Team sheet January 27, 2007

Shock, awe, and possible implosion

190

With injuries and poor form asking fundamental questions about Pakistan's one-day squad for South Africa, the selectors have answered with a vote for thrills--and probably quite a few spills and missed heartbeats.

The recall of Abdul Razzaq was expected. When fit, Razzaq is an ideal one-day player even if his place in the Test team is worth challenging. Shabbir Ahmed's return was inevitable too given Pakistan's injured fast bowlers, but it's hard to see how he can have been unfit last week yet fit now.

Razzaq, of course, is a lower middle-order whirlwind. In combination with Shahid Afridi and Imran Nazir--who have both made surprising returns--Pakistan's one-day team has just adopted the shock and awe strategy.

Afridi did well in his season of domestic cricket in South Africa although he looks to have opted out of domestic cricket in his own country, something we were told he would have to succeed in to win selection. Nazir, by contrast, has performed due diligence by rebuilding his reputation at home and it is a surprise that the selectors have resisted recalling him until now.

Whatever the machinations, I'm all for this daring approach. Now is the time to get these big-hitting players in form before the World Cup. They add an explosive capability to the more trenchant qualities of Pakistan's classy middle-order. There is a risk though that these bombers will inflict more damage on their own men than the opposition.

Call me reckless but I'd have it no other way. The Pakistani cricket team has been most successful when it has attacked, and with Afridi, Razzaq, and Nazir in your batting line-up, attack is turned into all-out assault. Hold onto your sun-hats.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Best Registry Cleaner on June 13, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    Hello everyone thanks for

    good information.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 3, 2007, 11:25 GMT

    I read the comments of Mr. Javed A. Khan from Montreal and agree to all what he has written. I would like to how ever add that the inclusion of Zulkarnain was ridiculous. One fails to understand the logic of having 2 wicket keepers in a playing eleven, we could have added another batsman instead of him. This also shows the lack of planning by the tour management. As regards the post match comments of Younis Khan well i think it definately is a wake up call but not for Inzi as stated by Mr. Javed A. Khan, i think it is for the sellectors to have a second thought about his captaincy, for he has clearly failed in this area and looks under pressure when leading the team. His batting also shows the effects of the captaincy burdon and i personally feel that PCB should try and find an alternate and the sooner the better.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 3, 2007, 7:10 GMT

    "Pakistan restricted to 139 in difficult batting conditions"....was quoted in a leading english daily of Pakistan covering the Twenty/20 match between Pakistan and South Africa. Hillarious indeed as South Africa scored the same number of runs in 10 overs only in the same conditions. Pakistan batted badly and without any planning and that is why they couldnt put up a reasonable score that is the only reason.....conditions were perfect as was proven by Smith & Co. I think the captaincy also has to be probed a bit because the team which represented Pakistan in the Champion's trophey also performed similarly and I some how or the other cannot avoid feeling a wee bit etchey about his leadership qualities.

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 3, 2007, 5:03 GMT

    Pakistan's total capitulation in 20/20 game, a precursor for things to come (hope not!)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Why is Kamran Akmal being persisted with and not rested when it is the need of the hour?

    Its mind boggling and difficult to comprehend.

    The conditions changed so swiftly and South Africa made it look so easy.

    We hope that in the ensuing O.D.I series, team Pakistan can turn things around with better approach and a bit more composure. The innings needs to be planned and built in a systematic manner. Lack of application was evident from the opening pair, all the way down.

    The team needs to get its act together pretty quickly to make a match of the gifted South Africans who apparently excel in all departments of the game, be it bowling, fielding or batting - more so, in the shorter version of the game.

    There seems to be discord amongst rank and file of the Pakistan team and this is playing on the minds of the players.

    By persisting with Kamran Akmal, Pakistan is erring like India did by continuing to take chances with out of form Sehwag.

    If Akmal thinks that a come back would be difficult for him, so be it. This kind of pessimism and apprehension on his part is not good. He has strong potential. The team management needs to take him into confidence. The handling seems to be out of sync and not in tune with reality.

    In this game, team Pakistan just dissipated and were shred to pieces.

    Win or loose but do show some guts and fight it out in the middle - not like this spineless performance, its demoralizing all around.

    Now go one better in the first ODI.

    Mohsin Malik

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 2, 2007, 19:27 GMT

    South Africa LOST this twenty10 match against Pakistan! They threw the gauntlet at Pakistan that you play a twenty over game and we will do it in 10 overs. Ah, that was a bit over 10 overs without any loss and they blitz through the innings in style. Probably the biggest margin ever in a twenty20 match. Right from the word >>>>GO it was a loot on runs from Loots Bosman, and Graeme Smith was no less hammering the weak Pakistani bowling attack and created a new world record for himself by scoring three individual 50's to his name in the twenty20 arena.

    So, Mr. Kamran Abbassi, your "Shock, awe, and possible implosion" prediction actually happened in this game and that is very demoralizing for the 5 match ODI series starting Sunday. Pakistan's batting, bowling and fielding was pathetic. Kamran Akmal showed that whether he wears his gloves or not, he can still drop sitters. Not a single Pakistani player played well, they looked like they were lost in the crowd of Johannesburg which was bustling with live music, drums, dancing and sixes galores.

    Pakistan's unplanned and hasty decisions are always going to cost them heavily. There was no need for them to dispose off with Kaneria in such urgency. He was more attuned to the SA conditions and was bowling a better line and length, whereas. Abdul Rahman was not only hammared for 36 runs in 3 overs but, even before he bowled the first ball, he was looking frightened, insecure and unsettled.

    Younus Khan thinks that it is a wake up call, I am not sure if his comment was directed towards the sleeping giant Inzamam or for the rest of the team?

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 2, 2007, 8:15 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abbasi: Keep the good work up! It's doing Pakistan cricket wonders and much more would follow soon. Its just a matter of time.

    May I suggest that you please post a new blog now or a little later with the ODI series versus South Africa set to start shortly.

    The first of many apt titles highlighting the Pakistan team compaign and leading up to the coveted Cricket World Cup set to commence in the West Indies from March, 2007 could be the following:

    1. Kaneria makes way for Abdul Rahman 2. BCCP Constitution Delays harmful for Pakistan Cricket 3. BCCP chief should be elected and not selected.

    I have a strong gut feeling that Abdul Rahman would shine not only in this ODI series by making positive contributions but go some distance in proving more than a useful restrictive bowler during the World Cup compaign and provide Pak team supporters with a lot of interesting trails and traits to follow.

    Here is my initial post about this blog to set the ball rolling.

    -----------------------------------------------

    Thursday - February 2, 2007 12.15 AM - Pacific Standard Time

    Kaneria makes way for Abdul Rahman:

    After the conclusion of the test series, many would be still wondering about Kaneria's wicket less returns on the final day of the 3rd test match. The story was no different on the last day of the 1st test match. Pakistan lost both these matches with Kaneria failing to take any wickets on the final mornings when it mattered most.

    In the 3rd test match, Asif did provide vital breakthroughs early on the last day by removing Smith and Amla in succession raising hopes in the process of a likely Pak series win. Furthermore, in partnership with Kaneria, he kept the scoring rate in check.

    For his part though, Kaneria did his best and extracted sharp turns with his conventional leg breaks. He went further a field and tried few other tricks of the trade known to him. No one would question the hard work and persistent effort put in by him. But yet one more time, when it mattered, the statistics evaded him and he failed to make his mark in that the score sheet for him on the final day remained blank. If Kaneria had somehow, added a scalp or two before the lunch break, the story and the end result would have been different.

    In the ultimate analysis, this was just one of the factors that made a difference for the team during key stages of the series as it progressed.

    But as it turned out to be the case one more time, and as the experts have been calling it for long, Kaneria perhaps does not have in him for the big occasion. He has rarely shown this ability to run through the top batting line up.

    Rightfully, now comes the turn of a promising left arm spinner, Abdul Rahman.

    Watch out for him as he is set to make his mark. He impressed many a team supporters with his brief stint in the home series against the touring West Indies side.

    Many are banking on this new find to fill in this gaping hole in the spin department. His performance and ability to restrict the opposition batsmen would be watched with a keen interest by all. There is an opportunity to be grabbed here for the forthcoming 'Cricket World Cup' and beyond.

    If Abdul Rahman fills in the role of a front line spinner with a degree of success and contributes positively towards the team effort during this forthcoming one day series in South Africa, he would naturally get the nod of everyone including the team captain and the management and become the natural choice for the big event commencing in March, 2007.

    Kaneria along with many others would then, have to accept the reality check. Let's keep our fingers crossed, meanwhile and wait for the start to this absorbing ODI series.

    Mohsin Malik San Francisco Bay Area Cell: 925-487-5128

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 1, 2007, 17:09 GMT

    This has reference to Mr. Nadir Dawood's letter of 29th Jan regarding Asim Kemal. I would like to request Mr. Dawood to send his comments based on facts. Asim Kemal did play at Nbr 3 spot against South Africa on his debut and scored 99 at lahore. He has a very decent test average of 37.70 (with a strike rate of 47.23 decent enough for test match level)having 8 fifties in his 12 tests so far spanning over a period of 4 years. This shows that he has carried his form over a long period, and he is the best suited player to play with tail enders as he proved at Rawalpindi against the Indians, again in Australia against the mighty Aussies, also in India and West Indies. Now if he is not included in the team how on earth can he prove some thing. His is a mystry that no one can understand and one feels that the sellectors and otr team management are at fault by not letting him play in the test matches. In 12 matches he has scored 8 fifties and that is proof enough that he has potentials but the Blind bosses of PCB keep ignoring him. I feel that he is an ideal choice at number 6 spot and it is useless to include Yasir in the team and shuffle the batting order as was done in South Africa....and God knows why...maybe another compromise between the chief of PCB and the Inzamam. Can some body shed some light on it please.

  • Ashaq on February 1, 2007, 13:36 GMT

    Mr.Javed.A.Khan. You were presenting fairly deceptive statistics to show that Inzi had a better average than inzi. In 2006.

    Now when some one presents statistics to prove that Afridi is nothing more than a glorified club fighter. You claim the statistics are irrelevant.

  • Asad Ashraf on February 1, 2007, 0:56 GMT

    Ass'alaam Alekum

    I've always read, but never commented much on remarks made by some fans on this forum. With the World Cup due, I think it it fair to say the likes of Rao Iftikhar etc are not in the plans of the Inzi and Woolmer.

    As far as I see there are one, possibly two slots available for the first 11. Depending on whether Pakistan play a spinner. That in it self is an argument worth mentioning. Does Danish worrent a place in the team. To be fair he is not the most explosive of wicket takers, and niether has he been consistant enough to be ear marked as a stock bowler, that position lies firmly in the hands of Abdul Rehman who has impressed of late in ODIs. However neither can bat, and with Pakistan being notorious in failing uptop, I don't believe a specialist spinner, what ever the pitch is required.

    Mr Abbasi mentioned that he is excited by the attacking line up and it is the way Pakistan should play. And I totally agree. But Pakistan should not go on a kamkazee mission. They must time their innings through out.

    For me the only position available is the number one slot.

    With Younis, yousuf and Inzi in the middle followed by Afridi and Razzaq you;d imagaine one of either Akmal or Shoaib Malik would open, with the other in at number 8. giving Pakistan a healthy batting line up. That leaves 2 specialist bowlers, being in order Shoaib Akthar, Mohammad Asif and Umur Gul, with Rana, Sami, Danish, Rehman and Shabir as back up.

    So gets the number one is what Pakistan must focus on in this forthcoming ODI as well as preparing a World Cup winning 11.

    Imran Nazir, Yasir Hameed, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, and ever Yasir Arafat (highly unlikely) are all due to commence battle for that one remaining slot. On paper,Pakistan have a strong squad, possibly the best squad in the world. On the field, in the middle of the square, we all know, Pakistan can win or go bust. Insh'Allah this team can bring some excitement back into the world of cricket, something it has lacked for many a year.

  • AFRIDI on January 31, 2007, 14:40 GMT

    I don’t hate him. And (definitely) I am not his admirer. I was just giving you some facts.

    First of all READ everything and than write yur replies, and it would be great if you did some research before saying anything. Most of the things you mentioned in your post make no sense. For that read my previous post. Let me summarize some points again for you.

    - His performance at WI: Played 9 matches… highest is 69 (against Zim); avg is 26.22; took 12 wickets; econ 4.69 -His avg. outside subcont. is 18.96 (batting)

    “his last hundred was not in April 2005 but the last two 100's were in January 2006 and both against India in Pakistan.” - he didn’t score ANY 100 (ODIs) in 2006. He did that in tests, and that’s a different topic. - Last time he scored a century was in April, 2005 against India, in Canada (no wonder)

    “About records and statistics, neither Inzi nor MOYO ever got a 100 against SA in SA. So,” Please do me a fav. DON’T COMPARE AFRIDI WITH INZI or MOYO! (period)

  • Best Registry Cleaner on June 13, 2010, 18:42 GMT

    Hello everyone thanks for

    good information.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 3, 2007, 11:25 GMT

    I read the comments of Mr. Javed A. Khan from Montreal and agree to all what he has written. I would like to how ever add that the inclusion of Zulkarnain was ridiculous. One fails to understand the logic of having 2 wicket keepers in a playing eleven, we could have added another batsman instead of him. This also shows the lack of planning by the tour management. As regards the post match comments of Younis Khan well i think it definately is a wake up call but not for Inzi as stated by Mr. Javed A. Khan, i think it is for the sellectors to have a second thought about his captaincy, for he has clearly failed in this area and looks under pressure when leading the team. His batting also shows the effects of the captaincy burdon and i personally feel that PCB should try and find an alternate and the sooner the better.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 3, 2007, 7:10 GMT

    "Pakistan restricted to 139 in difficult batting conditions"....was quoted in a leading english daily of Pakistan covering the Twenty/20 match between Pakistan and South Africa. Hillarious indeed as South Africa scored the same number of runs in 10 overs only in the same conditions. Pakistan batted badly and without any planning and that is why they couldnt put up a reasonable score that is the only reason.....conditions were perfect as was proven by Smith & Co. I think the captaincy also has to be probed a bit because the team which represented Pakistan in the Champion's trophey also performed similarly and I some how or the other cannot avoid feeling a wee bit etchey about his leadership qualities.

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 3, 2007, 5:03 GMT

    Pakistan's total capitulation in 20/20 game, a precursor for things to come (hope not!)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Why is Kamran Akmal being persisted with and not rested when it is the need of the hour?

    Its mind boggling and difficult to comprehend.

    The conditions changed so swiftly and South Africa made it look so easy.

    We hope that in the ensuing O.D.I series, team Pakistan can turn things around with better approach and a bit more composure. The innings needs to be planned and built in a systematic manner. Lack of application was evident from the opening pair, all the way down.

    The team needs to get its act together pretty quickly to make a match of the gifted South Africans who apparently excel in all departments of the game, be it bowling, fielding or batting - more so, in the shorter version of the game.

    There seems to be discord amongst rank and file of the Pakistan team and this is playing on the minds of the players.

    By persisting with Kamran Akmal, Pakistan is erring like India did by continuing to take chances with out of form Sehwag.

    If Akmal thinks that a come back would be difficult for him, so be it. This kind of pessimism and apprehension on his part is not good. He has strong potential. The team management needs to take him into confidence. The handling seems to be out of sync and not in tune with reality.

    In this game, team Pakistan just dissipated and were shred to pieces.

    Win or loose but do show some guts and fight it out in the middle - not like this spineless performance, its demoralizing all around.

    Now go one better in the first ODI.

    Mohsin Malik

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 2, 2007, 19:27 GMT

    South Africa LOST this twenty10 match against Pakistan! They threw the gauntlet at Pakistan that you play a twenty over game and we will do it in 10 overs. Ah, that was a bit over 10 overs without any loss and they blitz through the innings in style. Probably the biggest margin ever in a twenty20 match. Right from the word >>>>GO it was a loot on runs from Loots Bosman, and Graeme Smith was no less hammering the weak Pakistani bowling attack and created a new world record for himself by scoring three individual 50's to his name in the twenty20 arena.

    So, Mr. Kamran Abbassi, your "Shock, awe, and possible implosion" prediction actually happened in this game and that is very demoralizing for the 5 match ODI series starting Sunday. Pakistan's batting, bowling and fielding was pathetic. Kamran Akmal showed that whether he wears his gloves or not, he can still drop sitters. Not a single Pakistani player played well, they looked like they were lost in the crowd of Johannesburg which was bustling with live music, drums, dancing and sixes galores.

    Pakistan's unplanned and hasty decisions are always going to cost them heavily. There was no need for them to dispose off with Kaneria in such urgency. He was more attuned to the SA conditions and was bowling a better line and length, whereas. Abdul Rahman was not only hammared for 36 runs in 3 overs but, even before he bowled the first ball, he was looking frightened, insecure and unsettled.

    Younus Khan thinks that it is a wake up call, I am not sure if his comment was directed towards the sleeping giant Inzamam or for the rest of the team?

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 2, 2007, 8:15 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abbasi: Keep the good work up! It's doing Pakistan cricket wonders and much more would follow soon. Its just a matter of time.

    May I suggest that you please post a new blog now or a little later with the ODI series versus South Africa set to start shortly.

    The first of many apt titles highlighting the Pakistan team compaign and leading up to the coveted Cricket World Cup set to commence in the West Indies from March, 2007 could be the following:

    1. Kaneria makes way for Abdul Rahman 2. BCCP Constitution Delays harmful for Pakistan Cricket 3. BCCP chief should be elected and not selected.

    I have a strong gut feeling that Abdul Rahman would shine not only in this ODI series by making positive contributions but go some distance in proving more than a useful restrictive bowler during the World Cup compaign and provide Pak team supporters with a lot of interesting trails and traits to follow.

    Here is my initial post about this blog to set the ball rolling.

    -----------------------------------------------

    Thursday - February 2, 2007 12.15 AM - Pacific Standard Time

    Kaneria makes way for Abdul Rahman:

    After the conclusion of the test series, many would be still wondering about Kaneria's wicket less returns on the final day of the 3rd test match. The story was no different on the last day of the 1st test match. Pakistan lost both these matches with Kaneria failing to take any wickets on the final mornings when it mattered most.

    In the 3rd test match, Asif did provide vital breakthroughs early on the last day by removing Smith and Amla in succession raising hopes in the process of a likely Pak series win. Furthermore, in partnership with Kaneria, he kept the scoring rate in check.

    For his part though, Kaneria did his best and extracted sharp turns with his conventional leg breaks. He went further a field and tried few other tricks of the trade known to him. No one would question the hard work and persistent effort put in by him. But yet one more time, when it mattered, the statistics evaded him and he failed to make his mark in that the score sheet for him on the final day remained blank. If Kaneria had somehow, added a scalp or two before the lunch break, the story and the end result would have been different.

    In the ultimate analysis, this was just one of the factors that made a difference for the team during key stages of the series as it progressed.

    But as it turned out to be the case one more time, and as the experts have been calling it for long, Kaneria perhaps does not have in him for the big occasion. He has rarely shown this ability to run through the top batting line up.

    Rightfully, now comes the turn of a promising left arm spinner, Abdul Rahman.

    Watch out for him as he is set to make his mark. He impressed many a team supporters with his brief stint in the home series against the touring West Indies side.

    Many are banking on this new find to fill in this gaping hole in the spin department. His performance and ability to restrict the opposition batsmen would be watched with a keen interest by all. There is an opportunity to be grabbed here for the forthcoming 'Cricket World Cup' and beyond.

    If Abdul Rahman fills in the role of a front line spinner with a degree of success and contributes positively towards the team effort during this forthcoming one day series in South Africa, he would naturally get the nod of everyone including the team captain and the management and become the natural choice for the big event commencing in March, 2007.

    Kaneria along with many others would then, have to accept the reality check. Let's keep our fingers crossed, meanwhile and wait for the start to this absorbing ODI series.

    Mohsin Malik San Francisco Bay Area Cell: 925-487-5128

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 1, 2007, 17:09 GMT

    This has reference to Mr. Nadir Dawood's letter of 29th Jan regarding Asim Kemal. I would like to request Mr. Dawood to send his comments based on facts. Asim Kemal did play at Nbr 3 spot against South Africa on his debut and scored 99 at lahore. He has a very decent test average of 37.70 (with a strike rate of 47.23 decent enough for test match level)having 8 fifties in his 12 tests so far spanning over a period of 4 years. This shows that he has carried his form over a long period, and he is the best suited player to play with tail enders as he proved at Rawalpindi against the Indians, again in Australia against the mighty Aussies, also in India and West Indies. Now if he is not included in the team how on earth can he prove some thing. His is a mystry that no one can understand and one feels that the sellectors and otr team management are at fault by not letting him play in the test matches. In 12 matches he has scored 8 fifties and that is proof enough that he has potentials but the Blind bosses of PCB keep ignoring him. I feel that he is an ideal choice at number 6 spot and it is useless to include Yasir in the team and shuffle the batting order as was done in South Africa....and God knows why...maybe another compromise between the chief of PCB and the Inzamam. Can some body shed some light on it please.

  • Ashaq on February 1, 2007, 13:36 GMT

    Mr.Javed.A.Khan. You were presenting fairly deceptive statistics to show that Inzi had a better average than inzi. In 2006.

    Now when some one presents statistics to prove that Afridi is nothing more than a glorified club fighter. You claim the statistics are irrelevant.

  • Asad Ashraf on February 1, 2007, 0:56 GMT

    Ass'alaam Alekum

    I've always read, but never commented much on remarks made by some fans on this forum. With the World Cup due, I think it it fair to say the likes of Rao Iftikhar etc are not in the plans of the Inzi and Woolmer.

    As far as I see there are one, possibly two slots available for the first 11. Depending on whether Pakistan play a spinner. That in it self is an argument worth mentioning. Does Danish worrent a place in the team. To be fair he is not the most explosive of wicket takers, and niether has he been consistant enough to be ear marked as a stock bowler, that position lies firmly in the hands of Abdul Rehman who has impressed of late in ODIs. However neither can bat, and with Pakistan being notorious in failing uptop, I don't believe a specialist spinner, what ever the pitch is required.

    Mr Abbasi mentioned that he is excited by the attacking line up and it is the way Pakistan should play. And I totally agree. But Pakistan should not go on a kamkazee mission. They must time their innings through out.

    For me the only position available is the number one slot.

    With Younis, yousuf and Inzi in the middle followed by Afridi and Razzaq you;d imagaine one of either Akmal or Shoaib Malik would open, with the other in at number 8. giving Pakistan a healthy batting line up. That leaves 2 specialist bowlers, being in order Shoaib Akthar, Mohammad Asif and Umur Gul, with Rana, Sami, Danish, Rehman and Shabir as back up.

    So gets the number one is what Pakistan must focus on in this forthcoming ODI as well as preparing a World Cup winning 11.

    Imran Nazir, Yasir Hameed, Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, and ever Yasir Arafat (highly unlikely) are all due to commence battle for that one remaining slot. On paper,Pakistan have a strong squad, possibly the best squad in the world. On the field, in the middle of the square, we all know, Pakistan can win or go bust. Insh'Allah this team can bring some excitement back into the world of cricket, something it has lacked for many a year.

  • AFRIDI on January 31, 2007, 14:40 GMT

    I don’t hate him. And (definitely) I am not his admirer. I was just giving you some facts.

    First of all READ everything and than write yur replies, and it would be great if you did some research before saying anything. Most of the things you mentioned in your post make no sense. For that read my previous post. Let me summarize some points again for you.

    - His performance at WI: Played 9 matches… highest is 69 (against Zim); avg is 26.22; took 12 wickets; econ 4.69 -His avg. outside subcont. is 18.96 (batting)

    “his last hundred was not in April 2005 but the last two 100's were in January 2006 and both against India in Pakistan.” - he didn’t score ANY 100 (ODIs) in 2006. He did that in tests, and that’s a different topic. - Last time he scored a century was in April, 2005 against India, in Canada (no wonder)

    “About records and statistics, neither Inzi nor MOYO ever got a 100 against SA in SA. So,” Please do me a fav. DON’T COMPARE AFRIDI WITH INZI or MOYO! (period)

  • Fayyaz on January 31, 2007, 14:11 GMT

    I think Rao Iftikhar is a very underarte dbowler his line length is better then rana most of teh performs better then him whne the both play together , Welcome imran nazir terrific bastman only not in pak squad coz selecters ar enot bold enough. If he was an australian he would have bene polished and would have stayed he is better hen both salman and hafeez and obviously imran farhat is no match fo rhim. Tradionally pak sports have seen unusal styles from players like Jehangir khan unconventional wrong footed yet teh best. salim malik completely unconventional so is Imran. Please persist with him. Good move to bring afridi back. Razk is best allrounder second only to kallis.

  • zeeshan on January 31, 2007, 13:11 GMT

    Well i think Afridi could be very good for southafrican team. I observed that it never works wihenever a team tries to defend and play extra carefully. i think you should start your innings with attacking against southafica and u will see their weakness. that is why i think afridi and nazir are best option if they are used as openers.

  • Ali Majid on January 31, 2007, 11:51 GMT

    Replying to the comment posted by Euceph Ahmed - "drop Inzi, Yousaf and Younis from the ODI team?" This has to be one of the most rash comments ever. I think that this forum is discussing the possible squad and the impact of the big hitting players for the world cup not for a twenty20 competition. I would like to honestly ask you what is your rationale for making such a comment. Dropping three players that form the backbone of the side and considered to be genuine batsmen who complement the hard hitters. Going into a match without any of them would perhaps be the most ludicrous judgement call (even by the standards of the Pakistan Cricket team). A side without them and only the hard hitters would perhaps have a scorecard reading: Pakistan all out for 102 in 10 overs - entertaining yet ridiculous!

  • Said Chaudhry on January 31, 2007, 11:44 GMT

    Oh how Ive waited for Imran Nazir to come back and thrash them bowlers all over the park...just like he does in 20/20.

  • Zia Ulhaq on January 31, 2007, 10:50 GMT

    Yes thats good move to include the Imran Nazir in the team, Now what I am thinking as ideal team combination for the world cup would be Imran Nazir and Butt to open and then to follow respectively as younis, yousaf, inzammam, malik/afridi/umer/Abdul rehman,abdul razzaq, akmal/haider,rana, akhtar/shabbir,asif

    I have included akhtar and shabbir exclusive to each other as they are fast bowlers so they can come on their turn to avoid injuries.

    Then a fight for a spot between umer gul, and abdul rehman depends if wicket is suitable for seam bowling or spin bowling or we include either malik or afridi instead of them. If wickets are batting friendly then I would go for four specialist bowlers not three specialists and two all rounders and in that case they would be rana,asif,gul/abdul rehman, akther/shabbir with either afridi or abdul razzaq filling all-rounder spot. Also akmal's position is in danger if haider performs well then he would be given chance ahead of akaml. Hope we will get all these players fit for the world cup. I suggest team management to call Butt in place of Hafeez please.

  • Asad on January 31, 2007, 10:42 GMT

    A Pakistan win proved both the sceptics and statisticians wrong

    A thesis I have been reading recently reveals a statistic that says Pakistan had a 5% chance of winning a Test match in South Africa, while South Africa has a 56% chance of winning a Test in Pakistan. Statistics do tell a story though they sometimes don't tell the whole story: as luck would have it, Pakistan has now increased the percentage of winning in South Africa.

    Include India's win at the Wanderers and there is definitely an effort from the subcontinent to improve their cricket on the harder, bouncier pitches of the Southern Hemisphere. One swallow doesn't make a summer but two means getting there.

    Pakistan's terrific team effort was a truly special win, one that rewarded hard work and application, one that included some strong individual efforts and one that had a great team spirit about it, when it was really needed. Such results are built on key moments. Here are mine.

    Flipside of the coin

    The toss proved a good one to lose. The pitch looked good and both sides would have batted, but there was bounce in it. Some of the dismissals looked poor and some South African batsmen might have thought they were unlucky. Hashim Amla was caught behind down the leg side, AB de Villiers edged a wide bouncer and Graeme Smith was caught at slip off the keeper's gloves. Still, it was difficult to see how people were getting out. Admittedly, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Sami bowled really well and Danish Kaneria had a strong breeze to help his leg-spinners curve and dip as well. Getting them out for only 124 was the key.

    The strike back

    As expected, South Africa fought back with the ball. Younis Khan and Kamran Akmal were both fighting hard at the end of the first day, but of the 16 wickets that fell, the two most crucial appeared to be that of Younis and Kamran both falling, within minutes, in the day's last two overs. That was 1-1 for the day: I asked Jacques Kallis at the end of the day how he assessed the day and the pitch. He replied simply, "Bob, the game is going forward." Go forward it did.

    The Masterpiece: as scripted by Inzamam-ul-Haq

    The second day witnessed an absolutely magnificent exhibition of batting with the tail, of farming the strike. With his unbeaten 92, Inzamam-ul-Haq created probably the defining moment of the game, an innings which proved that experience is something you cannot just buy off the shelf. Inzi calculated it beautifully and only with Mohammad Asif did he really begin protecting him. In most of the 20 overs they batted, Asif had to face a maximum of two balls, Inzi not only controlling the strike but also playing some fantastic shots. The lead he got eventually proved vital.

    Murphy's Law inverted: A good one from Kamran Akmal was due, especially after some serious lapses behind the wicket © AFP

    A long way from Faisalabad

    When South Africa batted again they were buoyed by the fact that Shoaib was unfit to bowl. It was a defining moment for South Africa. It was also one for Pakistan for it meant someone had to stand up and be counted in what was a three-man attack. Sure enough, they all responded and Asif was exceptional, along with Kaneria and Sami as all went beyond the call of duty.

    On a day of twists, their contributions were vital: South Africa played well, with Kallis and then Mark Boucher and Shaun Pollock taking the game away from Pakistan. But just after each session break, we struck, Asif getting Herschelle Gibbs and Kallis after lunch and then Kaneria dismissing Pollock just after tea. Even then Makhaya Ntini and Andre Nel's bravado meant Pakistan were faced with an interesting total. I saw Pollock at the bar that evening and he reminded me of Faisalabad in 1997-98, when South Africa bowled out Pakistan for 92, chasing only 146. I said there are two differences: one, I was South Africa coach at Faisalabad and two, we're a long way from Faisalabad.

    The Endgame

    The final moment came when Inzi was undone by a ball that did not bounce and was adjudged leg before off Ntini while chasing the target. Immediately, visions of Faisalabad swirled in my head. But there was a nagging, positive thought at the back of my mind: Kamran Akmal, who had been criticised for a missed stumping (extremely tough) and for two dropped chances might make amends with the bat. He started fortuitously, but the secret of captaincy is always to put the fielders in the gaps. After it, he was fantastic, batting with the Pathan tiger, Younis, who fought like only a tribesman from the north of Pakistan can fight. Ironic that their 99-run partnership ended the game, as it was those two who had been involved at the end of the first day too.

    It is of small consolation to the losing side, but it capped a very fine Test match, one that offered the connoisseur everything. It was tense on the last afternoon but in the end the difference was that cameo of pure genius by Inzi. Deservedly, he was presented with both "his best win" and the match award.

  • Asad on January 31, 2007, 10:38 GMT

    thought about it very strongly now i think as a cricketer my self that our team lacks mental thoughness that is why we havent handled the crunch situations very well i think the criteria of choosing player should also include this very attribute to judge a player in pakistan team because the education level of our players havent been so great thats why we lach mental strength and makes unnessesary mistakes again and again without learning any thing from previous tough situations and that is why, also the ablity of our players decreases from time to time after emerging on the top level i think thats wat i believe very very angrily and strongly hope u will find something good from this (players)

  • cricket guru on January 31, 2007, 10:10 GMT

    well i do see som potential in imran nazir...but i hoope tht the return of shoaib malik will b a gud sign 4 paki cricket.i hope to see nazir and hameed openin,along wid malik,younis.yousuf,inzi.razaq/afridi.then comin the keeper and then the tail enders..i hope sami can do som miracle in here now.cz this may b his ticket to the wc.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on January 31, 2007, 8:20 GMT

    Kamran Sahib AOA, This forum is very nice and here we get to know how ppl feel about Cricket in Pakistan, but does it really matter. The things written are often very professional comments which might help educate the PCB bosses, who are nothing more than a bunch of Jokers as very rightly stated by Mr. Tariq thru his post of 30th Jan 07, but the point is that if they have a look at what is being written here. I would therefore request you to kindly make a summary of all the mails that u rcv and send it to the Chairman of PCB. Sellection of Afridi is a hot topic and it seems every one wants to have a swipe at it, and to some extent i would also agree to most of the comment as he really didnt perform well last year. Having said that I would also like to mention here that he has the potential and should have been tried against the West Indies in the last home series, and to me a one off chance was on and the risk element wud not have been there as we were playing at home. This again goes to prove the lop sided policy of the NOT ANSWERABLE TO ANY ONE sellectors and clearly shows the lack of planning. Sellection follies are there in abundance in the team which went to South Africa, for example Yasir's case. I really dont understand why he was sellected and even played in the tests for Younus Khan a regular number 3 has a tremendous record and why was the need to demote him, instead we neede a batsman at number 6 and Asim Kamal fits in to that position perfectly. I think it was a mistake to have disturbed the top order by drafting Yasir to play at the crucial number 3 spot despite the fact that he never performed well at that position in the past. Yasir to me does not fit in the team and shouldnt have been sellected for the tour, we should have taken Salman Butt instead. Well u never Know it may have been a compromise situation between Inzamam and the Chairman resulting to the inclusion of Mushtaq as bowling coach and Yasir's certainty in all the 3 tests. Maybe some one would like to comment on this.....for now it is quite evident that the teams sellected are mostly on the basis of compromises....and that seems like the guiding principal in the sellection process and if the sellection committee differs ....they always have some one waiting to wear the boots and do as desired.

  • Haider Mahmud, Pakistan on January 31, 2007, 6:05 GMT

    Shahid Afridi has not played any Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match this season for Karachi. It is beyond my understanding how can a player be selected when he so blatantly gives his thumbs down to Domestic cricket. Similarly Shabbir Ahmed has also not played for Multan in ongoing Domestic Trophy therefore how can we judge that he is completely match fit. Do we want another Shoaib Akhtar episode to occur?

  • Alex on January 31, 2007, 6:02 GMT

    I am glad that Afridy and Razzaq are called back. This will give our team some much required depth as well as not to forget that Afridy is amognst the better fielders. Regarding the team for world cup, this is what I think should be, Shoaib and Yasir as openers (why can't Bob work on Yasir's tendency to poke balls which are outside the offstump) followed by the trio of Younis, Yousaf and Inzy. You can't have a better middle order anywhere apart from Australia. They should be followed by Afridy, Razzaq and Akmal for late over charges and Rana, Akhtar and Asif make up the last three. In this way we have eight batsman along with rana and akhtar who could also play a bit followed with six bowlers. Just stick with it day in and day out and watch the result.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 31, 2007, 3:30 GMT

    Posted by: AFRIDI at January 30, 2007 6:53 PM

    AFRIDI... are you an admirer of Afridi or a hater? From your post you seem to be the later, but I wonder why you still choose that nick to represent your identity? Whatever the case may be, you would never be Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi, period.

    Now, please don't quote the statistics of his past performance in countries other than WI, 'coz the WC shall be played in Caribbean and not in Australia. Besides, you got it all wrong, his last hundred was not in April 2005 but the last two 100's were in January 2006 and both against India in Pakistan. I know that India is not in the same group as Pak. But, there is always a possibility of clashing with them. About records and statistics, neither Inzi nor MOYO ever got a 100 against SA in SA. So, which Pakistani player has performed there? I still believe that if you give a classy player one hundred percent backing and support, they always perform - lean patches are not permanent.

  • jamal on January 31, 2007, 0:06 GMT

    Out-Of-Form-ul-Haq-should have been "kicked out- how is this idea of this idea of Afridi being captain and given every body plays like him -mis or hit some 4-6 will probably hit 30-50 each and end up making 300 odd runs in 15 overs and declare in one day match and ask opponets to bat and then destroy them chanting oley oley barsaday ..

    2.So, considering the available resources there is no one who can take the reigns of captaincy. Do you think the half lost, double minded Abdul Razzaq who is not sure whether to wear a helmet or a cap and decides to wear both at the same time, would take the leadership role? no not at all- only afridi style hit and mis captainship will work 3. statistically if u play like afridi u can atleast win two world cups out of 6 played so far without a win 4. finally u can save lot of energy and dot need much caaching - as u dont need any technique - just have to play 15 overs only and then taunt opposition mentally , friendly and socially as well

    more to follow

    jamal

  • Faisal Bin Yahya, UAE on January 30, 2007, 20:21 GMT

    I feel that the batting lineup should be very flexible and very strong at the same time. By flexible I mean that according to the conditions and situation the captain should be ready to shuffle his players. 11 Man Lineup - Afridi, Shahid Nazir, Shoaib Malik, Yousuf, Akmal, Inzmamam, Abdur Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Asif, Gul, Shabbir. Yes I dont think Younis is good enough for one days. I feel that Inzamam should drop himself to Seven and only come to picture to avert a terribly disastrous outcome.

    Afridi is a gamble as far as batting is concerned but he is a very seasoned bowler for one days & not to forget his fielding capabilities. On his day he can pulverize the bowling - I am totally against throwing him down the order. He has energy which should be let out early instead of making him sit on waiting and burn. To be honest we dont have a true one down player. So it has to be one of the two - Shoaib Malik & Yousuf so 3 and 4 with these two. Inzamam should wait in the dressing room - he is not so explosive and swift anymore. He should provide the seilding effect if all his batsmen fail. So before him it can Akmal or Abdur Razzaq depends - if there are 5 overs left I would prefer Abdur Razzaq if 10 overs or more left then Akmal. As far as the bowlers are concerned I hope all of them are available, fit and perform. If for any reason any of the bowlers drop out then we can have Rana Naveed - he is a very hard working and thinking player. For Batsmen Younis should be sitting outside to replace any Batsmen only in case of unfitness. IN ANY CASE - I JUST WISH AND PRAY SUCCESS FOR PAKISTAN TEAM

  • Tariq on January 30, 2007, 20:06 GMT

    This selection seems very decent because they have no choice but to stick with the old policy of getting tried and tested players because of their so called "Experince".Let me tell u guys PCB constitutes of jokers, who have no idea about the new format of the one day game, who keep talking about "Experience" when selecting the squad for world cup.They get hold of some bowler,batsmen or a keeper n then give the person the chance.When the person fails to prove after few matches, he has actually gained enough experience and not scores to be dropped.Then the so called "experienced player"is replaced by the highly efficient selectors by a new debutant.If this new guy performs then he is there to enjoy the life but in case if he fails to prove, after playing considerable amount of matches,then he too gets dropped but according to selectors has gained lot of "Xperience".So whats happening is there is no class in players but what the selectors are doing are getting back people who did'nt perform when give good opportunities but because they think they have vast "Xperiece" before so they get the "Right" to be selected. As i said bunch of Jokers are playing "Merry go Round" Look at the morons selecting Mohd Sami for South Africa test series.Sami literally ate the who Englnad-Pakistan series and did't perform enough to be dropped.Look at the reson these jerk give to the people "Sami has been performing very good in domestic cricket"Well!Hello!He was picked for England-Pakistan series and the reason was "Sami has been performing very good in Domestic cricket"I even advocated that is he is getting his grove back get him for the English series.But is'nt one lesson enough that pitches where every TOM DICK n Harry who was a fast bowler was getting wicket because of the assistance from the pitch n here our Hero Karachi Express just could'nt express himself.Then this jerk got so much "Xperince"that the selectors though his current domestic performnace and his vast "Xperience" got his the berth for the most imp South Afrika-Pak series. I have always mantained that give cricketers enough chances n then if he does'nt succeed, drop him!Select him again in future to see if his game has improved.If agaion he failes to impress then he is just not international class or little short of international class.Sami is just short of international class I am very sorry to say that and at international level anythingh short in class could b very costly in winning or loosing the match.Lokk at Asif the guy got selected in very imp Australia-Pakistn series.He just did'nt show his true potential and then when given the opportunity he came out with flying colours.Same happened with Waseem Akram during his fisrt debue match he was not impressive n then after getting reselected he showed his true class. My point here is simple if the person does'nt perform when given repetitive chances then the chances are that he will not perform period!To perform one has to have talent and the so called "Xperience" works like a catalyst to make him move from short of international class to international class. Experience is not a replacement for talent.But the true talent does get exposed with experience. It somethingh like substandard player when selected for national team, is trying to bring out somethingh that he does'nt have. Please fellow selectors no offence but i have been watching this approach for years and only Imran Khan had the approach to see who was talented n who didnt though he did falter at times but that too was because selectos back then wanted players of their choice either out of nepotism or their sheer ego. Final point is its far better to give a new guy a chance then to give someone who had already been tried and tested.As i said, chances are that if he didn'nt perform two times he will not perform as many times when given the opportunity.Again Substandard Player Can't Bring Out Somethingh That He Doesn't Have And The Failed Experience That He Gained Is Of No Value.It is better to give a new guy a chnace. Thnak you.

  • Good Bhetta on January 30, 2007, 19:48 GMT

    Afridi absolutely SHOULD NOT open. He has failed his WHOLE ODI CAREER, in addition to the LAST WORLDCUP... He's absolutely horrible early on. The only way he can be used effectively is in the final 5-10 overs of the game where he can get his 6's and be done with it. In addition, his spin bowling and fielding are a plus but he CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT bat higher than #8.

  • AFRIDI on January 30, 2007, 18:53 GMT

    Javed (and co), are u serious? Afridi.. against “wutever team” at WI?

    “You mean to say that IF he (afridi) fail they will put pressure on the middle order?” – true, most of the times it is like that…

    “IF he (afridi) explode and score runs they will inflict more damage to the "Gurus" who were earlier keeping these thoroughbreds at bay?” “You have to take risk, increase your stakes and improve your winning chances” “Afridi's low batting average in 'one year' doesn't make him a bad player than the current lot that is available for ODI matches. Form is temporary and class is permanent. He has not proved himself as a real classy player yet – kidding right? exactly how many chances are we talking abt here?? Check his career avg. - Tell me something, how many times you have seen that?? He has NEVER scored a century against any team outside subcontinent (not to mention he scored 4 centuries 3 against India and 1 against SL) and pak will is not playing with ind OR SL in the WC till Second Stage - Super Eight Series. - His avg. outside subcont. Is 18.96 (batting)

    “World Cup history has proved that Pakistan has never defeated India in any of the world cup encounters. So, you have to have such players in your ODI team.” – and with him in our side (esp. in WI).. we will lose for sure. Our mission is not to beat India, but to WIN the WC (1992)

    His performance at WI: Played 9 matches… highest is 69 (against Zim); avg is 26.22; took 12 wickets; econ 4.69 Not to mention last time he played was in may 2005 and scored – 24, 12, 56

    Aus: Played 29 matches… highest is 56*; avg is 20.41; took 35 wickets; econ 4.41

    SA: Played 13 matches… highest is 19; avg is 9.46; took 9 wickets; econ 5.53 – that is pathetic, I don’t know why he is called for the 1 days against SA with this awesome record!

    Eng: Played 19 matches… highest is 37; avg is 12.94; took 15 wickets; econ 4.47

    In the world cups: He played 10-11 innings – highest score is 37; avg is 11; took 4 wickets; econ was 5.34

    * Last time he scored a century was in April, 2005. He played 27-28 matches after that. * Last time he scored 50 was in may 2005. He played 22-23 matches after that. * out of his 193 wickets; 121 came against aus, ind, NZ, SA, SL and WI. And his avg against them are aus (33.96), SA(53.22), Ind(56.5), NZ(59.89), SL(42.1) and WI(34).

  • Adeel on January 30, 2007, 18:52 GMT

    I think adding Afridi, Imran Nazir and Shabbir to the team is a recipe for faliure.

  • Muhammad ali on January 30, 2007, 17:58 GMT

    hmmmm It was tough to read all comments but i read all. AFRAID-DI a superb fighting motivated player which was mishandled by (may be) captain coach, selectors. First os all i want to compare his test match performances with M hafeez and yasir hameed and either imran farhat. recall his match winning performance in indian series. his century and then lightening 40z wen needed. And his bowling ohhhh, a little master tendulkar struggled against him and thrown wicket to him may be twice???? hmmmmm and i remember his west indian tour. Again his century was superb and bowling was nice. then india toured to Pakistan and again he showed good performance both with the HBat and ball. Anddddd "suddenly he was dropped for the match against england. i was shocked and wat abt his feeling I think That was enough to scatter his confident. I think this was the turning point. He wasnt recovered after being dropped from team against england. So he lost his confident even in Oneday match as well. And dont compare him with hafieez, imran farhat, suleman but, yasir hameed, imran nazir, even shoib mailk.Although all these players r good but no match with Afridi. And CAPTAIN Hmmmmm for those who nr against him just check out how he lead his team ( KARACHI DOLIFIN) in 20 20 tournament.He was superb and extraordinary. Watch those matches and comment.

  • Toqueer Ahmed Quyyam on January 30, 2007, 17:56 GMT

    I belive that shahid afridi is going through a bad patch recently, however i belive that he can come through this. There needs to be a stronger mental strengh not to go for balls which aare not short of a length and line, especially at the start of the innings where the new ball will move quickly as well as create movement where chances will be created. His average in one-day internationals is in the 20's, however he has the experience and the talent to be a match winner. He is the record holder for the fastest 100 which was completed in 37 deliveries. He has hit over 200 sixes in his career, averaging nearly one an inninnings. The crowd do love him and when he faces each ball, there is a expectation of something happening and in most cases they do and what a sight.

  • Zohaib ahmad Durrani on January 30, 2007, 15:36 GMT

    AOA.Dear Everyone Maybe Ramiz bahi hou ru everyone maybe fine that is nothing cricket because i amn not impress with icc cricket ranking because ricky ponting last ashes match Vs england he is runs only two innings maybe 20to30 runs he is point before 5th test 941 point but after match he is point 936 what is this cricket i am not beleave this cricket yousuf only i test not playing vs south africa he is point 933 he no play Ist test he is point 924 that is not cricket and 2nd test he runs 30to40 in 2 innings he point after match 911 that is not cricket.I am not agree Austrailian Are very stupid with this effort this is looking for icc i am not happend plz this is my Question? ALLAH HAFIZ

  • K Malik (NEWYORK) on January 30, 2007, 14:50 GMT

    I am very happy to see that PCB selector finally decided to send Imran Faharat home he is not mature cricketer and fail to take responisbility as opener. Why not trying combination of Hafeez and Imran N follow with inz, and Y's. Dropping Shoiab Akhtar from the team was unfair and completely wrong it wasnt fair at all. Unfortunately Shoiab sent back to pakistan it really hurt pakistan bolwing attack. Asif is good bolwer but not as quick and fast like Shoiab. Rana often give runs away but handy with bat so as Sami. If pakistan bolwing 2nd they need shoiab and asif combination to beat SA.

  • Shaharyar Nasir on January 30, 2007, 12:19 GMT

    i thought about it very strongly now i think as a cricketer my self that our team lacks mental thoughness that is why we havent handled the crunch situations very well i think the criteria of choosing player should also include this very attribute to judge a player in pakistan team because the education level of our players havent been so great thats why we lach mental strength and makes unnessesary mistakes again and again without learning any thing from previous tough situations and that is why, also the ablity of our players decreases from time to time after emerging on the top level i think thats wat i believe very very angrily and strongly hope u will find something good from this (players)

  • Khan on January 30, 2007, 11:57 GMT

    Yes i totally agree with Shankar that Afridi should come to bat at 3 or 4 e.i after 15-20 overs when the ball losses its shine. The only time i remeber afridi comming to bat at 3 was when he scored a record breaking century against Srilanka at Nairobi. One more reason why afridi should bat at 3 or 4 is, he plays the spinners and the medium pacers very well, and there is no need for him to take advantage of feild restrictions bcoz when he hits it stays hit. And we have seen numerous times the circle feilders taking his catch.

    So the the advantage of feild restriction should be utilised by players like imran nazir, hafees, or Akmal

    But the best option is to use afridi is as a Floater e.i if wickets fall quickly then we can send him at number 6. and if the opners provides a decent start then afridi should bat at 3 or 4.

  • Indian on January 30, 2007, 7:50 GMT

    I think Pakistanis have a tendency to hope for slam-bang, easy results. Just like the average Indian fan hopes Sehwag clinches it. Ideally though, only a more workmanlike performance will go the distance and lift the cup. IVariations: If spin-assisting track, sub specialist spinner for 3rd seamer (Akhtar or Gul depending on form)

    If batsmen are in form, Malik opens instead of Nazir/Butt. Afridi gets in to bat at 7 or take additional bowler.

    If Woolmer/Inzi feeling lucky, Afridi opens with Nazir. (Trust Asif to cover if the plan fails.)

    Good luck.

  • bilal on January 30, 2007, 6:35 GMT

    i think in each team there must be a left hand player..if its a openere that will be great..i think imran farhat and shahid afridi/imran nazir is the great choice. the players r now in great passion. they will perform well

  • shankar on January 30, 2007, 4:04 GMT

    I strongly beleive afridi should come down to bat 3 down when the ball is 15-20 overs old.. he can then really damage the bowling side.. its good to see him back.

  • Mkhan on January 29, 2007, 22:24 GMT

    When you start to write anything on Pak cricket there is a never ending torrent on what is wrong. There is very little that people see right with Pak cricket even with the decent results we have had over the last couple of years. I think the reason for all the criticism is that we see the talent and the opportunities which are consistently missed. The question is can we improve performance given the talent? Yes we could - but do we have the right mechanism in place to achieve that? the answer is no. As I see it for the foreseeable future nothing will change - no matter how many good and logical suggestions we make here - Pakistani players will still be mercurial, enigmatic, highly paid professionals playing in an amatuerish way. From what I see and that fact that Inzi will be the captain - which doesn't bode well for any team with his lackadaisical approach and lack of a fighting spirit - Pakistan's performance will be decent as long as we have the natural talent. But don't count on having some great achievements by this team, like winning the WC in 2007. I certainly wish that we win the WC - but thats rather wishful thinking more than anything.

    These problems will persist as long as the board is run in an amateur way in this age of highly competitive, professional and demanding sport that cricket has become - and as long as Pak players still act as amateurs while drawing huge salaries and achieving celebrity status. The case in point is Afridi. He has been around for a long time. Still he hasn't matured. Instead of thanking his stars that he is blessed with natural talent he plays with an iota of intelligence and rides solely on his star appeal. No player can get better unless he himself takes the responsiblity upon himself. Realising their mistakes and working hard to correct them and not repeating those mistakes is essential to the succcess of any business or corporation - which is sadly missing from Pakistan cricket setup - board and players alike.

    Now, my 2 cents on the team selection. If any team that needs two entirely seperate teams for the Tests and the One dayers - it is Pakistan!

    I believe that the defeat in the test series in SA happened because the one day mindset the young players use in the tests. Players like Hafeez, Farhat, Afridi, Razzaq, Imran Nazir, Rana Naved should only be used in the one dayers unless we can't find 11 players to make up a test team.

    We need to slot people like Tafiq Umar, Asim Kamal and Danish Kaneria should be slotted for tests only.

  • Mumtaz Baig on January 29, 2007, 22:19 GMT

    Imran Nazir was the true potential to become a solid opener but why was he axed the reason is still unknown to me. He can be a match winner. Afridi is always my choice for both form of cricket. If he does not score then he gets wickets and if he does both then he is a match winner. Many goes for duck but if Afridi goes for duck then do why they cry? Shoaib Akhter with all his arrogant styles is a match winner and all in management must learn to cope with his style of anger. Razzaq is a match winner and so are Asif, Inzi and Yousuf. With that many match winners if some click at one time we will win. I wonder and think that before woolmer, I hardly used to hear about injuries in the team but ever since he has joined us more and more players are getting injured. Is'nt it the coach's job to keep his players fit?

  • nasir on January 29, 2007, 21:03 GMT

    I am not sure why Woolmer's coaching is being questioned. I think since Woolmer has been incharge there have been fewer instances of the team just collapsing. He has brought some stability to the team. Remember a team is only as good as its players. I think under him Pakistan are much better chasers and players like Younis, MOYO have really improved. He has removed politics from the team level and the guys turn out as a unit unlike under previous coaches.

    Miandad has been appointed coach thrice already, do you think he will make us a better team fourth time around. he is becoming like our politicians whi never seem to fade away. Wasim should never be made coach for his tarnished image and under him the team was always in groups.

  • Omer Admani on January 29, 2007, 20:16 GMT

    Javed Khan: 1. Afridi's low batting average in one year/selected and dropped repeatedly claim:

    Last year he played the most odi's in a single year among all the years he has played (consistently selected). He was almost slected in every game until he was dropped. An average of about 8 is worth mentioning again. Considering the fact that he doesn't waste too much time on the crease, it would be reasonable to say, at average, he faced 5,6 balls in a match each match. If we select Afridi for his batting, then it is gross injustice to Rana, Nazir, and Kaneria; they are more capable batsmen, and, by the way, in "form" too. I quite admire the way you talk about form and class when talking about Afridi, but hit or miss would be more precise though. The amount of his runs and wickets only show that he has been favored and given a much longer run than he desrved. Which match did he win singlehandedly? Cricket is not a boxing match...He hasn't performed in awhile, quite a while as you might see, why should I believe he will click in the world cup? His record in the past world cups show that he was at least twice as worse as his career would reflect(You could go to statsguru, check out his record in world cups, in finals, and so on). 2. You say nobody would be foolish enough to repeat it? I say nobody would be foolish enough to do it once...And if he is foolish enough to do it once, he is foolish enough to do it again..

    3. Don't talk like Inzamam is a great captain now. He is the only reasonable option now, while about any person out of the playing 11 would be a better option than Afridi. Inzamam had quite a few years of record to back him up as a batsman. Also, theory is usually right, and Inzamam, in theory, has a million times better technique than Afridi. 4. If you think our players are less talented, why do you think that Pakistan should beat Australia with any team...My understanding is that our players don't take resposibility an are technically lacking. But, if we hold them responsible and kick them out (albiet be willing to bring them back if they improve their technique and so on), next time they join the team they will know what to expect if they don't take responsibility). We need to develop that culture where even if we win, we analyze our weaknesses, and put the underperformers to the sword. Our domestic cricket might not be great, but if we channel our energies properly, with thought and reason, without always excessive emotion, we can only get better... and perhaps beat Australia. "Therefore", if Pakistan persists with these bombers, Pakistan would have a diffcult time guaranteeing a win against Bangladesh. A bunch of Afridi's could, on their day, threaten Australia, but don't guarantee a win against Bangladesh. The problem, however, is that we will loose consistently with the odd win over whoever...World Cup is not one match against Australia, so the risk is worthless.

  • faisal on January 29, 2007, 19:46 GMT

    I read above mentioned posts and i am amazed that how come people like Afridi just coz he hits long sixes after ever other 50th innings. Man he sucks he played more than 250 ODI's and his ave is below 25. i have no idea what is the selection policy and our SELECTORS......? why aren't we consistant like Australia, SA, WI. Our selectors make changes like seconds change on the other hand WI was on decline they were losing but they didn't change their team and the same team is now building up and doing good but we have no selection policy who ever have some source he will be in the team ..no marit....no performace...nothing and eventually when they select a player they change them after one match..oh oh oh gimme a break that is reducles. One more thing they don't have any idea that who is fit and who is not fit you can see it first they said Shoab is unfit and after 5 days he was fit then they said Shabir is unfit now he is fit what the heck is goin on with selectors and PCB. i think that has nothing to with players fitnes but PCB's internall mismanagement. For God Sack PCB ............be consistant

  • ali on January 29, 2007, 18:13 GMT

    mm...i think the pcb has done som gud nw that they have brought back mi all time favourite player imran nazir.u knw whi i like to see him in paki team because they have too much chances to imran farhat.he has no short in his batting.. and he connect mm abt one gud shot after everi thirty delivery if he will evr be able so servive that kind of amount of balls.....lol...but on the other imran has sohts in his batting like he can drive .....cut and pull ...as u people have seen him played recentlii in 20 20 in pakistan...but imran was a failure....how come the players like the level of imran farhat comes into the int team...i don knw...onli realtion i guesssss....otherwise they wont even touch the turf of the cricket ground...they all sucks...and pcb should eliminate the favouritism frm the the selection of the player for the team... I THINK this is the best team in ma opinion.but this could go wrong...but here three main geniune bowlers then three batting and bowling alrounder four geniune batmen and last kamran..batting wicket keeper and they should play and attack in brave hearted person with positive approach...

  • Fareed Nasir on January 29, 2007, 18:04 GMT

    Does anyone else agree that sami and shahi nazir should both pay their match fees to asif and kaneria. Farhat, Hafeez and Yasir should pay theirs to charity as no batsman has stood out.

  • Mawali on January 29, 2007, 16:19 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, the way the Pakistani cricket team is proceeding lately and the growing list of the ill and the infirmed the theme looks more like shock and ouch! The eternal paper tigers and the endless list of pundits at the PCB (prized collection of buffoons) as well as here at your blog seem content with the status quo. The recent thrashing at the hands of South African however, is bringing into focus, the dire straits our paper tigers find themselves. It is worth noting that the second test Pakistan seemingly won was more the case of South Africa losing than Pakistan winning. More than ever, folks are beginning to realize that beating up on the likes of the hapless Bangladeshi’s & Co, does not really make for a satisfying career. A recent quote from our man flint (Inzi Bhai) is quite illustrative of this sinking feeling, Inzammam said and I quote “We have lost a golden opportunity to win a series overseas against a top side. It's one of the biggest disappointments of my career," he said. I think the key words here are “win and overseas”

    Its time to take inventory and make some tough choices. Hey, last I looked we were loosing anyways, so what’s another loss, in an effort to work out the kinks through “trial and error”. In that same vein, Kudos, to Euceph Ahmed, for presenting a bold approach to the selection of the ODI team. I would only try to keep Younis Khan for the ODI, nothing against M. Yousef who has more than justified his existence on the team, however, I see him more as a grind it out test player than an ODI player. Just my feeling! I also, endorse the view of selecting Afridi or Younis as Capitaan over Inzi Bhai any day of the week. Heck, I would take KhanSahab as capitaan over our man flint. However, I do draw the line on Abdul Razzaq.

    Australia, for a while now has been proposing and experimenting with a separate squad for the 50 over game. It only makes good sense, but, good sense is too much to ask of the Pakistan gentry, who historically are too afraid to experiment and give up on players that either are just not suited to the one day game or are card carrying members of the geezers anonymous (GA), GA does not imply the state the group is based in.

    So while we may send shivers down the spine of the bottom dwellers. We continue to kid ourselves with the thinking that “we can beat anyone on a given day”. While I fully concur with the thought, however that anyone in most cases are again the likes of the Bangladeshi Tigers, so named not because of their prowess in cricket but more because of the inhabitants of the Sunder band. AMF!

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on January 29, 2007, 16:08 GMT

    Four years have passed since the last World Cup and yes we have not succeeded in finding a regular pair of openers, its a long time indeed and one feels that if we had slected 4 potential candidates with aplan to groom them as regular openers, we would have definately achieved our objectives. Positive planning is something alien to PCB as such we are still looking to have regular openers with the World Cup knocking the doors. PCB to me has become more of a group Politically Corrupted Bureaucrats instead of the controling Cricket in Pakistan. Its a shame and equally disgusting to come across reports appearing in local media stating that Mushtaq's appointment was a sort of compromise between Inzamam and the Chaiman of PCB. Sacking of Waqar is another mess up in which the Chairman and his cronies have proved to be gutless adminstrators. Waqar is a national hero and deserves to be treated as a legand, his services to Pakistan cricket are much greater that the whole PCB officials combined including that of Mr. Salim Altaf and the way he was removed from the team is disgusting. I as a Pakistani am hurt and dumbfounded as well for is there no authoroty in Pakistan who can have things straightened out at PCB....not even the Patron In Chief the Mr. President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

  • Nadir Dawood on January 29, 2007, 16:06 GMT

    To all those people continuing to talk about Asim Kamal, for god sake people - give it up. Asim was tried and tested up the order and he failed each time. He wants to bat at number 6 and not above. Another batsman who is scared of the new ball. We need someone who has the guts to face the new ball at positions 1,2,3 - 4,5,6 are all covered with Younis,Yousef and Inzy. Asim has a medicore test record in which he has never converted his 50's into 100's. As such he is just a backup player and nothing more. Pakistan need to make Salman Butt and Taufiq Umar open the innings with Shahid Yousef at number 3 and then the Younis,Yousef and Inzy master-class. Asim Kamal is just another Yasir Hameed, only shorter.

  • atta-ur-rehman,md on January 29, 2007, 15:47 GMT

    dear kamran, i am extremely shoked that pakistan lost the lifetime opportunity to win the test series in south africa, which i dont think pakistan will achieve again. south africa only won because of kallis and prince. if they didnt play that patiently pakistan would won easily.at 39 for 4 in 3rd over of the morning .victory was certain.but they play with there brain .they knew that pakistan has nobody except asif who can threatened them. so they waited till his spell was over. i am still firm on this believe it is pcb and naseem ashraf who put pakistan down. the only thing pakistan needed was another wicket taker, who would continue the pressure on south africa.shabbir has all the qualities of wicket taking and he was in touch with inzi and constantly telling that he is fit. it seems to me that pcb including naseem ashraf, aaqib javed and mudassar nazar made conspiracy against inzi. because they want pakistan to loose and doesnt give inzi this sucees at the end of his career. i wouldnt blame the pak batsmen. because they played against the fully fit bowling attack of south with 5 fit bowlers who are in the domestic circuit and playing in there conditions. while on the other hand pakistan played with only two wicket takers. i dont think that fully fit sami or shahid nazir was any threat to south africa. i am surprised how come shabbir is fit in two days and now in south africa. if he were there before the third test match pakistan had strong chance to win. i think asif had done enough share he should be sended back home for the rest so he will be fit for world cup. i will be extremely sorry on cricketing brain of people who are thinking that pakistan won the 2nd test because because of shoaib. pakistan was only competative because of asif and kaneria. if it were aussies and they had to save 160 total they would win easily. because although mgrath and warne are the great bowlers but look at there support bowlers bret lee, staurt clark,jason gallispie. so they would never be tired and constantly put pressure on south africa.here they know beside asif all the bowler were below standard. any body who saw the game before lunch on 3rd day,would see the same way. this is the best series any pakistani team played in south africa. i dont know if we ever played like this again in next few years. because the pcb such as naseem ashraf take pakistan cricket it will go in decline. i want to praise inzi for his great career as a batsman and captain. i dont think that we are going to see inzi again in test match, because next match for pakistan will be in sept 07. good luck inzi in the world cup and i hope he will win it for his country. because he and woolmer made pakistan a fighting unit. dr rehman.usa

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on January 29, 2007, 15:18 GMT

    Pakistan Cricket Board has appointed Mushtaq a legspinner as bowling coach and he is currently in South Africa with the team, a move which has surprised not only me but the whole nation as a whole except of course Inzamam and the PCB officils.I would like to however understand the utility of a former leg spinner in a team which has only one spinner in the squad as against 5 fast bowlers and also we always play with 3 fast bowlers while we keep only one spinner in the playing eleven as is practiced by almost all the test playing teas. Why then this factor has not been looked upon and also what is the justification of having a spinner as the bowling coach of susch a team. I want to direct this question to our NOT ANSWERABLE TO ANY ONE sellectors. Can some one in PCB please explain it, while on the subject i must also add that PCB as a cricket controlling body should not act as GOD of cricket in Pakistan and should know that they are answeable to the nation, and It is about time that they should set their house in order.

  • Aftab Qureshi on January 29, 2007, 14:34 GMT

    There are important common threads amnog most of the comments posted here. If I understood correctly, most of the commenters would want:

    1. Imran Nazir and Shahid Afridi to open. 2. The team to have three all rounders--Abdul Razzaq and Shoaib Malikt, besides Shahid Afridi--sharing 20 overs among themselves. 3. Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul and Shoaib Akhtar (Shabbir Ahmed if Akhtar is unfit) to be the specialist bowlers. I would personally alternate between Abdul Rehman and the least performing specialist fast bowler. 4. Kamran Akmal to be the WK. 5. The remaining three positions are to be obviously filled by Younis, Yousaf and Inzamam.

    Are u listening, selectors?

    the following line up for the first WC match against WI.

  • Fahad on January 29, 2007, 14:34 GMT

    ASA Kamran,

    Once again another superb blog from yourself, you certainly have got the blood boiling on this one. Just few points i'd like to clarify..........

    Firstly why has Fawad Alam not been considered in this debate, not only is he one of the best promising youngsters in Pakistan at the moment, but he is also the BEST 20-20 player in pakistan, leading me to believe that he has the necessary credentials to be a great for Pakistan. He is an assured batsmen, great temperament and technique and bowls god left arm off spin, he is also a decent fielder, he has all the necessary attributes to replace the arrogant and on hit wonder Afridi in our line-up. He is in the provisional squad but i do NOT see him progressing from that into our 14 man world cup squad.

    Secondly, we have so many options now it is unbelieveable, our playing 11 is one of the best around, its about utlising our squad to get the best out of them, 7 batsmen and 2 all rounders that can fill the 6th bowler role and get runs for us. Nazir should open for us as the flat tracks in west Indies should suit him. He needs to have a good one day series against South Africa to stand a chance. Another player that shpuld strong be considered is Abdur Rehman, replace one of the seamers with him and take out Afridi to bring in a specialist batsmen e.g Hameed, Butt (even though it doesn't look nlike he'l make the final cut). This would mean more bowling responsiblities for Abdur Razzaq as our 3rd seamer but hey it is a world cup at the end of the day, that extra effort isnt a lot to ask.

    Hope you post this reply this time, last time i made such an effort to reply to a post and it didnt get posted.

    Many Thanks

    Fahad

  • AJ on January 29, 2007, 14:07 GMT

    re. mike rosario- bob woolmer has got us nowhere?!! we are 3rd in the test rankings and a few months before he came in we were seventh or eigth. in the last two years we have lost two series (including SA tour) and that was in both tours we only had two bowlers. Pakistan have always had good bowlers and if we had gul and akhtar fit- i dont care how many runs farhat or hafeez scored, or how many catches dropped by akmal- this series wouldnt have come to the third game.(remember SA 8-2 in the first innings at centurion)

  • MIR on January 29, 2007, 14:03 GMT

    Where was Imran Nazir for so long, gone hiding somewhere? I wonder how easily we detroy careers. Shabbir Ahmed should have played the third test, it was a matter of another bowler to support Kaneria and Asif. I think Pakistan has got more players, more talented players than ever before, however it is so very important to utilize them in the most effective manner. In any case Afridi Should open and he should open with Imran Nazir. Imran Farhat has to sort out his issues outside off stump, if he wants to play more cricket. Lets hope that Asif remains fit and he is not over used and worn down.

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on January 29, 2007, 13:35 GMT

    Who cares about pyjama cricket! We lost the ultimate prize, a test series victory in South Africa due to some reckless batting!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 29, 2007, 12:08 GMT

    This one is for: Calgary Highlander at January 27, 2007 11:15 PM

    CG - I used to ask the same question b4 i.e., 'what good a cake is if you cannot eat it?' Its an expression from the English language, which is not my mother tongue, having come to terms with it, I got it right due to my inquisitiveness and luckily someone explained it to me and cleared the doubts in my mind, so let me explain it to you as well. I used it on a first person singular basis when I said, its like: "I wanna have my cake and eat it too."

    Generally people say: "You can't have your cake and eat it too" The right expression is: "You can't eat your cake and have it too."

    People have the tendency to change or twist the words which changes the meaning of the original expression and it happens not only in English but, almost in every single language. But the message is conveyed and it is understood and that is what a language is supposed to be.

    Coming back to the original and only sensible version of the expression: "You can't eat your cake and have it too," meaning that if you eat your cake, you won't have it any more. People get confused because we use the expression "have some cake" to mean "eat some cake," and they therefore misunderstand what "have" means in this expression.

    I hope you've got it right now? :-)

    So what have you understood so far? Do you think Afridi and Razzaq is a piece of cake or match winners?

    They are nothing - if you make them look like poor Asim Kamal. :-)

  • Farhan B. Makhani on January 29, 2007, 11:17 GMT

    Imran Nazir and Shahid Afridi both are the genuine hitter and match winners for Pakistan but they get their chance to start their carrer again from such a tough series however they have to proof themselves at this level but i wonder that how much chance do PCB will give to these attacking batsman as we all aware that hitting sixes or boundries to pollock Nitni and Nel wouldnt be easy. Razzaq place is always there in Pakistan Team no doubt about that however there is also one question mark on Karman Akmal that do Pakistan will give chance to Zulqarnain Haider or not as world cup is near and kamran akmal is not taking responsibilty whatsoever and zulqarnain hasnt started his one day international career yet.

  • M. Nawaz Janjua on January 29, 2007, 8:35 GMT

    ASSALAMO ALAIKUM,

    Well, I think now we should concentrate only on the WORLD CUP team and in my opinion the sequenc should be somewhat like this, Shahid Afridi, Imran Nazir, Hafeez, Younis, Yousef, Inzi, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib/Naveed, Asif. Standby could be Abdul Rahman & Yasir Arafat.

    Just one thing for Tests, Asim Kamal is a very good batsman with a pretty sound technique. He has proved this at various occasions. He is being wasted just for nothing. He should be given a chance instead of Faisal Iqbal in the Tests, otherwise his time will be up.

    For 3rd Test against SA, we should appreciate Asif and Kaneria for their best bowling on 3rd day (18 runs from 23 overs). They have done what they could do in these circumstances. We were short of just another good bowler like Shoaib Akhtar. Because of our bad batting performance the edge was always with SA. Afterall, our batsmen should learn lesson from the determination & patience shown by Kallis & Prince.

    Allah Hafiz.

  • Kashif on January 29, 2007, 7:55 GMT

    GOSS, whats happening to the Pakistani Thinking Hats, YES I admit he is an exciting player to watch when he is in form but at the same time when he is not in form, the answer is known to everyone. And about making him a captian is totally a foolish idea. Now someone in this group is asking the three middle order batsman to retire to allow the young blood to come. Agree 50% but not 100%, Inzi will go after this world cup as expected but not the two Y's. I think they should play for atleast 2 - 3 more years to train the new players.

    My selection is 1. Imran/salman butt, 2. Hafiz, 3. Yasir Hameed/Shoaib Malik, 4. Yunis, 5. Yusof, 6. Inzi, 7. Kamaran/Zulqurnan, 8. Afridi/Razzaq, 9. Umer Gull, 10. Shoaib Akhtar, 11. Asif.

    this composition will give us solid bowling attack with first 12 overs to be shared between Shoaib and Asif, then followed by 12 overs by umer gull and razzak/afridi, then followed by Shoaib malik 5 and hafeez 5. in 35th over bring back umer gul and razzak and finally 43rd over back to shoaib and asif.

    The problem wih pakistan is the batting collapse, They should focus on their batting performances. World Cup is not just about playing an ordinary cricket game, it is about showing the skills/talents one team posses and the consistant application of skills is required conditions to the world.....

    This is the time to display you proclaims, your ability to extend your limits, go beyond the expectations of your supporter.

    One last thing. If afridi is included, he should give every baller a roller coster ride and produced a display that will get viewer on the teo. OOO MAN thats a warning to all the teams. He is one person who can change the course of the match....

  • Aman on January 29, 2007, 7:43 GMT

    Well its good to see Imran Nazir back in action. he has not played well enough before but one thing i'm sure of is that he is a good hitter and he with the combination of AFRIDI can damage their opponent. And i still like Hafeez, he is a good player of ODIs maybe his average is not impressive but the way he plays it seems like he has the capability to open batting line for PAK.. But you never know what selectors will come up with...

  • Mohammad Ghazanfar Umer Ghani on January 29, 2007, 6:59 GMT

    i think pakistan should go for an all out attack.. either loose or win!

    magr atleast loose trying.. all the best to the pakistani team, and yes if afridi and adul razzaq play well, we can even chase down a target of 400! imagine afridi and nazir opening and than adul razzaq at number three, followed by shoib malik and than kamran akmal.. all of them sent to just hit the ball out of the ground.. and mind you even yousaf and inzamam can hit hard if they want to....

    what a team pakistani team could be!!

    'dream.. and dream big'

  • Rana Amjad on January 29, 2007, 6:37 GMT

    Well Well Well...!!! Lots of queries coming in mind specially about Afridi & Nazir. Both are good player and played lots of International Cricket, they should be in team before Worlcup, yes this is right we always learn from our mistakes and we can recover quickely if we have coach like Javed Miandaad or Waseem Akram, i dont know why PCB depending on forgeiners, they have to trust on their World class players like Javed and Waseem. I dont think if Afridi and Nazir got some training from seniors then they both are in mood to give good result because of World cup, which might be their dream to play it and do good at their level best.

    Wish you all guys good luck. Bunnty

  • Taimur Shaikh on January 29, 2007, 6:17 GMT

    Well I would like to ask Mr. Kamran Abbasi that do people with no cricketing sense can post their comments here. People like Mr. Euceph Ahmed's comments is totally rubbish and it shows that let alone cricketing sense, the man doesn't know what cricket is all about. I think such people would rather keep quiet instead of making ajoke of themselves. Anyways, coming back to cricket its nice to see people like Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi, Abdur Razzak & Shabbir Ahmed coming back into the squad. I feel like Imran Nazir should have been tried in the tests also instead of Imran Farhat. Pakistan should now adopt the Aussie approach of having 2 different teams for ODI's & Tests. This not only makes the player's life grow longer but also saves them from injuries every now & then. I think such policies should be adopted after the World Cup. I have said it before & saying it again, its time for Danish Kaneria & Kamran Akmal to be provided with a competition. And this can only happen if another leg spinner & a wicket keeper be made to play some games. Because unles they have a competition at their hands, that extra efforts will not be seen from them. As for the injured players I wonder why Shoaib Malik was kept in the squad when the player was injured ever since the South African tour started. And why Omer Gul & Shoaib Akhtar sent back. Are their different policies for different player in the team.

  • Mike Rosario on January 29, 2007, 6:17 GMT

    After thoughts on the concluded test series of SA vs Pakistan: My fellow countrymen ..let face it with realism..we have perhaps one of the three worst batting lineups in test cricket. Wicket keeping and batting are the reasons for the series loss. It is time for major changes. A comment about coaching ..Bob Woolmer has not gotten this team any further than it was three years ago. Not one single batsman has improved. Salman Butt , Imran Farhat , Taufiq Umar , Shoaib Malik are batsman tried and tested under him and have not done squat. These need to be discarded from test cricket completely. Of the big three my main concern is Inzamam. His reflexes have deteriorated a great deal. Any bowler who can accurately move the ball on the off stump can get him out these days. We have enough bowling options . It is the batting which needs a lot of work. Need some sensible , tenacious and technically sound batsmen in the middle order. It would be worth pursuing Yasir Hameed and Asim Kamal in the middle order. Need to try Zulqarnain Haider as a keeper ..this guy has gotten lazy , does not enjoy keeping..because he never was a keeper.We saw his batting in the last match. Need for a coaching change as well.

  • Khurram Sultan on January 29, 2007, 5:51 GMT

    Well, Kamran I do agree with you about the explosive combination of batsmen which has more often turned out to be too lethal for our own liking; but what if this combination does not click. Are we going to go for a totally separate set of team members for the World Cup. The team politics and selection is just so unpredictible...there is a high possibilty of a conflict between Inzamam and Younis Khan and once anything of this sort happens..boom goes the middle order...Or more Yousuf can do to Inzi what Inzi did to Waqar ..making 19 runs in six innings that he played during the World Cup 2003. The hindsight of Waqar's exclusion as the bowling coach was the inclusion of Sami and Akhter in the Team..the two presumably backed Akram during the last World Cup and the tension in the camp was even televised with Akram abusing Waqar shown a zillion times. The conflicts, the rifts, the attitudes... are what hurting us more and making way to the "parchi baaz" cricketers in the team. Sorry it might sound harsh..but...

  • Ziyad on January 29, 2007, 5:16 GMT

    Good to see the PCB select players upon their performance and not seniority or name.

  • Mabsoos Ahmad from New Delhi, India on January 29, 2007, 4:47 GMT

    Now the test series is over and Pakistan lost the same with 1-2 margin. It was expected but thanks to some of the players who played better cricket than expected. It is possible this Pakistani Team would have given South African more competition than what they gave, but thanks to selection policy. The Sub Continent Cricket Board has a dillemma of selecting a good team ??? and they do not have the courage of dumping their good players like Australia. Take the example of Mathew Hayden, he was dropped and they recalled. I have a question to ask for, does the technique of Imran Farhat is better than Salman Bhutt ?? The selection policy is ridiculous and if some good players are selected then do have a chance and they are show piece for dressing room. Why Asim Kamal was sent to South Afria, if he has not the confidence of Team Management ?? There are several question to ask but it is high time to think about the WC. In my opinion, the World Cup will be lifted by a team who has the fire power as well as defence. The best combination to win ODI is ATTACH - DEFENCE - ATTACK. This Pakistan Team is well equipped with, for this formula. I think this team is better than the team of Imran Khan (althoug we lack inspiring captain like Imran. The ODI series will set the tune for WC and the best possible combination should be tried by the Management, but I am afraid, as usual they will no do so. Some of the players are very tired and some of the players are coming after a long lay off.

    We lost the series against England on account of Wicker Keeper and again we lost the series against SA due to poor wicket keeping by Kamran Akmal. The time is running fast and what kind of remedy we have????? After the WC, we will say again we lost this mega event just not having a good wicket keeper. The Management must think what is going wrong with Akmal otherwise, tomorrow never comes. Do something to lift the confidence of Akmal.......pray for him because a good keeper-batsmman is the backbone of a good team.

  • Ali Ahmed on January 29, 2007, 4:22 GMT

    I agree with the approach the selectors have taken. I have long advocated (at least with my friends and family) that Imran Nazir should be back in Pakistan colours. I am glad the selectors have finally come around. If Kamran Akmal is to be persisted with, then he should open in the one day game with Nazir. This will give us the ability to play two all-rounders (razzaq, afridi). With the pakistan team relying more on the talent of individuals than some of the other teams, it makes sense to include you true match winners in your team (inzamam, afridi, akhtar, asif, razzaq) as well as a potential match winner in nazir.

    I do not know how many times farhat especially and hafeez have to fail before they are shown the door. Farhat should have no place in any pakistani team and hafeez is in essence a lesser replica of shoaib malik. Therefore, they would not be in my team to the Carribean.

  • Amin S. on January 29, 2007, 4:11 GMT

    Kamran Saheb, your comments are agreeable. I think they should give chance to all new comers ( who are added in the team for one days) coming from Pakistan in the 20/20 game and I am hopeful they can win the game. If given the right chance in the one days the new comers will prove good and can bring positive results. One change I would like to see is give some rest to Kamran Akmal and bring on Zulqarnain Haider for the keeping job. Kamran is in good missing form and this is the right time to test a new WK. In the test series Pak bowlers did fairly good job but it was the batting which failed to score sufficient runs. I hope they do better in the one days and win the series. Good luck Pak team.

  • fhs on January 29, 2007, 3:47 GMT

    Agreed on attacking approach. It is good to see imran nazir, razaaq, afridi and shabiir back. It would be good contest. Go Pakis!!!

  • Pratik on January 29, 2007, 2:48 GMT

    Nazir holds the key to Pakistan's fortunes in the one day games. His omission till now seems to just about reflect the chaotic selection policies of the sub-continent teams

  • noor mohamed on January 29, 2007, 2:42 GMT

    hey guys all of your comments are good and I am sure you mean well after all we all will love to see pakistan win this worldcup I have been waiting since 1998 and I am from guyana..West Indies...Anyways pakistan team and management should not only look at talent but also practice scientific cricket...like australia the players must mentally strong not o give up too fast when the chips are down..you never see an aussie going depressed in a batting line up..also careful playing aggression is needed aplly pressure and strategy from a captains...PCB need to do some soul searching whether the chairman wants to look good or to be judged as oh I did good or lets all work together for pakistans cricket and strength..winning is a team effort and the team is as strong as the weakest link and mind you pakistan has lots of strong links more than anyone else but application is lacking incite,strategy,unity,optimism,vibrancy,dirction...player security that they will not be fired if they mess up..let them know giving it your all is better than isolated wins...so I can go on and on but from an outsider PAKISTAN can win every game on paper let s get on the field and apply and win...and here is the 2007 world cup squad..from 1-14..starting with afridi,nazir,younis,yussuf,inzi,razzaq,malik,akmal,shoaib,asif,sami,gul,shabbir,kaneria,naved,,,,15 I guess but it will take world eleven to beat that variety...come on boys lets do it...I HOPE PCB READS THIS simple but true....P.S. if AFRIDI HAD REMAINED SINCE FOUR YEARS AGO AND STAY WITH HIM HE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE MOST DESTRUCTIVE OPENER...STICK TOGETHER DONT GIVR UP ON YOUR BEST PLAYERS...U NEED PLAYERS WHO CAN MOTIVATE TEAMS LIVELY THINK ON THEIR FEET GO GET IT GUYS...NOOR

  • Salman Riaz on January 29, 2007, 2:36 GMT

    It is so disheartning and frustrating to find that everytime pakistan inspite of having an excellent side, looses a match /series due to non-professional attitude. Which country has bowlers of the caliber of shoaib, asif , shabbir and gul and all are young and raring to go but can any body tell have we ever able to field a full strength side. we have players mising important matches for their own personal , religious and fitness reasons. It seems like that winning for the nation is not the top priority for them . I though can see that asif , shabbir and gul are all young and they have not been hit by the "shoaib epidemic" completely so in the future we might be able to see some better bowling attacks.

    There are few important (in my opinion) points that I want to make:

    1. Imran Farhat should never be allowed to even wander around the Pak national team for the rest of his life. 2. Hafeez and Shoaib are technically not good enough to be test openers. 3.Yasir Hameed and Taufeeq Umar should be allowed to open with Salman Butt as Stand by.The amount of courage that Salman Butt showed as a 20 year old in australia shouldnot be easily forgotten. 4. A bowling coach (Not WASIM AKRAM or SARFRAZ NAWAZ) should be with the team all the time to groom these new guys. 5.Inzamam shouldnot be removed from the team till we have a better replacement. 6.Shoaib akhtar should not be counted upon if he plays he plays if he doesnot -no big deal about that. He should not be the go to guy - "he came, he messed up and he disappeared".He is unfortunately no serious about his cricket he soewnot realise that after 11 years of criket he has just 169 wickets and he has only sent down 7556 balls in test cricket which is less than 700 balls per year - this is pathetic since asif has bowled 2000 balls already in his short career. I hope he doesnot get burnt by over use. 7. Kamran akmal shouldnot be dropped this is a bad patch in his career and will pass. we have already invested too much in him - dropping him will waste all that. 8.Asim Kamal and Hassan Raza should be in the game plan as both of them are use ful players.

    Salman Riaz

  • Jawad Aziz on January 29, 2007, 2:27 GMT

    I think PCB should adopt a mature approach now ,how come they declare Shabbir Ahmed Unfit a week ago and he is fit for this series. this is rediculous.as far as shahid afridi and imran nazir are concerned i think PCB should include them in the test series if they want to play them in the world cup in march. Anyhow, i think Pakistan have very balanced side if they get rid of Mohammad Sami who had never proof his performance.i think he is a rubbish bowler who never get the consistancy.and PCB is stick to him i dont know with what reason.

    Muhammad Yousaf should have to proove him self out side the sub-continent.this series could give him the chance to be on the top of the ranks.

    i wish every luck to Pakistan Cricket Team and i wish this World cup for them

  • Rizwan on January 29, 2007, 2:26 GMT

    Don't be too excited....Inzamam wants to prove his stupid "consistency" theory....watch he will have Imran Nazir just SIT through the entire series and stick with those two retard openers (Hafeez and Farhat) << who are totally not international level players!

    I wanna see Afridi open with Nazir so he can utilize the first 15 overs...if he does'nt work he might give you a six or something to scare the opposition

  • Shahid Baig on January 29, 2007, 2:25 GMT

    I blame selection committee for this loss. They are toothless, impotent. Bari has never given any player which is truly a talent. He is enjoying perks and benefits and executive job in PIA. He doesn't even bother to watch the domestic talent. He will select the same set of players over and over again. Now Afridi is back, tomorrow Salman Butt, next day Taufeeq Umar. Aamir Sohail was much better selector.

  • imran on January 29, 2007, 1:44 GMT

    I agree with the theme that we need to go all out and attack against SA. They are an aggresive side and the best way to play them is head to head full attack. For that to happen we have to rely on Afridi, Imran Nazir, Razzaq and Shoaib Malik and balance it with Yusuf, Younis and Inzi. I say lets go out and kick some behind!

  • Badar on January 29, 2007, 1:00 GMT

    Yes its about time, is cricinfo seen by PCB? i remember asking the question of imran nazir a few months back, and woah he's here. Get ready pak fans afridi, razzaq, and nazir are gonna add the fire to pakistani cricket once again i can assure u.

  • raza on January 29, 2007, 0:47 GMT

    nothing is impossible with the so called PCB selectors a very intelligent captian and a really commited coach, to make a mess of the cricket talent in Pakistan.I guess one of the criteria for the selection for the players and people associated with the team is to pass a test of Tableeghi jamat,if this is not true, then can someone please give me the logic behind Mushtaq Ahmed being selected as an assistant coach. I am a big fan of cricket, and of course I love pakistan cricket, but when I see people like Inzamam, and the PCB head honchos using their positions for their own personal gains, it makes me sick. The reasons are if you remember they had selected left arm fast bowler for the west indies series and they gave him a chance to play, if this guy was good to be selected for the test matches at home why was he not the first choice as a replacement bowler after shoaib akhtar got injured, the other player that should have been a part of the team from the start is Yasir Arafat, he would have been the allrounder in the team that was required for the test matches, if we can select Imran Nazir and Shahid Afridi after all their faliures, then Yasir Arafat has better credentials for the south african pitches . I guess the only option for people like me is to wait for the great captian to retire and the coach becoming England coach, for the pakistan team to improve

  • Aftab Qureshi on January 29, 2007, 0:19 GMT

    Before we get excited about the big hitters Afridi, Razzaq and Imran, let me try to remind every one that Pakistan's main problems lie in finding the best opening pairs in both batting and bowling. Let's take batting first. The team now has Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Nazir. Then we have two others who have opened from time to time, Afridi and Shoaib Malik. There would have been a third makeshift opener had Kamran Akmal not been rested. Tell me which one of these five comes up to the standard of players like Gilchrist, Hayden, Gayle and Jaisurya, and even Ganguly, on current form? The answer obviously is none. Unless at least one of the openers scores a fifty, your middle order cannot have the time to settle and has to take risks from the word go. Which means that you are not able to realize the full potential of players like Younis, Yousaf and, if fit (a BIG IF), Inzamam. Moreover, with Kamran Akmal out, the rest of the batting has to perform 20-30% better because we dont know if Zulqarnain's batting can click under highly competitive conditions. So, the batting openers' problem is really that there is not enough to go on with. And I am afraid neither the selectors nor the captain-coach can do anything about it.

    As regards the opening bowlers, the problem is of a different nature but equally serious. We have enough talent. In fact, if all are fit, we have a selection dilemma. But we dont have half of our four first choice bowlers available for reasons of fitness. And the problem does not owe itself to one, not two but three causes at the root: PCB's medical and fitness team is simply pathetic; an unreasonably demanding cricket schedule simply asks too much of human bodies, which is exacerbated by overbowling the likes of Asif when he is the only one performing or when another speedster becomes unfit; and finally, an utter lack of understanding of the value of regular excercise and health consciousness on the part of not just our bowlers but the whole society.

    In the presence of these issues, can we in our sane minds expect to win the World Cup without some divine help?

  • Zaid on January 29, 2007, 0:11 GMT

    Well happy to see Imran back and I would be happy if Afridi can be backk to form,but if he is not its a risk taking him to the World cup.The bowling line would be very fine without Akthar and Shabbir.Rehman should be in the side alond with Malik,Razzaq,afridi/Hafeez.Hope Razzaq gets back to his wicket taking form which he had when he started his career atleast he should be able to bowl some very economical overs in the middle and finally i wish poeple like Asif,Yousuf,and Inzi are rested so that we can finalise the 16 men for the world cup by giving others the chance as well we cant afford to loose these players due to fitness problems

  • nasir on January 28, 2007, 23:56 GMT

    The inclusion of Shahid Afridi and Imran Nazir is hardly going to change Pakistan's fortune. I am sorry Kamran but this is no shock and awe decision. The technical limitations of these players are well known. They hardly have any track records against South Africa or Australia who Pakistan will have to inevitably beat to win any World Cup.

    Afridi should really be used as a bowler and be shuffled up and down considering the situation. In ten years as an international he has neither become an opener nor has he really been a finisher at 6.

    Imran Nazir is one of a string of dashing players but his track record again has been poor. i hope his international exile has made him a more mature player but i seriously doubt he will click in SA leave alone the World Cup.

    Pakistan's only real hope for the World Cup are with Younis, Yousif and Inzi while Asif, Razzaq and Umar Gul hold the key in the bowling dept. department.

    Players like Hafeez, Malik, Farhat, Afridi and Nazir are not likely to be prominent since most of them have been around for years without even cementing their places.

    I wonder why the selectors have allowed players like Azhar, Arafat and Kamal to fall by the wayside despite good international performances and great recent domestic form.

  • Salman N Malik on January 28, 2007, 23:43 GMT

    I believe we just wasted an ideal opportunity to win a Test Series in South Africa. After getting them out for just a lead of 25 or so, it was criminal batting in the second innings. Granted, the pitch was a bear to deal with, but professional players should well have realized this. An extra 100 runs (two half centruies) and the series was in the bag). The only other reason for Pakistan not putting pressure on the South Africans is our wicketkeeper. While I like Kamran Akmal's mental approach to the game, he has developed some serious flaws. He seems to be grabbing at the ball, rather than letting it get to him. He also seems not to be staying crouched (especially for the spinner), and so is late to the spinning ball that slips off the bat edge. He makes some ungainly swipes rather than just get behind the ball. If he was keeping even 20% better, South Africa would have no place but on the runner up side. Furthermore, Pakistanis are professional players, this is their career and job, they need to take charge of themselves insofar as technical excellence is concerned. The coach or past reputes count for nothing. It is (to an extent) Kamran Akmal's own job, and in his own interest to find the help he needs (from ex-professionals like Bari, Moin Khan, Rashid Latif; or contemporaries like Boucher, Gilchrist, or even Sangakarra) - after all, cricket is a profession and achieving technical excellence is upto the individual.

    As far as one-days is concerned: Pakistan will do well with inclusion of Razzaq and Imran nazir. Like other people on this string, I believe Afridi suffers from a lack of motivation, and a lack of understanding of his role. Having more players than you need is actually a blessing, but in Pakistan's case the bench strength is not that good.

    I think Pakistan made a big mistake in letting waqar go, he's a class act and he has the spunk which is needed. Earlier in 2006, on virtually nothing pitches at home, his influence was crystal clear on Umar Gul, Rana and Shahid Nazir - if he's there, you won't need a mentally and physically unfit Shoaib Akhtar in the side.

  • Arsie Shahid on January 28, 2007, 23:27 GMT

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Dont let Shahid Afridi open the batting! its a recipe for disaster. Anyone with Imran Nazir EXCEPT Afridi!! You can try Afridi as an opener in twenty20 but not at all in ODIs.

  • EAMIRAN on January 28, 2007, 23:26 GMT

    First it was the mediocrity of Shahid Nazir, Mohd. Sami, Rana Naved, Imran Farhat and Faisal Iqbal. Now Afridi, Razzak and Imran Nazir. Why do we see suddenly see potential and select players who have been dropped for repeated failures? Is there no bowler in our domestic cricket better than Sami, Rana or Shahid Nazir? No batsmen better than Farhat, Imran Nazir or Faisal Iqbal? No allrounders better, or more intelligent than Afridi or Razzak (two truly brain dead beings!)? If we constantly regurgitate discarded ex-players, our cricket must be in really bad shape. Lastly, someone suggested Afridi as captain--------????? That person should be heading the PCB!

  • Arsie Shahid on January 28, 2007, 23:19 GMT

    Glad to see Imran Nazir back in the team,he'll definitely make his presence felt! I doubt Afridi & Razzak will perform but thier inclusion makes a huge difference. Dont have much hopes from Shabir either! I cant see Shoaib Malik's name in the team announced for ODIs. Where is he? unfit or what? What about Shoaib Akhtar.. Is he really unfit or is it the decision of Inzi & Woolmer not to include him in the team (Yesss they are the selecters) I bet with Shoaib Akhtar around,we must have won the third test! Any idea when this Shoaib Akhtar Vs Inzi & Co game will finish?

  • Kamer Jameel on January 28, 2007, 23:10 GMT

    I think the pakistani selectors really get into this opening pair issue right away. If Pakistan wants any chance in the world cup, they need two more than average openers. Now Farhat and Hafeez have both gotten a lot of chances. But they keep doing the same mistakes. I can't even believe the 2 of them played all 3 tests. In ODI's, in order to win,you need to have players who use the powerplays and at the same time arent risky. Very difficult task, maybe too difficult for some youngsters. Maybe the old Shahid Afridi,Imran Nazir opening can be tested in on of the ODI's. They have more experience than Farhat and Hafeez, plus Afridi can bowl well and field well, and Nazir is most def. one of the best fielders. Only thing I am really concerned about right now is the opening pair. Other than that, always sad too see someone like Danish loose his place, but Rehman has deserved it.But for right now, Pakistan should consider staying fit before the world cup. Inshallah it will turn out well

  • haroon on January 28, 2007, 23:01 GMT

    salaams to everyone, i am delighted to hear that razzaq and afridi hve been selected it would enhance our lower order and also our bowling attack. but i also think abdur rehman should be in the 11 for a specialist spinner. but when we fit i think we hve the best pace attack. gul,asif,akhtar,shabbir and then there is rana who is a specialist ODI bowler and sami who has improved idealy. razzaq and afridi and nazir should be in every match this seriers in order to build their form for the world cup. insahalla the world cup will be ours if the selectors choose our best and fittest side

  • UsMaN on January 28, 2007, 22:55 GMT

    Afridi is, simply put, 'Afridi', but Imran Nazir is my favorite player. For the past year and half I have been trying to follow Imran Nazir and praying he get another chance. While we've wasted a great amount of time and matches on the likes of taufeeq umar, salman butt, Farhat, and that worthless Hafeez. An Imran Nazir and possibly Yasir Hameed openning partnership will inshallah giv us a good openning tandom for the world cup. Get ready world, Imran Nazir is once again about to take u by the throat.

  • Abdul Waheed on January 28, 2007, 22:47 GMT

    I agree with your approach if it is carried by Razzaq and possibly two Shoib’s if fit. One opening the batting with Razzaq and the other with the ball with Asif or Gul. This approach seems comparatively safe and sensible as compare to Afridi and Imran Nazir opening the innings chasing 270 and after 2.1 overs 17 or 21 runs on the board with both openers back in the pavilion. I am sure the later combination would be more of a shock and awe for their own team and supporters. Take Afridi for instance; send him to open 10 times. 9 times it will be his own team and supporters who will be in shock and awe (even though we should be used to this routine by now). Yes, one time out of these ten instances his wreath will be upon the opponents. Now the question is, whether this Bold approach is worth? Especially with World Cup in the mind where second chances will be next to none. Come on now Mr. Kamran, do you really want our already so SANE and SENSIBLE policy makers to be this BOLD? With Afridi and Imran Nazir opening the innings it seems more of a DOUBLE JEOPERDY to me.

  • MUSTAFA MIR ...Toronto CANADA on January 28, 2007, 22:46 GMT

    First of all i would like to congratulate Mr.JAVAID A KHAN OF MONTREAL for writing such a sensable article,it was simply splendid. I couldn't agree more that PAK team lots of changes in their ODI squad,if they have a desire to win the world cup..Pakistan ODI team should have a very aggresive captain,team should have players like imran nazir,afridi,razzak,kamran akmal,shoaib malik... Before i conclude I WOULD LIKE TO ASK A MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION ??????WHATS MUSHTAQ AHMED DOING WITH THE TEAM ??i dont want to go into details but we all know,he is only a leg spinner,bu we shouldn't belame him because if we can carry people like IHTASHAM UDDIN as a selector what else can u expect.....HONESTLY pCB is HEN laying golden eggs so everybody wants his share...

  • Shahan on January 28, 2007, 22:22 GMT

    At last PCB selectors made some good choices for the SA ODI series.

    I think the perfect team and batting order for the ODI's would be: Nazir, Shahid, Malik, Younis, Yousaf, Inzi, Razzaq, Kamran, Asif, Sami (we should give him a last chance b/c he is capable of getting wickets), Rehman. And if Inzi wants to retire after the WC, Shahid should become the captain not Younis.

  • David Furrows on January 28, 2007, 22:12 GMT

    I am, yet again, disappointed by the logic of Wasim Bari's selections.

    Even on flat, dead Caribbean pitches, the team will only win the World Cup if the openers survive Test match-like spells from Lee and McGrath, or Ntini and Nel, or Bond and Franklin, or Sreesanth and Zaheer Khan: all with attacking fields.

    We now know - although we did already - that Imran Farhat will never be an international class opener, and that Mohammad Hafeez is very unlikely to reach that standard either.

    That leaves us with Shoaib Malik, Yasir Hameed, and Salman Butt who has at least scored runs heavily since being consigned to domestic cricket, something that has been beyond Afridi or Imran Nazir.

    If this was the Twenty 20 World Cup I could see why Imran Nazir was recalled but how might he hope to survive against the best attacks in the 50 overs game, let alone Test matches?

    Pakistan's One day team should be built around 1 Salman Butt 2 Shoaib Malik 3 Younis Khan 4 Mohammad Yousuf 5 Inzamam 6 Abdul Razzaq 7 Shahid Afridi 8 A Wicketkeeper 9 Rana Naved 10 Shoaib Akhtar 11 Mohammad Asif.

    But with Kamran Akmal's game in tatters, the selectors should have given him a chance to have 6 weeks intense match-free coaching before the World Cup, because by continuing to play with his recently acquired technical faults they are ensuring that he will miss big chances in the West Indies. Perhaps with insufficient time to groom a new keeper-batsman the opportunity had come to see whether Moin Khan's wife-beating disgrace at least meant that some of his hand-eye coordination remains.

    Even before the ODIs, we have at least learned some important lessons in South Africa, as follows:

    1) Top Order: Salman Butt out of form is more effective than Farhat and Hafeez in the best form of their lives.

    2) Middle-order: Faisal Iqbal is never going to be up to scratch, and besides, the team needs a batting all-rounder at 6, so Shoaib Malik and Abdul Razzaq are indispensable.

    3) Wicket-keeping: Kamran Akmal is a national treasure because no-one else can bat like him: he needs to be consigned to coaching and not match-play until he conquers his technical deficiencies behind the stumps.

    4) Pace bowling: Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif need handling with kid gloves, because behind them there is nothing. Umar Gul has promise (but achieved nothing in 2006, given that he only averaged below 30 against the weak West Indians). After that there is Shabbir and Sami, then much further back there is Rana Naved and Shahid Nazir. In theory Rana is a key bowler in ODIs: in practice I think that the grapevine will have informed the world how inaccurate he actually is, and that he can be picked off for runs.

    5) Spin bowling: yes, Abdul Rehman is a better spinner than Afridi. But can Pakistan afford to lose Afridi's runs to play him? I doubt it.

  • Jibran on January 28, 2007, 22:09 GMT

    Aren't we getting a little carried away with suggestions of doing away with 'non-explosive' players in ODI's? Afridi's form (if you can call it that) is as fickle as well .. Razzaq has been a padestrian off-late with his bowling form, but he has won matches with the bat, still he's not very keen on running his runs. Lets be very optimistic that these players fire 6 out of 10 times. You're gonna need the grafters for the other 4.

    For that matter, Farhat has completely convinced everyone how low a price he places on his wicket. Don't Forget Hafeez is very successful at 20/20, Not AS bad as some people might have you believe. He got excellent starts in the test series and looked solid. Nazir is a good inclusion, he deserves a recall.

    A last note to Kamran, you raised the question about Shabbir's fitness. Well, at that time the question was of a marathon Test. Now its the one-dayers..

  • faris on January 28, 2007, 21:38 GMT

    Well, Imran Nazir is back !!!!!!!REALLY i cant beleive that the Pakistan selectors are intelligent enough untill now i dont know why these selectors havent called Imran Nazir before i am sure he could have won the tet series in South Africa for them especially in the second innings Imran Nazir would have taken the match away from them i dont know the logic of Im ran Farhat opening in test he just dont know how to play outside off stump, he is been horibbly terifing in off side not confident at all, Imran Nazir is the best and i pray ALLAH that he do well in South Africa and if selected (INSHALLAH)for world cup then also he should be the main stay for Pakistan their also.I dont know that if our illiterate selectors would be reading these statements or not written for we people but one thing is for sure that the people have more knowledge then the Pakistan selectors.

  • Wasim Ghumro on January 28, 2007, 21:37 GMT

    Selectors were resisting Imran Nazir because after the Asia cup Inzi had clearly stated that 'some unnamed' players will not be considered for the team again until after the world cup. So apparently Inzi doesn't like him and prefers Imran Farhat for some unknown reason.

    Imran Nazir, other than being one of the most exciting batsman ever, is the best fielder Pakistan have ever produced. Now all I ask PCB is to give a long run to Nazir, like Farhat has been given for little result. I'm also glad Afridi was given a chance ahead of the world cup. Ideally I would've liked Butt in team who's better than Farhat, Hameed, Hafeez, Taufiq Umar and even Imran Nazir as he proved in Australia and elsewhere.

    Malik should play at 3 with Afridi and Razzaq down the order. Kamran should be rested as spilled chances are costing more runs than he can score. Zulqarnain should come in.

  • Muhammad on January 28, 2007, 20:53 GMT

    I don't know what is wrong with people here. Why is everyone criticizing Imran Farhat, Hafeez and Akmal. They're all very good players who have just had a bad series. Espeically Farhat and Nazir, they're both young players who are going to develop really well. You have to give your openers and players time and show confidence in them. Look at how well these two did in Pakistan against the Windies. I know everyone will say "flat pitches" but come on, it was their first tour to S. Africa, give them a break. I think we need to stick with these two openers at least in Test matches. Secondly, Akmal just lost some form behind the stumps. Every young players goes through it guys. Give me a break. He'll come around in the ODI's and the world cup. Trust me.

    Also, I don't know why the author wrote that Razzaq's place in the team is questionable. Please! He has proven again and again that he is the backbone of our team. Had Razzaq been in the Test team in S. Africa, we would've had another bowler and would've maybe done some more damage and maybe won the series. I remember when there was talk of dropping Razzaq against the Windies. He came back and proved with both bat and ball that he is the man.

  • zahid from Dera Ismail Khan on January 28, 2007, 20:50 GMT

    i am delighted with the inclusion of Imran Nazir.

  • fasih on January 28, 2007, 19:44 GMT

    I wouldn't call this approach bold, as the selectors had no other resources to turn to. As regards to the openers, Farhat and Hafeez have proved to be comparably stable in contrast to their predecessors. On Afridi, I don't know why they've included him in the team at all. His inclusion in the team has always hinged on the fact that he might score a quickfire 40, and that he does that with the probability of a duck laying a golden egg. On Imran Nazir, I guess it is about time they gave him an Nth chance. He might have learnt from his mistakes by now. Shabbir Ahmed is a welcome call, and a necessary one. And it's about time that the selectors stop pinning their hopes on Sami, who has the right attitude but needs to work hard on his game. Very, very hard. Sometimes you get the impression that players are chosen on the basis of their attitude towards the team and game and not their ability. That might explain Shoaib Akhtar on some occasions. In all sincerity, Kamran needs a break. He could do with some positive pressure, where he knows he has to prove himself, and he could do without the negative one where every day he'd feel that he's going to fail because of the past failures which weigh heavily on his mind. No comments on Razzaq. He's an automatic choice, maybe not for captain, but he's definetly the matchwinner. Someone Afridi should try to replicate.

  • Amyn Habib on January 28, 2007, 19:36 GMT

    To make Afridi the captain of the team! Imagine a malfunctioning corporation that has fired one of its useless employees for particularly bad performance—and then after a while decides to make him the CEO because that may be the only way he can reach his potential! Surely you jest, Mr. Euceph Ahmed.

  • Zeeshan on January 28, 2007, 19:14 GMT

    It is the right thing to do in my opinion. Pakistan has a good shot at the world cup if they play the right combination. They need to play as a team and if they continue to do that...no doubt they will be successful. HAfeez and Farhat should be sent back and Salman Butt should get a recall he is a good opening batsman if he improves a little.

  • waj on January 28, 2007, 18:50 GMT

    this is a good move by the PCB. With all the injuries Pakistan needed Razzaq who is a very good ODI player. Picking Afridi is a no lose situation because on a off day he might get out scoring 15-20 (which u will also get with Hafeez and Farhat) but when in form he can destroy any side in the world including Australia. Imran nazir has played well domestically so it is only right he gets a chance altough i think Farhat is not that bad. i think with Farhat and Nazir opening then the 2y's and Inzifollowed by Afridi, Razzaq, akmal(Zulqarnain) Sami(who was decent in the test series until the last innings) Rehman and finally Asif.

  • indian paki fan on January 28, 2007, 18:44 GMT

    yes yes.. i agrreee.. but i feel dat hameed will miss out on world cup.. 4 me d team shud b like dis d 14.. hafeez,farhat,younis,yousuf,inzi,malik,razzak,akmal,afridi,nazir,gul,shabbir,asif,abdur rehman,naveed-ul hassan

  • Yassar on January 28, 2007, 18:38 GMT

    The inclusion of Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Shabbir Ahmed, Abdul Rehman & Imran Nazir in the ODI squad is largely correct.

    Afridi & Razzaq are vital components of the Pakistan’s ODI side due to their match winning all round abilities. All round abilities in ODI

    Shabbir Ahmed has proven in his short international career so far that he can take wickets at this level. His height and bounce will give Pakistan an additional weapon in it’s pace armory.

    Abdul Rehman is an exciting left arm spinner who genuinely extracts turn and in domestic cricket has also shown his ability with the bat making him into another potential vital cog in the Pakistan lineup.

    My main concern is the inclusion of Imran Nazir. His inclusion has been based on his good form in domestic cricket and as a result he has been awarded with a place in the ODI team. Imran Nazir is an opening batsman vying for the problematic opening slot in the Pakistani side. We have already seen in the recent South African series and for a number of years that Pakistani batsman apart from the big three are technically flawed. A successful opener more than any other batsman within the team has to have a good technique in order to cope with the new, seaming and harder ball.

    Having seen Imran Nazir play over a number of years and more appropriately in recent times his technique is seriously flawed. He plays completely across the line with little movement of the feet making him a walking wicket in international cricket.

    People may argue that Shahid Afridi is no more technically efficient but the big difference with Afridi is that he offers much more to the team with his bowling. In my opinion if Pakistan has a fully fit squad the line up should consist of the following;

    Mohammed Hafeez, Shoaib Malik,Younis Khan, Mohammed Yousuf, Inzamam, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Rana Naved, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammed Asif.

  • Muz on January 28, 2007, 18:23 GMT

    I was about to give my thoughts when I read Omar Admani's comments, most of which I agree with. At the time of writing Pakistan have lost the series against South Africa. It is not a disappointment because Pakistan did put up a fight through out the series but there there is criticism for the policy of the team and/or PCB. The first is why would one anounce the one day team when the test match is still ongoing. This to me amounts at best to incompetence and at its worst politics.

    Turning to the team itself I think that the real problem is that there are a handful of players who seem to perform whether bowlers or batsmen, but the rest just do not appear to take on the responsibility. I don't think that I do not propose to critcise the bowlers, Pakistan hit with injuries had problems and the players that were selected outside of Shoaib (when available),Mohammed Asif and Danish Kaneria (I am not yet convinced about his abilities but in a full strenght bowling line up he may be more succesful) did not do well. However the test match needed the batsmen to perform and apart from the big three who can not be expected to succeed all the time there has been no other significant contribution and there is certainly a lack of application in their batting.

    Overall the batsmen especially the new players seem to be poor technically and unless the first class system is improved and made into a competitive system Pakistan will not succeed beyond a team that has never lived up to its potential.

    In relation to the replacements why is Afridi back in in international cricket he is not consistent enough to merit his place?

  • WAQAS ALI on January 28, 2007, 18:13 GMT

    The Selectors have finnaly picked a good team. If everyone is fit i would have Imran Nazir and Farhat opening with Afridi one down as a power player then the middle three Younis Yousaf and Inzamam then akmal Abdul Razzaq and for the bowling Shoaib to open with Asif with gul and Abdul Razzaq bowling later and Afridi to complete the overs.

  • Gugu on January 28, 2007, 18:06 GMT

    Sorry Dr. Kamran that I am choosing to write on the completed test series and not to your blog. A quick word though: I agree with selection and I can talk lot on it but let's leave it like that. I Hope that Dr. Kamran will read this what I am calling 'Conclusion and some questions'. There are a few points that I hope Dr. Kamran can pass it on to board that I am mentioning. So here is 'Conclusion and some questions'.

    So, we have lost again. Congratulations to Kallis and South Africa.

    I dare to say that while this was expected and we performed quite well, are we not the ones who don't choose to win the matches? When I say don't choose I mean 'trying everthing possible' to win. While praising all the time players like Kallis, Dravid and now Prince, are we not responsible for not playing Asim Kamal consistently? His 20 more runs scored just by occupying crease would have made difference. right? Taken the match to one more day and more pressure on South Africa, right? While it is allright for Woolmer to blame workload and he is not wrong, but hasn't SA played six tests in two months and won with back up bowling and hasn't Australia played 5 Ashes tests and have now won 6 ODIs in row? We don't have a Smith or Boucher to take risk, score fast and not get out. And what we have, our own anchor in Asim Kamal, we send him back without playing a single match! Someone must look into this.

    We must also see into impact of not having (fast bowler) bowling coach on the performance of M Sami, Shahid Nazir and Rana Naved. This must also be answered before world cup.

    Players should also get more sincere about injuries and loudly tell them before they become serious. The turth about Shoaib Akhtar must also be made known so that we don't suffer badly in World Cup. We don't know when Inzamam retires, but he may have played his last match in whites. If he plans to continue, he will have to make sure he can play matches without being out regularly.

    Kamran Akmal must be clearly told what is his first job. If he cannot keep wickets cleanly, then someone else deserves a chance otherwise it will be demotivating for others looking forward to be part of Pakistan team.

    Geoff Boycott on cricinfo blog suggests he played 8 Ashes series and lost only one but none of such players are on the board running the ECB. I wonder, as he puts, Pakistan board is also mainly looked after by men in suits and not those who wore cricket kits. If this is leading to handling issues of injuries in non-professional manner, the balance in PCB personnel should also be looked in.

    Some English journalist Ian Woodbridge speculates that Pakistan may be chuked out of World Cup because of drug ban cases and this might be the explosive start to WC this year! I don't see any reason for this to happen but if there is any lobby that will work for that or God knows what, someone should duly inform PCB of such article written and made sure that no media propoganda is raised!

    Steve Bucknor told Younis Khan in morning to tell his bowlers to control the banter! I was not watching, if they went over the board, I don't mind. But I also ask, are umpires afraid of Andre Nel? Why has no one asked him to control his banter so far?

  • Omar Ahmed on January 28, 2007, 18:04 GMT

    Salam, i am sooo glad of Afridi makin the cut back into the squad. Imran Nazir is also remains an asset to Pakistan cricket. Afridi performed well in his last match domestically, and did well in south africa, where he went 2 play domestic crickt there. Shabbir and Razaak's return will defo make the team stronger. Inshallah all the team can perform and take the confidence into the world cup!

  • Gary Niblock on January 28, 2007, 17:55 GMT

    I dont know why people talk of non existent domestic form as regards Imran Nazir who is a proven failure and inferior one day batsman to Irfan Pathan yet never mention guys who score heavily at the domestic level - sorry ACTUALLY score, as if that is somehow a weakness. You need openers who will make big scores but who attack, hence Butt and Akmal will be my choice.

  • Rashid. on January 28, 2007, 17:19 GMT

    Why Not Salman B ? most of our openers except Hafeez,lack solid technique.S.Africa and Australia know how to explore them very welll and if we are to win anything we need to win against them.

  • we need Change on January 28, 2007, 17:05 GMT

    Now that Pakistan have lost the Test Series, and As a Pakistani Fan Demanding a change , i hope pakistan loses this ODI series too.. and only then major shake up will take place,

    u ask any pakistani right now they will not give Akhtar credit for that second test victory, his 4 wickets were Huge!, imagine south Africa adding 100-150 more runs in that 1st inning, then pakistan wouldve been chasing close to 300 runs instead of 180+

    Inzimam and woolmer are slowly destroying this team and the only way management will open up their eyes is if they lose Badly in this Series.. personally im hoping for a whitewash, 5-0 RSA.

    Inshallah pakistan will lose this ODI series. GO South AFrica!

  • Salman on January 28, 2007, 16:56 GMT

    I'm dissapointed that Yasir Arafat has once again been overlooked... the last time he played for pakistan (against SA in the champions throphy) he scored 27 of the teams 89 run total - more than both razzaq and afridi put together - and that was whilst having come in at number 9. He's young and very motivated, he has zip with the ball and power with the bat... but most importantly of all he seems to have a good head on his shoulders/ some brains, some intelligence... which i'm afraid to say, as awesome as razzaq and afridi are when and if they come off, in my opinion merits him being given at least an opprtunity to replace them.

  • sharoz on January 28, 2007, 16:41 GMT

    YES!finally imran nazir is bak! i got 2 admit i am a relli big fan of his!(and yes he has dissappointed me many times)i remember his knock against aus a couple of yrs ago when he played gillesspie mcgrath and warne very cleverly.Its also gud 2see tht shabbir is bak.Hope he duz well against south africa and gives some support to asif.Razzak was obviously a natural pick fr the ODI'S but afridi's inclusion duz surprise me alittle.He is a wonderfull player but not consistent.If he finds his mojo we could b real contendars for the worldcup.Moreover i hope pakistans opening problems get solved as our openers were well below par InshaAllah pakistans chances luk pretty good for the ODI'S and the world cup

  • zubair shah on January 28, 2007, 16:25 GMT

    cricketis all about plitics in pakistan who ever got the sources he is in thats all about pakistani cricket anyhow its never too late to play with the right team which gonna wins the worldcup for pakistan again inshallah

  • Asim on January 28, 2007, 15:53 GMT

    Well, The World's most inconsistent, most highly rated and most ill disciplined team lost yet again. Our batsmen lack shot selection, run poorly between the wickets and lack brains as well as patience to build innings against good teams. Our bowlers, barring Asif have no control over the ball and spray it all over. To me only 3 players merit selection, namely, Inzi, Yousuf, Yunus and Asif. The rest can easily be done away with. It is in fact bewildering that the same set of players are selected again and again despite their repeated failures, and even when dropped for a match or a series, again make their way into the team with out any noticeable performance in any form of cricket or improvement in their technique.

    One has to be deprived of basic cricketing sense to play cricketers like Sami, Faisal Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, Yasir Hameed, Rana Naveed every now and then. Sami after playing 30 tests has 70 wickets at an average of 45 plus and a strike rate of 80 odd balls per wicket. Kamran Akmal has been dropping catches at the drop of the hat for the last one year, though, people have only noticed his sloppy glove work in the series against SA. Rana is too expensive and inconsistent...And the list goes on and on.

    Bring on Sarfraz Ahmad, the under 19 wicket keeper,Akhtar Ayub,Anwar Ali, the under 19 fast bowlers, Najaf Shah, another promising left arm fast bowler, and groom them for future. For batting reinforcements, bring on Fawad Alam(What a cool headed talent he is), Bazid Khan, another batter who is cool headed and can build innings, Shahid Yusuf, Hasan Raza and Muhammad Waseem (a lost talent who is still 28 years). But alas, who is going to take the daring decisions, not the selectors I belive, not even the cricket board, Yes only the Divine intervention can make things happen fast and for better. Better sense should prevail.....

  • yousuf on January 28, 2007, 15:51 GMT

    this is the best pakistan line up for the world cup.

    i bet if any team can beat them if they are at their best.

  • Mubeen on January 28, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    i prefer pakistan give a try of Nazir and Afridi openers and younis one down with m.yousuf and inzamam and razzaq to follow in a 20 / 20 and see the result before make the team for the first one day.

  • Mohd Saleem on January 28, 2007, 15:15 GMT

    Dear Kamran, I feel the selection committee was spon on this time, though, Yasir Arafat should have been included.

    I dont see any reason why Afridi should not have been selected. In a team where Farhat, Hafeez, and Younis can play why not Afridi. I feel Afridi is by far a better One-day player then all of the above. Finally, Captaincy to Afridi!. Yes y not sounds exciting.

  • Hamid Ali on January 28, 2007, 15:06 GMT

    Aslam-o-Alikum

    First of all I praise to Allah for success of Pakistani team. PCB has made the right selection, it’s a bit late but I hope they will use common sense for future. Just an example, Afridi is not only great storming batsman but also a great spinner bowler. Especially in ODI cricket where he is making only 20 to 25 run just from 10 balls, I believe it a lot better than the people who are making from 60 balls and getting out at same time. Now I believe in Afridi, is the man who can blow the wickets easily at least he does not through too many runs. The point I wan to make here is he would not be kicked out of team any time unless he is injured.

    Let’s talk about Imran Nazir, what a classic batsman. A great opener, great fielder and I think that all what we want from a young cricketer. And the combination with Afridi or Malik would might give us a sight of Anwer and Sohail.

    I don’t like to criticize at any player. All of them had done great job except some and that was PCB mistake not their. What a great would it be where you have youngster like Imran Nazir, Afridi, Malik and strong middle order batsmen (Inzi, Younis, and Mohammad Yousf). Pakistan need a good wicket keeper like Rashid or Moin. Right now we really need a good keeper I don’t know why PCB is not trying different people.

    Now the question of the bowlers no doubt we have two great bowler on hand I mean Asif and Shoib. I wonder why they don’t try Anwer Ali from under 19. atleast they should give him a chance. I believe combination of Asif and Anwer may give us a chance to recall our memories about the time when Waqar and Wasim were at fire.

    In conclusion the squad I would go with is Imran Nazir, Shoib Malik, Yonis, Yousf, Inzmmam, then we need a great wicket keeper, and a great all rounder would be Razaaq, one more spinner bowler which I belive could be Rehman and two fast bowler Asif and Shoib or Anwer Ali.

  • Dr Kashif Ashraf on January 28, 2007, 15:03 GMT

    Firstly, I have to say that Pak went down fighting in the final test- both teams showed poor technique and application in trying conditions. The difference in the end was SA's superior bench strength, their alrounders and our inability to field more then two wicket-takeing bowlers. Everybody is aware that Nazir for certain and Sami to an extent were only completing the eleven! For all his greatness you have to question Inzi's team choice and batting order.

  • Owais on January 28, 2007, 15:00 GMT

    Its definitely going to be a good addition. On the test front, please do away with Akmal and Farhat. The series loss is due to Mr. Akmal. Kamran, I think you are still going to write something against Kaneria ?. Farhan must leave because his technique cannot be improved, its proven over three series now. He should be rested for two years. Akmal should be rested for two or three series'. Hafeez should be on the probationary period. Sami and Nazir are only backups, only one of them can be afforded in a given match in the future. Though we must credit them for setting up something to bowl at by taking the lead to 160. For now Yasir and Hafeez should open and Asim Kamal should be brought back at number 6. Younis bats best at no. 3 elsewhere he usually fails.

    Please get rid of Kamran Akmal(who has costed us English and now SA series).

  • Khurram Malik on January 28, 2007, 14:59 GMT

    Well we all can talk about Pakistan strength in for ODI's but question still remain the same can do well against SA. Here we go with Imran Nazir's inclusion to this ODI Squad. Can he play positive role as batsman? There is not doubt about talented Imran Nazir but i would say pakistan dropped him 2yrs ago was unfair with opener. As politics remain high in pakistan cricket some how Imran Nazir was out the picture for quite sometime many would agree with me here Thank You to none other but Sheryaar Khan. I dont know if condition will suit Imran Nazir batting style in SA. Its good to see him back but i guess another replace should have make by withdrawing Imran Farhat. Salman Butt another stroke making player remind us old Seed Anwar is going through same strees at the moment. I admire his batting skills much more higher than any other openers pakistani have produce after legendry Anwar and Shoial. I would love to see Imran & Salman batting together. They are both explosive players in both form of the game. Pakistan have tried so many combinations but nothing work in their way now the world cup is near and still doesnt have set opening pair. This is main reason why Great Legendry Imran Khan always say" Pakistan Domestic Cricket structure need to be developed by producing better pitches". I am sure pakistan team will do well against SA if they get opening start and let middle and lower order consolidate runs nobody can beat Pakistan. We short of Shoiab Akthars pace but Asif and Shabbir can do job. Still pakistan pace power is below if we compare SA's. I am looking fwd to see Imran Nazir, Shahid Afridi and Abdul Razaaq in explosive batting mood. We have to beat SA in SA to gain more confidence taking to the worldcup. PAKISTAN ZINDABAAD AND JEET GA BHE JEETA GA PAKISTAN JEETAY GA!

  • Adam on January 28, 2007, 14:54 GMT

    All i can say about the selection of Afridi and Imran is let them display their talent if left any. Then again do pak selectors have any other choice besides them? I for one dont think any inclusion or exclusion is gona bag this 2007 cup.

  • Ahmed Khan on January 28, 2007, 14:53 GMT

    AFRIDI and NAZIR on the team could be dangerous, as one of them will have to open. If you ask me, I'm presuming NAZIR is planing to open, making us be one-down in no time.......

  • Nadeem Salik on January 28, 2007, 14:44 GMT

    I agree with you 100%, attack is the best strategy for Pakistan and thats where we always do well. About the lineup, please can someone show the door to Mohammad sami and replace him with even a "Mohallah Bowler". I am sure the result will not be any worse if not much better. And why can't we give a try to the reserve wicketkeeper, while, say diplomatically, giving rest to Kamran Akmal. One spilled catch can turn the whole match around and he did spilled a lot more then the matches we lost recently.

  • Gulzeb Niazi on January 28, 2007, 14:43 GMT

    I say we have Afridi and Imran Nazir open like the days of the old. The current openers have been doing bad enough already without even giving fast starts.

  • saleem on January 28, 2007, 14:35 GMT

    yaa, i am agree with u, pak has more success when they attack n afridi n razzaq they both r match winners n who iz more attacking then them, but they do deserve enough match pratice before world cup. they should play in all 5 odi n 20 20 match, as for as present test team iz concern they lost bcose of their own mistakes , they lost both 2 tests by playing negative cricket,tail enders were positive so they score some runs rest we all know better,letz hope there will be some positive cricket in iod series n some excitement too.

  • Sohaib Ahmed on January 28, 2007, 14:08 GMT

    Nice to see the three coming back. I think this is the perfect folly for Australia and co. Bring on the World cup!!!

  • Aurangzeb khan on January 28, 2007, 14:03 GMT

    Incluion of Shahid Afridi(average 8.5 last year),Imran Nazir (average 18.5 in domestic season

    It is time for PCB to change the selection panel (Waseem Bari and co ). Selection of shahid Afridi(average of 8.5 last year)Imran Nazir(average 18.5 in domestic) shahid Nazir,M.SAMI(Average around 48.00 runs per Wicket in test cricket)Hafeez,Imran Farhat,Faisal Iqbal,Yasir Arafat,Fazal-e-Akbar,Roa Iftikhar ,M.Khalil(Shabbir Ahmed ,Umer Gul, Shoiab Akhtar,Rana naveed injured) and so many others is the example of how much cricketing sence thay have.It seems that we do not have any young fast bowler and opening batsman in our country.All credit goes to Inzi for his unbold captainsy.I am sure Pakistan is the only cricketing nation who can beat Australia in any level of cricket.Anouncment of oneday team is big joke with the loving cricket nation.

  • asim on January 28, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    the comment that the first guy left (it told us how the paki line up should look like !) well there is one problem he has 9 batsmen on there already and he added an extra four bowlers, i think there are way to many players in his side and i dont think that they can slip an extra player in the playing 11

  • imran ibne abdur rouf on January 28, 2007, 13:51 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, I'm writing from Bangladesh. Well, I'm really happy to know that imran Nazir is back, same with afridi and razzaq. But the question that bugs me is where are the batsman gone from the country of great Zaheer, Miandad, Asif Iqbal, Salim Malik ? At the same time I'm sure that Akmal is one lucky keeper.At least more lucky than Zulkarnain or the Hindu keeper who dropped two indian catches in the final in Australia and never played in Imran's team.

  • Faraz (the first ever Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs) on January 28, 2007, 13:46 GMT

    For the first time, Omer Admani got it right with uncovering the favoritism; however it is not without errors.

    Let me name the 'sifarshi tuttoos" in the team that should be done away with, if Pakistan is serious about delivering the shock and awe treatment, come the World Cup.

    1-Imran Farhat (this guy must be some selector’s personal you know what, to stay on for this long) 2-M Hafeez (maybe a team like Kenya would really need this bloke’s services) 3-Shoaib Malik (resting in SA - who paid for his vacation?) 4-Kamran Akmal (With his “fartworks” behind the stumps, I doubt if one innings in an overall lost cause justifies his place….experiment with Zulqarnain in the one-dayers..) 5-Yasir Hameed: Again, just one innings for the whole test series… while Faisal Iqbal was dropped immediately for poor form Yasir was kept in playing eleven while Asim Kamal watched helplessly from the dressing room (double standards---I bet this is Younis’s influence) 6-Naved-ul-Hassan: how can we afford this “sheikhupura ghadagari” with the likes of Asif, Sami, Shoaib (hopefully he is back for the world cup) and Umer Gul. Not to mention Razzaq and Afridi in the pipeline to provide bowling support..

    WE NEED TO LET GO OF THE ABOVE LOT and barring “medical problem” as Kamran highlighted…we should be able to deliver the shock and awe treat to all teams especially SA and Australia.

    Lastly, I must admit it was frustrating to see Pakistan lose the test series this morning. Blame can be put all around the team...Asif not bowling particularly well yesterday with SA second innings...Inzy's decision to have Sami field in close and injure his hand while he opted to go Nazir...why did he not use Sami from the get go...bias in judgement that Nazir will swing more than Sami....folly unforgiveable....Openers failed through out the series...still chance not given to Asim Kamal....Faisal Iqbal "judged" too hastily and bewildering to see persistence with Hameed.....??? Lets see if Afridi can take over the captaincy and hopefully good changes will happen and then maybe Pakistan team will not look passive and lethargic like it does under Inzy...

  • AYAZ on January 28, 2007, 13:44 GMT

    Finally the selectors have made the decision which shows the intent for the world cup.....bringing imran nazir back. He is a class opening batsman who has been overlooked for too long...if he gives us a good start then we will go on and win matches...lately hafeez and farhat have been too slow in the 1st 15 overs nothchin up about 30 runs (if were lucky)!!

  • Saeed Shah (New York) on January 28, 2007, 13:42 GMT

    I think Pakistan's loss in SA is a blessing in disguise for the future of our team. The selectors must now seriously replace people like Hafeez,Farhat,Hameed,Shahid Nazir,and Shoaib Akhtar. These guys have disappointed time and time again and have let the team down on crucial occasions. Opening in test match cricket is a unique art, we've have quality openers like Shoaib Mohammad, Muddasar Nazar, Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail to name a few who have been succesful at this level, not neccesarily because of great technique but because they have been learned from their mistakes quickly and have been willing to tough it out in the middle for their team. Farhat, Hafeez, and Hameed have proved time and time again that they do not have the guts to survive against top quality bowling and its time for them to go.

    In the next test that Pakistan play in fall, I would open with Salman Butt and Shahid Yousuf with Younis at 3, Yousuf 4, Inzy 5, Fawad Alam 6, Akmal 7, Razzaq 8, Gul 9, Asif 10 and Kaneria 11. We must play 6 specialist batters and one allrounder. The allrounder should be Razzaq because he can reverse the ball and hold up an end letting Gul,Asif and Kaneria attack at the other. Test wins will come for Pakistan but only if we learn from our mistakes and remove disappointments like Farhat,Hafeez,Hameed,Nazir,Akhtar and even to a certain extent - Kamran Akmal. Moin Khan and Rashid Latif succeeded at test level for such a long time because both were competing with each other for the spot. Pakistan should drop Akmal for the ODI series against RSA and play Zulqarnain Haider throughout. This way, we can see what Haider is made off, and furthermore Akmal will realize he does not have a right to be complacent because Haider will be around to take the wicketkeepers spot, if Akmal continues to drop catches all the time.

  • Saeed,Germany on January 28, 2007, 13:34 GMT

    I am feeling kind of one man(Inzi bahi,no offense to mean to his game) show in pakistani team right now.If Inzi bhai likes some one he can play otherwise not.I might be wrong but everyone who watched Pakistan losing to SA in Test series will agree with me....

  • Malik Ahmed on January 28, 2007, 13:31 GMT

    Where is Imran Khan and his brainless quote "Sami is a must in the test and ODI team"? Isent it time for Imran to once again talk nonsense? Maybe Imran should found a Tehreek-e-Insaaf cricket team and he can play his two favourites Akhtar and Sami himself, because we dont need either anymore, thank you very much. It's time for Pakistan to seriously look at finding a 3rd and 4th seamer to support Umar Gul and Mohammad Asif. It cannot be injury-prone and drama-king Akhtar, or the club-level Sami and Shahid Nazir. We need to look elsewhere, perhaps Mohammad Irshad.

  • rashid on January 28, 2007, 13:26 GMT

    Why Imran Farhat is even around the Pakistani Squad?????Could anyone please give me one good reason for that.........

  • Robert on January 28, 2007, 13:26 GMT

    Bring whoever you like in... but have to get rid of Kaneria. I was shocked to see his display of bad sportmanship on the 3rd and final day of the last test! Forget his constant appealing, or the fact that he was wearing tape on his bowling finger...

    Kaneria deliberately stuck out his leg in an attempt to trip the running non-striking batsman (Kallis). Although I don't really expect anyone to pay any attention. But after replaying the incident, I have no doubt in my mind that it was deliberate and someone really should look into it.

    Check it out yourself. The score 75/4 Ashwell Prince batting and Kaneria bowling. You judge for yourself.

    At times this series has been very heated. But this is just unacceptable. I want to hear what kind of punishment one can receive for such "ungentlemanly conduct"?

    I guess if you can judge Gibbs by catching a recording... the same rules should apply to all!

  • Kiran Farooq on January 28, 2007, 13:24 GMT

    Another series in South Africa lost due to missed opportunities. We should have won this series but for two main issues : 1) Farhat,Hafeez and Hameed's reckless shots and inability to learn from their mistakes and 2) The lack of bowling support for Asif and Kaneria. Sami and Nazir's days as test players should end immediately. Pakistan should play Shabbir Ahmed, Mohammad Irshad,Samiullah Niazi, or Yasir Arafat instead of Sami and Nazir. Finally, another reason why we lost was due to Butter-Fingers himself Kamran Akmal. The management must drop him in place of Zulqarnain Haider for the ODI series.

  • Murshid on January 28, 2007, 13:21 GMT

    hello, well its good to see imran nazir back in action along with afridi and Razzaq. But i would like to mention that why why why and again why, inzamam is willing to play with Imran Farhat and kamran akmal. They are running with terrible forms. Please for God sake, change your mind (even we have lost third test) and inject a new wicket keeper and an opener. Imran Farhat dosnt deserve to be a part of National Team. Wish you good luck For ODIS. Regards: Murshid

  • Ibrahim Moiz on January 28, 2007, 13:20 GMT

    At last Imran Nazir is back in. Abdul Razzaq is the must for any ODI team, but I'm not too sure about Afridi who lacks Abdul Razzaq's sensible approach to the game. But in any case Nazir's recall is excellent news, because he is a very exciting opener and could balance the likes of Yasir Hameed or Mohammad Hafeez to get a good start to an innings. As to Euceph Ahmed's comment about Abdul Razzaq having a nothing personality, that must be a joke because Razzaq is one of the only consistent and selfless players on the team. His late order hitting is brilliant (remember the ODI series against NZL in 2003-2004, for starters) and he can usually keep things tight in the middle overs with the ball.

  • Fateen Ahmad on January 28, 2007, 13:17 GMT

    I don't understand inclusion of Afridi without even playing domestic cricket! All the world knows Afridi's weakness after it was exposed by Jason Gillespie and since then he has not scored even a half century. In international cricket only players with good technique can be successful. Look at Imran Farhat and Yasir Hameed, they always get out fishing outside the off stump. All the bowlers know this and always trap them without a fail.

  • bilal on January 28, 2007, 13:12 GMT

    yes, i totally agree with u, pakistan should attack head on, thts when they are at their best obviously we have seen many implosions, but hey thats the way the asian game is played, gota live with it... Farhat is utter rubbish, throw it on offstump sooner or later he is your man, Hafeez--well don't knw what to say really, but looking at him, seems to have no purpose to his batting... im not saying that afridi and nazir will make more runs, but the excitement levels are undoubted.

  • Mohammad Manzoor on January 28, 2007, 13:02 GMT

    Bring on the ODIs, cant wait to see pakis playing some attacking cricket..All credit to pak for putting up a good fight agaisnt SA with only 5 players, 2 bowlers and 3 batters and also fielding with 10 players..The missing fielder was the man behind the stumps.Also credit to Kallis and Prince to take SA home after the early breakthrough. Lets see what ODIs bring us.

  • khansahab on January 28, 2007, 13:01 GMT

    Hafeez and Farhat should be sacked from the Test side. farhat is the biggest mistake PCB ever made. Look how at long he has been CONTINUOUSLY PLAYED and how rubbish his batting still is. He simply cannot play. I heard that now there will be a requirement that players who come into playing at first class level should have a reasonable standard of fielding. There should be another requirement- experts and coaches should assess how players would perform outside of the subcontinent and exclude them if they are farhat's and hafeez's calibre. Why do we get players to play overseas who can’t use their minds, making the same mistakes? I agree that Razzaq and Afridi’s time has come and that they wont perform unless a spark occurs. Maybe playing in the World Cup will trigger that spark? Looking at how the openers were playing, it was expected that Pakistan would lose this series (at the moment it certainly looks like prince and kallis will take SA home). You really cant have a worse SA side than this, where some of their batsman are out of form. Apart from maybe a solitary innings or two, Amla, Dippenaar, De Villiers have been out of form. SA are not in the top 3 in ICC test rankings- surely Pakistan could have defeated them if only they had better openers. I am also disappointed with Younis Khan- it seems to me he talks too much and doesn’t perform accordingly. He has been playing international cricket for too long and still is an inconsistent player. In fact, the only times he has been consistent is when he has played against India. I think he has the talent undoubtedly to become Pakistan’s premier batsman, but he doesn’t have the right approach. Sometimes he gets too reckless and sometimes he doesn’t handle pressure well- he needs to watch the ball more. My lineup for ODI’s and world cup is……Hafeez (because he has improved as a ODI opener although he is unimpressive in Tests), Akmal, Malik, Younis, Yousuf, Inzi, Fawad Alam, Razzaq/Afridi (depends who’s in better form at the time but I don’t think they both should be in the playing XI because of their recent form), Akhtar/Gul ( depends whether Akhtar is fit to play), Asif and Naved (Naved because he is a good ODI bowler). I put akmal at no 2 because he can play attackingly (bob woolmer has always said that Akmal should be an ODI opener, he agrees with me for the following reason)- Akmal has to bat somewhere in the order so why not put him up as opener, I am sure he can do a better job than farhat and butt……malik also gets my vote because he has experience and talent and still something to prove. Fawad Alam was brilliant in the twenty20 cup, his bowling will be of the same standard, if not better, than Abdur Rehman’s and he can bat better than Farhat, Afridi etc. In the reserves I’d like to see Abdur rehman, Yasir hameed, Afridi/Razzaq, Asim Kamal, Sami, Shahid Nazir and Imran Nazir.

  • Usman on January 28, 2007, 12:17 GMT

    how about we just wait and see.. any player who makes the pakistan team are good so we should criticizing and just watch and see and the one day team dey have selected is good

  • get it right in your mind on January 28, 2007, 11:29 GMT

    makes me laugh this dude ...Euceph Ahmed... make Afridi the captain and all important middle order should retire ? yea thats his assesment...and replace Gen.Musharraf with Euceph.He also quotes for Razzaq "nothing personality".In cricket we need performance not personality you punk!.Claiming that "Razzq and Afridi are both over the hill" a couple lines later this genius suggests that Afridi should be made the captain?Did you mean over the hill Afridi?the captain?I truely am glad Pakistan selection hasn't gone to hands like Euceph...atleast not yet anyways.Nothin personal but if i was Razzaq i would demand to see your personality.We watch athletes play for their performance not their looks or personality and Murlidharan would tell you that.like i said "get it straight in your head" now the team for me would be dropping both the openers and play 1- Imran Nazir,2- Shahid Afridi,3-Younus Khan(if he must play one dayer, i think Shoaib Malik is a better choice but it ain't gonna happen),4-M.Yousuf,5-Inzi,6-Shoaib Malik,7-AbdurRazzq,8-Kamran Akmal(too early to lose faith in him,boucher did just as bad with a much easier Harris),9-Rana Naved/Shoaib Akhtar(whoever is fit),10-Umar Gul/Shabbir Ahmed(whoever is fit),11-Mohammad Asif. either gonna have to drop Shoaib Malik or the #10 slot if u must play Abdur Rahman. and yes don't retire the pakistan middle order Mr.Euceph..i beg ya !!! goodluck pakistan !

  • khalid on January 28, 2007, 11:11 GMT

    alot of alrounders in the team this not the right combination.plz open with nazir and yasir and dont use farhat plz then yy ant then inzi,afridi or abdul rehman,abdul razzaq and akmal or zulqarnain rana shabbir and then asif. plz use abdul rehman there instead of afridi or hafeez or malik bcoz he is in good form.and dont use asif in all 5 one days.use sami plz

  • Ahmed on January 28, 2007, 9:37 GMT

    i guess Mr.Euceph Ahmed, you hate pakistani cricker, may be youu are Drunk, you have just recently escaped from a mental hospital, Afridi as Captain is the same joke as Donkey as the most Wise Animal. A team would Inzi, Yousaf and younis is like a Car without engine, wheels and body. I can relate these Foolish thoughts only with you. But i once again say, that Afridi, Imran Nazir are not required in the team and even now PCB is one the most foolish Cricket board which is experiementing with them team just 5 matches before the world cup. we Want some one Sensible, we want some Asim Kamal, a left hander in the middle with some sense. or may be the likes of playing yasir in the middle order along with Y's and inzi.. Come on how come you fan's be so ignorant to see a reality, Afridi is a nothing cricketer, and PCB has done even the worst putting him infront of a team who does not play with its strength rather than your weekness. How can they let a Bull like Afridi to Run away.Afridi and Imran Nazir will be bunnies of Pollock and Co. They would be laughing at us, the same way they laughed at our foolish attacking Pull shots which paid us the first test. we want only three hitter, Shoaib Malik, Razak and Akaml ( provide he makes the same no of runs as the no of miss stumping and Catches he drop). Shabbir has always been a very good and hardworking bowler, but i would like to see Umar Gul Fit, to see with Asif and Shabbir he is some one who can lead. But with Afridi and Imran Nazir in the team i have no hopes for pakistan even to qualify for second round in the world cup. Even both of them will not cross 20's and 30's in these five matches, I bet on it!

  • Tariq on January 28, 2007, 9:33 GMT

    Dear All:

    I think Imran Nazir is a good inclusion. We should get rid of Imran Farhat as soon as possible. He will not even qualify in our Local Club Team. Afridi: why does he play. He should be sitting out and playing tape ball cricket.

    We also need to think neyon world cup as Inzy wont be there. We should groom Asim Kamal as a wicket keeper instead of Zulqarnaian Haider so he can get a one day spot. Razzaq, Malik and Hafeez should fill the All rounder spots. Any ways i hope selectors think long and hard b4 w cup. At least we should be able to giv a fight to Mighty Australians if now win against them

    Adios Amigos

  • sameer khan on January 28, 2007, 9:31 GMT

    it is great news for us bcoz of the inlusion of boom boom afridi & imran nazir in the odi squard and the next thing the selectors should do is remove farhat & hafeez from the squard & bring back salman butt in the team.this will b good for the world cup.

  • Cricket on January 28, 2007, 8:47 GMT

    Afridi as captain? Kicking out Inzimam, Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan out of the team? This has got to be the joke of the century. Think of all the times the three middle order batsmen have won us matches, if you take the three out of the equation we would probably have like a 10% winning percentage.

    I mean just think of it like this, Pakistan need 60 to win from 20 overs and they are 5 down. If Afridi would be batting, I could almost guarantee that Pakistan would lose the match. If Inzimam, Mohammad Yousuf or Younis Khan was batting than the target could be achieved with 5 overs still remaining.

    However, the comment made that Afridi and Kamran Akmal should open, and Imran Nazir should come one down does make sense. After all, the combination would be better than our current openers who just play out the first 5 overs and make like 17 runs and before you know it, they both are out. With the new combination of Akmal and Afridi, atleast we will have like 40 runs over board before both the openers are out.

  • zeeshan tirmizi on January 28, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    Selectors finally making some sense! Though I guess it's a bit late. As you said Kamran, I am very surprised to know that Shabbir is fit within a week.This credit probably goes to the medical team of PCB who can work wonders. I am really disappointed with the YOUNG trio of M Hafeez,Farhat and Yasir.The main weakness in my opinion in both Hafeez and Hameed is MENTAL.They dont have that strength to bear the pressure of playing international cricket.The way both of them got out yesterday playing same unnecessary shot shows how much they were aware of the match situation.Why can't these guys play ground shots.Why do Hameed has to keep on hooking even though he already got out in that mode and his technique in playing short ball is faulty. Farhat isn't a test player and for one days.Afridi is far better than him. It was a wonderful chance for all these players to make it to the top but not even a single match winning or saving innings from any of these three. Kamran Akmal should be rested so that he can rediscover his mojo.I don't think we can grant him a license to drop on the basis of one good batting inning. All praise to Asif.The guy has performed tremendously.I can't recall a single bowler during the past few years having such a commitment but the burden on him is too much and VERY unfair.Both Sami and Nazir failed completely and this added the pressure on Asif.I hope that he would be able to sustain it. Sami should be sent out of team for good.He has proved his worth as well as Nazir.The strongest bowling lineup in world on paper hasn't got even one bowler to support its main strike bowler. A huge credit goes to Shoaib for the win in last test match. Its hard for me to be optimistic for Pak cricket.The system like every other field of life in Pakistan is in total disarray.merit has changed its meaning and PCB has become a family business.I dont know where are we heading to.

  • abuzar on January 28, 2007, 8:16 GMT

    if afridi has to be included in the team, he should play at number 7. there is no place for him to play as an opener. M. Hafeez and yasser hameed should be give chance in the first three ODIs and then there fate decided. Shoaib Akhtar has no place to be included in the sqaud for the world cup. The rest of the team is okay. Imran nazir can be a given a chance in the first three ODIs and then decided. the rest of the team is performing well. we should rely on them up to the world cup

  • Craig Daniels [In Sydney] on January 28, 2007, 8:01 GMT

    Is anyone else wondering where Salman Butt is? How can any sane selector consider Imran Farhat to be a better opener than Butt? Butt got a 100 here in Australia, and a handful of 50's against the likes of Mcgrath, Warney, Watson and Lee, and he showed good technique and ability. It's nice to see Imran Nazir back, he's done well in Australia as well, however I still believe the Pakistanis are making a big mistake by playing Farhat and leaving out Butt. It could be a world-cup loosing mistake, everyone knows how to get Farhat out. Pitch it up, outside Off-Stump, and move it away just a touch, and the slips are in business.

  • Imran Haider, Sargodha on January 28, 2007, 7:47 GMT

    i am very good news for me that Afridi is again in Pakistani Squad.

  • Mohammad Najib Zaman on January 28, 2007, 7:36 GMT

    YES FINALLY IMRAN NAZIR, he is the most useful opener along with SALMAN BUTT, lets hope Imran Nazir shows in the ODI what he is capable of and cement his place for the world cup, i think Kamran Akmal have not done a good job behind the stumps, but hey behind the stump job is never easy, but he have not done his keeping job for a while now, although we all do remember some of his finest memories of him keeping, like a brilliant catch of Marcus Trescothick etc, I think Kamran Akmal is a very very good batsman to be ignored, he have a touch of Tendulkar in him, i think he should be used as a batsman and give another keeper a chance in ODI. lets have Imran Nazir and Salman Butt open, Shoaib Malik follows, then younis khan, Mohammad yousuf, Inzamam, Kamran Akmal, Rana Naved, Mohammad Sami, Abdul Rehman, Mohammad Asif. There could be changes like Abdul Razzaq instead of Rana Naved, or Shahid Afridi instead of Abdul Rehman, but for a wicket keeper, we should maybe reconsider Moin Khan or Rashid Latif, and Mohammad Sami have done a good job as he proved what he can do with the ball as well as with the bat, still he could not be the permanent support of Mohammad Asif, the lone bowler who is making things possible for Pakistan. Let's keep our finger crossed for shoaib akhtar or Umar gul or even shabbir ahmad. but i have a serious thoughts about the world cup winning bowlers, "ANWAR ALI AND JAMSHED AHMAD", these two bowlers destroyed the best batting attack in world cup under 19, i really liked anwar ali's inswingers and i also enjoyed Jamshed Ahmad's Wasim Akram style bowling, but lets see what PCB selectors have to say, after all its their call and they have always disappointed pakistani fans before, who knows what are they thinking of next, lets hope for the best and lets pray for PCB not to make any stupid decisions like they did with Mohammad Hafeez, Imran Farhat etc. but anyway, IMRAN NAZIR, YAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY........GO IMRAN GO.......WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO......

  • Osman Khan on January 28, 2007, 7:23 GMT

    Yes I think they did a right thing but we shouldn't open with Afridi Nazir. It should be Nazir and Malik. Zulqarnain Haider should be tested too.

  • Tashfeen Qayyum on January 28, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    Great news that Imran Nazir and Shahid Afridi are back. If they get going we win, if they don't no big deal, we are anyway 10 for 2 with the present set of openers with no chance of getting going. Asif, Abdul Rehman,Shoiab Malik, Shabbir, Shoaib Akhtar, Razzak, Umar Gul, Asim Kamal and Hassan Raza should all be in the final squad alongwith Younis, Yousuf and Inzi and we have a winning team. The only change needed is in the wicket keeping Department.

  • irfan muzammil on January 28, 2007, 7:01 GMT

    kamran, calm down, and come back to the world of reality, please; in fact its time we abandon this delusional world of fantasy which can never get us anywhere. a batting line up of afridi, nazir, razzaq, malik; shock and awe of course, the results of which we are currently experiencing in Iraq - and this one promises almost similar outcomes. problem with pakistan cricket lately - since afridi's emergence - has been that we've had too many number 6 and 7s of explicitly odi levels, and now we dunno what to do with them, besides the collective dementia that we HAVE to use them. can anyone tell me how many times these "all rounders and shock and awe openers" has won us odi matches under pressure situations, while chasing scores and with wickets down, give me one substantial innings of afridi besides the times he has opened, which he dont wana do anymore anyway. all an opposing team needs to do is apply pressure with fielders and bowl shrewdly without giving them room to hit or find easy singles; and we will experience another explosion - and embarrassment - of the scale of 99 world cup final. there will always be the odd afridi and razzaq boom bang blast, but consistency and profligacy are words they might not have heard of, or care about. how many all rounders does australia has?? or even south africa lately?? or even pakistan during the 92 world cup?? all we need is a quality genuine all rounder, which sadly we dont possess, so at most we can afford 2 - malik and razzaq has offered us most consistency and stability - but afridi and hafeez and even nazir and farhat, we should rather discard. an ideal pakistan world cup team would be: yasir, malik, younus, yousuf, inzi, razzaq, akmal, rehman, shoaib, gul, asif.

  • Mohammad Nabeel on January 28, 2007, 6:49 GMT

    ASAK! its gud dat Afridi,Razzack,Shabbir N Imran nazeer have made a comeback...My line up wil be Imran, Farhat/hamid,Younis,Yousuf,Inzi,malik,Afridi,Shabbir,Asif,Razzack,Sami.. Insha Allah ,Inzi wil Lift the World cup ...I bet

  • bilal chaudhry on January 28, 2007, 6:48 GMT

    was Euceph Ahmed drunk when he wrote his comments ?? i cant understand what is so special about afridi ,no doubt he has the attitude & energy of a captain but you need more than that, captain has to lead when everything seems lost and afridi cant do that ..y everyone is advocating for a player who i m sure would once again score no more than 20 in the one day series.he cant stay for more than 3 overs ,he puts more pressure on the batting order rather than sharing it.Even tailenders score more than him.Players like inzi n yousaf are an asset n they have played enough innings in one day that show their ability to score under pressure.We all have very short term memory .One bad performane by a player is enough for us to forget all he has done for the country and all his match winning innings. And yes imran should open with farhat .Its time for akmal to go back his shaky hands can very well cost us the world cup

  • Yasir Khan (Toronto) on January 28, 2007, 6:42 GMT

    Imran Nazir's call up is a good omen for Pakistan cricket. Nazir is an excellent fielder, Pakistan's best, and a very exciting and hard hitting young batsman. We have to remember that the ball will not seam around a lot in the West Indies, however it will skid through and come onto the bat quite nicely. Therefore, Imran Nazir with his hard hitting approach should thrive in those conditions. In fact, I believe he already has a 100 in the West Indies already for Pakistan. I am, however, disappointed with the inclusion of Afridi. When a player gets dropped, and instead sits at home rather than going out and playing domestic cricket to get back into form, then that shows pure arrogance to the selectors. In this case however, Afridi is in the team for past reputation and the fact that Inzy and Bob are both his biggest fans. Lets hope he doesent disappoint his fans and the Pakistani people yet again. I am also sad not to see Salman Butt in the side. Salman is 10 times a better player than Hafeez and Farhat put together, and I think Salman Butt and Imran Nazir opening the innings, with Younis Khan, Yousef, Inzamam, Malik, Afridi, Akmal, Razzaq, Gul and Asif would be a terrific one day line up in the world cup. We would be batting all the way to number 9 with Akmal and our bowling would be Gul, Asif, Razzaq, Afridi and Malik. If the team management feels they want a sixth bowler in there as well, they can use Salman Butt because I've seen him bowl for Lahore in ODI, and he's pretty handy as well. Or they could drop either Malik or Afridi and play a specialist bowler like Rana, Sami or Rao for example. I think our world cup 14 should be Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Younis Khan, Inzamam Ul Haq, Mohammad Yousef, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Sami, Rana Naveed, Shabbir Ahmed. Shabbir should go if he proves form and fitness in South Africa, otherwise we should take Rao Iftikhar. And the prima donna known as Shoaib Akhtar can watch proceedings from his living room, where he can fake as many injuries as he wants.

  • AUSSIE on January 28, 2007, 6:20 GMT

    Glad to see Afridi & Razzaq back. I think Pakistan are now Australia's biggest opponent in winning the World Cup. 2 Questions, Is Ahktar gonna be fit for the WC & whatever happened to Salman Butt? I thought he was pretty good (which is rare for Pak openers since Sohail & Anwar)

  • irfan Safdar on January 28, 2007, 6:05 GMT

    First of all the recall of Afridi and Imran Nazir is desperate measures. Im 28 years old and i have been watching cricket sine 1987 and i can recall that for all these 30 years except Saeen Anwar and Aamir Sohail we have always struggled with our top order. Hafeez and Farhat are clearly not test level players. Yaseer Hamid was performing well but his confidance has been destroyed. Where is Salman Butt? the guy who scored 100 in Australia. Shabbbir was unfit 3 days back and now all of certain he is coming back,it is really confusing Razzaq is a must in the team , he is a match winner, not sure about Afridi though. Its a shame so much talent is lost because of politics, poor planning and poor selection.

  • b3iv5on on January 28, 2007, 5:52 GMT

    Mr Omer Admani, just because Afridi and Shohaib Malik refused to give an autograph doesnt mean tat you can should ignore their enormous talent. This guy supports the idea of having Younis Khan as an ODI captain .Younis khan shouldnt be allowed to b in ta ODI team. Hez a good test player but ODI player he is not. A way better choice would b the Living Legend Shoib Malik or the pride of Pakistan ie Shahid Afridi.

  • Kiran Shah on January 28, 2007, 5:10 GMT

    I think Imran Nazir's call up is great and well deserved. Last night on a tv show, Inzy also said he was calling Salman Butt for the ODI series. That can mean Nazir and Butt opening, Younis at 3, Yousuf 4, Inzy 5, Malik 6, Razzaq 7, Akmal 8, Rana 9, Shabbir 10 and Asif 11. Afridi needs to compete with Malik for a place in the team. He doesent want to open and only wants to be btting at 5 or 6. Well 5 belongs to Inzy and 5 belongs to Malik, who has done very well there. So Afridi would simply have to wait his turn.

    I think Nazir and Butt opening will give Pakistan their best possible opening combination. Farhat and Hafeez can go back to club cricket.

    By the way with regard to Euceph Ahmed's post for dropping Younis,Inzy and Yousuf and making Afridi captain. All I have to ask is, what have you been smoking dude? Whatever it is...pass it over please.

    Euceph Ahmed

  • Afzaal Khan on January 28, 2007, 4:05 GMT

    Here we go again, Inzi this Inzi that, hello the guy won u the 2nd test almost by himself. That is class beat that. Afridi as a captain, wat a joke. I luv Afridi, i luv his style and i think he should be in the team but as captain gimme a break. Younis all the way after Inzi. One group want new commers, when selection team tries new commers n they fail u want them kicked out. Then other group yells give the new commers more chances, when that happened n they consistently fails then this group yells again. Can we have a perfect team always, answer is no. Before the series it was oh we have too many fast bowlers to choose. Akhtar n shabbir dropped cuz of fitness and everyone started screaming bloody murder. Well Akhtar is now injured thank you for bringing him in. Shabbit last week did 10 overs n his ankles were swallowen, as reported by cricinfo and confirmed by PCB medical board and Shabbir himself. Razzaq was out due to injury not due to malice. Afridi was dropped due to his performance. This is not the time to built new team, as world cup is 6 weeks away. This is the time to use what we have to the best of our ability. If I were Inzi I would have long sayed goodbye and to hell with it. Thanks GOd he didn't do it. The problem is not players the problem is thier religious ways that prompt this criticizm, be brave and admit it otherwise hold your peace for ever.

  • Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on January 28, 2007, 4:00 GMT

    I hope and pray that Imran Nazir will show some real class this time, and make a permanent place in the Pakistani ODIs teams atleast. While for the Shahid Afridi, we all 'pray' but there is not much 'hope'.

    I wish I am proved wrong, as I like the guy, but its just that its long long time that we have seen him 'boom boom' these days, and chances of that on South African pitches is less.... very less.

  • Tauhira from Jamaica [W.I] on January 28, 2007, 3:51 GMT

    I'm not too sure if bringing back Afridi now would be such a big deal. Yeah, Shabbir and Nazir may make a difference, but this had me thinking ... will either of these two players' inclusion be at the expense of Asif? He's quite a phenominal player and shouldn't be sidelined for either of them.

    By the way, I noticed a few bloggers has this idea of Afridi being captain. Why would any selector choose a player who has just got back his form in Domestic Cricket to lead the team? Whats wrong with Inzi's leadership? Even if Inzamam's leadership was questioned, I think maybe Mohammad Yousuf or Younis Khan would be given the job.

    -Peace!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 28, 2007, 3:27 GMT

    OMER Admani;

    Oui monsieur, I am talking about Shahid Afridi. And why would Mr. Euceph Ahmad or I be joking on this blog? We all express our views and suggestions, and it was his suggestion, and based on the facts as he presented it and as I see it, I concurred his views, because I find it as a very reasonable suggestion. Although I don't agree with his views most of the time, but that doesn't mean I discard a good suggestion! Besides, neither him nor I have a say in deciding the playing 11 for the WC. So, please don't say that I must be joking or I am not serious. I simply want to answer your questions and try not to make a personal debate about it.

    1. Afridi's low batting average in 'one year' doesn't make him a bad player than the current lot that is available for ODI matches. Form is temporary and class is permanent. He has not proved himself as a real classy player yet, but he is certainly better than most of the jokers around. His 4880 runs, 5 centuries, two of them world records, numerous time solo match winner for Pakistan and his 193 wickets speaks in volumes. His current form is due to the fact that he has not been utilized properly by the selectors, captain and coach. Several times they brought him in and dropped him, made him open the innings then threw him down to number 7 or 8. Sometimes, he didn't get a chance to play at a fixed position and with a regular partner. A few of the times he was unlucky to be given out when the ball kissed his shirt an appeal for caught behind was upheld. Or he was given out LBW when he was not or he got run out. These are not excuses, we all know that he plays risky shots, but when he is on a song he wins that match singlehandedly for Pakistan. And thats what Pakistan needs in the 2007 World Cup. The Caribbean pitches suits his batting style and he has a proven track record there.

    2. The incident of scruffing the pitch should not make you paranoid that he will jump again! No one is so foolish to repeat the same mistake again and neither should you be ashamed or embarrassed of a one time 'in the heat of the moment' incident. Many players of international repute have done things which were either illegal or immoral and they were also fined, penalized, banned and have been forgotten by the people. Do you want me to name them? Due to space constraints on the blog, I will leave it for you to do the research yourself.

    3. By your assessment and your own standards, when Inzi was "Out-Of-Form-ul-Haq" and his average for the whole year was a mere 13, when he lost more pounds in weight than he scored the number of runs, he should have been "kicked out" like the Australians do! Thats what you said right?

    Remember when all the senior Pakistani players were banned after the betting scandal, PCB brought Inzi back and not only brought him back, they also made him the captain. Why did they do that? He was totally out of form and was not scoring. Many people were against his recall and his appointment as a captain was considered as the biggest blunder. People called him by names such as Aloo for his laziness and clumsiness. The reason they appointed him as a captain is because, they had no choice, there was no other player with a proven track record also, there was no one senior than Inzi. You have nicely forgotten all this, or you are not aware of the facts. And you are saying, by giving a chance "Inzamam became better with time." You can apply the same law on Inzi but not on Afridi, pour quoi?

    4. Its easy for people to give example of Australia, without realizing that Australia has no dearth in terms of talent and not just raw talent but, tested and proven talent, players who have performed, produced results are waiting in the wings and that is because of the infrastructure and the facilities they have, the kind of grounds and playing conditions they have and the selection process and the kind of domestic cricket they play, Pakistan may not have all that in the next 50 years.

    Therefore, Pakistan has to rely on those players who have performed in the past and who were match winners and who have a proven track record. You cannot "kick out" a player who has a class. Still it happens only in Pakistan. Luckily during the time of Imran Khan he stepped in and over ruled the PCB politics and kept the players of his choice, had he not been doing this, then there would have been no great players that it has produced in the past. There would have been no Inzi either. But, this doesn't mean such players will continue playing even when they are 35 and past their prime. Afridi is only 26 and yet Mr. Euceph Ahmad considers him as a 'over the hill' player.

    Younis Khan is a good player, but only for the test matches, he is not an ODI player. So, considering the available resources there is no one who can take the reigns of captaincy. Do you think the half lost, double minded Abdul Razzaq who is not sure whether to wear a helmet or a cap and decides to wear both at the same time, would take the leadership role?

    As for the role of the Captain, it certainly helps his cause when he leads from the front and himself performs. But, it is not necessary that he always scores a 50 or a 100 or take 5 wickets. Recently Ross Taylor the rookie of NZ was hammering the Australian bowlers (he scored a blistering 80+) from the other end Stephen Flemings came down and talked to him and gave him a word of advise. Flemings is not in good form these days and himself he was out cheaply, do you think as a captain he should be ashamed and not have a word with his junior mate? When Flemings or Ricky Ponting were made captain there were other senior players in the team yet the team accepted the decision of the Board. It is the responsibility of the PCB to ensure that ALL players respect the captain. But, the Board has to be free from petty politics and in choosing the right team and the captain, it is then the captain is accepted by ALL, whether he scores or not, he is "The Captain" c'est ca!

  • Mustafa Rizvi on January 28, 2007, 3:25 GMT

    I think Inzamam should make his retirement annoucement before the World Cup just like Warne and McGrath did just before the Sydney Test. I hope this thing motivates our "Good for nothing Players" to stand up and do something in the World Cup. Otherwise I don't see Pakistan can ever win this tournament. Why are we keep palying proven failures like Imran Farhat, Mohd. Hafeez, Yasir Hameed and Kamal Akmal? I think thats kind a unfair on Faisal Iqbal who was dumped after the first test match and all these played the entire series without doing anything good to the team. I think Afridi should be made the capatin. We don't need Younis Khan in the ODI team or any player who doesnt perform well on consistant basis. I think PCB has to make some wholesale changes to the team otherwise I am afraid to say that Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are gonna be beating us soon. Cheers Javed Khan I really like your writing style.

  • Salman Qureshi on January 28, 2007, 3:23 GMT

    Can someone please explain why Danish Kaneria has been dropped for the upcoming one-day series against South Africa just when he has started performing and been replaced by Abdul Rehman?

  • Imran Iqbal on January 28, 2007, 2:28 GMT

    Did not want to join this debate but a couple of interesting comments instigate me to do this. It's good to see two Pakistanis agree on something but it could be something better than making Afridi captain, a person whoe struggles every now and then to make it to playing eleven. Though being fan of Pakistan team I always wish and pray that Afridi's fireworks work but deep inside I always know that he may not stay more than 6 balls. I liked Omar Admni's comment " think about Afridi giving advice to solid batsman how to play.... (lol). All the time you guys criticize Inzamam as captain who hit jackpot as there was no one to lead the team. How on earth you can long for something even worse by saying after YYI, Afridi is automatic choice? Aggression is not the only ingredient of a great captain but brain and leading from the front? Unfortunately Mr. Afridi has none of these but aggression. Same goes for Akhtar as he is not different who always speaks of speed before a series and breaks down in the middle of match. Ever wonder why Pakistan team is not getting new pacers? For last 7-8 years I have known only Mohammad Asif as a relatively new face. Other than that only Errant Sami / Fragile Shoib / Illegal Shabir / Mediocre Nazir and even we are trying to make Rana a test bowler. What's going on in Pakistan's domestic cricket/ can't we produce better bowlers or we are almost going to face Indian dilemma.... I still wish Pakistan be a better team and Challenge SA & Australia or atleast make Indians & English teams quite at regular inervals....

  • Calgary Highlander on January 27, 2007, 23:15 GMT

    Javed A. Khan what good is cake if u can't eat it. LOL. Anyways Afridi n Razzaq suck. No place for them. Now i will make some predictions for Pak future. Shoaib will be dropped after world cup. Zulqernain Haider will play good n become our full time Wk. Inzi will retire. Younis or Yousof will captain. Imran Nazir willcement his place on Pakistan. Everyone else(Butt, Taufeeq, Farhat, Hafeez, n lotsa other ppl) will fight it out for the other opening position.

  • Fareed Nasir on January 27, 2007, 22:37 GMT

    Hindsight is a great virtue, still playing the whole test series without any all rounder in side was something only our selectors could have achieved. Pakistan has done well despite of selection blunders and not due to good seletion at all and I will like to credit all the players involved in the test series. (Btw does anyone else find ramiz rajas commentary pessimistic and annoying, and I personally think SA will have to work hard to win tomorrow and its not over yet by any means) Now for some criticism, Pakistan could have won the series easily had it not been for some poor selection decisions. With Razzaq and Shoaib Malik unfit pakistan should not have axed Afridi and if his form was too much of a problem for the captain then they could have tried Yasir arafat. (where is azhar mahmood btw) or any of the loads of allrounders available at home. A quick-fire 30 or 40 by an all rounder coming down the order today would have made the difference between loosing and winning the series.

    Imran farhat despite my dislike for his selection in the past has redeemed himself somewhat in this series. Hafeez, I had great hopes of him and he is an enigma, he looks good has a not too bad technique but somehow fails very frequently whether its a mind thing or whatever, dropping Salman butt to include Hafeez was a mistake. Salman also fails a lot but then he does play a substantial innnings once in a while something which Hafeez and Yasir failed to do.

    Afridi againis someone who fails frequently, he makes a quick fire 10-20 and has the potential to get out most of the times and go on to get something big some of the time. 10-20 is what Farhat, Hafeez and Yasir get on a good day. Only difference is they get out caught in the slips and Afridi in the outfield more often, therefore former is branded reckless and latter as proper batsmen.

    Sahid Nazir and Sami well Afridi is a better bowler than both of them, Shahid is past his best and should be discarded promptly, Sami well I am sad he didnt achieve what he could have BUT he has had too many chances now, Its time to realise he will always bowl one or two bad balls per over.I think even he will agree with that. Rana is not a test match bowler, playing him in tests destroys his confidence for one days too. A team with only spinner and umpteen seamers in side discarding Waqar to appoint Mushi, where is the sense in that.

    Kamran akmal, he is not that fantastic a batsman to compensate for his poor form with gloves, He should play one dayers but should be dropped from test side until he regains his confidence and technique back.

    Question is who to play instead of these players in current series keeping all the injuries in mind. Shabbir, Abdur rehman (SA dont handle left arm spin well and the guy is good, at least could have kept one end quiet), Yasir Arafat and maybe some new bowlers, (we had some very decent bowlers in U 19 what happened to them) could have been included.

    However despite the criticism, selectors did have a tough job with all the injuries and players did play well as a unit and did manage to win a test in SA something which more star studded teams havent been able to achieve in the past.

    One last note why is everyone so keen on kicking Inzamam out of team after world cup, he is batting well (better than faisal iqbal etc his likely replacement anyway) let him continue until he can. I dont believe in players retiring on a high, we have lost too many players prematurely because of this attitude.

  • Omer Admani on January 27, 2007, 21:42 GMT

    Afridi as captain?

    You must be joking. He has a batting average of 8.5 last year (in odis). Besides, bringing him in the team could be an argument, but a guy that jumps on the pitch in front of the cameras as a captain is ridiculous... Javed Khan, captains need to think, too, about field placements and so on...They are supposed to lead by example as well. None of the captain's can earn respect from players with just the odd performance. If PCB were to follow you, we have the perfect recipe for anarchy. Imagine a player coming and hitting a solid 50, to whom Afridi as a captain would tell to play it right and either hit or miss. I mean common...you can't be serious. Younis Khan could only be a reasonable option as captain after Inzamam. People criticize him for his show in the Champions Trophy, but remember how Inzamam became better with time (and Younis would become better faster). Not to mention all the bowlers and the batsman (Inzamam) that were missing. Also, not to mention our beloved Akmal spilling Styris who went on to play a match-winning innings.

    See, a team like Australia would destroy these "bombers" very easily. It takes only 10 balls to finish an innings. You want to win against Australia? Talk about wiping favoritism out of cricket Pakistan. Guys like Farhat and Iqbal would never have made it to the team otherwise. Secondly, if a keeper loses you a series (England), act like Australia, and kick him out. Get tough with the players, don't make gods out of them. And players should be selected in the team on the basis of thorough examination of technique, and not experimented just like that otherwise. Once the management is sure the players have a sound technique, it should pick them at the right time when in form. Moreover, do away with the concept of "youngsters" and grooming them internationally ffor God knows how many years. Big flaws in technique should be idetified locally, groomed locally, and then, when they have proved themselves locally in pressure situations consistently, bring them to international level even if they are 25 and only have another 5 years left in them. We are not building a team which wins the next world cup, we are building a team which wins consistently over a long period of time beginning now. Lastly, there needs to be a method to team selection, a balance, like as you might see, naturally for right-handed bowlers, left handed batsmen are harder to get out. Say, play 2,3 left handed batsman in the team at various positions. Among the openers one should be agressive, the other a grafter, 3rd position goes to someone like Ponting who can play both ways, at 6 someone who is reliabe under pressure, a left-handed bowler to make things difficult for left handed batsmen, and so on (Zaheer Khan tormented Smith, while look at even a bowler like Poloock's record against left-handers; no wonder the saffers even strugle against Australia). Then players that fit those descriptions can enter the team, exactly knowing what their roles are, so everything is not haphazard but gels. Worse than that would be how it is...even worse would be if we fill the team with a bunch of bombers..

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 27, 2007, 20:47 GMT

    NEWS is a four letter word - the information from all four directions East, West, North, South - its convergence and conjugation at a point becomes, NEWS. In other words news is 4 dimensional. But, in Pakistan news is SIX dimensional, because it also comes from the top and the bottom and sometimes from no where, so add another dimension. Also, the news sources in Pakistan are not only numerous, authentic, unofficial, official, reliable, deniable and even when it is official it is contradictory, especially when there are more than one official relaying the news. In other words, there is always a massive confusion as to which one is real, authentic, official, sane, insane and trust worthy?

    Today's Dawn newspaper (Mr. Khalid Khan's article) while quoting his "most deniable resources" wrote: "Afridi faces World Cup snub as selectors ponder four changes." After reading that and while watching Pakistan's pathetic second innings batting live on TV, I wrote my last post in the previous thread re-emphasizing the need of bringing back Shahid Afridi. Now, there is a surprise news on cricinfo and on this blog about the arrival of Afridi and Razzaq in SA along with Imran Nazir!

    Kamran Abbassi, SIR; you are playing safe in this thread by supporting the inclusion of Afridi, Imran Nazir and Razzaq and at the same time you are saying "There is a risk though that these bombers will inflict more damage on their own men than the opposition." You mean to say that IF they fail they will put pressure on the middle order? OR do you mean to say IF they explode and score runs they will inflict more damage to the "Gurus" who were earlier keeping these thoroughbreds at bay?

    Well, there is no such thing as free lunch and there is NO business without a risk. You have to take risk, increase your stakes and improve your winning chances. In ODI's and twenty20 games you cannot say I want to play safe and win the jackpot too. Its like I wanna have my cake and eat it too. With calculated risks and conservative approach you may beat a team or two like Ireland and Zimbabwe but you won't be winning big matches. You cannot upset teams like Australia and South Africa. World Cup history has proved that Pakistan has never defeated India in any of the world cup encounters. So, you have to have such players in your ODI team.

    Regarding the performance of these three players, I do anticipate that they may fail in one or two games but with these players you cannot fail all the time. Besides, for your going in to 'safe mode', you have a solid middle order don't you? But is that a guarantee? The middle order also failed many times and it has happened in SA test matches. But, one thing is for sure whenever these 'bombers' will explode the opposition will be reduced to nothing. WI and NZ has proved this kind of explosive batting time and again they also have three experienced players the rest are rookies. Although the WI team may not look like a safe team to bet on but, they have surprised many in the recent past and so have the Kiwis.

    I would reiterate my point again that Kamran Akmal should open with Shahid Afridi and Imran Nazir at no.3 in the ODI matches. As for the rest of the players, there are too many choices and combinations that could be tried and discussed.

    And I do agree with the wise man of Gotham, Mr. Euceph Ahmad that it is indeed worth a thought to keep the non explosive type of players out of the ODI and twenty20 matches. Also, I couldn't agree more on the appointment of Afridi as a captain of the ODI team. Because, if you exclude the test middle order (YYI) there is no other option left and Afridi is the only choice to lead, the rest are not captain material.

  • Calgary Highlander on January 27, 2007, 20:39 GMT

    Uh-oh. Afridi n Razzaq. That is a terrible idea. They are bot overated players who will perform ever 20-30 matches. There is n place for them on Pakistan. Lots of ppl r complaining about Farhat well Afridi will come hit 1 4 n then be out. Farhat has had O.K form as of late. If you really hate Farhat that much then there is Imran Nazir. I expect him to be a decent opener (Better then Farhat Afridi n Hafeez atleast) Oh and i highly suggest we give the 20-20 and one ODI to Zulqernain Haider. See if he can perfrom. If not then i guess we will have to go to Kamran Akmal, who as of late has been eating a lot of Popcorn.

  • Waseem Malik on January 27, 2007, 20:32 GMT

    Hafeez and Farhat should have been dropped a long time ago - Hafeez is simply not good enough whilst Farhat lacks temperament and shot selection. I would open with Afridi and either Imran Nazir or Shoaib Malik in ODIs - as first 10-15 overs are critical. Razzaq has to come into team as well for all round skills Akmal should also be dropped - he has consistently been poor for about 12-18 months now. Bowlers - I would go with Asif, Shoaib, Gul and combo of Razzaq/Afridi/Malik/Rehman

  • Imran on January 27, 2007, 20:08 GMT

    I think Imran Nazir's performance in the domestic circle merited a comeback. I hope he performs well in the ODIs and also gets that little bit of luck so that he can cement his place in the squad.

  • vaseem khan on January 27, 2007, 20:04 GMT

    Yes Afridi or Akhter should made the captain and see the see change to the team they are both give all time 100 percent and love their game and nation they don't succum easily this is the capability will make pak team unbeatable, the ego of Inzy is sopilinig Akhter & Afridi yes it is fact give up inzy,you have won one but lost three world cup,and Note: Farhat,Hafeez,Faisal are Club level player they can not be made international , how long will it take Farhat is since 2001-2 and now 07,Younis should not be in the team(ODI),Nazir& Afridi should open this is the only mentor for winning otherwise see Ausiis to win the world cup............

  • Taz Pakistani on January 27, 2007, 19:37 GMT

    I am glad to see, Afridi, Razzaq and Nazir back in the side, our current openers should have been dropped after the first test. Atleast with Afridi there is another dimension. Afridi and Nazir to open, younis one down then Yousuf, Inzi then Malik, Akmal then Razzaq, Sami Asif and Kaneria. This would be a team to win the world cup with. Or we could lose Akmal and have Nazir keep with space for another bowler, he kept ok when the keeper went off injured.

  • kabir khan on January 27, 2007, 19:28 GMT

    EUREKA, its shocking to know how finally PCB has got common sense of which players to select and drop? hope PCB keep having their common sense of which paki players to select n drop atleast till d world cup,or u might again see the stupidity of PCB of including players like faisal iqbal/iftekhar rao/md hafeez/imran farhat in d world cup

  • anwar, los angeles on January 27, 2007, 19:19 GMT

    salaam, regardless of the outcome of SA and pakistan ODI series...i would stick with imran nazir and shoaib malik..opners...then younis khan...yousaf..inzi....razzaq...akmal.(zulqarnain)afridi..asif...rana...gul...no if's and but's.... ...this is a winning combination...unless..shoaib is healthy..he can move in for ..rana.....these guys need time to play togather...for some time....and the world cup is our INSHA ALLAH...

  • Robert on January 27, 2007, 17:42 GMT

    Nice to see both Afridi and Razzaq back! Both are great performers on any platform. Both can win you a game (with bat or ball), and not likely to, by themselves, lose you a game either.

  • Euceph Ahmed on January 27, 2007, 17:08 GMT

    This is how I see it: there is something seriously wrong when you have to drop your twenty-something players to go find some motivation to start performing again. Much as we would like to believe otherwise, the truth of the matter is that both Afridi and Razzaq are over the hill. Already.

    The fireworks come when there is spark within. Nazir might perform becuase he still has something to prove. But, for Afridi and Razzaq, the spark will only come now if something truly big happens in their careers. And that something big means a complete shake-up of the one-day team.

    The big three, Inzamam, Yousuf and Younus, should retire from the ODI team. Afridi should be made the captain and given the task of building an unbeatable one-day team. This means a completely new-look one-day team wih a lot of young blood and perhaps a high player turnover. Afridi is undoubtedly leadership material and this is the only way I see him performing now. Otherwise, he is bound to wither and fade away. He cannot perform in the shadow of these giants. He needs to lead a young, high-energy team.

    For Razzaq, unfortunately, there's no solution. He's just going through the motions of earning his bread and butter. Given his nothing personality, I can't see how he can find the excitement in his game again.

  • Omer Admani on January 27, 2007, 17:03 GMT

    Pathetic display of batting. I thought Inzamam would be shrewd enough to have a long-on and long-off back against Graeme Smith, as there is a single their either way. Why not expose the other end rather than giving 5 boundaries or more in the same area. At least after a coouple of boundaries... Do you think Kaneria can pull some magic?

    Kamran Akmal is the biggest mistake that Pakistan ever made. What good are his 50 runs that wouldn't be needed if he weren't wicket keeping. I bet he spills a few tomorrow. He should be ashamed of the way he got out in the first innings anyway... Who cares about the one-day series...

  • musharraf naveed on January 27, 2007, 16:49 GMT

    it´s good to see imran nazir and afridi back, at least we will get rid of below par hafeez and farhat , they have got so many opportunities and have showed what they are capable of. in world cup pak can have exciting batting with imran nazir and afridi as openers and malik and razaq in lower order with solid middle order of y,y inzi. thanks God selectors have realised that hafeez and farhat are just club level players.

  • sohel khan on January 27, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    Pakistan should play 3 day test mach abroad with teams like Australia, SA,NZ and India.

  • Obaidullah Mahmood on January 27, 2007, 16:19 GMT

    GOD! I couldn't have asked for more,I am not too excited about Afridi, but Imran Nazir and Shabbir, finally Pakistan are thinking right for the world cup.

    My batting lineup will be Imrans (Farhat and Nazir) Opening, Followed by Yasir/Yonis one down, Yousuf fourth, Inzi fifth, Razzaq sixth, Kamran Akmal, Shahid/Shoaib Malik and so forth. I will open the bowling with Shabbir and Asif, Akhtar and Razzaq first and second change and instead of Kaniera have either Afridi or Shoaib. Extra bowlers to rest the mainstrikes would be Umar Gul and Sami as well as Kaneria

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  • Obaidullah Mahmood on January 27, 2007, 16:19 GMT

    GOD! I couldn't have asked for more,I am not too excited about Afridi, but Imran Nazir and Shabbir, finally Pakistan are thinking right for the world cup.

    My batting lineup will be Imrans (Farhat and Nazir) Opening, Followed by Yasir/Yonis one down, Yousuf fourth, Inzi fifth, Razzaq sixth, Kamran Akmal, Shahid/Shoaib Malik and so forth. I will open the bowling with Shabbir and Asif, Akhtar and Razzaq first and second change and instead of Kaniera have either Afridi or Shoaib. Extra bowlers to rest the mainstrikes would be Umar Gul and Sami as well as Kaneria

  • sohel khan on January 27, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    Pakistan should play 3 day test mach abroad with teams like Australia, SA,NZ and India.

  • musharraf naveed on January 27, 2007, 16:49 GMT

    it´s good to see imran nazir and afridi back, at least we will get rid of below par hafeez and farhat , they have got so many opportunities and have showed what they are capable of. in world cup pak can have exciting batting with imran nazir and afridi as openers and malik and razaq in lower order with solid middle order of y,y inzi. thanks God selectors have realised that hafeez and farhat are just club level players.

  • Omer Admani on January 27, 2007, 17:03 GMT

    Pathetic display of batting. I thought Inzamam would be shrewd enough to have a long-on and long-off back against Graeme Smith, as there is a single their either way. Why not expose the other end rather than giving 5 boundaries or more in the same area. At least after a coouple of boundaries... Do you think Kaneria can pull some magic?

    Kamran Akmal is the biggest mistake that Pakistan ever made. What good are his 50 runs that wouldn't be needed if he weren't wicket keeping. I bet he spills a few tomorrow. He should be ashamed of the way he got out in the first innings anyway... Who cares about the one-day series...

  • Euceph Ahmed on January 27, 2007, 17:08 GMT

    This is how I see it: there is something seriously wrong when you have to drop your twenty-something players to go find some motivation to start performing again. Much as we would like to believe otherwise, the truth of the matter is that both Afridi and Razzaq are over the hill. Already.

    The fireworks come when there is spark within. Nazir might perform becuase he still has something to prove. But, for Afridi and Razzaq, the spark will only come now if something truly big happens in their careers. And that something big means a complete shake-up of the one-day team.

    The big three, Inzamam, Yousuf and Younus, should retire from the ODI team. Afridi should be made the captain and given the task of building an unbeatable one-day team. This means a completely new-look one-day team wih a lot of young blood and perhaps a high player turnover. Afridi is undoubtedly leadership material and this is the only way I see him performing now. Otherwise, he is bound to wither and fade away. He cannot perform in the shadow of these giants. He needs to lead a young, high-energy team.

    For Razzaq, unfortunately, there's no solution. He's just going through the motions of earning his bread and butter. Given his nothing personality, I can't see how he can find the excitement in his game again.

  • Robert on January 27, 2007, 17:42 GMT

    Nice to see both Afridi and Razzaq back! Both are great performers on any platform. Both can win you a game (with bat or ball), and not likely to, by themselves, lose you a game either.

  • anwar, los angeles on January 27, 2007, 19:19 GMT

    salaam, regardless of the outcome of SA and pakistan ODI series...i would stick with imran nazir and shoaib malik..opners...then younis khan...yousaf..inzi....razzaq...akmal.(zulqarnain)afridi..asif...rana...gul...no if's and but's.... ...this is a winning combination...unless..shoaib is healthy..he can move in for ..rana.....these guys need time to play togather...for some time....and the world cup is our INSHA ALLAH...

  • kabir khan on January 27, 2007, 19:28 GMT

    EUREKA, its shocking to know how finally PCB has got common sense of which players to select and drop? hope PCB keep having their common sense of which paki players to select n drop atleast till d world cup,or u might again see the stupidity of PCB of including players like faisal iqbal/iftekhar rao/md hafeez/imran farhat in d world cup

  • Taz Pakistani on January 27, 2007, 19:37 GMT

    I am glad to see, Afridi, Razzaq and Nazir back in the side, our current openers should have been dropped after the first test. Atleast with Afridi there is another dimension. Afridi and Nazir to open, younis one down then Yousuf, Inzi then Malik, Akmal then Razzaq, Sami Asif and Kaneria. This would be a team to win the world cup with. Or we could lose Akmal and have Nazir keep with space for another bowler, he kept ok when the keeper went off injured.

  • vaseem khan on January 27, 2007, 20:04 GMT

    Yes Afridi or Akhter should made the captain and see the see change to the team they are both give all time 100 percent and love their game and nation they don't succum easily this is the capability will make pak team unbeatable, the ego of Inzy is sopilinig Akhter & Afridi yes it is fact give up inzy,you have won one but lost three world cup,and Note: Farhat,Hafeez,Faisal are Club level player they can not be made international , how long will it take Farhat is since 2001-2 and now 07,Younis should not be in the team(ODI),Nazir& Afridi should open this is the only mentor for winning otherwise see Ausiis to win the world cup............