South Africa January 22, 2007

Akmal earns a pardon

International cricket, you will have heard, is played in the mind
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International cricket, you will have heard, is played in the mind. Harness your mental powers and you will leap from journeyman to superstar. Lose the mind games and your talent will become dust. Allrounders, though, have an advantage that allows them to fail in one area and star elsewhere. Of course, life is rarely so simple. Once one aspect of your game falls apart and your confidence is ruined, your second skill could easily collapse too. This might have been the case with Kamran Akmal but today's innings will be just the boost he needs to help him recover his form behind the stumps.

Far be it for me to criticise somebody called Kamran, but Akmal's performances had become something of an embarrassment, a vicious circle of failure. There were even calls for him to be dumped for the final Test. But such a panic reaction should now be impossible.

Akmal is a smart cricketer, with a natural feel for his glovework and his batsmanship. Bob Woolmer decribes him as 20% of the team. When that vital 20% fails, the team suffers. Distinguished ex-cricketers have rated him highly, and after England's tour of Pakistan last year he was thought to be one of the best in the world.

Since then Akmal has had a tough time, dismissed too easily when batting and finding it hard to dismiss anybody when he is keeping. The talent is undoubted, the mind has been crushed by failure. In these circumstances it is a credit to Pakistan's management that they have stuck with somebody who has obvious ability and, when body and mind are in harmony, is capable of mastering the toughest conditions.

Introducing Zulqarnain Haider for the final Test would have been folly. The next mouth-watering encounter is too pivotal for a rushed debut. What this series has shown so far is that the battle for number two in international cricket is a tough one, an arena for experience not exuberance. Now that Akmal has rediscovered his magic touch with the bat, better wicketkeeping should follow--and he has to do both, he is not good enough to be played as a batsman.

Welcome back Kamran Akmal, a young man crucial to the balance of this Pakistan side, and a condemned man who today he earned a pardon for any number of fumbled catches and sloppy stumpings.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Imran on January 28, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    Now I m seriously began to doubt abt the cric-sense of Inzi & Co ... wat the hell they jst did in 3rd test...

    It was series finalle and Batsmen were playing as they playing a freindly club level match and plz dnt blame the pitch , they r pro test players they shd adjst themselves againts odds.

    Inzi dnt had the guts to stay on wicket for 30 mints and expect Asif to bowl for 2 hrs ?

    He is jst " laybak-n-c " kinda guy and jst dnt put everything on Bob Woolmer ... he jst can advise players but if playes still play like younas , imran , hafeez , yasir , inzi .. no cotch can fix them then !

    I think if Akmal , Imran and Sammi got enuff chances and now they shd let play domestic for 2,3 years and give chance to som gud new talent .

    Sammi was jst too much ...

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on January 28, 2007, 8:29 GMT

    Kamran Akmal's Performance up for review and scrutiny:

    With just 125 runs to defend, Kamran holding on to a chance of Kaneria's sharp spin and not missing even half of a stumping chance that may be on offer on the 3rd morning - holds the key if Pakistan have to make a real contest of this series decider.

    Akmal's form as a wicket keeper has seen a constant decline and the way he threw away his wicket during the first innings puts his batting credentials into question. At best, he played a tail ender's shot and directed the ball right into the slip cordon.

    With more than half a dozen chances spilled by Kamran during the course of SA inning(s) in the just concluded 2nd test match, South Africa in fact were given to play close to a total of three innings.

    This kind of generosity can be ill afforded time and again. Isn’t it time that Pakistan rest Akmal to allow him recoup his energy and focus. As pointed out by experts, the key slot of a wicket keeper constitutes a pivotal position for any fielding side.

    Lately, top teams at this level have been vying to convert even half chances into a success story. It's been a total disappointment in the case of Kamran Akmal.

    Will he hold his ground and focus and be able to contribute positively on the 3rd morning of the test which promises to be keenly contested. Anyway, Akmal's performance would be under review and scrutiny at the conclusion of the test series.

    Wish Pakistan good luck in their endeavor!

    Mohsin Malik San Francisco Bay Area California

  • waqas a. on January 27, 2007, 20:16 GMT

    give the guy a break, his dad just got shot. he's performed well with gloves and bat before when others havent......he needs time.

  • Suhaib on January 27, 2007, 6:35 GMT

    I am a big supporter of Inzi but... how can you justiify Farhat,Hafeez,Yasir Hameed, Sami playing while you have guys like Asim Kamal, Salman Butt, Imran Nazir sitting out ?!?!?!?!

    And if Akmal doesnt get his act together in this match, he is just a shocking selection as the above-mentioned.

  • sam kaka on January 26, 2007, 22:39 GMT

    3rd Test akmal again miss a simple stumping chance. When pak will learn about selecting the specialist players instead of picking bits and pieces like, akmal, razzak, hafiz etc for the test matches.

    In test match you should only play specialist players and avoid bits and pieces. Is there a statistic which tell how many catches have been dropped by akmal in this series?

    Anyone favouring akmal to stay as wicketkeeper is not sincere to either pak cricket or akmal himself.

    This 3rd match may not be simple for pak to save with akmal performance with the gloves and shoaib sent back. what a pity we are in ....

  • Hamza Syed on January 26, 2007, 22:14 GMT

    Kamran Akmal needs to be replaced as soon as possible. His keeping is getting worse by the day. The selectors need to look at other options fast as Kamran's form is absolutely dreadful!!!

  • Suleman on January 26, 2007, 19:01 GMT

    PCB selection committee should start looking for a wicketkeeper to replace Akmal. He has lost his form with the gloves since the English tour. Keeping him in the team is not only harming the team but also Akmal's confidence. Every catch dropped or stumping missed is draining his confidence with gloves. His failure with the bat in the first innings of the thrid test provides an opportunity for PCB to replace him for the coming one day series.

  • asam on January 26, 2007, 18:21 GMT

    i tink we need to give z haider the gloves did anybody see the blunder today he done wid ashwell prince

  • Imran Bumbia on January 25, 2007, 23:12 GMT

    With regards to Kamran Akmal and the Wicket keeping saga, is there a cricket rule that a 12th man cannot keep wickets. I have seen scenarios where someone else within the playing 11 has kept wickets like Miandad but is it possible to keep Akmal in the playing 11 so that he can bat in the 3rd test and use Zulqarnain Haider as 12th man for some periods during the 3rd test.

  • Faisal Riaz on January 25, 2007, 20:58 GMT

    If anyone has ever kept b4 they will know that the chances the akmal dropped were extreamly tough, the only genuine chance the he grassed was the one of ab de villiers of the bolwing of sami ,apart from that his keeping was not as bas as every1 makes it out to be, and the pakistan public need to be realistic they want each player to be perfect and perform everyday of the year it doesnt work like that, at the moment gilchrist and sangakara are thought to be the best keepers in the world and if you watch them carefully they both will grass a couple of chances each match but they are still in the team coz they can bat. and kamran akmal can bat and hes proves on more then one occasion, wether it was in australia indian pakitsan or now in south africa, and another side of the story which i dont think most of the pakistani fans are aware of is the situation of kamran's father, if that had happened to my father i dont think i would have the strength to do anything neva mind playing an internatinal cricket match at one of the most difficult places and against one of the best teams in the world. to me Kamran was amazing, and i personally would like to thank him for his hard work and dedication and for bringing joy to every pakistan cricket fan

  • Imran on January 28, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    Now I m seriously began to doubt abt the cric-sense of Inzi & Co ... wat the hell they jst did in 3rd test...

    It was series finalle and Batsmen were playing as they playing a freindly club level match and plz dnt blame the pitch , they r pro test players they shd adjst themselves againts odds.

    Inzi dnt had the guts to stay on wicket for 30 mints and expect Asif to bowl for 2 hrs ?

    He is jst " laybak-n-c " kinda guy and jst dnt put everything on Bob Woolmer ... he jst can advise players but if playes still play like younas , imran , hafeez , yasir , inzi .. no cotch can fix them then !

    I think if Akmal , Imran and Sammi got enuff chances and now they shd let play domestic for 2,3 years and give chance to som gud new talent .

    Sammi was jst too much ...

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on January 28, 2007, 8:29 GMT

    Kamran Akmal's Performance up for review and scrutiny:

    With just 125 runs to defend, Kamran holding on to a chance of Kaneria's sharp spin and not missing even half of a stumping chance that may be on offer on the 3rd morning - holds the key if Pakistan have to make a real contest of this series decider.

    Akmal's form as a wicket keeper has seen a constant decline and the way he threw away his wicket during the first innings puts his batting credentials into question. At best, he played a tail ender's shot and directed the ball right into the slip cordon.

    With more than half a dozen chances spilled by Kamran during the course of SA inning(s) in the just concluded 2nd test match, South Africa in fact were given to play close to a total of three innings.

    This kind of generosity can be ill afforded time and again. Isn’t it time that Pakistan rest Akmal to allow him recoup his energy and focus. As pointed out by experts, the key slot of a wicket keeper constitutes a pivotal position for any fielding side.

    Lately, top teams at this level have been vying to convert even half chances into a success story. It's been a total disappointment in the case of Kamran Akmal.

    Will he hold his ground and focus and be able to contribute positively on the 3rd morning of the test which promises to be keenly contested. Anyway, Akmal's performance would be under review and scrutiny at the conclusion of the test series.

    Wish Pakistan good luck in their endeavor!

    Mohsin Malik San Francisco Bay Area California

  • waqas a. on January 27, 2007, 20:16 GMT

    give the guy a break, his dad just got shot. he's performed well with gloves and bat before when others havent......he needs time.

  • Suhaib on January 27, 2007, 6:35 GMT

    I am a big supporter of Inzi but... how can you justiify Farhat,Hafeez,Yasir Hameed, Sami playing while you have guys like Asim Kamal, Salman Butt, Imran Nazir sitting out ?!?!?!?!

    And if Akmal doesnt get his act together in this match, he is just a shocking selection as the above-mentioned.

  • sam kaka on January 26, 2007, 22:39 GMT

    3rd Test akmal again miss a simple stumping chance. When pak will learn about selecting the specialist players instead of picking bits and pieces like, akmal, razzak, hafiz etc for the test matches.

    In test match you should only play specialist players and avoid bits and pieces. Is there a statistic which tell how many catches have been dropped by akmal in this series?

    Anyone favouring akmal to stay as wicketkeeper is not sincere to either pak cricket or akmal himself.

    This 3rd match may not be simple for pak to save with akmal performance with the gloves and shoaib sent back. what a pity we are in ....

  • Hamza Syed on January 26, 2007, 22:14 GMT

    Kamran Akmal needs to be replaced as soon as possible. His keeping is getting worse by the day. The selectors need to look at other options fast as Kamran's form is absolutely dreadful!!!

  • Suleman on January 26, 2007, 19:01 GMT

    PCB selection committee should start looking for a wicketkeeper to replace Akmal. He has lost his form with the gloves since the English tour. Keeping him in the team is not only harming the team but also Akmal's confidence. Every catch dropped or stumping missed is draining his confidence with gloves. His failure with the bat in the first innings of the thrid test provides an opportunity for PCB to replace him for the coming one day series.

  • asam on January 26, 2007, 18:21 GMT

    i tink we need to give z haider the gloves did anybody see the blunder today he done wid ashwell prince

  • Imran Bumbia on January 25, 2007, 23:12 GMT

    With regards to Kamran Akmal and the Wicket keeping saga, is there a cricket rule that a 12th man cannot keep wickets. I have seen scenarios where someone else within the playing 11 has kept wickets like Miandad but is it possible to keep Akmal in the playing 11 so that he can bat in the 3rd test and use Zulqarnain Haider as 12th man for some periods during the 3rd test.

  • Faisal Riaz on January 25, 2007, 20:58 GMT

    If anyone has ever kept b4 they will know that the chances the akmal dropped were extreamly tough, the only genuine chance the he grassed was the one of ab de villiers of the bolwing of sami ,apart from that his keeping was not as bas as every1 makes it out to be, and the pakistan public need to be realistic they want each player to be perfect and perform everyday of the year it doesnt work like that, at the moment gilchrist and sangakara are thought to be the best keepers in the world and if you watch them carefully they both will grass a couple of chances each match but they are still in the team coz they can bat. and kamran akmal can bat and hes proves on more then one occasion, wether it was in australia indian pakitsan or now in south africa, and another side of the story which i dont think most of the pakistani fans are aware of is the situation of kamran's father, if that had happened to my father i dont think i would have the strength to do anything neva mind playing an internatinal cricket match at one of the most difficult places and against one of the best teams in the world. to me Kamran was amazing, and i personally would like to thank him for his hard work and dedication and for bringing joy to every pakistan cricket fan

  • Pieter on January 25, 2007, 18:14 GMT

    Kamran, played a match winning innings, still he get hammered. Pakistan won, give the players their due. Test cricket is played over 5 days. SA 124 in the first innings were far to low. They showed their fighting spirit though and at times they were almost back in the game. Looking forward to Cape town and hopefully the game can be played in good spirit, by two great teams. Hopefully we will not be playing for second place but to be number one in the world. Maybe Akmal takes all his catches, stumps a couple of batsmen,scores a double century, and Pakistan looses.

  • Dr Nawaz on January 25, 2007, 17:19 GMT

    Well,i do agree that after Kamran,s batting un 2nd test he should be given a chance to prove his keeping behind the stumps.On ther hand i underestimated Kaneira why he is not getting more wickets as our previous spinners had.I think Kamran Akmal,s performance one way or the other is responsible for Danish,s low wickets take.

  • Fizaan Farooq on January 25, 2007, 16:22 GMT

    I think Sarfaraz Nawaz,the young Pakistan wicket-keeper, should be called into the squad for Kamran Akmals replace IF he plays bad. This will bring out the best in both players because they will be trying to preform very well everytime to earn their place in the side.

    P.S Kamran Abbasi when will young Anwer Ali Khan make his international debut? We all await the future KING OF SWING

  • vamsi on January 25, 2007, 12:32 GMT

    Akmals keeping skills are below par.. even a school graduate kepps well than Akmal.. Pakistan's selctors neeed to take a decison

  • Noman Yousuf on January 25, 2007, 10:50 GMT

    I am afraid I disagree with you on this one Mr. Kamran. Though he is your namesake but that alone should not qualify him to win accolades from you. He played a good counter-attacking innings but requirement of that innings would not arrive had he taken all the chances. I believe a wicketkeeper is there to keep wickets first and Kamran Akmal failed miserably at that. It definitely is not very late to try Zulqurnain beacuse:

    1. We will have an idea about his glove-work and batting abilities before the world cup (what if Kamran Akmal fails again, won't it be way too late for a change then). 2. It will push Kamran Akmal to work harder on his keeping and he will realize that one good innings in three matches is not good enough to keep him in the side as a wicketkeeper. 3. Zulqarnain will be tried in a Test match that has little bearing on the 'One-day' World Cup.

    For me he has not earned his pardon and needs some jolting.

    Cheers!

  • ahmed on January 25, 2007, 9:40 GMT

    to critisize a well set player jus because of 1 bad tour doesnt really set weell.think of the other miraculous saves that he has made.hes is a team player and sacking him will just make things worse because every player has ups and downs in his carrer!!!!!!!!

  • Saad on January 25, 2007, 9:09 GMT

    Bad form, injuries, etc are part of the game, Akamal is no exception. But this does’nt mean that we doubt his capabilities. He is good with the gloves and much better with bat. He has amazingly batted at Karachi and saved the test for Pakistan. That was one gem of an inning, for me it was one of the Pakistan's best, I still remember the situation where the team was 3 down for 0 and Akmal rescued. He is young and has immense talent thus he should be given more opportunities and am sure he will silent many of his critics. A back up is always feasible but that should not doubt the abilities of a promising player. I wish Kamran all the best, sure to see many more such innings from him in future!!!

  • Aleem on January 25, 2007, 7:27 GMT

    It was a match winning innings! And you cannot drop a match winner! Simple as that!

  • Asad Bari on January 25, 2007, 5:55 GMT

    Although Kamran has performed well with the Bat. But I think Pakistan Cricket team need a Wicketkeeper Batsman not a Batsman wicketkeeper

  • Maqsood Rehman on January 25, 2007, 3:19 GMT

    Well I think we should try him as a regular batsman and Zuqarnain as the keeper since pakistan is desparately looking for replacements.

  • sam Kaka on January 25, 2007, 3:10 GMT

    Most of the pakistani cricket fans are emotional and they do go with the wave. Akmal may be a best wicketkeeper cum batsman but his performance must be judged by his actions in the field. For last few series he has not delivered as par with the test wicketkeeper category.

    When pak slectors will learn to have him practice in domestic cricket before brining him for the test series. Only a single catch drop may ruin the chance of a win.

    He should stay permanently for the ODI but should immediately be removed from the test cricket altogether.

    Pak has paid the price in england but did not learn and repeated the same mistake slecting him for the south africa series.

    Pak has almost has lost the second test match against south africa when akmal dropped cathes specially when he dropped Kallis.

    There should not be any credit to akmal for the test the win. He has only repaid back for his terrible mistakes in the second innings wicketkeeping.

  • Salman Shakeel on January 24, 2007, 23:29 GMT

    Well about Kamran Akmal, the problem starts way back in England.Let me Analyse Akmal performance

    England Tour ----------- He dropped sitters in Ist couple of tests ,If he would have taken that then situation would have been surely different favouring Pakistan

    Champions Trophy ----------------- He dropped a chance against(of S.styrus) NewZealand who then utilised this chance and went out to make a match winning innings.hence costing Pakistan to be knocked out In Champions Trophy

    SA tour -------- his Performance behind the stamps has been absolutely pathetic! and I can only say that Pakistan was Lucky enough to escape the series defeat because once keeper drops lolly-pops the team is not supposed to produce good result!

    For World cup ------------- just Imagine that if akmal drops catches and misses stumpings as compared to his previous performance then It would be really hard for Pakistan to progress in World Cup...I think Zulqarnain must be given a chance in SA odi Series...so that back up is there!

    for kamran akmal ,he has to be the best to beat the rest

    Though his innings against SA was really one of best match winning Innings he played!!!

  • Aftab Qureshi on January 24, 2007, 23:22 GMT

    Subsequent to the comments I made the other day, I came to learn about the attack on Akmal's father, and that Akmal was informed about it during the match. I totally agree with those who want to give him the allowance for this disturbing news that must have affected his game. Needless to say, one can hardly expect any one else in his position to have done better. So, full marks on this one to Akmal but he needs to be reminded that test cricket is played these days in a very competitive environment. Though Akmal is not in competition with the likes of Adam Gilchrist and Kumar Sangakara for a place in the Pakistani team, comparisons with better performing contemporaries are certainly not out of place.

  • taz on January 24, 2007, 23:01 GMT

    Zulqarnain is a player of class for me. I saw him in the Pakistan Under 19 World Cup and he performed like a true warrior in that final, I've been harping on an on about this lad since then and I'm glad to finally see that he's started to get recognized by the Selectors, it wouldn't be a bad thing to give him a game or to so he can get a feel for the action and doing either in these one dayers against South Africa or the Earlier rounds of the World Cup against lesser nations which Pakistan would be expected to win against won't be a bad thing at all. I think there can even be room sometimes to use Kamran as just an Opener in One Dayer's and let Zulqarnain do the keeping, but I can't see the Pakistan think tank being so adventours.

    'Kammi' as I nick named him got us home in a crucial match, let's hope it's the start of a purple patch of form with bat and gloves. Inshallah.

  • Junaid Saleem on January 24, 2007, 22:01 GMT

    I dont agree with You Kamran. I think if there is any oppurtunity to the debutant to come is now because Akmal fails to perform with gloves and we need wicket keeper not batsman and onething you didnt mention that we have not seen Zulqurnain batting, may be if he gets chance he peforms well with the bat and most importantly with the gloves.

  • Bajwa on January 24, 2007, 21:59 GMT

    Everybody goes through bad times so we don't have to make this an issue. Love you Kami ---PAKISTAN ZINDABAD---

  • Miten Davda on January 24, 2007, 19:47 GMT

    The fact is that Akmal wont be dropped for a while no matter how awfully he performs. He is indeed one of the finest wicketkeeper batman in the world on his day but his lack of consistency can be partly blamed to the lack of genuine competition in his position. He has to be consistent (he will never be spectacular) with the Glove and provide support to the Pakistani middle order while batting. He is better coming in as a lower middle-order player who is allowed to come in the game and play his natural aggressive game. His technique is not fine enough for him to open in either test or one-day arenas especially against formidable opponents such as Australia and South Africa. This man has it in him to be the person that makes this side great, while in form he can be the best No 6 or 7 batsman in the world.

  • Talha Qureshi on January 24, 2007, 19:12 GMT

    I totally agree with Euceph Ahmed in his comments above. I mean, he put my thoughts into words perfectly.

  • fhs on January 24, 2007, 18:58 GMT

    I love Kami. He is true asset. However, we need to admit that he has been horrible with keeping. It is getting worse and worse. No idea what is happening. I would give him a chance again: 1) Bc he is such high talent. 2) He bats great in all positions. 3) I would like to send him to the academy for the improvement (why not wicket keepers). The PCB needs to support him, if needed, as they have had been doing it for our fast bowlers in the past!

    If things still do not work out for him with the keeping, I would still keep him in the team as a batsman for top 3 positions! He is #4 in the battting (afer Inzy, Yousaf and Younis).

  • Farhan Mughal on January 24, 2007, 18:56 GMT

    I think he is the worst keeper Pakistan ever had. Worse with keeping, worse with batting. His performance is terrible since beginning of 2006. He should be dropped and he has no consistency at all. PCB should replace him immediately. He does nothing for the team and I strongly agree with Imad Ahmad that because of his poor keeping more runs were conceded than what he scored.

  • SHAQ ATTACK on January 24, 2007, 18:25 GMT

    History repeats it self, I remember watching Moin Khan scoring runs and saving matches for Pakistan, but we all knew that Rashid Latif was the better wicket keeper. Good (off the field)relations with Wasim Akram has saved Moin Khan so many times. Our selectors have failed to find a solid replacement for Kamran Akmal, and once again good off the filed relation with Inzi will save Kamran once again. I am not questioning his ability to bat, but remember wicket keeping is a specialist job. Pakistan should try the other wicket keeper atleast for the test matches, because one missed catch on a betting track can cost you the match. All i am asking to give Kamran a rest in the test matches, so he can earn his (test match) position back by playing some domestic cricket. We have one spin bowler and a assistant coach for that spin bowler ! why can we have on of Rashid Latif or Moin Khan work with Kamran Akmal.

  • amir malik on January 24, 2007, 17:34 GMT

    kamran akmal is a good batsman and a good wicketkeeper he droped catches and stamping becase he was desterb his father was robed and somebody shoot him and he was in hospital thats why he played bad that day when he haread his father is ok he played well and get a victory for pakistan

  • Raza Zaidi on January 24, 2007, 16:28 GMT

    Akmal's slide in form started with his marriage. No joke, really. After the match winning innings against India and fantastic subsequent tours, he started to relax a bit because his place in the team was secured. And then he got married. I can imagine "parathas" for breakfast and countless dinners as family and friends invited the newly-weds. And you know what that can do to you! Less and less time for practice and hard training and thus an overall decline in agility and reflexes, which are fundamental requiremnets to be a top keeper. Another problem with the desi mind is that once you attain the superstar tag, you think your job is done and you can stop working hard. I think Akmal is suffering from the combination of these two factors: Marriage and superstar syndrome. In order to make him work hard again, there must be pressure on him to perform to retain his place in the side.

  • atta-ur-rehman,md on January 24, 2007, 15:54 GMT

    dear Kamran, i am writing this article in the hope that this time you will print it. it is an unbelievable sucess for Pakistan. nobody believe it they have lost there main wicket taker in the first inning. only bowled with three bowlers(actually 2 bowlers because unfortunately sami is neither a wicket taker nor he stopped the run).at least 7-8 chances were dropped.pakistani batsmen were given out lbw,when they were not out(yousaf first inning,inzi and hafiz) south african were not given out when they were plumbed lbw(prince and boucher) kamran akmal played on of the worst/dangerous inning in his career and he should be out at least three times,but he remained not out and get the victory for pakistan with younis lucky inning. pakistan got this victory against the all the odds ie against 13 players of south africa(11 players and 2 umpires)and PCB(specially Dr Naseem Ashraf) who wants inzi to loose this series badly. so they can fire him(he already tried once before champion trophy and keep making negative comments against inzi)Inzi asked for shabbir instead of akhtar. but chairman send akhtar on his own responsibility because he knows akhtar cause the rift and create problems. woolmer asked for azhar mahmood because of his experience and records against south africa(woolmer was south africa coach then) but chairman refused. they didnt send any allrounder and pakistan is suffering . inzi is keep asking for shabbir and even told the media in south africa. it is obvios why he is pushing that he knows unfortunately we have only two bowlers who are wicket takers which are asif and danish. none of other bowlers have that capability. they are making excuses not to send shabbir who should be an automatic selection although he had action problem. but he is a wicket taker(50wkts in 10 test matches)but now it is obvious that they are not happy of pakistan sucess and they dont want pakistan to win this series. pcb chairman is so selfish he wants pakistan to loose just for his own ego. i remember when imran was captain and went for india tour he asked so many replacement nobody has given him hard time. i can only say that inzi win this test match like miracle and if he lost this series it is the fault of pcb not inzi. good luck inzi and shame on you naseem ashraf. dr rehman

  • tabs Farooq on January 24, 2007, 15:01 GMT

    No he is not, if he had done his job behind the stumps Pakistan would not have needed him to score 50+ to win the game!! There is no one really pushing him for a place I think otherwise he should have been dropped long ago!!

  • Waqar on January 24, 2007, 14:20 GMT

    wait till he drops the world cup, then lets see us pardon him

  • Haroon on January 24, 2007, 13:14 GMT

    I dont agree,he has to impress us with his wicket keeping.Even this innings had few lucky breaks but more importantly,his role as a wicket keeper is very crucial.You cannot miss two or three easy chances every innings,its just unacceptable.Unless he does exceptionally well in the decider,we should seriously reconsider his place.From what i can see,he lacks that quickness and alertness,sharp reflex if you will,that good wicket keepers like rashid and even moin had. JT, what are u talking about,why would we call arafat when we have shahid nazir,shabbir ahmed and rana naveed?

  • Khurram Sultan on January 24, 2007, 13:13 GMT

    well, let's not press the panic button yet!

  • Ahmad on January 24, 2007, 13:10 GMT

    Akmal is a liability. The worst keeper in the world without a doubt. He played one innings albeit an important one but as a few people have mentioned, one innings isn't good enough to make up for all of the other failures he's had recently and I'm just talking about batting at the moment. As for his keeping, he missed a vital stumping away against India when we were battling to draw the series there, luckily Afridi came to the rescue with bat and ball in that game. He is not good enough. If he had the odd flaw maybe you could work on it but he is atrocious all round. We need to try anyone else and if not drop Akmal permanently then at least for a series or two so that he at least knows there are repercussions for missing 2 cathces or stumpings per innings.

  • Paul on January 24, 2007, 12:49 GMT

    The simple reality is the only reason Akmal's dropped catches didn't cost the game is because the SA batsman didn't capitalise on it-if they had we'd be clamouring for him to be dropped. Against good sides like Australia, don't think for a second that Gilchrist, Ponting, Hussey etc won't go on and make at least a 100 if you drop them. So you have to drop the keeper who is underperforming. Interesting all the suggestions to play Akmal as a SB over Farhat-really, all that does is illustrate how crap Farhat is, not how good Akmal is. It's laughable they can choose Farhat over Butt, I remember when he was here in Aus 2 years ago how good he was. Sure Salman's not in his best form right now, but at least you know the technical attributes and application you'll get, unlike the hit and miss Farhat-if i was his teammate i'd whack him one in the nose.

    The real problem is shown up by Woolmer's apparent decision to ditch his allrounders. Everyone knows the main reason they won't drop Akmal, apart from their being no proven replacement, is they are determined to play four bowlers who can't bat, and so they need a batsman-keeper not a keeper-batsman at 7. Bringing Razzaq and Afridi and/or Malik back, as they should, would not only enable the team to play out the bowling well in an event like Shoaib's injury, but to then play a decent keeper at no8. But yeah right they'll be doing that. Any team that has Farhat as it's opener obviously knows zilch about selection.

  • Hassan Mahmood on January 24, 2007, 12:05 GMT

    I think Kamran Akmal deserves credit for an innings that only just before Woolmer's tenure, was totally un-Pakistani. We would have never won from 92/5 chasing 191 not too long ago but credit where it is due.

    However, I was really angry with Akmal's dropped chances: if you think PE was bad, you should have been at Old Trafford and Headingley like I was. It was pathetic.

    I just think that Akmal needs a break. Inzamam as the captain, had a break when we beat England in the ODIs in Pakistan, as did Sami and Shoaib.

    Yousuf has had time off with his wife, Younis has missed matches albeit to family death, Naved doesn't play many tests and Razzaq and Afridi are not full-time test players.

    So what is the pattern? Akmal is the only one without a break. He plays in every, single Pakistan match. Zulqarnain should play for the first 3 ODIs at least to give Kamran a rest and if he does well, he should play for the whole series.

    We need Akmal to be in the best state of mind for the World Cup: the last thing we want is him turning up in Jamaica on 13th March tired and dropping Brian Lara early!

  • Ali Majid on January 24, 2007, 11:08 GMT

    The next time that someone tals about dropping Akmal they should keep three points in mind: 1) Mohali 2005, where he battled with Razzaq to save a test match that Pakistan was suppose to loose. 2) Karachi 2006, where one of the best test match centuries of modern times was scored by a wicket keeper (after more than half the side was back in the pavillion with only 39 on the board)to give Pakistan one of the most memorable and emphatic victories. 3)Port Elizabeth 2007, This is what is meant by a counter attacking innings. At 92 for 5 it all seemed over for Pakistan until one of the flashiest half centuries (along with perhaps the most composed inning that Younis Khan will ever play)took Pakistan home to what is perhaps one of the greatest Pakistani victories.

    Remember these things......along with the brilliant performances that he has given with the gloves behind the wicket. He will regain his form no doubt about that.

  • Zia ul Haq on January 24, 2007, 9:31 GMT

    I think for Kamran Akmal it was break he needed badly and now it looks like we can see his original batting and glove work of what he is capable of. We must not forget that he is only a youngster and in his age he has gained a lot. He has the talent and just needs the backup support from us when he is not doing well. If you look at Mark Boucher's career after playing 100 tests he has less ceturies than akmal who hasn't even played 40 matches. In his short career he has already played lot of memorable innings. So keep the faith on him as the Pakistani management has.

  • GOJJO on January 24, 2007, 8:50 GMT

    Catches win matches - full stop. In the current series it has been noticed that once the new ball gets old batting becomes a piece of cake - look at tail enders like Asif and Nel sticking around.Also vis a vis the new ball,the current south african side is as mediocre as pakistan; even if Pakistan wins the series, its because the south african openers are worst then our lot!. All future wicket keepers of cricket will measured against the yard stick of Adam Gilchrist's batting, but Kamran Akmal would do enough if he can match up to Gilchrist's wicketkeeping!

  • ali on January 24, 2007, 8:44 GMT

    well the incident with his father might have had something to do with his keeping in second test we gotta understand that.but what an innings from him. i m preety sure it ll boost his confidence in both keeping and batting.guy deserves some luck and another chance

  • Ahmad Nasir on January 24, 2007, 8:19 GMT

    Well done, Kamran Akmal!!! We are proud of you. No one will remember his drop catches and missing of stumps, but will remember Pakistan's victory against South Africa. Akmal be given a chance to proove himself as the best wicket-keeper and the best choice available at the moment. Can we talk about the misery of Pakistan Cricket i.e. Shoaib Akhter...........? PCB should close the doors for those who can not behave theirself.

  • Mohd Saleem on January 24, 2007, 8:19 GMT

    I fully agree with Mr. Tariq Ali's comments. If Imran Farhat can play why not Afridi, who is by far a better batsman, bowler & fielder.

  • haroon (south africa) on January 24, 2007, 8:13 GMT

    To all those that feel akmal should be given another chance ............. put yourself in the shoes of the bowler, one strike bowler short, rana and nazir arent really gonna win matches ......... aasif beats the bat time and time again, not sure if akmal will take the catch cleanly, then changes line and gets hit down the leg for easy runs ......... kaneria draws batsmen forward all the time, not sure if akmal will take the stumping ...... sami bowls quickly and akmal cant stop the ball cleanly...... thats in the field..... south africa as a result of bad catching or missed chances by akmal go on and score 450 plus ........akmal scores a streaky 35 at the end how does this help, get another specialist keeper in there now hold on to the chances restrict an ordinary south africa to 300 and the keeper wont need to bat, if the keeper does need to bat with that score then the fault lies with the specialist batsmen so i think the keepers contribution should be primarily with the gloves and mr. akmal has cost pakistan more then one match already in the last year ....... sorry mr abassi, NO PARDON for poor keeping, doesnt help the team

  • Shahbaz Faheem on January 24, 2007, 8:05 GMT

    Dear Kamran, Notwithstanding Akmal's heroics with the bat and below par wicketkeeping. Pak need a reserve wicketkeeper all the time. What happens if Akmal gets injured? So it's high time Zulqarnain is put to the real test and find out how good he is at the job.

    To end, Congrats to Inzi & his team for magnificient victory.

    and Get back Afridi and Yasir Arafat for one-dayers.

  • Humayun Mirza on January 24, 2007, 7:39 GMT

    Asking for Akmal to be retained as wicketkeeper on account of his batting display is akin to giving someone a cap when he needs shoes. And for heaven's sake do not belittle Wasim Bari's wicketkeeping abilities. It appears that many including David Furrows have not seen the "golden era" of wicketkeepers when keeping ability was the primary criterion for selection and batting prowess was considered a "bonus". It was during that time that Bari stood tall amongst distinguished colleagues such as Knott, Taylor Marsh, Kirmani, Murray and Dujon. I have been fortunate enough to have witnessed Pakistani 'keepers from Abdul Kadir, Naushad Ali and Ejaz Hussain right down to the present day and the only two keepers of outstanding ability have been Wasim Bari and Rashid Latif. Missed chances were not even an option for Bari and the standards he set made it difficult for others such as Masood Iqbal, Shahid Israr, Taslim Arif, Arifuddin, and Ashraf Ali to compete. Kamran Akmal need not be written off, for he has displayed his keeping ability in the past. He has simply lost his focus and concentration which is borne out by his missed stumpings as well as dropped catches. He needs to go back to the drawing board and iron out his problems. On another note, why is Shoaib so grudgingly acknowledged? He was the sole difference between the two teams- his demolition of the South African first innings was the main reason for setting up a chance to win. It just showed how impotent the Pakistan team is without him. Perhaps his participation in even half a match is enough to secure a victory. He should be acknowledged where due and even treasured as a prize possesion.

  • Asim ghaffar on January 24, 2007, 6:35 GMT

    His blunders while keeping cannot be undone by his batting performance. Its like saying that we should keep Hafeez as opener even if he fails to score 50+ runs in 50 match only because he can bowl.

    We need right people for the right job.

    Keeper is a keeper. When he drops an easy catch he makes a blunder and when he drops 5+ in a match then basically he is the 90% of the reason why a team would loose the match.

    One should see his two perfromances differently.

    World cup is near and if Pak really want to have a right decision then it makes sense to give zulqarnain a chance in the last test (rather then in any of the onedays) rather then hoping that akmal batting performance will improve his keeping.

    If you want to persist with akmal then don't say its becuase of his batting, just say that we want to give him another chance.. Formar is a very silly logic that can not be defended scientifically.

  • Sameer on January 24, 2007, 6:25 GMT

    i dont think pakistan will find a replacement for kamran akmal. he is a permanent member of the team. anyone who replaces him will definitely be worse than him. he might miss chances behind stumps but his courage counts at crucial times.

  • omer on January 24, 2007, 4:41 GMT

    Sometimes in International cricket lack of confidence can ecllipse your talent. Just see Hassan Raza. I think this is jo of management now and senior players to give him that confidence and for the critics i would say........Just keep your mouths shut or Akmal will make them shut just as with his innings the other day

  • Omer Admani on January 24, 2007, 3:53 GMT

    Rayhan, You are correct about his batting performances, he has played a couple of vital innings under pressure. But dropping-- if I recollect collectly-- Kallis, Gibbs, Boucher, Ntini, Pollock, and Prince in the same innings would mean that the bowlers are bowling about 18 batsmen out (not to mention some very fine players). He also did this in England. He did this in the first innings as well (one of Sami and the other two deflections off his gloves that Yonis was able to take), and has done it on a few occassions against West Indies at home. Have a closer look at the number of chances he took in the last match to draw a good comparison. Personally, if someone's form is indiferent, I don't mind having him in the team. However, if a player turns out to be detrimental to the team, that is, his presence negates the efforts of other players in the team, I find it unacceptable (for instance, what Rana can do while bowling). In this sense I think Sami has improved because, though his bowling figures show 1 wicket in each innings, He kept it tight, and allowed other bowlers to work on the batsmen. We might have lost in England because of Akmal's dropped chances and missed stumpings. One thing I'd like to emphasize is that this is one person missing so many opportunities, not many. Akmal has to have a flaw in his keeping technique because he tends to miss balls without deflections regularly, let alone the ones which hit the bat. I think if Akmal takes some extra responsibility (besides making juvenile expressions only to impress "elders" in the team at missed opportunities), he could genuinely play as a batsman (Much better than Farhat!). He seems to intuitively know where the gaps are, sights the ball well, and times it about as good as any when in flow, which could only be a sign of a very good player. He could also improve on his keeping technique meanwhile, but should not keep wickets right now at the possible expense of Pakistan losing matches.

  • Imad Ahmed on January 23, 2007, 22:44 GMT

    Dropped catches and missed stumpings probably conceded more runs to RSA than were earned by his batting

  • Salman Khan on January 23, 2007, 22:24 GMT

    If he had taken those chances then the team wouldn't need his effort with bat. He should be doing his basic job as a keeper well. then the batsmen wouldn be in pressure to make runs which they cant't

  • Bilal Zia Khan on January 23, 2007, 22:14 GMT

    Well, I dont have the luxury to enjoy the current test series live so I havent seen any of Akmal's preformances recently behind the gloves but I do follow my cricket through cricinfo. Pak cricket cannot get their act together in terms of their opening combination, on paper probably the best bowling record but they still struggle to find a decent attack, every now and then the guns are turned to the captain to replace him with Younis Khan, and now the wicket keeper. Akmal, like any other player should be made accountable to keep his spot in the team but if he is going through a rough patch give him some support and coaching and then maybe experiment after the world cup, he has come to the rescue of the team with his batting on several occasions (and if his batting has not been consistent then thats because his batting order has been changed every now and then). One thing I do admire about the Australian cricket is their rotation policy where a player is not dropped because of his form but is rested, giving other players the exposure to what it is all about .. the big occasion.

    Their is a big difference between playing in an empty stadium in a domestic match and playing in the final of the world cup with thousands of people watching and I am sure thats when Akmal's experience will count and hopefully he will rise to the occcasion.

  • Rayhan on January 23, 2007, 21:47 GMT

    Kamran played a vital role in this win. His other vital innings were against India, when he starred in Pakistan's win in Karachi (0-3, the 30odd for 6)...??Don't remember any Miandads, Inzamams or Yousufs doing it...ever! The he played out a whole day against Indian in India with A. Razzak. He is a team player, and is gutsy. It would be better to have someone work with him on his keeping, and he should be back in form. Out of the matches Pak would definitely have lost, he starred in three, believe thats a big achievement!

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on January 23, 2007, 21:46 GMT

    Lets face Akmal benefited from Smith captaincy follies. Not having 3 slips and a gully cost the SA's the match. While I agree Akmal is a certainty for the deciding test, I also think that Haider should be retained for the ODI and tried in a couple of games, if for no other reason than to let Akmal know that we have options. Nothing focuses the mind better than the fear of losing your job. The calling up of Shabbir to replace Gul and Shoaib proves one thing and one thing only, the selection process is totally warped. Shabbir has not even played for Multan in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy so on what basis has he been called into the team he has not played competitive cricket in over a year. Poor blokes like Arafat, Khalil and even Azhar Mehmood have been taking wickets consistently yet this guy get a call up. No wonder our domestic season is a joke!!

  • Omer Admani on January 23, 2007, 21:29 GMT

    Though Akmal batted well, he should not keep wickets in the third match. All it can take is one crucial catch to drop for South Africa to amass enough extra runs that an in-form Akmal could never achieve with the bat. It is not about forgiving or giving chances, there has to be substantial flaw in his technique for him to drop catches consistently. I think what could be done is play a specialist keeper, get Farhat out of the team and play Akmal/Kamal as a batsman. Remember, we know tht Akmal will drop more catches, what we don't know is whether he will bat well again.

    I think if Rana or Nazir play the third match, Pakistan could forget about winning it (though I'd pick Nazir over Rana if a choice had to be made because ultimately Nazir failed in one match only while Rana has failed consistently and terribly). How about playing two spinners as the pitch at Cape town spins (I recollect India missed Harbajan)? Is Abdul Rehman on tour?

  • Nadeem Sharifuddin on January 23, 2007, 21:22 GMT

    What my suggestion to pakistan team is to go with Zulqernain as keeper and go Akmal as batsman instead of Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed and so so

    He is better batsman than our openers.

    Go Pakistan with Akmal...go.

  • Aftab Amin on January 23, 2007, 20:18 GMT

    I enjoy watching Kamran play whether it be with the bat or with the gloves. He brings in motivation when the team is down and he has shown he has the potential to be the best wicket keeper pakistan or the world has ever seen. But somehow I feel that he has not been given the full attention he is owed by the Pakistan management and coach. He is behind the stumps for 50 overs I probably couldnt do it even for 5 overs so its a real hard work and to bat after that is just too much he should be handled with more care as he is a true asset to the team. NOT looking forward to seeing Zulqarnain behind the stumps. Well done Kamran

  • naeem on January 23, 2007, 20:17 GMT

    yes its a great innings that he play when pakistan realy need that type of inning and i hope this innings make help him behind the stumps so well done kamran akmal for a winning knock and wish him good luck behind the stumps

  • suleman on January 23, 2007, 19:49 GMT

    Couple of years ago, the so called experts (Ian Chappel and Dean Jones) were saying that there is no place of Younis Khan in the Pakistani team as he has not taken Pakistan to victory. As Younis was batting at number 6, he had little time and support to put on big scores. What a revelation Younis has been in the last two years. He has become an integral part of the team. Kudos to younis and Akmal.

  • Frank Humphrey on January 23, 2007, 19:38 GMT

    Nice pseudonym Srinivas ..like ur approach JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA would sound Paki as opposed to Indian.

  • Matthew Jacob on January 23, 2007, 19:29 GMT

    Akmal father in Pakistan was attacked by assailants. He was informed of that during the test. I am sure, that added to his lack of concentration.

    Hope he turnes around.

  • Tariq Ali on January 23, 2007, 19:16 GMT

    I agree with your article. I have been a big fan of young Akmal and 2 seasons ago he was up there as the best wicket keeper batsman around. Unfortunately, in England we watched in horror as to how bad he had become. He wasn't bad against the Windies back home, but in SA his keeping has been pretty woeful. Even I, as a fan of his, finally succumbed to those who say he should be given 'time out' after his dismal keeping efforts in this test match. However, his innings, okay a bit streaky early on, but another to rank alongside Mohali and Karachi, shows this kid is a rare talent. I would play him in the test series decider.

    What I dont understand is how Imran Farhat has managed to play in so many games for Pakistan. He is an embaressment, and is so bad that I find it amazing that he still keeps on being picked for the side. Is it true that he is only in the squad because of the status of his father in law in 'high circles' within the PCB? Even if it isn't, it is a disgrace that someone so limited of ability or intelligence (referring to the number of times he has been caught in the slips to the same pathetic drive) should get so many chances in the side. The same goes for Javed Miandads nephew Faisal Iqbal - another undeserving of his place in the squad. What have Tafeeq Umar, Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi, Asim Kamal, Misbah Ul Haq, Hasan Raza etc done to be dropped ahead of these two poor players?

    One final note, I thought Sami was excellent in this game. He has talent but so far he has failed to live upto the hype. However, I believe given a run alongside the superb Asif and Gul, he will learn some tricks of how to move the ball, and become a very effective bowler for Pakistan, in tandem with those two excellent young bowlers. Just hope they can stay or get fit!

  • fawwad on January 23, 2007, 19:07 GMT

    Pakistan is perhaps the only team who always gambles by exposing youngsters at crucial times. as some one said, they will perform at he highest level any time ...if they have it in them. look at the history & u will lost the count of debuts...this goes for zulqarnain. no one is saying to dump kamran & that too at this juncture...the only thing is to give him some rest & time to work out his weaknesses, if any. by having competition between players is not a bad option at all. look at smith's comments. they were discussing of resting pollock & nitini during the series.

  • syed on January 23, 2007, 18:48 GMT

    Kamran's last 50 which lead victory against South Africa was made up of many irresponsible strokes.Trying to hit 3 fours in a row, when there is a day and half left in the game is totally irresponsible.Dont forget he got out hooking the last ball of the day in the first inning.In the second inning he was basically desparate to neutralize his failures as a keeper.It worked.It may not work in other more important matches.

  • Shahriar Hoque on January 23, 2007, 18:27 GMT

    Bats man score runs, bowlers pick up wickets and weetkeeprs help bowlers to pick up those wickets. Let's not forget that. PAK should find and need the best keeper in the country, "WICKET KEEPER" not batsman. AKMAL's failure to sump out Kallis when he was at low score could make the the match different. Kallis made 90 some odd runs. PAK might not even need to chase 199 if Kallis was dismissed by Akmal. SO please, don't be fooled by Akmal's batting. He is a keeper and if he fails in keepng then he should be dropped regardless of his batting.

  • farrukh on January 23, 2007, 18:23 GMT

    Get a new wicket keeper for Pakistan.Get rid of Imran Farhat.Have Kamran Akmal as opener or one down but not as a keeper.

  • sameer on January 23, 2007, 17:53 GMT

    first of all i want to say that akmal is good and that haider shouldnt be rushed into the wiket keeping slot as yet. also akmal didnt have a great englnad tour and was classed very good befir that tour. akmla is just in a bad slump as soon will be bak to his best

  • Zeeshan Lodhi on January 23, 2007, 17:50 GMT

    kamran bhaie write about the shoaib -bob woolmer THING!

  • Zeeshan Lodhi on January 23, 2007, 17:48 GMT

    Akmal dropped 7 chances and missed a stumping (correct me if im wrong) during this test match which, along with all the decisions that went against Pakistani team, made the job harder for Pakistan in the end and had he not batted the way he did probably he wouldn be playing the next match(inzi mite still rest him), but when u think of all thats been going around in his family,u can pardon him, his father was kidnapped and shot a few days back(he is alive and well now),that being said he is a professional cricketer and should not let his family problems affect his performance.He started his innings, with edges flying everywhere but as he grew in confidence, he played some excellent shots through the covers and literally ripped the south african bowling apart, i dont think his 1 good innnings is enough to compensate for the missed chances, had Boucher or Prince gone on to score a century it would probably be a totally differnet story, but its a begining, Akmal should work harder in the nets, put his family problems in the back of his mind and concentrate on the job on hand because he really is the backbone of the Pakistani team when they are bowling, if he continues with the bad performance behind the stumps(which is his primary job) irrespective of how he bats during the next match, he should be rested for a few one dayers, i totally agree with Kamran Abbasi, it would be a bad decision to play Zulqarnain in the final test match and im sure the pakistan team management is smarter than that!

  • nasir on January 23, 2007, 17:47 GMT

    Akmal is Pakistan's best keeper. No doubt about it. Yes he is currently lacking some confidence behind the stumps but surely a few sessions with the coach and its nothing that cannot be overcome.

    Lets not male hasty decisions and drop Akmal for some other unknown. We will end up with confusion like Moin and Latif and no doubt the same saga that compounds our openers will haunt our keepers. Where are we after dopping openers like Taufeeq Umar, Salman Butt, Mohammad Wasim and Waji Wasti. We are not better now than with those guys.

    We dropped Asim Kamal and di we get better? Now we have tried hamid and Iqbal at his expense. God knows whether he will be able to re-establish himself in the team.

    So the answer is no. We have a decide a man for every position and stick with him through thick and thin. Kamran Akmal is my man for the position of keeper.

  • umair on January 23, 2007, 17:30 GMT

    wowowow!!! Stunning testmatch!!! Inzi God bless you!! it was indeed the best hundred he never got perhaps if he had taught asif to bat a bit, and do the basic stuff like getting in line, he wouldnt have to rue it but im sure, inzi wud take a away test match won under his captaincy over his match winning century any day obviously that would have been the icing on the cake but nevertheless what an innings as for Akmal, well when i saw his innings, only one thing came to my mind, all this guy needs is confidence and bit of brusing up on his technique and this guy can match any leading batsman in the world, not just wicketkeeper batsmen he can hit the ball as hard as gilchrist and conventionally too i think after shoaib malik, he is the best technically equipped all rounder in the pakistani team and a man of crisis, as he proved yet again as he has done before on numerous occasions, remember pak vs india (test in india) how can you people forget he has 4 hundreds, and i think 14 fifty's, moin and rashid put together never had as many runs at this stage of their career give this guy a break, he will do fine with the gloves, as bob woolmer rightly put it, akmal is 20% of pakistan team, if he performs well, team inevitably performs well, so pray he performs like this with bat more often and gets better with gloves as its crucial for any team to have their keeper firing to get them going

  • Rehan on January 23, 2007, 17:27 GMT

    This series is being played at a high level. I have tremendous respect for South Africa and its team. This was a great win for Pakistan but I have a feeling it was a mere blip for SA...

  • Mohammad Hasanuzzaman on January 23, 2007, 17:23 GMT

    I think Akmal should play as batsman only at number 6. 1-Hafeez, 2-Farhat, 3-Yunis, 4-Yusuf, 5-Inzamam, 6-Akmal, 7-WK (probably Zulqarnaine), 8-11 tailenders. It would be like Kumar Sangakara (although Akmal's calibar is far below than Kumar at current level both in front or behind the stump). And let the tailenders to learn about the cost of their wickets. Otherwise, all go in vain.

  • shab on January 23, 2007, 17:05 GMT

    Kamran needs to bat more up the order with inzi. His wicket keeping has been very poor lately but on his day he can be the best in the world.

  • usman razaq on January 23, 2007, 17:00 GMT

    In my opinion, Akmal's keeping has been very poor. I have been extremely pissed off with his antics behind the stumps. Pakistan do not need half a batsman down the order, they need the catches coming their way to be held. Catches win matches. Believe me, its only a matter of time before they are sick of his poor form and streaky batting down the order and drop him. Pakistan is more tallented than most teams, however their discipline is very ordinary. A good fielding display and their best potential bowling attack in the World cup should see them blow away any oposition that comes in their way.

  • Jack Murphy on January 23, 2007, 16:59 GMT

    Bye bye Shoaib ...finally your sun has set and for the good of cricket and mankind. You made the human race look bad . How were you born son ? Cases like you emphasize the importance of abortion.

  • yasir khan on January 23, 2007, 16:45 GMT

    Thanks smith for relaxing the slip cordon. The form came just at a right time for Kmaran and for the sake of pakistan.I still belief that kamran should be replaced with zulqurnain but only as a wicket keeper, I mean kamran should be batting at number 6 as a geneuine batsman by dropping Imran farhat and open with yasir hamid and Hafeez because currently kanran seems to be in better form than Imran Farhat.Once again well done Kamran but one should not forget the wall of Pakistan Younas khan for his excellence.

  • Kashif on January 23, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    I agree to an extent coz there is no other keeper to replace him. He reminds me of another of Pakistan big names, guy with best fighting spirit in Pakistani team, extraordinary with the bat (though technically an incorrect one), always came good when we needed him BUT, and a big but was, his wicket keeping skills (for what he was supposed to be in the team) were never worth mentioning. I guess every body knows where I am coming from (u r right Moin is the name). And you know what, Pakistan is such a defy the logic team that the guy was absolutely neccessary for our Teams balance and that what he proved in 92 and 99 world cups!

  • Hassan Farooqi on January 23, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    Selectors should look at the case of Tasleem Arif. He made a sensational debut as a batsman but did not do so greatly behind the stumps. He was eventually used as a batsman until he faded away.

    It is time Zulkarnain be given the duty behind the stumps and Kamran Akmal in front of the stumps. Nothing wrong with it.

  • Faiz Khilji on January 23, 2007, 16:29 GMT

    Drop Akmal right now, atleast for the final Test. He needs a break - like Sehwag. He was mostly responsible for RSA taking a 190 runs lead in the first place, otherwise it would have been just 50+ runs. Drop him - it is good for Team Pakistan and also good for him. He has been given ample chance now - the other youngster Zurqarnain deserves to prove himself. It is now or never..

  • Asim-Reality bites on January 23, 2007, 15:56 GMT

    Dear fans, please do not be typical Pakistani mind, all emotions and no sense. It was not the first time that Akmal dropped catches. He has been dropping 4 to 5 catches in every test since the England series and has poor take for straight balls. I am surprised no one noticed his sloppy wicket keeping in the previous series against England, Champions trophy and against WestIndies where dropping catches behind the stumps was a norm rather than exception. I never thought that we could get a worse keeper than Moin Khan, but Akmal has proved me wrong. Wicket keeping is a natural thing and not that one can improve through coaching. His batting too is inconsistent, let him play in the last test and bring Zulqarnain, Humayun Farhat or the under-19 Captain Sarfraz Ahmad in his place for the World Cup and Subsequent series, otherwise we can not afford to see 5 ot 6 catches in every match by just one culprit. Our selectors, captain and the think(less) tank only go by reputations and base their decisions only on few good performances by our cricketers. They are so obsessed with Rana, Sami, Kaneria, Yasir Hameed, Faisal Iqbal that other talented players like Asim Kamal, Bazid Khan, Hasan Raza, Shahid Yusuf, Shahid Nazeer, Najaf Shah etc have to suffer.... Come on, select the best possible team not the favorite possible...

  • Shoaib on January 23, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    Give Akmal a break. If your father or any loved one was robbed and shot and is fighting for his life then I would like to see what kind of composure you will have. Well that's what Akmal went through the 2nd test and he still took Pakistan to the finish line. It was his commitment that he braved the situation and stayed with the team, otherwise lots of people would catch the first available flight. Have you forgotten his epic inning in Mohali 2 years ago? When he brought some respect to Pakistani team. It was his resolve that enabled Pakistan win the series in India. As far as his keeping goes, yes it is a concern but except Bari and Latif, Pakistan had very little luck in that department. It is coach's job to put him through remedial work and boost his confidence.

  • Zafar on January 23, 2007, 15:31 GMT

    Hats off to Pakistan team for a courageous victory. At the same time Bob Woolmer and co. should be taken to task for their spineless and coward attitude regards biased umpiring and SA sledging. For example it was completely unlawful and infuriating to see Pollock trying to hurt Younis Khan by throwing the ball at him while the ball was already dead being a no-ball. I am 100% sure that no complaints were made against this to the Match umpires and referee by the Bob and co. If somebody strong like Imran Khan was our coach nobody would have dared to do such lousy acts to Pakistani players.

  • Usamah Khan on January 23, 2007, 15:07 GMT

    Kamran Akmal has had many great games for us. Over the last year and a half he has been struuggling big times behind the stumps. It is way to close to the world cup to try out new things. I think Pakistan just need to stick with their guns and keep him going right now. He has great potential. who can ever forget that Mohali test?

  • J Ahmad on January 23, 2007, 14:57 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is in the deal as a wicket keeper who can bat but keeping is his main job. Though his innings of 57* was crucial to Pakistan's win, his shoddy golve work over the past year can not be forgotton. From what I have heard or seen of Zulqarnain, theres not much to suggest that he's the obvious choice. But then again I am reminded of the fifth test of the 1992 test series in England when the scores were level at 1-1 when a certain Rashid Latif was handed a debut. He not only went on to score an important 50 runs but also kept well and established himself. On that evidence I would drop Akmal from the final test.

    Lets all wait and see.

  • Said Chaudhry on January 23, 2007, 14:51 GMT

    First of all, to those who want Akmal dropped, let me ask you something? How would you be feeling if you were thousands of miles away from home for work purposes and in the midst of it all you receive a phone call telling you that your father got robbed and shot at? Well, this is what happened to Kamran Akmal the night before Pakistan came out to bowl in the second innings. For him to still come out after hearing such tragic news, and keep for your team and your country is a testament to his character. Wicket keeping is not an easy job, you can get away with straying in your thoughts if youre out fielding by the boundary or anywhere else, but if your thoughts go astray while youre keeping, you'll definately drop some chances...and that is simply what happened to Akmal. You could tell his mind was not in the game all the time. Can you blame him for being worried about his fathers health? or fearing for his familys safety?

    Say what you want now, but this is the third time Akmal has saved a test match for Pakistan. And its also the third time he has saved a match when you would have thought we have no chance what so ever. Let me remind you of these three tests:

    1. Mohali test vs India where he batted some of fourth and the entire fifth day against one of the worlds best spin bowling attacks to save us from losing, and had India won there, we would've lost the series 2-1.

    2. Pakistan vs India at Karachi, where Irfan Pathan got a first over hatrick, Pakistan were 0/3 and then lost two more wickets quickly. Untill Akmal came in and launched one of the most memorable counter attacks you'll ever see in test cricket, scoring a remarkable hundred and inspiring a superb series win!

    3. At Port 'Liz against RSA, he showed grit and determination. A series levelling knock.

    This man alone has saved you two series against your biggest rivals and helped win only your second test in South Africa. I know he has not been very professional behind the stumps, Ive noticed that since his poor performance in England but you won't see another batsman mimic the shots you only thought Tendulkar (used to) plays, you could watch the shots he played over and over again and think 'How did he play that!?'.

    I agree with David Furrows thoughts, that Pakistan need to consult a wicketkeeper coach, Akmal has brilliant talent. He has been solid for a long time behind the stumps up untill the last few series he has completely deterioted but he can come good if a real wicketkeeper coach can help him (anyone except Wasim Bari please).

    Go Akmal!

  • Sheraz Malik on January 23, 2007, 14:41 GMT

    One good innings does not take away from the fact that Akmal has been pathetic behind the stumps for a while now. If he would have taken ANY one of those catches, chances are he would not have been required to bat. Secondly any one of his careless shots could have gone to hand, what then? He is not a genuine Test keeper, at the moment. The talent is there, but something is just not there, with the keeping. His primary function is as a keeper, if he cannot fullfill that role he should be dropped till he improves.

    Shout out to DADA.

  • Aftab Qureshi on January 23, 2007, 14:38 GMT

    I agree with everything Kamran the writer said about Kamran the keeper. Akmal is young, talented, energetic, and probably still acceptable as a team member even to bowling colleagues who have suffered at his hands. He has also helped Pakistan win a match that it seemed perilously close to losing. However, I am not in favor of having no alternative on hand. I think it is always a good idea to have the next best keeper-batsman breathing down his neck. The reason Bob Woolmer assigns 20% weight to the keeper is because he is 10% as keeper and is expected to be another 10% as a batsman. The expectation that overall performance be acceptable in both roles is not unreasonable. I am therefore of the view that, unless Akmal performs at least in one of the two roles in two out of three matches, we should be ready to replace him with whoever is the best (or the next best). A bit of pressure would do him good.

  • Imran Quraishi on January 23, 2007, 14:34 GMT

    Akmal is a part of Pakistan team right now and till the world cup we can not replace him with a new comer. No matter how many catches he drops,we have to be realistic here that no one can replace him as of now and we need his experience at least till this world cup. I hope people did not forget that old is olg and gold can not be replaced with silver(Zulquarnain). If some one got to go then that is Imran Farhat. For God sake get rid of him and get Butt back so that the butt kicking can finally begin.

  • Saad Ahmed on January 23, 2007, 13:58 GMT

    Well done pakistan!, but these sifarishi players must go! Everybody knows that imran farhat's father in law is Salim Altaf's friend, thts why he is in the team, and muhammad hafeez is not that talented compared to imran nazir, salman butt, taufiq umar, the amount of chances given to farhat and hafeez i think three continous series without performing, these openers are the selectors favourites and they would probably play the world cup, anyways yes i agree akmal needs to tighten up but we cant drop him this close to the world cup.

  • Abdul Waheed on January 23, 2007, 13:36 GMT

    When one thinks of clutch players, the names of Wasim Akram, Waqar,Imran,Sir Viv Richards, Inzimam,Sir Richard Headly, Kapil, Botham to name a few come to the mind. During most of their careers, all these were great consistently in what they did but, one saw their true colors when the chips were really down for their respective teams. I have always wondered about the players like Moin Khan who in his entire career and now Kamran Akmal with his not so new career so far, have constantly shown an average or below average collective skills in the department for which they were primarily hired. Yet, when one looks at most of their high scoring innings for example; Centuries and fifties of both of these Glove men, one has to admit these came when the chips were really down and due to their contribution the team either won or saved a certain defeat. Therefore, I will put them in the category of Clutch Players Grade II. Anyone agree?

  • Suhail Khan on January 23, 2007, 13:11 GMT

    Akmal has never been too reliable a keeper on spinners. I remember Bari commenting on his technical flaws in this respect (i.e. standing too close to stumps, going hard on ball instead of soft hands) few years ago. Yet there has been no improvement. On top of that, his keeping to pacers has deteriorated alarmingly. Yes the latter has definitely to do with his confidence and mental state, but the former is more of a technical issue which has not been sorted out. Having said that, well done to him for playing this knock. He had a large slice of luck few times yesterday, but as they say fortune favors the brave. I am still worried about his keeping skills though, but too late to experiment now before the world cup. However, his replacement needs to be groomed. May be a bit of competition would push him on.

  • Yousuf - Toronto on January 23, 2007, 13:05 GMT

    Congrats to Pakistan for pulling off a great victory in a real dog-fight of a game. Considering that the Pakistani bowlers had to toil doubly hard in the second innings thanks to a shoddy team-mate (Shoaib), shoddy umpiring and even shoddier wicket-keeping, it was highly commendable the bowlers kept the eventual target reasonable. Kudos to Asif, Kaneria and Sami in this regard. While Imzimam deservedly won the Man of the Match, this was really a team effort. Shoaib of course once again proved that he can be a match-winner and a huge liability all in the same game! Injury? Did he pick it up falling off his bed between the first and second day? Thanks to his unpredictable temperament, his career will eventually be remembered for unfulfilled promises, which is sad as there is no doubting his talent. Kamran Akmal might have staved off execution for another Test thanks to his wonderful batting, but in effect it should not even have had come down to that if had managed to hold on to the catches that came his way! In Test cricket, a wicket keeper is a specialized position and the best keeper should be chosen for the task. If he bats well, it should be considered a bonus and should not be the first consideration. Perhaps replacing Kamran would allow him to go back and tinker with his technical fundamentals as to why he has difficulties keeping to spinners.

  • Altaf on January 23, 2007, 12:43 GMT

    Akmal is the expectations of Pakistan cricket and for improvement he catch some times and in the player always these nature of bad patch come up to in his career, but its not imply that he not recall their play. Kamran Akmal always play positive cricket and he is the man of pressure and he always proved his selection, on the 2nd end he can improve their gloves work. BOB have to work out on him and PCB has to hire wicket keeping Coach separately.

  • Zahir on January 23, 2007, 12:38 GMT

    I think a lot of the mistakes he has made in this test have to do with the incident that has occured with his father in pakistan. How could he concentrate on wicket keeping when he was told his dad was attcked and shot at and is in hospital?. He seemed to be keeping well again since the england tour until this occurence. ok Maybe he has a few technical things that could be sorted out but I think we need to support the lad through this tough period instead of criticising him like we do with all our stars. We are very quick to criticise and slow to shower praise. Last week it was kaneria who was being criticised now its akmal. Whos next???? We need to stop doing this and understand they are only human and humans make mistakes. Lets start supporting our stars. One thing is clear, Akmal is a very talented player and has a big future ahead of him.....

  • DR SAFDAR HUSSAIN on January 23, 2007, 12:28 GMT

    Has anybody noticed the ineffectiveness of Mohammad Sami during this match.Once again he has given more than 100 runs for 2 wickets in the match on a seamer friendly surface.A man with a worst average in the world,worst than a part timer.

  • MHK on January 23, 2007, 12:16 GMT

    I like this youngman, you know why, he is soft, pleasant, workable and as they say "a friend in need is a friend indeed". He took Pakistan out of hot waters in Mohali, India and now in Port Elizabeth. Yes he dropped, missed a few valuable catches and did not on occasion stump the batsman out. You need to coach him properly. He is young, enthusiatic, man suitable against pressure, he needs to be polished.

  • waqas on January 23, 2007, 12:15 GMT

    akmal has a big careere front og him. we should courage him and get a professoanl coach for him to to be the best. bob donr have any clue about wicket keeping. hz just gd with bat and ball.

  • Yassar on January 23, 2007, 11:58 GMT

    The role of a wicket keeper is one of the most difficult jobs in cricket to perform. Not only is it exhausting physically but it can be tiring mentally too. Crouching, jumping, diving, concentrating for long periods, encouraging team mates are all remits for a wicket keeper to carry out and that too often over a number of long days in the field

    Yet in my opinion their work behind the stumps is not praised enough. Simple reason for that is because it’s perhaps not the obvious way in which teams have won matches. I mean a bowler taking 5 wickets or a batsman making a century would always get mentioned before a wicket keeper taking 5 catches and a stumping or 2.

    Kamran Akmal would be the first to admit his work behind the stumps recently has been below par and needs a lot of work. It such a position that mistakes are highlighted more than achievements but I suppose that’s the nature of the role.

    I don’t think Kamran Akmal’s place should be threatened even if he is in a bit of a slump in regards to wicket keeping and that is simply because he is a rare talent in that he can genuinely bat. In the modern game Gilchrist has set the benchmark for what teams ideally require in a wicket keeper and that is more so to do with his batting than his wicket keeping skills. In my opinion Kamran Akmal is perhaps the only wicket keeper – batsman in world cricket who perhaps comes closest to that benchmark.

    Kamran will improve with the gloves but what makes him vital to a fragile Pakistani batting line up is his ability with the bat, he also seems to perform during crunch and under pressure situations as he did during his brilliant century against India and in the recent win against South Africa.

    Well done Kamran!

  • Bilal Ahmad on January 23, 2007, 11:51 GMT

    akmal should work to make his gloves better or he should be dropped.if he did not drop those cathes he did not hav to bat and make runs and after dropping cathes of kallis and lower order he has given them confidece which will work against pakistan in future matches

  • Ali Majid on January 23, 2007, 11:44 GMT

    To all the individuals who are calling for Akmal to be dropped I have one message...LET IT GO! These are the same people that were calling for Kaneria to be dropped last week. You cannot at this point in time in the middle of such a crucial tour and weeks before the World Cup think about dropping a pivotal figure in this (now) well balanced Pakistani side. His form has not been the best recently but this is the time to back him because we all know that form is temporary and class is permanent (and for me class is denoted by committment, dedication and enthusiasm and Akmal has all those in buckets load). Back this guys as he will be (hopefully) a part of this side for years to come. What about Gilchrist I ask you all, he did not get dropped while he was going thorugh the worst form patch of his career...LET IT GO!

  • Sadiq on January 23, 2007, 11:30 GMT

    Kamran bai SUrely akmal has showed his class with his bat and with this innings good wicket keeping shud follow afterewards He is always positive ps COME ON SHOAIB

  • Bilal Shah. Denmark on January 23, 2007, 11:30 GMT

    Fair enough, that he won Pakistan the second test match against South Africa. But a wicket keeper´s primary job is behind the stumps. and he failed there big time. every wicket keeper HAS to score runs in modern era, you can not a "just a wicket keeper who is good with BIG gloves". For a wicket keeper being able to score runs (and specially when your team needs them most) adds an extra dimension to wicket keeper´s job. Finaly he did something with the bat. and that was too about time. how many times has he failed with the bat? just in recent past? but again scoring runs is his secondary job. we should not forget that if he hadn´t dropped those chances, who knows Pakistan wouldn´t have to score that many runs in second innings in first place. A lot of Pakistani players take thier places in the team for granted, which should not be the case. we have so many young players in domestic circuit, who are just waiting for a chance. The conclusion is that, if Pakistan has to win the last test, they have to make changes NOW. giving another wicket keepers a chance, and drop that technique less opener Imran Farhat too, who keeps bringing team and middle order in problems, by gifting his wicket to opponent bolwers everytime.

  • Khalid Khalil on January 23, 2007, 11:14 GMT

    I dont Agree with you , Abbasi.

    He made the awful mess in the wicket keeping departments . and if you recall the batting , his inning wasnt that good at all , he was lucky cause the south african hasnt keep the slip , even he has the ball thrice in the same area.

    And if he is not at his best , drop him , give chance tp someone who has talent. may be he might never put Pakistani team in the position Akmal has put.

    He dropped catches , missed stumping , so many times ,it could have left south africa out for less than 100 on the board.

    if you look at his performance through out the year its pathetic and if he had performed well in the past , that was his past , at present he is no good to be in a team

    Khalid

  • Saif Khan on January 23, 2007, 11:04 GMT

    Kamran is a very important player for Pakistan's future but his recent failings cannot be ignored. It first started from the England away series last year where he had a really tough time. That was followed by many more drop catches during the West Indies series at home. Pakistan surely cannot drop him for the final test now but a keepers role is to take the catches, doesn't matter how many runs he gets, if he is unreliable behind the stumps then he should be replaced. But I do hope he regains his form as a wicketkeeper as he is a good player.

  • partha on January 23, 2007, 10:58 GMT

    congrats to all pakistan friends and fans. Great win for Pakistan and subcontinent. Only hope that Shoiab doesnot get injured often. Breaking down mid innings, it is really a shame that a great fast bowler is not contributing fully to the success. Congrats again to Kamran Bhai and all Pakistani Bhais.

  • Abdulmajid Siddiqui on January 23, 2007, 10:41 GMT

    I do agree that Kamran Akmal has done a graet job never mind with share luck and he has been instrumental in many Pakistan wins, but he has not been performing his real job (wicket keeping) anywhere near satisfactory.

    One dropped catch or one missed stumping has not only severely affect the morale of the whole team but entirely change the shape of a game. He needs to improve fast in that area may be given only a batsman responsibility in place of the players like Imran Farhat or Yasir Hameed who have been performing the job of preasure builder on the entire team since long

  • SG on January 23, 2007, 10:39 GMT

    best solution: bring in the new wicket keeper but retain kamran as a batsman, there are many candidates to be given the boot, ie, farhat,faisal, or hameed, they all suck. plus, bring in afridi. he cant do any worse than the above 3, and its worth taking the risk of him failing, since there is a chance he may totally put SA out of the game with a 20 ball century or whatever. plus he can bowl decently. his ultra fast leg breaks can cause problems. so yes, my opinion: faisal and hameed out (the latter in crap form, the former just crap), bring in the new wicket keeper and afridi. and considering that akmal is suffering from a personal matter, its best the pressure of keeping is taken off him. but pakistan should go back to the old days of just getting wickets lbw or bowled, no need for keepers to take catches.

  • umair on January 23, 2007, 10:35 GMT

    akmal you r not great but good player i think so.but i congratulate you on your fine inng.please keep it up and inshallah you will be future of pakistan.i again say well done kami

  • Adnan Rizwi on January 23, 2007, 10:32 GMT

    Had Akmal grasped the catches, who knows that Pakistan would have chased less than a 100 runs. Agreed that consistency in selection is essential for team building but there has to be a limit. Akmal's failure in England deprived Pakistan a chance to compete with England. Usually, when a fielding side's ability is discussed, no one tries to focus a keeper. This is because a keeper, by default, has to be the best catcher. So, what Akmal did by batting Pakistan to victory was to annul his failure with the gloves. Normal course is that a wicket keeper will hold all the chances coming his way and add to his performance by scoring runs. We have good examples of Gilchrist and Sangakarra.

    If I am the selector, I would retain Akmal for the final test but would expect him to do his first job well. If he fails to hold catches in future, I would rather be happy with a wicket keeper who can not bat well but never drops a catch of stumping chance.

  • Tanweer Bukhari on January 23, 2007, 10:14 GMT

    Well Done Kami !!!!! I sugegst Pakistan should stick to Kamran. His game in the next match will be worth watching. Trust me.....!!!!!!!

  • Aamir Khan on January 23, 2007, 10:10 GMT

    Kamran Akmal should be played in Pakistani team as an opener not as a wicketkeeper. We can't find a decent opener to date. If our openers are doing so awful why not try Akmal for this position who would score at least better for the team. With him Imran Nazir should be given a chance as an opener and Shahid Afridi still deserve to be in the team. See how useless Imran Farhat and Mohammad Hafiz were in the 2nd test. If we had Shahid Afridi at least he would have taken some wickets earlier and relieve some burden from Asif and Kaneria!

  • Shabir on January 23, 2007, 10:07 GMT

    Anyone can have a bad day or days. Loyalty is to stick with someone when they are going thru a bad patch, for when they inevitably come out of it, the whole team is stronger. That said, I must say I am unimpressed by the presence of a quality substitute keeper. The PCB to be worth its salt, must look at all aspects of the game at all times and prepare suitable contingencies for all. If they anticipate a weakness in a department of the game, they should be seen scurrying about and worried about it. To sit on their laurels whilst the first string of players perform well, and then to harp on about injuries or form, when any of the first string gets off, is nothing short of complacency.

  • An Indian......... on January 23, 2007, 10:05 GMT

    Hey guys !!!!!! please stop bullshitting. kamran is the best WK in PK presently. You will never have Dhoni like talent in PK......

  • Gohar Ayub on January 23, 2007, 10:05 GMT

    I don't know why our players are slow learners or they are in the comfort zone. With the resources available today, Akmal can easily correct his technical deficiencies. There is no doubt that his hand-eye coordination is superb but to be on the top he must learn to correct his technical flaws. There is no harm in trying Haider in ODIs or even in the 3rd test.

  • Qasim Zaidi on January 23, 2007, 10:00 GMT

    sorry to say but one good performance with the bat can not compensate for what he HAS BEEN doing behind the stumps. i would call it a 'cold blooded murder' of spin bowling not at the hand of adversary batsmen but at the hands of a compatriot wicketkeeper. I ask you this question, what if in the next match S.A. chase a low total & kamran having scored 2 centuries in both the innings performs pathetically, yet again, behind the stumps & lets the proteas chase the total easily, would he do justice to the team?...HELL NO!! if the team management has some sense left in them then they should ask kamran to bow down voluntarily for the GOOD of pakistan cricket...according to you one fifty brought a mountain of confidence to kamran, what about Danish Kaneria? what about other spinners who have been suffering incessantly at the hand of kamran akmal, would that fifty bring them all those MISSED wickets which would have shone brightly in their records?...would his ONE MUCH REQUIRED FIFTY absolve all the SINS he has committed behind the wicket..NOWAY!! its about time zulqarnain wore the gloves in place of kamran akmal...if you think we really need kamran then bring him in as a batsman in place of the DUD imran farhat but not as a keeper for god sake.

  • Ali on January 23, 2007, 9:44 GMT

    First of all I would like to congratulate the team for bringing joy to the whole nation with this victory. I hope they fight in the same way in the last test and give us an even better reason to celebrate. As for Kamran Akmal, he played a wonderful innings riddled with luck at the start and full of flourish at the end. BUT the question remains, IS he playing in the Team as a batsman or a wicket keeper. Remember the number of chances he missed in the test, 6 or 7. Had he taken even 5 of them Pakistan would not have been chasing 190 odd. The might have ended up chasing 50-60. Then there are no IF's and BUT's in cricket. A point to ponder is he should be a wicketkeeper batsman, not a batsman who can keep wickets. Even Younis Khan can keep wickets. He cannot be made a hero with just one innings. That is the problem of Asian teams, especially India and now Pakistan is following in their footsteps. They overrate their players. “Forget all his mistakes just because he has played ONE good innings”. The reason team like Australia is 10 times better than any other team is because the Australian want to perform everyday. Look at Shane Warne, McGrath etc. Kamran Akmal should be warned that next time he misses so many chances he is OUT even if he scores a hundred. And people who think He was upset because of what happened to his father before the test should know that the incident happened only a week ago whereas his wicket keeping has been shameful since the last one year. Luv Pakistan. Luv Pakistan Team. Teach these South Africans a lesson. Well done!!!

  • Taimur Shaikh on January 23, 2007, 9:34 GMT

    Kamran Akmal no doubt is the future for Pakistan cricket. But of late because of his poor showing with the bat & gloves is some what under pressure. But in the 2nd innings or the 2nd Test against South Africa he showed what he is capable of. As far as his batting is concerned there is no one better than the present Pakistan cricket team captain to guide him. And as for his glove work, Pakistan in past have produced some great wicket keepers in Moin Khan, Rashid Latif & not to forget out chief selector Wasim Bari. I think one of the three wicket keepers should come forward & provide him with some useful guidance if they feel he is making some errors. I think Kamran should not be replaced atleast till the World Cup gets over but to be frank he is definitely the future for Pakistan cricket and he has it in him to make it to the heights where Ian Healy, Adam Gilchrist & Mark Boucher stand.

  • Azam Ali on January 23, 2007, 9:28 GMT

    Irfan was dumped despite is batting form, what give bad wicket keeper to to get parodon on account of his batting?

  • salman rabbani on January 23, 2007, 9:20 GMT

    It has been noticed that first 25-30 overs are crucial when SA are bowling. Most of the demage is done during this period of time. I feel Yasir hameed is too flashy to be sent at # 3 position. I feel Asim Kamal would be a better choice either at #3 or #4.

    Best of luck in the remaining matches.

  • Rizwan Rehmat on January 23, 2007, 9:15 GMT

    Greetings, folks!

    Yesterday's five-wicket win by Pakistan was one of the best I have seen in recent times (win in Karachi last year and in Bangalore the previous season were memorable too). And the credit for the win goes to so many inviduals, including Kamran Akmal.

    Speaking of Kamran, I think we all should understand that he is only human and there is a limit to human endurance. He has been playing non-stop since 2004, I think. Nobody can give 100 percent all the time!

    I feel it would be good Pakistan give him a break rather than discarding him in favour of somebody else. Give him a breather - probably for the one-dayers and have him fresh for the World Cup.

    And while Pakistan give Kamran a break, it would be good to see whether Zulqarnain has it in him to be part of the international circuit. Who knows what we might unearth!

  • ali on January 23, 2007, 9:13 GMT

    kamran's a great keeper batsman, better than all of the 90's -2004 keepers cept for rashid the w.c. may be his last chance... keep it up!

  • Adeel on January 23, 2007, 9:11 GMT

    The problem with Kamran Akmal is one similar to Abdul Razzaq, although brilliant at times they can be very average at times. I think since they dont have any competition at all for places like it used to be in the past with Moin and Rashid or even when Razzaq was challanged all the way by Azhar Mehmood. Regardless of that WELL DONE Pakistan.

  • Naweed Ahmad Rai on January 23, 2007, 9:09 GMT

    First of all i would like 2 appreciate the Akmal's operformance and the confidence level he showed in this test and proved himself 2 b a good player who can play 4 his team & country.But he must has 2 b consistent in his performance bzc he has played this innings after a long time perhaps after indaia's tour.But 2 won this match all players esplly inzi,unis,asif and my hated 1 shoaib

  • Yasser Rafique on January 23, 2007, 9:05 GMT

    Well ! I think that even tghough Kamran Akmal played a match winning knock but he cannot be exused for all the drop chances. He nearly help south africa to win this test match. Even though the innings he played was very risky. Three or four time he got a thick outside edge which flew past the slips & gully region. He was never in control.

    I think we should also not rush Zulqarnain into the test arena so early. We should look towards the world cup. I think, its time to revert back to the phrase Old is Gold. We need to call back Moin Khan for one day internationals, who is performing well in domestic cricket. He is experienced and we need him for the world cup.

  • Ali on January 23, 2007, 9:01 GMT

    Akmal is an asset, no doubt. He should be rested as his keeping lately has been shoddy to the least. Zulqernian should be given a chance in the third test and I am sure he will not disappoint. This is the only way we will see better performances from players who start take their position in the team for granted. I believe Ganguly makes a good example as he is looking very eager to be part of the team and is giving his all to stay in the team...

  • Aziz on January 23, 2007, 8:59 GMT

    hi, I dont have any doubts saying Kamran Akmal is a natural cricketer specially after what we have seen from him, but we shouldn't forget his misery with the gloves. But he certainly deserves to get one more chance after his splended batting. I would suggest that we should stick to him for the final test and if necessary we can give Zulqarnain Haider a whole one day series to show his talent, with that we would be able to judge both in their respective talents. Than it would really matter that we are choosing the right keeper for the team or not, before that its too early and absolutely rubbish to expose a debutant in front of those inform bowlers in a test match, that will also keep Zulqarnain Haider fear free to be dropped and to concentrate on his performance. One does surely needs some rest! may be Kamran needs it for a little while. We could have two worldclass wicket keepers before world cup.

  • shahid on January 23, 2007, 8:53 GMT

    Congratulations Everyone on a fine victory....Inzamam is the best captain of the pakistani team....and Akmal played really well..everyone chipped in gave a lot of figth...everyone played with unity and a figth which is all we want weather we win or loose...give the oppenent a good goose....

    I think Akmal was short in confidence when he was keeping and hopes now his confidence is back on and flowing good and good for him which will hopefully help him in his keeping as well cos he is a good keeper before but it has been a bad patch on him since England tour ,lets hope it gets over soon TaTa Bye Bye Takecare..

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on January 23, 2007, 8:51 GMT

    Yes a great knock indeed! But, don't you think Pakistan were chasing almost 200 because of the chances offered to the SA bastmen by Mr Akmal. I am one for the specialists.

    Great keepers are great keepers before they are batsmen. Well done Akmal but please give more priority to your day job.

  • Owais Ahmad on January 23, 2007, 8:49 GMT

    I dont think that one good, and mind you streaky, innings cannot undo all his wicket keeping mega-blunders. Why dont we realize that he was one of the main reasons for our extremely poor series in England. However, I do think that he deserves perhaps one more chance in the final test to test the hypothesis that momentum from one good outing with the bat can be transferred into his original and more important role. For the one days or for the next test series, I think we should consider Zulqarnain, the poor chap who seems to be on sidelines forever.

    Finally I guess Imran Farhat only deserves just one last opportunity in the final test. If 70% of his dismissals are caught mostly in slips, then, we should know for certain that his technique CANNOT be improved and should make way for some new person, maybe Yasir Hameed. If he is left out and so is Faisal Iqbal (who is also not doing much) then opportunities will open up for Asim Kamal and Bazid Khan.

  • Tayyab Bashir mirza on January 23, 2007, 8:47 GMT

    Yup! he's a man of immense tallent but yet to learn more things as a wicket keeper batsman. I think he always performed well in crises for Pakistan, actually i remember his innings against India at mohali i think when he took pakistan away from the mouth of defeat from India with Abdul Razzaq who is no doubt one of the best all rounders in the world!! So he proved it again but still i think that he should cocnentrate on his batting, especialy balla out side the off stump!! He certainly is an asset for Pak in the future as he is quite young still. Better luck for his future.

  • Mohsin on January 23, 2007, 8:43 GMT

    i think he needs to be a bit composed in his shot selection!

  • Ehtasham Usmani on January 23, 2007, 8:38 GMT

    "Its about time that we have a wicket keeping caoch"................

    I think Zulqurnain should be given a chance. Akmal needs to improve his concentration and a rest of few games will able him to become mentaly strong... Although his innings turned out to be a match winning one but he was more than justlucky and the edges which went safe were I thought divine justice for few LBW decision against pakistan. I was amazaed what difference it makes to the efficiency of the umpire when a Paki batsman is struck on the pads.

    Continuing on kamaran akmal, Ramiz Raja's amusing comments during commentery i think sums it up nicely for all i.e As Akmal keeps on encouraging the bowlers by saying shabash shabash, soon a time will come when the bowlers will say shabash kamram shabash..................................

  • northernfan on January 23, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    i think you yourself missed a rather easy uptake there mr. abbasi, as subsequently alluded to by a few of the commentators. one can indeed hope that akmal will now regain his confidence, but is hoping really enough? when young talented bowlers are going through a lean patch they are sent to bowling academies. why doesn't the pcb get a wicketkeeping coach to sit down with akmal and try to establish if he is doing anything wrong technically? it's not unusual for lapses in confidence to affect basic technique. it might just take a few pointers here and there, but beyond its obvious formal benefit that kind of stock taking excercise can also be an important confidence booster. just getting back into the right motions can be very reassuring. certainly, as others have noted, akmal is worth the indulgence. at his peak, he looked by far the sharpest wickie in the world, leaping, jumping and snaffling the faintest of legbreak edges. those who rubbish him now should go back and look and look at tapes from just a year and some ago. the fact that akmal can also bat with the best of them marks him out as a rare talent to be nurtured. now is an ideal time for the infamously sclerotic pcb to make a timely intervention. and there is no need to wait for someone to replace woolmer, who is doing a rather good job otherwise.

  • Faraz (the first Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs) on January 23, 2007, 8:33 GMT

    I think one good innings cannot redeem a plethora of missed chances behind the stumps. However to not give credit where its verily due, would be selfish.....As such.. Well done Kamran Akmal !!!.....hopefully even better next time so we can return victorious defeating that thug laden team, better to be referred to as "HIV of Cricket"

  • Rashid Awan on January 23, 2007, 8:33 GMT

    I really admire Akmal for his innings and would go with him in the third test. I would say regardless of his last performance with the bat, i WOULD not take a chance with a debutant in the third crucial test.

  • Mansha - Dubai - U.A.E on January 23, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    Kamram Akmal is a fabulous player with good nervous system eventhough he was under a big psychological impact of his father being treated in hospital despite he has saved pakistan's boat from sinking and bringing more panics to Pakistan cricket especially after Shoaib Drama, Who(Shoaib) is now quite habitual of doing such silly things to bring stigma to Pakistan and is really very ordinary, undisciplined, arrogant, and bad mannered cricketer. Well done Inzamam, Younas, Akmal, Asif and Kaneria please keep this momentum goin.

  • Raheel on January 23, 2007, 8:21 GMT

    inshaAllah kamran akmal will improve himself the only thing he needs is "a different approach" thats good that he has been given chances incessantly and his last innings paid it back as well lets pray for him to play more confidently for Pakistan and for himself too:)

  • QUTBUDDIN FROM DUBAI on January 23, 2007, 8:18 GMT

    Akmals quality remains in his ability to fight back. I rate him with the likes of kaneria, shoaib malik, razzak etc. They are capable (and have shown that they can on numerous occasion) of snatching matches out of opppositions pockets. Akmals form as a w/k is down at the moment but he is obviously the best choice available bfr world cup. The coach and the captain can trim down his drawbacks and rejuvenate his mindset behind the wickets. No doubt Kaneria needs an able ally behind the stumps...

  • NAEEM on January 23, 2007, 8:16 GMT

    Enough is enough and Akmal deserve some time out of international cricket. He needs to play some domestic or play county cricket in England if possible to concentrate more on his special field of keeping behind the steps which is his prime function. Even his batting is no more reliable if you see most of his recent innings he got out himself by exhibiting very poor non professional shots I was amaze to see him got out in the first inning by hocking a short pitch delivery from Nel even when he knew that it's a last over of the day and there is a fielder to trap him. I think at this level of cricket people should use their minds as well so please give Akmal a time off and let give chance to others as well.

  • Waqar on January 23, 2007, 8:09 GMT

    I think Kamran Akmal has got enough tallent as far as batting is concern but his main job is with the Bigger gloves so if he find some out form he should take rest and back after finding the form.

  • Aasim Raees on January 23, 2007, 8:09 GMT

    I dont think, Akmal should be axed from the team but his glove work and batting has suffered tremendously...i believe that we should use our head not heart, and give the poor bloke a break from cricket for a while, and try someone else for a bit. Cuz probably it;s just rest he needs after 2 long years of non stop cricket.

  • zameer on January 23, 2007, 8:08 GMT

    I agreed with Mr. Bahktiar's comment that Kamran has the ability to attack in tough situation. I have one question for all people who criticised Kamran here how many Pakistani player have such quality. Australia is a great team because they counter attack in tough situation and by that put opposition under pressure. So Kamran is rear bread of counter attacking player we have and we must not lose him. As far as his keeping is concerned that is not a good idea to dump him cricket board must consult old keeper and I think Rashid latif is the best person because he is the best keeper we ever produced. This is our typical Pakistani mentality that we left our players alone when they are out of form we must support and rectify them. My suggestion to Pakistan Board is to work hard on him and remove his faults and to Pakistani people The Pakistani cricket is at his best when we attack and he is one of the most suited persons for that. Thanks

  • Umar Farash on January 23, 2007, 7:57 GMT

    First of all congrutlation on pak which they won 2nd test,but it was kamran and younis who played very well.Pak should keep focus on bowling not on batting line,i think to bring shabir in last test will be good and also Shaid afridi should be in and Imran farhat should be out far third test,S.A can bat and as well he can also bowl.About kamran they sould keep him till W.C and after W.C when need then to give chance someone else. I wish them all the best far third and final test. Good luck paks

  • Fizi Tipu on January 23, 2007, 7:47 GMT

    Kamran is a great keeper. Everyone has a bad time now and then, but Akmal has a really good head on his shoulders, as we saw with those 2 remarkable innings he played against India, on one occasion he saved the match for us and on the other, he won it for us. Bob Woolmer and Inzamam have to be credited for sticking by him. Well Done Bob...please dont think about coaching England..we need you in Pakistan!

  • Talha Khan on January 23, 2007, 7:47 GMT

    Every batsman in south african pitches got the edges so there shuold be no problem if he got 2 or 3 edges,,by the end of the day u should see who was there to help u won the match for us.. we should not forget he was the man who saved the match for us in India two years ago and also in last year at karachi...with his batting

    we should not be so harsh with him it would be better to give him some rest than to drop him out of the team

  • Aaiz Aziz on January 23, 2007, 7:46 GMT

    After today's performance, I think Kamran should be given a few more matches to prove that this was not a solitary, accidental good performance. A new keeper before world cup can cause trouble but then INZI himself was a new comer in world cup 1992 !

  • DR Hai on January 23, 2007, 7:39 GMT

    I don't think his matchwinning innings, streaky for the most part, is redemption enough at all! He missed a few crucial chances which meant Pakistan had to chase that 191 target .. had he taken those cleanly, that target would have been a lot less and Pakistan would have won at a canter. The new kid Zulqarnain should be tried, not for the pivotal final test perhaps, where the pressure of the situation might be too much for a debutant to handle, but in the one day series. Akmal's butter fingers are going to cost us a lot more in the future.

  • ISHTIAQUE on January 23, 2007, 7:31 GMT

    was a magnificent innings no doubt. But I think his primary job is keeping where he fails misereably. He grassed as many as four chances in this test. If my memory serves me correctly, Ian Healy dropped catches or missed stumping in two or three times. Just imagine if Akmal held those catches in England, Pakistan would have won that series despite their lack of fire-power in bowling. Pakistan should take fielding seriously. I strongly believe that a good fielding exhibition would have brought success against teams like Australia

  • Farrukh on January 23, 2007, 7:28 GMT

    Well Kamran Akmal played really well and especially on that time when Pakistan and himself (Kamran) need to perform. No doubt Kamran Akmal is a really talented player (as a wicketkeeper and batsman) I think he feel some pressure because his team member (Zulqrain Haider) setting in dressing room waiting for his chance, some time its happened but this inning (efforts)helped Pakistan and himself to stay in this series. Best of Luck.

  • Haroon (South Africa) on January 23, 2007, 7:23 GMT

    Well, well, well. Why should we pardon him !!!!! In all fairness, if Akmal had done what was asked of him in the first place ....... hold on to catches, take regulation stumpings, forget having to score a streaky yet vital 50 in this innings to win a match - GOOD GLOVEWORK I BELIEVE, would have had pakistan winning without his contribution with the bat .... South Africa had no business scoring the amount of runs that they did. Its all about pressure, bowlers build up pressure take vital wickets and when going for the kill, AKMAL gives charity, feels the opposition sorry and drops a dolly, or for that matter misses a stumping that even some casual keepers would take ..... yes he did help win this match , but more importantly he almost caused the defeat ...... PARDON HIM, i don't think so, a pat on the back and a slap on the wrist is better.

    WELL DONE PAKISTAN, and Inzi is the boss, no doubt about it.

  • Abdullah Basha on January 23, 2007, 7:22 GMT

    It was reminiscent of his innings he played in India to secure Pakistan the morale boosting victory. We hope, it will also help him regain self-confidence. Keeping in view his brave nature when he bats which is required to take the battle to the opponents, Kamran Akmal can be utilized as an opener in place of Imran Farhan who was just pathetic. Pathetic is not the word for Imran Farhat... even worse he was. Akmal does have the courage, technique and abilities to face new ball bowlers and he has done this job before for Pakistan. As an opener, he shall give a good start to the team and put the middle order batsmen as ease to play their natural strokes. To me in the present Pak squad, Kamran Akaml is the only alternative for Imran Farhat, since Yasir Hameed too has failed as a batsman in this series. I wish Akmal regains his magic behind the wickets too. It will be suicidal to try out Haider in the decider of the series. Haider can be tried out in one or two ODI to gauge him and give him a feel of playing on overseas pitches before the start of WC. He is an understudy for Akmal; and he needs to be groomed.

  • Reshi from India on January 23, 2007, 7:19 GMT

    Well done AKMAL... A great innings at the time of requirement.. This will boost the enthu.. Keep the good work going behind and infront of the sticks...

  • mohammed on January 23, 2007, 7:01 GMT

    Fine. I think Samiullah Niazi should be introduced in team. If he is included there is a left-right bowling combination which is always better for Pakistan. Consider the final match of the recent champions trophy, when McGrath and Lee went for runs, Nathan Bracken came to rescue, otherwise it would be an Australia's jinx of champions trophy. Another example left handed batsmen found left arm bowling difficult Vaas and Wasim Akram proved it. Considering lot of well talented left hand batsmen around the world today (Gilchrist, Yuvraj, Gayle, Smith, Flemming etc.,) and the upcoming world cup, Samiullah should be in. Friends write your views regreding this. thinks for all

  • Khurram on January 23, 2007, 7:00 GMT

    It's silly really not to drop him.... if he keeps on keeping like that, the for sure he'l drop 2-3 catches at least per match (if not 10)...the situation in which Pakistan were, if a normal keeper wud b there then Pakistan wont have to bat at all in the second innings...

    No one can be a born keeper as it require some skill and Kamran is devoid of this.. even if Younas is given the keeping he may manage to hold onto more... He hasnt redeemed himself with the batting as it was chancy and we all know he's no Ricky ponting that he will play like this forever...he havent even made amends of even one drop catch as noone knwo how costly it can prove... The three hapless bowlers had to bowl out 30 players of South Africa in the match coz of his 10 lapses ... he should be dropped immediately and a proper keeper should be included... For those of you who think he's a good batsman, then he can be played as a specialist batsman but a new keeper should be selected who doesnt drop chances at all (and there are many in domestic cricket like that). Period.

  • Salman Shakir on January 23, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    Akmal did manage to play an inning that was instrumental in Pakistan winning the test, but it was still a chancy inning. He rode his luck. On any other day he would have been snapped up in the slips, but not on this day. His keeping has been atrocious over the last one year and seems to be getting worse. He is in the team to keep wickets, but if he cannot do that then somebody else must be given a chance. We cannot find out how good or bad the next guy is unless we give him a chance. Sitting out seems to work wonders, look at Sami. Akmal might also bounce back if he is forced to sit out.

  • Mohammad Manzoor on January 23, 2007, 6:53 GMT

    Right.. He batted superbly,but i would still go for Zulqarnain for the final test.WHY? because i think Kamran should open with Hafeez(yes Kick Imran Farhat out, hes only getting better at edging to Slips) and play Asim Kamal at number 6 and then Zulqarnain at 7.YES PLAY KAMRAN AS A BATSMAN for heavens Sake..and drop IMRAN FARHAT! Shabbir Ahmad has been recalled..good call..;)

  • Suhaib on January 23, 2007, 6:53 GMT

    Whichever side one takes on Akmal's selection, one thing is for sure... Inzi and the management are in quite a fix... To drop or not to drop, that is the question....

    The way the first three batsmen are playing, I wonder if they might drop one of them and let Zulqarnain in as the keeper...

    One more thing, till when will we have to put up with Imran Farhat's irresponsiblity... I dont know why but I feel that out of the crowd of mediocre openers, only Salman Butt has the potential of doing well in the World Cup...

    Our desperation has reached the extent that a 50 run partnership by the openers (even in the subcontinent) is cheered as a a "brilliant start".

  • Irfan Ahmed on January 23, 2007, 6:42 GMT

    Kamran Akmal should be commended for sticking it out with Younis Khan. However, one can look at it another way, if he hadn't missed stumping and dropped catches the target for Pakistan would not have been more than 100 and we were 98/5 when he came in.

  • FA khan on January 23, 2007, 6:40 GMT

    I agree with most of you that Kamran showed a match winning displayed, but i think he needs some rest as he is not performing behind the stumps. Had he not missed those chances (atleast 3 that i recall) in this test match, South Africa wouldnot be able this much runs and Pakistan wouldnot need 191. He gave away chances in first match as well, i think its time that Pakistan should use their second option.

  • Tariq on January 23, 2007, 6:34 GMT

    Dear Kamran: Akmal has done enough to be pardoned. Anyways we sill have to post martom our team. To me Imran Farhat is useless and should gave the way to Asim Kamal. With Hafeez and Yasi opening, he is the best choice for No. 6. Another good news is the return of Shoaib to Pakistan has he always leave the team high and dry in Critical Moments. Sami is bowling well but without Luck. Coming Back to Kamran, he should be pardoned and hopefully he will re discoer his mojo.

    Adios

  • johnjay on January 23, 2007, 6:33 GMT

    well i suppose his batting was good but i still think that pakistan should not have had to chase such a long target and hence not needed akmal's innings if he had clung on to thoese chances in S.A's innings...having said that i would rather want him to keep well and get out on 0 lol.... P.S: i have noted something strange with his red gloves...i think they are big on his hand and the ball hits his gloves all the time and slips out before he closes the flower hehehe..i m sure u guys will note that too in the 3rd test

  • Raheel Hashmi, Riyadh on January 23, 2007, 6:29 GMT

    A very good innings by Kamran Akmal but as many said earlier that his main job is wicket keeping where he has been awful for some time.

    But I don't think that he should be replaced at this time when world cup is so near and I don't see a better / experienced replacement due to the fact that Pakistani selectors never tested any body else at the hisghest level.

    One thing can be done now that is to refer Kamran Akmal to an experienced wicket keeper like Rashid Latif to work with him on his weak areas.

    While Kamran Akmal does not earn a full pardon, in the absence of a better replacement he should be continued at least up to the Word Cup.

  • Andrew G on January 23, 2007, 6:25 GMT

    Good article.

    For once I agree with Javed from Montreal, Afridi & Akmal should open the ODI innings.

    At least as allrounders they have the chance to contribute to the match as a whole if they fail.

  • Tariq on January 23, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    Dear Kamran: Akmal has done enough to be pardoned. Anyways we sill have to post martom our team. To me Imran Farhat is useless and should gave the way to Asim Kamal. With Hafeez and Yasi opening, he is the best choice for No. 6. Another good news is the return of Shoaib to Pakistan has he always leave the team high and dry in Critical Moments. Sami is bowling well but without Luck. Coming Back to Kamran, he should be pardoned and hopefully he will re discoer his mojo.

    Adios

  • Asim Hafeez on January 23, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    It seems that Kamran loves challenges as we can easily assess his short career that his best performances have come under severe pressue...Take a look at "MOHALI" and than at "KARACHI" innings.Well done boy!!!keep it up...But his wicket keeping needs improvement because only than Kanneria will be happy and get more wickets.

  • saladin on January 23, 2007, 6:21 GMT

    If the pakistan line up for the world cup reads as follows: Hafeez, Akmal, Younus Khan, Mohammed Yusuf, Inzamam, Sohaib Malik, Abdul Razzak, Sohaib Akthar, Umar Gul, Mohammed Asif and Shabbir Ahmed; and if all of them remain in reasonably good form, I dont see any team in world cricket today having any chance of beating Pakistan. The reserves should be Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed, Rana Naveed and Abdul rahman. After the world cup, players like Zulqarnain haider, Yasir Arafat etc should be tried out. Pakistan's bigegst challenge during the world cup will not be their opponents, but to ensure Sohaib Akthar play to his potential without getting injured or entering into a brawl.

  • imran on January 23, 2007, 6:21 GMT

    He play realy well .But his keeping so poor.If he took his chances then pakistan can win this match easily.The world cup in corner and if he give that kind of chances to betsman then its difficult to win evrey time.He need to improve his keeping his 1st job is that.

  • zulfiqar ali on January 23, 2007, 5:27 GMT

    He is too good a cricketer to be dumped just like that. i mean a bad test match with gloves is something we have to accept as normal and can happen to any player under the sun.dropping catches are part and parcel of the game and i do not thing there is any other way of seeing it. bad performance by kamran behind the stump is not a very big issue. Moreover he is young and learning let him please.

  • Ali on January 23, 2007, 5:23 GMT

    I had always thought that Akmal was misused by Pakistani team management. He produced his best performances when given a chance to open. I agree with Javed on the idea to make Afridi and Akmal permanent openers, atleast for odi's. That will make one hell of a pair to tackle for even the most pearless of pace attacks.

  • mansoor on January 23, 2007, 5:20 GMT

    find an other keeper. had he taken those missed chances, he would have never been required to bat at all. find a keeper. in test cricket, a keepers batting is not a critical point, its his keeping. you are happy with his batting, keep him in one dayers where even Rahul Dravid kept wicket for two years. but in test cricket, no chance of any one who is not doing his main job. find a keeper or at least plant a professional over this guy to remove his technical flaws. i have been saying this for many years that no body removes the technical flaws of this team. i dont know why.

  • Suhaib on January 23, 2007, 5:17 GMT

    I am in total agreement. I hope Akmal can regain his confidence with the bigger gloves too. He has now saved quite a few Test matches for Pakistan.

    Introducing Zulqarnain in the final test would be a blunder simply because Pakistan's batting is already quite frail. I dont think Akmal can have another keeping perfomrance as bad as the last one.

  • Nuruddin Lakhani on January 23, 2007, 5:03 GMT

    I do not agree . . . although I have been a big fan of Kamran Akmal. His batting exploits at Mohali and Karachi are unforgettable and should even make Gilchrist proud. Yesterdays batting performance was also memorable that brought a famous vistory for Pakistan . . . but Akmal is primarily a wicketkeeper and he has been a nightmare behind the stumps lately, especially for poor Danish Kaneria whose predictable variations are better read by the opposition tail - end batsman than our own wicketkeeper!

    Be mindful of his first innings shot that almost brought the downfall of Pakistan innings, and his second innings start was also very risky. Brave, but very, very risky . . .

    I am supporting for a change at this time. Zulqarnain Haider has a reputation of good batter as well as a decent wicketkeeper. This will be a good opportunity to try his skills out.

  • Rizwan on January 23, 2007, 4:55 GMT

    I think Kamran Akmal should be kept for the third test as the innings he produced today was under extreme pressure..I think there was a very Australian-like approach to his batting..he nicked the ball through the slip cordon but didnt seem to mind a bit..just got along with the next ball..he scored quickly and that was what deflated South Africa very fast..

    As far as his keeping, I think he has to practice in letting the ball come into his gloves..the reason why he is dropping catches is he is snatching at the ball rather than waiting the ball to come to him..its just a matter of mental alertness and an hour or so at the nets to get the reflexes going..

  • Ali on January 23, 2007, 4:29 GMT

    One swallow does not make a summer. He has missed more than 50 chances since England tour and one can only imagine how many Pakistan 'd have won had they been taken. he should be dropped at the end of current test series as a punishment like Ganguly, Z.khan and Irfan Pathan for dropping all those catches. Period.

  • Muhammad Siddique on January 23, 2007, 4:26 GMT

    well he once again proved the point PCB has been emphasising i.e. his batting abilities. after mohali and karachi it was now S.A. to witness his batting talent. It would have always been hard to drop him as World Cup ahead , but now its impossible however i still fancy that he may be rested or used as opener for Imran Farhat and Zulqurnain should have a go. let see

  • imtiaz shaikh on January 23, 2007, 4:20 GMT

    the no of catches dropped are too many.wicketkeeping is sloppy.why cannot somebody else can play a test .it is fear of losing place in the team.one innings can not justify retention.you have forgotten agony felt by kaneria for missed stumping of prince ,dropped catch of gibbs and kallis.how many byes he has allowed?i think in subcontinent if you get foothold in the team then it is very difficult to be booted out as was the case with wasim akram,ijaz ahmed ,saleem malik and moin khan unlike warne,mcgrath and langer.

  • Adnan Rafiq on January 23, 2007, 4:14 GMT

    I had said it earlier and I will repeat it again: Shoaib Akhter is going to be a liability in the world cup. Sure, he will perform well in the first game, then he would limp out of the field during the next one and Pakistan will have to play one player short.

  • Jeff from Melbourne on January 23, 2007, 4:12 GMT

    After Pakistan's victory the first thing that came to my mind was that Kamran Akmal has just saved himself from being dropped for Cape Town Test match. After watching a very one sided Ashes series in Australia it was good to see a fantastic test match which could have gone either way. Well done Inzy. Hope you get his hundred in Cape Town.

  • jk on January 23, 2007, 4:08 GMT

    v gud innings by akmal.need to b more consistent though, both with bat and gloves..n e way , no 1s talking about younis khan..45 and 67 not out is commendable

  • dr.s n hyder on January 23, 2007, 3:59 GMT

    "JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDAR".Best defence is to attack and that worked today to frustrate south african's bowlers.Now is the time to shift focus on the decider at capetown.I most humbly request Younus to stop taking sucidal and crazy singles in test matches.He is the vice captain and should stop his showoff attitude.He should work hard on his pull shots if he likes to play them so much as since Mohali he has been getting out mostly playing this short in air.Mr.Kamran please make sure to talk to Younus before the match starts.Good Luck.

  • Waqar Sarwar on January 23, 2007, 3:50 GMT

    I think Kamran Akmal has improve again what can he do under pressure like he did back in 2005 playing against India.

    I think it's time for Kamran Akmal to give him rest for 3rd Test so he can mentally prepare for ODI series.

  • Blue Devil on January 23, 2007, 3:33 GMT

    It was nice to see Kamran Akmal come good with the bat. However, that does not excuse the dozen catches/stumpings he missed in this match. He is a great find as a batsman, and has contributed valuable runs in both forms of the game. For that reason, I would give him a chance to fix his glovework. He must be put through rigorous coaching, and will have to raise his game behind the stumps if he wants to retain his spot on the team. PCB would be well advised to groom a backup wicketkeeper to potentially replace KA if there is no improvement in six months.

  • Hamid from Auckland, New Zealand on January 23, 2007, 3:03 GMT

    Well, Akmal and Younis saved the game, but would Pakistan have been in that position had Akmal grabbed all the chances? It is time to introduce Zulqarnain Haider in the final test. He has an average of 30+ in the domestic, so he is a good batsman. If Inzi and Bob are too scared, they can play Razzaq for a bowler to boost the batting. Dropping so many catches is unacceptable for a esp. a keeper, its as simple as that!

  • umar on January 23, 2007, 3:01 GMT

    just to add me two piece. Name me a wicketkeeper who at the age of Kamran Akmal has acheived so much. The greats, the Gilchrists, the Bouchers, the Healies and Stewarts were well into their 30's before they were well established Wicketkeepers. If memory serves me well Gilchrist didnt make it to the Test side till his late 20's early 30's. Now lets look at the young WK in the world. England with Read and Jones are Struggling. WI with Baugh and Ramdin are struggling. THis is because they are at a tender age and plus A WK has the main role in the field. For a young man he has surpassed a lot and will continue to acheive. Do not forget replacing Moin and Rashid is no easy job... they were class keepers. cut the guy some slack. Apart from Gilchrist and possibly Dhoni Akmal is the best WK/Batsmen in the world. Have faith!!!

  • raza on January 23, 2007, 2:37 GMT

    I am little surprised by your comments, because if Kamran Akmal had not missed all those opportunities, that came along, Pakistan would not need the runs, they had to score to win the match, Plus in Test Cricket teams go for the best Keeper, and right now Kamran Akmal, is having a hard time behind the stumps.Therefore I think it would be good for him also if Zulqarnain Haider, is picked for the third test.

  • Pervez Musharraf on January 23, 2007, 2:34 GMT

    I see everyone praising Kamran Akmal batting & Inzi batting with the tail enders. It is just disgusting to see how one can avoid the contribution of Shoaib Akhtar. He is the real reason why Pakistan won the test match in first place. Perhaps Mr Kamran Abbasi it would be good for you to write a article on him and acknowledge his extraordinary bowling that destroyed the South African batting order. (Even the South Africans admit it as the main reason for thier loss).

    We need Shoaib if we are going to win any other matches against South Africa.. Mohammad Asif can’t do the job alone. South Africa made 331 runs in second innings which was a very good score.

    The fact is Shoaib Akhtar is being unfairly treated by our coach Bob Woolmer who wants to end the career of such a fine baller.

    Shoaib Akhtar performance that day didn’t prove that he was miss-fit from anywhere and yet again he has been declared Miss-fit which tells you that he is a victim of a severe controversy.

    PCB needs to warn Bob Woolmer to mend things with Shoaib Akhtar and make up with his team or face some sort of punishment.

  • BILAL TARIQ on January 23, 2007, 2:26 GMT

    First of all Akmal success is taking pakistan home is vindication that players should be allowed to play their natural game especially in crises. Akmal is natural stroke player and has rescued pakistan in many ocassions through his natural sroke play and that is exactly what he did. Although, Pakistan was in deep touble, he continued with his natural way of batting instead of bogging down. Yunus Khan was also responsible since he took the responsibility of caution and Kamran became an aggressor hence creating judicious combination of aggression and defense. As for Kamran Akmal Keeping, His prime job is keeping, no matter how much runs he makes if he is playing as a Keeper,he is selection should be based on his keeping credentails and performance. If he is a good batsman than he may selected based on batting credentails. The runs that he made such as example 60 should take into account runs scored against him because of dropped cathes or stumping by the opponent batsmen who were given Life by his blunders. So we must minus those runs of 60-75(runs scored due to drop catch or stump) Than his total score becomes minus -15 . Can any Player be seleted on minus score. Bilal Tariq

  • Mateen on January 23, 2007, 2:09 GMT

    Kamran is a true gifted talent. However, overconfidence is hurting him right now. It is not the good batting skill that keep you in the game it is bad keeping skill that keep you out of the game. Bari and Karmani never batted that well but they are magician with their art of keeping. However, it is lot more expected from keepers now especially in shorter version of the game. Kamran has one more season to make-up otherwise he will become another Patel. There are lot of Dohnis are waiting to jump on this opportunity. Hiring someone like Moin Khan and Rashid Latif to coach Kamran before world cup is a reasonable thing to do.

  • Hassan Baig on January 23, 2007, 2:00 GMT

    Too much hoopla going on in this blog. So without further ado, here's a point to ponder:

    Play the new kid as the wc in the next test, drop farhat and bring in Akmal as a genuine opener.

  • Don on January 23, 2007, 1:56 GMT

    I watched Kamran Akmal play today and one must not forget that he was very shaky and perhpas very lucky to survive 3 catches that almost went to the slips in the begning of his innings. The Point still remain that he does not have a good average and give simple catches on the OFF side to anything that is pitched outside his off stumps. I think we shoudl try out another option before world cup starts.

  • Tauhira from Jamaica on January 23, 2007, 1:27 GMT

    I couldn't agree with you more Abbasi. This may just be the boost he very well needs.

    WicketKeepers are themselves 'Batsmen', and are required [on average] to perform with the Bat, not just behind the stumps.

    Well done Kamran!

    -Peace!

  • Jawad Omar on January 23, 2007, 1:23 GMT

    Kamran Akmal, no doubt is a great player, What world can expact from a person playing on field when he recievs a news from his family that his father is hurt badly, in a robery attempt, What kamran was doing in field was his loose focus on game and every thing about his father in his mind.

    "He is not a bad keeper at all"

    His father is out of danger now. So we pray for him. so contented is kamran akmal. talking about his form back in England tour.. He was carrying an injury.. we believe in You kamran so are the abilities you are blessed with.. Keep it UP.. Good "come back" we all are human so we should sense that what a person can feel when he recieve such a mishap with the family.. God bless U Kamran

  • SYED...........USA on January 23, 2007, 1:18 GMT

    Mr.Kamran, Sometimes I feel pretty embarassed by your observations and u-turns.No doubt Akmal has played an excellent innings under pressure, good job! But the fact of the matter is, he is not even an average wc, let alone good. Remember wicket keeping is a specialists job,his batting is a bonus, come on we have genuine batsmen keeper,Gilchrist,Sangakara, Taslim Arif from the past who are/were better with their keeping.If Rana starts hammering bowlers and scoring 30s in every innings, will u just keep him in the team hoping his confidence will improve and he will bowl better in test cricket?It is not just confidence which is needed, u need skills and practice to go with, to be succesful in international sports. Akmal has serious technical faults with his keeping, he will continue to struggle unless he can identify and willing to work on his shortcomings, hard hands at the ball,improper position change with the delivery,poor anticipation of the line of the ball.He is a hard working player,I hope he can improve his keeping not buy his batting abilities,but some technical improvements.Another case in point is Imran Farhat,poor guy just does'nt have the technique or skills for this level,Hafeez scores less but with far much better technique,clear difference, poor investment to persist with Farhat.May try to groom Asim Kamal as an opener for the future,Pakistan has tradionaly never produced enough genuine openers.

    Syed .........USA

  • Salman Qureshi on January 23, 2007, 1:16 GMT

    I agree that Kamran has earned himself a pardon and that it would be awkward to introduce Zulqarnain Haider for the third test. However, Pakistan needs to be looking at the best possible combination for the World Cup and if Kamran's wicketkeeping does not improve during the initial one day fixtures against South Africa then surely it would be the appropriate time to try out Zulqarnain Haider.

  • Rauf on January 23, 2007, 1:08 GMT

    After a frail performance, Kamran erratically lead Pakistan to victory with Younis. Another let down by Shoaib. Injured where - body or in the head? What a waste of talent that does not came in decades! As I'd suggested in the past return I. Farhat home. He is capable of sinking a ship. But we must not deny congratulations to a well fought match.

  • Zohair on January 23, 2007, 0:58 GMT

    I agree, Kamran Akmal's talent is undoubted. For some reason or another Akaml's form really went down the dumps after the India series. His batting saved the Karachi test for Pakistan but after that he hasn't had that great of an impact on any particular match until now. Hopefully for the sake of Pakistanis all around he will regain his confidence with his innings and will do some wonders with the glove on Friday.

  • Shahid on January 23, 2007, 0:55 GMT

    I would certainly agree with you Kamran. I was of the same opinion as most of the people are that Akmal should be dropped based on his recent slump behind the wickets however it has been proven many times that a confidence boost in one deparment of the game helps boosting the confidence in another department and Akmal should be given a chance to prove that fact.

  • Jamal on January 23, 2007, 0:43 GMT

    I do not think Akmal deserves any kind of pardon. His streaky 57 runs should not allow us to let him off the hook. If i am not mistaken he had about a dozen dropped catches in this game? He needs to go.

  • Bakhtiar afzal on January 23, 2007, 0:43 GMT

    There is no doubt that he is one of the best wicketkeeper batsman in the world. He is still young and he is learning. no doubt that he have very good crickteing sense. today when he came to bat pakistan was in all sort of trouble. when inzi got lbw i taught oh the match is over. akmal came in played his shots ans with younis khan he got pakistan home easily. he is one of pakistan players who plays like austrailia. he takes the attack to the oposition. he doesnt get under pressure and plays his shots all the time. i like his attitude. again today the umpires tried their best to make sure that we don't win this test match but hats off to akmal and younis. they played very well.

  • Sheheryar Hafeez on January 23, 2007, 0:42 GMT

    Kamran's innings today has definitely redeemed him for some time but let us not forget his main task is to keep. Pro-Gilchrist era has raised the bar for wicket keepers to have more than average batting ability than ever before but with that said I certainly believe that Akmal is good enough batsman to be as important for team's line up as Gilschrist and Sangakara are for their teams. He is a great player under pressure (Mohali and Karachi to name a few important innings) and such players are the most valuable. I dont think Pakistan was served well by the rivalry for wicket keeper position between Latif and Moin and such a situation should not be repeated. Akmal needs to know he is part of the team and the plans for the long term and we all know that he has the talent to win games with the bat even if at times he makes winning harder with the gloves.

  • Abid Rizvi on January 23, 2007, 0:32 GMT

    its true Kamran Akmal played very well but it is not that could be substituted for his terrible performance in the department he is specialized.if he had got those chances there would be any need for Pakistan to bat again.Gilchrist is a Great batsman but i don't think he would earn his place in australian team if his wicket keeping goes bad like Akmal's at least he would be playing as wicket keeper. Akmal has to put more attention on his keeping than to batting to keep his place.

  • Naeem from San Francisco on January 23, 2007, 0:32 GMT

    Kamran, you are absolutely correct here. Kamran (Akmal not Abbasi) has a amazing talent as a wicketkeeper batsman and I totally agree that he is very important for the balance of Pakistani team especially these days, when they have such a long tail. I think bowlers like Sami and Rana should work more on their batting as well so that they can also help the balance of Pakistan team.

  • Omar on January 23, 2007, 0:31 GMT

    I am still not too sure about keeping Akmal in the team. Granted he was vital to Pakistan's victory today but one must admit he rode his luck. The way he played initially was pathetic to say the least. Ofcourse now that we have won everyone would praise him but the kind of shots he played when he first arrived were horrible and Pollock should feel hard done by not getting him out atleast three times.

    There is no denying Akmal's talent as it was on display not too long ago and his name was mentioned alongside Sagakara and Gilchrist as the best wicketkeeper batsman around. But his wicket keeping has gone down a hill and for quite some time too now. This is a pretty long bad patch. Pakistan can ill afford to take this into the world cup where a missed catch or stumping might be the difference between the two sides. Zulqarnain should be give a chance atleast in the ODI's regardless of Akmal's form so incase he is needed in the World Cup he would have a little taste of international cricket. It would be unfair for a youngster to take over the job of a keeper in the middle of an important tournament without any real match experience.

  • Ali Ahad on January 23, 2007, 0:24 GMT

    Akmal performance is below average both in batting and in wicketkeeping. When he first come to international cricket scene he impresses every one. Saving a test match against arch rivals at Mohali in front of a capacity crowd need a lot of guts. By leaving him out the final test against SA will do no good to his confidence but in the ODI the team management can take a chance with Zulqarnain Haider since we need the best team for the World Cup

  • waqqas on January 23, 2007, 0:22 GMT

    This was exactly what he needed a confidence building performance. Hopefully his knock will start him on course to rebuilding his confidence and we will start to see the Akmal of 12 months ago. Your right about Haider's inclusion. Word has it he cant bat. isnt the tail long enough already?

  • Arif Rashid on January 23, 2007, 0:15 GMT

    One just has to think back to the innings he played against India in Karachi, amazing innings. This has been the best find for Pakistan in some time, I would argue he is more important than Asif. Pakistan need to contine to support him.

  • Muhammad Usman Aslam on January 23, 2007, 0:04 GMT

    Well Surely that guy has rich talent and played a decisive innings... and to be honest.. I also dont want somebody else replacing him in the team at the current momemnt...

    BUT STILL he should realize that his spot in the team is not guranteed and needs to keep on playing well...

    This is what the concept of professionalism brings in cricketers.. the urge to keep on doing well for a longer and more continous period of time.. Rather than scoring one decisive innings and laying low for the rest of the series...

    Its as simple as that... YOU are being paid for what U do on the field.. So better make it count and deserving..

    And shoaib should be marooned to papua new guinea... i love the genius in him for his ability to bowl what he bowls.. but hate his egoistic and cunnings self... DOWN goes Shoaib !!..

    Bravo anyway for the Men in Green.. AWESOME VICTORY...

  • Ahmed on January 22, 2007, 23:55 GMT

    Dear, Kamran..isnt it amazing that you have the same name as Akmal has...well infact why are you judging the performance on just one event. Let time decide what follows. but i would certainly like Akmal to be in top form in the World Cup. He needs to show his utility in the team and thats Vital for him and for the team, but i would congratulate him for his today's performance and always admire his ability to produce the best.

  • Amyn Habib on January 22, 2007, 23:51 GMT

    Indeed he does! Kamran Akmal played an important role in this historic win. He can deliver when it really matters. To beat South Africa at home is a big deal. The more important question now is whether the team is prepared to win the 3rd match? Or is it satisfied with the prospect of a 2-1 loss to SA? The hunger and determination of the team will decide the answer to this question. The key question is who can adequately replace Shoaib, who, even though he bowled only eleven overs made a vital contribution to this win. Even with Asif’s outstanding performance, Pakistan cannot win the third match without a real bowler to replace Shoaib.

  • Faraz Ishaq on January 22, 2007, 23:49 GMT

    I think Pakistan should stick with Akmal till the end of the world cup. It is very risky but I stil thinks that he is a good batsman and can perform under tense situations rather then having zulqernan Haider in the side. New keeper has to gel with the team and learn the chemistry but that will not be the case with Kamran Akmal. And Akmal should get another chance after today's brave inning against hostile Nel and Nitini.

  • Saqib on January 22, 2007, 23:37 GMT

    just chill out akmal you`l be doing better next few games aren`t you ?

  • Saami on January 22, 2007, 23:33 GMT

    Nice piece of writing. Its essential to instill faith on your wicketkeeper, he's an integral part of the team. If he's down then the whole team's morale isn't the same.

  • Waseem on January 22, 2007, 23:29 GMT

    first one! true he's been struggling but as some people were suggesting that the new bloke should be given a shot, i dont think that would have been wise move especially in a series decider and so close to the worldcup. After all, he has won pakistan a few matches! I think the new guy should be given a few chances to during the ODIs to create some contest for Khatmal. Oops, i mean Akmal. Peace Out!

  • Mohamed Admani on January 22, 2007, 23:21 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is a good player for the team in terms of his presence. Dropping him would be atrocious as all players have bad patches. Bob Woolmer is a brilliant coach and this is displayed by recent on field performances. I have also heard of Kamran's young brother who i am eager to see in International Cricket. However Kamran should know that every player is droppable and continue working hard like the Australians. Would like to see Zulqarnanin Haider more in smaller ODI fixtures to prepare him, should Kamran be unexpectedly injured.

  • Sufyan Qarni on January 22, 2007, 23:06 GMT

    His fall from the Heights, where he challenged the likes of Gilly, has been not only astonishing but painful as well.For me he should feature in Cape Town as the situation demand but sooner or later we need to groom a second Wicketkeeper. You Can delay but cant getaway........

  • tariq on January 22, 2007, 23:05 GMT

    i disagree. when kamran was finishing off SA i feared that his exploits in the later part of the game would make people forget what had earlier transpired - and judging by this column my fears are well founded. at a rough guess KA dropped at least 4 catches, and with Imran Farhat in the team as well we are asking for trouble. dont get me wrong, i would love to see KA cement his place in the team for years to come BUT without an able #2 breathing over his shoulder ready to take his place he's on easy street as he knows his place is guaranteed no matter what he does. its up to the management to sort this out because what will happen in God forbid KA picks up a long tem injury before the WC???

  • Kamran on January 22, 2007, 22:45 GMT

    How appropiate for me (Kamran) to be writing the first comment.

    I feel that Akmal is an asset to the Pakistani team, and he should be relugated to the same treatment that our openers have been subjected to.

    I hope this success will improve his performance behind the stumps as he has already shown that he is a sharp wicket keeper by a stunning low catch that he took in the first innings

  • Asif Ahmed on January 22, 2007, 22:44 GMT

    Agreed Kamran. I had written him off midway through the test, because his keeping was so atrocious. He still really needs to focus and work on that.

    His innings today, though, was a revelation. He changed the entire dynamics of the innings. The score was stuttering with Yousuf and Younis getting beaten consistently, resorting to risky singles. Inzy getting out on 1 only increased the pressure manifold.

    Enter Kamran Akmal; granted, his early flashes were risky, but after that initial hiccup, he was fluent, confident, and literally took the match by the collar. It was not just his flourishing boundaries, but the ease with which he got easy singles, palpably lifting the pressure from the entire match.

    Well done Kamran!

  • Gohar on January 22, 2007, 22:42 GMT

    Why is it that in Pakistan, its always the player who has to suffer for the mismanagement of PCB. PCB is there to help the players, not to axe a player when he's not performing. Everyone following cricket has been asking PCB to attach an under-study (Zulqarnain) to Kamran Akmal. This will have a double-edged benefit. Zulqarnain would get a first hand experience of International Cricket on the highest level, and Kamran Akmal would have the feel of a threat to his place in the team and would work hard on his glove-work. But PCB never considered this idea worth following but occasionally. The debut of Zulqarnain at the 3rd test would be too much a folly for worldcup planning when every team is trying to play its worldcup11 together. However, Zulqarnain should be permanently attached to Kamran Akmal till worldcup atleast so that Akmal should be alert of the threat. Not sure about Zulqarnain, but Akmal, even if he doesn't perform with the bat, is a constant batting threat for other teams, just like Dhoni and Gilcrist.

    PCB should think wisely, which they've shown that they are doing by selecting Shabbir Ahmed in place of Akhtar. Abdur Rehman should be the replacement of Shoaib Malik considering the Cape Town wicket.

  • REHAN on January 22, 2007, 22:35 GMT

    All players have lean spells even the great ones e.g. Gilchrist and Boucher of recent. Akmal has the potential to be a great keeper allrounder and should be persevered with. Credit to the Selectors in realising this. Hopefully this crucial innings will help alleviate whatever self doubts that were arising in his mind and allow him to reach peak form at such a crucial juncture with the World Cup just around the corner.

  • Jumma Khan on January 22, 2007, 22:35 GMT

    KA should be dropped for the upcomming 3rd test. The chances he gave to the SA batters were the reason Pakistan had to score more runs. His innings with the bat was also a chancy one. He should be benched for couple of matches.

  • Kashif Malik on January 22, 2007, 22:32 GMT

    Akmal had a phenominal 2004/2005 and was correctly regarded as one of the best. He indeed struggled in England & in SA but I honestly believe this was merely a blip. His match winning partnership with YK will go along way to boost his confidence.

    I do however strongly disagree with you Kamran-Akmal is good enough to play as a batsman. He proved his batting prowess in Mohali, Karachi (The best innings by a pakistani in recent times-I will go further and say better than any of MY's hundreds last year-that innings on a seamer friendly karachi wicket was indeed a super human effort)and not forgetting his superb knock of 150 odd against England at lahore).

    Akmal has also proved he can bat big as a opener in the ODI format( I believe he has 3 ODI hundreds as a opener). Many new talents have been tried in our Test middle order and at the top in the ODI; save for Salman Butt how many have really come close to matching Akmal's batting endeavours?

    I hope all those critics of Sami & Danish will now recognise their true worth to the team. finally, Akhtar should also be given credit-it was his excellent bowling spell that put pakistan in a postion to dominate.

  • nabeel adeel on January 22, 2007, 22:28 GMT

    hi kamran i hope this will boost his confidence.he does have tht counter attacking ability but as u said his wicket keeping has left alot to be desired in this series.A very very important win this for pakistan.One of the most important ones in recent memory.Pakistan needs 4 fit bowlers for the next test and wid shoaib and gul gone i hope shabbir and sami can step their game up a notch.goodluck to pakistan in third test. nabeel

  • Pak Bouncer on January 22, 2007, 22:27 GMT

    Pardon....? Maybe for SA Series,

    But on long run, Pakistan needs better Brain & Gloves, behind stumps. And Imran Farhat deserves to be rested for few years.

    Congrats!!! to Pak team on leveling the series.

  • Kashif Ashraf, UK on January 22, 2007, 22:27 GMT

    Even in this age of allround keepers like Gilchrist, poor keeping and good batting by Akmal (as also by England's Geriant Jones) does not continually justify a test place. From another angle, the target would have been much less if he had taken all his chances. But he did rescue Pakistan after another batting collapse (the real source of worry) and you can not begrudge him that. My man of the match would have been Asif for his 40 overs of toil in the heat of PE with a match winning return of 5 for 76.

  • Adnan Akmal on January 22, 2007, 22:17 GMT

    Kamran, you are an empitome of why Doctors and for that matter non-cricketers, those who haven't played at least at first class level, should stick to their day jobs. Kamran Akmal has been atrocious from day one, he has been dropping catches right and left in every series he has figured in. His batting masked his pathetic performances with the glove for the most part, until the England series where his batting came apart. And no he is not natural with gloves, anybody who has played any representative cricket will tell you that, even the Dhoni's and Gilchrist's of this are light years ahead of him when it comes to keeping. He is not even the best keeper in his family, his brother Adnan being better. He athletic no doubt, but is butter-fingered, he regularly lets balls slip out of his hands even when the batsman is leaving the ball. If people are so obsessed with his batting, even though, his latest innings was scratchy and highly chancing, started off with a couple edges through the slips, then play him as a batsman. For God's sakes, let somoebody else do the glovework. He has already cost us the Eng series, and almost cost this test. Let not reward him further...

  • Khan on January 22, 2007, 22:16 GMT

    No doubt he has done a great job with the bat today. But his main role is behind the wickets, Because we cant experiment the new keeper in the final test match so kamran should be given one last chance. and we can experiment the new keeper in the one day matches.

  • Tanweer Abbas on January 22, 2007, 22:08 GMT

    Until last night I thought this test would be the last for Kamran but after his performance today I think he need not worry about that change just as yet.

    Kamran is a very good keeper and a reliable batsman who is going thru a rough patch behind the stupms. This rough patch is proving very costly for the team hence he needs to do something about it very quickly.

    Tanweer, Toronto - Canada

  • Sameer Manazir on January 22, 2007, 22:08 GMT

    Well written article Mr Kamran. I've always like the way Kamran has approched his game. His one innings against India when Pakistan were 0/3 and 30 odd for 6. This young kid stepped in an played an innings of a life time. It was probably the best innings i've seen him play before he showed his talent in the last test against SA. I think Bob and the management have invested enought time in him to just drop him. He should play till the World Cup. Getting Mr Haider would only complicate matters. But his innings showed his class and abality. We can only wish for good things for him and Pakistan from here on. Cheers!! Sameer Malean,VA

  • Ali Naseem Bajwa on January 22, 2007, 22:07 GMT

    I'm sorry Kamran but you should not be so generous to your namesake. Akmal has become a liability behind the stumps. He cannot remain as Pakistan's keeper, especially with the World Cup so close. As for his batting... He plays with blade open and is a compulsive driver. England worked his out but SA let him off the hook. If any of those 3 edges had found a pair of hands at slip, as they might easily have done, you would, rightly, have demanded that Akmal be 'rested'. So he should be. Another keeper deserves a chance. There was a time in 2005 when I thought that Akmal was the best keeper/batsman in the world. No more. He MUST be rested.

  • mat on January 22, 2007, 22:04 GMT

    well done Akmal. This inforces the views that cricket is a game of chances,either you take them are miss them. Akmal might have cost Kaneria loads of wickets but he saved all his luck for this innings.. On another bad day he could have been out for duck and be out of the team. But he didn't lose confidence and made SA pay for all the missed chances. I hope this would give him confidence in keeping otherwise his keeping becoming a joke. As for whole of the Pakistan team, I hope they dont try to hide their shortcomings behind this victory and try to learn. Any other consistant team would have beaten SA even in the first test. Hope they win next test match and give Bob Woolmer good farewell because he deserves it. It seems he won't be signing new contract. Shame he tried to coach uncoachables.

  • David Furrows on January 22, 2007, 22:03 GMT

    The plight of Kamran Akmal is the main reason why I am hoping that the former Australian wicketkeeper Steve Rixon will succeed Bob Woolmer as the Pakistan coach.

    In Australia two years ago Akmal looked like by far the best keeper in the world, but since then his footwork and anticipation have slipped because he has had no specialist wicketkeeping coaching.

    Adam Parore had deteriorated similarly when Glenn Turner coached New Zealand in the mid-nineties, and it was only when Rixon replaced him that Parore perfected his technical skills to be the world's best keeper since Bob Taylor nearly forty years ago.

    Akmal is a terrific batsmen and should retain his place in the squad. But the PCB needs to understand that until he gets specialist wicketkeeping coaching (and I don't mean Wasim Bari, who was less accomplished at his best than the 2004-05 incarnation of Akmal), Akmal will continue to drop chances.

    And Zulqarnain is not Asia's second best wicketkeeper - Adnan Akmal is!

  • Nizar on January 22, 2007, 22:02 GMT

    I totally agree with you Karmran. We should not rush in bringing a debutant at this crucial time of the year. Firstly, we have to win the final test to zip up all the critics who have stamped Pakistan test team as only a sub continent power house. Secondly, the World Cup is around the corner to introduce Z. Haider. But Kamran Akmal is living on a thin ice as far as his keeping is concerned. At this level it is unacceptable to miss LOLLY POP chances. But again, my support to the BHOLE NATH (he looks like a Bhola Larki) for his outstanding batting today! Bravo.....

  • Mike Rosario on January 22, 2007, 22:01 GMT

    No ...he does not . Akmal's primary function is wicket keeping and he is the worst in test cricket ..without a question. A wicket keeper batsman is a wicket keeper first and foremost . Despite his performance today ...he is half assed at both at his very best. He does not like wicket keeeping which is his primary function. See the match coverage from previous 3 series ..his body language ...devoid of enthusiasm. He might be a good one day option ..but test cricket each dropped chance costs you a fortune.His performance has been the same dismal stuff for almost two years now. Can't keep your eyes closed to a major shortcoming. He just can't keep wickets. Has dropped ..very crucial regualtion cathces and missed stumpings just as a matter of routine. It is time for a genuine keeper ...time for a change.

  • Danish on January 22, 2007, 21:56 GMT

    Exhilarating batting by Kamran Akmal & Younis Khan. At 92/5 I had no hope in hell Pakistan was going to win. Infact I thought that was the final nail in the coffin. As they say "Kamran Akmal lives to die another day"

    His 3x fours through gully and slip set the pulse rate pumping for all the pakistan fans and so was the run out & c&b chance that Younis Khan survived. I thought those were the critical moments that pakistan really had to survive.

    My goodness me how well Kamran played after he passed 17. Just hope he can get his keeping right. I still believe its going to take more than the mental side of things to get Kamran taking clean takes. I think he needs a break from cricket. It would be ver tough to drop him from the 3rd test as Kamran says after his match wining performace.

    I'd still be tempted to go with Zulqarnain and have Kamran open the innings in place of Imran Farhat who i think has been given too many chances.

    Kamran plays alot like Sehwag and I think he's quite aggressive and could put pressure on the SA bowlers for the 3rd test. Word is that its going to be flat so Kamran would have alot of confidence in his batting but I still fell NOT HIS KEEPING. I'll give you an example...Irfan Pathan...did well with the bat but couldnt come right with the ball. I think the same is happening with Akmal and I dont think its going to solve the problem...so cumon Zulqarnain...get your keeping gloves on.

  • Billa on January 22, 2007, 21:53 GMT

    I personally was disappointed in Akmal’s performance in England tour, and if anything else, I thought his dropped catches were the reason we lost that series. He continued his buttered gloves in this match too, including that missed stumping.

    But I agree, he has talent, and surly, such a knock as today will help regain his confidence. The question still remain is weather his bad keeping in England and SA are lack of technique to judge and catch a moving/seaming ball or it is just bad form? Or maybe its just lack of experience on such pitches?

    I have no doubts about his keeping skills in Sub-continent pitches. But something PCB should look into is arranging a coaching stint for him which will help in improving his technique on pitches other than sub-continent.

    On an end note, I salute his (Akmals’s) innings today. More then once he has carried Pak in troubled situations.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 22, 2007, 21:53 GMT

    Until Kamran Akmal came to the crease to bat, the game was being played in a different mode, the strategy was to go defensive (except for the openers, who are always playing an ODI game) and Imran Farhat did not disappoint anyone by playing his favourite shot. But, Hafiz was rather unlucky to be given out LBW when he was not. He was playing with a positive frame of mind and executing very good shots.

    Inzi and MOYO both played defensively, they looked unsettled and nervous hence they paid a price for that. Younis too, played defensively, but he played with confidence and authority till the end and he did not allow Shuan Pollock or Andre Nel to get on to his nerves. In fact he handled Shuan Pollock superbly when Shuan threw the ball at his pads in anguish and frustration to run out the batsman, that was so childish of Shuan. I liked the way Younis Khan smiled and then walked up to Shuan Pollock and gave him a pat on his back.

    Wickets were tumbling around until Kamran Akmal arrived and he started playing a few edgy shots in the beginning which went past over the slips cordon. But, Fortune favours the brave, he then took all the SA fast bowlers to the fence. Rameez Raja said, "Akmal denied Andre Nel from a happy ending", as if the Pakistani batsman was massaging his bouncers! :-)

    I do believe that this innings will bring back Kamran Akmal's confidence not only as a batsman but, also as a wicket keeper where his performance was below par. I do agree with you Kamran Abbassi that bringing Zulqarnain Haider may not work like a double edge sword, in fact like you said, it would be a folly, especially for the third and final crucial test match it is too big an event for a debutant. I would say that experiencing him even before the world cup is not a good idea. There is no need to rush and experiment debutants before the world cup, we don't have the privilege and the kinda players like Australia has.

    I have said this before and I would like to say it again that, Kamran Akmal and Shahid Afridi must open the innings for Pakistan in ALL the one day games and they must be told that through out this World Cup they will be opening for Pakistan irrespective of their performance, it will give them a lot of confidence. Both are very talented and extremely good stroke players and both are capable of turning the games in Pakistan's favour and this is what Pakistan needs when playing against teams like Australia. Kamran Akmal and Shahid Afridi would be like the 1996 Sri Lankan duo of Kaluwitharna and JayaSuriya. If one of them fails, there is still a lot of batting, the 3 Aces in the middle order are always there to stop the slide, then you have Shoaib Malik and Razzaq to follow.

    Bravo Kamran Akmal, but don't let this good work get in to your head, keep it cool like Younis.

  • Hamzah on January 22, 2007, 21:48 GMT

    Hi Kamran,

    In all honesty Akmals innnings today was chancy and streaky. On another day he would have been out and his abysmal wicketkeeping would have cost Pak the test and series.

  • Salman on January 22, 2007, 21:43 GMT

    I agree with you that akmal has earned a pardon for right now. I believe his keeping off danish kaneria has suffered more than against a fast bowler. I hope he regains the form of October 2005 ASAP because the world cup is just a couple of months away. I also wanted to point out that third test might be last one for our batting great Inzamam.

  • Muz on January 22, 2007, 21:35 GMT

    I think that in order of priority, players who should not be playing in the Pakistani team are Imran Farhat, Yasir Hameed and Kamran Akmal. However Kamran's performance with the bat has helped him, in my view, retain his position at least for the final test match. My concern is that he is a wicketkeeper first and Pakistan can not afford too many missed chances from him. On the other hand I would really like to see him do well because he has so much potential and unlike the first two players mentioned has actually shown it on more ocassions.

    In one of your other articles I thought that Yasir Hameed should have been placed at number 3, I should have added only if Pakistan chose not to play Asim Kamal. Ideally I would return Younis Kkan to No. 3 and Asim Kamal at No 6. The openers would remain unchanged simply because in the final match in this series that may be one change to many when theer is at least one injury forced change to the bowling.

  • Nadeem Akhter on January 22, 2007, 21:35 GMT

    Akmal Still needs to prove a lot. Though it wouldn't be a great idea to drop him now after his performances with the bat in both innings, his glove work has alarmingly dropped down even from the first class standards. Still, he deserves support and management needs to dig deep for finding what is behind his wicket keeping miseries and rectify it quickly. He is such a talented young player and Pakistan can't afford losing him at any cost.

  • Hamaad Ravda on January 22, 2007, 21:33 GMT

    Akmal, though he was chancy, did win the game in the mind today. With Younis and the other middle-order Pakistani batsmen going the way they did, it was refreshing to see this bloke coming out and taking the attack to SA.

    I am concerned to see Shabbir Ahmad making a comeback though. It is a folly to keep on going back to this guy, despite his decent record, since his bowling action problems are recurring, and from where I see it are not going to go away. Why wasn't Samiullah Niazi given a call-up given he had been on the periphery of the side for the last 7-8 months.

  • Nadeem on January 22, 2007, 21:32 GMT

    It was pleasure to watch Kamran Akmal in full cry. He seized the show today. without his gallant knock victory was not possible. My man of the match Kamran Akmal

  • Q Zaman on January 22, 2007, 21:32 GMT

    I feel it is about time Zulqarnain Haider is given a chance to prove himself as a better keeper the Mr butter fingers or hands Akmal..... it is about time Pakistan make unpopuler decision on Akmal....we cannot have him dropping chances afer chances

  • Shehzad Ghani on January 22, 2007, 21:30 GMT

    I still think Akmal the stumper needs time off after the final test and rethink his progress. I, for one, think that he's been quashed by what Dhoni told him about Indian players' million dollar contracts with promotion agencies. Now poor Akmal has a hard time even keeping his place in the national squad. But you are right, the talent as we all know is undoubted.

    One more thing I'd like to comment on: My heart and I am sure, the whole nation's heart goes out to the three bowlers, specially Asif for doing so much for the country on the 3rd day of this test. They did more than their best and I just hope they understand how bad we felt for them throughout that day and how we prayed for them. They've won our hearts. True Pakistanis!

  • Murtaza on January 22, 2007, 21:26 GMT

    Akmal has redeemed himself to an extent, but had he done his primary job, this match would not have been the humdinger it turned out to be. Stil luck and skill played a hand in his innings today, and as you say, maybe this is the spark he needed to revive his fledgeling glovework. Over all, an excellent win by Pakistan, they are showing some real grit here, and it was a total team effort led by the incomparable Inzi !!Respect to SA for hanging in there till the very end. These two sides are trully worthy oppnents and pretty evenly matched.

  • omar hussain on January 22, 2007, 21:25 GMT

    Ever since his Mohali heroics Akmal has gained in stature therefore his present bad wicket-keeping has been baffling.I think he might have been effected by the bad news about hif father in Pakistan but his courage and fighting spirit has never been in question.The real reason to his and other players' failing is too much cricket,too little rest and as you mentioned both the mental and physical need to be in harmony for the skill to realy come out.Present day cricketers are treated like commercial investment and as a result their form and health suffer.Akmal's feat is all the more admirable because he was under double pressure.Let us give him a standing ovation and pray that he prosper and prosper because players with his spirit and gusto are geniune match winners.

  • Adnan K on January 22, 2007, 21:20 GMT

    After hearing about how Akmal's father narrowly escaped what could have been a fatal incident I salute Kamran's innings even more. Having experienced something similar (ie: being far away from family and hearing about disturbing news of a violent nature) I can completely relate to how a person feels helpless and the mind is constantly focussed on the well being of your loved one rather than the tasks at hand. Kamran you showed a lot of guts, determination, and this will nto only make you a better player but a stronger person. WELL DONE!!

  • rext on January 22, 2007, 21:17 GMT

    Well played Pakistan on a deserved win. Well played for keeping your heads under pressure and staying calm and focussed! You can now relax for a while and need not fear your petty, disloyal and vicious "supporters". They can have nothing to say against you, at least until you fail again when you will be vilified individually and collectively by the ignorant and ill informed to soothe their own disappointment. Enjoy the taste of victory knowing you earned it even carrying the burden of your "supporters"!!!!

  • Raheel Ghafar on January 22, 2007, 21:16 GMT

    pardon for today only...if he has another game like this then he should be canned... south african lead should not have been more than 90 if he hadn't missed all those chances...and he wasn't that great with his bat either....just a lil lucky... however i don't want to see anyone new before the world cup...

  • Mawali on January 22, 2007, 21:15 GMT

    Kamran sahib, Kamran Akmal's recent heroics with the bat is a welcome relief both to him and his fans. I hope that the recent form with the bat is here to stay and will continue till the next slump not to re-surface any time soon. However, I strongly believe that his lapses with the glove cannot be condoned because of his recent display of batting. He is a wicketkeeper and as such his primary role should be to keep with maximum efficiency. Batting though a second in order of priority has to keep pace with him being a keeping alrounder. Both aspects of his game have to be clicking most of the time if not all of the time. Having said that, it may not be a bad Idea to introduce Zulqarnain at some point in the very near future. One a little competition will keep Akmal striving and expanding his "comfort zone". Second, every team should at all times have an able back-up available to meet unforseen contingencies, like injuries or sickness. Now, in an effort to help Akmal regain his keeping skills the PCB (prized collection of buffoons)should provide him the benefit of working with some of our ex-keepers, who can perhaps help Akmal analyze his technique and make appropriate corrections. I am confident that Akmal indeed is a good keeper, but like everyone else; in our quest to move forward we sometimes tend to overlook the fundamentals.

    BTW, on a seperate note congratulations to the Indians a shout out to Ganguly Dada great comback! AMF!

  • jt on January 22, 2007, 21:14 GMT

    As luck would have it I will be holidaying in Cape Town during the third test match and should be able to run down to Newlands for the decider. I think the Ahktar saga has reached its natural conclusion, i.e., to the disabled list. Compare Lee to Ahktar. Lee goes from strength to strength while Ahktar goes from injury to misbehaviour. This surely must be the end of the line, even in the mercurial world of Pakistan cricket. If I were selecting the team for the third test match I'd call up Arafat of Rawalpindi and Sussex in Ahktar's place. The rest of the team remains unchanged.

  • imran malik on January 22, 2007, 21:07 GMT

    agree with you ,i want to bring your attention to selection of asim kamal though ,i think he is a solid batsman with good technique having added advantage of being a left hander, he shld be given a chance in the final test ,he shld replace imran farhat who is too flashy and never seems to be settled while at crease,also any idea where is taufeeq umar (he has best batting avg against south africa among all paksitanis...???

  • jawed iqbal on January 22, 2007, 21:04 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is definetly a player for the future of Pakistan.. A talentad lad ran out of the steam to taken on pressure and just bad form.

    He definetly has a fantastic future ahead of him and his talent should not be doubted. He's not an another... ermm... parthiv patel?

  • Asad Ali on January 22, 2007, 21:03 GMT

    I don't fully agree with you. Today he did sort of 'undid' his wrongs, but one cannot rely on that. He has been the first choice wicket keeper but his form lately has been poor, both as a w. keeper and batsman. If you consider the fact, that he's a better w. keeper than batsman, I'd say he's actually been quite pathetic behind stumps. So, he still has to do a lot to 'earn' that pardon. He seems to be on the right path. He just needs to repeat today's performance more often and most importantly, he must find good form behind stumps.

  • Zahid Hamid on January 22, 2007, 21:02 GMT

    With three streaky shots through the slip and gully cordon before he started to middle the ball and gain in stature, this may be the break that Akmal was looking for. As wicketkeepers inherently do, Akmal has a good eye and only needed regaining confidence to be amongst the runs. It is crucial for the coach and team management to back him up and have him focus on his role as an allrounder. Adam Gilchrist has raised the bar on performance and, with it, of expectation from the wicketkeeper in modern cricket. With youth on his side, Akmal must rise to the standards associated with the role if he is to secure his place amongst the Eleven.

  • Masaood Yunus on January 22, 2007, 21:02 GMT

    I can't agree with you more on this Kamran. Good analysis and unfortunately, a viable backup to him isn't available at this moment so he has been the ONLY choice . Call it a weak management in this gloves department or whatever, regaining that TOUCH was very important for Kamran to stay in this unit. This is interesting to note that he has usually performed well when the team has been under pressure and someone had to hold one end no matter what. He proved that in India and now in SA as well. However, we are only optimistic that his rediscovery of batting (He has the skill to bat and we saw it once again today) will eventually lead to better wicketkeeping. With Worldcup round the corner, its hard to try another keeper but if the One Days go well Zulqarnain should be given at least one game in SA to show his metal as well. A backup should be gromemd now.

  • Osama on January 22, 2007, 21:01 GMT

    I don't think Akmal has earned his pardon at all. One good inning does not justify many disappointing ones and a horrendous run with the keeper's gloves. But I agree it is too late to call up Zulqarnain Haider so close to the World Cup.

    So sticking it out with Akmal is the only option but he still has a long way to go to redeem himself and his position.

  • Euceph Ahmed on January 22, 2007, 20:58 GMT

    Pivotal is the word that springs up when I think of the keeper's job. The whole side practically "pivots" around the keeper when fielding. So, the one person that cannot be low on confidence is the wicketkeeper because his job is to keep the flame alive like a spark plug which keeps ticking and ticking because the engine stops if it doesn’t. Kamran Akmal, lately, had been so low on confidence that he was letting the whole team down. Danish Kaneria has especially suffered at his hands. It is undeniable that Kaneria needs a great keeper to be known as a great leggie – a luxury Warne enjoyed throughout his career.

    While I do not entirely agree with you that Akmal has rediscovered his touch with the bat (his innings was streaky at best save for the last three or four shots) I was pleasantly surprised that you gave some credit to the management for sticking with him. There are some places where Inzamam deserves credit for his management capabilities and this I believe is one of them.

    I hope this innings and the win gives Akmal the much needed spark to start enjoying his game again. Keepers must have a great sense of humor. They must be able to crack jokes with the bowler and the close-in fielders to ridicule the batsmen a bit to play those mind games. Akmal, on the contrary, has looked more like a boy lost in a crowd of men. He must know that, on the field, he has to be the big motivator through his body and verbal language.

  • Talal on January 22, 2007, 20:47 GMT

    Akmal was quite circumspect today at the beginning of innings. But he gradually became more fluent. His keeping has been shocking ever since the English summer. Now i really hope he can improve his glove work. Maybe he should give ian healy a call. He was helpful in australia. There must be something he is doing wrong technically with his keeping. He has been woeful. IAN HEALY, MOIN KHAN, RASHID PLZ HELP KAMI WITH GLOVE WORK IT WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. P.S WRITE ABOUT BOB AND HIS FUTURE WITH PAKISTAN

  • Robert on January 22, 2007, 20:38 GMT

    From hero to zero and back again... a story of Akmal!

    I don't think one decent innings is "the" turning point. His keeping has been shocking or rubbish at the best of times on this tour. I would be searching for a new gloveman as we speak.

    That said... great innings, just what his side needed! Well done lad, well done!

  • Imran Nawaz on January 22, 2007, 20:08 GMT

    Akmal should be in the team.

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  • Imran Nawaz on January 22, 2007, 20:08 GMT

    Akmal should be in the team.

  • Robert on January 22, 2007, 20:38 GMT

    From hero to zero and back again... a story of Akmal!

    I don't think one decent innings is "the" turning point. His keeping has been shocking or rubbish at the best of times on this tour. I would be searching for a new gloveman as we speak.

    That said... great innings, just what his side needed! Well done lad, well done!

  • Talal on January 22, 2007, 20:47 GMT

    Akmal was quite circumspect today at the beginning of innings. But he gradually became more fluent. His keeping has been shocking ever since the English summer. Now i really hope he can improve his glove work. Maybe he should give ian healy a call. He was helpful in australia. There must be something he is doing wrong technically with his keeping. He has been woeful. IAN HEALY, MOIN KHAN, RASHID PLZ HELP KAMI WITH GLOVE WORK IT WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED. P.S WRITE ABOUT BOB AND HIS FUTURE WITH PAKISTAN

  • Euceph Ahmed on January 22, 2007, 20:58 GMT

    Pivotal is the word that springs up when I think of the keeper's job. The whole side practically "pivots" around the keeper when fielding. So, the one person that cannot be low on confidence is the wicketkeeper because his job is to keep the flame alive like a spark plug which keeps ticking and ticking because the engine stops if it doesn’t. Kamran Akmal, lately, had been so low on confidence that he was letting the whole team down. Danish Kaneria has especially suffered at his hands. It is undeniable that Kaneria needs a great keeper to be known as a great leggie – a luxury Warne enjoyed throughout his career.

    While I do not entirely agree with you that Akmal has rediscovered his touch with the bat (his innings was streaky at best save for the last three or four shots) I was pleasantly surprised that you gave some credit to the management for sticking with him. There are some places where Inzamam deserves credit for his management capabilities and this I believe is one of them.

    I hope this innings and the win gives Akmal the much needed spark to start enjoying his game again. Keepers must have a great sense of humor. They must be able to crack jokes with the bowler and the close-in fielders to ridicule the batsmen a bit to play those mind games. Akmal, on the contrary, has looked more like a boy lost in a crowd of men. He must know that, on the field, he has to be the big motivator through his body and verbal language.

  • Osama on January 22, 2007, 21:01 GMT

    I don't think Akmal has earned his pardon at all. One good inning does not justify many disappointing ones and a horrendous run with the keeper's gloves. But I agree it is too late to call up Zulqarnain Haider so close to the World Cup.

    So sticking it out with Akmal is the only option but he still has a long way to go to redeem himself and his position.

  • Masaood Yunus on January 22, 2007, 21:02 GMT

    I can't agree with you more on this Kamran. Good analysis and unfortunately, a viable backup to him isn't available at this moment so he has been the ONLY choice . Call it a weak management in this gloves department or whatever, regaining that TOUCH was very important for Kamran to stay in this unit. This is interesting to note that he has usually performed well when the team has been under pressure and someone had to hold one end no matter what. He proved that in India and now in SA as well. However, we are only optimistic that his rediscovery of batting (He has the skill to bat and we saw it once again today) will eventually lead to better wicketkeeping. With Worldcup round the corner, its hard to try another keeper but if the One Days go well Zulqarnain should be given at least one game in SA to show his metal as well. A backup should be gromemd now.

  • Zahid Hamid on January 22, 2007, 21:02 GMT

    With three streaky shots through the slip and gully cordon before he started to middle the ball and gain in stature, this may be the break that Akmal was looking for. As wicketkeepers inherently do, Akmal has a good eye and only needed regaining confidence to be amongst the runs. It is crucial for the coach and team management to back him up and have him focus on his role as an allrounder. Adam Gilchrist has raised the bar on performance and, with it, of expectation from the wicketkeeper in modern cricket. With youth on his side, Akmal must rise to the standards associated with the role if he is to secure his place amongst the Eleven.

  • Asad Ali on January 22, 2007, 21:03 GMT

    I don't fully agree with you. Today he did sort of 'undid' his wrongs, but one cannot rely on that. He has been the first choice wicket keeper but his form lately has been poor, both as a w. keeper and batsman. If you consider the fact, that he's a better w. keeper than batsman, I'd say he's actually been quite pathetic behind stumps. So, he still has to do a lot to 'earn' that pardon. He seems to be on the right path. He just needs to repeat today's performance more often and most importantly, he must find good form behind stumps.

  • jawed iqbal on January 22, 2007, 21:04 GMT

    Kamran Akmal is definetly a player for the future of Pakistan.. A talentad lad ran out of the steam to taken on pressure and just bad form.

    He definetly has a fantastic future ahead of him and his talent should not be doubted. He's not an another... ermm... parthiv patel?

  • imran malik on January 22, 2007, 21:07 GMT

    agree with you ,i want to bring your attention to selection of asim kamal though ,i think he is a solid batsman with good technique having added advantage of being a left hander, he shld be given a chance in the final test ,he shld replace imran farhat who is too flashy and never seems to be settled while at crease,also any idea where is taufeeq umar (he has best batting avg against south africa among all paksitanis...???