World Cup 2007 December 16, 2006

You could pick the squad now

Pakistan must ensure that their confidence is not eroded by the seamer friendly wickets of South Africa

Pakistan dealt West Indies an important psychological blow before the teams meet again to launch next year's World Cup. Between now and then awaits South Africa and a very different series to the one just concluded or the crucial tournament that will follow. Pakistan must ensure that the confidence that they have recaptured is not eroded by the seamer-friendly wickets of South Africa.

The machinations of this year have left Pakistan with a far stronger pool of bowlers to choose from and some clearer possibilities around the opening slot, their weakest area. These factors combined with Bob Woolmer's local knowledge should give Pakistan a good chance of being competitive in South Africa and perhaps even overturning their poor record in that country.

But before that can happen it is imperative that the PCB confirms that both Inzamam and Woolmer will lead these two upcoming campaigns. Pakistan have a real opportunity to win the biggest one-day prize and any dithering now will be detrimental to their challenge.

Despite WADA's posturing, both Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif will be available next year and that leaves Pakistan with an unimagined selection problem. Umar Gul, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, and Mohammad Sami--yes the bowler who couldn't bowl two balls on the same spot--have all made indisputable cases for selection. As has Abdur Rehman, who has been nothing short of sensational in this series. At Karachi, on a wicket that favoured batsmen, he bowled an intelligent line, even keeping Brian Lara in check. That fills six places.

Among the batsmen, Yasir Hameed has shown enough to earn a place along with Mohammad Hafeez. Follow those with the inevitable selections of Pakistan's middle-order trio of Inzamam, Younis Khan, and Mohammad Yousuf and you have five more places with people's names on them.

Among the allrounders, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, and Kamran Akmal--providing he continues to rebuild his confidence in South Africa--are virtual certainties, which builds the squad to 14.

That only leaves one place, and you can see why Woolmer is claiming that the squad selection is becoming clearer, although this final spot might prove controversial. Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal, and Danish Kaneria, to name but a few, will be saying their prayers. Who will win a trip to the Caribbean? It could be any of those three but it might be a wild card, and Pakistan has no wilder card than Shahid Afridi. He'd win my vote--as you all know--and I suspect he might even win the vote of the selectors.

Much can happen, of course, between this December speculation and the reality of next March but barring major upheavals I wouldn't bet on Pakistan's World Cup squad being much different to this. It is a squad of experience but also enough youth to hunger for success. The bowling riches are the team's strength and the batting should not be found wanting on the Asian wickets of the West Indies. The rest is all mind games. Over to you Bob and Inzi.

I don't usually post comments that include team XIs or squads but since that is what this article is about then feel free to speculate.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • testli5504537 on March 15, 2010, 7:55 GMT

    It is interesting how we have not come a long way from the team for the last world cup. Maybe it was a good idea by the PCB to clean house after all. It might give some new blood a chance.

  • testli5504537 on January 14, 2007, 9:26 GMT

    I Will Select these players for World Cup 2007: 1.M.Hafeez(Opener) 2.K.Akmal(W.K) 3.S.Butt(Opener) 4.Y.Khan(V.C)(Middle Order) 5.M.Yousuf(Middle Order) 6.I.Haq(C)(Middle Order) 7.A.Razzaq(M.B) 8.S.Nazir(L.B) 9.M.Sami(L.B) 10.M.Asif(O.B) 11.R.Naveed(O.B) 12.U.Gul(Sub) 13.S.Akhtar(Sub) 14.Y.Hameed(Sub) 15.I.Farhat(Sub) 16.D.Kaneria(R) 17.S.Ahmed(R) 18.I.Nazir(R)

  • testli5504537 on January 11, 2007, 8:35 GMT

    I would wish to see thses players playing for Pakistan in the year 2007 1. M. Hafeez 2. S. Butt 3. I. Farhat 4. S. Malik 5. Y. Khan 6. I. Haq 7. M. Yousuf 8. S. Afridi 9. A. Razzaq 10. K. Akmal 11. Z. Haider (Reserve) 12. S. Nazir 13. R. Naveed 14. S. Akhtar 15. M. Asif 16. D. Kaneria (Reserve) 17. U. Gul (Reserve) 18. F. Iqbal (Reserve)

  • testli5504537 on January 11, 2007, 8:22 GMT

    I Will definitely Like that the Squad of South African Tour and World Cup 2007 Should be Same Excluding Some Non Performed Palyers. My Squad Of Team Pakistan For 2007 Is: 1. S. Afridi 2. s. Butt 3. S. Malik 4. Y. Khan 5. I. Haq 6. A. Razzaq 7. K. Akmal 8. F. Iqbal 9. M. Asif 10. S. Akhtar 11. M. Sami 12. S. Nazir 13. U. Gul 14. S. Ahmed 15. D. Kaneria 16. R. Naveed

  • testli5504537 on January 6, 2007, 12:35 GMT

    Afridi should open the innings if he is in case brought in the side. He can make a difference when the field is up. No point sending him 6th or even 7th down after Razzaq. Hey what about Imran Nazir ..any bells ringing?

  • testli5504537 on December 30, 2006, 18:24 GMT

    pakistan need to find back up players so when a good bowler or batsmen leaves you can have trained back up players in stead of bringing not trained old players, PAKISTAN BEST 11 1.hafeez 2.farhat 3.y.khan 4.m.yousuf 5.inzy 6.s.malik 7.razzaq 8.S.afridi 9.k.akmal 10.S.akhtar 11.M.asif

  • testli5504537 on December 30, 2006, 10:26 GMT


    I'm an Australian, and it looks like you guys should have a decent team for the World Cup. However, I guess fans from many cricketing nations are thinking the same thing - Australia, West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka etc.

    How do you think you line up against the reigning champs? Here are some possible match-ups:

    Yasir Hameed / Mohammad Hafeez vs Phil Jacques(?) Mohammad Yousuf vs Ricky Ponting Inzamam vs Michael Hussey Younis Khan vs Michael Clarke

    Kamran Akmal vs Adam Gilchrist

    Shoaib Malik vs Andrew Symonds Abdul Razzaq vs Shane Watson

    Shoaib Akhtar / Mohammad Asif vs Brett Lee Umar Gul vs Stuart Clark / Glenn McGrath Rana Naved-ul-Hasan vs Nathan Bracken Abdur Rehman/Afridi vs Brad Hogg(?)/Cameron White

  • testli5504537 on December 22, 2006, 1:24 GMT

    Yasir Hammeed M. Hafeez Younis Khan M. Yousuf Inji S.Malik A.Razzaq K.Akmal S.Akhter M.Asif Shabbir Ahmed/Umar Gul/Rana Naveed

    Please learn from Past Afridi has never won any game in WC in past. In lat 18 ODI he scored only 114 runs. On what basis we should include him in WC squad. We can never become World beater like Australia becoz we do not evaluate the performace but we evaluate our emotions. Just calculate Afridi performace I don't even think he can play for Karachi Gymkhana. He is the greatest loser ODI cricket has ever seen. Everytime he has played for Pakistan, he has put tremendous amout of pressure on the rest of the team. We should move on. There is much more talent in Pakistan then Salman Butt, Imran Farhat, Tauseef Umar, Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi. These all have major Flaws in their batting. M.Sami should be discarded for the rest of his career, he is another failure in Pakistan cricket. We have so much raw talent in Pakistan, who are far better hitter then Afridi, far better opener then all of the name I mentioned above.

  • testli5504537 on December 21, 2006, 18:15 GMT

    We can't win Tests with all-rounders in SA. We need different squads for Tests, 1-day, and then world cup.

    SA TEST: 1. Hafeez / Salman Butt 2. Yasir Hameed 3. Yunus Khan 4. M. Yusuf 5. Inzi 6. Faisal Iqbal / Asim Kamal 7. Kamran Akmal 8. Shoaib Akhter / M. Sami 9. M. Asif 10. Rana / Gul 11. Dinesh Kaneria

    SA 1-day: 1. Hafeez 2. K. Akmal 3. Yunus Khan 4. M. Yusuf 5. Inzi 6. Shoaib Malik / Faisal Iqbal 7. Abdul Razzaq / Shabbir Ahmed 8. Shoaib Akhter / M. Sami 9. M. Asif 10. Rana / Gul 11. Abdul Rehman

    World Cup: 1. M. Hafeez / Yasir Hameed 2. K. Akmal 3. Yunus Khan 4. Yusuf 5. Inzi 6. Malik 7. Razzaq 8. Afridi / Rehman 9. Shoaib Akhter / Sami 10. M. Asif 11. Rana / Gul

  • testli5504537 on December 21, 2006, 14:39 GMT

    I think that wellwisher 4m india is mad because how can you leave the FASTEST bowler in the world out of your team!! Didn't you see what he has done over the years and over the series in England. SHOAIB AKHRAR is our only hope in SA.

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