THE CORDON HOME

BLOGS ARCHIVES
SELECT BLOG
February 8, 2007

South Africa

Imran pulls Pakistan out of trouble

Kamran Abbasi
Imran Nazir launches one of his two sixes, South Africa v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Durban, February 7, 2007
Imran Nazir: Pakistan's saviour  © AFP
Enlarge

RELATED LINKS

There was a moment when Pakistan's one-day series could have got even worse, and it happened early on. Kamran Akmal had been trapped LBW, shouldering arms, and the pressure was on Imran Nazir on his overdue return to international cricket.

The pitch was bouncy and South Africa were keen to test his mettle. Imran responded by pulling every short ball that came his way. With venom and a strong bottom-hand, he plays an exciting pull shot. A Pakistani batsman was prepared to go toe to toe with South Africa's fast bowlers, and crucially he did it with confidence and skill. In fact little has changed about Imran's approach except that he looks more in control.

Shahid Afridi made a dramatic return of his own and should have won the man-of-the-match award, but it was Imran who pulled the intitiative back for Pakistan and set them on their way to a match-winning total. Imran Nazir has always been capable of fireworks, of course, but over the next few days we will discover whether or not he has learnt consistency to go with his destructive talent.

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

RSS Feeds: Kamran Abbasi

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by zeeshan nabi bakhsh on (February 21, 2007, 9:57 GMT)

It is a very good and accorate decision to bring Imran in to the side. But if we realize nuterly then i think we will reach at a point that a player of that nature could had been spoil by the PCB, if he was suppose to play regularly in the team, i think upto this time spain he could got more and better confidence because there are more things which can never be teach or tell, a person learns if right from the expereince and playing an International Cricket is itself a matter of boosting and getting the self confience. A player could not learn it even by the heros, i.e. to beare the pressure of a big game like a final or else, but experience will let u allow to learn and apply. Imran does possess some of good characterstics of a world class batsman, but still lacking for many things, like he is a good, aggrassive and bold bats man and man cause to blast every type of bollar, but a batsman must have to have some other charactestics like to built up his/her inning, to organize inning and converting it from 50, 60 to 100 and more, because a world class player mean he/she is the most suitable for this crucial position, which is the base for setting the decision of Win or Lose. Again if some one is along the side will definitely florish and up rise his/her flows etc. Any way Imran's consideration in the team is a good sign from PCB. I appriciate it. May Imran full fill the hopes which nation wants it from. (AAMEEN)

Posted by usman zia hidayat on (February 14, 2007, 16:47 GMT)

this was the man for the man of match not any tom dick or harry. he gave the pakistanies a good start and right tempo which they had not seen for dont know how long and pakistan just followed that tone but imran yaar thora say haath hola raka karo u dont have to go after every ball be selective and know ur shots keep ur head up when going through the shot otherwise well done man and u have to make ur place in the team by scoring heavly or pakistan seletors will try some one else instead of letting u take ur time.

Posted by usman zia hidayat on (February 14, 2007, 16:35 GMT)

this man has got some chance and realy deserves a better chance than pakistan selectors have given him.he definatly needs a bit of coaching to correct his temperment and agression to perform consistantly at the international level which takes a bit of getting us to but that is not a valid excuse to drope him.if he needs coahing and which he has not been given GOD knows why we have coaches who are paid millions for their jobs. pakistani openers need a mental coach and much better domestic pitchs more than a coach.

Posted by cricketer on (February 12, 2007, 6:10 GMT)

any one for Imran Nazir opening for the world cup after watching him im the 3rd and 4th SA ODIs???????

Posted by Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on (February 11, 2007, 10:08 GMT)

Firstly, Well done Imran Nazir, but it was done only once in three ODIs, so it as well as was any other Pakistani.

Secondly, Shahid Afridi and Mohammed Yousef deserved the Man-of-the-Match, and not Mohammed Younis. I guess Afridi and Yousef, did not get MOM because of their 'Beards' and more fundamentalistic looks, while Younis being a 'Clean-Shaven' and with his Western outlook is being considered one among themselves.

ICC, like they penalise players for every single move, should also consider accountability for their officials and umpires.

Posted by Altamish Ahmad on (February 11, 2007, 5:50 GMT)

I do not believe that one good innings can wipe away the humiliation and the actual truth about Pakistani cricket. It is not the opening pair and neither the mental toughness or whatever you may want to call it, that Pakistan lack. It is in fact an excess of something that we have in PCCB. An excess of foolishness and egotism. We are at the eve of World cup with our team at its most lowest ever. Our players are either unfit or injured and the ones who can play are trying to get banned. Shahid Afridi has done his part for Pakistani cricket. When a body organ becomes gangrenous then to save the rest of the body , it has to be cut away. Afridi is bad for team morale and bad for his country. He has brought more disrepute to Pakistan in the last couple of years than anyone else. He can almost be considered a criminal. When he tried to tamper the pitch in Pakistan that should have been enough to permanently send him out of the team. Now he has done another incident and has been banned. Every time his team depends on him he is not there, not any more at least. A country's respect is more than an individual. In regards to rest of the team, Inzi is unfit to be the captain of this team. A captain leads by example and if he is the example then Allah help us, we are doomed. Where are those standards with which we judjed Imran Khan, Wasim, Waqar, Majid Khan and the likes of those players and Captains. What happened where we had leaders with a heart. We have all these world renowned and battle proven leaders in our country and we do not utilize their experience and knowledge. It is because the heads of PCB do not have Pakistan's good in mind but their own agenda. Why don't we use Imran Khan and Wasim Akram or Waqar Younus. These people can not only train your team and coach them they can teach them how to be leaders. They can continue the dynasty of Pakistani cricket. Inzi is probably the most ineficient skipper ever in Pakistan's history. He may have won matches but because of other peoples extraordinary efforts or luck.

We need a strong captain who can command respect from his teammates and lead by example. There is not one player in the team who can do this at this time. This world cup is already history for Pakistan. Hopefully we can plan better for next one.

Posted by Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on (February 11, 2007, 2:08 GMT)

Dear Kamran:

The true objective of team supporters here is not just to dish out criticism but to analyze any given situation, voice concerns and finally give their humble opinions.

Next, we need to see team Pakistan shaping up in time for the Cricket World Cup. Pretty soon, you need to start a blog about the probable make up of the Pakistan team for the World Cup.

The following two set of conditions would apply in the West Indies:

1. Slow and low pitches at some venues 2. Fast and bouncy tracks at other grounds

The venues within the Islands comprising "The West Indies" are well spread out in terms of distances involved and conditions do vary greatly as indicated above.

The team selectors and well wishers would do everyone favor to keep those conditions in front while finalizing the sixteen allowed probables for the World Cup.

With a bit of luck and the right combination of sixteen players, team Pakistan can make it to the big occasion.

Let's hope and pray that Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul can recover to an extent where they make it to the final eleven. Their inclusion in the team would be a significant factor for a smooth sail (they are not only experienced but strong sailors and would pull the boat along well with their muscle power).

Otherwise, even if the batting clicks - it would be more of a bumpy ride with a lot of hiccups!

One final comment!

Inzimam's role as a non performing captain who is blindly putting faith behind a couple of players is under the microscope as well.

No one is bigger than the game. Inzi, better take note of that and in time before we ask Kamran to start the next blog seeking remedy of this situation. Hope you understand this!

The team selectors and others including Bob Woolmer should continue to share their thoughts here as we have common objectives. The end goal is the same. Never mind, some difference in opinion and approach. Towards that end, I would ask Bob Woolmer to please convey our thoughts to Inzi. This may perk him up a little. After all, a strong fifty plus score is rather overdue of him for long now.

Thanks Bob!

Mohsin Malik

Posted by Amir , Toronto on (February 10, 2007, 22:10 GMT)

Well said Mr. Woolmer. It is very interesting that you put your thoughts in Pak Spin.

Gentleman(woolmer) Me and our most of my fellows would be agree that Nazir & Afridi are not as good as they should be to play higher level. But I wonder you are coaching Pakistan team for last couple of years and can't you find any player according to your own likes. or they were hafeez farhat, and others. Mind you gentle man Most of my fellows still prefer Nazir rather than other. He has few flaws in his techniqe but he has potential enough to be like slater and Gilli. Basically I m from punjab too and I did play cricket in Lahore and then UK but personally I didn't like your debate.

Finally plz mr. woolmer rana and inzi should be omitted from our world cup team. What do you think ?

Posted by Saiful Ansari on February 10, 2007 on (February 10, 2007, 19:41 GMT)

Pakistan has been looking for a reliable opening pair since Aamir Sohail and Anwar Saeed called it a day. The selectors have tried many combinations and all including Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, Mohammad Hafeez and Imran Farhat have fallen terribly short of expectations. They are all good players and on their day capable of scoring big runs.

The inconsistency is due to poor technic. Nothing the batting coaches could not have fixed. Besides technic the openers seem to lack mental toughness. They need professional psychological help to develop confidence. Senior cricketers can teach them the importance of grafting the innings. Recently even in test matches both Hafeez and Imran Farhat have opened the batting, as if they were playing a limited overs game.

Coming back to Imran Nazir, who was responsible for the flying start that Pakistan enjoyed in their 2nd ODI against South Africa after losing Kamran Akmal very early in the innings. Imran Nazir played extremely well and definitely boosted the moral of batsmen who followed him. Having said that Imran Nazir, should have learnt to stay at the crease and to convert 50's to 100's. In the present one day game throwing away wickets and wasting good starts is a recipe for disaster. Imran Nazir must realize that great Batsmen in the modern day cricket convert good starts to centuries and win games. The mentality to strike every ball and dispatch it to boundary serves well as long as the batsmen play on the merit of the ball. Imran Nazir has to remember this wisdom and having got out cheaply in the 3rd ODI right after another good start reaffirms that unless he keeps his temptation to take a swipe at every ball undercheck his inconsistency will continue like that of Hafeez, Imran Farhat and Salman Butt.

Posted by abdullah on (February 10, 2007, 16:33 GMT)

Well Imran NAzir played a good knock but he needs to build some temprament as he can do well in opening slot in the West Indies. He got the talent just need to correct his short selection moreover if we can continue with below average players like yasir hameed, hafeez and farhat then i think it a better option to have imran nazir open with salman butt for the world cup as if imran fires he will ensure a win and if the other named fire they will ensure a loss due to there snail pace scoring and butt can be a perfect foil for him he got strokes and he was the only one who played well in australia in away series i mean test matches, and it would give an added edge of left right combination. Afridi is best at number six, and we can do away with akmal and ask younis khan to keep wickets to accomodate an extra bowler in the world cup, as we are for the first time weak in this department after the wasim and waqar dominant era.

Comments have now been closed for this article

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

All articles by this writer