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

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

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