure in SA last time)..these guys will struggle in SA. Frankly, I think even Inzamam will struggle, he's old, shufles around and fast bowlers these days prefer to bounce him...maybe yousuf (another notable failure in SA last time) will come through..except, I dont think SA will drop too many chances.

  • Natasha on December 14, 2006, 12:46 GMT

    we just need pakistan team to put their heads toghther and win the match.. like they say a 'closed hand is better as a fist than an open hand...'

  • Ghalib Taimur on December 14, 2006, 8:23 GMT

    I would say get back Aamir Sohail as selector as he could atleast take some bold decisions.

    Sometimes i wonder also that Pakistan have got so many players who are one time wonders.How about giving those guys another shot.They might have gained some experience playing for a longer perod domestically.Some names are Misbah-Ul-Haq,Naved Latif,Imran Nazir,Qaiser Abbas...The bowlers list is even longer but we don't at this point have a problem in that department.

  • Talha on December 14, 2006, 7:18 GMT

    In this team Yasir And Asim Kamal Should deserves their places instead of farhat and Afridi

  • Umair Qazi on December 14, 2006, 6:39 GMT

    Pakistan's new look batting line up in the 4th ODI included 7 players who have previously been tried as openers by the Pakistan time - interestingly these batsmen played from no.s 1-7:

    1. Shahid Afridi - regularly tried as opener in the past 2. Imaran Farhat - Pakistan's recent 1st choice opener 3. Yasir Hameed - Successful opener for Pakistan, however has been out of the team due to disciplinary reasons 4. Mohammad Hafeez - Pakistan's other recent 1st choice opener 5. Shoaib Malik - Tried as opener for most of last year and beginning of this year and was hailed as the long term solution to Pakistan's opening problems before being dropped down the order 6. Faisal Iqbal - Was pushed into the vital No. 3 spot during the reshuffling of the team after World Cup 2003. Opened in 2 games for Pakistan scoring a 100 against Zimbabwe in 2004 - Was then hailed by selectors as a long term opener for Pakistan but then disappeared from the team. 7. Kamran Akmal - Used as opener throughout 2005 with Salman Butt and later Shoaib Malik - Scored a match winning 100 against WI in the VB series in Australia but then later was pushed down the order.

    Now i'm being told that Abdul Razzak has also opened for Pakistan previously - that makes it 8 of Pakistan's 11 in the previous ODI.

    So many openers and we still have opening problems - I think the selectors have a problem cause they don't know which one is their best combination - ie there are too many options rather than no good openers in the country. Add Taufeeq Umar and Salman Butt to that list and you've got another 2 looking to break into the team as openers...

    Someone tell me why Shahid Afridi was used as an opener in the last ODI when Imran Farhat and Mohammad Hafeez have been doing it successfully since the England Tour?

  • Ehtasham Usmani on December 14, 2006, 5:32 GMT

    I think we have a group of young openers, few have done well in Tests & few are good in ODI's. Can Pakistan's opening dilema be solved if we have different opening batsmen for Tests & ODIs like Australlia. I think the problem we are facing is that one opener does well in one form of the game & struggles in the other form and thus his goog work is ruined & he becomes under huge pressure till he is dropped & this process is continuing for a long time now...............

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on December 14, 2006, 3:24 GMT

    When you did not have your regular middle-order, and you had not yet one the series, can anyone explain to me why Umer Gul and Abdul Rehman were 'rested'?

  • Mawali on December 14, 2006, 2:11 GMT

    Abbasi sahib that was a low blow to Shoaib Ouch! Moving right along, unlike the Pakistani batting which sucks. South Africa is going to beat up on Paksitan like a rented donkey. It os too bad poor Abdul Razzak's debut as a capitaan was boring as the man himself. I have to admit thought Inzy may just be a tad better than Razzak. Pakistan needs serious batting coaching on a full time basis and that too on hard bouncy pitches even cement piches may be better. On a slightly different note; does anyone at the PCB have any idea of what's going on? The comedy of errors and the ensuing embarrasement continue. If its not the lights, than its a cable right smack in front of the side screen. Dammit it was just convenient and cable is too expensive. I am about to open a vein here.

  • Noor on December 14, 2006, 2:02 GMT

    Excuse me but I couldn't resist after watching the 4th ODI, proper title for this blog: Pakistan's Virgin Middle Order...Raped by WI!

  • Jamil on December 13, 2006, 23:49 GMT

    some nice comments here and some of them do agree to what I have been saying for a while - get rid of Afridi and Shoaib Malik - i mean for God's sake how many more chances are these guys gonna get - if salman butt had as much favour as Malik had, he would be a better player than Hussey - at least Salman is a genuine batsman, not some bowler convert batsman (like Malik) and most unreliable player ever (afridi). may be he is having problems top of the order, why not try him in the middle order. faisal iqbal and yasir hameed seem to have a brain on top of their bodies and they tend to use it. let's keep them there. the problem again is then the opener's. imran farhat and hafeez are getting it together, we might want to give them until the world cup to prove some form. then comes the trio of younis (can someone tell him to leave the ball going high outside off-stump), yousuf and inzi. we then have shoaib,asif, gul, razzaq, rana and kaneria. adding akmal makes it 12. rana and kaneria can be swapped based on the pitch. this leaves one position for butt, yasir and faisal iqbal. hafeez cna bowl too (better than Malik and Afridi) and bats (again better than Malik and Afridi). this gives us a team of 15 and finally having Abdur Rehman or Imran Nazir gives us brilliant 16. This can go on for good 3-4 years in which time, we can use other batsmen and bowlers as new comers. these players are good enough for both test and one-day. now if this works, someone tell me why did we bring Afridi back so soon because he scored a century in first class cricket. i mean, come on!! we could have rather used some other new player from first class. Oh well, I hope someone responsible reads the comments and learn from it.

  • Imran on December 13, 2006, 23:40 GMT

    Why in the world would you play Sami and Afridi, time and time again they have supported and backed themselves up to a failure.

    Salman Butt is a good player and should be recalled. Atleast Faisal put on a double digit score as much as I prefer Asim over him.

    Proud of Yasir for firing up while Imran, Hafeex and Shoaib had a shocker of a game. Kamran is prooving costly now, Razaak can still pull it when needed.

    Why was Umar Gul not played? Naved did a wonderful job and I'm happy he is displaying consistency now and hope that continues.

    That brings us back to Why were Sami and Afridi recalled?

  • arif on December 13, 2006, 21:34 GMT

    they shoud have salman butt recall now for world cup

  • Imran Quraishi on December 13, 2006, 21:27 GMT

    I think that in the final match at Karachi Yasser Hameed and Salman "Butt" should open and kick some West Indian "butt" out there and to follow on the same destructive path would be the ever reliable gang of Younis Pathan, Mullah Yousif, bulky Inzi, heart broken Malik,Razzaq the barbarian and Akmal the teeth flashing genius. I don't think that there is any place in our team for the technically flawed and shaky Faisal Iqbal, unreliable Imran Farhat,nervous eyes Hafeez,dumb Afridi,wayward Sami or Mr Parchi(Rao Iftikhar).In South Africa the wickets have a lot of bounce and pace in them and none of these cricketers and bowlers that I have just mentioned would be effective either in bowling or batting as they have some serious issues with their technique. I think Asim Kamal should also be recalled for South Africa tour to give some encouragement to Urdu speaking players from Karachi for a change as these days it is considered a taboo to include them in the team no matter how good they perform. I think any one who is genuinely talented should be included in the team no matter which province he is from. I personally feel that players from Karachi are being deprieved of their due share in the team as compared to the players from the rest of the country(esp from Punjab). The time has come for the racist and so called selectors to open up their eyes before things get out of hands as they already are starting to. I wish the selectors read this column and go through every comment that was posted on this web site and maybe this will be an eye opener for them and help them select a better team for the future. In the end get rid of the rusted gun (Afridi) for God sake and get Asim back in the team along with Imran Nazeer and Salman Butt so that the butt kicking can fianlly begin in the grand finalle.One last word of advise for Inzi and Younis Khan is to get some crash course in English before heading for the world cup cuz if you guys goof up then that can really hurt Pakistan's image abroad and also please trim your beards a bit just to look more sporty.Please please please. Just a request.

  • waseem on December 13, 2006, 21:27 GMT

    pakistan at this moment in a time have a huge problem in maintaining the balance of the ODI team inzi and bobby woolmer need to sit down and discuss all the important aspects with regards to the world cup the west indian pitches oppositions etc and need to consider making some changes where is salman butt and yasir hameed both are better batters then hafeez and farhat although farhat scored a fifty against the west indies in the 3rd ODI it was the most undesrving fifty i have ever seen in my life,, if they want the world cup they need to get there thinking caps on soon,,

  • nasir on December 13, 2006, 21:10 GMT

    Pakistan team without its three specialists is mediocre at best. There has to be a clear role for each player. It seems hafeez, Malik, Razzaq and Afridi are not being told what the team expects of them.

    Of these Afridi and Razzaq should be told to concentrate on bowling their 10 over quota. Any runs will be a bonus.

    With hafeez and malik, they should be regarded as batemen and expected to score runs. They can be called upon to occasionally bowl. I think hafeez and Malik are losing focus and can;t expect to stay in the team based on their bowling skills alone.

  • Ahmed Lakhani on December 13, 2006, 20:09 GMT

    Every one is afeter Shahid Affradi. I gave him a nick name LOTTO. You have one in million chance to win so don't keep a high hope when he is batting.

  • Ali Ather on December 13, 2006, 19:24 GMT

    Why are we blaming Shahid Afridi for his perfomance,i know he hasnt performed well in a long time but we should look at others too what they have accomplished.. for example Hafeez, I don't know why pakistan has him in the team,I havnt seen him performing as a match winner in any of the games he played,I dont mind if Afridi is dropped but Hafeez shouldnt be in the team as well. He is not good anything he cant bat and he cant bowl as well with Afridi he willl perform a match winning hand after every 10 games but this guy hasnt done anything..

  • Gary Niblock on December 13, 2006, 19:18 GMT

    Babar said "I dont why you guyz are soo against shahid afridi and don't want him to be part of Pakistan national team just because he's not performing well."

    Here's me thinking that was a pre-requisite for playing international cricket!

  • Mythsmoke on December 13, 2006, 18:48 GMT

    Pakistan's performances against West Indies are irrelevant. South Africa will be the test: after the series against Australia at the beginning of Woolmer's tenure, Pakistan again face the daunting prospect of nasty hostile bowling, on fast pitches. I just reviewed their performance: the last time they went to South Africa, Taufeeq Umar was the top-scorer. Pakistan lost 2-0, Wasim Bari picked the team for the world cup, pakistan dumped at the first stage. Will we see history repeating itself? Bari + short-sighted selection + flat track bullies = deja vu.

  • shak on December 13, 2006, 18:41 GMT

    salman butt and imran farhat should open yasir hameed no 3 faisal iqbal at no 4 shoab malik at 5 afridi at 6 razzaq at 7 thisis obviously whilst the main three are out

  • Muhammad Ali Khan on December 13, 2006, 18:31 GMT

    As expected Afridi opened and failed yet again. Afridi can only be played as a bowler who occassionally contributes with the bat. I believe his place in the team is in serious jeopardy given the recent bowling performance of Abdur Rehman. One of the reasons Pakistan lost today was the absence of any strike bowler in the middle overs. The good work done by Rana was wasted thanks to Sami's erraticness and bits and pieces players like Afridi and Iftikhar. We already have an abundant supply of all-rounders in Hafeez, Malik, Akmal and Razzaq. So I can't see the logic of playing Afridi and 'the not so effective containing option' Rao Iftikhar. I believe had Abdur Rehman and Gul played today for Afridi and Rao we could have won. I also don't see any reason why Sami should be preferred to Nazir. Nazir has great control and ability to keep probing away in the channel. If anything he should prove more effective in the limited overs version of the game. There were many positives in today's defeat. None bigger than the return of Hameed as a dependable batter. Let's hope the selectors persist with him. Iqbal showed good temperament as well. With more exposure these two can fill the shoes of Inzi and Yusuf. Unfortunately we still need a dependable opener to partner the flamboyant Farhat. Hopefully Hameed will fit the role. Rana's emphatic return to form is a great omen. I hope Pakistan would play an attacking winning combination in the final game. As a final remark I would like to add that even if Afridi is picked and comes good in the final game (I really hope he doesn't!) he would eventually fail in South Africa. His inclusion only means one less strike bowler. In recent times the only weakness in Pakistan's attack has been the absencce of a wicket-taking spinner. Abdur Rehman is ideal for this role.

  • Farooq S on December 13, 2006, 18:17 GMT

    PCB - Explain why you want Pakis to loose the game:

    1) Not playing with Umer Gul and Rehman (why?) 2) Shuffling batting orders (what was wrong with farhat and hafeez openning the inning?) 3) Not letting Rana to complete his 10 overs (18/ 2 in 6 overs).

    Failed to understand all these????

  • Ghalib Taiimur on December 13, 2006, 18:06 GMT

    This was a perfect oppurtunity to test the bench strength of Pakistans batting but Pakistan decided not to make any bold decisions.

    I think Shahid Yousuf or Asim Kamal should have goten a shot.These are players with good technique and Pakistan would have known how good they would be without Inzi and Yousuf.

    Opening with Afridi was another blunder.Why would you want to change the batting order when you are trying to settle the openers into the role.Openers in Pakistan aren't being allowed to settle down.

    Dropping Umar Gul and AbdulRehman also caused problems in the bowling.

  • Numaan on December 13, 2006, 17:14 GMT

    Once again Afridi fails to deliver. If Afridi can't preform when his jobs on the line when is he going to preform? He is running out of time fast before he is permanently dropped from the team. Yasir Arafat is a far better player and deserves the nod in place of Afridi.

    It may be worth considering the left hander Samiullah Niazi as left handers generally cause more problems to left handed batsmen (Austraila)!

  • Amyn Habib on December 13, 2006, 16:39 GMT

    I have a suggestion about Afridi’s batting order. Clearly, many of his fans think this is the issue. So, if he bats at no. 5 or 6 or 7 and he fails, the fans become hysterical and say that why isn’t he opening the batting. Then, when the poor fellow fails as an opener, they say, oh he should bat late. It has become clear that the problem won’t go away just with shuffling his batting order. I propose that we amend the rules of cricket to let him bat twice. So he can bat both as an opener and a middle order batsman. And his batting average should reflect a combination of both scores. Hopefully, it will then climb into double figures! Good work, Yasir Hameed!

  • babar on December 13, 2006, 16:21 GMT

    I dont why you guyz are soo against shahid afridi and don't want him to be part of Pakistan national team just because he's not performing well. Those who are against him that's mean you only care about the scores, but not the situations during the match. Afridi batting lineup always random because he's a pinch hitter and can bump score anytime in any position based on opposite players reaction, weather and a pitch. If he's didn't performed well in recent series that doesn't mean he's out of team forever. Sometimes player's need sometime to adjust and that's what afridi facing...

  • Saud on December 13, 2006, 15:59 GMT

    Farhat 13/36 -- maybe in future Butt was better. Afridi 1/6 -- Only place he should play or don't, 6 down is crap. Hameed 71/118 -- Was always unfair to keep him out this long. Hafeez 1/7 -- I like him .. but its too early to bank too much on him.

    Mohammad Sami 7/37/1 -- and thats a lucky 1 no anti karachi thing.I would have loved to see a 90 mph+ guy but he only helps the ball get to the ropes @ 150 mph.

    Shahid Afridi 2/0/13 -- Be bold drop him from the W.C team we have other sloggers who are more consistant if not as good.Keep hafeez/Razaqq instead they deliver more often. Btw. I think Asif is hyped also hehe na don't kill me .. you will see for yourself. But it would be decent to have these guys all togather

    Shoaib,Shabir,Asif,Gull/Rana,Malik,Hafeez

  • Jason S. on December 13, 2006, 15:25 GMT

    Yes it's a weakend Pakistan Team, but the WIndies have been weakend also. Sarwan,Chanderpaul,Bravo are the main reason for the teams recent succes in ODI's but are all missing. The Inclusion of Chanderpaul in todays match has highlighted his inportance in the team. Even without a big innings from Gayle (the Destroyer) and Lara (who of Late has mattered little to the team in ODI's-check the past year.)the team has easily won. It will make however an intriguing final match.With the unpredictability of both teams it's hard to decide who'll win. A word of caution to the Pakistanis - Chanders is back, you've seen a glimpse of Gayle in previous match, and Samuels today, Lara has yet to be featured. Enough said.

  • Hamid on December 13, 2006, 14:33 GMT

    I am writing posthumously, so in a much easier position to cricize. Nevertheless, had someone come to me with the team cartd as it finally read on the morning of the game , I would have laughed at it even before the result was known. In the absence of all your major players, you are supposed to bolster the team not further weaken it. Absence of Umer Gul and Abdul Rehman was a bizarre selection policy (unless they too have injuries that I am not aware of). West Indians have never been great against spin, so we kept the one good spinner away. I must say, this team selection was beyond any reasoning. Perhaps the Pakistan team for this game was selected by the West Indian team, in which case the only mistake was the selection of Rana Naved.

  • Gohar Ayub on December 13, 2006, 13:53 GMT

    Pakistani batting lineup lacks vision. Salman Butt is much better opener than farhat. Especially butt's shot selection on off side is exceptional as compared to farhat who is always flashy. I don't see imran farhat more than a club cricketer. Yasir Hameed is the best choice in the top order. If he improves his temprament he is much better batsman then Younis and Yousaf. His defense is impacable and when he plays his shots he looks a class player.

    In my opinion Shoaib Malik should not be in the team, i agree that he has a much better temperament then other young batsmen. But is he a hitter or genuine batsman? in fact neither of these.

  • Amir Wahab on December 13, 2006, 13:12 GMT

    i realy feel glad that finally the youngster get a chance to perform becouse they R our future.we need to forget about bom bom afridi.we needs a perfect stylish batsmen like yaser,faisal,asim,salman and imran nazir & in bowling akther,asif,gul,shahid nazer,and abdl rehman can share with them.so wht i think we have certain time for WC.PCB no needs to give a chance 4 club stander bowlers like anjum & sami.let them play in domestic.thnx

  • Asif Rahman on December 13, 2006, 12:27 GMT

    sory to say but no any other choice rather than cut him off from 11.Offcourse he is a great all rounder.But its one day cricket anything cud happen in 6 hours.So,betta choice who ever cud perform not he might cud du some which will be blessed. for Pak team.yes I am tlking about afridi.he needs to realise his responcibility.

  • arun on December 13, 2006, 12:10 GMT

    afridi is a great hitter,he should be there in the team as a opener,so that we can see some wonders and the other man imran nazir should be brought back for excellent batting and fielding.sami should be given a chance

  • Kashif Shah on December 13, 2006, 12:01 GMT

    Why Shahid Afridi get a chance in the team all the time but the Akhrot never perform in the matches. Get a life PCB and give a chance to others deserving players like Salman Butt & Asif Kamal.

  • Qasim Saeed on December 13, 2006, 11:47 GMT

    I also agree that Asim Kamal deserves a place but I would vouch for him in the test side in place of Abdur Razzaq. As far as ODI’s are concerned, I don’t see where he will fit in especially when we have Younis Khan in the same team. Last time I heard ppl cry “regional favoritism” was when Waqar Younis was selected ahead of Saleem Jaffer. Theres a lot more to favoritism than regional bias alone. Rao Iftikhar is the only player who perhaps doesn’t deserve a place at all in this side and hes probably there because he knows someone rather than because hes from a particular city/Province. Dharkan hai Punjab agar, dil apna Mehran hai, Suraj hai Sarhad ki zameen, chand Baluchistan hai, Mein bhi Pakistan hoon, Tu bhi Pakistan hai (Woh bhi Pakistan hai)

  • Ehtisham on December 13, 2006, 11:44 GMT

    hi,

    Well, the multan odi is going on when i am writing this comment, afridi is already flopped. i simply can't understand why team management sends him as an opener. He has scored a century in a domestic match by batting in middle order. but for me, his place is in no more in the team untill he performs extraordinary. yasir played really well till end. He has shown his class once again and deserves his place in current team. he can easily replace hafeez or farhat on the opening position. It is difficult rite now for paksitan to win this match. But, for sure in the last match at karachi, the situation will be completely different when pakistan will have back to strength.

  • samurai on December 13, 2006, 11:06 GMT

    i think that shoaib malik should be the next in line for captaincy and we should dispense of imran farhat and bring in imran nazir as an opener.as we saw today, yasir hameed is a necessary addition to the side, and shahid afridi needs to come in to bat in the last 10 overs.the openers should be imran nazir and salman butt,then yasir hameed,faisal iqbal,shoaib malik(captain), abdul razzaq,shahid afridi,kamran akmal,abdul rehman,shoaib akhtar,mohammad asif. we should be rotating the bowlers obviously based on the type of pitch and importance of the match and the middle order should always be given a rest every now and again to try out new players.

  • Zed Fazel on December 13, 2006, 10:43 GMT

    Enjoyed to read your angle. Since then, the match has started and once again we the spectators are being tortured by presence of Sami and being already hit for 2 fours. Thanks to Naved-ul-Hassan, Gayle is dismissed. Why cannot Pakistan learn that Sami is a spent force and its a waste of time. Same with Afridi - domestic cricket is different - International Cricket is a different cup of tea. Out for 1 - when realising that his team is thin in the middle order - does he care? I think the best way for me is to stop watching.!!

  • Feroz on December 13, 2006, 10:42 GMT

    Afridi has proven once again that he is a wild card and in my opinion I think Pakistan needs a wild card like him on a consistent basis. The team needs a mix of players rather all conservative players who succumb to pressure as we have witnessed over and over again. What really sets him apart is he doesn't waste deliveries. Bottom line, he is a wild card and I think he should be treated as one for a permanent slot in the team.

  • manju on December 13, 2006, 10:36 GMT

    plz don't wast shahid afridi because it's not oppner.u have already have Farhat and Hafiz who perfome very well why u take chance. u want to wasting SHAHID AFRIDI. i m very upsaid. AFRIDI is 6 no batsman. ok as u like

  • raheel on December 13, 2006, 10:28 GMT

    salam to all,i been following pak cricket from years, even also look into our domestic stats once in a while to, i believe middle order cant be better what we have as seasoned n senoirs players we ve in shape of yosuf..yonis n inzi, n in bowling we have enough talent, main problem is with openers, please for cricket sake can someone put sense in mind of selectors or pcb....that we dont need players like imran or hafeez who can ruin the pak chances when its most needed....cant you see these not players of interntional calibre, they are faullty cricketers, we need to have IMRAN NAZIR n SALMAN BUTT in our team along with yasir hameed.....n say whatever but we have to take along afridi with us in world cup.....even as bowler...n use him lower order but we need him....as wkt keeper even hammuyun farhat is doing pretty good job wd his gloves n as batsman to...we should look into that to, but please kamran if you have any say in pcb quaters....do remind them criceter,s like IMRAN NAZIR...he has class best for one dayers...daring....not afraid of any bowling, good strike rate...good average...n best fielder you ever produce.

  • waseem Ahmed on December 13, 2006, 10:08 GMT

    I think the way pakistani selectors are experimenting with opening slot they might never find a good pair. It was good to see faisal back in the team but was sent lower down the order to bat whereas he should have been No. 3. Afridi once again let us down (this guy is only suitable for street cricket). why is PCB so reluctant to give Asim Kamal a chance, i think he will be a perfect middle order batsman. Sami once again brought into the side after so many failures (maybe his performance in UAE domestic tournaments paid off)

  • Danish on December 13, 2006, 10:06 GMT

    I wonder why we keep on picking Shahid Afridi , when we all have seen that he dont know how to bat even after playing 200 plus ODI , Asim Kamal and Hasan Raza are a better choice for the middle order.

  • Saher Khalid on December 13, 2006, 10:02 GMT

    Yasir Hameed for a permanent place in the team!

  • Faisal Fareed on December 13, 2006, 9:59 GMT

    Again Afridi opened the innings.. are the mad?? Why salman butt wasn't recalled.. afridi is best at number 7 but after experimenting him as an opener for over 100 matches.. still our coach's eyes are closed

  • khurrum on December 13, 2006, 9:54 GMT

    i thing imran nazir and salman butt are ideal opener ,if they are groom well.they are natureally talented player and thus should be given chance.

  • Ali Imran Shigri on December 13, 2006, 9:53 GMT

    Well well...Here we go again, A place in national team and here he goes again..Afridi is not a player whome u can trust, Come on selectors grow up, Why are u people reluctant to add Asim Kamal, Salman Butt, Imran Nazir in the team..They need a little confidence from you guys and they will prove that they are the future of Pakistani Cricket Team. Afridi and Farhat go home play domestic and please stay there.

  • Talha on December 13, 2006, 9:49 GMT

    after the match u hav seen that yasir proved that he is a good choice but i dont know why asim kamal is not there and why imran farhat is there, Farhat is extremely lucky in almost match he got a chance n then score, Asim Kamal And Yasir deserves the chance and in test they should bring Taufeeq Umer Back ,..

  • haroon on December 13, 2006, 9:45 GMT

    why iftekhar anjum is in the one day team? he doesn't deserve that spot at all. pakistan can do better than that. they should have played abdul rahman instead of him. don't u guys think iftekhar anjum has been given alot of chancess? it is good to see afridi in the team simply becuase afridi is unpridictable. whenever he is in the team the opposition bowling attack is in pressure that if afridi played then they won't have a good day. unfortunatly he got out early but i am sure he is going to bawel well and prove those people who are against him wrong.

  • sanjaysharma-India on December 13, 2006, 9:38 GMT

    hi, Don't u know virgin always prevails, everywhere here and there.Let's them prove their-self in absence of big guns.They will difinitely give u better option as happened in PAK bowling. So, thing happens for betterment of something.

    Thanks

    sanjay

  • Azam on December 13, 2006, 9:35 GMT

    i dont understand why Asim Kamal is not in the team, despite being a good middle order batsman with a good average , he was dropped and not given a chance again. i know the reason why .. its cause of him from Karachi. This would never stop and politics has to be there, every cricketer has to be from Punjab in order to come into the team !! such a shame for us !

  • Tamreez on December 13, 2006, 9:28 GMT

    Yes....it is a good opportunity fo rthe middle order and the young guns to show how they fire their rounds. They shouldn't feel that they are dependant on the senior players and should make the flow in the game.

    Once again...I would say...it is not a wise decision to bring Afridi back. I really don't understand why. He got 1 run again in the fourth ODI. There are far much better players than he who should be polished. I think Afridi should go back to Khyber Agency!!!!!

  • Jibran on December 13, 2006, 9:24 GMT

    Don't know what Razzaq did today though, the batting line up was totally useless. Faisal Iqbal shoud have been tere at 4 to have a partnership with Yasir Hameed who I always knew will score, he is probably the best batsmen after our triangle of Younis, Yousuf and Inzy. He has always scores when given a chance but for incompetence of Pakistan management always finds himself out.

  • Wilbert A Egipsy on December 13, 2006, 9:07 GMT

    Shoaib malik is very underrated player who has bailed pakistan ut of trouble time and again and tho he doesnt have the natural talent of of afridi(wasted talent in his case), i think he will make an astute captain for the future even in prsecence of the 2Y's and inzy...and looks t be the best bet to rally around a highly talented team in constant turmoil

  • Tashfeen Qayyum on December 13, 2006, 8:59 GMT

    What happened to Hassan Raza and Misbah? Why they are not being considered. With Faisal Iqbal, Asim Kamal Hassan Raza, Hafeez, Salman Butt in the wings I think we have a good nucleas of players to come in the very near future,

  • new on December 13, 2006, 8:57 GMT

    An actually underperforming player is Sami. As much as I have always wanted to see him perform, more often than not, he has disappointed. I hope he makes the most of the chance which has come his way. If he doesn’t, then PCB should set him aside atleast until after the World Cup. Theres no dearth of resources at hand with Asif, Shoaib, Umar Gul, Shabbir and Rana Naveed in contention.

  • Majid on December 13, 2006, 8:50 GMT

    I am not exactly a huge fan of Afridi but cut the guy some slack. Why are we fixed on his batting debacles? Why can't we look at his bowling prowess? Amongst the part time spinners that we have, he stands out profoundly. He has the ability to go through his overs quickly and in the process picks up an important wicket or two. He is closing in on 200 one day wickets. Why can't we see him as a spin bowler who can bat lower down the order?

    He made his international debut as a spin bowling replacement for Mushtaq Ahmed in Kenya. It was in Kenya where he showed the whole world how destructive he can be with the bat. Does that make him a batsman or better yet an opener? Maybe and maybe not. He might have scored most of his runs at the top of the order but that is exactly where he has failed more often than not. Keep in mind that we have yet to find a stable opening pair. We have tried several openers and opening combinations and they all have very little to show for the trust that we laid in them. Then why do we constantly single out Afridi??? I'll tell you why...cuz we expect the unexpected from him. That is unfair to say the least. Afridi is an integral part of Pakistan cricket and we as a nation shouldn't put undue pressure on him. Like I said earlier, treat him like a bowler who can bat lower down the order and all should be well.

  • Salman on December 13, 2006, 8:49 GMT

    i want to see Imran nazir and hassan Raza an faisal to be prepared for future so they cab take place of giants also i want hammed and hafeez to be permanent for Pakistan

  • Qasim Saeed on December 13, 2006, 8:30 GMT

    How we love to hate Afridi. I know he failed again today but that’s not the position for him to bat. One thought we finally had his place figured out during the last Australian tour when he came down at number 6 or 7 and played some really useful innings. Statistically, he averages around 23 with the bat which is 8 runs below Younis Khan who is considered as one of the big 3 of the middle order.

    He is a utility player. Why do we rely on his batting alone. What are the five main batsmen for? I’m sure he has contributed to more Pakistan wins than most of the rest of the line up through his batting, bowling and fielding (I can recall some stunning run outs that he has pulled off). Players like Afridi have to be allowed to play their natural game. Afridi is a pinch hitter (so to say) and he should stay that way.

    An actually underperforming player is Sami. As much as I have always wanted to see him perform, more often than not, he has disappointed. I hope he makes the most of the chance which has come his way. If he doesn’t, then PCB should set him aside atleast until after the World Cup. Theres no dearth of resources at hand with Asif, Shoaib, Umar Gul, Shabbir and Rana Naveed in contention.

  • Ramzan on December 13, 2006, 8:02 GMT

    from the begining I was against bringing in Afridi as an opener...I was correct...losing his wicket cheaply totally put other players under pressure...and now they are suffering therefore. I wonder what was wrong in keeping Hafeeq and Farhat as openers???

  • Mohammed Munir on December 13, 2006, 7:42 GMT

    All said and done, since we can not loose the ODI series from there, so the selectors have the luxury of choosing anyone they want or rather they ‘like’. Shahid Afridi, Salman Butt, Yaser Hameed, Asim Kamal, Faisal Iqbal, Toufiq Omer, Imran Farhat, Mohammed Hafeez, etc. etc. all are fine as batsmen and are getting their fair chances. However, are we not forgetting just one name in the ODI version of cricket? ... IMRAN NAZEER, for ALLAH’s sake, the guy is a specialist ODI player, and since everyone is getting selected in the ‘musical chair’, I think that IMRAN NAZEER should also get a chance before the world cup. But it seems he is not liked as much by either the coach or higher-ups of the team management.

  • Ashfaq on December 13, 2006, 7:23 GMT

    I have gone through some of the comments. I would like to say that those who think Afridi is useless are the Big fans of Afridi and want every time 100 + 8 to 10 sixes from him. Be Open and look into Cricket Record Book. the record made by Afridi in One Day Cricket are more than any other cricketer in the Whole history of Cricket. You are talking about his Batting, but not thinking about his Bowling and Fielding. He is a type of player who alone can disturb the game plan for the opponent. Keep him at No. 11 in the batting order and see the Bowling figure from the opponent. They will always reserve 6 to 10 Over from their good bowlers for AFRIDI Only.

  • kamran on December 13, 2006, 6:51 GMT

    salam, its great Afridi is back after a good perfomence in domastic match. both opner done good job, but they need more to stay in creas , my desire Imran nazir back in pak team he's fine bat and active filder.i think asim kamal is better than fasil iqbal,

  • Asghar on December 13, 2006, 6:27 GMT

    It is actually quite sad to see Afridi being recalled. I dont know what kind of message this sends to Salman Butt, Yasir Hameed, Taufiq Umar etc. etc. There are different standards for everyone else who must show maturity, responsibility, patience, technique. None of these apply to Afridi. The message to him is "Go on - you have 10 innings to try to get to 50 (does not matter what team it is against).

    Razzak, Shoaib Malik, Umer etc. can be just as devastating is they abandon all sense of responsibility - there is nothing special about Afridi.

    At the end of the day the numbers speak for themselves. An average of 23 across 240 odd games is hardly worthy of inclusion in the Pakistan team when there are so many other deserving contenders.

  • MANSOOR on December 13, 2006, 6:08 GMT

    i can give a good suggestion. all the openers that we have tried are young and foolish(no offence). playing the new ball against quality bowlers is no joke. i have seen Imran Farhat in current series and although he scored, he was all over the place. i dont think he will cause any problem to pollacks and Ntinis and Nels. i think we need some experienced openers from domestic curcit. someone who is playing with a domestic team for 6 or 7 years as an opener. facing the new ball is a matter of nurves and not every time you can find Saeed anwar and Aamir sohail in the age of 20. they both were special talents and they are not available all the time. No team except pakistan has been playing with openenrs of less that 20 years age.

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on December 13, 2006, 5:32 GMT

    We are a cricket crazy nation but really do not understand what cricket. We have so many coaches around and they guide their players. It is very easy to comment but can't understand what kind of comments we are making. I have been going through all the comments on Shahid Afridi. Some said, he should be dropped and some said he should play domestic cricket. Please understand when you are playing cricket and choosing a special baller and special batsman and the baller is hit all around the park and the specialist batsman is getting out on zero and spilling catches and he deserves in the 11. But Mr. Afridi can bat, can ball and can field better than any playing 11 in the pakistan team right now, but sad, he is not picked up for the pakistan team. I think we expect a lot from Afridi. You know when expectation fails, frustration starts. This is what happening with Afridi. Rest assured if 10 out of 11 can not do the job then how Afridi can do singel handedly. But he has the calibre and can win matches in twinkling yes on the given day. Let us forget all this and have faith him and it would not be out of place to mention to mention that Afridi is not being handled by the Captain and Coach properly. He should open on sub continent and slow pitches and bat at no. 7 on the bouncy wickets. This will definitely prove a miracle for him and the team.

    Rest it is up to the team management, but Afridi definitely deserves a permanenent place in the pakistan team. After all is a great entertainer and good marketeir.

  • Abdul Latif on December 13, 2006, 5:27 GMT

    I think Afridi Is Must In The World Cup Squd So What Is The Problem To Take Him On SA Tour Becos Their Are Bouncy Pitchs And dont think k wahan koi yunis khan runs kary ga wohi haal ho ga jo india ka ho raha hai phir tu gagully ki tarah afridi ko bullaya jaye ga tu sath hi ley jana achha hai

  • Asif on December 13, 2006, 5:02 GMT

    Assalamo Alaikum While Afridi is inconsistent, he does have the ability to win matches single handedly. That is very rare quality. Put in his useful leg breaks, its good to have him back. Plus he brings an attitude to the team that it lacks without him. The time out should be good for him, as might've been taking his position for granted.

  • Syed on December 13, 2006, 4:44 GMT

    Pakistan will definitely be underpressure with all three of the giants missing. However I think that the remaining players do have a lot of experience between them. Hafeez and Imran should open. Shoaib malik at number 3, yasir hameed at 4, Asim Kamal at 5, Abdul Razzaq at 6, and kamran akmal at 7. I dont see a use for Afridi in the team even though he's a brilliant talent. His mindless batting is a huge liability that Pakistan simply cannot afford. I do believe that Shoaib Malik is currently the BEST option at number 3. Yasir Hameed and Asim Kamal also deserve a recall but the selectors' bias is tellin the same old story of Pakistan cricket politics.

  • Ashish on December 13, 2006, 4:43 GMT

    Comon..... why is everyone so critical about the performance of Afridi!?! Why is he not left to perform his own way with his own dashing methods?? He`s bound to fail more often than not but when he performs Pakistan is bound to win n there`s no doubt on that. Don`t we need a player of that sort for the development of cricket?? If he doesnt do well with the bat too,he`s certain to chip in with a few wickets n will certainly save a few runs in the field. Could anyone suggest me a better fielder than Afridi in the whole Pakistani team as of now??? But I really dont think he should be given the captaincy for his sake n for pakistani cricket`s sake as that may take that very natural flair of winning games singlehandedly away from him. Regarding this world cup pakistan have a real solid middle order capable of performin in any given condition so they need one huge DASHER in Afridi in their lower middle order to convert a 250 score into 300, an average score to a winning. Its really a bonus that they also have Razzaq. The bowling attack really needs a bolstering!! I think the real concern is in the Bowling front n Afridi certainly is a bowler who can give 10 overs for not many runs chipping in with a couple of vital wickets. I am not a die hard fan of Afridi but for the sake of cricket as a whole we need those sort of players who can single handedly win a game for their country n that too in any given circumstance and I would be really disappointed if he doesnt feature in the starting lineup for the matches in the WORLD CUP.

  • Shehzad on December 13, 2006, 4:38 GMT

    I don't know how long we will keep ignoring Asim Kamal. He has done a good job considering he always comes in late in the order and don't get as many chances. He has more potential and better average then most but for some unknown reason is been kept out of team for way too long.

  • shahbaz on December 13, 2006, 4:00 GMT

    Yasir Hameed deserves a chance and he will prove himself in todays match

  • Adnan on December 13, 2006, 3:50 GMT

    Folks, really! How can Afridi 'not' be in a one-day team! Ok, he doesn't come out pretty with the bat 7 times out of 10, but the times that he does is always breathtaking. And how really can you take away fom his bowling, which has been fairly impressive over the last two seasons. Putting those together, not to mention his 'above par' (at least by our standards) fielding, Shahid in a one dayer is a no-brainer. I take the argument for Salman Butt, but I still cant figure what the 'minds' were thinking keeping him out of the team.

  • Zuhair on December 13, 2006, 3:46 GMT

    We gottta have yasir hameed!! I personally feel Asim Kamal would have been a safer option than Faisal Iqbal. wehreas, Afridi's place should not be made at the cost of a genuine bowler. He must play in place of Hafeez for my likings. It will be a real test of Razzaq & Shoaib Mailk's abilities as captain and vice captain. I d beleieve razzaq does have a good thinking head on his shoulders and he would manage it well. But, the real worry is the absence of yousuf n inzo. Younis Khan's absence is not a loss for pakistan, rather a blessing in disguise. He should concentrate in ODI games. And dont forget, HAfez will again get out around 15-20 runs and an Imran Farhat regular failure is due in this match. It has to be MAlik n Razzaq bexperince to come up. Yasir hopefully will prove himself. But, Malik should bat at 4. Faisal at 5.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 13, 2006, 3:44 GMT

    CHRIS....I couldn't agree with you more, you have said it. I have been saying all along that Afridi is the man who can change the complexion of the game. Like Symmonds, like Dhoni, like Chris Gayle, like Peiterson...... Afridi has got a good track record of plyaing well in the carribbean pitches.

    Besides, whenever Afridi scores at the top Pakistan has won. Can't the rest of the team play when he fails? But, when he fails with his bat he get wickets.

    SALMAN.....Abdul Razzaq is good but these days he is so off colour and I have said this earlier, if he has to prove his worth then he should decide either he wears a helmet or a cap! He should not be wearing both. There is another cap they are offering him today and that is the Captaincy Cap. I wonder what he is gonna do? He definitely needs to put a thinking cap right now and decide that he is gonna play a one day innings. The Razzaq we know and not the Razzaq we have seen in the recent past.

  • jadogar-spin on December 13, 2006, 3:42 GMT

    Give Razzak a chance. Afridi and Yaser should work out fine. Lets see what the B team can do in the absence of the giants...

  • Aftab Qureshi on December 13, 2006, 3:40 GMT

    I dont want to belittle the prowess and potential of the "virgin" middle order, but Inzi, Yousaf and Younis are the pillars on which Pakistan's batting rests; without them, things dont look too good, I am afraid. I only hope that the stand-in captain succeeds in inspiring his young charges, amen!

  • Mansoor on December 13, 2006, 2:57 GMT

    Well first of all we should be thankful that we will be playing in Multan which may save some humiliation. To start with we have the worst openers in modern day cricket. Imran Farhat and M. Hafeez plays innings full of chances from ball one. I havent seen a composed inning yet. If no luck on their side they would have been out under 10 in all the innings. Shoaib Malik is not a batsman. He has no good innings outside Pakistan and India, and his technique will be tested in South Africa. Faisal Iqbal should be part of our future number six because he is a better batsman than Malik plus he is the next best batsman in domestic circuit after inzi,khan and yousuf. I would rather play Shoaib Malik as an opener insted of Hafeez/Farhat as he is more composed than both. Afridi is a give and take in any situation, but the way our openers are playing, afridi is no worse and is a match winner. My team will be in batting order for SA/World cup will be Malik,Akmal,Khan,Yousuf,Inzi, Afridi, Razzak, Rehman,Akhtar,Gul and Asif. It gives us 3 genuine quickies, one spinner and 3 decent all rounders.

    Any suggestions??

  • Omer Admani on December 13, 2006, 2:52 GMT

    I can't imagine why proven failures like Faisal and Afridi are selected again and again. Maybe the PCB is trying to sound reliable by failing to sort these problems out. It should be a concern that the last good batsman that was selected by the PCB as a debutant was Younis, which was many years ago. In the whole Pakistan aren't there any better batsman than Afridi and Faisal? We can't compete with the best teams if we play 3 batsmen with some bits and pieces. We need 5 solid batsmen to compete against Australia, while the ones that play sound like they would be bunnies of some bowler in Western Australia's 5th eleven.

    Please, Not Afridi again. Not Sami, nor Faisal. I have doubts about Rana as well. Play these guys and they will fail you when you most need them. Guarantee!

  • Euceph Ahmed on December 13, 2006, 2:47 GMT

    Chris - Almost a decade ago Afridi was able to explode onto the ODI scene because of the surprise factor that you've mentioned. He was dreaded because no one knew what he was going to do. I think what has happened over the last few years is that other teams have figured him out very well. On the other hand he hasn't understood that his gameplan doesn't have that "shock & awe" element anymore. Even the spectators know what he's going to do. As a matter of fact, the spectators demand baseball style homeruns from him all the time. Obviously, the corporate sponsors have played a huge part in spoiling his career. I think that Woolmer and Inzi are doing a very smart thing in bringing him back to earth. We all know that the Pakistan team needs the spark he brings to the side. But he needed this breather, and I think most fans here agree. He needs time to reflect upon his career. He needs to come to grips with his game. He needs to find that spark again. But most of all, he needs to learn when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em just like a good gambler. His strategy has moved away from a good gamble to sheer stupidity. His low percentage game is fine as long as he succeeds 4 out of ten times. No one expects Yousuf-like consistency from him. But 1.5 times out of ten demoralizes not just the team but the whole cricket mad nation. When he starts to play the game for his own enjoyment and not to please the crowd and sponsors is when he'll become that dreaded force again that he once was.

  • Samad Saharan on December 13, 2006, 2:44 GMT

    This is basically the virgin team. This is just to see what its gonne be like with out the three bigguns. It can go amazing or horrible....well see

  • Mustafa Rizvi on December 13, 2006, 2:43 GMT

    I think selectors have made a positive decision by bringing in Faisal Iqbal in the team. He should be in the team long time a ago. Because he is the only player capable of holding the innings together. INSHALLAH he will perform well in this game. Talking about the forthcoming World Cup squad. I don't think Younis Khan deserves a place in the Pakistani side. He is a not an ODI player simple. Pick up his records and you will find out that he has done nothing good in ODIs. For God sake we need specialist in every position. We just cannot go in World Cup with bits and pieces players. Get rid of some so-called allrounders in the team and bring in specialist bowlers and bastmen. Please please please.

  • Rauf on December 13, 2006, 2:40 GMT

    Re: I disagree to above comments pertaining to Yasir, "rekindle some of his earlier form". This young man never got the opportunity to get 'comfortable'. He always played under a heap of pressure 'to retain his spot'. He had/has every ingredient to play at the top order esp in ODI's. Given the opportunity and encouragement he will bloom on the scene - I pray!

  • Ali-Shan Mumtaz Tharwani on December 13, 2006, 2:39 GMT

    i strongly feel that Salman Butt should get a chance in this 4th odi instead of faisal Iqbal

  • Zulfiqar Ali Kazmi. From Atlanta, GA on December 13, 2006, 1:30 GMT

    It would be interesting to see how the team fares without the "Big Three." I would say bring Afridi back and make him a captain to see if he plays with some responsibility. Other than Afrid, Razzaq is a good candidate for captainship.

  • Salman on December 12, 2006, 23:28 GMT

    It is great to see Afridi back. He had a bad year but who does not? It seems odd to see every one criticizing him cuz of that. Is there any player in the world who has not gone this way? The only real problem he is facing is his batting position. He likes to go early, and has been pushed down, and ever since that has happened we have seen a decline in his performance. The couch/capatain need to devise a strategy to find a better place for him. So what if he gets out early? don't we see that happening anyway? But what if he stays? We win the match!!! It is worth the risk, and that is what Afridi is all about. Yaser Hamid and Salman Butt are other players who need to be brought in. We always have these batsman to replace the out of form players, and we need them all. Abdul Razzaq is one of the most useful players in the one day cricket. His bowling averages have been incredible. He comes so late in the batting order that we don't get to see much of his talent,but when needed, he brings a win to the team!!

  • Chris on December 12, 2006, 23:26 GMT

    As an Australia, the man we fear most from the Pakistan side is Afridi. Every side has quality batsmen (you have Yousef, Younis and Inzy, India have Dravid and Tendulkar, New Zealand have Fleming and Astle, and I could easily go on), but very few sides have the explosive element that can put a game away. It's the same reason we select Andrew Symonds.

    Now, Symonds may not be the most consistent batsman, but he's explosive and can easily take the game away from the opposition once he gets going. Afridi is similar in that regard. Now, the West Indies pitches will suit him, and he's just the man that could win you the World Cup if he gets going. Every team needs players like that.

    If a team puts together a solid but predictable lineup, they won't win the World Cup. This has been shown over and over again. Winning the World Cup requires an unpredictable element that has to work on the day, and that element has to be good enough such that when it works, it enables the side to beat anyone. Afridi is just that element.

    For all of those claiming you should be building for the future, it's worth remembering that there is a World Cup in less than a year. Concentrate on that and THEN build for the future.

  • Shahid Faruqui on December 12, 2006, 22:31 GMT

    I like the idea for Afiridi to be the captain. May be extra responsibilities will bring the best out of him. I hope we are not dumping him. He is worthy of another chnace. His very presence in Pakistan site upsets the think tanks of the opponents. I hope he plays and fires tomorrow. In my opinion they should drop Rao in place of Sami. Yes Asim Kamal is far better than Faisal Iqbal.

  • Bilal M Awan on December 12, 2006, 22:18 GMT

    well we are not habitual of playing without big names,a team at this standard must test back up players if they are leading series 2 0. as for as the captiancy is concerned there r just 2 choices Razzaq and Shoaib Malik, so i prefer Razzaq being experienced player. we realy are lucky by having a player like Afridi, a player if goes on with his form in few moments gets the in your favour. Asim kamal should be concidered a permanet member of squad because he has the lights of responsible middle order batsman. at the end i feel quite relax even without big names because we have the advantage being leader of the series.

  • Furqan on December 12, 2006, 22:09 GMT

    Every one is talking about yasir hameed and asim kamal. They both have been given chances and this is international arena, you need to made an impact in the first match and continue it. Just like afridi and now rehman did. There are hundred of people in a que outside n every one wants a chance. Afridi is good choice and i personaly believe he is better, atleast with ball and fielding, than malik or razzaq. And when fires with the bat he can be lethal than any batsman in the whole of planet

  • Shoaib Ali Malik on December 12, 2006, 22:09 GMT

    well this is really good chance for our selectors to know and also think about our cricket team without Muhammad Yousuf, Inzmam Ul Haq because without these two players our team is weakest in the world.... cuz there is no player in the team for the tomorrow's 4th odi who could stay on the wicket for the long time. they are all in the pakistan team jus cuz of their parents, guardians and relatives... pakistani selectors are useless cuz they got 30 players in their minds and they always shuffle them...they should find the real batsman who could play big innigs in the test matches and also in the one day innigs... our team is full of all rounders like afridi, Abdul Razaq, shoaib malik and Muhammad hafeez. these 4 players can never be replaced by the first 5 positions of the pakistan cricket team.... they should come after number 5 batsman.. 2 of them are enough for one odi cuz we need the proper batsmen who could bat sensibly and also score runs on the loose deliveries and block the wicket taking balls with excellent technique... so i would want Yasir Hameed to bat on number 3 ... faisal iqbal is not suitable for one dayer cuz he played 17 odi's already and averaged just 21.84 with No fifty and got only hundred against the lower ranked team.... so Abdul Razaq should be Captain for odi absense of inzi and younis khan should be captain for test matches... cuz both them are not good for both types of cricket... like Abdul razaq is not suitable for test and younis for odi.. so i hope our selectors should open their eyes and should find the real and proper batsmen upto number 5.. so that our batsmen could be recognised like Kallis, Ponting, Dravid, Lara and Muhammad Yousuf... thanks

  • Imran Zia on December 12, 2006, 22:07 GMT

    Faisal Iqbal is the only backup middle order batsman Pakistan has been developing in the ranks as a replacement for the trio of Younis, Yousef and Inzimam. After Faisal Iqbal the best batsmen in Pakistan are Misbah Ul Haq and Shahid Yousef. Hasan Raza has not been tried too often in one dayers which seems to be more suited to his style. Shoib Malik has proved the confidence his captain as he is Pakistans best batsman in the oneday form for the last two years. Yasir Hameed is in the side because the selectors know that in South Africa he could be more that handy. If that is the case he should get to play both the matches remaining before the tour. For those who keep on mentioning the names of Asim Kamal and Salman Butt, Pakistan cannot aford more liabilities in the field in the presence of Inzi, Yousef and Abdul Razzak. The most important thing that has to be taken care of is balance. The combination in the games we have seen in the series if heavily stacked with bowlers. The options are wide open , therefore it is upto the management to decide the right combination. In the captaincy front the first priority should be to select the best eleven then the captain should be selected from within. The player concerned should be an automatic choice in both forms of the game. I dont think Abdul Razzak or Shahid Afridi both qualify in both fronts. Other than that he should be intelident and a thinking cricketer. I dont think Afridi is a thinking cricketer otherwise he would have a far better record than he has now. Abdul Razzak seems too laid back and if he captains he would be a reactive captain rather than a proactive one. My vote is for either Shoaib Malik or Mohd Hafeez. Both of them are very fit and at the moment are the future of Pakistan cricket.

  • danish on December 12, 2006, 21:33 GMT

    ODI agisnt Windes...forget my mouth is already waterng of the worldcup squad Pakistan would have...Shoaib,asif,rana,gul,shabbir,sami,rao,nazir maza ajyegaaa

  • kamran Saeed on December 12, 2006, 21:33 GMT

    For God Sake Take Rao Iftikhar Out ... He is such a parchiee player - You seriously think he is any better then a number of bowler -- lets start with Sami .. I wonder why the prejudice only against Karachi players ???

  • muhammad on December 12, 2006, 21:25 GMT

    90% of the comments say that asim kamal should have been included. i think as far as technique is concerned he is better than salman, taufeeq, farhat,and yasir. every body wants the selectors to give him a chance. the whole nation has the eye to see and identify a potential batsman except the selectors. come on tell me how often in pakistan cricket u talk about a batsman having A SOUND TECHNIQUE. he deserves a chance atleast in the test team, even in the presence of inzi and the 2Ys.

  • Imran Quraishi on December 12, 2006, 21:20 GMT

    I thought about it a lot and came to the conclusion that Butt and Hafeez should open for Pakistan and Abdul Razzaq should come one down as he can build the innings as he did in the world cup.Then Yasir,Malik,Kamal,Akmal,Afridi and so on.I think this will be the best batting line up. Ofcourse there is no justification in the selection of Faisal Iqbal as his technique is flawed just like Imran Farhat. Both these two don't deserve a place in our team.

  • asam on December 12, 2006, 21:06 GMT

    could sum1 on dis blog tell me about hasan raza ive heard so much about his potential so why dont he play

  • Muhammad Ajmal on December 12, 2006, 20:57 GMT

    Many people opines differently about Afridi, but mostly people want him to contribute with the bat. We must not forget he started as bowling allrounder but after some blazing inninigs, everybody expects now that he should produce more with the bat. He is doing more than enough with the ball. He is probably the best fielder, having a handy throwing arm and even threatens runners from his boundary throws. If chips in with some fine innings, that should be taken as bonus. Abdul Razzaq is an automatic choice every time but how many he produces runs with the bat, off course occasionaly, so then why we expect Afridi to produce every time with the bat.

  • Saud on December 12, 2006, 20:41 GMT

    This match -whatever- looking forward to S.A and World Cup. Hameed,Kamal, Afridi (unless you want to kick him out until after W.C since he is not gonig to do well in S.A also) or Faisal. Dont Forget these opners will prove nothing when faced with good attack bring slaman back also.

  • Nadeem on December 12, 2006, 20:35 GMT

    I think Afridi is a better choice, keeping world cup in mind. He showed good result when he visit WI last time. If he plays couple of one days before he goes to SA, then he will be alright otherwsie it will be tough on him to perform in SA. He can win you couple of matches on his own in world cup, as he was doing OK in bowling even last year. The problem would be too much all rounders. Malik, Razaq and Afridi. If neither Afridi nor Malik goes as an opner in world cup then there is place for two out of above three. Because you need three specialist bowlers with 3 batsman (Khan, Youaf and Inzi) and two opners. With Hafeez can bowl.

  • Suhail Choudhry on December 12, 2006, 20:26 GMT

    Yor are absolutely right about the Big Three(Inzi, Youni, and the Run Machine) if they are out, it will certainly show what pakistan cricket can do in the near future. After all they are going old and soon will leave, then who we depend on. I would say to make Shoaib Malik the captain because he is really a muture person and will be a good captain. Ofcourse bring afridi back, because he is dynomite in subcontinent pitches, it was wrong to play him in South Africa, as we saw in England. Will be really interesting to see how it goes in the 4th ODI.

  • Omer Y. Omer on December 12, 2006, 20:23 GMT

    Why are most Pakistani batsmen gettin caught behind the wicket? This crtical problem should be addressed by the Pakistani cricket authorities and coach as rightly pointed out by comments from Daniyal. It is sickening to see them do so all the time in ODIs and test matches.

  • SAMI SYED FROM TORONTO on December 12, 2006, 20:12 GMT

    Salaam Alikum,

    Hello once again, and Afridi is back in the middle. As far as the middle order is concerned I believe this will go to show how good our depth is without our premier players. If these young guys have the guts to take the pressure. Although there is not much pressure in this game, but they should be motivated to perform without the big guns.

    I think out of the two ODIs played so far, I think this will be the highest scoring affair. I think the boys will come good and I wish them all the luck.

    Afridi is a must for the WORLD CUP! He has to be in the line up for those who oppose him.

    Lastly KAMRAN bhai, first you wrote blog about how Afridi should be in the WC plans and now you write this blog that he shouldn't be based on 1 domestic good performance. I don't get it.

    Anyway KUDDOS!

    Sami

  • Azad Ahmad on December 12, 2006, 20:09 GMT

    How can Faisal Iqbal can be part of any ODI side. And What is Hafeez doing in the side?Is he in the side as a bowler or batsman or nothing of these. If he is playing as a bowler then why is he opening the batting ?and why they are still playing 4 specialist bowlers . They are playing one bowler too many then and can easily play one more batsman in the side and if he is in the side as a batsman then he is just not good enough realy because of his absolutely abysmel record as a batsman alone.Looks like they r playing him just as a bits and pieces cricketer.Looks like They just do,nt give enough thoughts to their selection Progress.

  • Saad on December 12, 2006, 20:06 GMT

    What i absolutely fail to understand is the fact then whenever the Pakistan batting order is in dire straits (which often happens to be the case :S )we revert to faces that have been tried out a million times without any encouraging results. I am referring to the likes of faisal iqbal, misbah-ul-haq, yasir hammed, hassan raza and (the newest entry to this list) Mr UNDEPENDABLE shahid afridi.Whats the point of giving these guyz one chance after an another, inspite of their persistant failures. And since there is a high probability that they would fail to perform on constant basis once again, then we might as well give a chance to some fresh faces from within our domestic (believe me the odds of failure are approximately the same...if not less) and you never know that one of those new comers might have the nerves, the guts and the talent to perform at the international level. I would agree with some of the posts here that our bowling line up is doing a pretty good job so we should not shuffle it around too much. Okay its not spectacular with people bowling at 100 mph, or getting exaggerated off the seam or in the air movements or turning it a mile on flacid tracks. BUT! its effective... and that is what matters the most. As pakistani's we love spectacular acts and this passion of ours often leads us to undermine the importance of teamwork. I would definately prefer players who win matches for Pakistan through their ability to integrate as a part of the team rather than players who would score a century in less than 60 balls ..ONCE EVERY 3 YEARS..and thats about it.

  • Shariful khan on December 12, 2006, 20:04 GMT

    I am not from Pakistan but I am one of the biggest fan of Pakistan Cricket Team. I know it sounds crazy but I suuport Pakistan Team even they are playing against my country.

    I would like to take this oppertunity and tell Afridi that this probabaly his last chance to prove him self and prove that his the number one six hitter. He just needs to put more effort and think/judge a ball before hitting it. We know players like him are born once in na blue moon. I also thik Pakistan team should reconside calling back Slaman Butt and Sami to the team. And the best player fit for captaincy is Afridi.

  • Syed Naumanuddin Hassan on December 12, 2006, 19:56 GMT

    People talk about Malik, Iqbal, Afridi and Hameed. But I really don't understand what is keeping Asim Kamal out of the picture! Asim Kamal his more mentally strong and technically sound than any of the above four. His past record at international level speaks volume. Faisal Iqbal selection is a shocker! That's all what I can say.

  • Tonoy Owali on December 12, 2006, 19:55 GMT

    I think it is a great oppertunity for Afridi to prove himself. He is a great player and played very fine innings for Pakistan cricket team. As far as captincy is concerned I think kamran Akmal, Afridi, Mailk and Razzaq are the competetor. Pakistan team should give this postion to young star, like the SA Smith. And for Pakistan it should be Malik.

  • Adeel on December 12, 2006, 19:55 GMT

    Hello all, I dont understand why ppl keep on mentioning the name of players who have performed in few matchs and after that lost their touch, i m refering to Asim Kamal, he performed in few matches and since then he is not even able to score in first class matchs. His average was 12 in this first class season before he scored 81 and after that again he has score din single figure and he is not that young either to groom and if you want to bring old names for sake of name then Muhammad wasim and imran nazir are much better players than Asim Kamal. But if believe we shd have given chance to youngesters like Fawad Alam-- He is young left handed batsman and he has scored alot in this first class season and I think we shd get rid of Imran Farhat and bring Salman Butt or Imran Nazir . I believe we can play Shahid Afridi in place of Rao Ifthikar but not as Geniune Batsman. As far as captancy is concern I guess we need captain for one or 2 games and it should go to most senior player and that is Razzaq but once we need long term vice captain for Younis khan/Yousaf when inzamam retires then we shd consider Muhammad Hafeez or Shoaib Malik as i think both are intellegent cricketers

  • Azeem on December 12, 2006, 19:50 GMT

    The biggest problem of yasir hameed is his sheer incapability to handle spin----you just cannot have a player coming at no-3 with no real technique to handle spin

  • Faraz Ishaq on December 12, 2006, 19:47 GMT

    Few adys ago there was a question on this same forum about afridi's come back and 90% of the writers were opposing it and today after he hit a century everyone is supporting afridi... that day i said he is stuborn and he will be back and so he..its a real test for afridi,razzaq,shoaib malik and faisal iqbal too. I think they should get rid off rao because there are two fast and one medium pacer are in the line up and performing well. and four spinners will do it for west indies. I think the side should be Hafiz,Farhat,kamran akmal,afridi(by the time he arrives, ball will be old and medium pacers will be bowling and if fortunately spinners aer bowling then we can see the fireworks in multan for sure) Faisal Iqbal, shoaib malik, razzaq, rehman, rana and gul. Good Luck Pak, this is the real thing...If any one want to taste the life after inzi and yousuf, tomorrow is the day.. And if we beat West Indies then just imagine, without shoaib,asif,inzi,yousuf,younis and shabbir, pakistan is able to beat a reasonable team who played two finals in last two multi national tournaments beating australia, england, india and several others...

  • Shahid on December 12, 2006, 19:39 GMT

    can everyone stop complaining like little girls about the inclusion of afridi...i mean come one everyone here is a grown up and more mature than how they are acting. Give the guy a chance...on how many occasions has he helped the team if not for his batting, just look at his bowling records. he is the best odi spin bowler we have got...people might disagree but just two games dont explain whole career(rehman). just give him a chance and we aint gonna be better without him anyways...

  • hamid on December 12, 2006, 19:19 GMT

    yeha ive read all the commit ive think we should play afridi all the times because of his bowling and he bring a lot of relieve to cricket

  • Khan on December 12, 2006, 19:06 GMT

    On paper without the 3 titans, the team is still awesome looking! Why, you ask? In ODI's, match winning All-rounders are like gold-dust, and Pakistan have a handful of them all in one team! Specialist are vital for the Test arena and perhaps for the top 3 positions in ODI, but with the 3 power play rules probably big-hitters might be more desirable if tactics pay-off. Take the scenario where we have now 4 quality all-rounders in Hafeez, Afridi, Malik, Razzaq. Here Yasir Hameed should get a chance for that vital 3 spot after Hafeez and Fahrat, followed by Malik, then Akmal, Afridi, Razzaq, Rana, Sami, Gul, Rehman should make up the bowling contingent. Yes, I have choosen Sami, as it is time also to test out pace and his temperment. I hope they gel together and not get bogged by petty jealousy. Afridi would make a great attacking captain and he is very vocal unlike his other team-mates..let see

  • CS on December 12, 2006, 18:54 GMT

    I think this would be a good test for our players like afridi, malik, razzaq. i wouldnt say they are inexperienced but yes they are inconsistent. thye have got to prove a point here that in absence of their seniors. they can lead the team with dignity. good luck

  • RSN on December 12, 2006, 18:47 GMT

    This might even be an oppurtunity to try some new blood considering Iqbal and Hameed have been floating in and and out the team with inconsistant performances. Shahid Yousujf has had an admirable record recently and seems solid in the middle. Bazid Khan has yet to be given a real run in matches of worth.

    I'll be quite disconcerted if Razzaq is our national team captain. Let alone leadership abilities, Razzaq poccesses few cricketing abilities (my kid sister would be a more threatening bowler, and his batting reminds me of this guy i used to play tape-ball with. He was awful). I don't mind Afridi so much, simply because he has a bit of an imagination and can be inspirational in the field. His batting might even come around given the burden of leadership. He's also better looking than Razzaq.

    This is a good time to experiment (in fact while we're at it, give Sami a bowl) as West Indies, lets face it, aren't the most difficult opponents in the world and this one-day series doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things.

  • Omar Ansari on December 12, 2006, 18:47 GMT

    An ideal opportunity for Yasir Hameed to strike his magic into the hearts of the selector, I have no doubt he will perform, he has been the most unlucky player after Asim Kamal in the Pakistani team, despite his brilliant performances he has more often than not been over looked for less talented players like Faisal Iqbal and Mohamed Hafeez. When I look at Yasir Hameed, I see the future of the pakistani middle order, the selectors should see that too...

  • NEW YORK CRICKETER on December 12, 2006, 18:45 GMT

    Razzaq will make a great captain

  • Naser Khan on December 12, 2006, 18:41 GMT

    I belive Shahid Afridi is one of most dominating player alive on this planet, I storngly belive that Class bowlers like Mgrath, Warne, Lee, Bond, Vass, Murali, Irfan, Harbajan, Nitin and Pollock's worst nightmare is Afridi ask them you will have an answer for his potential and dominence in cricketing Era. Give Afridi captaincy he would at his best for rest of his cricketing career....

    The only player who can bring World Cup that him only him

  • Imran Mian on December 12, 2006, 18:23 GMT

    I can't for the life of me, understand why Shoaib Malik was dropped from batting one down the order. He has done well and I think we should have kept him slotted for #3. Kamran Akmal doesn't cut it as an opener or #3.

    I think Salman Butt needs to be recalled in place of Faisal Javed. We can try him in the middle order, if not as a opening specialist. Imran Farhat has just been getting lucky with his bat but he is a terrible fielder.. I think he drops a catch in every match.

    If Afridi ends up throwing his wicket away again in this game, then he should be dropped from the team! I think most of us will agree that he is a dangerous operator and can devastate any opposition. We can be patient with him because everyone goes through the rough patches in their career. It is, however, the manner in which he gives his wicket away that is unacceptable.

    Imran

  • Atul Bhogle on December 12, 2006, 18:20 GMT

    I should think Kamran Akmal is the best choice for captaincy in the event of the big three not being available for Pakistan. Most importantly, his place in the side is more secure compared to any of Razzaq, Shoaib Malik or Afridi and he also seems more level headed than most of his collegues. May just be the time to give more responsibility to a young and talented cricketer.

  • saad zuberi chicago ,il on December 12, 2006, 18:15 GMT

    hmmm, well well lot of afridi hater's, I never expected that afridi would have so much ppl hating on him.Well I agree with all of the comment about Mr Afridi but its not really him that dont perform, its us the public who expects the same from him time over time may be all the time which we can tell by him comming to bat and you hear the roar he gets and ppl waiting for him to start hitting sixes ,What am i trying to say? yes to much pressure on the golden player he needs to let go a little bit alot of expectation is not always as good.So ppl do support him may be he will get some sense in him this time. THANKS SZ

  • Gary Niblock on December 12, 2006, 18:11 GMT

    What a surprise! They had a golden chance to send a message to every aspiring cricketer in Pakistan that they wont pick people who dont give a toss about the team and who dont put a high price on their wicket. I guess it was too good to be true that Afridi would come back. And chamcha iqbal also earns a recall on the basis of Geraint Jonesesque under performance. My personal choice would be Asim Kamal - he can score at a decent SR if needs be and is a cool head plus a left hander and good fielder as well. Mind you, would someone care to explain to me what Bazid Khan did wrong?

  • SHEEJE on December 12, 2006, 17:54 GMT

    Well what to say and what not to say, many of you have commented well but the final decision would be of Mr BARI.... but if any one ask me to select i will first throw out Imran Farhat of team, the way he played at Lahore.. poor crciket. you can call him Muhala Cricker and next would be Afridi.. the man who cant learn cricket after 200 ODIs, never deserve place in Pakistan Cricket. I would always prefer Salman Butt over any other opener, bcz he is the best in current opener line up. Asim Kamal is the best choice in the middle order no doubt abt it but he is basically a test player. Players like Bazid Khan and Hasan Raza needs to be there in ODI squad as Middle Order Batsman. Captaincyyyyyyyyyyy, lot of names rumoring but none thought of Kamran Akmal, but my preference would be Shoib Malik because he seems to take presure on him rather than transfering it to other fellows and this is what captaion all about, take the pressure and take out the team out of it.

    Thanks Sheeje Islamabad

  • Minhaj Ahmad on December 12, 2006, 17:32 GMT

    I cannot recall a single game during the past few years that Pakistan played without all three of the batting giants.I am glad that Afridi has been called back. Well I believe he should not have been dropped in the first place. His bowling alone grants him a place in the 50 over from of the game. Though I have serious reservations over the selection of Faisal Iqbal. I personally believe, this was an ideal time for Shahid Yousuf to make his international debut. For me, he is the part of the bigger scheme of things. A perfect heir for the legacy called "Inzamam-ul-Haq". He is the answer for a genuine middle order batsman

  • sharoz on December 12, 2006, 17:32 GMT

    i guess giving iqbal a chance isnt a bad thing.He's one for the future but asim kamal seriously deserves a callup as for afrid i can bet he will perform but we got to ask ourselves?who can't peform on these tracks!? he will struggle when he goes to south africa and the windies.as for the captaincy issue afridi doesnt deserve the captaincy and that is clearly shown by his batting and bowling stats.Razaak isnt a bad choice since their's no one else as for malik he is just too young and still needs to concentrate on his game sharoz dubai

  • Faisal Sid on December 12, 2006, 17:32 GMT

    Afridi, Afridi, Afridi! For all of his fans, can you guys name the last intelligent match played by this so called genius? I dont recall one purposeful innings, one purposeful spell? For a very long time he has simply been out of form! I dont think its out of form, I think the world has pretty much solved his puzzle - watching film. He should be dropped period and PCB should move on groom 'virgin' talent. Comparing Dhoni, Pieterson, Flintoff to Afridi is simply an insult to intelligence. I dont remeber Afridi ever being rated - EVER! But these other people are rated and deserve their spots in the limelight. PCB continues to make ammaturish mistakes....

  • Danish Jawaid on December 12, 2006, 17:23 GMT

    With the South African tour coming up I think the batting is a serious concern.I feel that a solid and defensive batsmen like a Wajahatullah Wasti should be given a chance and on that tour Pakistan should adopt the policy used successfully in the 1999 world cup i.e. defending and conserving wickets up front and then attacking at the end. If things continue as they are right now with 'flashy' and incompetent players like Imran Farhat opening the batting the chances of Pakistan on the South African tour look gloomy.

  • Tahir Saleem on December 12, 2006, 17:17 GMT

    Awais...did you start getting distracted whilst writing your post?

  • taimoor on December 12, 2006, 17:15 GMT

    BOb woolmer is destroying the future of pakistan cricket.Look at Salman Butt, why shoib Mailik gets so many chances than Salman butt. I think woolmer tactics are short-term. I also fail to uderstand the logics behind selection of the team by Wasim Bari. Wasim bari and his team of foolish selectors dont think about the future of pakistan cricket. Salman Butt is a class player, but he is wasted despite a 100 against WestIndies in tour match. Can some body tell me Why Younes with Avarage of nearly 30 and only on hundred(against non-test playing Country) is still there in the One day side .Why, why and why cause Imran Khan thinks he should be in?....

  • Shahurukh on December 12, 2006, 17:14 GMT

    Well I don't think Shoaib Malik is in the team as an all rounder, he is in team as amiddle order batsman who can bowl too. After Shoaib has been called for illegal action (while bowling "doosra"), team management doesn't use him a lot as a bowler any more. And because he doesn't use doosra, he is not very effective any way.

  • Amyn Habib on December 12, 2006, 17:07 GMT

    Pakistan is unlikely to do well in the World Cup because the batting is weak. This seems to be difficult for some people to grasp. I completely agree with you that Yasir Hameed deserves a good extended opportunity. Of all the contenders, he has the best record and the potential to be a permanent batsman in the team. Once the regular players are back though, it is the top order God help us, where all the virgins (and one spinster) are clustered.

  • Yasir on December 12, 2006, 17:05 GMT

    I am very positive about the chances of pakistan winning the game with the team they will go with. In the light of the current events(SHOAIB AND ASIF Ban turned over) every player has to perform in order to stay in the playing XI and given the opportunity the young guns need to sieze it. GO PAK

  • Faruque on December 12, 2006, 16:57 GMT

    Captaincy is too important an issue in cricket as it makes a big difference in team performance. One has to be extremely careful and far-sighted to select the captain. Strength of character and temperament, not individual performance, should be the main criteria. Razzak is a laid-back lazy guy, so is Shoeb Malik to some extent. Hafeez fits the bill best to my opinion. Afridi also can bring out his best in him if given the captaincy, I believe. Regarding Afridi's position in the team, ones mind should be clear. He has won quite a few games for Pakistan single handed, although he has frustrated the team on more occations than that. When you play him, just prepare to absorb any kind of scenario. If you don't want to risk anything, don't play him, period. I've no doubt about his sheer talent.

  • Shahbaz Faheem on December 12, 2006, 16:50 GMT

    Kamran the headline "Virgin Middle-Order" isn't appropriate. All three backup players have been tried umpteenth time & failed.

    However, the trio's absence is a blessing in disguise. We would now have a good chance to measure the batting in the absence of big-three, let's see how they will perform. I think Shoaib Malik should captain the team and Yasir Hameed for Younis, Afridi for Yousuf, and Faisal Iqbal for Inzamam should play, though, I dont think Iqbal is a one-day player instead Hasan Raza/Bazid Khann/Shahid Yousuf would have been an ideal choice. Bowlers should not be altered with. They are doing great job. But I still feel PCB is not having a proper plan for WC-06, otherwise Faisal Iqbal wouldn't be playing.

  • Faiz Khilji on December 12, 2006, 16:45 GMT

    I dont know why most of us are thinking of Abdul Razzak as if he is a spent force. Mind it this is not a test match! This is an ODI and Abdul Razzak is the best all rounder at present. He takes wickets at the right time and also scores runs with 100+ strike rate and sometimes even 175+ strike rate and that also when needed most. On the other hand Faisal is not an ODI stuff. Yaser should be in the final Eleven along with Afridi. Mind it Afridi is always in the World Cup thinking and with his experience on South African wickets, he will be a real contributor during the SA tour.

  • Chacha Koora Kircut on December 12, 2006, 16:32 GMT

    Well said@ Daniyal. Afridi has to be one of the most tried tested but not dumped cricketers in history, along with Sami.

    Whereas, gutsy players like Asim Kamal and Taufeeq Umer get one chance in about 3 years, failure in a one off chance results in them being isolated for another couple of years.

    The truth is that Asim Kamal and Taufeeq Umer do not have the political backing that the useless duo of Sami and Afridi have.

    They have their chums or backers sitting in Qadaffi Stadium's leather seats.

  • nasir on December 12, 2006, 16:27 GMT

    Pakistan have failed to cultivate a crop of batsmen to take over from Inzi and Yousuf. We have not provided a world class batsman in the last decade. In fact we do not even have a decent dependable opener. The middle order will have a huge hole in it once Inzi decides to leave.

    Pakistan cannot rely on Farhat, Razzaq, Malik or Afridi for cover since they are bits and pieces cricketers only and cannot really take responsiblity for carrying a team's batting something Yousuf and Inzi have done for the ebst part of th decade.

  • shahid afridi on December 12, 2006, 16:26 GMT

    for the love of god. would the lot of you agree to have me selected if your entire "first" xi was injured? how about your "first" cxi?

  • Sarfraz Soomro on December 12, 2006, 16:22 GMT

    for those who are against afridi, they actually love afridi to be very honest they just try to hide their frustration when afridi does not perform. I am sure they will be the first to celebrate every single six of afridi tomorrow. I hope afridi will play the innings of his life tomorrow. Wish you all the best AFRIDI. You just keep on playing your natural game and do not listen to everyone. Good Luck for tomorrow.

  • sarfraz on December 12, 2006, 16:16 GMT

    Kamran I think pakistan must announce its 15 man squad now and ply yhem regularly so that everyone should be sure of his place in the team and that will enhance confidence of the players and everyone knows when pakis play without pressure they simply becaome unstoppable. Shahid afridi msut be included in the scheme of things for world cup. Players like afridi, dhoni, shoaib akhtar, Asif, ponting and others are real crowd pullers for cricket lovers around the globe.

  • Shahriar Hoque on December 12, 2006, 16:06 GMT

    PAK team selection should be based on: 1.Player's form 2.Pitch 3.Opposition

    WI is not AUST or SA, plus they are missing key players, therefore PAK starts the match as favourites. In such a setting I feel giving AFRIDI a go is a good thing. Agree that last 12 months was dismal for him, however, don't forget the previous 12 months or so. Afridi in his decent form is valuable in ODI cricket. He needs to tick in the WC. Plus he is more than your average make shift bowler. Playing Afridi is always a risk that sometimes can be afforded and can be worth taking. In the absence the 3 big middle order, Malik, Razzak, Iqbal can't just blast along as they need to hold the fort, so Afridi's inclusion makes sense. Asim Kamal should be played instead of IQBAL. I am very sure that the paying eleven will be: Hafeez, Farhat, Akmal, Malik, Iqbal, Razzak, Afridi, Rana, Rehman, Gul, Rao.

  • anees on December 12, 2006, 15:38 GMT

    pakistan cannot go into the match with 7 batsmen approach sure with the big 3 around you can risk it but not with this team

  • Ibrahim Moiz on December 12, 2006, 15:32 GMT

    I think it's a good idea to have Abdul Razzaq captain tomorrow's match. He is an experienced cricketer who always keeps his head. He has remained rather low-key during all his years' in the team, but tomorrow we might see what the future holds after Inzamam's captaincy. It's not a very important match, and I think the under-used Yasir Hameed should replace Farhat, who showed everyone at Lahore his atrocious technique and his huge supply of good luck, as compared to the sound-headed Hafeez who stll manages to get out cheaply. If Farhat is in the team, it should be as a shut-eyed slogger because he really isn't anything else. In any case Inzamam should probably rest tomorrow.

  • Euceph Ahmed on December 12, 2006, 15:27 GMT

    I would've so preferred a farewell tribute to Brian Lara instead of this trivial debate. After all, one of the all-time greats is in the country for the last time in his playing career. Kamran, please....

  • Salman on December 12, 2006, 15:24 GMT

    Why Shahid Nazir is not getting chance for One Dayers. He is more of a one day bowler than a Test Match. He is ideal for One days as hes really good in Line and Length. He should be preferred over Rao Iftikhar.

    Secondly, Shoiab Malik would be a better option as a captain instead of Abdur Razzaq as Malik has very good temperament and he has an experience of Captaining Sialkot.

    Finall, Best of luck to Pakistan for Multan game. Match is ON!!!

  • rizwan on December 12, 2006, 15:19 GMT

    i think afridi is not good player end faisal iqbal mohamman yousuf and rana it's best !!

  • Ali on December 12, 2006, 15:11 GMT

    I would have liked to see Shoaib Malik as the captain. I think he has what it need to be a leader after big I. He has a very sound temprament an is calm when in crisis. You cant bet you Younis or yOusuf for captaincey because they are not getting any Younger.

  • Momin on December 12, 2006, 15:10 GMT

    I just hope that Yasir Hameed makes the team. In case Wasim Bari has forgotten, Yasir is not an opener but was transformed into one. Thus, he should come into the team for Inzamam. But another thing which rattles my mind is how can the selectors persist with Shoaib Malik. The guy did nothing of note in the one-dayers in England and the way he got out at Faisalabad was a disgrace. Team man he might be, but ability is what seems more important. And if I also recall correctly, a boy named Bazid Khan scored 50 odd in the last one day match for Pakistan against, ironically, West Indies a year and a half ago. Where is he? Talk of selection policies and none would seem more stupid then Mr. Bari's!

  • Mani on December 12, 2006, 15:04 GMT

    In all of the discussions above..and all the players that are coming in and out of the team (Afridi, Butt, Iqbal, Kamal, Yasir, Sami etc..) we are all forgetting that we need 15 or 16 players to get lots of match practice and build team chemistry ahead of the WORLD CUP. We can't have players get chances for a match or two. The players that these so called 'selectors' are picking need to be put in for a whole series or two before the CUP

  • Awais on December 12, 2006, 14:51 GMT

    I wanted Raza given a chance. I don't mind Afridi in the one day set up as he provided good bowling option untikl recently was the best odi bowler for PAak under Woolmer and tahst over 3 years! Asim Kamal get a grip, ppl please???!!

  • QUTBUDDIN HAIDERY on December 12, 2006, 14:40 GMT

    It is probably a god gifted opportunity to check the team without the DEPENDABLES. To avoid a delimna like India is in now, when the big names stop performing, we shud keep infusing new blood in the team, who would surely get considerable experience playing alongwith seniors for a while. Shahid Afridi owe his fans a big (or at least a sensible) innings, now that he could easily be counted among the seniors. Abdul Razzak can show a glimpse of intelligence, where we may peep into a captain in coming years and being a genuine all rounder he can prove to be a worthy successor to Inzi and Yunus. On the other hand west indies now has a chance to turn the table on the opponents and at least try to draw the series to go back home with heads high. All the best to Pakistan with their 'virgin middle order' (really an interesting phrase).

  • Salman on December 12, 2006, 14:37 GMT

    I am beginning to feel that its time for Imran Farhat to leave as well as he faulters too much at the top. His technique and shot selections are more to be desired. The question is who should replace him as him being the only top order left handed batsman in the side. Yasir Hameed is a good selection yet again he is right handed and he too has tendency to throw it away after a good start. Salman Butt has had his chance but has been disappointing. I dont agree with danial to include him as there are already 3 openers in the side.

    Afridi is a good inclusion but he should not be played as an opener. Its time for Abdur Razzaq to step down as most of the time he lacks the vigil to play which is the most important in competitive cricket across the globe. He in my point of view has become too lazy to be a bowler let alone a captain. Shoaib is a youngster himself and has a loose temper so prospects of him being a good captain are out of the question. Rana could step in to be a stand off Captain in my view.

    Surely this is a test without the three main elements in the team yet again if we are to become a force in international cricket we have to be fast adapting and quick to come with answers. So hopefully with just this match the series will be sealed.

  • Mustafa on December 12, 2006, 14:29 GMT

    Afridi does not deserve a place in the pakistani team any more. He has no job in pakistan team other than to put the team under pressure by getting out on the second ball after a boundry. we are talking about pakistan 11 not gali 11.

  • Usamah Khan on December 12, 2006, 14:29 GMT

    Afridi needs to come back just for the heck of it. Pakistan can afford a loss too as part of the risk. Inzamam should rest regardless to see how the young gun Pakistan will make out with the likes of Malik, Razzaq, Farhat, Hafeez, and def Afridi being the senior player (funny isnt it). Think about the poor West Indian team touring so far and for so long, guys should get a chance to get their confidence up, they haven't won a single game in the Test and ODI series yet.

  • khurram on December 12, 2006, 14:04 GMT

    I wonder why everyone is cursing the all rounders and want the specialists to replace them. I seriously believe we should be thankful that we have such blessed talent and so many all rounders coming up. ask teams like india and england who never had genuine all rounders for such a long time and players like ganguly and agarker served as all rounders who are nowhere to be compared to genuine talents like razaq, malik, hafeez, arafat and rehman. we do have specialists who will come back for future matches lets leave them for some fun with responsibility and see how it goes. it will be good eventually.

  • Mohammed on December 12, 2006, 13:40 GMT

    I ask you guys the question, if Afridi has not matured in over 10 years of cricket, then how can he become mature in the space of 2 weeks, I hope he has, i really do, because Pakistan would become lethal, but somehow Afridi still hasn't matured and he is well over 25 now.

    How sad that a grown man like Afridi cannot play responsibly regularly, we've all seen how he can swing the bat with gay abandon to good effect, we need him to do that over a period of ideally 100 balls but definately not the 5 balls he usually does it for.

  • Abbas Ali on December 12, 2006, 13:30 GMT

    Afridi has been given ample chances, but what about Salman Butt and Asim Kamal? They have been consistently performing in the national curcuit and they deserve a place in this 'virgin middle order'. In the absence of Shoaib n Asif, our bowlers are doing pretty good, but i fear inclusion of the two discarded members might result in axing of couple of names from the team. Rana for captain! anyone?

  • Sufyan on December 12, 2006, 13:25 GMT

    Interesting situation indeed, i think Shoaib Malik should b handed over the captaincy arm band as a future preprations because he's indeed mature cricketer far better then of Razzaq, about the selection i just cannot understand the point of keeping Shahid Yousuf on the tour of England and then to champions trophy if that promising cricket should not be handed in a chance in situations like this. Team Pakistan's selectors should now realise they are just bunch of fools who are highly uncapable of chairs they are sitting in...

  • Shoaib Afridi on December 12, 2006, 13:19 GMT

    I know Afridi is a tricky choice but when he is in form then we just simply can't lose a match. I personally favor Shahid Afridi because of the way he plays and he is the only one in team who keeps you on the edge of your seat. If he starts playing the way everybody wants him to then I will not be looking forward to him. Also Shahid’s fielding and enthusiasm on the field is a bonus as we are not one of the best fielding sides.

    In the middle order I would want Asim Kamal or Yasir Hameed to play. I wouldn’t bring back Salman Butt for no 3 as this will put undue pressure on our openers who are performing reasonably well though they need to work on their shot selection. Shoaib Afridi

  • Irfan on December 12, 2006, 13:17 GMT

    I agree with one comment that just one week of good performance cannot be a reason for a players inclusion, Afridi does not deserve a place in the team, Asim Kamal must be included, We need players whom we can depend on and Afridi is anything but that. Yasir Hameed will be good in number 3 slot, or shoaib malik can come up the order.

  • Hashaam Raja on December 12, 2006, 13:14 GMT

    Thank go. AFRIDI is Back i hope for his sake he makes big hundred. He has the ability to send his critics into a shell. Shoaib Malik to be Captain.

    I 'd put hafeez at5 because most of the times he has [layed there he has made good scores (40+), and he hasn't been opening very well lately. Afridi to open. Cum onn Afridi Prove to your critics that you are better than dhoni peiterson and the rest of the wannabe afridi's.

  • Naeem on December 12, 2006, 13:06 GMT

    I would definatly like to see Faisal at No. 4 malik at No. 3 and Asim kamal at No. 5 Afridi at 6. Akmal at 7 Razzaq at 8. I think that would be teh best combination but unfortunatly our team selectors cant see further enough to Asim Kamal who is a sound batsman when it comes to technique. And i dont see any reason why we can not win this ODI without our Super y's and the man of Crisis Inzi. And yes I think afridi if given responsability can perform better. So why not make him the captain. Best of luck to Pakistan

  • safwan on December 12, 2006, 13:05 GMT

    Tomorrow's match will be a real test for this young team....anyway they had to get ready for this situation....we cannot forget the fact the inzimam is 36 allready, yousuf is 32 and younus is not getting younger either....therefore its a matter of few years before the batting really comes down to blokes like faisal iqbal, yasir hameed and hasan raza....why not try and expose them now to, rather then having a real brittle batting order when the giants retire....i also beleive that afridi has to really mature now....most pakistanis now are really tired of seeing such a talented batsman wasting his wicket at crucial times.....hes the best hitter in the modern day game but i hope he develops some common sense for the crucial occassions too! Pakistan zindabad.

  • Asad Anwar on December 12, 2006, 12:55 GMT

    I think vulnerability of our batting line up will be fully tested. Thanks God, this is not Australia or South Africa we are up against.

    As far as the Afridi dilemma is concerned, I think he should be played as a bowling all-rounder, not as a batting all-rounder.

  • danish on December 12, 2006, 12:51 GMT

    im amazed to see there are soo many fools who support the master fool(aFRIDI) u guys...dont call ur self cricket fans.... u dont understand cricket

  • usman on December 12, 2006, 12:46 GMT

    why is everyone here against shahid afridi? he is a much better player than the other allrounders pakistan have....and he has experience of over 200 games...he needs to be in the team because if we'r all being honest he will play in the world cup so i dnt see the point in keeping him out. malik should be at four because he has the best temprament, fasial at five & afridi at six. kamran should stay as number 3.

  • Imran Mohammed on December 12, 2006, 12:46 GMT

    I dont think Afridi is such a bad guy to have: if he doesnt fire with the bat, he chips in with some wickets plus he is a sharp fielder. Yasir Hameed would be a good choice, hopefully Faisal Iqbal can hit form also. Razzaq isnt one to panic in a crisis so I think hes a decent leader, lets hope the young guys can seal this series and continue some good performances of late.

  • Markony on December 12, 2006, 12:42 GMT

    I think Razzaq does not posess any leadership qualities.Even though Hafeez has just recently become a regular member of the squad, he seems to be an intelligent cricketer. He has grit and reminds me of Steve Waugh. I think he should be groomed for the captaincy for the future after Younis.

  • hamza khan from pakistan on December 12, 2006, 12:40 GMT

    PFFFFFT! pakistan will win this easily. afridi always does well when there is no pressure on him or the team. i think the selectors are perfect in choosin shahid. im 15 btw

  • Salman Javed on December 12, 2006, 12:36 GMT

    I have never thought in recent times a team without the Big I and 2 Y's. But as thing have turned around we have to admit the fact that one day they won’t be there for us...

    As far as captain is concern Razzaq looks too much causal for the post. He is busy nursing his hairs these days. That why most often he is unable to field the ball properly.

    Mailk is also not ready for the big post as yet. Yes, if Afridi can justify his place in the Pakistani Team than he can become a good captain.

    I like his fiery attitude on the field. But for all this he has to justify himself but he is far better than Rao. Bowler like Rao you will find everywhere is Pakistan. Come on this is Pakistani Cricket team we need 11 special players…

    It is also a time to test a new keeper Akmal has been disappointing with everything since last year.

    I think players like Asim Kamal, Salman Butt, M. Sami, Yasir Hameed & couple more guys needs a recall before the World Cup.

  • Tahir Mukhtar on December 12, 2006, 12:33 GMT

    Asim Kamal should have been the pick instead of Faisal Iqbal. I agree that this middle order is the best Pakistan could have. Afridi is done and dusted as far as internatioal cricket is concerned let him play domestic cricket for the rest of his life. Rehman is a real new star but he does need to work on his action while delivering the ball. Both Hafeez and Farhat need to work hard on their technique to play on bouncy and seaming picthes. I am impressed with Umer Gul speed, Naveed is bowling on better lines now and Rao bowled well as well.

  • haider on December 12, 2006, 12:31 GMT

    I think it will be nice to see Afridai back in Pak team, in modern cricket people love to see such kind of player, he is the best Pak filder, verygood baller, also in his day best batsman too thanks for the selector for bringing Afridi back to the team

    Haider

  • Raheel Hashmi on December 12, 2006, 12:28 GMT

    Pakistan would definitely miss atleast one experienced batsman who could play as a soothing factor amongst firebrands like Farhat, Afridi and Razzaq. I would like to see Hafeez and Malik to play responsible innings as they are fully capable of that. Faisal Iqbal can also join that list as he showed few glimpses in Test matches. It is a good chance for Pakistan to test the abilities of their so called less experienced players. Rgds Raheel Saudi Arabia

  • Jibran on December 12, 2006, 12:13 GMT

    It will amazingly good temperament to pull off a win here, the fragile minds of our players may not be up to it but their techniques and skills are unquestionable. For captaincy issues I would have gone for Afridi but Razzaq would get the nod, the Shoaib Malik is captain material but he is too young for the job. Afridi has been succesfully leading Habib bank, so why not? some responsibility may even bring out the best in him. It is a chance but it is worth taking. However, all said and done Razzaq will most likely get it.

  • Arslan on December 12, 2006, 12:02 GMT

    I think Hameed should come in at number 4, and Shoaib Malik at number 3, that is where he has really produced some great innings' in tha past! Faisal at 5 and Afridi at 6.

    I know Afridi isn't a wise choice, but i do like him as a bowler and some times i gets the adrenalin going....

  • Rehan Qureshi on December 12, 2006, 11:56 GMT

    The 4th ODI is definately going to be an interesting one. Pakistan's score card usually contains big contributions from atleast one of the three giants that we will miss in the next game. I hope that the team will be able to prove that they can do well without the trio. Although I would have liked the team better if Asim Kamal was chosen instead of Afridi. I think we need specialists, we already have an army of allrounders in the team.

  • Saleh Hakeem on December 12, 2006, 11:55 GMT

    Salman Butt would have been the obvious choice to go in at number 3, perhaps hes not one of Bobs favourites like Malik. Yasir Hameed really has a final chance to rekindle some of his earlier form. I t would have been nice to see a new face as Rehman really has proved to be a breath of fresh air.

  • Rashid Sharafuddin on December 12, 2006, 11:43 GMT

    I really dont agree with you kamran.I think that the so called Pakistan's virgin middle-order has a lot of experience among them also.The like of Shoaib Malik,Abdur Razzaq & Shahid Afridi are not new faces to cricket. Thats a different case when the same names dont give you the results, but without any argument this is one of the best ever middle-order players a team could ever have. The main reason behind this is they all are utility playes. Firing with both bat and ball, I really they can ever miss the eyes of the selectors.

  • Nani on December 12, 2006, 11:41 GMT

    I guess your prayers have been answered, Afridi will probably play in the next match.luck has favoured him and I hope he makes the best for himself this time round.I guess Faisal will probably just fill in just for this match.Hafeez and Farhat will have to bat with responsibility, Farhat was just lucky in the last match thanks to poor bowling and fielding by the WestIndies.Iam glad Rana has improved tremendously in the last match notching up vital wickets.

  • Numaan on December 12, 2006, 11:39 GMT

    I have wanted Shahid Afridi kicked out of the team for a long time simply because with his testosterone filled brain he will never bat sensibly. Recent performances have proven this point further, however I believe this is an oppourtunity to burden Afridi with the captincy to force him to use his brain and play sensibly. Who knows the flawed genius may just become a genius!

  • Junaid on December 12, 2006, 11:38 GMT

    Cant 15 million cricket-loving nation produce a sound middle order batsman, rather than motivated and hard-working allrounders or lets say part-timers ?

  • Farooq on December 12, 2006, 11:38 GMT

    I think Asim Kamal must be recalled to the pak team, as he is the only one with faisal iqbal who can take places in the middle order...there is no other name. Hasan raza is misfit, Asim must be given a chance.

  • Shiva on December 12, 2006, 11:35 GMT

    I think Shoaib Mallik and Razzaq are the key for tomorrow's match and both should be there easily as part of Pakistan's world cup preparations.

  • zulfiqar ali on December 12, 2006, 11:35 GMT

    no sir do not distrub the bowling attack. Rao is raw but perfomed admirably in the series. yasir fine . instead of faisal it should be afridi as first choise bat considering present from. so it should be yasir for inzi and afridi for mohd yousaf.

  • Daniyal on December 12, 2006, 11:12 GMT

    I think the fourth ODI will show us a glimpse of what life will be sans the triad. I suppose its a good experience for the young team to go out there with a chance to seal off the series missing their core batting strength but it boggles me why Shahid Afridi after a miserable year and once good weekend deserves a recall? I mean Salman Butt has had a good domestic season so has Asim Kamal why weren't they thought of as replacements for Inzi or Yousuf or Younis? The PCB has once again shown a lack of imagination and yielded to perhaps what is called public pressure.

    Afridi is useless in the modern game. I'm sure the West Indian quicks are laughing at his inclusion rather than fearing his wrath sure he's capable of hitting a few long ones but he's bound to give you plenty of chances while doing so. He's not a controlled hitter like Pieterson, Dhoni, Hussey or even the galactic Gilchrist, simply put he's a muhala cricketer who refuses to learn.

    Javed Miandad keeps going on and on about how a laptop cannot make batsmen or bowlers, well Javed, be that as it may it can make them smarter and I don't see any of that knowledge rubbing off on Afridi much less any of our batsmen. Had they taken advantage of this evil technology they would've realised why they get caught behind or in the slips so much

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  • Daniyal on December 12, 2006, 11:12 GMT

    I think the fourth ODI will show us a glimpse of what life will be sans the triad. I suppose its a good experience for the young team to go out there with a chance to seal off the series missing their core batting strength but it boggles me why Shahid Afridi after a miserable year and once good weekend deserves a recall? I mean Salman Butt has had a good domestic season so has Asim Kamal why weren't they thought of as replacements for Inzi or Yousuf or Younis? The PCB has once again shown a lack of imagination and yielded to perhaps what is called public pressure.

    Afridi is useless in the modern game. I'm sure the West Indian quicks are laughing at his inclusion rather than fearing his wrath sure he's capable of hitting a few long ones but he's bound to give you plenty of chances while doing so. He's not a controlled hitter like Pieterson, Dhoni, Hussey or even the galactic Gilchrist, simply put he's a muhala cricketer who refuses to learn.

    Javed Miandad keeps going on and on about how a laptop cannot make batsmen or bowlers, well Javed, be that as it may it can make them smarter and I don't see any of that knowledge rubbing off on Afridi much less any of our batsmen. Had they taken advantage of this evil technology they would've realised why they get caught behind or in the slips so much

  • zulfiqar ali on December 12, 2006, 11:35 GMT

    no sir do not distrub the bowling attack. Rao is raw but perfomed admirably in the series. yasir fine . instead of faisal it should be afridi as first choise bat considering present from. so it should be yasir for inzi and afridi for mohd yousaf.

  • Shiva on December 12, 2006, 11:35 GMT

    I think Shoaib Mallik and Razzaq are the key for tomorrow's match and both should be there easily as part of Pakistan's world cup preparations.

  • Farooq on December 12, 2006, 11:38 GMT

    I think Asim Kamal must be recalled to the pak team, as he is the only one with faisal iqbal who can take places in the middle order...there is no other name. Hasan raza is misfit, Asim must be given a chance.

  • Junaid on December 12, 2006, 11:38 GMT

    Cant 15 million cricket-loving nation produce a sound middle order batsman, rather than motivated and hard-working allrounders or lets say part-timers ?

  • Numaan on December 12, 2006, 11:39 GMT

    I have wanted Shahid Afridi kicked out of the team for a long time simply because with his testosterone filled brain he will never bat sensibly. Recent performances have proven this point further, however I believe this is an oppourtunity to burden Afridi with the captincy to force him to use his brain and play sensibly. Who knows the flawed genius may just become a genius!

  • Nani on December 12, 2006, 11:41 GMT

    I guess your prayers have been answered, Afridi will probably play in the next match.luck has favoured him and I hope he makes the best for himself this time round.I guess Faisal will probably just fill in just for this match.Hafeez and Farhat will have to bat with responsibility, Farhat was just lucky in the last match thanks to poor bowling and fielding by the WestIndies.Iam glad Rana has improved tremendously in the last match notching up vital wickets.

  • Rashid Sharafuddin on December 12, 2006, 11:43 GMT

    I really dont agree with you kamran.I think that the so called Pakistan's virgin middle-order has a lot of experience among them also.The like of Shoaib Malik,Abdur Razzaq & Shahid Afridi are not new faces to cricket. Thats a different case when the same names dont give you the results, but without any argument this is one of the best ever middle-order players a team could ever have. The main reason behind this is they all are utility playes. Firing with both bat and ball, I really they can ever miss the eyes of the selectors.

  • Saleh Hakeem on December 12, 2006, 11:55 GMT

    Salman Butt would have been the obvious choice to go in at number 3, perhaps hes not one of Bobs favourites like Malik. Yasir Hameed really has a final chance to rekindle some of his earlier form. I t would have been nice to see a new face as Rehman really has proved to be a breath of fresh air.

  • Rehan Qureshi on December 12, 2006, 11:56 GMT

    The 4th ODI is definately going to be an interesting one. Pakistan's score card usually contains big contributions from atleast one of the three giants that we will miss in the next game. I hope that the team will be able to prove that they can do well without the trio. Although I would have liked the team better if Asim Kamal was chosen instead of Afridi. I think we need specialists, we already have an army of allrounders in the team.