South Africa January 30, 2007

The Test verdict on Bob and Inzy

It is hard to imagine that the substantial partnership of Bob Woolmer and Inzamam-ul Haq will see another Test match
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It is hard to imagine that the substantial partnership of Bob Woolmer and Inzamam-ul Haq will see another Test match. One or both will certainly be gone before Pakistan rejoin the battle later this year.

Now is the time for a verdict, and it is this: Pakistan have improved steadily under their leadership, from a position of near free-fall Pakistan are battling for second place. The home citadel--overrun too frequently in the past--has been strengthened once more. Indeed, the subcontinent has become a field of success for Pakistan. Great work.

But the litmus test of any Pakistan side is how it fares in Australia, England, and South Africa. In all three arenas Pakistan have failed--althought the failure in South Africa was a narrow one. The biggest cause for concern is the one that Imran Khan loves to trot out and that is the failure of openers.

This is a harsh judgement--and I have great fondness for both of them and many of the failings are not theirs but the system--yet in the eyes of history the bare unmitigated results will stand out and shout their verdict: great job, could have done better.

Having said that, a World Cup win will mean this record is forgotten.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sajjadullah Baig on February 7, 2007, 12:31 GMT

    This test series has clearly shown one thing that Mohammad Yousaf is not as good or as great a batsman as his averages suggest. I personally was looking forward seeing him pile runs against a good team with a decent bowling attack unlike the other teams against whom he scored so heavily last years, but the south african promptly and justly cut Mohammad yousaf back to his size. He gave decent chances while reaching his top score of 87.

  • Shahid Faruqui, Detroit on February 5, 2007, 23:59 GMT

    I think Inzy brought too much religion into game. He has his own group within the team that supports him whole heartedly.......Tablighi Jamaat. Inzy, the best batsman Pakistan ever produced, was never a good (let alone great) captain. He is too laid back and defensive in his approach. He is the one who got dea

    Bob is fine except that we have not seen much from this team. Of course, we should have a foreign coach.....Minadad should have nothing to do with Pakistani team. Let us NOT give another chnace to Miandad

  • David Furrows on February 5, 2007, 21:51 GMT

    The Woolmer / Inzy era gave the team the stability it needed.

    It is true that both are rather conservative, and the result has been just the same as during Australia's conservative Simpson / Border era: the team rose to second or third place on the rankings, but lacked the final element to rise to the top, which is a period of stability in selection combined with attacking captaincy - which is what Mark Taylor brought to Australia.

    People talk of a bad final year, but I see a 2-0 home victory over England, what on the pitch would have been a 2-1 away loss, a 1-0 win over India, a 1-0 win in Sri Lanka (which is a magnificent result), a 2-0 home win over the West Indies and a narrow 2-1 defeat in South Africa. That looks pretty good after what we have been used to in recent years.

    If Pakistan can go back to the Salman Butt / Shoaib Malik opening partnership it will be well placed for future Test success, especially if Yasir Arafat can work on his batting hard enough to improve to be a Test class number six, like Shane Watson.

    Pakistan is only three elements short of success for Test cricket in the period 2007-2011. It needs a settled opening pair, it needs Yasir Hameed to grow into Inzamam's role at number 5, and it needs a genuinely fast bowler to back up the medium pacers Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul.

    Beyond that, only minor refinements are needed: Akmal needs to remember how to catch, Kaneria needs to develop and Asif needs 10 km more pace.

    And, last but not least, the team needs a World Class coach. My preference would be for Steve Rixon, but if he's not willing to work in Pakistan - and it's probably the least attractive location for westerners in the Test world - then I would look at Bennett King. My personal preference, though, is Ray Jennings, because he would make the team as tough a Javed Miandad!

  • mateen on February 5, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    i think the major cause of failure of pakistani team is that team is not selected on the basis of merit. Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi all are mindless and rubbish players who have no sense of cricket. why not cricket board provide chances to new talent on the basis of merit. and yes i agree that all players are not naturally perfect, then what is the job of coach. but yes, the coach also can trained only those players who have already a lot of talent not those who does'nt know about cricket like Faisal Iqbal, shahid afridi, kamran akmal, and some other 'sifarshi' players. for example, Asim kamal is a very good talent then why board consistantly ignore him and preffering other rubbish players on him such as afridi,faisal iqbal etc. who batted at no. 6. ok if he has some defects then why not coach and board pay attention to him and i'm sure there are many 'asim kamals' which are ignored by the board because they have neither 'sifarish' nor 'maal'. Then why the board blame on coach, captain and players while the board itself responsible of Pakistani decline. This time Pakistani team has really lack of good players, here’s my recommended list of Pakistani team and various empty places on different numbers have to be fulfilled,

    1) Shoaib Malik ( Though not the best choice but can improve if to train him, can be useful for both one-days and tests) 2) (require some good wicket keeper batsman) 3) Younis Khan ( only useful for test matches, in one-days a no. 3 technician aggressive batsman requires like Yousuf) 4) Mohammad Yousuf ( the best No. 4 batsman of the world) 5) Inzamam-ul-Haq ( the best No. 5 batsman, but here, also a player of his class atleast in talent requires as his retirement is near) 6) Asim Kamal ( Best no. 6 batsman in tests, and can be useful in one-days at the same position if to train him according to one-day environment and he can play the role of “Micheal Bevan”, the former Australian Crickter. 7) (require a good technician aggressive all-rounder, Abdul Razzaq can also be the choice if he wants to learn something and have to be consistent) 8) (require a good spinner either a leg-spinner or an off-spinner inplace of rubbish Danish Kaneria “4 / 150 specialist”) 9) Shoaib Akhtar ( Good Choice but require some fitness and consistency) 10) Umar Gul / Shabbir Ahmad ( I prefer here Shabbir Ahmad for test and Umar Gul for One-days. Infact Gul is useful for both tests and one-days but in tests he can only be selected if Shoaib Akhtar be unfit. And as Akhtar remain unfit mostly throughout the season, so in place of Shoaib, Gul is the best at no. 9 both for one-days and tests. Shabbir Ahmad is a pure test bowler. 11) Mohammad Asif ( Best for the tests, the only thing he must need to have variation in deliveries in one-days for wicket-taking besides run-saving)

    Now, it’s upon to cricket board to let the new talent come forward without recommendation otherwise, tragic period of Pakistani cricket will continue as it is now.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 5, 2007, 12:09 GMT

    I have read all the above comments and really do agree to some. To me Bob is an excellent coach but his stint with PCB can be best termed as "the right man for the wrong job", because in Pakistan cricket is not just playing the game its also politics and if u want to excell then you must be very strong in both, rather even if yr cricketing ability is a lil bit below the level but yr policical connections and acumanship is sharp then you are bound to reach the top. In this area Bob has always looked wanting and at sea during his tenure as the Coach. The other factor which really didnt help him was his gentlemanly approach for in Pakistan if you are a gentleman the you will only be seen as a POOR GENTLEMAN and nothing else. I feel that the BOB - INZY partnership has only helped Inzamam become much bigger than his shoes, call it positive or negative....I will leave it fr the readers to judge. Cricket in Pakistan how ever has suffered and I for one will not blame Bob for that because he has a very good track record of Coaching and you only have to be too good to have such a record. I have heard many ppl say that Bob faces a communication problem with the players and we tend to think that it is reffered to the lack of his understanding of Urdu or the players understanding English. Well such comments are not directed to the language barriers, instead it is reffered to the language of politics at which Bob is a novice and so he faced communication problems. I am sure many would agree with me.

  • Numaan on February 5, 2007, 1:23 GMT

    I find it very hard to understand why Pakistan presist with players who have been failing for years! AFRIDI and SAMI MUST BE DROPPED AND NEVER SELECTED AGAIN. It's very hard to believe Yasir Arafat and the left handed bowler Samiullah Niazi continue to be ignored. What do pakistan have to lose by playing these players, especially Arafat who has preformed well every time he has played!

  • chudhary on February 4, 2007, 20:33 GMT

    After seeing today's match.

    Younis seems in capable of performing in modern oneday cricket. Get Yousuf to bat at no 3.

    Abdurrazzaq has to be dropped, his bowling is not worldclass any more. With the bat he's not consistent at all.

    Rana might prove to be the biggest failure in our bowling lineup during the worldcup, I don't think we have a backup strategy for that: Hafeez, Malik & Afridi can't be used in the end overs regularly.

    Our graduate assembly has to pass a bill stating "Afridi is not allowed to bat on position 1 - 5 for the worldcup".

    Last but not least get dr nasim out of the dressing room

  • NN on February 4, 2007, 19:41 GMT

    Waqar has to come back as bowling coach

  • S Zaffar on February 4, 2007, 18:50 GMT

    I have been proved right agian. This team has NO future-with players like Younis, Rana Naveed, Sami, & Razzaq. There should be an enquiry into why Younis has failed to deliver-in a crunch match once!Rana Naveed is too crude. He has no movement in the ball. Razzaq is a OK-but he too can be very expensive. There is nothing special about him.Sami-is sama as Rana Naveed.He is failed to improve. The bad performance then affects even the better players. I want Younis out of the team.He is pathetic to watch with that silly grin on his face all the time(when he thinks he is doing well!)

  • A.R.Zaidi on February 4, 2007, 16:37 GMT

    Another big loss today at Centurion by 164 runs! Who told Inzi to put SA in after winning the toss today? Was it Woolmer? I think SA proved to be too good today at Centurion in first ODI proving my contention that this pair is a total failure. I dont see any hope of winning the cup under these two. Good luck Inzi but Barry Richards today said on TV that there seemed no cohesion in Pakistani team. He did mention Shoeb's brawl with Bob and his differences with u. It means u have failed to unite 11 players. For God's sake throw petty politics out of window and play for country. Pakistani can't afford such controversies at this time.

  • Sajjadullah Baig on February 7, 2007, 12:31 GMT

    This test series has clearly shown one thing that Mohammad Yousaf is not as good or as great a batsman as his averages suggest. I personally was looking forward seeing him pile runs against a good team with a decent bowling attack unlike the other teams against whom he scored so heavily last years, but the south african promptly and justly cut Mohammad yousaf back to his size. He gave decent chances while reaching his top score of 87.

  • Shahid Faruqui, Detroit on February 5, 2007, 23:59 GMT

    I think Inzy brought too much religion into game. He has his own group within the team that supports him whole heartedly.......Tablighi Jamaat. Inzy, the best batsman Pakistan ever produced, was never a good (let alone great) captain. He is too laid back and defensive in his approach. He is the one who got dea

    Bob is fine except that we have not seen much from this team. Of course, we should have a foreign coach.....Minadad should have nothing to do with Pakistani team. Let us NOT give another chnace to Miandad

  • David Furrows on February 5, 2007, 21:51 GMT

    The Woolmer / Inzy era gave the team the stability it needed.

    It is true that both are rather conservative, and the result has been just the same as during Australia's conservative Simpson / Border era: the team rose to second or third place on the rankings, but lacked the final element to rise to the top, which is a period of stability in selection combined with attacking captaincy - which is what Mark Taylor brought to Australia.

    People talk of a bad final year, but I see a 2-0 home victory over England, what on the pitch would have been a 2-1 away loss, a 1-0 win over India, a 1-0 win in Sri Lanka (which is a magnificent result), a 2-0 home win over the West Indies and a narrow 2-1 defeat in South Africa. That looks pretty good after what we have been used to in recent years.

    If Pakistan can go back to the Salman Butt / Shoaib Malik opening partnership it will be well placed for future Test success, especially if Yasir Arafat can work on his batting hard enough to improve to be a Test class number six, like Shane Watson.

    Pakistan is only three elements short of success for Test cricket in the period 2007-2011. It needs a settled opening pair, it needs Yasir Hameed to grow into Inzamam's role at number 5, and it needs a genuinely fast bowler to back up the medium pacers Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul.

    Beyond that, only minor refinements are needed: Akmal needs to remember how to catch, Kaneria needs to develop and Asif needs 10 km more pace.

    And, last but not least, the team needs a World Class coach. My preference would be for Steve Rixon, but if he's not willing to work in Pakistan - and it's probably the least attractive location for westerners in the Test world - then I would look at Bennett King. My personal preference, though, is Ray Jennings, because he would make the team as tough a Javed Miandad!

  • mateen on February 5, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    i think the major cause of failure of pakistani team is that team is not selected on the basis of merit. Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Faisal Iqbal, Kamran Akmal, Shahid Afridi all are mindless and rubbish players who have no sense of cricket. why not cricket board provide chances to new talent on the basis of merit. and yes i agree that all players are not naturally perfect, then what is the job of coach. but yes, the coach also can trained only those players who have already a lot of talent not those who does'nt know about cricket like Faisal Iqbal, shahid afridi, kamran akmal, and some other 'sifarshi' players. for example, Asim kamal is a very good talent then why board consistantly ignore him and preffering other rubbish players on him such as afridi,faisal iqbal etc. who batted at no. 6. ok if he has some defects then why not coach and board pay attention to him and i'm sure there are many 'asim kamals' which are ignored by the board because they have neither 'sifarish' nor 'maal'. Then why the board blame on coach, captain and players while the board itself responsible of Pakistani decline. This time Pakistani team has really lack of good players, here’s my recommended list of Pakistani team and various empty places on different numbers have to be fulfilled,

    1) Shoaib Malik ( Though not the best choice but can improve if to train him, can be useful for both one-days and tests) 2) (require some good wicket keeper batsman) 3) Younis Khan ( only useful for test matches, in one-days a no. 3 technician aggressive batsman requires like Yousuf) 4) Mohammad Yousuf ( the best No. 4 batsman of the world) 5) Inzamam-ul-Haq ( the best No. 5 batsman, but here, also a player of his class atleast in talent requires as his retirement is near) 6) Asim Kamal ( Best no. 6 batsman in tests, and can be useful in one-days at the same position if to train him according to one-day environment and he can play the role of “Micheal Bevan”, the former Australian Crickter. 7) (require a good technician aggressive all-rounder, Abdul Razzaq can also be the choice if he wants to learn something and have to be consistent) 8) (require a good spinner either a leg-spinner or an off-spinner inplace of rubbish Danish Kaneria “4 / 150 specialist”) 9) Shoaib Akhtar ( Good Choice but require some fitness and consistency) 10) Umar Gul / Shabbir Ahmad ( I prefer here Shabbir Ahmad for test and Umar Gul for One-days. Infact Gul is useful for both tests and one-days but in tests he can only be selected if Shoaib Akhtar be unfit. And as Akhtar remain unfit mostly throughout the season, so in place of Shoaib, Gul is the best at no. 9 both for one-days and tests. Shabbir Ahmad is a pure test bowler. 11) Mohammad Asif ( Best for the tests, the only thing he must need to have variation in deliveries in one-days for wicket-taking besides run-saving)

    Now, it’s upon to cricket board to let the new talent come forward without recommendation otherwise, tragic period of Pakistani cricket will continue as it is now.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 5, 2007, 12:09 GMT

    I have read all the above comments and really do agree to some. To me Bob is an excellent coach but his stint with PCB can be best termed as "the right man for the wrong job", because in Pakistan cricket is not just playing the game its also politics and if u want to excell then you must be very strong in both, rather even if yr cricketing ability is a lil bit below the level but yr policical connections and acumanship is sharp then you are bound to reach the top. In this area Bob has always looked wanting and at sea during his tenure as the Coach. The other factor which really didnt help him was his gentlemanly approach for in Pakistan if you are a gentleman the you will only be seen as a POOR GENTLEMAN and nothing else. I feel that the BOB - INZY partnership has only helped Inzamam become much bigger than his shoes, call it positive or negative....I will leave it fr the readers to judge. Cricket in Pakistan how ever has suffered and I for one will not blame Bob for that because he has a very good track record of Coaching and you only have to be too good to have such a record. I have heard many ppl say that Bob faces a communication problem with the players and we tend to think that it is reffered to the lack of his understanding of Urdu or the players understanding English. Well such comments are not directed to the language barriers, instead it is reffered to the language of politics at which Bob is a novice and so he faced communication problems. I am sure many would agree with me.

  • Numaan on February 5, 2007, 1:23 GMT

    I find it very hard to understand why Pakistan presist with players who have been failing for years! AFRIDI and SAMI MUST BE DROPPED AND NEVER SELECTED AGAIN. It's very hard to believe Yasir Arafat and the left handed bowler Samiullah Niazi continue to be ignored. What do pakistan have to lose by playing these players, especially Arafat who has preformed well every time he has played!

  • chudhary on February 4, 2007, 20:33 GMT

    After seeing today's match.

    Younis seems in capable of performing in modern oneday cricket. Get Yousuf to bat at no 3.

    Abdurrazzaq has to be dropped, his bowling is not worldclass any more. With the bat he's not consistent at all.

    Rana might prove to be the biggest failure in our bowling lineup during the worldcup, I don't think we have a backup strategy for that: Hafeez, Malik & Afridi can't be used in the end overs regularly.

    Our graduate assembly has to pass a bill stating "Afridi is not allowed to bat on position 1 - 5 for the worldcup".

    Last but not least get dr nasim out of the dressing room

  • NN on February 4, 2007, 19:41 GMT

    Waqar has to come back as bowling coach

  • S Zaffar on February 4, 2007, 18:50 GMT

    I have been proved right agian. This team has NO future-with players like Younis, Rana Naveed, Sami, & Razzaq. There should be an enquiry into why Younis has failed to deliver-in a crunch match once!Rana Naveed is too crude. He has no movement in the ball. Razzaq is a OK-but he too can be very expensive. There is nothing special about him.Sami-is sama as Rana Naveed.He is failed to improve. The bad performance then affects even the better players. I want Younis out of the team.He is pathetic to watch with that silly grin on his face all the time(when he thinks he is doing well!)

  • A.R.Zaidi on February 4, 2007, 16:37 GMT

    Another big loss today at Centurion by 164 runs! Who told Inzi to put SA in after winning the toss today? Was it Woolmer? I think SA proved to be too good today at Centurion in first ODI proving my contention that this pair is a total failure. I dont see any hope of winning the cup under these two. Good luck Inzi but Barry Richards today said on TV that there seemed no cohesion in Pakistani team. He did mention Shoeb's brawl with Bob and his differences with u. It means u have failed to unite 11 players. For God's sake throw petty politics out of window and play for country. Pakistani can't afford such controversies at this time.

  • glacier on February 4, 2007, 16:10 GMT

    Blaming the coach now arnt we?

    Sorry he can't bat for the batsmen and can't bowl for the bowlers.

  • immy786 on February 3, 2007, 15:35 GMT

    Anyone who thinks that bob-inzy combi has NOT been succesful given the situation we found ourselves after the 2003 world cup need their head exaining. This will be more apparent as soon either one or both retire after the next world cup. Does anyone really think younis can build a team around him given the fiasco of "dummy" captain he engineered couple of months ago. lets look at the facts - after 2003 world cup pak were about to be beaten by Bangladesh and it was inzy who saved them. Inzy (zinda-a-bad0 single handedly took pak from 8th ranking to 2nd in the world cup (anyone who disputes needs to examine his record of scoring in Pak wins recently). What has bob done - well he 9with inzy) gave us the stability we had only dreat of since the time of great Khan. Bob brought Pak to the 21st century of training / tactics. You cant blame them for indivdual performances of Kamran Akmal (who cost us the SA series or Sami, Rana etc. We should have won the english (look at the umpiring decisions and bad luck with injuries !!)& SA. I will bet with anyone, who call themselves Pak supporters, unless a mircale happens we will be sorry to see Inzy / Bob go. I already despair of the moment already. We may have Asif, Gul and Co. but a fractious team led by a hot headed captain, and coached by someone who still believes cricket is played by the 19th century methods means only one thing - disaster for us. We wont be fighting for 2nd position but, as in 2003, will be likley to be hovering just above Bangladesh and Zimbawe. Gob bless Inzy / bob.

  • M. Saadat Khan, Toronto Canada on February 2, 2007, 23:00 GMT

    Not one or both, but definitely, both will be gone after the WC. If pak wins WC, England will hire Mr.Woolmer.....if Pak looses, Mr. Woolmer will be having coffe talks with Mr. Hair.

    I give Bob Woolmer 90 out of 100. Inzi.....30 out of 100. no leadership skills in the field for a world cclass game.....nno ..no..no.

  • AzMaj on February 2, 2007, 15:08 GMT

    I personally feel it will be a shame to see the end of the Inzi-Woolmer era. We need to remember the context of how they both arrived together. The team had been through a period of much turmoil, upheaval and instability. Pakistan had just lost against India, during a home series in which Javed Miandad had highlighted stark deficiencies in his coaching and man-management skills. As a Pakistan supporter, I would have to count that series loss to India as one the darkest moments in recent times. The worst thing was the lack of passion and fight by the team, and the disharmony within the team.

    Not too long before that, Pakistan had lost/ vanguished Amir Sohail as chief of selectors, Richard Pybus as coach and Rashid Latif/ Waqar Younis as captain. They had even tried out the likes of Greg Chappel and Boycott as batting coaches on short, but lucrative, contracts. In short, everything was an absolute shambles.

    Initially there were concerns about how Inzi and Bob would communicate and work with each other, and whether Bob could last for a year, let alone to the 2007 World Cup as per his contract. On both counts, they have been successful (unless Bob decides to unexpectedly quit before the WC). I think that Bob and Inzi have worked really well together, and the major reason is that that they have mutual respect for each others skills.

    Although it is disappointing that Pakistan were not able to beat South Africa in the recent series, it’s worth remembering that we have sent better squads to SA without achieving any test victories. My fear is for what is to follow.

    Despite our criticisms of Inzi, he has many strengths and the way he was able to get the team to focus on the game in the absence of Shoaib during the recent test victory was admirable. Also, he has great respect from his team members and, as a leader, he has grown since that series against India in 2004. YK has already realised he has a hard act to follow, and will struggle to get the same respect from his fellow players.

    I hear much, unwarranted, criticism of Woolmer, but the question I really need to ask is, who else do we have available that could work for over 2.5 years with the Pakistani administration? Much of the criticism also revolves around selection, but as Woolmer has always been at pains to highlight, he is not responsible for selection. We need to look at Wasim Bari and his cronies for explanations for these issues.

    The results away from home may not have been as good as we would have liked, but, I personally feel they have left us in a better state than when they arrived together (i.e. after that miserable series loss to India at home). We now have two of the best young fast bowlers in the world (Asif and Gul) and one of the best batsmen in the world (MoYo). On top of that, we need to remember how much YK has grown during this time (he was dropped for that India series), and for a brief time, we had the most promising wicket keeper in world cricket. We have also turned into a difficult team to beat at home and in the sub-continent (with or without Shoaib). Our record at home had been deteriorating alarmingly since Nasser Hussain-led defeat to England in 2001.

    Aside from anything else, we need to be thankful to both for giving us stability during such a turbulent period.

  • Rober on February 2, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    Daaniyal Masum: I am not alleging that the incident took place... I am saying that it damn well did take place.

    If someone does that on the football pitch they get a red card. On a cricket pitch... nothing!? As for Nel, I agree, he is a national disgrace. But like Gibbs was banned for overstepping the line, I whole heartedly belive Kaneria did overstep the line. He too should be punished!

    Again, if you don't belive me, go back to footage of the match! And for the record, I wasn't the only one to pick it up!

  • Shahbaz from Islamabad on February 1, 2007, 22:20 GMT

    Both did and are doing a fine job. As for their failures, Just a glance on the past will show that far more problems existed during the tenures of now super and highly critical coaches cum greats (miandad and company, no disrespect intended).

    PCB must convince Woolmer to stay on, he did a great job given the situation and extremely adverse opposition of former pakistani greats (all of whom have been highly subjective, unreasnoable, personal, and far below their status barring few exceptions which i can't think of :) ).

    A pakistani coach will wreck the team not for technical reasons (though they struggle at that too), but for ironically POLITICAL reasons. Miandad, very vocal and on a stupid anti-woolmer tirade nowadays, has especially poor record in that respect.

    Miandad should grow up.

    Inzi should restrict himself to Test matches after the world cup. For once he should set a precedent by showing others (former greats)when to take an honorable exit.

    Yousaf and not younus should be the next captain. Believe you me, younis is aggresive but too immature and emotional. He doesn't command everyones respect and infighting will erupt in the team. He has what i call "IMRAN KHAN SYNDROME", thinks he's become Imran Khan, overnight.

    Shoaib Akhtar should be banned for his attitude and behaviour with the coach. He too suffers from the above mentioned syndrome. He destroys team spirit and proves more bad than good for the team in the end. Pakistan have played better without him, WI and India tours are perfect examples. I think woolmer had a right to question all of his hullaboo about his being droppped and then not lasting a single day on the tour.

    Woolmer must continue, but i believe by the quite waiting game being played by the new chairman that he's waiting for the rite time to get rid of him, which will be very unfortunate.

  • Dil Shah on February 1, 2007, 21:39 GMT

    What Inzy say & anlalyzes the cause & reasons is 100% right .He is a World class Maestro.One has to liten & pay heed to his comments .Look at his contributions to Pak Cricket .No body has played & contributed the way this legend has done it .He is is the only one in the history of Paksitan uptill now.Waqar,Wasim,Inzy,Imran & Miandad are the legends of Pakistan .We should always love & respect them .What ever they say about Pak or PCB they should put their ears to it . Oh by the way I forgot Yousuf he is great to sorry about not mentiong him. Plz Plz ans Plz 10000 times Plz a humble request ti PCB managment take & drop this Shooda Actor from the team totally . he nothing but a big pain.disrespectful,badtameez,dirty mouth with filthy habits which reflects & causes lot of tension in the dressing room & team.He is totally disgusting character.He has no respect for any body.Plz some body should tell me the email add for PCB . Rest of the team members I love U all .......

  • Faisal on February 1, 2007, 21:18 GMT

    In fairness, Inzi and Bob have done a decent job. Pakistan team was in shambles after the 2003 world cup and to be regarded as one of the potentail threats to Aussies in the upcoming worldcup means a huge amount of improvement.

    Test cricket is a different ball game, unless we improve the wickets at home, our batting woes will continue. In the past I remember the wickets at Sialkot, Peshawar and Gujranwala had pace and bounce. So it is not impossible to make those strips in Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi. It is beyond my comprehension that PCB continue to make flat tracks for domestic and international fixtures.

    Recent PAK-RSA test series... closely fought, well done both teams... congratulations to south Africans.

  • Ibrahim Moiz on February 1, 2007, 20:33 GMT

    Chaps and chap's's, the era of Bob Woolmer and Inzamam has been a good one for Pakistan. Granted there have been overseas failures--but really gentlemen, apart from a few captains Pakistan have always have these problems. What Inzamam and Woolmer have done is laid more stress on teamwork and good fielding (ironic though it may be) than previous captains and coaches.

  • Aftab Qureshi on February 1, 2007, 19:52 GMT

    If I was sitting on a bench of judges reviewing the Inzi-Woolmer performance, and if the majority of my bench colleagues said "great job, could be done better", I would have a dissenting note to go with the majority's verdict.

    Let me explain why. First, I take it with a fistful of salt Kamran's observation that Pakistan is now looking for No. 2 ranking among test teams. We had a chance to close-in on the current No. 2 team (England), if (Alas!) we had beaten South Africa in the final test. That would have raised our score form 112 to 113, compared to England's 114. But losing that match has meant that we have dropped our score to 108. At this score, we are still No. 3 but we have three teams now challenging is for the No. 2 spot--India with 107 points and South Africa and sri Lanka with 102 each. I hope I am proven wrong but India and South Africa seem set to overtake us by September this year. By July, India will have played 5 tests against Bangladesh and, by September, South Africa 2 each against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Pakistan does not have a single test scheduled against the weaker teams in this period. Unless, therefore, the annual update of ranking on August 1 somehow weakens the relative positions of other teams competing for the second spot, Pakistan's No. 2 position is neither sustainable nor a justification to give credit to the Inzi-Woolmer combine. In fact, I would hold them responsible for forfeiting the oval match thereby increasing our rating distance from England.

    Secondly, I think any verdict that ignores important failures of the Inzi-Woolmer team at strategic, team and player management levels would neither be fair nor objective. Kamran has pointed to one failure, i.e. to leave behind a dependable opening pair. I dont think any one is going to question this. But the second failure that I am going to mention may not be obvious to all. And this is the failure to properly exploit one of our biggest strengths--Shoaib Akhtar. I am not one to condone player indiscipline or violation of players' code of conduct or the game's ethics, and I do beilieve that Shoaib Akhtar has been the offender on these counts on many occasions. But I am reasonably convinced that both the captain and the coach have failed to "handle him with care". The game's followers form day one have been given the impression that Woolmer never approved Shoaib bowling at top speed. Inzi's distate for Shoaib's evening activities is also well known. To me, Shoaib Akhtar comes as a package--take it or leave it. And, for the sake of Pakistan cricket, he is too precious a package to be left out (unless for reasons of injury). I believe both the Board and the selectors have been clear about this. But unfortunately, Woolmer and Inzi appear to have continued to be slaves to their pre-conceived notions. And this to the extent of blaming Shoaib for faking injuries.

    So, all in all, my verdict: Thank you Bob, we have had enough of you; thank you Inzi for your contribution to building a near united cricket team but we wish you had been more merit-conscious and tactful in dealing with Shoaib Akhtar.

  • Robert on February 1, 2007, 10:36 GMT

    Dr Kashif Ashraf: A bit harsh... perhaps. But I have heard numerous people refer to football hooligans in my time on the PakSpin blog. What Kaneria did equates to that. As for other players... I don't recall anyone else ever having done what he did. Some don't move... some barge the running batsman in an "attempt" to field the ball... :) in all honesty I think every bowler in world cricket has done that... or at least should. Lets not have anyone giving away easy runs. But again what Kaneria did was well beyond anything I have seen on the cricket pitch, and I have watched much cricket. Can you justify this? Can you not say that he deserves some punishment? If so... then fine. But I can say this for sure - "I don't want players of that sort visiting my shores again! And before anyone accuses me of making a racist remark.. that goes for the aussies, English and Kiwi's too."

    But the end of the day. My point was... going back to the original post... Inzi and Bob. I think they have done a good job. Pakistan are now higher in the rankings than many expected them to ever reach. But I do feel that players of Kaneria's mentality (in this case of actually attempting to cheat) do little to ease them into first place. I was glad to hear that Daryl Hair wouldn't be umpiring again. I do honestly believe he has given the asian sides a hard time - unfairly. Calling them for tampering with the ball can never be justified. But when you see the example set in that last match by Kaneria it makes you wonder. Again, he does little to lift the image of cheating and in doing so will always leave doubt in the mind of others. When you have that you will always be second best.

  • A.R.Zaidi on February 1, 2007, 5:45 GMT

    Good day to everyone. I beg to differ with views expressed by many above. This period in which Inzi and Woolmer were together can really be called full of failures. Losing against England, Australia and South Africa hurts as win against lowly rated West Indies is being over projected. Inzi as a defensive captain does not impress me and i have been vocal always in expressing this. PE test was won but it was a victory which had many hiccups. Till the sixth wicket partnership, we all were smelling defeat. Newlands saw us converting a victry into defeat. Both these gentlemen r bad planners. Did they not know about Pakistan's brittle batting and lameduck bowling attack? Why didn't they take measures to select a team which could win match at Capetown? Inzimam is basically a defensive captain who loves to play for draws but results were 'forced upon' on him. He is not a thinking captain and i have never found Woolmer coming out with good coaching ideas and help for skipper. In last few years since both took over, neither pakistan's batting improved, nor bowling or fielding. Both have always generated controversies. Do u think Pakistan needed Mushtaq Ahmed in South Africa to coach fast bowlers? Inzi loves to see his thinking prevail, he does not like Shoeb so Shoeb had been pushed out of team for more than once. Can we forget Test match against India in 2004 at Rawalpindi when Shoeb refused to bowl? Captain needs to be accomodating for every player, he should respect and get respected. I do'nt support Shoeb for his behaviour but Inzi's behaviour has not been exemplary too. And Woolmer! Ahhhhhhhh he is fighting with players too. What has he to do with controversies? In my view Woolmer has proved to be incompetent in HRM too. I want to bring into the notice of this form that i posted comments thrice at his Blog on Cricinfo but he never posted them there nor replied my questions. It was sheer arrogance! He does not want to listen to healthy criticism. In my view, Pakistan should have a Pakistani coach . This way communication with players will improve too. I have great regards for Woolmer but i m sorry to say that results dont support his performance which has been dismal. Pakistan should think about bringing in new captan too after the World Cup as in my view Inzi should gracefully retire now. I dont have any hope of a win in West Indies with Inzi and Woolmer together. So please look at their performance on merit. In a nutshell both of them have offered a series to South Africa on a golden platter due to poor management of the team and bad planning. Pakistan could have won it 3-0.

  • Jawad Haq on February 1, 2007, 4:01 GMT

    Well as far as I am concerned I do appreciate what Woolmer has done with Pak team. No doubt he is a great coach but he is too defensive in his approach (thats my point of view) . No wonder why Imran Khan dont like his coaching method much. Just read Woolmer last week column. From reading that column I got the feeling as if he really didnt want to see Pakistan winning agaianst South Africa. Or as if he thinks that they are too good for us. Yeah well they are but they are no different when they come to Asia. I dont what I am saying makes sense but I know unlike Indians Pakis are very aggressive and aggresive+emotional game plan works for us. And We are much better than Indian cricket team (I am not being racist here in anyway) . They have a good organised team well run organisation. Huge sums of money . Loads of marketing etc etc but not enough talent. On the other hand even thoug we have talent we always belive in wasting it. Pakis egos are HUGE . Bigger than Mount Everst. Everyone think he is better than the other Paki. Well unless we learn to curb that we aint going nowhere and everyone around us will keep laughing.

  • Hamid on February 1, 2007, 3:39 GMT

    Let's just look at the overseas Test record and decide for yourself: Against Australia in Australia--shameful whitewash, a series every Pakistani would like to forget; India in India--great comeback to level a test series where Pakistan were always behind except for the last test; West Indies in WI-- managed to draw against the lowly rated side; Sri Lanka--- finally won a test series abroad under Inzy-Woolmer ; Against the 3rd string England in England--- memories of Australia; South Africa in SA--- another loss. Now, if this is our improved record, then God help Pakistan.

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 1, 2007, 3:28 GMT

    Wednesday - January 31, 2007 7.25 PM - Pacific Standard Time

    Inzimam's Slump & Series Post Mortem (to be continued):

    Inzimam's form (aggregate runs scored during the year 2006) has shown marked slump in comparison to the previous year (2005).

    In contrast, Mohammad Yousouf rose to the occasion with flying colors and in the process scaled much greater heights and also eclipsed a few standing records including those held by Viv Richards of the West Indies. Perhaps, his humbled approach allowed him to go one better and he proceeded on to score nine test hundreds in a given calendar year - a remarkable feat and a cricketing first. A great job and very well done Yousouf. Continue treading on this path of glory during the forthcoming 'Cricket World Cup' to be held in May, 2007 and beyond.

    It would thus, be appropriate that the next blog here by Kamran Abbasi takes into account this development and addresses the underlying issue affecting Inzimam's performance and the way he has conducted himself most recently - not forgetting that he has also indulged to some extent in the common affliction known as "Conflict of Interest".

    Leading the team as a captain, and judging by his most recent actions and demeanor as he conducted himself on and off the field (with behind the scene maneuvers - Waqar Younous and similar events are a strong point in case), many were given to think and agree that Inzimam crossed over the line and erred grossly by not keeping his priorities straight as captain and got led more by non-cricketing events and considerations.

    As the one day series progresses, all eyes would focus on him and how he leads from the front i.e. contributing both as a senior batsman and leading the team as a captain with a clean chit, so to speak.

    Look out during the coming days for a detailed analysis of events and further posts here!

    Have an enjoyable time reading here.

    Meantime, keep watching the one day matches so as to be able to form your own opinion.

    Thanks for your time!

    Mohsin Malik San Francisco Bay Area

  • Imran Zia on January 31, 2007, 20:58 GMT

    The World Cup must be the actual litmus test for the Bob Inzi partnership and after that only it can be decided whether any one or both would stay at the helm of things. One thing is for sure in the next World Cup Inzimam will not be there for sure, so it would be foolish to continue with him as one day captain after the carnival in the carribian. As far as the performance of the two is concerned it has been a lot better in the longer version of the game and in the one day format the results have been average. The fielding has not improved drasticly but when you select good fielders (Hafeez, Farhat, Sami, Shoiab Malik) and leave out the ordinary ones (Salman Butt, Asim Kamal, Arshad Khan, Danish Kaneria, Shabbir Ahmed) the fielding standard automatically improves. Inzimam is the most defensive captain you would ever see in Pakitani colors and for that reasons Pakistan has been fielding more batsmen than bowlers in the team .As esult has not been able to dominate the oppositions. Matches have been lost by huge margins but the victories against all oppositions have been marginal. They have not won a comprehensive series except against the Windies at home. This proves that there is a lot of room for improvement. The key to success in specific areas has been due to consistancy in policy regarding that area for instance the Middle order and Danish Kaneria. In the area where they have been the least persistant has been the opening slot and in this they have failed to find the right combination. The allrounders are the biggest worry for me in one dayers. We have Shoaib Malik who hardly bowls, And Afridi who had become a reliable bowler but hardly scored. Abdul Razzak has become the the biggist liability in the field, a bowler who hardly bowls his quota, and scores once in ten matches. He has be in the playing eleven in almost all of Pakistan's outings in the past year but he is nowhere to be seen in the rankings of bowlers or batsmen. Do we have a substitute for Abdul Razzak and Kamran "it is not Yasir (Arafat) Time". We do not also have a tested replacement wicket keeper. The past results may support Inzi and Bob but the future seems to be as bleak as ever. Who will be the next coach is a big question and when Inzi leaves there will arise a race to be the next captain. There is also speculaion regarding the Constitution and the setup of the PCB and its selection commitee. A new selection commitee would change the fortunes of several players.One thing is for sure the coming few months will change a lot of things and the we will have lots of things to write about!

  • Dr Kashif Ashraf on January 31, 2007, 19:19 GMT

    Hi there, Robert, I did not see what Kaneria did, but from what you tell me it does seem unsportsmanlike, but not cheating. I think you forget that Nel, Kallis are always standing right in the front of batsmen with legs stretched- when they are attempting a sharp single. You often see pacers randomly obstructing batsmen with their bodies in order to stop them from running or running them out. This is not the first time. But to question his 'mentality'and to call for his expulsion from the team is a bit harsh/unjustified. In the heat of battle, players do all sorts of 'niceties', which most international cricketers are rready for. Just watch the Aussies get on you, in every way possible. Dr K Ashraf from England

  • Asad Ali on January 31, 2007, 19:16 GMT

    Every thing you have mentioned in your article is true. Pakistan have become a much better team then before. This team although not more talented then the ones before has got the discipline and the right attitude. They are a fighting bunch of cricketers. They have showed great character over the past 2.5 years with excellent victories at home and some fighting displays abroad. Overall this team has shown much consistency under the leadership of Inzi and Woolmer, which was hard to find in the Pakistani teams of the past. I can not say that Inzi is the best captain, but he has the right attitude and he is always busy as a captain. He has the respect from his fellow players and juniors. For those who say he was not a good option, think over it once again. He was our only and best bet, and he has delivered. As far as Woolmer is concerned. I think Inzi would not have been the captain that he is nor the team would the team it is without Woolmer. While Inzi is a good commander on the field, it is Woolmer who is at the heart of all the tactics. He has a very stable head and gets through tough situations with great stability, as shown during the ball tampering issue. Even if he dosn't come back, he has put Pakistan cricket in the right direction. For those who say foreign coaches are wrong, just look at the history and learn, did we have any other option? was it a good idea to giving Miandad 92 lakh per year and try for three terms ? I think overall a very good combo in Woolmer and Inzi and this would go a long way in helping Pakistan cricket.

  • Talal on January 31, 2007, 14:25 GMT

    I think these guys have done really well in building a cohesive unit. I think you need to analyse the away series and see what went wrong.

    In England I think we would have won if asif was fit from the start. Him and Gul would have been too much for the likes of bell, pieterson and collingwood. This was the case at the oval until the mini hitler got involved.

    In south africa we would have won, if akhter and gul were fit. This was proved at P.E. where they were decimated for 124.

    I will be the first to admit that aus did outplay us. But pakistan probably did learn a lot on that trip when it comes to appealing.

    I think whatever happens after the world cup is that we will need to unearth another quality batsman and improve the fitness of top quality bolwers. This will ensure pakistan will remain a force in test cricket in the future.

  • Fareed Nasir on January 31, 2007, 14:23 GMT

    I fail to understand why is it a foregone conclusion that one or both will go after the world cup. Inzimam is playing well, atleast better than the likes of Faisal Iqbal and Yasir Hameed. He can perhaps retire from ODIs to allow him to have a longer test career. Bob Woolmer should only be changed if he himself wants to go. I am sure PCB (with all the money they make and the hefty salaries they pay to people dubious if any roles) can give him a better package than ECB. I also think that Imran instead of just criticising from the side lines should play a more practive role in Pakistani cricket. He has to realize he is a much better cricketer than politician. And who knows if he helps pakistan win the world cup people might repay him by voting for him. If Imran is not available then we need to have preferrrably wasim or if not him than Waqar spending a lot of hours with our pace bowlers before world cup. In addition we need a better medical team. As far as past performance of Inzi and Woolmer. I totally agree with your comments they did a lot for pakistani cricket. Consdiering the state of team at the start. They could have done a bit more and in quite a few series it was a case of being almost there. But on the whole well done both I wish you continue for much longer and when you do leave its not abrupt and a smooth slow transition so we can become the best.

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on January 31, 2007, 13:59 GMT

    Come on Mr Abbassi! Do you think the current crop can land us the ultimate one day trophy?

    Perhaps a 10% outside chance. Have you seen how Australia have played recently? Perhaps not given your comments.

  • Mian Gul Muhammed on January 31, 2007, 13:50 GMT

    I salute Inzi and Bob who collectively worked together to unite individual talents and made them as a team. They did a great job regardless about defeats in Aus, Eng and SA. Against SA, pakistani team fought very well and i have not got any greafs about that. A little bit more application from our batsmen and more bowling options would have changed the course of this series very easily. However, i would like to make just three suggestions to PCB. If some one pays a bit of attention on these suggestions, Pakistan will have a forceful cricket team in future.

    1. Dont name either Yousaff or Younis as captains. Get someone who is going to stay in the team for the next 10 to 15 years. By doing so two things can be achieved:firstly, the concept of superstar will vanish away when likes of Younis, Yousaff, Afrdi, Shoaib play under a junior player, secondly player like Shoiab Malik who is going to be around for other 10 years or so will work hard to groom a team that he is going to captain for at least 7 or 8 years. 2. Pakistan have seldom lost matches due to the performance of their bowling. Its mostly our batting that leads to defeats. Change the way pitches are made in our domestic cricket. During the recent champions trophy in India it has been proved that we can have bowler friendly wickets in Sub continent. Pls start producing such wickets for our dometic cricket. 3. In our acadamies organise speacial classes to educate our future crop of players. Access to such acadamies should be free and to any body who is talented and has the potential to serve the country. Please for God's sake think and think about future.

  • Mohammad Ali Dada on January 31, 2007, 13:34 GMT

    Historically, the Pakistan team has only accepted a captain who is very senior as compared to the rest of the team. It did very well under Imran Khan, even under Saleem Malik and it has done well with Inzamam being the senior father figure. Add an independent foreign coach in shape of Bob Woolmer, free from local politics, and we can see why this partnership worked well. I think when Inzy leaves, we will see the same old captaincy tussles of the past arise when, and if, Younis Khan takes over. Not sure if I am looking forward to the post Inzy / Woolmer era.

  • Owais on January 31, 2007, 11:46 GMT

    There is no doubt, Pakistan is a much better outfit today than it was 3 years ago. However, it could have been much better if we had better overall fitness and if the players had good cricketing minds, i.e., mental toughness. But what I fail to understand is why almost 80% of fans against PCB ? and the selection committee ??? I think the only thing they did wrong was listen to people like Imran Khan, Aamir Sohail and experts like Kamran Abbasi too much. They tried to stick with Imran Farhat and Kamran Akmal for too long when there is clear indication of dip in form spread over more than one series. The stance taken by PCB on Shoaib Akhter was indeed validated when Rawalpindi Express derailed immediately after crossing Rohri Junction. He was not match fit, PCB and selectoin committee was saying this all along and they were right. But Imran Khan even now says that he should have been kept in the touring team. Disagreement for the sake of disagreement. Imran, I have been a big fan of yours, but this is really disappointing !

  • Oz expat on January 31, 2007, 10:36 GMT

    I have always had a soft spot for the the Pakistan teams - they remind me of the French rugby Union teams - on their day brilliant to watch and unbeatable. Holding Pakistan back seems to be the admin and politics mix - not a good combo - something which is reminiscent of the Australian soccer scene and why it will never be more than a minor sport in Oz until they adopt a more professional attitude. If you guys ever do get your act together you will be world beaters -I like your competitive natures and the passion - even if a times a bit misdirected.

  • AJ on January 31, 2007, 10:25 GMT

    i believe inzi and bob have done a great job. we have lost two series in the last 2 years, (in uk and SA) but we had injuries throughout these tours. When the bob-inzi combination started out, we had two world class players, (shoaib and inzi) and now we have a really really good core? Here's a fact... Out of MOYO,Younis,inzi,shoaib, gul,asif, kaneria..... whenever 6 out of these 7 have played together pakistan have never lost a test match (excluding the oval test match which we were going to win comfortably). these seven ARE or are going to be truly world class. the only problem for me has been fitness and oh yes the openers. Great job guys, but will they keep going? i hope they will until february 2008 when we take on the aussies at home. oh yes another fact... when this combination started out we were 7th 0r 8th in the test rankings, and now we are third. Who knows where we woulb be if we had 2 openers.

  • Zuhair on January 31, 2007, 10:06 GMT

    This surely is one post that will not result in long conflicts and debates. Yes one has to agree, that both of them have been great servants to the team. Having said that, Pakistan certainly needs both of them to stay for atleast one more year. World cup is not the end of the world after all. Inzi has some cricket left i nhim.

  • Majid Butt on January 31, 2007, 9:55 GMT

    It has yet to be seen that who continues after the world cup. It seems, Bob will not be continuing but nothing can be said about Inzi. Inzi still has one year of cricket left in him if he only plays the test cricket and announces his retirement immediately after world cup from the ODI. Unfortunately, we dont have the culture of "announcing" retirements. We only step back when we are dropped. At least, we should have a single example of announcing graceful retirement after Imran Khan. Indeed, Inzi should give a decent end to his envious ODI career. He should continue with his test career because we dont have any replacement available at present. As far as Bob is concerned, he is not going to continue with Pakistan almost surely. But still we need a foreigner coach as experiments of home coaches have failed in the past and all of the sub continent countries are using the foreigner coaches. There is no shame in it. Indeed ! Bob has done a great job in making this a "team" even without the likes of ever unfit Shoaib Akhter and ever hopeless performer Sami. Well done Inzi and Bob!

  • Mabsoos Ahmad from New Delhi, India on January 31, 2007, 9:46 GMT

    Kamran Sb. To sum up the tenure of Bob & Inzy is too early. Let the WC over, then we should give our verdict.

    Anyway, since you have already given your verdict, we should also sum up their success & failure. To build a world killer team like Aus is not Allauddin Ka Chirag, it is a long term process. There are several areas where improvement is necessary like fielding, good openers, solid middle orders, good wicket keeper, good back up and after world class bowlers. In the sub continent team like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka if we have good bowler then we do not have good batsman, if we have good batsemen then we do not have good bowlers to defend it. If we have good batsmen and good bowlers then we do not have good fileders. If we have all these then we do not have good wicketkeeper. It is a tragedy that our infrastructure is not so good that we are unable to get success in the overseas.

    Bob & Inzy did enjoyed their good relationship and the success is there and it would not be out of place to mention here that some credit goes to PCB for not changing and chopping the coach and captain. It is a good trends in the sub continent now. Imran has been saying for a long that we have to improve our domestic cricket then we could be world beater. There could be a good cricket (individually) but we can not build a good team. Can Ricky Ponting & John Buckanen win matches for Bangladesh?? No then it is the infrastructue which builds a stong team.

    My verdict for Bob & Inzy is that they have definitely build this Pakistani Team but there are some areas where they have been unable to improve, like fielding and opening batsmen. Had they been able to sort out these issues, they could have been a giant. We are human and " to err is human" there have been some errors on their parts too, which I do not want to mention here and you could understand what I mean. In short, their tenure has been fantastic for cricketing reasons.

  • Azfar Shahzad on January 31, 2007, 9:36 GMT

    We are getting into wrong and different directions when we are discussing this topic. First of all performance is always in comparison to something (previous or universal standards). When we are judging Bob & Inzi, their performance with regard to previous team managements is PHENOMINAL. When they took over Pakistan had a bunch of guys who 1. Were defragmented 2. Did not knew how to chase totals 3. People were selcted on their past records and not on their overall performance

    We did not had any team in the history of Pakistan, which contained 3 or more batsman with average of 50+ in test matches and 40+ in one dayers. Now it has.

    Changes donot happen in days or months, they take years. The question that remains is that whether they are on the right track or not, and from the evidence that i see, THEY CERTAINLY ARE.

  • qaisar sheikh-dina(pakistan) on January 31, 2007, 8:46 GMT

    all the previous greats have only objection on bob and inzi that they could not provide openers.i just want to ask may they tell me only one pair except saeed and aamir paksitan cricket ever produced. both have done gr8 job. more special thing they did is the confidence player got under them and the team spirit which we never saw before this. these gr8s have forgotton the captancy battle between javaid and imran. they have forgotton that in wasim era there were 9 captans in playing eleven. may they name only one incident in inzi era. how they forgot the gr8 and admirable attitudes of younis and yousaf last year before champions trophy. both were humble and obedient to inzi. what all happened was between board and team, players were glued with each other. i hate all these gr8s who have nothing else to do except criticism and believe me they do so in furstration of not having a position in sorroundings of team except imran he obviously has a point whenever he says something and he may be wrong(i am defending him just to keep him out of position race as we all know he does not have this desire). believe me people would that our players had been educated enough to absorb the modern technologies the scnario would have ben altogether a different one bcoz bob is a man of technology. but i have one objection that what happened with waqar is not right and mushtaq has no place in officials inzimam should think it to get the grace of graceful retirement.

  • Aqif on January 31, 2007, 8:21 GMT

    I think the Bob Inzi era has been a good one. While there are failures, I think this pair has achieved quite a lot. The Pakistan team works like a team at the moment, rather than banking on one individuals performance (well mostly!). This team thinking, we owe to Bob. I personally think no pakistani coach (other than imran) is mature enough to dodge politics, personal favoritism etc! it will be sad to see both go. All teams win and loose but what bothers me the most is our teams physical fitness. Umar Gul, Shoaib Malik, Shoaib Akhtar, Asif, Inzi..e.one has become so fragile! this def. needs to be addressed.

  • Daaniyal Masum on January 31, 2007, 7:45 GMT

    okay...I must comment, have read two posts by Robert regarding kaneria and the 'alleged' incident with Kallis...can we end this hypocrasy and double standards?? just for a little bit? and I will say just one thing...you think he's so bad..? the day SA can put a leash on that 8 year old guy called Nel...we'll have a chat with Kaneria to see if we can tone it down!!! Howzat??!!!

  • zahid from Dera Ismail Khan on January 31, 2007, 7:31 GMT

    Bob is getting huge salary but his performance is not worthy.Pakistan's victories are due to Inzy.

  • Andrew G on January 31, 2007, 7:28 GMT

    I don't believe Inzy & Bob's last year or so has been very good at all. Pakistan cricket is an enigma, so much talent for so little in the way of results. The 2nd & 3rd Test on paper were 10 times more talented then SA - yet they lost the series - why? Javed from Montreal said coaches don't win matches - to a certain extent is true. Also I don't think a coach can make a player with no talent great in terms of batting & bowling, BUT he should be able to improve the fielding which is below Kenya in standard. From the Wicket Keeper right accross the ball - too many missed opportunities & any good coach should of been pin-pointed Pakistans one deficiancy is fielding. A middle order with Inzy, Mo & Younis is as good as any other, a pace attack with depth (selectors would have a huge headache if all pace bowlers were fully fit), & Kaneria who is a top shelf leggie, also the lower order is capable of lots of runs. The old adage is "catches win matches". In ODI's Australia usually save 20 to 30 runs in the field - that is the equals a solid score from a batsman - Pakistan leak about 30 runs in the field. That comes from no leadership that is coach & captain.

    Also - what coach would leave their w/k out to dry like has happening at the moment. The coach should brought in some experts to help with tips and got him doing drills to improve technique & fitness. Akmal is a good wicket keeper having a lousy time because he has no support structure to help him through.

    Also - when touring Australia - Inzy had a look of defeat - his natural slouch was even more evident.

    Also - (this is not a pro- Daryl Hair statement), but Inzy could of (should of), handled the whole scenario better - he was largely responsible for losing that test.

    Do Pakistan need a foreign coach? - probably not - but they need someone who will whip the boys into shape - it would reduce injuries, misfields & dropped catches. Some of the Australian side are not naturally great fielders - but with heaps of practise they remain the best fielding side in the world. Look at what a good fielding ethic did for Zimbabwe 10 yrs ago - made them very competitive without the abundant talent Pakistan has.

    That all being said - I think Inzy is a very good player - and a bloke that a lot of Aussies think is pretty cool - we relate to that laid back nature. I still remember his feats in the 1991 World Cup he would go balistic in the last 10 overs. I think Pakistan need him to keep playing Tests - but please groom a different captain.

    Oh & Kamran - I like your blogs - they are very thought provoking.

  • haroon (south africa) on January 31, 2007, 7:26 GMT

    All this blaming the coach and the captain, in every sport is just so stupid .............

    Yes they contribute to selecting a balanced or an inbalanced team, maybe they contribute to a positive or a negative frame of mind .........

    its the eleven clowns on the day that make the difference, their ability to stand up and be counted ......... mohamed asif and kaneria wanted to be counted ...... the batsmen younis kahn in one test, then mohamed yousuf in another, and inzi in one ..... together they did not perform.

    Akmal well well, i'd rather have a keeper thats solid behind the stumps and bats at 11, he was the soul cause of many defeats ...... he turned ashwell prince into a superstar, he made south africa seem invincible, no captain can help what he did, other then dropping him. The openers were ordinary, and if inzi , yousuf and younis took more responsibility like kallis , prince and amla to an extent did then pakistan should have won.

    shoaib akhtar shoud play gridiron, attack and then come off and relax, pakistan would do better without him, as good as he is, he just isnt a team player .

    On the issue, bob and inzi have managed under trying conditions to find a fighting spirit thats alive and well in the team, we'll never agree with them fully on matters of selection, or for that matter tactics, but the series in south africa and england was lost due to the players not picking up there hands and taking the responsibility.

    and boy does kamran akmal work on my nerves!!!!!!

    biggest piece of rubbish that any team can have.

    get anyone in there and watch this upcomming pakistani team win

  • Asim on January 31, 2007, 6:41 GMT

    There is really nothing new in another overseas series loss. We all Pakistani Cricket fans have short memories. We watch cricket emotionally and not analytically. I have been watching cricket since 1978. And believe you me there is absolutely no change or slight deviation in our team's performance, captaincy issues, selection blunders, boards' incompetence and players inconsistency as it was 29 years ago.

    We tend to win a series and lose the subsequent two series. Win a test and lose two. Perform well at home and perform poorly overseas. It will hardly take me a minute to count our overseas victories in the last 30 years or so. Our better players (forget the ordinary ones) look World Class in one innings and below average in the other with no exceptions. We look a united and great team for a match or a series at the most and look disgruntled and below par in no time.

    Take Steve Waugh as a case in point. Not a gifted batter, yet a remarkably consistent performer. Commitment, hard work and application is the name of the game. Here a Mr.X, Y or Z performs in a match and becomes a hero to let his team and country down for the next 10 matches. This approach is not going to work.Is anybody listening?

  • Waqar Ali on January 31, 2007, 6:29 GMT

    Imran Farhat is definitely someone I don't want to see opening up there. He is vulnerable with his strokes; no doubt he can rectify his faults and make a difference, but for now, he doesn't seem to get it straight through.

    Hafeez can still do a bit with the ball and being an above average fielder is always a bonus in Pakistan.

  • Nuruddin Lakhani on January 31, 2007, 6:22 GMT

    First of all, I do not think that the Test Series in South Africa was disappointing as far the team as a unit is concerned. Losing 1 - 2 in their own backyard with a handful of injured players on bowler friendly pitches is not bad at all! The game at Cape Town was anybody's game and there is no regrets in losing as the team fought hard and well.

    There are individual disappointments though, and let me run through them. Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Hameed and Mohammad Sami have been given enough oppotunities and I think this is the time to move on. I understand that Mr. Kamran Abbasi has a liking for this particular opening pair, but my personal opinion differs. Frankly, its a waste of time persisting with them, and I guess the move for recalling Imran Nazir might prove a better decision at this time. Rana is not a Test player and so Shahid Nazir. The biggest disappointment to me was Kamran Akmal who has not learnt anything from his mistakes.

    Now, for Inzi . . . I love this guy! I think he has another year of cricket left in him as long as he is on strict diet and exercise plan! Players look up to him, and he has been the source of unity in the team. I think he needs to stay . . . Woolmer has done well, and I hope he stays on as well.

    Lastly, for the records, England series win against Pakistan in 2006 was their first series win in 24 years in their own soil against Pakistan. There is no need to complain, they have all the rights to win . . . sometimes!

  • Najam on January 31, 2007, 6:12 GMT

    I agree with u Kamran, and also strongly agree with on person who talked about politics against inzi and bob. I think they have done a great job even better than Imran Khan, who had the services of greatest Wasim, Waqar, Javed, and great openers Saeed and Aamir. He won alot with all these resources and with these resources you can every time fight. But look at the resources of Inzi. instead of Saeed & Aamir, he has Imran and Hafeez (No match) instead of Great Wasim he has Rana Naeveed (Umar Gul is unfit and Shoaib is biggest unfit) instead of Waqar he has Asif (Same) instead of Saqlain he has Kaneria (even not same) instead of Intelligent Aqib he has Shahid Nazir ( No match). But inzi result as captain is not that bad he is lesser than Imran but not such significant lesser and if you add all these resources then i think inzi result is better than Imran khan. and to make more worse inzi is contin under the pressure of politics which imran was not. Once imran said , i told the player if you can play according to me then play otherwise i will sent you back and then you can not be selected but now he is saying select shoaib akhter and ignore whehter he play for the country or not. wow what a turn. and after inzi can you imagin the captain younus khan ????? I think inzi has done a marvellous job and we should give him our full support, regards and respect so he may retire as a champion.

    Thanks & Regards

  • K FAHAD on January 31, 2007, 6:11 GMT

    HELLO EVERYONE

    I have been reading the posts and i feel that PAKISTAN has been fortunate to have Bob and Inzi at this time in Pakistan Cricket.

    They did not fare well against Australia in Australia but i think comparing their performances against SA and England in their respective countries should not be right as keep in mind as Pakistan never had the oppurtunity to select and field their first eleven courtesy injuries.

    The fighting abalities brought in by these two gentelmen's requires some mention as Pakistan became much more accomplished chashers and were well knit unit.

    For future i think no one from Pakistan Ex players should coach Pakistan as of obvious political reasons. Miandad might have the best brain but it inevitably brings rift in team as has been done in the past. Atleast Inzi and Bob has shown us that Pakistan can still play without Shoaib.

    And lastly it is the system in Pakistan and Pcb that creates problems. We have had a Serving general, a doctor and a diplomat heading the board now i think some butcher or a cobbler deserves his chance as well.

    overall Inzi/Bob experiance was not bad. I wish them Luck and thank them for their fond memories they have left us to cherish

  • Faridoon on January 31, 2007, 6:07 GMT

    I've already posted my comments on the topic. Mr. Abbasi, could you start a thread asking people who they think should be the new coach if Bob leaves after WC2007.

    My vote is for Imran Khan if local, and either Steve Waugh or Dav Whatmore (lets put him out of his misery in Bangladesh!).

  • Faridoon on January 31, 2007, 5:43 GMT

    The time indeed is close for Inzy to hang up his bat. He will remebered as the best batsman Pakistan has produced. However, not the best captain and teacher. The problem with Pakistan's cricketing system is that it appoints players purely on the talent they possess. There is never any grooming or teaching. To be in the national side a player has to be successful at the domestic level and to do that all you need is natural talent and ability.

    In places like Australia it seems that the game of cricket can be taught to any Joe Blo from the street, such is the strength of their training infrastructure.

    Basically, what I'm trying to say is that there are people who can do and there are people who can teach. Inzy is definitely a doer, a brilliant batsman. Inzy, however, is not a teacher.

    Bob, on the other hand is a teahcer. To his credit, the team has improved a lot during his reign. From being on the fringes of being relegated to the bottom rungs of the cricketing heirarchy his coaching has brought us back into contention for the highest honours. A Big Thank you to Bob.

    But the problem is that the Pakistan team has always been there, i.e. always been good contenders. The need of the hour now is to take the team to the next level.

    Dare I suggest Imran Khan and Yunis Khan as the new coach-captain pair. The PCB needs to stand up to Imran Khan, they need to tell him to either take the coach's job or stop interfering. I couldn't agree more with a comment made earlier about too much influence and no accountability whatsoever.

    Someone should convince Imran too take a four-year sabatical from politics, where he's not making much impact anyways (don't tell him!) and take the team to world beating heights. Wouldn't it be great for him to be the only captain of Pakistan to have won the world cup and then coach the team to another world cup.

  • Zohair on January 31, 2007, 5:40 GMT

    The problem with the current situation is that there is no clear future ahead. Younis Khan's popularity has gone down many miles since the India home series. Mohammed Yousuf is the next in line after him but i am afraid that he might go the way of Saeed Anwar. Mohammed Yousuf will be very important and to risk his form with the burden of captaincy will be utter stupidity. Abdul Razzaq could be the next one line but he needs to prove his importance to the team during the World Cup. As for the coaching job, lets not repeat our earlier mistakes and hire Miandad or any other former Pakistani player. The person best suited for this job would be John Wright. He did a wonderful job in India. I think he could do an even better job in Pakistan. John Wright focused a lot on the fitness level of the players in India and thats exactly what Pakistan needs. The Inzi and Bob show is coming to a close and as great a show as it was it has left a lot of people asking some serious questions.

  • Ashfaq on January 31, 2007, 5:28 GMT

    To their credit, they never really had first choice bowling attack (read: willing Shoaib Akhter). Bob helped the on-going conversion process of Team Pakistan from Unpredictables to resilient (e.g. Mohali, tour of West Indies etc). This legacy's biggest drawback was unstable openers and their biggest gift to Pakistan Cricket was emergence of Muhammad Asif.

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on January 31, 2007, 5:24 GMT

    The main areas of improvement have been in the middle order, both Younis and Yousuf have improved tremendously, and Malik was coming on before injuries decimated him. It is due to this improvement that our record chasing in ODI's and batting last is test matches has improved so much.

    The single biggest failure has been player fitness. Whether this can be put down to Bob and Inzi or to the players themselves or the support staff who knows. But since Kamran says, and I agree, the yardstick for success would have been wins in England and SA. Imagine England with Asif, Shoaib, Rana and Malik (fresh from a test century in SL and a century to open the tour against Liecester)fit, and imagine SA with Gul and Akhtar fully fit.

    The inability to find a successful opening pair has been much belaboured, but that is not a Bob/Inzi issue that is a domestic cricket and a selection issue. Its all to easy to say Butt is the panacea but when Butt was being worked over by Pathan and in England, everyone was clamouring for Hafeez and Taufeeq Umer.

    All in all I think individuals have improved. Younis, Yousuf, Asif, Gul and Malik are examples. But I think the team as a whole has only inched forward. But for this, I feel blame lies primarily with the Administrators and selectors. The fitness issue and the drugs issue are the result of poor administration. Also, I believe the Veto powers given to Inzi, especially concerning the selection of back-up players is another failure of the administration. Instead of recyling people like Sami, Farhat, Faisal, Akmal who have been found wanting either technically or mentally the team would have moved further forward if the selectors had been allowed to experiment a bit more.

  • Robert on January 31, 2007, 5:10 GMT

    Dr Kashif Ashraf did you watch the final day's play in Cape Town? Kaneria deliberately stuck out his leg in an attempt to trip the running non-striking batsman (Kallis). Although I don't really expect you to conceed this. But after replaying the incident (several times), 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.

    Good day to you, sir.

  • suleman on January 31, 2007, 5:04 GMT

    Pakistani team today is much more professional than it was three or four years ago, thanks to Woolmer and Inzamam. One feels, hope rightly, that Pakistan was in position to beat South Africa if it had Shohaib Akhatr and Umar Gul fit. The main worry is openers. Hafeez, Farhat, Salman never learn from their mistakes. Problem is technical, they do not get behind the line of the ball and play away from their bodies - a recipe for disaster where the ball swings. Pakistan needs openers with tight defence, people who can graft an inning. Any takers?

  • Omer Admani on January 31, 2007, 3:26 GMT

    Sorry Mr. Abbasi as my post digresses a bit... Khansahab, I just about agree with you, but Gul and Shoaib over Rana any day. Rana is very unreliable: He goes for a boundary, starts balling short, and gets hit everywhere. Another thing: We need a specialist spinner. I have felt in matches of greater moment, a lack of spinner/strike baller during mid-innings is usually our unbecoming. If we hopefully get some wickets with our strike bowlers initially, one or two more wickets might mean we enter the tail. Otherwise, we are giving the batsmen a chance to settle with part-timers. And once an Australian or a South African settles, we might as well be giving the match away, as the momentum shifts and we eventually get out cheaply. Besides, bowling is our strength, not batting. I'd like to remind you of Pak versus Australia in the last world cup as an example (Once a batsman settles during mid-innings, it is likely he will build a good score eventually-- hit big in the last 10 overs). Also, getting Boucher and Pollock against South Africa, or Styris against New Zealand, could have changed the outcome in the recently concluded Champions Trophy. If we smell a kill, we should go for it... Besides, you have to ask this question: Is it worth playing an extra batsman with an average of 20-odd who would replace a strike bowler (Are the extra 10 runs worth the risk of replacing a bowler who could take a few wickets come mid-innings and possibly win the match for us)? I am open to bieng correct in this regard, though... I would be willing to take Afridi or Shoaib Malik out for, let's say, Rehman or Kaneria.

  • Yasir on January 31, 2007, 3:12 GMT

    As pointed out by many Pakistan missed the golden opportunity to beat SA at home. What went wrong can be seen if you pay attention to the detail. Famous saying "Devil is in the detail". Selection problem: Shabir and Shoiab should have been selected. More importantly Pakistan did not carry any all rounder and Tier3 or Tier4 bowlers (Any body can bowl better than Shahid Nazir) were preferred over all all rounders. Azhar Mahmood or Yasir Arfhat could have been mush better Choice with both ball and bat. Secondly batting order was horrible. We should not be playing the worst three batsmen at the top three (or toughest three position) the whole series, this is going to make the matters worst, as we have seen by the results. Asim Kamal at number 6 would have been much better than Yasir Hamid at number 3. We should have realize earlier that 40/50 overs old ball is much easier to handle, considering SA don't have good old bowl bowlers (that's why tail score so much runs). Again a all rounder would have been useful to score runs of the old ball. Lastly our top 3 batsmen need to be more bold like Auses if they want to compete. They should not come too low down the order. Bowling: You cannot compare bowlers who average in early 20s with the ones in 40s. A six grade math student can understand that. There is no comparison between Shabir/Shoiab and Nasir/Sami. The later two are not in the same class. Although I still believe bowling was not the reason we lost. Asif and Kaneria fought like a Lion. If our batsmen had shown the same heart we would have won it. We are not far off, we need to improve batting and batting tactics in overseas conditions to win. Pakistan bowling has always been strong that's why we have won more test overseas that both India and Sirlanka combined. PCB has too much over head, with all the academies, selectors and coaching staff, Pakistan cannot find good openers. We are not making any progress in that area. Some body needs to shake things upside down in that area. We need a radical approach in that department. All the sub-continent teams have same batting problems. It is embarrassing that we cannot play on fast tracks. Our mother lands soft soil is not helping us. There has been talks about creating fast tracks in PAK, but I have not seen details on that. With some much population, global warming, it would be hard to produce fast track. We may see tracks around the world getting slower and damper in bounce if global warming continuous. Global warming can effect cricket and I believe it has done that in last 10 years. Look at the average of bowlers and batsmen around the world. Any way that is a separate topic all together. BOB/INZI has done great service to the PAK CRIC. INZI is the only captain after Imran who really is a captain.

  • RIZWAN on January 30, 2007, 23:48 GMT

    I once again agree with you Mr.Kamran

    it is really annoying to see so many pakistani's against bob where as I think he has done a good job given the different enviroment that he had to cope with.

    i think their biggest problem has been with the injuries to key players(mostly fast bowlers).

    Pakistani teams of the past have always depended on bowlers to win them matches and batting failures are nothing new to pakistan.

    saeed and sohail, the 2 best pakistani openers were not exactly great batsman in test matches, and don't have a great record against good bowlers specially in testing conditions. they were mainly good in ODI's in subcontinent.

    BOB/INZI legacy would have been great if we had fit fast bowlers for the england and southafrica series, because then we would have won them.

  • Adil on January 30, 2007, 23:32 GMT

    Both have done a fairly decent job over the years, but its hard to miss that their combination is on the decline. Inzamam has always been layed back, but recently he seems to have no energy left. The captain and the coach's approach has gone more and more defensive, as if they are playing safe to buy time for the world cup. It may have something to do with the tempramental new PCB boss (where do they find these chairmen characters?), who gave the feeling he was not behind Inzamam when he replaced Shahryar. In any case, this is not the way to play for a win. I just cannot understand why Younis was not playing at 3, Yousuf at 4 and Inzamam at 5? Yasir Hameed after his good innings in the first test could have been promoted to open? It shows that Inzamam was not willing to take the challange head-on and was trying to do damage control at 6. with this approach, my advice to Pakistan fans is not to raise their expectations for the world cup. teams will be fighting hard to win, if you go in thinking you might sneak thru with a win here and there... say good buy to your world cup chances.

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

    First of all, a message to Mr Mawali- Sir, it is heartening to note you mentioning me (Khansahab) a few times. I may not necessarily agree with your strategies, but I do hope to see your comments on this blog frequently as I rather enjoy your style of writing. I address you as “Sir” because you are probably older than me. (I’m at a tender age of 20)………………………………………………

    Here we go again, another overseas defeat for Pakistan. Same news? Another failure by opening batsmen. Same news? Another all round (and dare I say, fully expected) failure from imran farhat. Same news? Another instance of an unfit shoaib akhtar. Same news? Another case of puzzling players' selection i.e. faisal iqbal instead of asim kamal. Same news? A few weeks ago there was a discussion on the fact that Pakistanis never learn from the same mistakes. We can have the same discussion now. Mr Abbasi’s verdict is out- Pakistan could have done better. But I ask thou- Was there ever such a terrifying gap between potential and performance in any team as Pakistan have consistently demonstrated since the exit of Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim & Waqar, Saeed Anwar and co? Someone commented that Malik should be made captain for Tests and Afridi, for ODI’s. Sorry to disappoint, in practice it quite doesn’t happen like that. The debate about the World Cup is spicing up. Do we consider experience over current form ( Razzaq and Afridi vs Fawad Alam/ Shahid Yousuf )? Maturity over immature-yet-occasionally-effective flamboyance (Asim Kamal/ Misbah ul Haq/ Fawad Alam vs Imran Nazir/Imran Farhat)? Method over madness (Regular and “specialist” (yeah right, “specialist”!!) openers like Farhat/ Butt being replaced by non specialist openers like Akmal, Malik, or even someone who can occupy the crease like Asim Kamal……………and I call this “madness” because some individuals assert that Farhat is the best man for the job…..as if Dravid/Lara/Ponting/ Atapattu never opened when their opening pair was brittle, to give the opening batting the strength and vitality it desperately needs??)

    Younis Khan or Mohammad Yousuf, you guys fancy opening in the World Cup? We can still have the strength in the middle order, with players like Inzi, Fawad Alam, Yasir Hameed (failed opener but arguably effective middle order batsman) Shoaib Malik, and then we can also slot in Afridi and Razzaq. How about this lineup- 1) Hafeez/Nazir 2)Mohd Yousuf 3)Younis 4) Inzi 5)Fawad Alam/ Yasir Hameed/Asim Kamal 6) Shoaib Malik 7)Afridi 8)Razzaq 9) Akhtar/Gul 10) Asif 11)Naved I can bet you any money this lineup will do better than a lineup with Farhat/Butt. The current obsession with so called “specialisms” is doing us no good. Pakistan can’t beat Australia by adopting the same opening pair strategies which they have adopted so often. I will end by saying only this- DESPERATE TIMES REQUIRE DESPERATE MEASURES.

  • Waqar on January 30, 2007, 22:54 GMT

    First of all before criticising anybody and Inzimam in particular, I would like to remind that the same people we often criticise are the same people who has made us proud before and given us lots of joy in times. But there is always room for critics, but it should only be on the issue and not the person. (I am referring to the remark to Kaneria)

    There has been good progress as well as some things to forget. For me this duo of Captain and Coach will always be the duo who did good but indeed like Kamran mentioned not the best. They were not able to handle difficult characters. They rather remove them. Creating passion, some fire in some players is for me also a management task. The last point in this issue is one for the future. I would always prefer an allrounder or bowler as a captain as they are more aware of all facets of cricket in comparison to a batsman who'll allways be an individualist. A bowler has always a natural mindset for fielding changes and variations in bowling to keep the pressure on.

    As for the World Cup, I have a strong feeling Inzimam will have a golden end of his carreer. We have a good line up and naturally there will be more motivation for this event. And I would like to refer to Italy who have won the World Cup football after a year full of controversies. Controversies unite, always. Pakistan will once again spark, I am sure.

  • mohammed imran yousuf on January 30, 2007, 22:03 GMT

    slam bro

    i think if imran nazir plays good in the one day then should also be given the chance to play in the test team. inzy got hit tactis totaly wrong is s africa him comeing in at number six was a shocker your best and most expernced batsmen walkes in at no 6 that was stupid, hamid at 3 was also wrong 1 thing that i never understnd with pak is the if a batsmen is playing good in one postion then why do they change their position it only makes sence to keep them there i mean let's go back 2 the india tour were pak lost the one days 4-1 and malik was at no 3 he finshed the series top run soccer yet cum the next series he found him selve at no 6 and younis was moved in to that position because of this malik lost him form becasue he was coming in too late and only having a handful overs too play and younis starts to prefrom at 3 he moved to 4 and the position that yousuf made his later year after some amazing prefomes he had too move to 5 and inzi found him selve at 6 wat stupiod tactis are these i mean talk about disturbing your batting line up.

    also i think that salman butt should be brought back he's a lot better then farhat and hafees also butt has put in some good prefromes this season so i think he should be our opner with inran nazir with afridi cuming down the order.

  • Dr Kashif Ashraf on January 30, 2007, 19:33 GMT

    Hi Kamran, You have summed it up beautifully- good at home and all at sea in England, Australia and SA. This is Inzi and Woolmer's failing. The problems were wrong team selection based on Inzi's moulvism and harbouring dislike for more independent, headstrong individuals who he thought were a threat to his omnipotence. But he forgets that it is players like Pietersen today or Viv Richards yesterday who though fiercely independent and outspoken win you big games- because of their tremendous self belief in tense situations. The beauty of cricket is that it is an individual and team game at the same time and you need different, diverse characters to make a good team. Once again what it came down to at the end was Inzi eventually got into the set pattern of previous Paki captains influencing team selection (assistant coach selection)- which is all well if you win tests on foreign soil! I hope future teams are selected on merit and performance and not on religious leanings and "obediancy to the skipper"! Inzi's personal batting heroics deserve rich praise, but his poor fitness of late and will to bat lower and lower in the batting order thus exposing the amateuish youngsters at the top finally resulted in a big failing at Capetown. Finally, a reply to Robert's comments earlier- Kaneria is a great selfless bowler, who does not deserve the word cheat. Dr K Ashraf from England.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on January 30, 2007, 19:31 GMT

    Kamran Abbassi: The bottom like is what you have said in this thread, "a World Cup win will mean this record is forgotten." So, this is not a very interesting thread to debate on or to give any views, so lets leave it here till the world cup.

    But, there is one very obvious point that people should note and that is my 'personal view' and i.e.: "Coaches DON'T win Matches." It is the players who do, and certainly the Captain, who is a man on the spot, can play a big role right there on the spot, BUT certainly not the coaches.

    I am very much against this theory of "foreign coaches." So far no one has answered to my earlier question: "Whether Australia ever had a foreign coach for their cricket team?" As far as I know they never had any (am I right?) and its not difficult to answer a simple question: Which is the best cricket team in the world today? When West Indies were dominating the world cricket, did they have a foreign coach?

    As regards, Bob Woolmer, on the second test win against SA recently, he took the credit away from the players and crowned himself as a HERO. Here is an excerpt from his recent article he wrote.

    quote: 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. unquote.

    There is too much arrogance in Bob Woolmer's statement. Shouldn't he thought of waiting till the end of the series to make a meaningful statement? He got carried away and why not? After all he was in the BAR and had a couple of drinks and exposed his triviality and shallowness.

    Suggestion to Mr. Mawali: "From now onwards you should change your bottom line, from AMF to BMF."

  • calgary highlander on January 30, 2007, 19:20 GMT

    Good riddance. After the WC Pakistan cricket can fesh, ziplock fresh start. Hopefully someone decent takes over the coaching position ( plz don't let it be Imran, i don't want Sami as a norm in Pak cricket) If we win the world cup then i will eat my words. Fortunatley we ain't winnin' it. We are toooooooo disorganized. Tantrums, Arguments, n' bringing players up cuz they did well in the "past."

  • Kashif Malik on January 30, 2007, 19:06 GMT

    The pak team has improved remarkably since the Australian tour.

    Remember before the England tour Pakistan was ranked no' 2 in the ICC rankings and since has been ranked at no' 3 reguarly in both Test & IDI-credit must go to both Inzi & Bob.

    I am certain that the absence of key fast bowlers (and the total disregard of Azar mahmood-genuine test all-rounder)-were the main reasons for the losses in England & SA. Some will argue injuries are part and parcel of cricket and teams need to cope. Well, the Aussies have always struggled without Warne and Mcgarth and England are currently struggling without their star players.

    I have a feeling Inzi will continue playing Test cricket only after the WC & Bob may also continue as recent media reports suggest he may not be the right option for ECB.

    Finally Salman Butt is the answer to one half of the opening problem.

  • Mike Rosario on January 30, 2007, 18:17 GMT

    Inzi and Bob some good and some hype. In essence Pakistan batting has not improved at all . The same age old opener issue or middle order collapse. Such is the nature of our culture ..extremes , emotions and unpredictable. Bob I am sure is a great coach but Pakistan are no better than they were three years ago. Inzamam is on the decline and has not changed his diet habits for his own downfall ( paratthas ). Here is one problem which nobody points to with Inzi and Bob. Any street smart kid like Shoaib Malik or Kamran Akaml can take them for ride. Any straight talking guy like Razzaq or Asim Kamal can fall out of favor. The last three years of cricket shows it. A good for nothing Shoaib Malik has had more chances than any other ..forget Yasir Hameed or Asim Kamal. Kamran Akmal ..perhaps the worst wicket keeper Pakistan has had in test cricket..still gets his favors . Bowling is not the concern for Pakistan it is consistent batting ..which has been a perrenial issue dating back to the seventies. Pls dump the left handed retards as openers ..they are retards. Inzi and Bob thanks for the good and the bad. So Long.

  • Kiran Khan in Toronto on January 30, 2007, 18:03 GMT

    I think both did well. Inzy has led from the front with his batting and the younger players respect him and listen to him. Bob took over after the Miandad-Coached team got thrashed by India in Pakistan in the ODI and Test series in 2004 and there were frictions between the players and Miandad, groupings and infightings. Bob and Inzy managed to instill some harmony in the team, talk of infighting was over, and the only controveries involving the team itself always had to do with one person - Shoaib Akhtar. Basically, that just shows the poor character of Akhtar, because everyone else got along very well with Bob and Inzy. I think both expected more from their time together, but you cant always get what you want in life. Bob and Inzy gave us Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul - and improved the careers of Younis Khan, Mohd Yousef and Danish Kaneria. I think both should be proud of their accomplishments. Personally, Id love to have Bob stay with us but if he wants to coach England, then the best of luck to him and Im sure he will do a great job with them. As for us, if Bob leaves...we MUST hire another FOREIGN coach - we CANNOT go back to the dark days of Pakistani coaches like Miandad etc who are and will always remain unqualified as professional coaches and are disliked by the players themselves because they always play politics with the team and run their own agendas. Therefore, if Bob leaves (and I hope he doesent) then we should find another FOREIGN coach and give him a 4 year contract. As for Inzy, I think he should still Captain the Test side after the World cup, and retire from ODI cricket where Younis Khan should be the Captain, and Salman Butt his Vice Captain. Salman is the best choice as Skipper after Younis so we should begin grooming him as soon as we can. As for Inzy, he can continue to play Test cricket as Captain for another 2 years, just like Brian Lara. There is no batsman in Pakistan who can replace Inzy so we need him to play as long as he can, and he should leave on HIS terms.

  • Ashaq on January 30, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    I think that both Woolmer and Inzi have done a fantastic job. Given the incompetence of the p.c.b.

    It is also the first time in years since we have had a degree of team unity.

    I think Bob Woolmer will make a fantastic England coach. The main obstacle I believe to Woolmers coaching has been the language barrier. A coach needs the ability to effectively communicate ideas, strategy and be able to motivate players. So I believe under the circumstances Uncle Bob has done a fantastic job.

    As for Inzi he took over after Rashad Latif resigned. The team at the time was fractious and disunited. So inzi has also done well in uniting the team getting them to work as a cohesive unit.Off course Shoaib Akhtar being the exception. Even Imran Khan would have had problems with Shoaib Akhtar.

    As for the P.c.b. over the last decade we have had the General, the Diplomat, and know the Doctor in charge. I think the Doctor Naseem Ashraf has proven himself to be the most incompetent. We need to get rid of the Doctor before he destroys Pakistan cricket completely.

    As for the future there seems to be no viable contender for the captaincy. I was a great supporter of Younis Khan until his tantrum before the icc tournament, and his subsequent U-Turn. His performance as Captain in the Champions trophy proved that he was just a glorified cheerleader he was completely devoid of strategy.

    As for the Coach the only World Class coaches in Pakistan are Miandad and MUdassar Nazar. Neither seems capable of managing the Pak team .Both have been sacked previously. They also seem to bring a lot off baggage with them.

    I think a foreign coach may be the only viable alternative under the circumstances. In that case we would need someone used to coaching in the sub-continenet and the boardroom politics that involves. I believe the only Foreign coach who fits the criteria is Dav Whatmore.

  • Euceph Ahmed on January 30, 2007, 17:09 GMT

    I heard Nusrat Fateh Ali in an interview once where he likened himself to the fabric made in Faisalabad - people are disinterested if it says "made in Faisalabad", but when the same fabric goes to England and stamped "made in Manchester, England" people are willing to do anything to get it. He laughed and wondered if he would've forever been an ordinary qawwal had he not paired up with the goras. So, Kamran, in a way you are right. The real test of a sub-continental team is to beat the goras, though I wonder why that should be the case. Inner satisfaction of the colonialized??? You tell me...

    Kamran Hashmi, above, makes some very valid points. It seems to me that Imran Khan has the best of both worlds these days. He enjoys colossal clout with the team without any real accounability. Sometimes it appears that he has first talked to Inzamam and Woolmer and then goes out and issues press statements to prove how correct his thinking has been. Instead of backing up Inzamam and trying to understand his mindset, Imran has done more to put a guilt-trip on Inzamam by openly backing Shoaib Akhtar. He has also confused Inzi by pressuring him to select players who Inzi felt didn't fit in his scheme of things. Imran Khan should remember that in his hay-day it was more like "my way or the highway" when it came to team selection. Inzi is not Imran, and Imran should know that every captain has his own way of working which must be understood and backed by the administration.

    Kamran Abbasi, unfortunately, your parameter of success is a check mark in the win column, and from that vantage point you issue your verdict. For me, on the other hand, a hard-fought game is all I need. Given the resources, I believe the team fought till the very end of the third test and I applaud them for that.

    I have said it often enough and I'll say it again, the focus of the management, fans, and the media has got to be shifted from match-winning to team-building. That is when things will change for the better. The players will perform accordingly. I don't care if we win the World Cup or not. I need to see a true fighting spirit in our players till the very last ball is bowled. Winning or losing is simply part of the game.

  • Mawali on January 30, 2007, 16:44 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, the report card on Bob & Inzi is quite indicative of their record. Under their leadership Pakistan has become a better backyard bully. The team has been able to portray and maintain the image of paper tigers ready to pounce on anyone given the opportunity. We have people posting on this blog ready to order the champagne for the World Cup festivities. But, alas the reality is quite different and a direct reflection of their record.

    Let’s start with Inzi, I had reconciled with the fact that I am calling off the cavalry on Inzi, the rationale, being that he has (hopefully) a very short stint left with the team. Now, as a person and as an individual I have nothing but, the greatest admiration for Inzi, but, I never believed that he was ever a good Capitaan let alone a great one. Inzi has never lead from the front, never ever played by setting an example for the young and the reckless, never cultivated players or never properly handled the tough cases i.e., Shoaib Akhtar. Now, I am strictly speaking of a record away from Pakistan; on dead South Asian pitches, he and Joe blow all lead front and center. It is a fact that Inzi as a player in his younger days was a run scoring machine regardless of the venue. The man has a sound batting technique and I believe there are few in the world that play the late shot better than him. Now, we find Inzi lamenting the batting failure of his gang that can't hit straight. Wouldn’t it be incumbent upon a batting genius/Capitaan to take some of the younger yahoo's under his tutelage and work closely on their batting technique? Not only that all senior batsmen should actively work with the younger crop to advice and correct batting flaws, and flaws they are abundant. Imran farhat the great dope for Pakistan, may soon be announcing the grand opening of his Nihari (the witch's brew) shop in downtown wherever. That's potential talent going to waste; I won’t even speak of the travesty of justice handed out to Asim Kamal for reasons unknown to me.

    Now, for Inzi’s sake I was hoping that his last major tour would be one that brings him the glory and the satisfaction of going out with a bang, before his schedule is filled with Bingo nights. I am still hoping that he and the Bowyz will muster every last ounce of their talent and tenacity and win him first the remaining ODI’s, however, Inzi HIMSELF has to take the lead and score on every opportunity he gets. Secondly at least reaching the world cup finals. Smart money for the World cup has to be with the Amazing Aussies.

    As for Uncle Bob (credit Javed Khan), the man is a shrewd operator. He should have been a diplomat who would have put Machiavelli to shame. Now, the word on Uncle Bob is that he is basically a strategist and not an X’s and O’s guy. That is exactly what Pakistan at this stage does not need. Pakistan needs a hands-on, in the face, guy teaching technique someone, like the great Javed Miandad. Perhaps the duo of Miandad as the Batting coach and Uncle Bob as the Coach might have been a lethal combination. Its time to let Bob go, and never ask ourselves the question; But what about Bob? AMF!

  • Amyn Habib on January 30, 2007, 16:21 GMT

    I think that Bob and Inzi have made some progress in the right direction. Compare the performance of the team in the recently concluded SA test series to the previous SA tour. The team did much better (even though they lost)—although the quality of the opposition may have dropped too. However, as you point out, they have failed to win against the best teams—and even against some mediocre teams. The ICC rankings are a bit misleading. Pakistan remains a 2nd tier team. It is probably not fair to blame only Inzi and Bob for this. You also have to consider the culture of the PCB, the high brains (Wasim Bari) in the selection committee with the repeated recycling of failed players over and over again, and the structure of domestic cricket. Why is it that Pakistan has never been able to produce a truly world champion team?

  • nasir on January 30, 2007, 14:55 GMT

    I think that Bob and Inzi's combination has been a positive one for Pakistan. I think though we are a long way off from being number one they have made Pakistan a better side.

    The main changes have been as follows: 1. The team was more united as a unit than at any time before that.

    2. Pakistan fought harder in tests and one-dayers. I can't remember any mathc where the team just showed up to go through the motions.

    3. Much better chasers with a good methodology coming about the batters especially in the middle order.

    4. Emergence of Younis Khan and MOYO as truly world class batsmen.

    5. Pakistan is almost unbeatable at home.

    Yes the bolwing leaves a lot to be desired, the opening has been unsteady at best and the fielding has been pathetic as always. There are some things that will never change.

    It will be sad is Bob is removed nad Inzi quits or is dumped as well. Anything is possible in Pakistani cricket. I think Pakistan are ehading for tough times and a lot of uncertainty. If the board does not play its cards right we could end up like to West Indies.

    There are two things i would not like to happen:

    1. Younis Khan should not be captain as his actions in October showed his mental weakness.

    2. Pakistan should not have local coach since it will just lead to more politics and fragmenting at the team level. Players such as Akram, Waqar and Miandad should never be made coaches expecially the latter. How many chances after all do you need to make things happen? Akram and Waqar have been too controversial and have led to several infighting incidents to be made coaches.

  • Mohd Saleem on January 30, 2007, 14:31 GMT

    Kamran, I do agree with you to some extent.

    I think the biggest failure of Bob-Inzi era will be that of not building a future team once they both leave the scene. The duo has failed: 1. To sort out opening problem. 2. The fitness level of the players. 6. The inconsistency factor. 7. The fielding. The Pak fielding is as sloppy/substandard today as it was when Bob took over. 8. Above all a future Captain is not groomed. It is mind boggling that Younis khan will be made the captain once Inzi retires after WC. Believe me Younis will not qualify even for Bangladesh Oneday team. It is absurd really.

    Further, and ironically, they had better talent at their diposal (Asim Kamal, Salman Butt, Samiulla Niazi, Yasser Arafat to name a few....) they have tried, tested (and failed) substandard players (like Farhat, Hafeez, Faisal Iqbal, Sami..) for too long.

    few may argue that Inzi has brought stability to the team, that's fine, but I feel that he favored some players who dont deserve to be in team rather than selecting on merit.

    To conclude, my suggestion is Pakistan should have different teams for Test & Onedayers. About 60% percent of the current players do not belong to Test team and same goes for the Oneday team as well there are certain players who do not fit at all into Oneday team.

  • Robert on January 30, 2007, 13:19 GMT

    One of the few points I will agree on. Both openers failed no more than any other batsman from either side in this series. None of those pitches were anything but a bowlers paradise... Newlands should be dumped as a test ground.

    As for Bob... I hope he moves onto the promised land of coaching England. Lets face it, no matter what happens he has to do a better job than Fletcher.

    Inzi... his time has come. The promised land of Test Series wins comes down to being able to play 5 days... yes FIVE. Inzi struggles to play a full test match. His fitness is something I have mentioned before. But how can a captain lead his team if he isn't on the field?

    But that no1 place will never be reached if players have the mentality of Kaneria. The man is a cheat and should be thrown out of the game. Lets not forget the pending drug investigaions into the 2 fast bowlers.

    As for the world cup. I would like to see someone other than Ricky Ponting lift it... but do feel this is wishful thinking.

  • Amer Hussain on January 30, 2007, 12:44 GMT

    I agree with your verdict. Even though I love them both and they have done a great job, more was expected. The England tour 2006 was disappointing and unfortunate. The Pak system is flawed, but then the only one which isn't is Australia's. Look at England and they have problems, the Windies are always in-fighting, South Africa have quota problems, New Zealand struggle due to poor domestic cricket, and don't get me started on India.

    As ever, Pakistan cricket will go on to different pastures with the retirement of Bob and Inzi, but the lessons the next team need to take on board are evident for all to see, I just hope they are heeded and learned.

    Imran Khan as the next coach anyone, with Shahid Afridi as ODI captain, and Shoaib Malik as Test captain?

  • mohammed on January 30, 2007, 12:24 GMT

    A golden chance missed.I am more convinced then ever that we will never be the best team in the world. Most of our players lack the cricketing intelligence to sum up tight situations. On saturday it was time to graft and work hard to see of the new ball, instead they looked like they had a train to catch. As kallis and Prince showed hard work does pay, and the pitch was certainly no mine field. Of course our board does not help. Most people working there see it as a cash cow for a comfortable life. Domestic cricket is a disorganised, played on very poor wickets. saqlain once told that pakistani wickets are nothing wickets, they have no pace, no spin and are also not good for batting. Maybe the board can spend some money on improving wickets, but of course they won't. All of this leads me to the depressing conclusion that we will always be also rans.

  • Kamran Hashmi on January 30, 2007, 12:07 GMT

    Yes Mr. Kamran ! We wont be seeing this combination again. Let me say a few words of gratitude of these two. Inzi came in as captain at a real difficult time and manages to stabilize the storm with his soothing leadership. Then we got Bob and they both did alot in making this team a tough unit. The problem with us Pakis is the internal politics we always had, and it was this pair who remain focussed under indirect criticism. I wish Bob to continue after this contract but I dont think it will happen. Under their leadership we stopped fearing big targets. Under their leadership we began to develop as a unit. But whats ahead. We have Imran Khan who has always criticized Woolmer badly. I think this Pakistan team would have been even stronger if we had let Bob manage independently instead of forced advice from Imran Khan; Yes I am pointing towards Younis Khan and Sami; We had almost found a great One down batsman in Shoaib Malik in ODIs but after replacing him with Younis; that too not as successful; we had spoilt it. I think we would be thanking Bob now for giving us such a great gift. Secondly there were many other great prospects had we not recalled Muhammad Sami on special advice from the great Khan. I think we should make Imran Khan a more responsible official of PCB so that he can continue his influence on Pak team more officially.

    I hope we keep up the good work and make progress in the future but I dont want Younis Khan to lead. After his funny behaviour last year, more people must have developed the same thought about him.

    Lets hope for the best.

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  • Kamran Hashmi on January 30, 2007, 12:07 GMT

    Yes Mr. Kamran ! We wont be seeing this combination again. Let me say a few words of gratitude of these two. Inzi came in as captain at a real difficult time and manages to stabilize the storm with his soothing leadership. Then we got Bob and they both did alot in making this team a tough unit. The problem with us Pakis is the internal politics we always had, and it was this pair who remain focussed under indirect criticism. I wish Bob to continue after this contract but I dont think it will happen. Under their leadership we stopped fearing big targets. Under their leadership we began to develop as a unit. But whats ahead. We have Imran Khan who has always criticized Woolmer badly. I think this Pakistan team would have been even stronger if we had let Bob manage independently instead of forced advice from Imran Khan; Yes I am pointing towards Younis Khan and Sami; We had almost found a great One down batsman in Shoaib Malik in ODIs but after replacing him with Younis; that too not as successful; we had spoilt it. I think we would be thanking Bob now for giving us such a great gift. Secondly there were many other great prospects had we not recalled Muhammad Sami on special advice from the great Khan. I think we should make Imran Khan a more responsible official of PCB so that he can continue his influence on Pak team more officially.

    I hope we keep up the good work and make progress in the future but I dont want Younis Khan to lead. After his funny behaviour last year, more people must have developed the same thought about him.

    Lets hope for the best.

  • mohammed on January 30, 2007, 12:24 GMT

    A golden chance missed.I am more convinced then ever that we will never be the best team in the world. Most of our players lack the cricketing intelligence to sum up tight situations. On saturday it was time to graft and work hard to see of the new ball, instead they looked like they had a train to catch. As kallis and Prince showed hard work does pay, and the pitch was certainly no mine field. Of course our board does not help. Most people working there see it as a cash cow for a comfortable life. Domestic cricket is a disorganised, played on very poor wickets. saqlain once told that pakistani wickets are nothing wickets, they have no pace, no spin and are also not good for batting. Maybe the board can spend some money on improving wickets, but of course they won't. All of this leads me to the depressing conclusion that we will always be also rans.

  • Amer Hussain on January 30, 2007, 12:44 GMT

    I agree with your verdict. Even though I love them both and they have done a great job, more was expected. The England tour 2006 was disappointing and unfortunate. The Pak system is flawed, but then the only one which isn't is Australia's. Look at England and they have problems, the Windies are always in-fighting, South Africa have quota problems, New Zealand struggle due to poor domestic cricket, and don't get me started on India.

    As ever, Pakistan cricket will go on to different pastures with the retirement of Bob and Inzi, but the lessons the next team need to take on board are evident for all to see, I just hope they are heeded and learned.

    Imran Khan as the next coach anyone, with Shahid Afridi as ODI captain, and Shoaib Malik as Test captain?

  • Robert on January 30, 2007, 13:19 GMT

    One of the few points I will agree on. Both openers failed no more than any other batsman from either side in this series. None of those pitches were anything but a bowlers paradise... Newlands should be dumped as a test ground.

    As for Bob... I hope he moves onto the promised land of coaching England. Lets face it, no matter what happens he has to do a better job than Fletcher.

    Inzi... his time has come. The promised land of Test Series wins comes down to being able to play 5 days... yes FIVE. Inzi struggles to play a full test match. His fitness is something I have mentioned before. But how can a captain lead his team if he isn't on the field?

    But that no1 place will never be reached if players have the mentality of Kaneria. The man is a cheat and should be thrown out of the game. Lets not forget the pending drug investigaions into the 2 fast bowlers.

    As for the world cup. I would like to see someone other than Ricky Ponting lift it... but do feel this is wishful thinking.

  • Mohd Saleem on January 30, 2007, 14:31 GMT

    Kamran, I do agree with you to some extent.

    I think the biggest failure of Bob-Inzi era will be that of not building a future team once they both leave the scene. The duo has failed: 1. To sort out opening problem. 2. The fitness level of the players. 6. The inconsistency factor. 7. The fielding. The Pak fielding is as sloppy/substandard today as it was when Bob took over. 8. Above all a future Captain is not groomed. It is mind boggling that Younis khan will be made the captain once Inzi retires after WC. Believe me Younis will not qualify even for Bangladesh Oneday team. It is absurd really.

    Further, and ironically, they had better talent at their diposal (Asim Kamal, Salman Butt, Samiulla Niazi, Yasser Arafat to name a few....) they have tried, tested (and failed) substandard players (like Farhat, Hafeez, Faisal Iqbal, Sami..) for too long.

    few may argue that Inzi has brought stability to the team, that's fine, but I feel that he favored some players who dont deserve to be in team rather than selecting on merit.

    To conclude, my suggestion is Pakistan should have different teams for Test & Onedayers. About 60% percent of the current players do not belong to Test team and same goes for the Oneday team as well there are certain players who do not fit at all into Oneday team.

  • nasir on January 30, 2007, 14:55 GMT

    I think that Bob and Inzi's combination has been a positive one for Pakistan. I think though we are a long way off from being number one they have made Pakistan a better side.

    The main changes have been as follows: 1. The team was more united as a unit than at any time before that.

    2. Pakistan fought harder in tests and one-dayers. I can't remember any mathc where the team just showed up to go through the motions.

    3. Much better chasers with a good methodology coming about the batters especially in the middle order.

    4. Emergence of Younis Khan and MOYO as truly world class batsmen.

    5. Pakistan is almost unbeatable at home.

    Yes the bolwing leaves a lot to be desired, the opening has been unsteady at best and the fielding has been pathetic as always. There are some things that will never change.

    It will be sad is Bob is removed nad Inzi quits or is dumped as well. Anything is possible in Pakistani cricket. I think Pakistan are ehading for tough times and a lot of uncertainty. If the board does not play its cards right we could end up like to West Indies.

    There are two things i would not like to happen:

    1. Younis Khan should not be captain as his actions in October showed his mental weakness.

    2. Pakistan should not have local coach since it will just lead to more politics and fragmenting at the team level. Players such as Akram, Waqar and Miandad should never be made coaches expecially the latter. How many chances after all do you need to make things happen? Akram and Waqar have been too controversial and have led to several infighting incidents to be made coaches.

  • Amyn Habib on January 30, 2007, 16:21 GMT

    I think that Bob and Inzi have made some progress in the right direction. Compare the performance of the team in the recently concluded SA test series to the previous SA tour. The team did much better (even though they lost)—although the quality of the opposition may have dropped too. However, as you point out, they have failed to win against the best teams—and even against some mediocre teams. The ICC rankings are a bit misleading. Pakistan remains a 2nd tier team. It is probably not fair to blame only Inzi and Bob for this. You also have to consider the culture of the PCB, the high brains (Wasim Bari) in the selection committee with the repeated recycling of failed players over and over again, and the structure of domestic cricket. Why is it that Pakistan has never been able to produce a truly world champion team?

  • Mawali on January 30, 2007, 16:44 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, the report card on Bob & Inzi is quite indicative of their record. Under their leadership Pakistan has become a better backyard bully. The team has been able to portray and maintain the image of paper tigers ready to pounce on anyone given the opportunity. We have people posting on this blog ready to order the champagne for the World Cup festivities. But, alas the reality is quite different and a direct reflection of their record.

    Let’s start with Inzi, I had reconciled with the fact that I am calling off the cavalry on Inzi, the rationale, being that he has (hopefully) a very short stint left with the team. Now, as a person and as an individual I have nothing but, the greatest admiration for Inzi, but, I never believed that he was ever a good Capitaan let alone a great one. Inzi has never lead from the front, never ever played by setting an example for the young and the reckless, never cultivated players or never properly handled the tough cases i.e., Shoaib Akhtar. Now, I am strictly speaking of a record away from Pakistan; on dead South Asian pitches, he and Joe blow all lead front and center. It is a fact that Inzi as a player in his younger days was a run scoring machine regardless of the venue. The man has a sound batting technique and I believe there are few in the world that play the late shot better than him. Now, we find Inzi lamenting the batting failure of his gang that can't hit straight. Wouldn’t it be incumbent upon a batting genius/Capitaan to take some of the younger yahoo's under his tutelage and work closely on their batting technique? Not only that all senior batsmen should actively work with the younger crop to advice and correct batting flaws, and flaws they are abundant. Imran farhat the great dope for Pakistan, may soon be announcing the grand opening of his Nihari (the witch's brew) shop in downtown wherever. That's potential talent going to waste; I won’t even speak of the travesty of justice handed out to Asim Kamal for reasons unknown to me.

    Now, for Inzi’s sake I was hoping that his last major tour would be one that brings him the glory and the satisfaction of going out with a bang, before his schedule is filled with Bingo nights. I am still hoping that he and the Bowyz will muster every last ounce of their talent and tenacity and win him first the remaining ODI’s, however, Inzi HIMSELF has to take the lead and score on every opportunity he gets. Secondly at least reaching the world cup finals. Smart money for the World cup has to be with the Amazing Aussies.

    As for Uncle Bob (credit Javed Khan), the man is a shrewd operator. He should have been a diplomat who would have put Machiavelli to shame. Now, the word on Uncle Bob is that he is basically a strategist and not an X’s and O’s guy. That is exactly what Pakistan at this stage does not need. Pakistan needs a hands-on, in the face, guy teaching technique someone, like the great Javed Miandad. Perhaps the duo of Miandad as the Batting coach and Uncle Bob as the Coach might have been a lethal combination. Its time to let Bob go, and never ask ourselves the question; But what about Bob? AMF!

  • Euceph Ahmed on January 30, 2007, 17:09 GMT

    I heard Nusrat Fateh Ali in an interview once where he likened himself to the fabric made in Faisalabad - people are disinterested if it says "made in Faisalabad", but when the same fabric goes to England and stamped "made in Manchester, England" people are willing to do anything to get it. He laughed and wondered if he would've forever been an ordinary qawwal had he not paired up with the goras. So, Kamran, in a way you are right. The real test of a sub-continental team is to beat the goras, though I wonder why that should be the case. Inner satisfaction of the colonialized??? You tell me...

    Kamran Hashmi, above, makes some very valid points. It seems to me that Imran Khan has the best of both worlds these days. He enjoys colossal clout with the team without any real accounability. Sometimes it appears that he has first talked to Inzamam and Woolmer and then goes out and issues press statements to prove how correct his thinking has been. Instead of backing up Inzamam and trying to understand his mindset, Imran has done more to put a guilt-trip on Inzamam by openly backing Shoaib Akhtar. He has also confused Inzi by pressuring him to select players who Inzi felt didn't fit in his scheme of things. Imran Khan should remember that in his hay-day it was more like "my way or the highway" when it came to team selection. Inzi is not Imran, and Imran should know that every captain has his own way of working which must be understood and backed by the administration.

    Kamran Abbasi, unfortunately, your parameter of success is a check mark in the win column, and from that vantage point you issue your verdict. For me, on the other hand, a hard-fought game is all I need. Given the resources, I believe the team fought till the very end of the third test and I applaud them for that.

    I have said it often enough and I'll say it again, the focus of the management, fans, and the media has got to be shifted from match-winning to team-building. That is when things will change for the better. The players will perform accordingly. I don't care if we win the World Cup or not. I need to see a true fighting spirit in our players till the very last ball is bowled. Winning or losing is simply part of the game.

  • Ashaq on January 30, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    I think that both Woolmer and Inzi have done a fantastic job. Given the incompetence of the p.c.b.

    It is also the first time in years since we have had a degree of team unity.

    I think Bob Woolmer will make a fantastic England coach. The main obstacle I believe to Woolmers coaching has been the language barrier. A coach needs the ability to effectively communicate ideas, strategy and be able to motivate players. So I believe under the circumstances Uncle Bob has done a fantastic job.

    As for Inzi he took over after Rashad Latif resigned. The team at the time was fractious and disunited. So inzi has also done well in uniting the team getting them to work as a cohesive unit.Off course Shoaib Akhtar being the exception. Even Imran Khan would have had problems with Shoaib Akhtar.

    As for the P.c.b. over the last decade we have had the General, the Diplomat, and know the Doctor in charge. I think the Doctor Naseem Ashraf has proven himself to be the most incompetent. We need to get rid of the Doctor before he destroys Pakistan cricket completely.

    As for the future there seems to be no viable contender for the captaincy. I was a great supporter of Younis Khan until his tantrum before the icc tournament, and his subsequent U-Turn. His performance as Captain in the Champions trophy proved that he was just a glorified cheerleader he was completely devoid of strategy.

    As for the Coach the only World Class coaches in Pakistan are Miandad and MUdassar Nazar. Neither seems capable of managing the Pak team .Both have been sacked previously. They also seem to bring a lot off baggage with them.

    I think a foreign coach may be the only viable alternative under the circumstances. In that case we would need someone used to coaching in the sub-continenet and the boardroom politics that involves. I believe the only Foreign coach who fits the criteria is Dav Whatmore.