World Cup 2007 February 11, 2007

A squad to lift the cup

Pakistan's performance today was of a team with nothing to fight for
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Pakistan's performance today was of a team with nothing to fight for. It was the kind of effort--a complacent one--you might have feared the day after the World Cup squad is announced not two days before it. The batsmen played with a bizarre timidity and lack of application that left the bowlers nothing to defend. The pitch was not the minefield that Pakistan seemed to be imagining it to be. Of course, South Africa bowled and fielded magnificently but that is the kind of fielding effort that needs to be overcome to win the World Cup.

If Pakistan's selectors were seeking some kind of signal as to what to do they didn't get it. Instead, what is clear is that with a month to go before the World Cup, Pakistan have problems. And the main one is this: while Pakistan teams are known for their unpredictability, the performance of this group of players fluctuates so wildly that it is hard to imagine how they could put together a consistent enough run to lift the trophy. Wind back to 1992 or 1999 and Pakistan teams might have come a cropper here and there leading up to the World Cup but they were able to put together sequences of victories that made them genuine challengers.

One reason for this current pattern though is the dramatic variation in personnel through injury. Any success that Woolmer and Inzy have had was forged through consistency of selection but this South African tour has been a joke with players shuttling between South Africa and Pakistan as if it were a commuter trip.

What to do? Well some players pick themselves. The middle order of Inzy, Yousuf, and Younis is set in stone. Kamran Akmal has to be persevered with, it's too late to change now--and the strategy of him opening could be a spectacular triumph in the Caribbean. Mohammad Asif, Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul are the first line of pace attack. Of the all rounders Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzaq, and Shahid Afridi are the late-order attackers that Pakistan's strategy hinges on.

That leaves five places to discuss amid the consideration that West Indian pitches will smell like the sweet grass of home to Pakistan's players. On that basis, I'd back Imran Nazir and Mohammad Hafeez as two of three possible openers (along with Kamran Akmal). The pace attack will need back up, which means Sami, Rana, and Azhar fighting for two places. I'd go for Sami's extra pace and Azhar's all round ability. That leaves one place for a spinner and despite today's outing, Abdur Rehman showed enough in the home series against West Indies to win the spot.

There might be a case for others like Salman Butt, Yasir Hameed, Yasir Arafat, and Danish Kaneria but if they are real contenders they should have been out here getting ready.

If this squad of players is fit and Pakistan can gel, they have a chance. Nobody, though, expected this level of unpredictability so close to the World Cup. But when it comes to Pakistan cricket, the next tournament can be a very different story. It needs to be.

(And yes, squads and XIs are allowed on this thread).

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

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  • Mohammed Jafar Akram on February 18, 2007, 18:27 GMT

    Ok Pakistan has made a couple of mistakes by not including Azhar Mahmood, Mushtaq Ahmed, and Yasir Hameed in the 15 going to the world cup and by not giving a chance or considering some young players playing in Pakistan who have performed really well on the domestic level by giving them a chance to prove themselves on the international stage, but nothing can be done about that now… its tough luck for us, but what we can do is work out a combination which can work for us with the players who have been sent off to play.

    With Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammed Asif, and Danish Kaneria all of whom are match winners and with the addition of Umar Gul in the team there is no problem at all in the bowling department giving that these players are injury free and able to actually play in the World Cup.

    The major problem however lies in the batting and the tendency of Pakistan to collapse, and this collapse is normally triggered off when both of the opening batsman fail! So we need to work out a opening combination which will work… then the middle order which is probably near the best in the world with Inzamam Ul Haq, Mohammed Yousaf, and Younis Khan.

    So the batting lineup which I have come out with which could be adjusted depending on the match situations eg) If Pakistan are 200-1 after 40 overs then Afridi should be sent in instead of a more defensive player…. but the ideal lineup against a top team is:

    1)Imran Nazir/Mohammed Hafeez (depending on who is performing out of the 2) 2)Younis Khan 3)Mohammed Yousaf 4)Inzamam Ul Haq 5)Shoaib Malik 6)Kamran Akmal 7)Shahid Afridi/Abdul Razzaq (depending on who is performing out of the 2) 8)Danish Kaneria 9)Umar Gul 10)Shoaib Akhtar 11)Mohammed Asif

    This lineup gives Imran Nazir and Hafeez competition and another reason to perform well so they are selected in the team… and knowing Pakistan there is no great opening batsman opening the inning like Saeed Anwar was so why not make Younis Khan opener as he is normally playing like a opener anyway because one of the openers gets out early and he is a good player who could give a could give a good foundation to build on. The lineup also has Afridi and Razzaq in competition for the same spot which will make them perform if both are performing and someone else isn’t, for example Shoaib Malik or Danish then replace them so there is always a competing place and this will give the drive for the players to perform. Razzaq seems like he thinks his place is semented in the team so he isn’t trying hard give him something to work for!!! In matches against the easier teams to prevent injury Ifthikar Anjum or Rana Naved should be played instead of Akhtar or Gul giving these 2 a smaller workload.

    My lineup has also got all the best bowlers in the world giving that these guys stay fit inshallah, with Akhtar and Asif opening and if Asif is bowling tightly he can even bowl through his overs, then Gul and Kaneria and Afridi/Razzaq/Malik/Hafeez bowling through the middle of the innings then at the end (last 10-12 overs or when a wicket is needed) with Akhtar and one of the other bowlers who have bowled well.

    From Mohammed Jafar Akram

  • HARIS KHAN (DUBAI) on February 18, 2007, 7:25 GMT

    well Kamran this is my personal team and batting order hope you agree with me as well another viewers. 1:IMRAN FARHAT 2:SHAHID AFRIDI 3:YUNUS KHAN 4:MOHAMMED YOUSUF 5:INZAMAM 6:SHOAIB MALIK 7:KAMRAN AKMAL 8:ABDUL RAZAQ 9:SHOAIB AKHTAR 10:DANISH KANERIA 11:RANA NAVEED 12:MOHAMMED SAMI I AM SURE IF THIS BATTING ORDER CLICKS AND OUR BOWLERS BOWL WELL AND FIELDERS DONT MISS THE CATCHES NO WONDER MY EYES LOOKING WORLD CUP LANDING IN PAKISTAN.....

  • madhu on February 18, 2007, 7:21 GMT

    pak 11:

    1. S. Malik 2. S. Afridi 3. M. Yousuf 4. Y. Khan 5. I. Ul-Haq 6. K. Akmal 7. A. Razzak 8. A. Mahmood 9. M. Asif 10. D. Kaneria 11. S. Akthar

    12: U.Gul 13. I.Nazir 14. R. Naved 15. M. Hafeez

    And Imran Khan / Wasim Akram quickly taken in as coach and Bob Woolmer very quickly sent packing.

  • Owais on February 17, 2007, 22:46 GMT

    I think that Pakistan should recall Salman Butt. He is terrific form in domestic cricket. He scored a 129 not out today and around 170 in the last innings of his teams first class match. He has much better technique than Mohammad Hafeez who has such a terrible average of only 20. Why is even in the team?

  • Aamir Ahmad on February 17, 2007, 2:27 GMT

    I think Hafeez adds enough with his bowling and fielding to merit an opening slot, alongside Nazir who even though he is hit and miss, could relish the conditions in the Windies. Despite Hafeez not having a high strike rate, his technique is sound enough for him to act as the anchor whilst others attack around him.

    Shoaib Malik should not open the innings as he is not technically sound enough to face the new ball. He played well in the SA series in the middle order, despite the fact his innings came only once the matches had been lost. He reads situations well and is an asset later in the innings whether we need to consolidate or accelerate.

    The one player who is overdue being dropped is Razzaq. Both his batting and bowling lack any thought or application. How this guy has represented Pakistan on so many occasions dumbfounds me when we probably have hundreds of cricketers in Pakistan who would show more passion when representing their country.

    The worry for me is how Younis seems to gift his wicket away on too many occasions and Inzi’s lack of form. I also agree with previous comments that Inzi needs to bat higher.

    Bowling wise I think if Asif continues his good form and Gul can overcome his injury to regain the form he showed in 2006, we should be well placed. Akhtar is a big match player and if he can overcome his difficulties with Woolmer etc. (at least for a few weeks) then that is a formidable pace line-up. Aided by Kaneria, Hafeez and Malik in the spin department, we should do well insha’Allah.

    I think the team for the opening match should read:

    1. Nazir 2. Hafeez 3. Younis 4. Yousaf 5. Inzamam 6. Malik 7. Akmal 8. Akhtar 9. Gul 10. Kaneria 11. Asif

    To all those posting their comments on this blog, it is only our dua’s that will propel Pakistan to victory. Also, if we don’t manage to succeed then remember - there is more to life than cricket.

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  • Mohammed Jafar Akram on February 18, 2007, 18:27 GMT

    Ok Pakistan has made a couple of mistakes by not including Azhar Mahmood, Mushtaq Ahmed, and Yasir Hameed in the 15 going to the world cup and by not giving a chance or considering some young players playing in Pakistan who have performed really well on the domestic level by giving them a chance to prove themselves on the international stage, but nothing can be done about that now… its tough luck for us, but what we can do is work out a combination which can work for us with the players who have been sent off to play.

    With Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammed Asif, and Danish Kaneria all of whom are match winners and with the addition of Umar Gul in the team there is no problem at all in the bowling department giving that these players are injury free and able to actually play in the World Cup.

    The major problem however lies in the batting and the tendency of Pakistan to collapse, and this collapse is normally triggered off when both of the opening batsman fail! So we need to work out a opening combination which will work… then the middle order which is probably near the best in the world with Inzamam Ul Haq, Mohammed Yousaf, and Younis Khan.

    So the batting lineup which I have come out with which could be adjusted depending on the match situations eg) If Pakistan are 200-1 after 40 overs then Afridi should be sent in instead of a more defensive player…. but the ideal lineup against a top team is:

    1)Imran Nazir/Mohammed Hafeez (depending on who is performing out of the 2) 2)Younis Khan 3)Mohammed Yousaf 4)Inzamam Ul Haq 5)Shoaib Malik 6)Kamran Akmal 7)Shahid Afridi/Abdul Razzaq (depending on who is performing out of the 2) 8)Danish Kaneria 9)Umar Gul 10)Shoaib Akhtar 11)Mohammed Asif

    This lineup gives Imran Nazir and Hafeez competition and another reason to perform well so they are selected in the team… and knowing Pakistan there is no great opening batsman opening the inning like Saeed Anwar was so why not make Younis Khan opener as he is normally playing like a opener anyway because one of the openers gets out early and he is a good player who could give a could give a good foundation to build on. The lineup also has Afridi and Razzaq in competition for the same spot which will make them perform if both are performing and someone else isn’t, for example Shoaib Malik or Danish then replace them so there is always a competing place and this will give the drive for the players to perform. Razzaq seems like he thinks his place is semented in the team so he isn’t trying hard give him something to work for!!! In matches against the easier teams to prevent injury Ifthikar Anjum or Rana Naved should be played instead of Akhtar or Gul giving these 2 a smaller workload.

    My lineup has also got all the best bowlers in the world giving that these guys stay fit inshallah, with Akhtar and Asif opening and if Asif is bowling tightly he can even bowl through his overs, then Gul and Kaneria and Afridi/Razzaq/Malik/Hafeez bowling through the middle of the innings then at the end (last 10-12 overs or when a wicket is needed) with Akhtar and one of the other bowlers who have bowled well.

    From Mohammed Jafar Akram

  • HARIS KHAN (DUBAI) on February 18, 2007, 7:25 GMT

    well Kamran this is my personal team and batting order hope you agree with me as well another viewers. 1:IMRAN FARHAT 2:SHAHID AFRIDI 3:YUNUS KHAN 4:MOHAMMED YOUSUF 5:INZAMAM 6:SHOAIB MALIK 7:KAMRAN AKMAL 8:ABDUL RAZAQ 9:SHOAIB AKHTAR 10:DANISH KANERIA 11:RANA NAVEED 12:MOHAMMED SAMI I AM SURE IF THIS BATTING ORDER CLICKS AND OUR BOWLERS BOWL WELL AND FIELDERS DONT MISS THE CATCHES NO WONDER MY EYES LOOKING WORLD CUP LANDING IN PAKISTAN.....

  • madhu on February 18, 2007, 7:21 GMT

    pak 11:

    1. S. Malik 2. S. Afridi 3. M. Yousuf 4. Y. Khan 5. I. Ul-Haq 6. K. Akmal 7. A. Razzak 8. A. Mahmood 9. M. Asif 10. D. Kaneria 11. S. Akthar

    12: U.Gul 13. I.Nazir 14. R. Naved 15. M. Hafeez

    And Imran Khan / Wasim Akram quickly taken in as coach and Bob Woolmer very quickly sent packing.

  • Owais on February 17, 2007, 22:46 GMT

    I think that Pakistan should recall Salman Butt. He is terrific form in domestic cricket. He scored a 129 not out today and around 170 in the last innings of his teams first class match. He has much better technique than Mohammad Hafeez who has such a terrible average of only 20. Why is even in the team?

  • Aamir Ahmad on February 17, 2007, 2:27 GMT

    I think Hafeez adds enough with his bowling and fielding to merit an opening slot, alongside Nazir who even though he is hit and miss, could relish the conditions in the Windies. Despite Hafeez not having a high strike rate, his technique is sound enough for him to act as the anchor whilst others attack around him.

    Shoaib Malik should not open the innings as he is not technically sound enough to face the new ball. He played well in the SA series in the middle order, despite the fact his innings came only once the matches had been lost. He reads situations well and is an asset later in the innings whether we need to consolidate or accelerate.

    The one player who is overdue being dropped is Razzaq. Both his batting and bowling lack any thought or application. How this guy has represented Pakistan on so many occasions dumbfounds me when we probably have hundreds of cricketers in Pakistan who would show more passion when representing their country.

    The worry for me is how Younis seems to gift his wicket away on too many occasions and Inzi’s lack of form. I also agree with previous comments that Inzi needs to bat higher.

    Bowling wise I think if Asif continues his good form and Gul can overcome his injury to regain the form he showed in 2006, we should be well placed. Akhtar is a big match player and if he can overcome his difficulties with Woolmer etc. (at least for a few weeks) then that is a formidable pace line-up. Aided by Kaneria, Hafeez and Malik in the spin department, we should do well insha’Allah.

    I think the team for the opening match should read:

    1. Nazir 2. Hafeez 3. Younis 4. Yousaf 5. Inzamam 6. Malik 7. Akmal 8. Akhtar 9. Gul 10. Kaneria 11. Asif

    To all those posting their comments on this blog, it is only our dua’s that will propel Pakistan to victory. Also, if we don’t manage to succeed then remember - there is more to life than cricket.

  • iqbal Butt on February 16, 2007, 1:28 GMT

    There are two things that the Pakistan team needs to do 1) They need to improve their fielding to a world class standard. Their fielding right now is probably the worst in the top eight test playing nations.2) The Pakistani top order needs to learn how to play the moving ball and also learn how to hook the rising ball. Unless the top order is not going to provide you with a good start with 40 or 50 runs on the board the in coming batsmen will always struggle and more often then not will always fail.

  • Mohsin on February 15, 2007, 14:52 GMT

    I know its been done before, but I just remembered a stroke of genius which can boost out faltering batting ahead of the WC. Play Younis as wkt-keeper bat, allowing us to drop Kamran and play another specialist bat, who may add 25-40 runs sometimes. :D

    Or another bowler on a belter.

  • Ibrahim on February 13, 2007, 20:33 GMT

    I just want to clear this; in my ideal squad I didn't mention Kamran Akmal. I meant to add him and Danish Kaneria. However if Akmal doesn't perform in the initial matches he should be booted out and replaced with Younis Khan as keeper. Kaneria should be a last reserve because he really is a pathetic ODI bowler. One more point; every Pakistan fan is on their toes wondering if Shoaib Akhtar will be in the series. Face it, Shoaib Akhtar is immensely talented but he always lets his team down in terms of attendance. It's time Pakistan stopped clinging to his coattails and started developing their own bowling.

  • Farhan Arif on February 13, 2007, 14:47 GMT

    One fact that many of us probably have ignored about our winning campaign in 1992 is that Imran Khan(A bowling all-rounder) led the team from the front, batting at No.3 position in our last few matches which we ended up winning. It was not his batting abilities that won the tournament, it was his gritty steel and lead from the front attitude that did it.He batted before Javed, Inzamam and Salim which obviously was a bit unconventional. It was his experience that made that fighting spirit light up in the team when it was needed most. Inzamam is one of the best batsmen in the world. He should not come down at number 5, especially in the carribean where there are hardly going to be green top wickets to fear a collapse of the batting order. I personally back Kamran Akmal to play well as the opening option as there is going to be lesser movement off the seam in the carribean compared to that witnessed in the S Africa ODIs. The other considerable error is to omit Azhar Mahmood from the squad. He should be named as soon as one of our bowlers have a fitness problem and needs replacement. Azhar is a good all rounder and having Afridi, Malik, Razzaq and Azhar come in around the 35th over could have disastrous effects on an opposition given the amount of firepower contained in this quadruplet. The batting order should be as follows:

    Imran Nazir Kamran Akmal Inzamam Ul Haq Mohammad Yousuf Younis Khan Shoaib Malik Shahid Afridi Abdur Razzaq Azhar Mahmood Umar Gul Mohammad Asif

    Bench: Mohammad Hafeez Rana Naveed ul Hasan Danish Kaneria Shoaib Akhtar

  • ANi on February 13, 2007, 12:21 GMT

    First of all, I am not fan of using part-time spiners... They are just waste, except for Afridi becauze he plays around with batman... WHICH IS HELL OF A GOOD THING TO DO... INSTEAD OF SENDING AROUND WIDE DELIEVERIES...

    Secondly, Pakistan have not experimented with lefthanded batsmen lately, which i think is a shame. Because an out-of-form / under-pressure bowler will feel pain in adjusting his line every 2-3 deliveries. Basic cricketing at its best, but no one in PCB is taking note... My XI,

    1. Imran Nazir / Salman Butt 2. Mohammad Hafeez / Shoaib Malik 3. Younas Khan / Shoaib Malik 4. Mohammad Yousaf 5. Inzamam ul Haq 6. Shahid Afridi / Shoaib Malik 7. Abdul Razzaq / Azhar Mahmood 8. Kamran Akmal 9. Mohammed Asif 10. Shoaib Ahktar / Shabbir Ahmed (I dont think Akhtar will make it) 11. Umer Gul / Mohammed Sami xx. Danesh Kaneria / Abdur Rehman (Specialist Spin) xx. Naved-ul-Hassan / Shahid Nazir (extraz becoz our bowlers will break down) xx. Yasir Hameed (extra batsman incase one got injured or start having back problems (inzi ha ha))

    Playing XI will depend on the type & condition of the pitch.

  • shafiq on February 13, 2007, 11:16 GMT

    Younis Hafeez Yousuf INZI Shoaib Malik Afridi Abdul Razzaq Kamran Akmal/Rashid Latif GUL Kaneria Asif

    12. RANA 13.SAMI/SHOAIB 14.Faisal Iqbal/Imran Nazir 15.Abdul Rahman World cup is in WI , not on bouncy tracks------ it is ours

  • Asim Aleem on February 13, 2007, 9:19 GMT

    Well i agree almost to a full extent with Kamran Bhai. The problem is only with the Injured Horses but i heared Imran Khan's interview lately and he was very angry about not to take Shoaib to the SA Tour. He said we tool Wasim and Qadir despite they were injured because they are match winner. I beleive same should be the case here they can and should take risk with Asif for sure. If he will not be fit to play the first match but can play the second round matches after this much rest. Here i would like to mention Inzamam's and team managements' decision to use Asif for the ODI series even he is not fit, i think World Cup is much more important an event than this tour. Also Inzy bowling more than once the nearly the full quota of 10 overs for Asif in a single shot making his injuries worst. Any how what i feel now is that if Asif and Shoaib misses the place in final 15 then Pakistani batsmen should have the ability to score past 350 or chase such totals in nearly all games because no world class team is going to pay any respect to out of form Rana and injured Umar and Shabbir. Finally i would select the following team.

    Imran Nazir Mohammed Hafiz Younus Khan Mohammed Yousuf Inzamam ul Haq Shoaib Malik Shahid Afridi Abdul Razzaq Kamran Akmal Mohammed Asif Shoaib Akhtar (If fit) Other wise Shabbir Ahmed Umar Gul Mohammed Sami Rao Iftikhar Danish Kaneria

    It would have been better if we could take one left handed opener but due to Everlasting poor form of Imran Farhat and Salman not been given opportunity lately suggest that it wont be happening.

  • Shahrukh Khan on February 13, 2007, 5:52 GMT

    Due to the new format of the World Cup benchstrength of the teams will hold the key. It is important to consider three Cs before selecting each player ie. Conditions - Will he effective in Windies playing conditions , Competitors - How well has he fared with some of the key Competitors in recent times & Cutting Edge - Will he provide the cutting edge to the team. I firmly believe that looking at the current performances Pakistan need to adopt an Unconvetional Approach if they are serious about winning. My team would be as follows: Imran Nazir Younis Khan Mohammad Yousuf Inzamam Shohaib Malik Kamran Akmal A. Razzaq Shahid Afridi Umar Gul Mohammad Asif Danish Kaneria ( If Shohaib Akhtar is unfit)

    The Reserves should include: Azhar Mahmood (To cover Razzaq) Iftikhar Anjum ( To cover fast bowlers) Mohammad Hafeez ( Opening option) Abdur Rehman ( Handy spinner ) It is high time that players like Mr. Rana & Sami are excluded from the squad, I am surprised nobody looks at the Runs per over they have been conceeding. If you use the 3Cs filter they will never qualify. Younis as an opener can hold an end and also guide Nazir. Danish Kaneria needs to improve his fielding. Inzi needs to become more innovative in his captaincy he should remember "Conventional approach brings Conventional result".

  • Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on February 13, 2007, 5:05 GMT

    Seems like Mr. Kamran has opened a pandora-box by selecting the 15 probables, and inviting peoples to discuss it. Seeing the above responses and how everyone of us has selected their own teams and given justifications for the same, though some are very valid, we Pakistanis just love to nominate our favrouites.

    The simple problem with our team is that it as 10 Crore Couches and another 10 Crores Selectors, and NOT MANY GOOD PLAYERS.

  • TK on February 13, 2007, 4:02 GMT

    If PCB ad hoc setup is serious about world cup then they ought to include Salman Butt and Yaseer Hamid as openers in the World cup squad. And regardless of his fitness, Shoaib AKhtar should be the part of the squad; He holds the keys to the kingdom.

  • Fawad K , USA on February 13, 2007, 2:10 GMT

    Guys lets face it. There is only one guy who can give us even a slight chance to win the world cup. Unfortunately that guy is Shoab Akhtar. He is unreliable, unfit, misbehaved and rude but the only one who can win us the cup. I mean this guy plays for three hours in the second test and we won. I honestly think that we won the second test because SA was bowled out below150 in the first inning. Just his presence in the bowling line up will make a difference in the cup. To me the biggest failure of PCB is the way they have dealt with Shoaib. He is a match winner and we need to get him fixed. As soon as possible!

  • EAMIRAN on February 13, 2007, 2:06 GMT

    The only thing this team is capable of lifting are a bunch of paper cups on the earliest flight back from the Caribbean.

    Nevertheless, here is the team: 1.Yousuf 2.Younis 3.Inzi 4.Asif 5.Shoaib A. (if he is fit) 6.The inconsequential rest

    It will be an expensive flight to and from the Caribbean since the team continues to carry excess baggage.

  • Ahmed on February 13, 2007, 1:31 GMT

    Pakistan is and always has been an unpredictable team...that is the heartbreak involved with them.They win when no one expects them and same with the losing.But the important feature is that now we have an abundance of all round talent..and we should maximise our chances.Inzi is probably the most blessed captain in terms of talent and resources available to him.He can boast 6 all rounders at the best..4 at the least. Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Azhar Mehmood.even Rana can count as one more optioni, and most of the bowlers can bat really well.The problem is basically always stemmed in the head..which I thought receeded a lot from Bob's Woolmer's appointment as Coach...they show a lot more fight now..but stilll..abysmal performances aren't beyond them. But really you have to pick the team that offers you the most.I would go with the following team: 1.Mohammad Hafeez 2.Kamran Akmal 3.Younis Khan 4.Mohammad Yousuf 5.Inzaman ul Haq 6.Shahid Afridi 7.Shoaib Malik 8.Abdul Razzaq 9.Azhar Mahmood 10.Mohammad Asif 11.Mohammad Sami

    In case of a collapse(and I believe it wil happen from time to time..Shoaib Malik can be sent before Afridi...or even at the one-down positions if we have a decent opening partnership..but too much tinkering should be avoided.) I picked Sami for the pace option, but Umar Gul is a shoo in as well.and his recent performances against West Indies are very good.also should keep the left arm spinning option for Mahmood just in case. And Imran Nazir as well.But other than that, we have everything we need.Just need the will to win....

  • Dawar on February 13, 2007, 0:51 GMT

    Hello All,

    From last one year Rashid Latif is playing professional cricket in UK and currently he is playing for his club in West Indies.

    From several months he is playing cricket in west Indies . PCB must replace Kamran Akmal and bring back Pakistan best wicket keeper Rashid Latif. (Comments of Sir Vivan Richard abouth Rashid Latif)

    Dawar LA USA

  • AAMIR JADOON on February 13, 2007, 0:47 GMT

    Well kamran bhai its verry difficult to give the fifteen members of Pakistani squad because so many players are injured and and cricket board is in the hands of untachnical people they dont have any idea to select the right player i mean they have to get peparation well before the 6 months of world cup. Over main bowlers are facing the injury problems we dont have very good back up bowlers, we given lot of chances to Mohammad Sami to make him a good bowler but he is a criminal he do not have any cricketing sense he bowls two loose deliveries in every over with one wide and two no balls. Kamran Akmal is not keeping well since after the home series against the england i think that wicket keeper is the most important place in the team, Kamran Akmal droped so many catches in very crucial satuations in the recent past and due to those drop chances Pakistan lost the matches, and right after the England tour kamran Akmal needed to rest but they didnot. I dont know why, Now the satuations comes where they can not do any experiment, Also they given lot of chances to Rao Iftikhar but at that time they did not give any chance to Mohammad Irshad, and Mohammad Khalil, this indicates that they are not doing the selection on the merit, they are just giving the chance on personal likes, any how leave it now PCB have limited options, my team for the world cup is if all the players are fit is 1 Imran Nazir 2 Salman Butt 3 Younis Khan 4 Mohammad Yousaf 5 Inzimam-ul-Haq 6 Shohaib Malik 7 Abdull Razak 8 Kamran Akmal 9 Shohaib Akhtar 10 Umar Gul 11 Mohammad Aasif 12 Rana Naved 13 Shaid Afridi 14 Mohammad Sami 15 Mohammad Hafiz

  • talib on February 13, 2007, 0:34 GMT

    Pkistan for the first time in thier history have scrapped their youth policy. this could be the new selection team or the influence of bob. but we had players that came through from 16 onwards which was the envy of other cricketing nations. as one person pointed out we have world cup u19 holders which posess imense bowling resourses but for some reason for the first time we are reluctant to blood these yungsters opting instead for the same injury prone past it performers. the only recent addition of new blood has been the introduction of Mohammed Asif a justification if nothing else to turn back to youth. tried tested and past it

    SHOAB AKHTAR (WASTE OF SPACE) SAMI(PACE BUT NO CRICKETING BRAIN) RANA (LIGHTWEIGHT AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL) RAO (AS RANA)

    REGARDING OUR SO CALLED OPENERS THEY HAVE ALL HAD TOO MANY CHANCES. BATSMEN IN PAKISTAN SOULD BE PICKED ON CHARACTER AS STRONG PERFORMERS IN OUR DOMESTIC LEAGUE DOES NOT GUARANTEE INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS. YOU ONLY NEED TO LOOK AT MOHAMMED YOUSAFS STATS AT DOMESTIC LEVEL TO SEE THATITS HIS CHARACTER THAT GOT HIM WHERE HE IS

  • A J on February 12, 2007, 23:54 GMT

    I think they should bring back Mushy because in the early part of this decade, when the Pakistanis toured the carribean, he played very well in the conditions and for a while it seemed as if he'd won his position back in the line up. The conditions suit him and like wine (not that I'd know), leg spinners get better with age.

  • Jamal on February 12, 2007, 23:27 GMT

    i think talent wise pakistan are the best team in the world, however the negative selction and negative way of playing is shocking. We need to play like we did under Javed Miandad, and that is try to score 300+ every match, regardless of the wicket. that way we take the game to the openents. i also think maybe pakistam have too many 'utility' players like shoaib malik and instead we should use specialists who are naturally talnented aswel as hard working. People like Afridi, Razzaq, Akmal give the team loads of firepower so we need stability as well as agression.

    My team for the world cup would be,

    Imran Nazir Mohammed Hafeez Younis Khan Mohammed Yousuf Inzamam-ul-Haq Shahid Afridi Abdur Razzaq Kamran Akmal Yasir Arafat Shoaib Akhtar Mohammed Asif

    Reamaining squad - Fawad Alam (allrounder.top young player, scoring loads of runs at county level).Umar Gul,Azhar Mahmood,Shoaib Malik

  • Aftab Qureshi on February 12, 2007, 23:21 GMT

    I share the disappointment on Pakistan's pathetic performance in ODI#4. While I fondly hope that they somehow find the magic touch to square the series on Feb 14, I am actually tempted to focus on the World cup and beyond.

    As for the World Cup, I believe there is still time to work on some areas; psycotherapy toward confidence building--the team really needs to believe in the magic words "we can do it", physical fitness and the usual pre-tournamnet practice sessions designed to overcome known shortcomings.

    The final WC squad would be known in a few hours, so there is little time for speculation. I just hope they do not pick any half-fit players.

    Looking beyond the World Cup, I think new appraoches are needed to improve player fitness and discipline. I would urge Mr. Abbasis to start a discussion on it on Pak Spin. At the end of it he may take the initiative of formally communicating the range of opinions, suggestions and proposals to PCB, Chief Selector, Captain and Vice Captain (because Inzi may not last too long), and the Coach. On my own behalf, I would like the Board to take the following actions:

    1. Build-in incentives in the player compensation formula for players to: (i) better look after their fitness, and (ii) improve their on-field behavior, stay out of trouble (including acquiring intimate knowledge of ICC regulations)and avoid being penalized. In recent months we have had to pay dearly for the bans slapped on key players. I believe if a player gets into trouble repeatedly, he should not be selected. And habitual offenders need to be banned. If there is cancer, it needs to be cut.

    2. The Board should completely overhaul its system of fitness monitoring and health support to players.

    Finally, I will take any one to a 5-course dinner who comes up with a workable idea on how to force accountability upon the Board.

    Any takers?

  • Mujtaba on February 12, 2007, 22:58 GMT

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Younis Khan 4. Muhammad Yousuf 5. Inzamam-ul-Haq (C) 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Abdul Razzak 9. Abdul Rehman 10.Umar Gul 11. Muhammed Asif

    12. Muhammed Sami 13. Muhammed Hafeez 14. Azhar Mehmood 15. Danish Kaneria . Sorry no place for Shoaib Akhter in my squad.the dude is nothing but a liability and to solidify my comment check the number of games played in 10 years by him .Surprisingly 43 Tests and 139 ODIs,he was never completely fit and never will be.And dont start the chapter on his attitude.The boys currently playing are good ,but worries are there for Kamran Akmal's lack of confidence and form but still its a winning team.

  • AMIR, USA on February 12, 2007, 22:46 GMT

    Final team selection, AFRIDI MUST OPENN!!!

    1.Shahid Afridi 2.Imran Nazir 3.Younis Khan 4.Mohammed Yousef 5.Inzimam ul Haq 6.Shoaib Malik 7.Abdul Razzak 8.Kamral Akmal 9.Shoaib Akhtar 10.Umar Gul 11.Mohammed Asif

    Reserves: Hafeez, Abdul Rehman, Rana

  • Donga Bonga on February 12, 2007, 22:45 GMT

    You guys are deluded. What makes you think that this team will do any better than the last lot who were more talented? I'm looking forward to seeing you get tonked, as well as further scandals surrounding cheating, illegal actions and Shoaib Akhtar, who has all these properties in one balding person. Come on you England!

  • Taufique Ahmed on February 12, 2007, 22:31 GMT

    No matter what combination you come up with, the current crop of Pakistani players does not have the mindset or talent to win anything. So instead of wasting our time let's hope another subcontinental team has a go at winning the World Cup. Apart from religion ( which is a matter of personal belief and choice) at least they are the same as us and we should take pride if they succeed.

  • mansoor on February 12, 2007, 22:29 GMT

    Injuries must be taken into account and with Shoaib out I'd say that we need Gul to be in. Also I don't know why we can't open with Nazir and Malik. I trust Malik more than Kamran, Imran and Hafeez. Kamran should come down the batting line where he doesn't have the pressure and can play his shots. Also I am sorry but I feel that Razzaq is better deserving to be in the team than Afridi. Sure Afridi's bowling is give a better option but Razzaq's batting is definitely more trustworthy and lately its the batting thats failing. Lastly I think strictly for Windies pitches we should have a spin option. Here is the lineup: Nazir Malik Younis Yousef Inzimam Karman Razzaq / Afridi Gul Asif Shabbir/Sami (Who ever is healthiest) Danish/Abdul Rehman / Azhar (the former if the pitch is going to turn otherwise Azhar)

    Reserves: Butt, Farhat ,Hafeez, Rana, Shoaib (??)

  • Fraz on February 12, 2007, 21:40 GMT

    For God's sake dont try Sami anymore. This lad has played for 7 years just on the basis of his debut performance. But does any one remember it was in 2001 not 2005!!!!!

  • Hasan Jafar on February 12, 2007, 21:18 GMT

    Based on current form in domestic cricket, Salman Butt needs to be included. Also, I agree this is no time to experiment with with a new wicketkeeper. Hafeez has been given enough chances as an opener and has not delivered. A good opening stand is a must for Pakistan's success. Rana Naved has lost his bowling instincts and should be omitted from the squad. Azhar Mahmood has the experience and performance to merit selection. Shoaib Malik, Afridi, and Razzaq have performed off and on and deserve to be selected. The major problem is in the bowling department. Kaneria with all his experience should be preferred over an unchallenged Abdul Rahman. No one knows who is fit in the fast bowling department. But certainly Mohammad Asif is in if fit. I would go with Gul and Shoaib if fit otherwise its anyone's guess. Finally, Younis Khan, Yousaf, and Inzi are automatic selections.

  • Naveed on February 12, 2007, 21:16 GMT

    I have followed Pakistani cricket very closely for the past few years and the point I would like to make is their inconsistency outside of Pakistan. For example Australia, South Africa and recently England! We can put this down to a number of factors.

    1. Rubbish flat pitches where there is no bounce! 2. No decent batsmen apart from Inzi, Younis & Yousouf 3. Inconsistent selection (PCB) 4. World Class Fast Bowlers (BUT NO FAST BOWLING COACH)!!! 5. Injury prone – recently (GUL, SHOAIB AKHTAR, SHOAIB MALIK, SAMI, SHABBIR AHMED) ASIF does not look in good shape!!! 6. Scandals where do you want me to start? Forfeited match, ball tampering, doping scandals, public arguments with the coach and recently arguing with members of the crowd! 7. HOT and COLD one day you see Pakistan on top in every aspect Batting, Bowling & Fielding and the next day their rubbish at everything. 8. Fielding is absolutely rubbish my nana can field better then some of the Pakistani players! 9. Too many all rounder's 10. Different opening combinations for the past 4 years (inconsistency AGAIN)!!!

    People to drop

    Akmal his form is very poor no runs and just about manages behind the stumps if he had taken a few more catches during the test series with SA it may have been a different result.

    Razzak looks like he does not want to be there his fielding is rubbish he has lost a lot of pace has been inconsistent with the bat.

    Nazir goes because he can play excellent on flat pitches put him on a bouncy pitch and u can see the results (game 1, 3 & 5 Vs SA).

    My squad for the WC 2007

    1. Hafeez 2. Hameed 3. Younis 4. Yousouf 5. Inzi 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Afridi 8. Sarfaraz Ahmed 9. Shoaib Akhtar (if Fit)/Sami 10. Gul 11. Asif

    12. Azhar – (Plenty of experience) 13. Arafat – (played well with Sussex, has pace and can smack the ball around the park) 14. Rana – (can be deadly on his day) 15. Kaneria – A genuine wicket taker which Pakistan urgently need.

    I would appreciate feedback with regards to my comments from anyone.

    Thanks

    Naveed

  • Raja Shehzad zaman on February 12, 2007, 21:13 GMT

    Well Pakistan being unpredictable is nothing new. So i'm not worried about that. I am worried about so many key players getting injured though. I believe that the success of Pakistan team, in world cup, would heavily rely on our pace attack. I mean which combination is fit, and which combination we play. In an ideal world, it would be nice to see Shoaib, Asif and Gul in the same team, playing in the same match, for once. Since we are not in an ideal world, so i'll we have to stick with what we have. My team: 1) Imran Nazir 2) Kamran Akmal 3) Shoaib Malik 4) Younis Khan 5) Mohammad yousuf 6) Inzi 7) Razzaq 8) Azhar Mahmood 9) Asif 10) Shoaib 11) Umar Gul

    Rana, Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Rehman would constitute the rest of the 15 for world cup squad.

    Now if Shoaib becomes unavailable for world cup, for some God forsaken reason, or maybe his knee, as he says, then we can replace him with Rao.

    I just believe Azhar Mahmood should be preferred over Afridi. He is more reliable than Afridi and he can also hit the ball pretty well. With Afridi, it would be a smart idea to play him in only 1 or mayb 2 matches, since that’s how he performs (1-2 games out of 10)..lol. Thanks, Raja Shehzad Zaman

  • minhaj latif on February 12, 2007, 21:13 GMT

    the team should be 1.nazir 2.afridi 3.younis 4.yousaf 5.inzi 6.malik 7.razzaq 8.akmal 9.akhtar 10.asif 11.gul

  • Aamir Yunus on February 12, 2007, 21:10 GMT

    1 Shoaib Malik 2 Younus Khan 3 M Yousuf 4 Inzi 5 Afridi 6 Razzaq 7 Akmal 8 A Mahmood/Arafat 9 Gul 10 Kaneria 11 Asif

    Just get rid of Farhat, Hafeez, Butt, Hamid. They are all garbage.

  • Mawali on February 12, 2007, 21:07 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, I am not sure if I concur with your reasoning or lack thereof. I would add that Pakistan at this juncture needs a bold approach and go for broke. Hey. its not like you are deviating from a winning formula here. To open I would bring back Salman Butt and promote either Inzi or Younis. Leave Yousaf at his spot. Include no more than 2 allrounders to include Shaid Afridi and Shoaib Malik. We already know Shoaib Akhtar is not going to be available, so the bowling attack comprises of Messrs. Asif, Gul and Sami. You can't tinker with the keeper you have to go with the guy with 2 left hands Akmal, let him go down the order. Bring either Haffeez,Nazir (Imran that is) or Hameed with of course Yousaf anchoring the middle. Razzaq should not even be allowed through the gates. Pakistan needs to play with desire and a fire in the belly( not the kind you get after eating Nihari(witch's brew) something that Inzi Bhai (MBBS)seems to be suffering from, then let the chips fall where they may. AMF!

  • saba on February 12, 2007, 20:57 GMT

    people here in pakistan arn't even sure or they have not been told yet whether shoaib is fit or not!!....whatever!he gotta be in the team..because if,as 99% chances are,pakistan qualifies for the next round of world cup,,they'll have to face the likes of SA and AUS.....so atleast bowling squad must be stronger....and the openers???...even bob doesn't know!

  • Mohammed Imran Yousuf on February 12, 2007, 20:32 GMT

    Kamran Saab our team is in big trouble before the world cup has started. Our main bowlers are injured our openers don’t quite know what day it is imran nazir promised sooo much but did not live up to the hype Kamran akmal is the most unluckiest player going (just after m. Sami) the way he got out on Sunday I don’t think you can blame him it was just unfortunate that he fell over other wise I think he would have got back no doubt. The number 3 position you don’t know when khan come’s in and when he’s gone, yousuf bhai keep’s on getting out to childish dismissals the way he got out on Sunday was quite sad but then again he is the man inform up till Sunday he did play extremely well then again he has 2 fail somewhere and inzi bhai needs to come up the order maybe at 4 and let yousuf come later on. Inzi bhai you must get a century in South Africa before this tour is over common inzi bhai you can do it.

    Coming to our blowers from what I saw on Sunday then I am pretty convinced that asif is going too get injured before the world cup. He looked like saying skipper I have done too much and I need a rest. Poor rana has no idea where to blow every time he bowler’s a half a decent delivery it disappears to the boundary. Razzaq just runs up and be’s asked to be hit out the ground and rehman is totally no idea how to handle the SA batsmen’s proving we need Danish back. I have to say that I have been impressed with Azhar mehmoods return but has he done enough to say that if the like’s of shoaib, Gul and Shabbir are fully fit that he would be playing I am not sure. I also thought that brining hafeez in for the banned Afridi would have made more sense then brining rehman in because hafeez can hold a bat for half an hour or so. I fully hope that our team sort’s them self out and brings the world cup home where it truly belongs. Plz Allah help them.

    Common inzi win the world cup in style and then say good bye to cricket just as true legend would say which you are (like Imran Khan did). Mohammed Yousuf to be the player of the tournament in the world cup.

  • Sheharyar Ahmed Siddiqui from Karachiii! on February 12, 2007, 20:26 GMT

    Enough said already.

    My Team for the Worldcup 1.Yasir Hameed 2.Salman Butt 3.Younis Khan 4.Muhammed Yousuf 5.Inzimam 6.Shoaib Malik 7.Shahid Afridi 8.Abdul Razzaq 9.Umar Gul 10.Shoaib Akhter 11.Muhammed Asif *12.Abdul Rehman *13.Rao Iftikhar *14.Rana Naveed *15.Muhammed Hafeez

  • bilal on February 12, 2007, 19:57 GMT

    i mean look at this, one bad loss SO MUCH ATTENTION, i mean our unpredictability is well known through out the world, i hasnt changed since well EVERRR, although we have been consistent thru the course of the last 1 year or so, a few bumps of course. i say pak shud jst keep doing wht they are, take 15 of ur top players, thts it, no need to make drastic squad changes wht so ever. keep it simple and LEAVE akmal alone ppl. he has played for soooo long and getting a new guy FOR THE WORLD CUP!!please ppl have sum common sense.

    and im sure if inshAllah pakistan win the last ODI ppl will change too, saying this team is right etc etc... if we want consistency on the pitch, we need sum in our minds too.

  • khansahab on February 12, 2007, 19:31 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, I consider it regrettable that people still consider that Nazir and Hafeez have any future in Pakistan’s opening cordon. I have posted the following comment on a different thread, yet fortuitously I find it relevant here. I would beg people to take notice of this formula:

    Today's match is a classic example of a classic thrashing. I hope the supporters of the so called "Pakistani specialist openers" begin to see the light and realise that we need "global specialist openers" not those who can only play in the subcontinent. The whole system and conception of "opening" should be changed- its foundations must be rattled, and a common sense, reasonable approach must be used. After all combinations/ideas/"specialist openers" have been used, the residual idea- (to open with your specialist mature batsman), must, no matter how strange/abstruse, be the right one.

    I always knew Nazir’s comeback would not be reliable. He only impressed in the match which Pakistan won- his story is the same as Farhat’s and Butt’s and to a large extent, Hameed’s; on your comeback/debut make a couple of good scores and then lose the plot……… I assure you, if you recall the sacked Farhat or Butt, we will see scores of 50 odd (or even a century) in the first or second match they play, but after that we’ll see a long list of scored under 25. Hafeez is confused. He knows that the mentally inept administration/team management adopt the long-failed philosophy of “ Dil se khelo dimagh se nahi, jaao yaar khul kar khelo inshallah century banao gey” (brainwashing the immature openers- that is immature when it comes to batting). He has stated himself that his main priority at international level is to occupy the crease and that is what he has been working on for years. Hence we see the conflict of ideas. This conflict, which can be avoided by a common sense and reasonable approach, has led to the opening debacle of Pakistan (and hence is indirectly the reason why Pakistan isn’t the no.1 team in both forms of the game). This flawed guidance stems from the “Bhais (brothers)” and the managers and ruins whatever little the openers are capable of.

    By constantly sending Akmal as opener, we can play a specialist batsmen or specialist bowler / specialist pinch hitter in his position. It doesn’t matter if akmal is poor at opening- he can do a comparable job to our openers and we can play specialists in his position. I have mentioned this before, but here goes my squad again:

    1 akmal 2 Yousuf 3 Younis 4 Inzi 5 Fawad Alam/Asim Kamal/Yasir Hameed 6 Malik 7 Afridi/ any other pinch hitter like Nazir 8 Azhar Mahmood/ a Razzaq in form 9 Akhtar/ Sami/ Shabbir 10 Gul/Naved 11 Asif

    reserves: Hafeez, Fawad Alam/Asim Kamal/Yasir Hameed, Afridi/any other pinch hitter like Nazir, Azhar Mahmood/Razzaq in form Sami/Shabbir Gul/Naved

    If you look at this playing XI, Mahmood/a Razzaq in form is the only one being played because he can “do a bit of both bowling and batting”. Afridi/Nazir is the pinch hitter primarily there because of batting. Fawad Alam gives the left-arm –spin-around the wicket option which can be very useful (Jayasuria/ Yuvraj/ etc. useful side bowlers) in this team we also have mature specialist batsmen (Alam/Kamal/Hameed and Malik) giving company to and complementing the more risky hitters.

    The only other combination I have liked so far in this thread is of Gohar Ayub’s. (I don’t however support the inclusion of Imran Nazir.)

    p.s. where are my friends Mawali, Euceph Ahmed and Javed A. Khan from Montreal, Canada? Strange none of them having posted so far on this thread……………..

  • Salman Shakeel on February 12, 2007, 19:18 GMT

    1.Salman Butt 2. Nazir 3. Younis 4. Yousuf 5. Inzamam 6. Malik/Afridi/Kaneria 7.Razzaq/Azhar 8. Akmal 9. Shoaib 10. Umar Gul 11. M. Asif

    No need for openers like Imran farhat...Nothing performance in SAF tour

    M.Hafeez....didn't bother to cross a fifty/50 score throghout the whole SAF Tour how can he be our opener for the WC?If he is then May God save our early exit from the WC.

    Rana Naveed...huh?...He is match winner not for pakistan but for the team that is playing against pakistan...His line and length is pathetic and he is in the team due to good relations with Inzamam!...He has been mercilessly smashed all over the SAF Grounds BUT Inzamam keeps him picking up for the final eleven.Simply not understanble for me....Rana Must be dropped!

  • Mustafa Moiz on February 12, 2007, 19:17 GMT

    Something else to support Sami besides speed and his off-cutter and reverse swing is that he can bat as well as bowl. If he works harder he will become another all-rounder for Pakistan. And also he is the only fast bowler with an injury who is likely to return for the World Cup so he is a necessity at least for his pace.

  • Shiraz from Houston, USA on February 12, 2007, 19:14 GMT

    no akhtar...no world cup...period!

  • Someone Somewher on February 12, 2007, 19:05 GMT

    Just for thought. As we have seen for last 5+ years that our openers never click and our ballers actually make more runs then openers. So why not give this a shot with some team like netherland or bermuda. to see the impact. GIVEN Shoaib is injured or so-called resting :) 1.Imran Nazir 2.Rana Naveed (He can get good crack at the ball i think specially given the fielding restriction in first 15 overs.) again just a wild thought 3. S. Malik (should bat at this number) 4. Inzimam 5. Yousuf 6. Younis 7. Afridi 8. Razzaq 9. Akmal 10. Asif 11. Gul

    I moved Rana up as Imran can stay a bit long and let Rana crack the ball as he does in tail. So even if he fails we would be in same boat as always but this time we didn't lose any batsman in first few overs :) God Bless this team. and Once they are blessed then really God Bless all other teams as this team won't let anyone stand.

  • zarwar khan on February 12, 2007, 19:00 GMT

    Pka selectors to blame for no strategy for the world cup. They kept shuffling players around tilll the world cup first match. Few years back i read wasim bari interview regarding kamran akmal. eventhough, akmal was performing above gilchrist at that time but bari had reservation about his wicketkeeping. bari said akmal has technical flaws in his wicketkeeping technique but despite of all that they did not had any reserve wicketkeeper in any subsequent tours. Now, they are stuck with this out of form akmal who neither bat nor can glove properly.

    They kept trying faisal iqlab but did not pick a proven batsman asim kamal and now it is too late to even pick him.

    pak reaching the next level in the WC looks bleak.

    who to blame only and only selectors are responsible for this mess. They should be shame of their negligence and no strategy.

  • Amyn Habib on February 12, 2007, 18:57 GMT

    Kamran, What I like about your writing is that you are an incurable romantic, a dreamer. No one else would have written an article about “lifting” the Cup immediately following the thrashing in the Fourth ODI.

    This team is unlikely to lift the World Cup (or any Cup) because it has two and a half batsmen (Inzi, Yousuf and Younis counts as half) and only one bowler (Asif -since Shoaib seems to be out).

    The general consensus seems to be that if we put as may bits and pieces players as we can lay our hands on it will make a beautiful whole. Two of the “all rounders” on everybody’s list seem to be Razzak and Afridi. In the 2003 World Cup, Razzak averaged 19 and took just 1 wicket, while Afridi scored at an average of 5.33 and took 3 wickets. If these are the late order attackers that “Pakistan’s strategy hinges on”, then God have mercy upon us.

    This is a recipe for disaster, as we have experienced repeatedly, and doubtless we will experience again. Also, given the difficulties with the top of the order batting, I hope the selectors will play Hameed –despite his failure in the test matches in SA- given his superior overall batting record over Hafeez and considering the fact that Hafeez did even worse.

  • Jamshed Sadiq on February 12, 2007, 18:43 GMT

    don't panic with lost of this 4th ODI .. Inshallah team will perform .. Plz don't do changes all the time ... stick with them ... give them a chance this team will give you good results ... anyway if you ask me about the best eleven for this comming world cup 2007 i would rather insist you to select these players. I might be wrong but my mind tells me these players can win the world cup for pakistan ... (best of luck) but whatever the team i will sport my team like since childhood... Pakistan Zindabad (best of luck again)

    1. Imran Nazir 2. + Kamran Akmal 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammed Yousuf 5. * Inzamam-ul-haq 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Abdul Razzak 9. Umar Gul 10. Shoaib Akhtar 11. Mohammad Asif

    12. Mohammad Hafeez (must go with the team ) 13. Azhar Mehmood (very useful in WI conditions) 14. Abdur Rehman ( good left arm spiner ) 15. Zulkarnain Haider (reserve wicket keeper)

  • Sami Syed from Toronto on February 12, 2007, 18:41 GMT

    HELLO ALL! Please comment --

    What we have witnessed in this ODI series is nothing new of Pakistan, so let's not waste anymore time declaring that they are unpredictable.

    The fact is that we just can't pick players without a plan. And here is my PLAN!!!

    1. Imran Nazir - batting on flat tracks and the only player who pulls efficiently. 2. Younis Khan - If Dravid can open so can Younis and usually at least one of our openers goes in the first two overs and Younis comes to face new ball. So why not solve the opening problem by putting him in??? Any comments? 3. Mohammad Yousuf - Obvious - get more batting time, as per Imran Khan, should be moved up. 4. Inzamam Ul-Haq - Obvious - Get more batting time as per Imran Khan, should move up to # 4 spot. 5. Shoaib Malik- He is a dependable batter on his day and has the spin option. 6. Shahid Afridi - A must! Exceptional spin option. 7. Abdul Razzaq/ (12) Azhar Mahmood - pick which ever is in form. 8. Kamran Akmal - Wouldn't be here if there was a back up for him. But has to be. 9. Mohammad Asif - Indespensible 10. Umar Gul / (13) Rana - Gul is the best of these three... Rana would replace, and Shabbir hasn't even played to be considered. 11. Shoaib Akhter / (14) Mohammad Sami - Shoaib Akhter's pace can only be replaced by Sami, and he brings passion with him. A true fighter. I haven't seen him give up. 15. Mohammad Hafeez - because of his all-round capability. (16. If Shoaib is inujured would be Jamshed or Anwar.)

    TELL ME IF YOU CAN ARGUE WITH THE ABOVE. IT makes the most sense. And DEFINITELY, we should give YOUNIS KHAN a thought as opener because he always come in right in the beginning any way. RIGHT???? Plus the two (younis and nazir) did good together and Younis's experience made him rotate the strike to Imran Nazir.

    Sami from Toronto.

  • rehan on February 12, 2007, 18:39 GMT

    Dismal performance. And typical pakistan. Swinging beteen all out attack in one game and overdefensiveness in the next. Despite losing quick wiskets Pakistan batmen go into a shell and play it like a test match. The likes of Razzak dont have the technique for defense and he should be asked to play his natural game nevertheles. A typical quick fire 20-30 would have still been better than play and miss defensiveness.I feel losing Afridi before the match made them over cautious. Although Imran Nazir perhaps the only one that perhaps needs to control is testosterone and be a bit more judicious.Yousaf was unlucky it was a brilliant catch on a shot that normally goes for four. Still If the likes of razzak and Malick played their natural game they would scored more than the dismal total they achieved and perhaps Pakistan neeeded one more batsmen. Losing Afridi was a big psychological blow. He should have been replaced by Yasir Hameed or a batsman than a leg spinner. with all the injuries and the comings and goings Pakistan should take a wild card with them. A dark horse. A player like Fowad Alam. The all rounder who swept all the awards in the 20-20 tournament which had all the biggies- Afridi Malick Akhter and all. He walked away with best bowler, Best batsman and Player of the tournament awards. Perhaps he should be on that trip to West Indies.Maybe young but.... After all Miandad was only 15 when he was selected for 1975 world cup.

  • Omar Khawaj on February 12, 2007, 18:36 GMT

    My Team: Openers Hafeez Imran

    Midle order Younis Yousaf Inzi

    Lower midle order Razak Afridi Malik

    Kamran Asif Shoaib

    BackUp Abdur Rehman Azhar Ummar Gul Sammi

  • Mike Rosario on February 12, 2007, 18:34 GMT

    Folks lets be realistic ...this team can't win crap ...thanks to lousy batting. You certainly don't need Shoaib Malik any first class team let alone a test or one day squad for the World Cup. Bob Woolmer ..pls get your head out of ... and select based on merit ..not ass kissing.

    Thanks

    Mike

  • rehan on February 12, 2007, 18:26 GMT

    Dismal performance. And typical pakistan. Swinging beteen all out attack in one game and overdefensiveness in the next. Despite losing quick wiskets Pakistan batmen go into a shell and play it like a test match. The likes of Razzak dont have the technique for defense and he should be asked to play his natural game nevertheles. A typical quick fire 20-30 would have still been better than play and miss defensiveness.I feel losing Afridi before the match made them over cautious. Although Imran Nazir perhaps the only one that perhaps needs to control is testosterone and be a bit more judicious.Yousaf was unlucky it was a brilliant catch on a shot that normally goes for four. Still If the likes of razzak and Malick played their natural game they would scored more than the dismal total they achieved and perhaps Pakistan neeeded one more batsmen. Losing Afridi was a big psychological blow. He should have been replaced by Yasir Hameed or a batsman than a leg spinner. with all the injuries and the comings and goings Pakistan should take a wild card with them. A dark horse. A player like Fowad Alam. The all rounder who swept all the awards in the 20-20 tournament which had all the biggies- Afridi Malick Akhter and all. He walked away with best bowler, Best batsman and Player of the tournament awards. Perhaps he should be on that trip to West Indies.Maybe young but.... After all Miandad was only 15 when he was selected for 1975 world cup.

  • Muhammad Haris on February 12, 2007, 18:20 GMT

    Well Kamran, You have already picked the best possible squad of the Pakistan cricket team for this World Cup.. Everyone definitely wants to see fit Shoaib Akhtar & Muhammad Asif in the bowling line up of Pakistan. But out of 16 selecting 11 players is the most difficult task. Well let me try out one time.. :)

    1. Muhammad Hafeez 2. Imran Nazir 3. Shoaib Malik 4. Younis Khan 5. Muhammad Yousuf 6. Inzamam ul Haq 7. Kamran Akmal 8. Abdul Razzaq 9. Shoaib Akhtar 10. Umar Gul 11. Muhammad Asif

    I believe they can shuffle between Shoaib Malik, Muhammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi & Azhar Mahmood in the playing eleven depending upon the playing conditions and the team they play against..

    Thanks. Muhammad Haris

  • Raja on February 12, 2007, 17:55 GMT

    Why Inzi like Kamran Akmal too much? To create his position in the team, Inzi is trying him as an opener. He is continuously failed.

    On other hand, Why Asim Kamal not consider for One day opener? His technique and self defense is better than any current Pakistani Batsman, included Inzi.

    Why he is always out?

    For Inzamam: Why you do not like Asim Kamal?

    Please some one tell me the reason, why PCB or Inzi ignoring Asim Kamal from last three years?

    We all know his performace is not an issue. If merit is there, he always be in the team

    Raja

  • Khalid on February 12, 2007, 17:54 GMT

    I think Pakistan should not take risk including shoaib in final 15. I know its sad but it’s a fact. I think Pakistan has enough to WMD to rule the world of cricket again. HANDS DOWN. Just need to change their attitude and remember right attitude can even change the world. Final 15 should be Imran Kamran Younis Yousuf Inzi Malik Razaaq Afridi Gul Naveed (Caribbean pitches suits him well, plus he is the hardest working individual in team, brings positive attitude and hard work always pay off) Asif

    Sami Yasir Hameed Hafeez.

  • umar on February 12, 2007, 17:46 GMT

    Though I love to see attacking games of cricket, with plenty of runs scored, I feel that Pakistan are taking a risk by playing TOO MANY attacking players in the team.

    This may sound stupid, as ODI cricket is all sbout attacking, but apart from Younis, Yousuf & Inzi, we don't have any other players who I think could play a 'sensible' innings. However, Shoaib Malik had shown that he was very capable of coming in at one down and laying a platform. Also, in '99 we saw Razzaq fulfilling this role, which I believe he is still perfectly capable of doing.

    The good think about the ODI team is that the batting order is so flexible. For example, Afridi could bat anywhere between 1-9, and depending on the situation Pak find themselves in (Inshallah mostly good positions!), they could change the bat order accordingly.

    I believe that Kamran Akmal's place in the team should be under review. Although there is almost no time left until the 1st game, we must have a backup, seeing as his form with bat and gloves has gone to pieces. I believe that if he doesn't perform in the 1st 3 or 4 games of the WC, he should be dropped, and maybe Younis Khan could be used as wicketkeeper, which he has done pretty well before I seem to remember (against Zimbabwe in an ODI I think). This would then allow us to play an extra specialist batsman/bowler, giving extra strength.

    My team for the 1st game against WI would be:

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Kamran Akmal OR Mohammad Hefeez 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammad Yousuf 5. Inzamam-ul-Haq 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Abdul Razzaq 8. Shahid Afridi 9. Azhar Mahmood 10. Shoaib Akhtar 11. Mohammad Asif

    Reserves:

    12. Salman Butt OR Imran Farhat 13. Mohammad Hafeez 14. Mohammad Sami 15. Umar Gul

    We undoubtedly have the talent there to win the World Cup, but unfortunately we are the most inconsistent team in the world!!

  • Fareed Nasir on February 12, 2007, 17:46 GMT

    I think what you saw as complacency, I will put down as fear. A fear which turns a docile pitch into a minefield, so that no one wants to get out playing a shot. A fear which arises from the uncertainity surronding the recent tour. Some of it like injuries was un avoidable, others like selection inconsistency self inflicted. We have done too much experimentation. SA tour was not the ideal setup to prepare the team for a World cup in Windies. It has left the team, tired, injured, unsure and unconfident. However wahtever is done is in the past. I think salman butt and yasir should have been chosen ahead of Azhar and Imran nazir. I think its terrible to discard Imran farhat so near the world cup, time to discard him was before the w indies home series. BUT no more experimentation. Squad has to be chosen from the current lot, no new late comers anymore please. Whereas I agree with most of the squad, I would prefer Rana over Sami. Rana is out of form and can always start to improve, Sami even at his best is below par. Akmal should not open, he looks out of sorts in that position. Hafeez should be the regular opener with the license to go after the bowling, he should be acccompanied by Inzimam. Inzi down the order looses too many runs due to bad running between wickets, His presence up the order will also help players on other end. With 20 overs of power plays, one should try Afridi one down depending on pitch and opposing team. I know he failed in past. But west indies is different from England. This should be followed by Yousuf, Younis and Shoiab.These 3 have the capability to play risk free cricket while mantaining a healthy runrate, Due to their ability to rotate the strike. Akmal and Razzaq to follow. Azhar/Rana/Abdur rehman depending on pitch and oppostion, I think azhar is not a much better bat than Rana. Umar gul/Shoaib (lets hope they are fit and Asif. Imran Nazeer should be last player in the squad. So our squads are almost same but their utility differs. As a last note lets not be too pessimistic, Pakistan will IA be a much stronger force in frendlier conditions of West Indies.

  • Nadeem Shafee on February 12, 2007, 17:41 GMT

    Merit, Merit, Merit

    Secrete for the success.

    PCB should check last one year performance or some thing like last 30 or 40 one days performance scenario to select national team.

    Do not consider any out of form players like ... Kamran Akmal, Inzi, Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razzak, Rana Naveed, Salman Butt, Azhar Mahmood etc.

    Nadeem Shafee

  • adyjohn on February 12, 2007, 17:39 GMT

    what is the difference between australia and pakistan !

    australia lost the match shock the world pakistan win the match shock the world to

  • Gulab Khan on February 12, 2007, 17:35 GMT

    Pakistan team should not be from one province. We need Pakistan team not the provisional team. Quota System should applied.

    Gulab Khan Peshawer

  • Dawar on February 12, 2007, 17:33 GMT

    With the current out of form Kamran Akmal, Rana Naveed-ul-Hasan, Abdul Razak & Shoaib Malik they should not be included in the team. Please note: Several time in past Abdul Razak & Shoaib Malik become injured during the match against strong opponents. Their fitness and mental strenght is never reliable.

    We also should not neglete stars from our under 19 team who won world cup 19. Most of the great players started thier career in early age.

    Merit should be applied. This is a success of wining, STEVE WAUGH (Legend & Ex Captain of Austrlian Cricket Team).

    Injured and out of form players are not in the list except Inzi.

    Inzi is our Captain otherwise his current performance is not satisfactory for the world cup. Please also note: Inzi total average for world cup is 23, lower than kapil dev & Imran khan. Big shame for him.

    1. Asim Kamal 2. Yasir Hamid/Imran Nazir/Mohammad Hafeez 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammad Yusuf 5. Inzamam/ Yasir Hamid/ Hasan Raza 6. Fawad Alam 7. Srafraz Ahmad 8. Danish 9. Anwar Ali 10. Mohammad Asif 11. Umar Gul 12. Hasan Raza, Rao Ifthikar

    Fawad Alam -- Star of twenty twenty, Best batsman, best filder, best bowler & Man of the match of the 20/20 and still doing very well in current Quaid-e-Azam. (3 centuries plus 15 wickets)

    Srafraz Ahmad (Wicket Keeper bastman, Captain of under 19 cricket team who won for us)

    Anwar Ali (Outstanding fast bowler who won under 19 world cup for us and performing well in domestic cricket.

    May be its good Inzi should take rest against weak team and give chance to young players like Yasir Hamid, Fawad Alam,.

    Dawar Los Angels, USA

  • Ali Talib on February 12, 2007, 17:22 GMT

    actually its not just our team but it is ourselves who go wid de flow..till 5 days back ppl were against playin shahid afridi in de team n same wid mohammad sami..but now they re dere fav as per de comments i read..

    first of all let asses de pitches in windies..they re as flat as de pitches in pakistan but with un even bounce wheras we hav smooth bounce in sub continent pitches..so playing someone like sami with no variety in bowling will b lyk askin de lykes of gayle n company to come n hit us..

    de perfect eleven wud be

    1)imran nazir (his ability to play on the back foot) 2)Kamran Akmal ( sound technique) 3) younis khan (stability) 4) M. Yousuf ( Styles n class) 5)Inzi (back Bone) 6) Shoaib Malik ( Versitality) 7) Afridi ( aggression) 8) Razzaq ( bowling allrounder) 9) Rana Naveed ( thinking bowler) 10 ) Shoiab akhter ( share pace) 11) asif ( automatic choice)

    reserves .azhar mahmood .mohammad hafeez .umar gul .mohammad sami

    i wud neva go for yasir hameed coz he is just lyk doz players who play for dere place in de side rather then dere country... n definitly he is a front foot player and he wont b successfull in windies..kaneria sorry dude am being lil harsh..rehman lack of expereience..

  • sajidd on February 12, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    Kaneria has been our second best bowler for the past few seasons, be it behind Shoiab, Gul or Asif. Kaneria needs to be in the team.

    Who is Jamshed Ahmed and what has he done lately?

    Sajid Ahmed

  • Chacha Koora Kirckit on February 12, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    This blog always seems to be full of selectors! More horizontal dialogue! Why is everyone trying to emulate Wasim Bari?

  • Farhan on February 12, 2007, 17:11 GMT

    Imran Nazir Muhammad Hafeez Shoaib Malik Muhammad Yousuf Inzamam ul Haq Younis Khan Shahid Afridi Kamran Akmal Abdur Razzaq Umer Gul Muhammad Asif

    Imran Farhat Azhar Mahmood Muhammad Sami Danish Kaneria

    You would have to leave Rana out for the kind of form he has been in for a long time now. Also I think it is a better idea of picking Danish over Rehman for the former has a lot more experience of international cricket. Your two reserves can be a wicketkeeper and a middle order batsman iff we are able to find one because I was simply not able to remember one.

  • Amir on February 12, 2007, 17:10 GMT

    Kamran Sahab, all well said but like you have mentioned earlier, how to get all those players together. Pakistan is now the most fragile team in the world, both temperamentally as well as physically.

    Shoaib Akhtar seems to be out of the WC and even if he makes it dramatically, you can almost hope that it could be a move made in desperation. Don't rule him out returning after playing a couple of matches, and yes, injuring Woolmer in the process.

    How on earth a professional team manages to move on despite such incidents is beyond me. its a team ravaged with injuries and infighting and yet everyone pretends that all is hunky dory.

    If the pak team is fit and united, I have no doubt that Aussies will fear them both in the tests and the ODIs, but somehow it seems nothing more than a dream.

  • AQC on February 12, 2007, 16:39 GMT

    i have replacement is a one more bowler is name ali he performed well agianst india in under19 WC

    These two players must be given chance, if pakistan have any hope .. With Shoaid akthar out of the World Cup, you have to take chance.

    Bowlers: (these all must be in the WC squad) 1- Asif 2- Gul (is he fit???) 3- jamshed ahmed (must be given chance, quality bowler like wasim akram and sarfraz ahmed) 4- Ali (from the under 19 WC) 5- Sami

    Allrounders: (pick 4 from this set or if younus khan can be the backup wicketkeeper, you can pick all 5 of them in the squad) 1- Afridi 2- Razzaq 3- Shoaid Malik 4- Rana 5- Azar

    Batsmen: (these all must be in WC squas) 1- Inzi 2- Yousuf 3- Yonus 4- Imran Nazir

    Wicketkeepr: (Both must be in worldcup squad or if Yonus Khan can keep??? if so, then he is the backup and you pickup another batsman/allrounder instead of zulqarnain) 1- Kamaran 2- ZULQARNAIN

    Starting Team and batting order: 1- Imaran (opener) 2- Afiridi (operner) 3- Yonus 4- Yousuf 5- Inzi 6- Shoaid Malik 7- Kamran 8- Razzaq 9- Gul (if Sami is playing, he should come here) 10- Asif 11- (Sami or Jamshid or Ali)

    You have to take a chance with some new bowler, else forget about the WC, with one quality bowler you will not win any crucial mathces .... Gul, Asif, they need a strong back, Ali and Jamshid must be given chance ... else no hope ...

    Can anyone put this message to the PCB ... anyone please ...

  • ZAHRA on February 12, 2007, 16:25 GMT

    My team

    Kamran Akmal Inzi Kamran Akmal Younas Khan Muhammad Yousuf Afridi Imran Nazir Razzak Rana Shoaib Akhtar Muhammad Asif

  • Abid Rizvi on February 12, 2007, 16:20 GMT

    My team qould be: mohsin khan sadiq mohammad majid khan zaheer abbas javaid miandad asif iqbal imaran khan wasim bari sarfraz nawaz abdul qadir sikandar bahkat

    I am sure this team in there average 50 and 60 year of age would perform better than present team and also would be far more predictable.

  • IA Khalid on February 12, 2007, 16:09 GMT

    I think India and Pakistan both have outside chances of lifting the cup. The wickets won't be too demanding of their batsmen and if they can find form they could pose a big threat.

    Ganguly Uthappa Tendulkar Dravid Sehwag Y Singh Dhoni Pathan H Singh M Patel Sreesanth

    Pkn Nazir Younis K Shohaib M Yousuf Inzamam Shahid A Razzaq Kamran A Umar G Shohaib A Mohammed A

    I think that Pkn should start juggling their top order around for each game. Everyone knows it is their weakness, but by juggling it around and having so many players that can open; opponents won''t be able to set tactics. One match Younis K could come in and play a sensible innings, whilst in another the unsuspecting bowling attack could be flayed to all parts of the ground by Afridi.

    Pkn's bowling attack, if it remains fit, will definitely pose a threat.

    In my opinion SA have peaked a bit too soon for the world cup. They haven't really been tested with a bad patch. If Aus beat NZ in the triseries 3-0, then they are definitely the best prepared to win.

  • Mohammed Shamus on February 12, 2007, 15:55 GMT

    Basically what im going to say is that pakistan need a better captain.One who motivates the team and makes the players feel more confident.I would choose Younis Khan as captain. I have seen that under inzi everyone is miserable and they under perform.Razzak iz a gud bowler but inzi doesnt give him the oppurtunity.Under YK evryone is happy.He knows what field to set and what instructions to give and im sure the team will do much better with him being captain.

    the team wud be as follows: 1. Imran Nazir (attackin player/gud fielder) 2. Younis Khan ( He cums in after 5 overs anyway/Captain 3. Abdul Razzaq (Great allround batsman can defend/attack 4. Mohammad Yousuf 5. Inzi 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Kamran Akmal (Wicket Keeper) 9. Shoaib Akhtar (if he is fit) 10. Umar Gul (if he is fit) 11. Mohammad Asif

    12. Mohammad Hafeez 13. Rana Naved (if umar gul is injured he can be in team)/ 14. Azhar Mahmood (if shoaib akhtar is injured he can be in team) 15. Mohammad Sami We wont need any spinners we have afridi and malik anyway.

  • Owais on February 12, 2007, 15:48 GMT

    At the moment I am totally disappointed by the team, the captain, coach. But most importantly I am thoroughly absolutely disappointed by reading some of the names: 1) Kamran Akmal (bad wicketkeeper, batsmen with no form) 2) Shahid Afridi as opener ??? 3) having afridi,shoib malik, Razzaq, Azhar in the team simultanously. 4) Salman butt in the squad (on what form ??)

    I think Kaneria, along with Asif and Gul forms a potent economical-wicket-taking trio.

  • virtuoso on February 12, 2007, 15:41 GMT

    say NO to imran nazir plz,

    a specialist opener like salman butt should be there to accompany akmal,

    and if we cant bowl the team out (that would happen if shoaib is absent and rana is there), then atleast lets manage to put decent scores, so have the likes of azhar in the squad.

  • Ali Majid on February 12, 2007, 15:29 GMT

    Few points in response to the comments posted by Mr. Ali Akbar above.

    Younis not in the ODI starting XI?

    May I be bold enough to ask why? A man who along with Yousaf and Inzi is the backbone of the side is a certainty. Look at his performances since the beginning of 2005 since he made his comeback against India. It was this same person that provided the foundation for Pakistan to build such a huge total in the second ODI.

    The second point.....Inzi not in the side (the second playing XI)?!?! Faisal Iqbal included. What exactly has Faisal Iqbal done to deserve a place in the world cup squad? Why not Yasir Hameed.....as he has been in the squad as well and has usually delivered when called upon.

    Finally....Afridi as Captain? Justification please.

    I am not singling you out or anything and fully respepct that you are entitled to you own opinion but would love to hear the reasoning behind some of your points.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 12, 2007, 15:16 GMT

    INDIA has announced their WC squad. They are still relying on their old and proven horses like, Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh, both are out of form, yet India is relying on them because on their day both can win a match for India single handedly.

    Afridi is the only one who can do that for Pakistan, Razzaq to a certain extent yes. BUT, Imran Nazir, does he have any proven credentials? This is yet to be seen, therefore, I would like him to open the innings in all the first 4 matches so that he gets the required boost in his confidence

    In ODI's, the middle order cannot be considered as match winners, they can, but only when they get a good head start by the openers, or when they get the required support from the late order. Their's is a very pivotal role but largely depending either on the openers or from the lower order sloggers and big hitters.

    If Pakistan can sort out its opening conundrum "on paper", their bowling still remains a big question mark, unless Umar Gul and Asif are firing on all 4 cylinders. But, expecting them to do that in every single match they play in the WC is like asking someone to bring stars from the sky. The other two fast bowlers must also perform when one of the main strike bowler fails in any match. But, the question is, who are those remaining two fast bowlers? In the recent past Razzaq has proven very expensive, wayward and lacking in confidence and he is second to Rana. If you take Rana in the team, even after seeing him bowl so badly that would be a big disaster. The much talked about Azhar Mahmood does not have the speed, bite or even the swing that he is so famous for. And he looks unfit and gets tired after 4-5 overs. Can he loose some weight and improve his stamina in the next 4 weeks?

    The best thing would be to appoint WAQAR YOUNIS as a bowling coach NOW and relieve Mushtaq. At least Waqar would be able instil some energy and also guide them on the spot. Mushy seems to be giving some good company to Inzi only and helping him in leading the prayers more than his bowlers. It seems that both of them are suffering from Retrograde Amnesia. Inzi MUST wake up and tell his buddy to stay back home and he will see him in Raiwind but, after the world cup. Also, Inzi should play at number 3. PERIOD!

  • mohammed ajmal on February 12, 2007, 15:12 GMT

    my squad for the world cup: 1.Imran Nazir 2.Mohammed Hafeez 3.Younis Khan 4.Mohammed Yousuf 5.Inzamam Ul Haq 6.Shahid Afridi 7.Shoaib Malik 8.Kamran Akmal 9.Shoaib Akhtar 10.Umar Gul 11.Mohammed Asif (that would be my starting line up) 12.Yasir Hameed 13.Azar Mahmood 14.Salman butt 15.Abdul Razzaq with my starting 11 you have two compulsive strokemakers at the top order and the flay pitches of westindies should help with the wasy they play, and even if they get out you hav players to stabalize the situation in Yousuf, younis ,Inzi and Malik than toward the end of the innings you have got Malik, Akmal and not forgetting afridi to give the innings some acceleration. With the bowling front you probably have the best bowling attack in the world with Asif, Akhtar and Gul. And on the dusty track of the widies you hav 3 spinners to make up thr other 20 overs, I do not think that Razzaq should make the staring line up as he is an overated all rounder whos bowling has no peneration has he has shown on the bowler freindly pitches in South Africa.

  • Hasan on February 12, 2007, 15:02 GMT

    I think Pakistan performed poorly with the bat.But,knowing Pakistan they can pull up well in the last ODI.You cant expect Pakistan to come up on top always.The most in form players in Pakistan are M.Asif and M.yosuf.My team for the WC would be: 1.I.Nazir 2.K.Akmal 3.Y.khan 4.M.Yosuf 5.I.haq 6.S.malik 7.S.afridi 8.A.Razzak 9.S.akhtar 10.U.Gul 11.M.Asif Thi is my team for the WC.The reserves would be 12.S.Butt/R.naved 13.Y.Hameed/M.Hafeez 14.A.Rehman/D.Kaneria 15.M.Sami/S.Ahmed If this would be the 15 man sqad for Pakistan then Pakistan have a chance of winning the WC. GOOD LUCK FOR THE PAKISTANI TEAM IN THE WORLD CUP!

  • AA on February 12, 2007, 14:57 GMT

    After the 4th ODI performance, I would say pack the Pak team with 5 all rounders, 5 specialist batsmen and a wicketkeeper batsman. Hopefully one or two will click even if the rest fail. It appears that ODI strategy these days is to burry the opposition under piles of runs so this is what our team should focus on. On a flat pitch even the best bowler can't do much which is expected in WI. So my eleven will be 1. Nazir/Yasir 2. Salman/Farhat 3. Yonis 4. Yosuf 5. Inzi 6. Malik 7. Afridi 8. Hafeez 9. Akmal 10. Razzaq 11. Azhar

    And pick couple bowlers as reserve, Asif and Gul.

  • Mesum on February 12, 2007, 14:52 GMT

    The way this team has performed in the last cople of one-dayers, its very difficult to predict a successful story. However, improved injury situation can give the team a sense of relieve and the combination can gain confidence in the first round of the world cup stage. The stage is set for Inzi to retire a hero. My selection would look something like this:

    1- Mohammad Hafeez 2- Kamran Akmal 3- Younis Khan 4- Inzamam ulHaq 5- Mohammad Yousuf 6- Shoaib Malik 7- Shahid Afridi 8- Abdur Razzaq 9- Shoaib Akhtar 10- Mohammad Asif 11- Umar Gul

    12- Mohammad Sami 13- Danish Kaneria 14- Azhar Mehmood 15- Imran Farhat

    I would prefer to have Salman Butt but given he has been out of the mix for quite awhile, it would not be intelligent to bring him back at this juncture. Beside, we need to switch Sami and Akhtar every game so as to keep them fit through the tourney. Rana should be omitted for his extravangant economy rate. I hope our team proves to be the winner. Cheers All

  • Gugu on February 12, 2007, 14:46 GMT

    Exactly same team with one change. Yasir Hameed for Muhammad Hafeez. Dr. Sahb Yasir is too good a player. I would risk willing to open with Imran and Shoaib Malik. Shoaib Akhtar seems won't make it. So that gives chance to play ARazzaq and Azhar both in middle-lower order.

  • Haaris Sheikh on February 12, 2007, 14:43 GMT

    I have absolutely no sympathy for the two Imrans (Farhat & Nazir). Technique is Greek to them. If slasher is what one needs, Afridi can fill that role far better than either one of them. I am also not big on Kamran opening the innings. But, if push comes to shove, he can be used instead of picking an extra opener. Perhaps, Danish should be in the squad, but with Afridi as a leg spinner as well, Rehman provides variation with his left arm spin. Sami over Rana; both have been expensive as of late, but my vote is to go for speed. My two cents on the 15-man squad is:

    Openers: 1. Muhammad Hafeez 2. Yasir Hameed

    Middle Order: 3. Younis Khan 4. Muhammad Yousuf 5. Inzamam-ul-Haq 6. Shoaib Malik

    Wicket Keeper: 7. Kamran Akmal

    All Rounders: 8. Abdul Razzaq 9. Shahid Afridi 10. Azhar Mahmood

    Bowlers: 11. Shoaib Akhter 12. Muhammad Asif 13. Umer Gul 14. Muhammad Sami 15. Abdul Rehman

    Regards, Haaris

  • Hashaam on February 12, 2007, 14:27 GMT

    Very disappointing performance from Pakistan yesterday. However i am sure they will bounce back and level the series. The squad i have selected is: 1)Imran Nazir 2)Kamran Akmal 3)Younis Khan 4)Mohammed Yousaf 5)Inzimam Ul-Haq 6)Shoaib Malik 7)Shahid Afridi 8)Adur Razzaq 9)Rana Naved Ul-Hassan 10)Umar Gul 11) Mohammed Asif

    Reserve List 12)Yasir Hameed 13)Mohammed Sami 14)Azhar Mahmood 15)Mohammed Hafeez

    i feel this is a brilliant squad and more than capable of winning the world cup. I left out Rehman as i feel he hasnt done himself any favours in south africa and we have the spin option with afridi and malik we have 3 fast bowlers and 2 spinners razzaq and that is more than enough. Rana should stay he is still a very good bowler and has just had a bad tour, don't forget what he can do. I left shoaib out as i don't think he will shake off this new injury in time. Shabbir doesn't desrve to be in i saw him in the 20-20 and he ran in like an old man, he only got the wickets he got because of his illegal action. i would like to see anwar ali in the squad as he is performing in domestic cricket however i feel if the selectors had him in mind they would have sent him to south africa.

  • Kashif Buttar on February 12, 2007, 14:13 GMT

    I know my comments will be very hard to absorb, but i am ready to put a bet on what i m going to say, Pakistan will not make it into semifinals..teams can never be made in 30 odd days, and this team can lose to Bangladesh on a given day..but this cant win from Australia even if Aus play half the way they usually play..this would be more or less same show as Pakistan displayed in WC-2003 and more or less will be same with the team as was the way PCB did after WC-2003. So it is very easy for the selectors to pick any of 15 members and they should give chance to players from first class so they could also make money by traveling to Caribean..these current players have made enough give chance to others...because we are never going to win this World Cup...Bye

  • Tariq on February 12, 2007, 14:12 GMT

    1. Mo Hafeez (Batsman Alrounder) 2. Imran Nazir (Batsman) 3. Younis Khan (WK/ Batsman) 4. Moyo (Batsman) 5. Inzi (Captain/ Batsman) 6. Afridi. (Boom Boom Alrounder) 7. Shoaib Malik (Batsman Allrounder) 8. Razzaq (Bowling Alrounder) 9. Azar Mehmmod (Alrounder) 10. Shoaib Akhtar (V fast Bowler) 11. Mohammed Asif (Super bowler)

    Reserves: Umar Gul (Played well b4 injury), Danish (becoz of experiance) yasir (becoz of good domestic season) Rana Naveed (becoz he was good just having a off period)

    If we can get all our players to perform in the same game and every game we can take on the world and some.

    Thank you.

    GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN both for the rest of the games this month and for the world cup.

    PAKISTAN ZINDA BAAD.

  • Shehzad Qureshi on February 12, 2007, 14:11 GMT

    Its too late to bring in new players, so picking players who have not been tried is not the way to go. I am still not sure about Imran Nazir. He can blow hot and cold. But I would probably still pick him, because he showed us what he is capable of on good pitches. My starting 11:

    Nazir Akmal Younis Yousuf Inzi Malik Afridi Razzaq Shoaib (if fit otherwise Rana) Gul Asif

    Reserves: Hafeez, Rehman, Yasir Hameed, Rao (or maybe Azhar Mahmood)

  • SQUARE_CUT on February 12, 2007, 14:08 GMT

    my team

    1. nazir 2. akmal 3. khan 4. yohana 5. aloo 6. malik 7. afridi 8. razzaq 9. mahmood 10. gul 11. asif

    no akthar for me...its time to say good bye to this low life, gora wanabe man.

  • chgb on February 12, 2007, 14:08 GMT

    Butt, Afridi, Malik, Yosuf, Inzi, Younis,Akmal, Razzak, Akhtar, Danis, Asif

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 12, 2007, 13:59 GMT

    I was watching Imran Khan on GEO TV last night and i must say that as politician he definately has failed for its not his game maybe, but cricket wise he is a genious and there is no doubt in that. I still remember how he made our team come back in the world cup and so forcefully that we won it despite the fact that our team was done with and dumped. A fighter to the truest sence and a man who possesed high level of self confidnce (as far as cricket is concerned). What really made me mention him here is that yesterday he mentioned that in defeats we get an opportunity to regroup, it also gives an opportunity to do well provided we have the will to learn from the mistakes and make necessary ammendments to our approach. Such confidance that he has and he still has not written off pakistan and stated that we are in with a chance for we cant do any worst and now we can only go forward. BRAVO IMRAN this is why Pakistan loves you. He mentioned though that we still have time and we should work with our team and how right is he, we really should. He also suggested that we should bring back Salman and coming from a man of his stature we really must do it and partner him with either Hafeez or Imran. Imran is also the man who revived the art of leg spin which had almost diminished before he took over the rains of Captaincy. Qadir and Mushtaq were his main attacking bowlers along with the quickies that he had in his armour. Both Qadir & Mushtaq not only delivered but became an integral part of our attack with positive results. Imran insists that we should have Kaneria in the squad and Bari shoul take a note of it for Imran does have a wise head on his shoulders (it really would be wise to borrow some thing that you dont have). Imran was a very strong person and a lot of say in the teams sellected during his tenure which also indicates that traditionally we were always handicapped as far as sellection commitees are concerned. I think Inzy may probably took some note of it and started fiddling with the team sellection (as i have come to know and now I guess it is a common knowledge)but what he forgot is that Imran was a fighter as well as an honest man, and in case of Inzy he he is non, neither a fighter nor honest added to it is the low level of confidance that he possesses. Some one must tell him not to try and wear Imran's shoes for he is not capable of it, he should firts try to be atleast half of what Imran was, then dream of such things. Imrans thery is very right we should not pack our team with all rounders who are nothing more than bits and pieces playes, in his assesment we should have 3 openers, 4 middle order batsman, 2 all rounders a wicket keeper, four fast bowlers and a spinner. The playing eleven should always have a leg spinner, and its not just what he says, for talking is easy....he also proved it when he was captain. So Bari and company should immediately dash to Imran and take some hints from him, as regards Inzy well he needs to go to a mosque and pray to Allah's forgivings of the bad things that he did in the last year and half. As regards Mushtaq, bari should send him to england with his family for if he lands in pakistan the ppl there will give him a torrid time or maybe Dr. Nasim Ashraf should change his title and re engage him as the Imam of the team for we have heard a lot about the team offering Namaz in Jamaat and i think the touring party will eventually need an Imam in the near future.

  • Valavan on February 12, 2007, 13:54 GMT

    Four important players in every match - Inzi, Younis, Yousuf and Afridi.

    Oneday openers - I think Yasir Hameed and Salmanbutt are better than Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal or Mohemmed Hafeez.

    Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Mahmood and Shoaib Malik fights for 1 spot. any two will do.

    Wicket keeper is Real question. If any of the players named above can keep, then surely Akmal can be avoided.

    Shoaib is injured anyway. Is Gul still available?? So it can be Rana Naved, Mohammed Sami,Mohammed Asif and Umar Gul fights for 3 spots.

    So My fifteen will be

    Yasir Hameed Salman Butt Younis Khan Yousuf Youhana Inzi - Ul Haq Shahid Afridi Shoaib Malik Kamran Akmal Mohammed Sami Umar Gul Mohammad Asif Danish Kaneria/Rana Naved Abdul Razzaq Imran Nazir Azhar Mahmood

  • nasir on February 12, 2007, 13:54 GMT

    Pakistan being Pakistan, this kind of performance is never too far away, though I must admit there were rarely any matches where the team just turned up under Woolmer. I guess things are changing and perhaps Woolmer will take the fall for a poor World Cup campaign.

    I predict a poor World Cup because we have all our frontline bowlers on the injury list. Asif, the main hope looks knackered. Whether he is injured, tired or something else, it looks like he is going to breakdown any minute. The others are nowhere near match winning capability such as Razzaq, Rana and Azhar. They are simply going through the motions.

    I doubt if Shoaib or Gul can comeback in a short time and with lack of match fitness I think they are a liability than as asset. If I was a selector I would infuse some raw youth into our bowling line up, guys who would just bend the back and give that little extra.

    I think Pakistan is the only team that is truggling to find 15 fit players and after this tour is over I would not be surprised if some of the batsmen also start dropping out.

    Some people are picking teams, I wonder how you can do that if you have six players with uncertain futures such as :

    Shoaib Akhter (doping and injury) Mohammed Sami (injured) Umar Gul (injured) Shabbir Ahmed (unfit) Shahid Afridi (suspended) Mo Asif (doping/looks exhausted)

    I would not put my neck on the line by selecting any team. The last person I would want to be is a Pakistani selector.

  • Greasy Tail Ender on February 12, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    As usual no credit goes to South Africa, you guys are just too busy critisizing our own players. Nice one.......

  • Samir on February 12, 2007, 13:40 GMT

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Shoaib Malik 4. Muhammad Yousuf 5. Younis Khan 6. Inzamam-ul-Haq (C) 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Abdul Razzak 9. Shoaib Akhtar 10.Umar Gul 11. Muhammed Asif

    12. Rana Naved / Muhammed Sami 13. Muhammed Hafeez 14. Azhar Mehmood 15. Danish Kaneria / Abdul Rehman

    The only objection on this line up could be Younis and Inzi. Younis: loves to guide the ball and he is not a player to hit the ball over the ring field and he is always in the game way earlier while power play is in progress. These are crucial overs not to be missed or it will cost pakistan dearly in world cup. Inzi: Doesnt have to be in the middle order, thats the time when team needs quick singles and continuous rotation of strike to relieve pressure. Thats not possible if inzimam is on one side of the wicket, or there will a run out in the middle, yet again. He is a power house and no matter who is bowling with an older ball, he can throw it as far back in stands as he pleases.

    GOD helps up, over and over.. Amen

  • Ashaq on February 12, 2007, 13:37 GMT

    For those who keep asking about SAQLAIN MUSHTAQ being included in the squad. SAQI suffered terrible injuries to his knees in 2004. After first undergoing surgery on his left knee he returned a few months later only to damage his right knee therefore under going surgery on that knee as well.

    The career of SAQI at the highest level is almost certainly over. He is also working as a preacher along side Saeed Anwar. Cricket is no longer a high priority in his life.With him unable to fully recover from his injuries. I think perhaps a coaching role would be more appropiate with the national academy. I am sure he could be of enourmous value as a coach.

  • Alex on February 12, 2007, 13:22 GMT

    Please don't take Rana. He is the worst opening strike bowler on the planet! Yasir Arafat has been mentioned a lot on the blog and i would pick him ahead of Razzaq. We need some new blood.

  • omar on February 12, 2007, 13:11 GMT

    First of all readers, dont think too much about this performance from the team. We know our team too well, dont let it dampen your support for the world cup and just enjoy the cricket.

    Alot of the comments are warranting the inclusion of imran nazir in the squad. I would rather have hafeez open with akmal. Imran Nazir has not been given a consistent run and secondly it does not suffice to have two openers (akmal & nazir in this case) who are a bit technically inept. One down is Younis, moyo 4 down with inzi to follow. Afridi can be used as a floater but I would stick with Malik at 6, because he provides good accumulation of runs in the middle overs. Moreover malik is quite adaptable to any kind of situation. He can slog and defend equally well. With Afridi at 7 and Razzaq at 8, there is space for 3 more specialist bowlers. I would not play Rehman, as we already have 3 spin options (hafeez, afridi and malik). Gul, Akhtar and Asif should make the final playing eleven. Nobody knows whats up with Akhtar and if he will actually be fit enough. Bench strength should be: Azhar, Rana, Yasir and Rehman.

  • Taha Sadaqat on February 12, 2007, 13:09 GMT

    My dream 11 opens with Imran Nazir and salman butt because they are a right hand-left hand combination plus thir aggressive approach. Inzamam facing the music at one down..he'll have to if u want to win. Yousaf at 4 , Younis Khan at 5 and he should keep wickets also. Azhar mahmood at 6 Shahid Afridi at 7 Mushtaq Ahmed at 8 , Yes littl mushy with the experience he has .. he can b lethal Shoaib at 9 Gul at 10 and Asif completes he 11.. outside 11 we should have Moin Khan (if england can play Nixon why cant we ?)..We can play moin if Younis duznt do the keeping job well..He still can keep and bat better then Kamran Shoaib malik Abdul Razzak and Mohammad hafeez

    1.Imran nazir 2.Salman butt 3.Inzamam* 4.Yousaf 5.Younis(keeper also) 6.Azhar Mahmood 7.shahid Afridi 8.Mushtaq Ahmed 9.Shoaib Akhtar 10.Umar gul 11.Mohammad Asif ------------------- 12.Moin Khan 13.Abdul Razzaq 14.Shoaib malik 15.Mohammad Hafeeez

  • Ashbeel on February 12, 2007, 13:03 GMT

    I rekon pakistan r a gr8 chance of winning but they gotta get thier opening pair rite....i do belive younis should be lower down the order...this is how ma battin lineup would be.

    1.Imran Nazir 2.Shahid Afridi 3.Shoib Malik 4.Mohamad Yousef 5.Inzi 6.Younis 7.Razzak 8.Akmal 9.Akhtar 10.Umar Gul 11.Asif

  • Ali Khan, Cambridge UK on February 12, 2007, 12:57 GMT

    Hi Kamran. Your assessment and team selection is spot on. I can't believe that someone actually suggested names like Sarfraz, Jamshed etc. These guys may be the future of our team but surely they cannot be thrust into a World Cup without playing a single game! We should stick to the current combination as it is the only chance we have. The talk of replacing Akmal is prepostrous as it is too late and we don't have a wicket keeper who bats well snough to be in the eleven. Unfortunately we don't have any settled openning pair and that can cost us dearly. On the other hand if the Nazir - Akmal(or Malik) combination clicks in the Cup we can suddenly find ourselves favourites as our middle and lower-middle order is second to none. According to my judgement the team should be as follows: 1. Nazir 2. Akmal/Malik 3. Younus 4. Yusuf 5. Inzamam 6. Malik/Akmal 7. Afridi 8. Razak 9. Mahmood/Gul 10. Akhtar 11 Asif

    The number 9 slot should go to Mahmood only if he is able to pick up wickets (which I doubt). Otherwise we definitely need some strike force in the form of Gul. The other 3 places should go to Rehman, Hafeez and Rana. In case of injury to Akhtar/Gul we would probably end up selecting Sami. However I cannot understand why Shahid Nazir can't fit the role instead? He has been discarded from the one day format although he was always more effective as a one day bowler.

  • Faisal Riaz on February 12, 2007, 12:57 GMT

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammed Yousaf 5. Inzamam Ul Haq 6. Shoib Malik 7. ABDUR Razzaq 8. Shahid Afridi 9. Shoaib Akhtar 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammed Asif mohammed hafeez, mohammed sami, shabbir ahmed that to me is the best team pak have rite now, if we have this team for 90% of the matches we will have a very good chance of winning the world cup, but the way things are going its not gona be possible, akhtar and asif might still get banned b4 the world cup afridi is missing a couple of matches and the fitness of the players, 6 months ago i had real hopes that this is our year this year pak will win the world cup but with every passing day its getting worse for pak i really do hope we do well, and inshallah fingers crossed bring the world cup home

  • Taha Sadaqat on February 12, 2007, 12:56 GMT

    Salam kamran Sahab, Well its such an unpredictable team that it can go hit 351 runs one day and can be all out 107 the other day .. you have seen that . For World cup .. I'll open with Imran Nazir and Salman Butt for an ideal start .. but we have to be realistic and i m not seeing any chance of a Salman Butt comeback so Hafeez will b the best choice with Nazir as he is a very nice bowling option too.. Kamran Akmal is a failure at opening spot so no chance ... Yasir Hameed can also b played instead of Hafeez .. My No.3 will be a surprize . Inzi shud show som courage and come at 3 . Why is he afraid of the new ball with 374 ODI's under his belt ?He should com up a 3 ,then mr.Reliable Moohammad Yousaf at 4 and Younis Khan at 5 ... Shoaib malik is not in my 11, so next in is Azhar Mahmood at 6 because with his recent performance Razzak duz not make he 11 also and Shahid Afridi at 7 .Then comes the keeper Kamran Akmal ..Although he is good for nothing but we have to play him because we cant play a new keeper straight away into teh world cup,Although Kamran is a failure wih the bat also .. so why not go 4 Zulqarnain as keeper but then its also not likely so we shud keep on being realistic...Although i think seeing kamran's form ..i think moin Khan and Rashid Latif will sill be better than him ..Why not bring moin out of retirement ,he'll still be better ..anyways ... Then the 3 pacers Shoaib Akhra (if fit),Umar Gul and Mohammad Asif... Outside 11 i'll go for Shoaib malik and Abdul Razzaq obviously,along with Danish kaneria as a specialist spinner and Salman Butt as back-up opener..If not Salman ,then Imran farhat So here goes my ideal but likely realistic 11 for the world cup 1.Imran Nazir 2.Mohammad Hafeez 3.Inzamam-ul-Haq* 4.Mohammad Yousaf 5.Younis Khan 6.Azhar Mahmood 7.Shahid Afridi 8.Kamran Akmal+ 9.Shoaib AKhtar 10.Umar Gul 11.Mohammad Asif ------------------------- 12.Abdul Razzaq 13.Shoaib Malik 14.Danish Kaneria 15.Yasir Hameed

    This is the most likely 11 to b played ....In my Next post i'll select the dream 11 .. which i think is not likely ..

  • Faisal Riaz on February 12, 2007, 12:49 GMT

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammed Yousaf 5. Inzamam Ul Haq 6. Shoib Malik 7. ABDUR Razzaq 8. Shahid Afridi 9. Shoaib Akhtar 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammed Asif mohammed hafeez, mohammed sami, shabbir ahmed that to me is the best team pak have rite now, if we have this team for 90% of the matches we will have a very good chance of winning the world cup, but the way things are going its not gona be possible, akhtar and asif might still get banned b4 the world cup afridi is missing a couple of matches and the fitness of the players, 6 months ago i had real hopes that this is our year this year pak will win the world cup but with every passing day its getting worse for pak i really do hope we do well, and inshallah fingers crossed bring the world cup home

  • Qadeer Hussain on February 12, 2007, 12:47 GMT

    Here is my Pakistan XI and the squad for the world cup

    Imran Nazir Kamran Akmal Younis Khan Mohammed Yousuf Inzamam Haq Shahid Afridi Shoiab Malik Abdul Razzaq Shoiab Akhtar Umar Gul Mohammed Asif

    12 Salmon Butt 13 Yasir Hameed 14 Mohammed Hafeez- spin 15 Rana Hasan

  • Adil Dewan on February 12, 2007, 12:31 GMT

    Argghh, your blog is now second to 'Men in White'. Surely done not ordered by quality!

  • Habib Arshad on February 12, 2007, 12:30 GMT

    Actually the reason for not finding a single good opener is that we have palyed musical chairs for lats four years with the same openers...if imran nazir was not good for international cricket two years back then he is same now...we will have to break this circle after this WC and give opportunity to some new faces...otherwise WC 2011...we will be asking the same questions...

  • murtaza hussain on February 12, 2007, 12:23 GMT

    i dont think pakistan can reach the semis or even win a game with the form they are in, but then you never know, they will be the limping horses of the world cup. (langrah ghorah). If at all they can repeat 1992.. oh boy, i tell u the devastating pakistani fans will go wild, nuts & what not.

  • Dr H on February 12, 2007, 12:11 GMT

    Honestly, I am not worried about Pakistan's performance yesterday. They were beaten comprehensively in the Twenty20 match & the first ODI, yet they made a great comeback & beat S.A in the same manner. Anything can happen in ODI matches & talking about the W.C then that is a totally different ball game in my opinion & you can expect any of the six teams to lift it, who gave England any chance till last week? And today they are a team that can certainly beat any team

    Best squad: 1- Imran Nazir 2- Younis Khan 3- Muhammad Yousuf 4- Inzamam Ul-Haq 5- Shoaib Malik 6- Shahid Afridi 7- Kamran Akmal 8- Shoaib Akhtar 9- Danish Kaneria 10- Umar Gul 11- Muhammad Asif

  • Dr. Rashid Ali on February 12, 2007, 11:49 GMT

    After the last performance, all of them should be left to enjoy tikka kebabs in Lahore and to be on the prayer mats to seek forgiveness of the millions of well wishers!!!! Just send any schoolboy team, surely even they can do any worse than the senior team!!!!!!!!

  • khurram on February 12, 2007, 11:40 GMT

    I think conditions in WestIndies will be alot different from South Afriqa. They are very much alike sub continent. So I think there no need to be concerned over form of some of our Batsmen the will adjust themselves. But the main worry for Pakistan is their bowlling mainly because of never ending list of injuries. I think pakistan need four genuine bowlers who can bowl their 10 overs economically and the allrounders will make for the fifth bowler. At the moment we are playing too much allrounders. We should have to cut it down. My squad for all important WORLD CUP is

    1) Imaran Nazir 2) Mohammed Hafeez 3) Younis Khan 4) Inzamam ul Haq 5) Mohammed Yousef 6) Kamran Akmal 7) Shahid Afridi 8) Abdur Razzaq 9) Umar Gul(if fully fit)/Mohammed Sami 10) Danaish Kaneria 11) Mohammed Asif

    12) Shoaib Mailk 13) Rao Ifftikhar 14) Rana Naveed 15) Yasir Hameed

    I have gone for Kaneria instead of Abdur Rehman because Abdur Rehman is a youngster and can falter in crunh situation and Kaneria can be an attacking option. I think he can play a vital role in pakistan's too win the WORLD CUP as Mushtaq Ahmad played in 1992's final. There is no harm in playing the two leg spinners along with part time offspine of Hafeez as the wickets in the Caribbean will ideally suit them.

  • ehtisham khalid on February 12, 2007, 11:38 GMT

    i agree with you mr abbasi, but the fact is that it is same team which under inzaman has given so many wining performances. well everyone can see facts n figures since inzi has taken over captaincy. As highlly called unpredictable team pakistan never achieved consistency under any ohter previous captain. Under great imran khan too, we never achieved winning consistency. Many os us know, inzi has 2nd best record of winnning matches as captain after imran khan.

    we r all as cricket lovers are disappointes and hurt after yesterday's performance but we all know one thing surely, dat pakistani batting always struggle in better bowling frendlly conditions against quality bowling attack. There are problem areas no doubt about it. But in batting frendly Condtions in WI, pakistan will do much much better than this. No dousbt abt it.

    My squad for world cup is: 1- Ysiar hameed 2- Slamn butt 3- Hafeez 4- Younus khan 5- Muhammad yousaf 6- Inzamam (c) 7- Shoaib malik 8- kamran akmal 9- Abdul Razzaq 10- Shaihd afridi 11-Shoaib Akhtae / Sami 12- Muhammad Asif 13- Omar gul / rana 14- Danish kneria 15- Azhar Mehammod / Shabbir ( if fully fit)

  • Meshak Adhikari on February 12, 2007, 11:29 GMT

    Unpredictability of Pakistan remains forever.Inneed of stable Opener,notYet. Amid all those speculation and Uncertainity,Pakistan remains the threat to opposition and can be the last 4.All that we wish and hope for. Meshak's PAKISTAN Dream Team for World Cup-'07 1. Imran Nazir 2. Shahid Afridi( big HITTER,so, best to pick the RUN RATE & also,his failure at the tail will RISK the team,) 3. Abdul Razzak 4. Younis Khan 5. Mohammad Yousuf 6. Inzamam-ul-Haq (C) 7. Shoaib Malik 8. Zulqarnain-Wicket Keeper ( but not Akmal..Totally out of Form in both form of the game) 9. Shoaib Akhtar 10.Umar Gul 11. Mohammed Asif

    Reserve: As most of the Other Players haven't played any games within this months or shortest time before:

    12.Shabbir Ahmed( Good placement for Akhter/Gul,if they miss,due to injury) 13.Danish Kaneria (Experience,can be Fatal in times too/Abdur Rehman ( Good Form) 14.Mohammed Hafeez 15.Naved ul Rana/Azar Mahmud.. Wishing the best to the Pakistan in the World Cup.

  • SpursDon on February 12, 2007, 11:14 GMT

    Bring back Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail!! We need an opening partnership that can give us a start and of all the 18 different combinations that have been tried under Woolmer none have had the success of the two I mentioned. Out of all the ODI's that Pak have played if we get a start (like Nazir did the other day) the middle order usually play with less pressure and thats where the runs are scored. Is it just me or can anyone explain why Asim Kamal, one of the most correct batsmen to come out in recent times is always left out of the test squad and why not play him in the ODI's an an anchor so other play around him like Australia use Mike Hussey. I am not convinced what Woolmer has done. We need a full-time fielding coach not a 2 week session with Jonty Rhodes and mopst of all commitment from all.

  • Haider Mahmud, Pakistan on February 12, 2007, 11:03 GMT

    My team would be: Hafeez, Imran Nazir, Younis, Yousuf, Inzimam, Afridi, Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Rehman, Umar Gul and Asif Remaining 4: Shoaib Malik, Yasir Hameed, Rana Naveed and Rao Iftikhar

    Azhar Mahmood deserved a place. He has done well in Quaid-e-Azam trophy but we just cannot afford too many allrounders. Rana Naveed just needs to re-discover his touch. Rao Iftikhar has been consistent despite sporadic opportunities. Akmal should have been dropped on the basis of his performances in England and South Africa but we haven't tested any backup. Yasir Hameed's selection is multi-purpose. First, given the un-certainties of our opening pair, we needed a reserve opener. Also Inzimam may not be fit enough to last the whole tournament. So incase of his absence, Yasir can be inserted at 3 while Younis and Yousuf both move down the order. Shoaib Akhtar and Shabbir are unfit.

  • Abdul Qayyum on February 12, 2007, 10:53 GMT

    Pakistani team 4 the WC should be 1.Yasir Hameed 2.Mohd.Hafeez 3.Younis Khan 4.Inzamam ul Haq 5.Mohd.Yousuf 6.Abdul raqqaz 7.sohaib malik 8.sohaib akhtar 9.shahid afride 10.Umer gul 11.mohd asif 12.Azhar mahmood 13.Kamran Akmal 14.rana naveed 15.Adbul Rehman

  • Khalid on February 12, 2007, 10:47 GMT

    What a performance from Pakistan!!!!!! They looked like a team who is on its last legs.....no concentration whilst batting was a massive let down even from the big three (but then why do we always pin our hopes on inzi, younis and yousuf to get us out of trouble?) i think the issue with the pakistan team is simple the openers (whether genuine or make shift) have a mind set that even if we fail inzi younis yousuf will get us out of bother that negative feeling is the wrong way to think. People talk about Shoaib not being a team player but what about Shahid Afridi he is even less a team player yet the fans want to see him in their starting eleven now thats laughable!!!! the majority of people mention that Rana should be in the squad excuse me but on wot grounds, You cant pick a player just that he MIGHT come good for a team even though he has been destroyed in south africa and england and even got a mauling from the windies in pakistan.

    So having said all that my squad for the world cup would be

    1. Imran Nazir (in form opener) 2. Kamran Akmal (too late to change to any other) 3. Younis Khan (picks himself) 4. Mohammad Yousuf (picks himself) 5. Inzamam Ul Haq (picks himself) 6. shoaib Malik (bats sensibly or big hitter) 7. Abdul Razzaq (potential to raise the run rate) 8. Shoaib Akhtar (hopefully fit) 9. Umar Gul (hopefully fit) 10. Abdul Rahman / Danesh Kaneria 11. Mohammad Asif (picks himself) 12. Mohammad Hafeez (back up opner / spinner) 13. Azhar Mahmood (experience) 14. Shabbir Ahmed 15. Salman Butt 16. Mohammad Sami

    Afridi / Rana are both out of form either due to lack of confidence (rana) or lack of playing (afridi).

    This squad providing Shoaib is fighting fit can win the world cup insha allah

  • amir wahab on February 12, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    what i belive? i belive that there is nothing wrong with this pakistani squad but the problum is the opening pair.wich is the bigest one in the team i think.we need to take a dead serious action abt that bcoz of very short time for WC we have.opners always build the inngs up ispecially in one day gams. we r getiing closer for big event WC so would u please try the best pair of pak domestic opners s malik & i nazer.one down runs maker yousaf ,younas ,inzi ,yasir ,afridi ,razzaq ,akmal ,shoaib(if is avalible) ,gul ,asif.thanx GOOD LUCK.

  • aamer on February 12, 2007, 10:40 GMT

    Inzy is the captian at he should lead from the front. You should bat at NO3 inzy, right through the innangs. Yousuf is are best batsman, he should be at No4 then younis. we have to pick 3 specialist bowlers inseted of loading up with allrounders(bits n pices as Imran Khan used to call them) shoieb malik is a proper batsmen who bowles occasionally. have 2 allrounders in razak and afridi because they are match winners Azhar as the backup. i think we should have played Zulequernan Headir to see how good he is but for some reason we did't, maybe he is injured(everyone eals is)we will win INSA ALLAH if we pick this team and squad...

    1 nazir 2 akmal 3 inzy 4 yousuf 5 younis 6 malik 7 rzzaq 8 afridi (he is a good spiner 9 shoaib (if injured, sami) 10 gul 11 asif ---------- 12 sami 13 azher 14 hafeez 15 rana PAKISTAN ZINDABAD

  • Kaching on February 12, 2007, 10:36 GMT

    I think Kamran Akmal and Rana Naved not only deserve to be removed from the team ; they should be shot dead - damn parchi's!!! no skill and just wasta!! bringin shame to the whole country.

  • Amanzeb Khan on February 12, 2007, 10:33 GMT

    A lot of the readers tend to go for more hitters and all rounders in the team. I believe the inconsistency we see has a lot to do with too many occasionally effective all rounders playing in the team. We need at least four good bowlers in the team and five batsmen with one spot going to an all rounder. With our openers not performing and Akmal being equally inconsistent i would want Younis to start opening as he is already a virtual opener. My playing 11 would be Younis,Y. Hameed, Shoaib Malik, Yousuf, Inzi, Razzaq/Afridi (depending on surface and opposition), S. Akhtar, U Gul, Muhammad Asif and Abdul Rehman. With this squad we may not be scoring over 300 too often but we will be scoring decent 250+ scores more regularly. That is the sort of consistency we should be looking for. And please no more Rana and Sami.

  • Rauf on February 12, 2007, 10:25 GMT

    In light of the recent spanking of Pak at the hands of SA, yet again, I can see that most people are picking the best team for this WC according to their judgment. Fine. But the problem is not with the players. I can pick a team of 15 year old boys and ask them to play with courage and conviction. They will do better then our current lot.

    Pakistan team, no matter who the player is, lacks consistency and strong belief that they "CAN" win even if four top order players were only able to score 50. The moment openers fold inside of 5 overs, rest of the team folds just like a deck of cards. No courage, discipline, belief or can do attitude. Just lots of whining and finger pointing. We have individual talent, but it's proven to be worthless so far. We need talented players with strong individual character and captain and cricket board that "WANTS" to win. "WANT" does not mean merely wishing to win, this should translate into the collective performance on the pitch. With the exception of some individual talent, We have none of this at the moment. Inzi is a fine player and person but strong captain he is not.

    My wish still stands. Dump the entire team including the PCB and rebuild from start. Forget about this WC, it's a lost cause. Prepare for the next one.

  • Syed Naqvi on February 12, 2007, 10:15 GMT

    Many comments have suggested that Shoaib Malik or Salman Butt should be opening the batting. I think this move will not work for the plain and simple reason that neither have batted at that position in the present series. Infact, Butt hasn't even played! I do however think that Akmal could pull it off on West Indian wickets. He was unluckly given out LBW in the 3rd ODI and was Run Out in the 4th ODI. The fact that the Pakistani selectors have persevered with him in the opening slot says a lot about their intentions for the World Cup. Nazir is a good choice to open with Akmal, as he plays the short ball well especially outside the off stump - West Indian pitches will have some early bounce in them and he is an ideal candidate to take full advantage of the intial fielding restrictions. As Kamran cites, numbers 3-5 are set in stone (Younis, Yousuf and Inzi) - no arguement there, with Hafeez to fill in if one of the above named becomes injured. For me, positions 6-8 are also fixed (although they can move around depending upon the match situation), these being Malik, Afridi and Razzak. I don't think anyone knows who will fill positions 9-11. Who is injured now, who will be fit for the World Cup - anyones guess. I would have Mahmood, Akhtar and Asif. I would not go with 3 specialist fast bowlers, hence Gul and Sami will be in the squad to fill in when Shoaib starts limping (no doubt he will)! I have no place for Rana. The 15th man in my squad would be a replacement keeper. 1.Nazir 2.Akmal+ 3.Younis 4.Yousuf 5.Inzamam* 6.Malik 7.Afridi 8.Razak 9.Mahmood 10.Akhtar 11.Asif

    12.Hafeez 13.Gul 14.Sami 15.Haider

  • Shehzad Ghani on February 12, 2007, 10:06 GMT

    Good team. But what about injuries, drug bans, other bans, personal preferences, and countless other problems?

  • Ray on February 12, 2007, 9:50 GMT

    Picking the Pakistan team is never easy but I do agree with most of what you have said. There are some questions of versatility that can be overcome by the following team:

    Salman Butt Imran Nazir M. Hafeez

    Younis Khan M. Yousuf Inzamam Shoaib Malik

    Abdul Razzaq Shahid Afridi Azhar Mahmood Kamran Akmal

    M. Asif Umar Gul M. Sami Abdul Rehman / Danish Kaneria

    I think Akmal is a little suspect at the top and given his challenges with the gloves, might fare better down the order. Also, Salman Butt has been very successful at times and deserves consideration for an opening slot since Imran Farhat simply cannot get out of the 20-30's! One admires Rana Naveed's work ethic and intensity but he just seems to be expensive at the worst times so Sami might be a better option due to his pace and newly found batting ability! The Rehman vs. Kaneria debate probably has merits on both sides but I think Rehman is the more intense and prepared fielder/batsman which earns him the nod.

  • aj on February 12, 2007, 9:49 GMT

    rana has to go, he is the best death bowler, we have seen asif is not good at the end and we all remember the nz match in the champions trophy (we saw gul wasn't too good either) and death bowling is often where matches are won and lost. we got great batters for the last ten overs of an innings but the bowling worries me. also akhtar must go to the wc. even if it is just to play 1 or 2 of the last super eight games. imagine having to defend 230 against a team to get to the semis. if we have akhtar we can do it. we don't need him at the start of the series. also akmal will be fine in the WC. he is a flat track bully. i back pakistan to stumble into the semis, after which anything can happen, or they could go out in the first round

    first XI

    nazir/hafeez- hafeez is a good odi bowler on wickets that suit akmal younis yousuf inzi malik afridi razzaq rana- handy with the bat too shoaib- gul while shoaib is injured asif

    take fawad alam for the experience and let him field and anyone else

    ps(current performance is not surprising)

  • Asif Iqbal on February 12, 2007, 9:47 GMT

    I think our team has a great oppurtunity of winning the world cup but they need to play aggressive cricket, the form they play best. I think their squad should look like this: 1.Nazir 2.Akmal GET US OF TO FLYERS ON THE FLAT PITCHES 3.Younis 4.Yousuf 5.Inzimam 6. Malik 7. Afridi 8. Razzaq 9. Shoaib / Sami 10. Gul 11. Asif Now the back up players 12. Kaneria 13. Azhar 14. Hameed 15. Butt

    If shoaib is not fit Sami needs to play and be told he has the job of the out and out quick, bowling 90 - 95 mph like he used to, we need 2 be aggressive to win.

  • Syed Naumanuddin Hassan on February 12, 2007, 9:34 GMT

    1. Afridi 2. Imran Nazir 3. Younis 4. Yousuf 5. Inzamam 6. Malik 7. Razzaq 8. Akmal 9. Gul 10. Asif 11. Shoaib

    12. Azhar Mahmood 13. Rana Naveed 14. Mohammed Hafeez 15. Yasir Hameed

    Surprising but I want Afridi to open on West Indian pitches! I think my squad is well balanced with one specialist bowler, one specialist batsman and 2 all rounders in the reserve. With Afridi, Hafeez and Malik, I can't see a place for specialist spinner. Sami, I'm sorry but you have not done anything recognizable in the past three years or so! Bringing in Salman Butt so abruptly is insane; just trust the ones you have invested in instead on hoping for others to fulfill the feeble gaps!

  • shaz Amin on February 12, 2007, 9:24 GMT

    You have to take Kaneria - our bowling is toothless without Akhtar/Gul (hope Gul makes it). Kaneria is a wicket taker and has to go.

    Rana and Sami are liabilities, i would take Sami as he at least has raw pace and is a great team man. Kaneria can do what Mushy did in 1991. Also how can our one day side be completely without a left hander is beyond me. it allows the opposition to settle into a groove against the right handers like pollock and co did. For that reason i would take Farhat, hes gonna do as well as the others + he can field solidly and bowl leg spin. Malik should be restored to open as well.

    team (1) Shoaib Malik (2) Imran Farhat (3) Younis Khan (4) Moyo (5) Inzy (6) Razzak (7) Akmal (8) Afridi (9) Mahmood (10) Asif (11) Kaneria

    reserves (12) Sami (13) Gul - (if fit)/ Rana if gul isnt fit. (14) Mohammed Hafeez (15) Rehman

  • Syed Naumanuddin Hassan on February 12, 2007, 9:22 GMT

    I've already posted my squad but I would like to write about one of many Shoaib Akhtar's selection conspiracy theories floating in the air.

    So with 28 days to go for the mega event and 13th of February being the last date to announce the squad of 15, Pakistan selectors are in dire straits. Everything seems to be in a disarray; our opening misery, bowlers injuries annoyance and ofcourse to put salt on wounds, absurd actions prompting ban from playing.

    Reports on Shoaib Akhtar have recently surfaced which are worth giving a thought. There are charges that Shoaib tried to get his dope test done on the South African tour to check the level of banned substance Nandrolone in his blood. Some people say that this is the sole reason that he flew back to Pakistan after positive report. Incase the level does not reduce, he would definately not be considered for the squad of 15. Thus, injury is just a lame projection to the media and cricketing bodies.

    This is one of the several theories and I'm sure its not the end!

  • Shayaan on February 12, 2007, 9:09 GMT

    Honestly, a team has to realise that if something doesn't work, you can't make it work.

    Rana Naved has been playing in this squad for too long. He has been beaten to every part of the ground recently and only snapped a few late order wickets. Batsmen play him with ease.

    Kamran Akmal needs a break from keeping for while and it shows because he can barely catch a ball these days. His position as opener is looking completely pointless at the moment. play Zulqirainan Haider for this match and see how it goes.

    My Squad Is:

    Pakistan 15/XV

    1. Mohammad Hafeez (opener) 2.Imran Nazir(opener) 3. Imran Farhat(opener) 4 Younis Khan(Middle Order -N.o 3) 5. Mohammad Yousuf(Middle Order) 6. Inzimam-Ul-Haq (Middle Order) 7. Shahid Khan Afridi(Opener/Middle Order/Late Order/Leg Spin Bowler/Allrounder) 8. Abdul Razzaq (All Rounder/Late Order/Medium fast bowler) 9. Azhar Mahmood (All Rounder/Late Order/Medium fast bowler) 10. Umar Gul (Fast Bowler) 11. Mohammad Asif(Fast Bowler) 12.Shoaib Akhtar(Fast Bowler) 13.Abdul Rehman(Left Arm Spin) 14.Shabbir Ahmed/Ifthikar Anjum(Fast Medium Bowlers) 15. Kamran Akmal/Zulqirainan Haider(Wicketkeeper Batsman):)

    Thank You

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui on February 12, 2007, 9:05 GMT

    PCB is expected to announce the World Cup squad today and I sincerly hope that the idiots sitting on our sellection committee headed by super idiot Bari chooses the right combination. With the world cup just one month away we find our selves with the dilemma of putting up 15 names to form the team it is pathetic indeed. The sellection commitee as well as Inzamam and Bob still do not have clue as to who should be taken for the opening slot, a position of vital importance. The continous chopping and changing has created this crisis that we are in at the moment, and the whole nation is perturbed with this situation. I think we should take bold decessions now and bring back Salman Butt because make shift openers will not settle our problems, they can be successful on domestic pitches which has low bounce, and are bound to fail as happened in South Africa. My choice for the opening slot would be Salman, Hafeez and Imran Nazeer. Mentioned here under is my squad for the world cup. Openers....... Salman, Imran Nazir and Hafeez. Middle order.. Younis, Yousuf, Inzy and Shoaib. All Rounders.. Shahid Afridi, Azhar Mahmood. Wicket Keeper. Kamran Akmal. Fast Bowlers.. Asif, Gul, Shoaib/Shabbir, Sami. Spinner....... Danish Kaneria. Further more Mushtaq should be immediately sacked and Waqar be brought as bowling coach immediately to work with the fast bowlers. The above team will have a good ballance and also variety. and Pakistan should go in with 5 bowlers in every World Cup outing meaning 4 quickies and one spinner (preferably leggie)meaning we can have 2 allrounders in every playing eleven in the shape of Azhar as the fourth pacer and Shahid as the leggie if we need to drop Kaneria as regards the off spinning, we would still have Shoaib and Hafeez to turn their arms. Shoaib should be taken as middle order batsman for he has always performed.

  • zeeshan on February 12, 2007, 8:46 GMT

    I think we need to cut one all rounder from current squad and include one more specialist batsmen. Younis, yousuf and inzi are tough nuts but it is proven that they are not dependable. We need someone to stand on wicket like javed miandad. I think they should adopt the strategy which they use in 1992 and 1999 world cup. They should send two specialist openers and Razzaq as one down.In 1992 Imran khan was going at no. 3 and he just keep the wickets in hand even though he plays very slow but he protect the unpredictable batting line up. Same thing was done in 1999 when Razzak was playing at no. 3 and plays very slow but safe game which gave pakistan foundation to attack. If you watch the career of Razzak you should know that he can play very slow or very fast ( 1st gear or 5th gear). so sending him with instructions to play slow will be a safe bet. My team for the world cup is under according to the batting order.

    1. Hafeez 2. Nazir 3. Razzak 4. Younis 5. Yousuf 6. Inzamam 7. Malik 8. Akmal 9. Afridi (according to situation) 10. Shoaib ( If he is fit) / Umar Gul 11. M. Asif

    Reserve : Sami, Azhar, A. Rehman, Salman Butt

    I include salman butt because he is solid batsmen who is going through rough times. Better than Imran Farhat and yasir hameed. If our opening fails ( As usual) than we can include him by tinkering batting line up.

    Thanks

    Zeeshan Saeed

  • Hashar Muhmood on February 12, 2007, 8:44 GMT

    Time is running out for PCB to announce 15 Squad for world cup.We Lost and won against world #2 team.Won 1 and lost 2 times.Do not make change again and again.Drop Asif and Shoaib Akhter to save their careers. my squad is..... My 15: Nazir Akmal Yonis Yousaf Inzi Afridi Razzaq Malik Mahmood Gul rao Rehman rana yasir sami

  • amus on February 12, 2007, 8:39 GMT

    EXACTLY, what has happened with SAQLAIN MUSHTAQ, where is he, why is he not playing

    ANY ANSWERS

  • sajjad on February 12, 2007, 8:38 GMT

    The team of pakistan should be 1. Imran Nazir 2. Muhammad Hafeez 3. Younas Khan 4. Muhammad Yousaf 5. Inzi 6. Shoib Malik 7 Afridi 8 Kamran Akmal 9 Shoib Akhtar 10 Umar Gul 11 Asif Reserves 12 Abdur Razaq 13 Sami 14 Azhar Mehmood 15 Rana Naveed

  • Atif Yousuf on February 12, 2007, 8:24 GMT

    well although I respect Kamran's views on the composition of the team. I still have disagreement as far as I am personally concerened and likewise many others like will agree to what I think of Pakistan's composition which I fear will not be happening in real time as 80% of the probable squad is either injured or not performing, which leaves us to seriously wonder, WILL PAKISTAN TEAM ATLEAST SURVIVE THE SECOND ROUND OF THE UPCOMING WORLD CUP? The answer to that magical question seeing the workings of our PCB management, the coach and the captain is quite clear, its heavily dooubtful they can compete with the big teams such as south africa, australia, srilanka and newzealands in the pressure environment of the world cup 2007. They just crack and crumble under tense situations. I am seriously against the selection of KAMRAN AKMAL and RANA NAVEED along with other standbys such as imran farhat, salman butt and shabbir ahmed for this important tournament. As far as the wicket keeper selection is concerened, it can be taken along with the problems faced by Pakistan in the opening slot for a long time now and was never addressed seriously or sorted out when the time was right by the PCB SELECTORS, THE COACH AND THE CAPTAIN who think world cup is just another walk in the park. A country like cricket mad PAKISTAN with population in millions with so many cricket clubs and so many first class players playing and with people like RASHID LATIF recommending several important key players who are serious contenders for the wicket keeper slot instead of Kamran Akmal who is another dead weight in the Pakistan Team along with Rana Naveed who performs once in a year may be and the same for the opening slot position. One just wonders how can they not find suitable players among a population of millions? Offcourse the PCB, The coach and The Captain has a whole list of good excuses who think people today are supposed to be dumb and blind without any cricket sense. Anyways on paper atleast my composition of Pakistan team will be as under:

    MUHAMMAD HAFFEZ or ASIM KAMAL, IMRAN NAZEER, YOUNIS KHAN, MUHAMMAD YOUSUF, INZIMAM UL HAQ, SHOAIB MALIK, MUAHMMAD SALMAN AHMED (WK in first class matches for faislabad team highly regarded by Rashid Latif) or ZULQARNAIN (the reserve WK in Pakistan Squad), SHAHID AFRIDI, ABDUL RAZZAQ or AZHAR MAHMOOD, SHOAIB AKHTAR, UMAR GUL, MUHAMMAD ASIF, MUHAMMAD SAMI, DANISH KANERIA.

  • Omer Admani on February 12, 2007, 8:16 GMT

    Mr. Kamran Abbasi, How can you take Rana's name in the squad? Akmal shouldn't be there either. What could imaginably be worse than either of them? Can't we be satisfied with the thought that replacing them could only make the team better, as surely there is nothing that could be worse than their performances through the tour? I am afraid I disagree with the whole concept behind your writing of supporting the players no matter what. The whole country feels very passionately about cricket. When players play well, we venerate them, we make heros out of them, we love them. They represent Pakistan and deservedly get respect when they play with a competitive spirit. At the same time, when our players fail as miserably as they did, compromise our spirit and theirs, we have every right to vilify them and put them to task. We should hold them responsible, and unless we hold them responsible, they will never be responsible. A good Pakistani writer is someone who knows how to write a good critique when Pakistan fails and yet again write a good critique when Pakistan claims glory. It is better to hope to always get better even if we begin bad, rather than bieng the best but remaining indifferent. We are in a downward spiral now due to some very mediocre performances by our players, yet we remain indifferent to them. You should write what is just.

  • imran on February 12, 2007, 8:14 GMT

    okay 1st let see how is 100% fit.main plyers inzi(back problem) shoib(many prob like knee injury,banne of icc wada,can unfit during the match) asif(wada,hand prob) rana(bad form ) sami(out of form) umar gul(still not 100% fit) shabbir ahmad(not fit,no match practice,action recovery) how many things that pakistan has the problem.only team that many problem before the WC. now the team problems opening W keeping bowling fielding extras how many problems we have.which can solve in one month which team to select for the WC.any way if possiable then select that team 1.imran nazir(attacking game,fielding,) 2.younas khan(b/c he come every time in five overs) 3.moh yousaf 4.shoib malik(acordinding to the match situation play sensiable and attacking) 5.inzimam(not fit but pakistan need him on many ways) 6.kamran akmal(good time to come for him good attacking plyer 2) 7.shahid afridi(can play any position in middle order acording to the match stiuation) 8.rana naved(wicket taking bowler/good hiter of the ball) 9.shoib akhter(automatic choice ) 10.moh asif(automatic choice) 11.abdur rehman/umar gul/shabbir ahmad(acording o the wicket and team) yasir hamid(good open/one down batsman) moh sami(no time for exprement,bowl well if play with shoaib and asif) so hopely this team will avalible.other wise there is no chance of wining.

  • Raza-e-Mustafa, Gujranwala, Pakistan on February 12, 2007, 8:02 GMT

    i just want to say tath whatever u do do it logically and dont spoil the image of Pakistan. we all love pakistan from the core of our heart adn its repute is the most important thing for us to consider.

    other than this, there is no need to pick azhar and Shoaib Akthar. Azhar has no role left in the team whereas Shoaib is unfit. The boys should work harder and should help INzi to win the world cup. Yasir and imaran should play as opemers and shahid, Shoaib Malik and Razzak should play as genuine all rounders. Sami should be backed up for better results and please drop rana shahib for he is totally dommed with bat and ball.

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on February 12, 2007, 7:50 GMT

    Well Karman Bhai, to pick the team for WC in Carribean is the prerogative to PCB and the selection panel. My suggestion is that the Mega Event is being played in WI and the pitches there will suit the sub-continent team. I firmly believe that the Asian Team (India, Pakistan, Sri Lankan) could win the World Cup.

    I remember every well the GREAT IMRAN KHAN, the GREATEST EVER CAPTAIN who has a GREAT CRICKETING BRAIN was saying that Specialist is every essential in every department like Batting and Bowling. It is time to follow the path of Imran Khan. We have tried so many openers but actually no body is better than Salman Khan. He is a perfect opener he should be selected anyway keeping in mind the pitches we will have in WI. He scored century in Calcutta and he is well aware of the responsibility. In West Indies, one of the openers should try to carry the bat through the innings. Our worry is only Openers, we have a solid middle order batter but if we pack with so many allrounders then it will be harmful for us. See, how England defeated Aussies in their home and lifted their morale. Monty Paneswar was being tried, tried and tried as a specialist bowler whereas we are reluctant to use Danish Kaneria.

    The combination of team should be like this :-

    Specialist openers 2 Middle order batsmen including wicket keeper 4 Fast Medium/Medium Bowler including allrounder 3 Spinners including allrounder 2

    This is will be my LINE UP, I would like to play in the World Cup with this and believe me whoever team has this line up, will lift the world cup.

    I once again predict that SUB CONTINENT TEAM WILL TRIUMPH, but let us keep our fingers crossed.

  • Akber on February 12, 2007, 7:48 GMT

    You have a bunch of scared, obedient players - just like Inzi and Woolmer wanted. Both of them can't handle the matchwinners - those who go beyond the call of duty - the Shoaibs, Waseem Akrams, Saeed Anwars, Ian Bothams.

    It is time to remove Inzi as captain - and replace with Shahid Afridi - he is one of the most senior player in the team - and like Graeme Smith and Kapil and Imran and Hadlee, he inspires the team.

    And he has the fire to win. We don't need other 'journeymen' - we need players who play the sport with fire in their bellies.

  • Nadeem Khawaja on February 12, 2007, 7:01 GMT

    Consistency has greatly rewarded the Pakistanis over the last few years under Inzi and as a result we are No. 3 in the ODI ratings. It is too late to make any changes at this stage (Kamran Akmal or the openers) and barring injuries, we should go with the trusted players who have performed well in the recent past. This is especially true because the West Indies wickets should be different from those in Australia, England and South Africa (closer to the sub-continent wickets). Assuming Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul are fit to play (otherwise they should be replaced with Rana Naved and Rao Iftikhar), the team should be:

    1. Imran Farhat 2. Salman Butt 3. Mohammed Hafeez 4. Shoaib Malik 5. Younis Khan 6. Mohammed Yousaf 7. Inzamam-ul-Haq 8. Shahid Afridi 9. Abdul Razzak 10. Azhar Mehmood 11. Umar Gul (Rao Iftikhar as alternate) 12. Shaoib Akhtar (Rana Naved as alternate) 13. Mohammed Asif 15. Kamran Akmal

    The playing eleven should be:

    1. Imran Farhat (or Salman But) 2. Shoaib Malik (or Mohammed Hafeez or Yaser Hameed) 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammeed Yousaf 5. Inzamam-ul-Haq 6. Kamran Akmal 7. Abdul Razzak (or Azhar Mehmood) 8. Shahid Afridi 9. Shoaib Akhtar 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammad Asif

  • Richard on February 12, 2007, 6:50 GMT

    The team as per the players currently available and fit.

    1. Imran / Butt 2. Hafeez 3. Younis 4. Yousaf 5. Inzamam 6. Shoiab Malik 7. Afridi 8. Razzaq 9. Wicket Keeper (whoever is picked) 10. Umer Gul/Shabbir 11. Asif

    The extra two players to make the 15 would be Rehan and Azhar

    If an extra fast bowler is needed to be in the playing eleven then Shoaib provides you an option as an opener and one of the opener can be dropped (depending on the form). I would recommend of playing extra bowler as it is a specialist job and any team who wants to win should have three regular fast bowlers with the ability of taking wickets.

  • Adeel Fayyaz on February 12, 2007, 6:49 GMT

    yes u r absolutely rite, it was a poor performance by pakistani's. my squad will not include shoaib akhter as he has allready been injured and most probably goin to miss the worldcup. My squad would be: (according to first 11)

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammed Yousuf 5. Inzamam-ul-Haq* 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Abdul Razzaq 9. Azhar Mehmood 10.Umar Gul 11.Mohammed Asif

    subs: 12.Mohammed Hafeez 13.Rana Naveed 14.Abdul Rehman 15.Mohammed Sami

    For first two wc matches(no afridi bcoz of ban)

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Mohammed Hafeez 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammed Yousuf 5. Inzamam-ul-Haq* 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Kamran Akmal 8. Abdul Razzaq 9. Azhar Mehmood 10.Umar Gul 11.Mohammed Asif

  • Umair Qazi on February 12, 2007, 6:46 GMT

    The XI: Imran Nazir, Mohd. Hafeez, Younis Khan, Mohd Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzak, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohd. Asif Plus 4: Umar Gul, Azhar Mahmood, Yasir Hameed, Abdur Rehman

    If Shoaub is unfit then I guess it will be Rana in the squad instead and umar gul into the XI. We need specialist openers thats why i think hafeez and nazir should be opening with Kamran coming in the end of an innings where he is more useful. I also believe that Pak shud play with 3 pace bowlers in the West Indies as the pitches will suit slow bowling more...

  • Gohar Ayub on February 12, 2007, 6:45 GMT

    To be successful in the worldcup we should have two attaching batsmen as openers. One surely is Imran Nazir and other is Fawad Alam. If both of them fire on the given day well and good otherwise we can send experience batsman like Younis or Yousaf as one down..the responsibility of the fawad or imran should be to play in their natural style and the senior batsman would hang around and guide him. I believe this is best stragety we can have. We have enough hitters and guinue batsmen to mixup. Instead of Shoib Malik i would prefer to go with Hafeez as his off spin is more tighter than shoaib as well as better techique as an opener which is our problematic area. The team combination can be as follows:

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Fawad Alam 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohd. Yousif 5. Inzamam Ul Haq 6. Shahid Afridi 7. Abdur Razzaq 8. Kamran Akmal 9. Shoaib Akhtar 10.Umer Gul 11.Mohd. Asif

    12.Shoaib Malik 13.Iftikhar Anjum 14.Mohd Hafeez 15.Mohd Sami

  • Raheel Hashmi, Riyadh on February 12, 2007, 6:44 GMT

    My eleven would be

    1)Nazir (although would fail in some matches but better than farhats and butts who will consume lots of overs without scoring) 2)Afridi (same as above) 3)Younis (one and only) 4)Yousuf (one and only) 5)Inzi (one and only) 6)Malik (knows how to pace the innings) 7)Razzaq (deadly) 8)Akmal (no other option at this moment. selectors to be blamed) 9)Sami (only speedster in the absence of shoaib) 10)Umar (too good) 11)Asif (one and only)

    and the reserves 1)Hafeez 2)Hameed 3)Rao 4)AbdulRehman 5)Rana

  • Saad Akhtar on February 12, 2007, 6:41 GMT

    Here's an idea I've been pitching to everyone and their uncle: let's back off the all-rounder track! We don't want to build another 90's England squad in which everyone did a little of everything and no one knew what they wre supposed to be doing. Let Malik/Hafeez/Nazir open the innings without expecting them to bowl. If they do, it's a bonus. Afridi will be the best spin option on WI pitches. Let's play him as a spinner. Him and Akmal scoring is a bonus. Razzaq/Mehmood can be the all-rounder in the team. They're the only ones required to contribute in 2 departments and if one doesn't perform you can switch to the other. They're reasonble substitutes for each other. Shoaib, Asif and Gul are the front-line bowlers. Next in line should be Sami and Rana. Sami, Rana and Shoaib will never be run-stoppers. Let's not expect them to be. Let's forget about building a team of all-rounders and think about building a team where everyone knows exactly what they're supposed to be doing. The only thing everyone should be required to do is field well. But then that's something we can never count on.

  • Usman on February 12, 2007, 6:29 GMT

    hmm...3-4 days ago everyone was praising the effort of winning against SA...and when we lost yesterday, everyone starts saying that the team is unpredictable. Actually the team is totally predictable, the problem yesterday was that the ball swung a bit, and when u are playing with only three batsman then u sure are going to get into trouble if two of them fail on any given day...had it not been swinging, failure of Yousuf and Younis wouldn't have amplified in such a manner and Pakistan could have managed to put up a score of around 250. In such conditions other players are not just good enough. Pakistan play so many allrounders who are neither complete bowlers nor batsman, hence when the only 3 batsman of our team fail we do so miserably. Why did not shoaib malik do something yesterday...simply b/c he does not have the technique to do it, had it been somewhere in the subcontinent, i am very sure he would have scored at least a half century. But Pakistan need to look at their team combination if they are to win in different conditions and get rid of their so called unpredictability. If they do not get the combination right and get all the faltoo players out of the team, the story will remain the same on placid tracks Pakistan might win matches, that not even 100% sure, but on tracks where there is even little assistance for the bowlers they will surely fail if the 3 batsman of ours fail.

  • Abdullah Basha on February 12, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    It was a pathetic performance from a team at a time when major tournament like WC is so close. It is hard to expect anything good from such teams. We are resigned to take things as it comes.

    I fail to understand, why the selectors have not tried out Yasir Arafat to allow him prove his metal as a contender for the WC. He is said to be a good allrounder. If not now when they will test his skill in international arena.

    Your list of WC probables appear to be in line with their recent performance. As for the opening batsmen, i would like to open with Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik. While Nazir can pace the inning and take the fight to the opponent bowlers, Shoib can post his rear-gaurd action and do his best to carry his bat, may be to the end. This he has proved before. Same cannot be expected from Kamran Akmal. I wish Team Pakistan all the best.

  • Richard on February 12, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    The seloctors should learn from their mistakes:

    1. Playing Sami (one of the costliest bowler in the history of the game in both forms of the game. 2. Selecting players that are not fully fit. 3. Trusting the players selected for the opening slots and giving them ample chance to prove themselves. 4. Selecting a better keeper (especially when Kamran is not scoring runs) as we have lost too many many matches because of dropped chances. 5. Not emphasising on the importance of good fielding.

    I fail to understand that we as cricket lovers understand these things, why can't the selectors who are supposedly experts pay attention to these points.

  • nwak on February 12, 2007, 6:21 GMT

    the pyramid-like graph of pakistan's performance continues...i guess its nothing new. the only predictable factor abt our team is its unpredictability right now.the worrying factor for me in this match was mohammad asif's performance.the guy has always given his 100% no matter what the match situation and has fought all the way. however,in this particular innings,even he didnt seem too willing to try to bowl out a couple of SA batsmen. perhaps,its the team's overall attitude which is seeping in him.....or maybe,its WADA's pending ruling which is troubling him. shoaib is conveniently out of the world cup with his never-ending injury troubles,thereby avoiding those dreaded dope tests. i wonder if there's any pressure on him to do the same. whatever the reason, his performance has definitely been the most disappointing for me. As for the WC squad,i completely agree with Kamran's suggested squad. the only trouble is, they cant fire as a unit(mercurial as they are). i heard inzi's interview on TV the other day and he reckons luck counts 50% to win a match. i cant help but wonder if you can lift the world cup with such an attitude.

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on February 12, 2007, 6:19 GMT

    Kamran, in a perfect, injury free world your squad would have been great. But we don't live there. Shoaib is definitely out, and given that we have not heard from Gul in a while even that is not looking optimistic. I just don't think you can drop Rana because he will be more effective on the Windies pitches then Azhar. I agree we need a pacier option given Shoaib's absence but Sami is not the answer there, he is just too erratic, we will have to take a flyer here with someone like Khalil or Arafat (both have had fantastic domestic seasons, so has Rauf but he is not even in the 30). My 15.

    1) Hafeez 2) Nazir 3) Yasir Hameed 4) Younis 5) Yousuf 6 )Inzi 7) Malik 8) Razzak 9) Akmal 10)Afridi 11)Asif 12)Rana 13)Rao 14)Gul 15)Khalil

  • Ali Imran on February 12, 2007, 5:58 GMT

    Kamran, I agree with your squad except Inzimam. Believe me he is not captain material. If Pakistan gets the drubbing in WC, which I am sure they will, It's just becoz of Inzi's mind-boggling captaincy. Man get rid of him, it is still not too late. Inzi should gracefully retire before WC and start playing Golf which suits his Lazy & laid back style.

  • umar on February 12, 2007, 5:53 GMT

    My squad would be (barring if all are fit)

    Nazir Akmal Younis Yousaf Inzamam Malik Afridi Razzaq Shoaib Gul Asif Hafeez Azhar Hameed Naved.

    Ive opted out of keeping a spinner. We already have Afridi Malik and Hafeez. How many more do you need??? Hameed is a good option in the middle order and opening. Hafeez gives us the optional spinner and opener solution. Azhar has been picked for Afridis ban. And finally Naved if either or both Gul and Shoain are out. One thing that is ironic though.... Our 3 main fast bowlers may not even make it. Shoain due to his troublesome knee, Gul dur to his ankle and Asif because of the doping tribunal's decision. If that is the case Azhar, Sami and Naved will have to become worldbeaters. Optimism is high but ine feels getting into the Semis would be an acheivement in it self. Inshallah We will be proved worng

  • Mehtab on February 12, 2007, 5:52 GMT

    the team should be s butt I Nazir Inzmam Yousaf Younas shoaib malik S Afridi A Razzak K Akmal U Gull M Asif

    Shoaib Akhtar,Azhar,A rehman,R Naveed the order remains same for all matches

  • Khurram on February 12, 2007, 5:40 GMT

    It's time to reshuffle the batting line up...simple.. they are all talented but the reason they fail more often is because of their batting order... first of all , players should be selected in world cup team based on their past performance n both ODI and first class... To disagree with you all, Imran Farhat has the best average among all the other openers that have been tried, his domestic record is brilliant and if we recall he has to his credit the best opening partnerships during the last five years for pakistan with yasir hameed, hafeez and salman butt, mind you no other opening partnership ever worked during the last five years or so in which Imran wasn't there ..so he should be one of the openers, Imran nazir can also b included based on his qucik scoring, but i believe afridi should open (or Razzaq with the license to go for kill every ball) even if they all fail we have yousaf and inzi to steady the ship.. younis should come at 8 after all the big hitters have already come so that he can steady the ship if all of the above them failed... so my batting line is

    Imran Nazir/ Imran Farhat Shahid afriid Abdul Razzaq Kamran Akmal Inzimam Yousaf Azhar mehmood Younis Shoaib malik Umar Gull/Shoiab if fit Asif

  • Shahbaz Faheem on February 12, 2007, 5:31 GMT

    My squad will be: 1. Imran Nazir 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohd Yousuf 5. Inzimam 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Abdul Razzak 9. Azhar Mehmood 10. Mohammed Asif 11. Umar Gul 12. Mohd Hafeez 13. Rana Naveed 14. Abdur Rehman 15. Shoaib Akhter/Mohd Sami

  • Darren on February 12, 2007, 5:22 GMT

    My team would be: Hafeez Akmal Younis Yousef Inzy Malik Razzaq Afridi Rana Gul Asif

    Extras: Nazir Hameed Arafat Sami

    Hw can anyone suggest to have Azhar in their squad. The guy looks like he hasnt played for 3 years, and was pulled out of a 3rd grad comp. My starting 11 has 7 players who can bowl, which i think will be very important. Not relying on 5 bowlers to bowl their 10 if one has a bad day.

    If shoaib IS fit then he replaces sami.

  • HANIF Noorani on February 12, 2007, 5:16 GMT

    VOLATILE….That’s what We Are!! They just leave us spell bound and dumb found by such volatility of their performances. Whatever we all may discuss here or anywhere else, at the end of the day the selectors are going to pick their bunch of PAMPERED & FAVORITE guys. Anwer Ali, the seam bowler who single handedly won the U-19 WC for us never gets a chance. Instead, guys like Sami who are basically good for nothing get picked. For heavens sake, get Malik either opening or at No. 3. Never has our team witnessed such nasty performances from our wicket keeper but still persisting with him. Akmal may go on and score big in the Carribean, but not providing opportunity to anyone else is simply implacable by the team management. Thoughts are scattered right now. …………let it be, my team;

    1. Nazir 2. Malik 3. Younis 4. Yousuf 5. Inzamam 6. Afridi 7. A.Razzaq/ Mahmood (Whoever performs well) 8. Akmal (since we haven’t been provided with any other choice) 9. Akhtar (hopefully fit) 10. Gul 11. Asif

    12. Hafeez/ Hameed

    13. A.Rehman

    14. Rana

    15. A.Razzaq/ Mahmood

    I know squad won’t be much different than this. Still wish that INSHAALLAH our TEAM will perform admirably. And who knows, their volatile nature may prove to be the difference and we find Inzi lifting that much hyped Ornament. (InshaALLAH)

  • Abdul Waheed on February 12, 2007, 5:00 GMT

    Mr. Kamran,

    I agree with you for the most part. I think, except Asif, Gul and Shoib (if fit) currently there is no Pakistani bowler who can either contain or take wickets. Also, there is no time at all to make wholesome changes or experimentation before the World Cup. Therefore, Pakistan is better off packing the squad with all rounders. Beside the above mentioned three, Inzamam, Younis Yousaf and Akmal should be included. Injuries and suspensions threats aside my first 13 out of the 15 for the world Cup would be:

    Inzamam ul Haq, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousaf, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Shoib Akhtar, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoib Malik, Azhar Mehmood, Yasir Arafat

    For the rest of the 2 spots, Woolmer, Inzamam, Younis and Yousaf should sit and chalk out a strategy and if: they decide to go for an all out attacking batting approach; pick Imran Nazir as 14th player, include him in the playing 11 right from the start and stick with it. Otherwise, take Salman Butt. If possible, get in touch with the authorities and get some sort of idea about what the overall pitch preparation strategy would be and: Pick either Sami or Abdul Rehman for the 15th spot

    Whatever the squad would be, one thing is for certain. Pakistan will be unpredictable and dangerous for the opponents and for its own cause equally. SO, GOOD LUCK TO ALL.

  • Zuhair on February 12, 2007, 4:54 GMT

    There is surely no place for Rana or Sami!! Why on earth do we not include Rao Iftikhar? He is better than many others. Shoaib Akhtar is less likely to be fit, Sami should only be picked if Akhtar doesn’t play. Razzaq isn’t on good bowling for, therefore we have to back up with a steadier bowler like Rao and not Sami for sure. I still feel Hameed is a good enough player to be in the top 15. Rehman should play. West Indian tracks would be slow and Rehman would b very useful there.

    1. Nazir 2. Akmal 3. Younis 4. Yousuf 5. Inzi 6. Malik 7. Razzaq 8. Afridi 9. Rehman 10. Akhtar 11. Asif

    Non playing

    12. Rao 13. Hameed 14. Azhar 15. Hafeez

  • sami on February 12, 2007, 4:40 GMT

    ey yo guy this pakistani team killin me guy i think they watchin those hotties on the ground all d time u know guy its really disappointing in here sittin only watching the score on cricinfo nd after all they cant even reach 250 if im the selector of the team i wud keep azhar nd razzaq in all d time yo guy its so simple they both can bowl 16 overs easily nd also can bat afridi is allrite too u know if he don do nytin in battin than atleast he bowls well asif ya he is cool forsure nd ya i think they shud call bak salman butt, nd try to open wit salman nd imran nazir, no pint of bringin kamran akmal in openin he is ont a genuine batsman we cant really make ny predictions about him ya thts all this was my first time riting comment in here eZZ

  • Hamid on February 12, 2007, 4:38 GMT

    Pakistan team has been left without any real backups due to the ultra-conservative policies of Bari, Woolmer and Inzimam. Pakistani pace bowling sucks bad. We do not have genuine fast bowlers ready because none has been given any chance by the trio. With Shoaib Akhtar unfit (as ever), Umar Gul in bad shape (as ever) and Asif holding his elbow, we are left with the useless backup of Sami, Shahid Nazir and Rao. Asif and Shoain were unfit during the England tour - selectors did not give chance to any raw pace bowler then. Shoaib and Asif were unfit during the West Indies tour - even then we did not allow any young and upcoming bowler to try his luck. Kamran Akmal has been the worst keeper in the history of this game - remember that even average wicket keepers do not drop catches and miss stumpings like him - but they did not try any young keeper. They have kept swapping the openers position between Hafiz, Butt, Farhat and Taufiq Umar - no effort to try any other despite the repeated failures of the above and their obvious technical deficiencies. Now the situation is that we do not have any good openers, a trembling keeper with zero-confidence and the likes of Rao, Sami, Nazir and Naveed as attack bowlers. Gone are the days when Pakistan was known to have players with raw talent - nowa days we are known to stick with tried and tested failures - oops players.

  • Hussnain on February 12, 2007, 4:16 GMT

    In the world cup you are competing with some very good teams and their performances recently are significantly good, (at least they are having fighting spirits alive). When you are upto the teams like Australia, Sri Lanks, Newzealand or even India your unpredictability will not give you a better chance becasue they are working out your each and every player. Pakistan has been heavily depending on their bowling strength, but look at the latest scenario, half of your good bowlers are injured, Shoaib is not even going to West Indies, your so called all rounders are not performing (see the bowling averages in recent S.A series), how can you be optimistic. Forget about the opening slot at all, opening batsmen should be responsible one, no body is showing responsibility on the upper slot, Kamran has been very very insecure so the others. Technique and hard work always go together, unfortunately our chances for the World Cup are not so good. For me the following should be the team Pakistan: 1.Salman Butt 2.Shoaib Malik 3.Yonis Khan 4.M. Yousuf 5.Inzimam 6.Kamran 7.A Razzaq 8.Danish 9.Umer Gull 10.Sami 11.M Asif 12.Afridi 13.Yasir Hameed 14.Rana 15.Hafeez

  • ali on February 12, 2007, 4:09 GMT

    Well I don't know where to start on this ... Finally, Inzi, Woolmer and Nasim Ashraf's ego caught upto them... And the decision to fire Waqar could not have backfired any better than the current ODI series. Needless to say our batting is so pathetic - it does not look like if Pakistan is playing, more like SA playing Zimbawae or Kenya. I think we need a batting coach too now.. And we can see how much Mustaq is helping the bowlers - the way Rehman was punished today.

    Now we hear suddenly that Shoaib has knee injury. It was simply shocking, it was reported only a few weeks back that shoaib is completely fit and his hamstring has been cured, he was even running in front of reporters. He even gave an interview regarding that. And now suddenly he has knee injury - exactly how did this happened? Did it happen while practicing or while his off the field adventures? Or was it because of forthcoming doping test and he is probably not cleared?

    Even Imran on today's Geo show was puzzled - he could only point to our opening pair's inconsistency. As I pointed out in some other blog that Mohd Asif should have been rested for the 3rd and 4th ODI as he was showing signs of fatigue - yet we continue to play him. I don't think the current ODI series matters at all now, we need to be looking at WC. Right now he's the only fit bowler that we've who could be a threat to other teams. There is simply no point in having him play this ODI series.

    The problem is our batting line up that is complete failure and our bowling (exception being Asif). Alas Imran Nazir (who showed so much potential in 2nd ODI) has crumbled so badly. I think we should now go with Yasir Hameed. People keep saying bring back Salman Butt, but I remember how badly he performed in England - he could not handle any outside the offstump ball or any swing. Why we think that he will not repeat the same mistakes?

    Younis Khan has been out I believe on three occasions edging to Boucher. I just read that one of the PCB selector is saying that its too risky now to experiment with a different WK. Why didn't we play Zulqarain while he was there in SA? I also heard today Inzi saying that Azhar and Razzaq are out of form, are we talking the same Azhar who just scored a century in each innings and took 34 wickets in domestic. Exactly what kind of form is this in one moment out the next?

    As I said before in another blog its the lack of professionalism and maturity that is killing Pakistan, the names don't matter. That's why there is so much inconsistency in performance. Either that or Bob and Inzi are raising the stakes in Las Vegas right now? May be they know something that we don't know :~) Maybe they want others to rule out Pakistan, so they can surprise others in WC. Whatever the case they are certainly surprising us right now - 300+ runs in 2nd ODI, drop to 250 in 3rd and now 107 in 4th. We have one more ODI to go, anyone would try to guess what would be Pak's score?

  • Asim -US on February 12, 2007, 3:17 GMT

    I think Pakistani team management shouldn't panic now and should keep the same team for the world cup including Kamran Akmal because the team combination including openers should have been settled at least 6 months before the world cup and PCB and team management have failed to do that. It will be too risky to bring the new players now as they will be under a lot of pressure. Pakistan can only hope that the same thing happens to them which happened to England recently. England have been struggling throughout out the tour of Australia with injuries and poor form and never looked like beating even a club side but they persisted with the same players like Paul Collingwood who looked hopeless during the middle part of tour but somehow started winning and came good in the finals. Also I have never seen so many injuries in the Pakistani team before and that doping scandal. What is coach Bob Woolmer and all those physio's and trainers hired on his request are doing. All of them should be terminated along with coach Bob woolmer and there should be an inquiry in this matter. Also Inzamam should learn how to use his bowlers and otherwise should be replaced, he used Mohammed Asif like a dog including those 10 overs in a row in second one day and now he is injured, also he was never able to get the best out of Shoaib Akhtar like Wasim Akram did during his captaincy .

  • Razooo on February 12, 2007, 3:00 GMT

    ABBASI, your spot on mate! This is the lineup or selection of players that need to goto the West Indies. I don't agree with rehman though. He had some limited success in pakistan but aside from that has gotten beaten quite badly. He faced a weakend West Indian line up and for that he gets all this praise. Kaneria is a great spinner who has improved his batting and fielding ten folds and the selectors have ignored that, why couldn't we give him a shot in an ODI, he has won test matches for us, at least give him a look. Also I must comment on Mansoor Amjad, why hasn't this lad gotten a shot in the inernational scene, hes been successful on every level, domestically and in county cricket. Also forget about Akthar hes a bust, GUL, ASIF and SAMI, Rana as the fourth and lets goto battle with these chaps all the way to the cup, PAKISTAN ZINDBHAD, Regards RAZMATAZ

  • m.f.ahmed on February 12, 2007, 2:45 GMT

    I think selecting pak eleven is tough job.My selection would be: 1.Hafeez 2.Younus 3.Afridi 4.Yousuf 5.Inzi 6.S.Mallik 7.Kamran 8.Razzaq 9.Asif 10.Gul 11.Sami

    Remaining Four are:

    1.Salman Butt 2.D.Kaneria 3.Y.Hameed 4.S.Akhter or Shabbir or I.Anjum or Y.Arafat (selecting one of them should be a gamble,worth taking)

  • Rizwan on February 12, 2007, 2:03 GMT

    I almost fully agree with the squad, but insted of azhar i would still prefer rana. No doubt he has had a horrible tour, but we know what he is capable of, the only thing he has been consistent with is having the same form through out tour, either brilliant of horrible.

    If younis could do what dravid did for india in 2003 WC we would have sorted a lot of problems.but it may be to late to try that out. but if we are playing akmal, he shud stand up to the wicket for abdul razzaq.

  • jawad on February 12, 2007, 1:47 GMT

    Well I seriously think that everytime if Younis has to come in within two overs..whydont we make him play as an opener. Secondly, Pakistan team must have an aggressive approach in the field. Just think if Pakistan should have been chasing for the target of 107..they would have lost considerable numbers of wickets enroute and maybe completing the target in 40 overs or more.....

  • Hasan on February 12, 2007, 1:41 GMT

    There is no point in talking about this..reason being...On any given day, Pakistan can win or lose a match no matter who the opposition is. I don't know where but i'm sure i read it on cricinfo, two days in pakistan cricket is a long long long time! and we still have a month. Somebody made a commment here earlier that pakistan were out in the dumps in the 92 world cup..and they really were...the only reason they got to the semifinal stage was 1. because the rain saved them against england when they had gotten all out on 74 and 2. australia lost the last match against the w.indies in the qualifying rounds to allow pakistan through..saying that..they only got through with luck and help and went onto win..that pretty much says everything about pakistan..i think pakistan can win without having shoaib in the lineup..and i think even if he was there, they could easily lose...SO...let it be..nothing to worry about

  • damien martin on February 12, 2007, 1:28 GMT

    CONSISTENCY is the key for pakistan if they r to reach any where near the world cup GLORY. The team has been PLAGUED with more problems than solutions. PROBLEMS: OPENING, INJURIES lack of form(AKMAL, RANA and co). if pakistan has to go any where near the finals they need a match winner who wins them matches consistently(ala KLUSNER of '99. They certainly have the talent (Razzak, Afridi---- they can turn the course of a match in a span of few overs). But will they fire at the right time (if not banned or injured) is the question whose solution is as difficult as finding the probability of a meteor hitting the earth.

  • olmert on February 12, 2007, 1:00 GMT

    World Cup XI 1)Nazir 2)Malik 3)Younis 4)Yousaf 5)Inzi 6)Razzaq 7)Afridi 8)Akmal 9)Asif 10)Rana 11)Rehman 12)Hafeez 13)Gul (Playing XI if fit) 14)Kaneria 15)Shabbir / Y Arafat

    I hope they dont waste spots by selecting Shoaib, Rao, Azhar. *Shoaib will all be injuried or banned or something else that will keep him away from cricket. i guess he got what he wanted, the title "Badboy of cricket". *Rao - a lot said nothing to backup *Azhar - Too old, out of the international cricket for a long time

    whatever happened to Saqlian Mustaq?

  • Saad on February 12, 2007, 0:53 GMT

    It's too late to drop Kamran Akmal, especially since he's the only experienced keeper available. However, the opening spot is tight with Nazir, Hameed and Butt, who has proved himself very good on flat tracks. As far as spin is concerned, Afridi is good enough as he can get crucial break throughs, has variety and gets thru his overs quickly.

    My XI includes:

    Nazir/Butt Hameed Younis Khan Mohd Yusuf Inzamam Kamran Akmal Shahid Afridi Abdur Razzaq Umar Gul Mohd Asif Shoaib Akhtar

  • Faraz on February 12, 2007, 0:47 GMT

    the only hope to win the World Cup.....let Younis Khan be the captain!!!!!!!!

  • Hassan on February 12, 2007, 0:35 GMT

    I totally agree with you Kamran, Things need to change and yes they need to change fast and with the dissapointing news of Shoaib's knee problems arising again the other bowlers will need to pick themselves up.

    My 11: Nazir Akmal Yonis Yousaf Inzi Afridi Razzaq Malik Mahmood Gul Akhter (if Fit)

  • Iqbal Rashid on February 12, 2007, 0:34 GMT

    I agree that the team does not look as settled as one would like specially before the World Cup, yet I have faith that things will fall into place.

    My XI would be:

    Imran Nazir Shoaib Malik Younis Khan Mohammad Yousuf Inzamam-ul-Haq Kamran Akmal Shahid Afridi Abdul Razzaq Shoaib Akhtar Umar Gul Mohammad Asif

    The other players I would take with me: Azhar Mahmood Rana Naveed Abdul Rehman Mohammad Hafeez

    Now the explanations: The reason I would like to open with Imran and Shoaib is that both seem to have a head on their shoulders, which is more than I could be happy with. They can go crazy and also play responsibly if situation demands. I am hesitant to open with Kamran because because first of all he is not a genuine opener, he is low on his confidence as he has not had the best of seasons and lastly this is the World Cup. It doesnt get bigger than this and we need someone we can rely upon. Imran looks like a confident opener and Shoaib has the flexibility that is a dream of captains. So I would keep them for the opening slot. Middle Order is not something I would or anyone for that matter could argue with. Kamran can come in after the big three followed by Afridi & Razzaq. Shoaib, Gul & Asif to provide the firepower. The report of trouble with Shoaib's knee is worrisome but lets see. I would prefer Rana to Sami as somehow to me Sami does not have the penetration & swing Rana provides. Eventhough Rana has had a poor series he is someone who I would argue for. The fact that we are debating Sami's inclusion is argument enough for his exclusion since he came in with such promise and now is someone who we are pushing to get into the team. Azhar provides the allrounder option and Abdur Rehman for the spin. Mohammad Hafeez in case the openers dont fire as the opening has been our achilles heel. Hafeez also provides the spin option. Crazy as it may sound I might even consider sending a different keeper altogether as I see Kamran as the weakest link in the side and it might be good idea to try someone else. Keeping is an important job as it could lift the morale of the team etc. We cannot afford any expensive mistakes like we have had in South Africa.

    I hope Pakistan does well.

  • rehan on February 12, 2007, 0:25 GMT

    yes there are injured players but they are all bowlers.what is wrong with our batsmen.we always seem to have the same team good performance or bad.Do we have good players who are not given the oppurtunity or this is all we have and we no choice.I wonder if it is always going to be such a painful sometimes exiciting but mostly painful experience watching this team.

  • Sufyan on February 12, 2007, 0:14 GMT

    ur probably right kamran...over da last 2 yrs we all been happy tht team pakistan has gained some sort of consistancy unfortunately it was not the case on this tour. and worries of 2003 WC starting shades in, lets hope am wrong lol... for me u have choosen olmost the best team avaiable except one or 2 changes....i hav a gr8 respect fro shabbir's consistancy in line and length...and imagine Asif and Shabbir bowling in tendom in world up can giv most teamz real heads in...cant they..?.. Shoaib is doubtful for WC as i read the sorry news today he's might need a surgery...lets hope again he does'nt lol... Nazir,Hafeez,Akmal,Younis,Yousuf,Inzamam,Malik,Razzaq,Afridi,Shoaib,Asif,Gul,Shabbir,Rehman and Hammed/Rana should make a final 15

  • rizwan nazir-oldham-uk on February 12, 2007, 0:12 GMT

    salamz

    i think that to win the worldcup u need alot of luck and a good team is always creating luck. if we rewind back to the 92wc pakistan were dead n buried until the rain came and saved them against england and after that pakistan went on to lift the wc. so inshallah with the grace of allah we wil hav this sort of luck again.

    my Ix

    imran nazir (specialist opner) kamran akmal (wk) younis khan (specialist batsman) mohammad yousaf (specialist batsman) inzi bhai (specialist batsman) Shoaib malik (Batting allrounder) Shahid afridi (Bowling allrounder) Abdul Razzaq (bowling allrounder) Shoaib Akthar (specialist bowler) Umar Gul (specialist bowler) Mohammad asif (specialist bowler) 12th man(azhar mahmood)

    inshallah with this team we can become world beaters...

  • sabeeh on February 12, 2007, 0:11 GMT

    I agree with most of the selection but i dont agree about azhar ahead of rana. Yes rana have done bad in this tour but his an attacking option. If azhar need to be picked, he should be picked ahead of sami....My team would be

    Butt, Hafeez, kamran, younis, yousuf, inzi, malik, razzaq, afridi, azhar, shaoib, gul, asif, rana, rehman

    I personally think salman is best opener for pakistan along hafeez but unfortunately pakistan dumped him. I still think paksitan should take butt ahead of nazir. If shoaib is not fit then sami can replace him

  • Scared Pak Fan on February 12, 2007, 0:09 GMT

    If Pakistan players can read this....SHAME ON YOU. You bring nothing but shame on Pakistan. Bring back Imran Khan as coach ASAP!

  • Shahid on February 12, 2007, 0:09 GMT

    I think the constant recycling of discarded players goes to show that Pakistan is short on newer talented players to take over. This patched up team is more of a selectors wishful thinking than a winning combination. Recalling Azhar Mahmood and Imran Nazir is an example of not having groomed any new players to infuse some enthusiasm in this lifeless team. Pakistan mistakenly has been led to believe that they are a very talented team, I think they are a very ordinary team and only capable of playing a little better in favourable conditions. Selectors are more interested in securing their jobs by selecting mediocre players and not taking risks by grooming the next generation of players.

  • Zishan Iqbal on February 12, 2007, 0:07 GMT

    This Pakistan cricket team's lack of fight and passion is very disturbing. They seem to be unable to change their mindset to suit the stage of a game, like today - once they started to defend, thats all they did and so only got 107 in 45 overs! And whats worse is that they seem able to take a thrashing without even caring!There needs to be change from chairman down, but its too late for the world cup. Best thing to do is just get the players together and pray that God takes pity on us fans. But now Afridi is banned and Shoaib may be injured. My instinct says that Pakistan can only have a chance of winning if Shoaib is there. My XI would be Butt, Akmal, Younis, Yousef, Inzi, Malik, Afridi, Razzaq, Shoaib, Asif, Gul

  • Umar Siddiqui , Houston TX on February 12, 2007, 0:05 GMT

    The Pakistan team continues to be unpredictable. They blow hot and cold, smashing 341 one day and getting out for 107 the next. So many players are injured that it is hard to predict what squad will actually go for the World Cup. According to latest reports, Shoaib might not even make the squad. Kamran, I would include Rana Naveed because he has been a great One-day performer for Pakistan for the last few years and just one bad series does not merit his ommission. That's how Inzi thinks too as he keeps on playing Rana even though he is having a hard time and rightly so. Even though Azhar Mehmood is a good player but there are already too many allrounders in the team. He can be put on standby for Shoaib Akhtar. I think the 15 below are the best available and strongest team they can muster together.

    My 15 for the world Cup would be:

    1) Imran Nazir 2) Mohd Hafeez 3) Kamran Akmal 4) Younus Khan 5) Mohd Yusuf 6) Inzamam-ul-Haq 7) Shoaib Malik 8) Shahid Afridi 9) Abdur Razzak 10)Mohd Asif 11)Umar Gul 12)Rana Naveed 13)Shoaib Akhtar (or Azhar Mehmood) 14)Abdur Rehman 15)Yasir Hameed

  • asiimm on February 12, 2007, 0:01 GMT

    Given what the present circumstances are, the ideal squad would be =

    Imran Nazir Kamran Akmal Younis Khan Mohd. Yousaf Inzimam ul Haq Shoaib Malik Mohd Hafeez Azhar Mahmood Abdul Razzak Umar Gul Mohd Asif

  • Yassar on February 12, 2007, 0:00 GMT

    The word "Unpredictable" seems to go hand in hand with the Pakistan cricket team. But i would not term the latest trouncing as another example of Pakistan blowing hot & cold. Today’s performance was simply embarrassing. They showed no fight, no will, no passion and seem to have no idea of how to be competitive.

    It’s been said time and time again that fielding is a key requisite for having a consistently successful ODI side. Pakistan’s fielding is by far the worst of all the test playing nations. I find it hard to believe that a team can find it so difficult to improve on a particular skill. I don’t expect Pakistan to show the skill & athleticism that South Africa display but I do expect them to improve and be professional in the field.

    Pakistan’s running between the wickets is so non-urgent and lethargic it costs them approximately 20-30 runs per innings. I play cricket on a regular basis and one of the first thing we were told in regards to running between the wickets was to run the first run hard in order to give yourself a chance of a second. It amazes me to see a professional, international team lack basic skills such as this.

    The batting relies solely on Younis, Yousuf & Inzamam and if they don’t perform then more often then not the team does not perform.

    On the bowling department we only have 1 fit and on form bowler in Mohammed Asif…and he too will get injured unless his workload is lessened.

    No team can seriously harbor hopes of winning the world cup by relying on 4 players. You need to have all 15 squad players close to their best form in order to have such a chance.

    Pakistan unfortunately are off the boil in all 3 key areas of the game and simply relying on Pakistan’s unpredictable nature will bring no sustained success.

    Anyway my world cup squad would be as follows;

    1. Shoaib Malik 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammed Yousuf 5. Inzamam-Ul-Haq 6. Shahid Afridi 7. Abdul Razzaq 8. Azhar Mahmood 9. Shoaib Akhtar 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammed Asif

    12. Imran Nazir 13. Rana Naved 14. Mohammed Sami 15. Abdul Rehman

  • Usman on February 11, 2007, 23:59 GMT

    I agree with most of the squad that you picked with just a couple changes. I think Shoib Akhtar's career has ended now as the report suggested today that he has recurrrence of knee injury. That will be a big blow to Pakistan who i think without him are short of a bowler who can destroy a line up at any stage of the game. Secondly i think Sami is useless. I would rather have Yasir Arafat in the side who i think has not been given any chance instead of a couple of decent showings. I think Abdul Rehman will not be able to handle the pressure so he shouldnt be picked. Unfortunately Pakistan do not have a quality spinner like Saqlain anymore so i think its useless to pick one. I think Afridi, Shaoib and Hafeez are enough for spinning options. I think Hafeez should open with Imran Nazir. On Subcontinental type of pitches, thats the best combination. Younis, Yousuf and Inzmam pick themselves in the middle order followed by Shoib Malik, Afridi, Kamran Akmal, Razzaq and Azhar Mehmood. The only thing that this team will need is temprament. I think Pakistani players lack that part of the game. I dont know why they are not mentally tough enough after playing so much cricket. They also need a bit of luck. If they get on a roll, i think this team has the potential to win the cup.

  • Mohammed Sharif on February 11, 2007, 23:45 GMT

    I reckon your team is spot on, Kamran.

    A few things worth mentioning though. When it comes to the other Kamran, I don't think the situation is as dire as most seem to think. He's been a little unlucky opening the batting over the last few games, but as Rashid Latif said, he's a natural batsman so insha-Allah he'll recover for the Carribean. His wicket-keeping appears to be taking a turn for the better during these ODIs though which is good to see.

    When it comes to deciding on a spinner, despite agreeing with your selection of Abdur Rehman, I think it's unfortunate that Kaneria has had so few oppurtunities to prove himself. Obviously it's too late now, but he needs to be given a trial on the ODI squad.

  • Murtaza on February 11, 2007, 23:37 GMT

    The team seems good enough to reach the semifinal stage of the tournament but come on one has to be realistic. Chances of Paksitan winning the world cup are slim. I have this opinion because we lack an opening pair both in bowling and batting. Sure we do have Asif but he needs someone else to help him open the bowling. Secondly relying on Afridi, Razzaq or Shoaib Malik, who rather than being match winners are simply bonus players (neither good bowlers nor good batsmen), is not a safe bet. A team in order to win needs atleast four specialist bowlers and atleast five batsmen. Currently for the SA tour we have two bowlers and three batsmen. Thirdly fielding and running between the wickets have been and still remain a big problem.

    If I were to select 11 players I would go for: 1. Hafeez (Opener) 2. Younis Khan (Opener) (Usually he comes in the second over so what difference does it make if he starts from the first ball) 3. M Yousuf 4. Inzi 5. Shoaib Malik 6. Razzaq 7. Kamran Akmal 8. Abdur Rehman 9. Shoaib (if fit) else Sami 10.Gul 11.Asif

  • Adil Rahman on February 11, 2007, 23:24 GMT

    Akmal will succeed in West Indies??? Don't know what you're smoking.

    The equation is simple no Akhtar = no world cup

    Period...no need to write a full article...you can just sum it up to that

  • Owais on February 11, 2007, 23:24 GMT

    Pakistan are so inconsistent. One day they will play like world champions, the next they will be an ordinary team. Even without Afridi, they are stronger than South Africa or for that matter any other team. They should play as a team and don't lose hear from injuries and player suspensions. Inshallah they will win the next game and the World Cup.

  • hamza on February 11, 2007, 23:08 GMT

    id like to see younis khan or mohammad yousuf open the batting alongside imran nazir...we need an opener who can score centuries and anchor the innings..i think only these two are capable of this in th pakistan team..there is also a lack of planning by pakistan..they go into the match with no clear plans on how to start their innings..they just stand there and defend balls and look for bad balls rather than take the attack to the opposition..if pakistan can fix their opening combination..they can be really destructive in the middle and the late overs with their destructive batsmen..my team would be 1.Younis Khan 2.Imran Nazir 3.Mohammad Yousuf 4.Inzimam 5.Shoaib Malik 6.Akmal 7.Razzaq 8.Afridi 9.Akhtar(if fit) if not then Rana (i think he'll be more effective on the west indies wickets..he doesnt bowl a good length for the sa wickets) 10.Gul 11.Asif the other 4 should be Rehman, Hafeez, Azhar, fawad alam (surprise package..i see in the newspapers that hes scoring tons of runs and hes a good fielder too..why not try him instead of the likes of yasir hameed etc who have been tried and tested and failed..they should play him against the likes of Ireland and see how he goes)

  • Behzad on February 11, 2007, 23:01 GMT

    1. Imran Nazir/ Hafeez 2. Shahid Afridi 3. Yunus Khan 4. Md. Yusuf 5. Inzamam 6. Abdul Razzaq/ Shoaib Malik 7. Kamran Akmal 8. Azhar Mahmood 9. Sami / Abdul Rehman 10. Umar Gul 11. Md Asif The squad should revolve around this. I would prefer Afridi to open the innings rather than coming down late in the order. An onslaught in the opening overs always has a huge psychological advantage over which the famed trinity can build up. During the ending overs Razzaq, Shoaib Malik and Azhar can always have a slog feast. Shoaib Akhtar looks doubtful...... On their day, they can be world beaters. Inzamam could be a little more inspirational!!They have the potential, the talent, to do it.

  • Waqar Tajuddin on February 11, 2007, 22:47 GMT

    I fully agree with Kamran's analysis. Despite the disappointments of the SA tour, the team picks itself. The only disappointment is that Rana will be left out. However, given his recent performances, this is not too difficult a decision to make.

  • Sami on February 11, 2007, 22:44 GMT

    hmm... well with pakistan.. we hav always seeen this weirdness... specially in south africa.. donno why.. but south africa has always been pakistan's cryptonite.. and dat is exactly y i was so dumbfounded when they won the last match...

    i say that we jus get this tour out of the way... and carry on... all i care about at the moment is that afridi may hav to miss a few... !

  • Talal Khan on February 11, 2007, 22:34 GMT

    ok my playing 11 1. Imran Nazir - ability to turn a game on its head. 2. Kamran Akmal - good quality player only a matter of time when he'll come through for pakistan 3. Younis Khan - agree with mr. abbasi set in stone 4. Mohammad Yousaf - same as #3 5. Inzamam-ul-Haq - same as #3 6. Shahid Afridi - i don't think people should contest his inclusion 7. Abdul Razzaq - plays with a straight bat in the death overs 8. Abdur Rehman - a little speculative but should be given this big exposure 9. Shoaib Akhter - i doubt his ability sometimes myself but i think he shut everybody up including myself in the 1st innings at port elizabeth 10. Umar Gul - automatic 11. Mohammad Asif - automatic

  • syed hussain on February 11, 2007, 22:25 GMT

    like every thing in Pakistan 'unorgnised' and corrupt and dishonest.The whole country is so unpredictable and man the corruption is at height so the team cricket team is also from the same nation they not different from other Pakistanis, Shame on you Mr cheif PCB, shame on on entire selectors!!!!!

  • Imran on February 11, 2007, 22:21 GMT

    Hi Kamran and all.

    I assume you wrote the article before the news about Shoaib emerged. He is a liability (due to injury) at the best of times; to take him to the world cup when already injured would be a stupid waste of a spot. You have written before of the way Shoaib divides opinion - often in the same person, on the same day. We dreamed of him running in to open for us in the World Cup. So did he. But the dream is over. Sorry, but we move on.

    I think Rehman is not good enough as a specialist spinner. We already have three spinners (Hafeez, Malik, Afridi) in the squad who are very good, experienced one-day bowlers.

    I think the four reserve positions should go to two batsmen and two bowlers. We need the batting cover: Inzy's back might play up, so I'd have Yasir Hameed in the squad. And Hafeez must go as cover for Afridi for the first two games, and generally as a good option to have. This is my 15:

    1. Nazir 2. Kamran 3. Younis 4. Yousuf 5. Inzy 6. Malik 7. Afridi 8. Razzaq 9. Azhar 10. Gul 11. Asif

    12. Hafeez 13. Hameed 14. Sami 15. Rana

  • Atif Subhani on February 11, 2007, 22:18 GMT

    Great articles Mr. Kamran. I think we should have let Moin Khan captain till 2007 WC anyways its past now .. Inzi needs to lift his game and inspire the other players .. .my team for the WC will be ..

    1.Imran Nazir 2.Shoaib Malik 3.Younis Khan 4.Mohammad Yousaf 5.Inzimam-ul-haq 6.Shahid Afridi 7.Abdur Razzaq 8.Azhar Mehmood 9.Shoaib Akhter 10.Umar Gull 11.Mohammad Asif

    I think it can be a lethal ODI team .. they shoudl let Younis keep the wickets as Akmal has been very disappointing .. Rana Naveed, Akmal, Salman Butt and Yasir Hameed should be the other players making to the Carribean .. I hope they pick up the right team !!

  • Mohammad Manzoor on February 11, 2007, 22:14 GMT

    let me come straight to the point..In WC open with Afridi and Imran Nazir, followed by Younis Khan, yousaf and Inzi (Why doesn't he give up), Malik, Kamran Akmal, Razzaq, Akhter, Umar gul and Asif..and if Pak still doesnt win , TOUGH LUCK!

  • Adnan Butt on February 11, 2007, 22:14 GMT

    I wonder how many times we have to see that sort of performance from pakistan Player, and i wonder when the thing called PROFESSIONALISM will come to our side. They are paid to deliver if your are not consistant (Like Afridi/Akmal/Razzak), why dont you kick them out, i belive PCB is working more like charity organization .

  • azeem on February 11, 2007, 22:10 GMT

    i think that pakistan has no way of winning the world cup this time, no matter wat squad you put on the field. We are totally unprepared and totally out of math fitness.I am really surprised why our players keep getting injured and why doesnt any one do something about it.All in all i will still support paksitan in the world cup but sadly our chances of winning are fading away.

  • Fareed Nasir on February 11, 2007, 22:08 GMT

    I think what you saw as complacency, I will put down as fear. A fear which turns a docile pitch into a minefield, so that no one wants to get out playing a shot. A fear which arises from the uncertainity surronding the recent tour. Some of it like injuries was un avoidable, others like selection inconsistency self inflicted. We have done too much experimentation. SA tour was not the ideal setup to prepare the team for a World cup in Windies. It has left the team, tired, injured, unsure and unconfident. However wahtever is done is in the past. I think salman butt and yasir should have been chosen ahead of Azhar and Imran nazir. I think its terrible to discard Imran farhat so near the world cup, time to discard him was before the w indies home series. BUT no more experimentation. Squad has to chosen from the current lot, no new late comers anymore please. Whereas I agree with most of the squad, I would prefer Rana over Sami. Rana is out of form and can always start toimprove, Sami even at his best is below par. Akmal should not open, he looks out of sorts in that position. Hafeez should be the regular opener with the license to go after the bowling, he should be acccompanied by Inzimam. Inzi down the order looses too many runs due to bad running between wickets, His presence up the order will also help players on other end. With 20 overs of power plays, one should try Afridi one down depending on pitch and opposing team. I know he failed in past. But west indies is different from England. This should be followed by Yousuf, Younis and Shoiab.These 3 have the capability to play risk free cricket while mantaining a healthy runrate, Due to their ability to rotate the strike. Akmal and Razzaq to follow. Azhar/Rana/Abdur rehman depending on pitch and oppostion, I think azhar is not a much better bat than Rana. Umar gul/Shoaib (lets hope they are fit and Asif. Imran Nazeer should be last player in the squad. So our squads are almost same but their utility differs. As a last note lets not be too pessimistic, Pakistan will IA be a much stronger force in frendlier conditions of West Indies.

  • Amer Hussain on February 11, 2007, 21:56 GMT

    Oh Kamran, my boss is South African, and what with England winning today, I look forward to a torrid day at work tomorrow.....

    Anyway, Pak Team for World Cup - if they turn up and can be bothered to play to potential, then the team has to be as follows:

    Nazir and Akmal as openers. Afridi -1 down - we all know he can be hit and miss, get him in as quick as possible (with our openers, very quick) and see what he can do - make him captain after the World Cup as well, so he can try and become a little more responsible.

    Younis, Yousuf and Inzi to follow, no argument theoretically , but again, I fear complacency, try an Asim Kamal to try and shake them up a bit - might bring better performances.

    Pace wise we need Akhtar on fire (with a knee op due, what odds he won't be fit or they'll include him in the squad and he'll break down after 1 game!), Asif and Gul, with Sami as cover or maybe Shabbir if fit! Bear in mind if we lose Shoaib, it's worth having two plan B's.

    All rounder wise, I would agree with the use of Shoaib Malik, but please lets sack Razzaq (preferably allowing him some dignity) he has been a great player, but what has he done in the last 2 years that make him worth keeping, I would replace with Hafeez and Azhar M. Finally, surely if we believe that Kaneria is a match winning spinner in tests then surely he is worth a gamble in the ODI arena? If that is not the opinion of the selectors, then Rehman it is.

    So, I too am keen to see a strong Pak outfit, and salivating at the prospect of an exciting World Cup, where I can hold my head up high and be proud to be Pakistani and proud of the performances the boys give.........or I can just at least gloat on the fact that India lost!

  • Alex on February 11, 2007, 21:52 GMT

    Kamran, today's performance was dire. This team is far too unpredictable and really haven't got a hope come the world cup. U need some kind of consistency not a performance which depends on which peak of the sine wave you're on come the morning of the match. In terms of squad selection, i'm not going to name a full squad as it just wastes time on a blog. However, Akmal is not an opener and a mediocre wickey. Put him down the order to slog at the end. Get Shoaib Malik to open with either Hafeez(who is a good spinner and fielder) or Nazir (if he can maintain some form). Rana should be sent back to his village and never considered for a big tournament again (he's ok against Bangla, Zim. Don't take Sami another waste of space. Shoaib Akhtar is unlikely to be fit and if Gul is OK at least there is some decent back up for Asif. I wold only put Malik and Afridi in as all rounders. Razzaq has no bottle. I would pick Azhar before him. In any case all this isn't going to matter cos the PCB will cock it up as usual and deprive millions of fans a decent tournament.

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg VA, USA on February 11, 2007, 21:51 GMT

    SELECTION DILEMMA FOR PAKISTAN WORLD CUP SQUAD

    Kamran the unpredictability of Pakistan teams is a part of folklore. On their day they can demolish any opposition and the next extreme is one of horror for the numerous fans at home and abroad. PCB has not done enough to find the reasons for this inconsistency among the Pakistan players, nor has it found a way to get around it.

    The recent tour of South Africa has not been easy for Pakistan. The injuries to the pace bowlers in particular depleted the strength of Pakistani team to get the opposition out for a meager or manageable score in both test match and limited over cricket. The team must give credit to Shoaib Akhtar for their surprise victory in the 2nd test, even though Shoaib did not bowl due to hamstring injury in the second innings. His four wicket haul in the first innings upset the balance of South African batting. It reinstated the sapping morale of the Pakistan players and helped to regain confidence in the ability of the team to elevate their game and beat the best opposition.

    The selectors have a real problem on their hands. We know in this series against South Africa, the pace bowling department of the team was not full strength in absence of Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar (apart from his short appearance during the 2nd test) and Shabbir Ahmad. However the batting line up was pretty much at its strength (except for Shoaib Malik who did not play in the Test Matches and Mohammad Yusuf missing the first test). The Pakistan openers were dismissed for a paltry score throughout the series and the middle order was plagued by ups and downs. Often the tail came to the rescue and restored a semblance of respectability to the score card.

    The World Cup squad has to be selected based on the performance of the team in the current Test and ODI series in South Africa. One can understand the tough predicament of the selectors as they are now obliged to pick up a team from players without decent back to back accomplishments.

    Even the three middle order heroes of Pakistani batting line up (Inzy, Yusuf and Yunus) at best have come up with fluctuating performances during the current series between Pakistan and South Africa. Among them Yusuf probably has faired better, while both Inzy and Yunus have either been brilliant at times or very ordinary. In the ODI matches except for the 2nd ODI in which the over all Pakistan Batting was exceptional to post 351 runs, the remaining matches have seen below par batting of mostly low quality. You have aptly asserted in the 4th ODI: “The batsmen played with a bizarre timidity and lack of application that left the bowlers nothing to defend. The pitch was not the minefield that Pakistan seemed to be imagining it to be". Through poor shot selection and irresponsible strokes the Pakistani batsmen threw their wickets while Inzy watched in frustration. The South African's won by 10 wickets and proved that the pitch was easy to play on. The Pakistan All-rounders were brought back after the Test Series in South Africa and apart from his 77 runs and 3 wickets in the 2nd ODI Afridi did not perform up to his potential in other matches, Razzak and Azhar made no significant contributions to catch the eye of the selectors for the World Cup team. Kamran Akmal has been failing consistently both in batting and keeping and even though he may give us a surprise in the 5th and final ODI against South Africa, the selectors will have a hard time picking him up. I still see no reason in taking Zulqarnain Haider on the tour and not playing him while Kamran's poor form with the bat and gloves continues.

    I gather the selectors have very little choice and therefore they will call on the big players based on their past performances. The choice of openers is wide open between Hafeez, Imran Farhat, Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik. Among them not even one combination has recently shown any capacity to build a reasonable opening partnership for the middle order batsmen to consolidate and the sloggers at the end of the innings to expand. Kamran will be back behind the stumps as the selectors have no other choice. The middle order places of Yunus, Inzy, Yusuf will remain unchanged, while Shoaib malik, Abdur Razak and Afridi will be in the team on expectations to perform well. If Shoaib Akhtar does not need another knee surgery and does not get in to another situation, he will certainly be back in the team to open the bowling with Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul (provided Gul is fit). I would go with Sami and Azhar too and the latter will bring more strength as an all-rounder.

    There is a lot of pressure on the Pakistan team to win the World Cup. From their recent performance barring a miracle I do not see them even qualifying for the Semi Finals. The players have to evaluate their chances, believe in their skills and strengths and play with a game plan against each opposition to keep any hope of winning the World Cup alive.

  • Maverick on February 11, 2007, 21:50 GMT

    I agree with a majority of your comments. Just a couple of points to ponder on: One, Sami; I know Rana has been going for runs.. and plenty.. recently, but Sami has never proven his worth - unless you play him against Ireland and co. his value with the ball is limited.. Two, Akhtar; even if he makes it to the World Cup.. I wouldn't put my money on him playing half the matches. Three, Salman Butt; I agree that its too late now.. but he should have been persisted with.. like Nazir - a long time ago. Four, Kaneria; play him in ODIs.. he will improve his consistency and add to team value.. again.. a Butt situation.. too late.. Five, Bowling attack; Gul, Asif and Akhtar will never play together - its like a Dream Team that will never materialise..

    Pakistan cannot win the World Cup.. for a very simple reason: there are teams out there that can bat, bowl and field with greater consistency.. they deserve it.. we don't..

  • arif on February 11, 2007, 21:45 GMT

    well i think that its a shame to lose so badly when the world cup is just a month away. every team is bringing improvemens in their teams while pakistan is moving towards the downfall. i think the big reason is the missmanagement. i believe that each pakistani player is gifted with great talent ....but their usage is totally wrong

  • Shazaib Quraishi on February 11, 2007, 21:43 GMT

    The teanm that kamran has selected is pretty much on the spot. The two players that I disagree with would be Hafeez and Sami. I think Yasir Hameed deserves a chance ahead of Hafeez, as we already have an off-spinning alrounder in Shoaib Malik. As far as the Sami/Rana debate goes, I would choose Rana over Sami any time, especially for a one day tournament. Rana hasnt had the best of times recently, but im sure he will bounce back. My team for the WC would be (the first XI being the starters): 1. Imran Nazir, 2. Shahid Afridi, 3. Younis Khan, 4. Mohammad Yousuf, 5. Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), 6. Shoaib Malik, 7. Abdul Razzaq, 8. Kamran Akmal (wk), 9. Shoaib Akhtar, (Mohammad Sami, in case of an injury) 10.Mohammad Asif, 11.Umar Gul, 12.Azhar Mahmood, 13.Yasir Hameed, 14.Abdur Rehman, 15.Rana Naved-ul-Hasan.

  • Malik on February 11, 2007, 21:39 GMT

    My squad would be

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Shahid Afridi 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammad Yousuf 5. Inzamam ul Haq (c) 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Kamran Akmal (wk) 8. Abdul Razzak 9. Azhar Mahmood 10. Mohammad Sami 11. Mohammad Asif

    But only a miracle will take Pakistan to the semi finals, i dont think with this inconsistency they can challenge the might of Aus, Saf, Ind, SL, WI and even England!

  • jadogar-spin on February 11, 2007, 21:31 GMT

    Like the rest of the nation, the team has low morale and self confidence. If the openers do well, the team will perform well. If the openers and one-down fall early, the team will collapse. Kamran is not an opener - we have tried everyone except Inzi. Try the cap and Nazir at open, Yunus 1 down, Yusuf at 2 down, and then the all rounders.

  • Adeel Hussain on February 11, 2007, 21:28 GMT

    Very very poor performance today from Pakistan. But to tell you the honest truth, I am not overly concerned with this team for the world cup except for one major factor and that is the opening of this team. If Pakistan can somehow solved the opening pair b4 the first match against WI, I think this team is capable enough to win against anyone.

    In my opinion, the only way to solve Pakistan's woes at this stage with no time at all is to play with their strengths to overcome their weaknesses. Since Younis Khan has literally been opening for Pakistan by coming in so early in matches (in the first 10 overs), why not open with him. India has done it with Sachin, Dravid and Ganguly, so why not Younis. Here are 15 players for WC with the first 11 being a regular day to day team. (Assuming that there no injuries and Afridi is available, which he will be after the first two WC matches:

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Younis Khan 3. Mohammad Yousaf 4. Inzammam-ul-Haq 5. Shoaib Malik 6. Kamran Akmal 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Shoaib Akhtar 9. Danish Kaneiria 10. Umer Gul 11. Mohammad Asif

    12. Abdul Razzaq 13. Mohammad Sami/Rana Naved-ul-Hassan 14. Yasir Hameed 15. Mohammad Hafeez

    I think play one of Afridi or Razzaq. It doesnt make sense to play both in the same game. Kaneiria inclusion is very important because he is a match winner and he can play the same role that Mushtaq Ahmed played in WC 1992. This is just my wish list and obviously the think tank in the pakistan management is going to go totally the other way and fill more than half of the team with all rounders, which is a complete joke. Anyways, I wish Pakistan all the best and hope that we can come out with our second WC, inshallah. GOOD LUCK TO MY BELOVED PAKISTAN.

  • Waqas on February 11, 2007, 21:25 GMT

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Shoaib Malik 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammed Yousuf 5. Inzamam-ul-Haq 6. Abdul Razzaq 7. Kamran Akmal 8. Azhar Mahmood 9. Yasir Arafat 10. Mohammed Asif 11. Danish Kaneria 12. Abdur Rehman 13. Shahid Afridi 14. Imran Farhat 15. Mohammed Sami 16. Anjum Intfhikar

  • Ibrar Mahmood on February 11, 2007, 21:23 GMT

    Thank god some has picked a squad that i had in mind. Rana has had too many opportunities and i feel that its time for him to go! although i dont like the idea of mohammad hafeez being in the squad. i wolud much rather go for salman butt. he is much more talented and has shown fight and ability. they should has at least tested him out here, in south africa before the world cup. my starting 11 would be:

    Imran Nazir Kamran Akmal Younis Khan Inzamam ul Haq Mohammad Yousuf Shahid Afridi Shoaib Malik Azhar Mahmood Shoaib Akhtar Mohammad Asif Umar Gul

    Innit Tany, what do you think?!

  • Ulysses on February 11, 2007, 21:20 GMT

    Kamran Abbasi, as you know there is not much to choose between openers or even bowlers they all behave in the fluctuating fashion in the best tradition of Pak cricket. But definitely no Sami, perhaps no Rana Naved, and Afridi to play only when less than ten overs left in the innings.

  • Ulysses on February 11, 2007, 21:17 GMT

    The enigma will continue. Pakistan might still win the last one day match in SA to confound the best pundits once again. What do you do with a team that only fights when it is down? But cheerleaders howl with every win and sink to the lowest depth with every defeat. That is perhaps the charm of Pakistani team.

  • Sikander Rashid on February 11, 2007, 21:10 GMT

    This team MAY stand a chance

    1.Imran Nazir - Better than Imran farhat 2.Mohammed Hafeez - He's okay, I guess. 3.Younis Khan - Can't he keep the stumps? 4.Mohammad Yousaf 5.Shoib Malik - I think he should bat before Inzi 6.Inzimam 7.Shahid Afridi 8.Abdul Razzak 9.Abdul Rehman 10.Shoib Akhtar 11.Mohammed Asif

    I prefer Razzak over Umer Gul because out battin is ver unreliable and We require Razzak's services at the end our battin quite often.

    But, honeslt, I don't think our team has a chance without Shoib Akhtar. We really need him.

  • Muhammad Kamran Qureshi Dubai on February 11, 2007, 21:10 GMT

    today pakistan performance 1 of the worst one.some time what happen with pakistan team no one can understand.sometime they arre playing very good cricket & sudenly they start playing very cheaply like to day ,wc 1999final(waseem captain),netwest final 2001(waqar captain),triseries final in SA1998 (Rashid captain) final in Sa 1994 -1995(saleem Captain)or a faisalabad test 1997(saeed captain)i mean to say they played some outstanding cricket and in aimportant mach they out on very low scors differant time under differant captions.defeat is differant thing but why so cheaply they should have to think on it.being a cricket crazy nation pakistan i can see defeat but with fight not like this.it is totally unaccepable for us (pak sporters).2ndly i don't know how they preparing for wc.why they don't want give chace to all players like other counteries.i cannot understand Bob &inzy approch which is absolutily 3rd class why they kept zulqarnan hyder on side allSA tour with 3rd class akmal parformace.specialy on 13th they have to annouced team for wc.they will keep out of form akmal with team what you all think this is preparation for wc wining or ????????????????same rana in team &iftikhar in dressing room.ohh sorry we are talking about pakistan where the presidant is on the base of power not onthe base of talent how come player.am i write or wrong??????????????????being pakistani its my pray and great wish to win the wc under sleeping inzy.

  • Faheem on February 11, 2007, 21:05 GMT

    The most unpredictable team in the world is pakistan.The basis of team selection in pakistan is to get along very well with Captain and any of selectors.The most indicipline players in the team is pakistan.Considering all these charecters,my dream team will be :

    1.M.Hafeez 2.Salman Butt 3.Younus Khan 4.Mohammed Yousuf 5.Inzimam Ul Haque 6.Shoib Mallick 7.Abdul Razzaque 8.Kamran Akmal 9.Mohammed Asif 10.Umer Gul 11.Dinesh Kanaria or 12.Shahid Afridi 13.Mohammed Sami 14.Iftikhar Anjum 15.Hassan Raza or Fawad Alam(Preffered)

    If any of the opener donot clik then Younus should open and Kamran sould bat at no. 7 or 8.Afridi should be preffered in Eleven and bat according to the situation his primary role is of Bowler.I think this is the best team and selectors should be bold to make dission.

  • Umair Dar on February 11, 2007, 21:04 GMT

    You can't not pick Rana - how can you drop someone with the best strike rate of any bowler Pakistan has ever produced? He has done brilliantly for us barring the last few months of indifferent form. Granted he is expensive, but so is Sami. Rana has more ability with the bat than Sami as well. Rana over Sami anyday.

  • Babar Shameem, Washington, USA on February 11, 2007, 21:03 GMT

    Pakistan's unpredictability notwithstanding, as a fan, one can only hope but hope requires that intelligent choices be made.

    So, here's my squad:

    Imran Nazir and Yasir Hameed to open with Akmal and Malik backing them.

    Younis, Yousuf, and Inzamam, as you rightly point out, are automatics, at this stage.

    Afridi, Razzaq, and Azhar have be persisted with to give options both ways.

    Shoaib Akhtar (if fit), Umar Gul (if fit) and Asif make up the rest. If either Akhtar or Gul unfit, then Sami steps in. If both unfit, then Sami and Rehman.

  • Ahsan on February 11, 2007, 21:03 GMT

    thats the point - you never know anything about Pakistan. One their performance is so tremendous that even Aussies would get traounced, and the other day, they play like it is their fiorst day in cricket!!! Don't know what is goin to happen in Carribean!! ALLAH madad karay, AMEEN SUM AMEEN

  • Karim Shaban on February 11, 2007, 21:02 GMT

    It all depends on the pitches ... if the pitches are going to be like sub-continent pitches (which I'm pretty sure the ICC will make sure of for economic reasons) my playing XI would be (more or less in batting order):

    Imran Nazir Kamran Akmal Younis Khan Yousuf Inzy Shoaib Malik Razzaq Ahzar Mahmood Afridi Gul Asif

    Imran Nazir seems to be the best opening option we have right now. out of all the other openers we have tried (hafeez, butt, farhat, yasir hameed...), none of them seem to be capable of protecting the middle order. so i would just go with kamran akmal to open, creating a spot for another all-rounder (azhar mahmood). the other option would be to bring in hafeez as a "specialist" opener, and a part-time bowler, and not play azhar. i prefer the first option.

    the next 3, like kamran said, are set in stone (even though with inzy's current form....... is anyone on this blog going to dare to say it?).

    again, like kamran said, pakistan's strategy hinges on the 3 all-rounders (afridi, malik, razzaq) so theyre pretty much a sure shot. and since im not using a specialist opener, that makes a place for azhar mahmood.

    For the bowling attack, I left Shoaib out because theres no way on earth he's going to last an entire world cup campaign ... and with the news about his surgery I think he would be a liability.

    That is inevitably going to make our attack weak; nonetheless I would not sacrafice one of the batsman for picking a third specialist seamer - the form sami and rana are in just does not justify it. go with asif and gul to spearhead the attack, razzaq or azhar at first change, and then we have 2 slow bowl options (afridi, malik). that gives our ingenious captain and coach combination some flexibility.

    now for the bench, given the delicate and moody nature of our fast bowlers, i would pick at least two specialist fast bowlers. rana, sami, shahid nazir -- pick any two -- id say sami and rana. hafeez can probably make it in if the kamran akmal option fails badly. the 15th man .... now theres a reason i'm not on the board of selectors.

  • Hasan on February 11, 2007, 20:58 GMT

    It is the first time I am writing here but following for long time. For any big win you have to have a bunch of people who are totally committed, Talented and feels like a team. I am afraid Pakistan missed the golden opportunity to make a winning combination in South Africa.My team will be open with Nazir and Hafiz as Nazir has the potential to hit hard in the beginning and Hafiz can bring some singles and rotate strike for Nazir ( though not easy for him).Younas , Yousaf, Inzamam, Malik are automatic selection.Next will be Akmal, Afridi,and Razzaq depending on match situation.Fast bowlers should be Gul or Shoib who ever is fit with Asif on other hand. I know in this team has a lot of al-rounders but World Cup is in WI and spin of Afridi, Malik and Hafiz can be very handy. If you wanna play one more specialist bowler than Malik can be moved on top of the order with Nazir and another seamer can play.

  • Asif Ahmed on February 11, 2007, 20:51 GMT

    Kamran, I have said time and time again that the performances in SA should have no bearing on the World Cup chances. The pitches and conditions are so different that it would be naive to think that this is an indication of future performances in the WC. I said that before and hold that position, regardless of whether we win or lose against SA.

    Take the example of India; they were pulverized in the ODIs in SA, but now everyone will say they are strong contenders for the Cup because of their home performances. Similarly, we should take heart from our ODI performances at home against the Windies; those matches were truly an indication of our WC chances.

    The flat pitches in the carribean will really suit our batting. Even Kamran Akmal should flourish, so I am not too worried. I agree with your team except that I would replace Sami with Rana--let's not forget how much success Rana had against Gayle and Lara, not to mention how well he bowls on flat pitches. Sami should not be allowed to be a member of any other Pak team in future, it's that simple.

    I reiterate to Pak fans not to let this loss bring them down. This was the same venue where we were all out for 42 once, and we have historically done poorly here. Bear in mind also that we were all out for 74 during the WC 1992 which we eventually won.

    I think that we are very strong contenders to win this world cup inshallah.

  • saqib on February 11, 2007, 20:49 GMT

    i should take rana becouse when he is form you never know so i`ll drop sami from the team he has the pace but not the ability to take wickets..

  • Rafakat Khan on February 11, 2007, 20:47 GMT

    pakistan if all fit has one of the most talented teams in the world , This 11 is capable of being world Champions:-

    1.Imran Nazir 2.Shoaib Malik 3.Younis Khan 4.Muhammed Yousuf 5.Inzamam Ul Haq 6.Shahid Afridi 7.Kamran Akmal 8.Abdul Razzaq 9.Shoaib Akhtar 10.Umar Gul 11. Muhammed Asif

    I would stick with Nazir as opener because Hafeez and Farhat have failed countlessly and Nazir has the destructive capability of being a match winner. Shoaib Malik should be promoted to open because he is a more consistent batsmen capable of match winning hundreds who has opened in tests and did well as a number 3 before, his being wasted down the order. younis , yousuf and inzi pick themselves and provide a stability and experienced middle order. Then Afridi , Razzaq and Akmal are all big hitters and potential match winners at the end of a innings.Akmal should not open he doesnt have the consistency and belongs down the order where he would have the confidence to play his shots and hit out he could also concentrate on his keeping more.Finally Shoaib, Gul and asif make up an excellent pace trio . Asif with his impeccable accuracy , Gul has the all round capability to swing the ball and bowl vital yorkers and reverse swing that will be crucial in death bowling and Shoaib with his blistering pace and match winning capabilities.

    oh how i wish this team shows up for the world cup !!!!!!!!!!

  • Person on February 11, 2007, 20:47 GMT

    my ideal line up for Pakistan in the world for the first game against the West Indies would be

    Imran Nazir - Bat Kamran Akmal - Bat/Wicketkeeper Younis Khan - Bat Mohammed Yousuf - Bat Inzamam Ul Haq - Bat Shoiab Malik - All Rounder Shaid Afridi - All Rounder Abdul Razzaq - All Rounder Shoaib Akhtar - Bowl Umar Gul - Bowl Mohammed Asif - Bowl

    if We sort out our Injuiry Problems and play to our potential we could have a succesful campaign.

  • Raza on February 11, 2007, 20:47 GMT

    ABBASI, your spot on mate! This is the lineup or selection of players that need to goto the West Indies. I don't agree with rehman though. He had some limited success in pakistan but aside from that has gotten beaten quite badly. He faced a weakend West Indian line up and for that he gets all this praise. Kaneria is a great spinner who has improved his batting and fielding ten folds and the selectors have ignored that, why couldn't we give him a shot in an ODI, he has won test matches for us, at least give him a look. Also I must comment on Mansoor Amjad, why hasn't this lad gotten a shot in the inernational scene, hes been successful on every level, domestically and in county cricket. Also forget about Akthar hes a bust, GUL, ASIF and SAMI, Rana as the fourth and lets goto battle with these chaps all the way to the cup, PAKISTAN ZINDBHAD, Regards RAZMATAZ

  • Cricket Junky on February 11, 2007, 20:46 GMT

    Only mantra we have been hearing from PCB, Woolmer, and Inzi for last 3 years that we are preparing for the world cup. Barely a month before the world cup, All we can say is preparation, what preparation? We have a captain who can't think or plan anything, coach is obsessed with having 4 or 5 allrounders in the team (to be on the safe side), wicketkeeper is in shamble, no decent openers, etc...... Anyway being a supporter I wish Pakistan win the world cup but realistically I don't think this wish is gonna come true.

    CJ

  • Hammad Siddiqui on February 11, 2007, 20:43 GMT

    "I'd go for Sami's extra pace and Azhar's all round ability. "

    Sami's pace always backfires, and the last time Azhar showed any batting ability was in 1998.

  • Faisal on February 11, 2007, 20:41 GMT

    Its always the same story for Pakistan. If you ask me i would have brought back Salman Butt Long time back instead of giving so many chances to other guys so like its too late for him for world cup. My Squad of 15 are: Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan, Muhammad Yousuf, Inzamam Ul Haq, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhter, Umar Gul, Muhammad Asif. This is the Ideal Eleven. As far as reserves are concerned Rana Naved, Abdul Rehman, Muhammad Hafeez and Yasir Hameed. If Shoaib Akhter is Unfit then put in Muhammad Sami. So we have 5 Batsman Imran Nazir, Younis, Yousuf, Inzamam, Yasir 1 Wicket Keeper Kamran Akmal 1 Spinner Abdul Rehman 4 Allrounders Malik,Afridi,Razzaq,Hafeez 4 fast Bowler Shoaib/Sami,Asif,Gul,Rana

    A case can be made for Azhar but that will loose either a Specialist batsman or a Fast bowler.

    Naved might be not in best of form but he has performed well before and he has done well in West Indies in 2005. Pakistan can also try out Yasir Hameed as a Wicket Keeper and opening batsman in the match against Ireland. He is a good slip fielder. What do you say guys

  • omer on February 11, 2007, 20:36 GMT

    let the selectors do what ever they are supposed to. i trust them .. as long as they do some thing about kamran akmal man.. he is a shame to wicketkeepers, batsmen and cricketers in general

  • the view from above on February 11, 2007, 20:35 GMT

    the way pak are playing at the moment, they would be lucky to even win one game.

    my squad as follows:

    1. Younis Khan 2. Yasir Hameed. 3. Shoaib Malik 4. Moyo 5. Inzi 6. Afridi. 7. Razaq 8. Shoaib Akhtar 9. Kamran Akmal 10. Mohammed Asif 11. Another fast bowler or bowling allrounder

    Younis should definetly open the batting. The current openers are useless and he comes out to bat withing the first 5 overs.

    Kamran Akmal sucks as a batsman so we should not expect anything of him.

  • ibtsam butt on February 11, 2007, 20:29 GMT

    This was a poor poor effort, ohhh sory it was no effort at all. I m just hell embarassed with what i saw today. Even if we are playing backyard cricket with over friends there is an air of competition and desire to win. But today there was nothing at display. I think that players have got complacent thinking that they have competed with South Africa in South Africa. I m just speechless, i have no words to explain today's performance. Rana Naveed should be given a year's rest atleast.

  • Shahid Baig on February 11, 2007, 20:26 GMT

    Kamran Bhai, You have pointed it absolutely right. This shows clearly that there is a headache for incompetent selectors who could not identify any new talent and didn't give enough chances to youngsters. Bari selects the team in a drawing room from the same list which Inzi gives. Every one knows that Inzi likes his "punters", same players tried over and over again. What can Kamran Akmal do, or Razaq, or Azhar Mahmood. All of them don't have quality but since Bari and co don't have visions they will go back to some one who played in past and didn't perform. These all rounders are bits and pieces and not good enough in any area. They should bring quality specialists at least. This will be same story in world cup. All the other teams have settled squad including India, Sri Lanka and even England has been firing but Pakistan is going backwards and sucks.

  • asam on February 11, 2007, 20:26 GMT

    well kamran i think we have a great chance of winning the world cup IF SHOAIB AKHTAR IS FIT because at the moment we don't have any one backing the great mohammad asif as rana is bowling like someone who will strugle to get into a club team and sami was bowling exceptionaly well but has a back injury and umar gul is injured with all of them fit her is my team: imran nazir shahid afridi y.khan m.yousuf i.ulhaq s.malik razzaq k.akmal/z.haider s.akhtar- has to be in their! umar gul/m sami m.asif

  • Numaan on February 11, 2007, 20:22 GMT

    Completely agree about Akmal, Pakistan have stuck with him too long and now its too late to drop him from the side so close to the world cup, heres my world cup team, which you have seen many times kamran!;

    1. Hafeez 2. Nazir/Hammed/Farhat or someone who can bat! 3. Younis 4. Yousuf 5. Inzamam 6. Malik 7. Akmal 8. Arafat 9. Razzaq 10. Gul/Niazi 11. Asif

    I'm sure there are selections there that raise a few eyebrows but with shoaib all but ruled out, Afridi showing his true colours after durban, Rana having a year to forget. Pakistan will have to take risks in selection to provide team that will actually compete, Niazi can't be any worse than Rana can he?! There is enough of a spin option with Hafzeez and Malik to ensure there is no need for Afridi at all. Having seen Azhar Mahmood play he looked like he hasn't seen a gym in over a year or was it just me? in any case he looked terrible bowling so Arafat gets his place in my opinion.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 11, 2007, 20:19 GMT

    PAKISTAN'S chances of reaching the semis in the WC are very bleak. Shoaib Akhtar is out of the WC due to his knee surgery. So Kamran Abbassi's team leaves not one spot to be discussed but, two.

    But, the point is whether Mohammad Asif would be fit for the WC? He has shown signs of fatigue and tiredness and so has Azhar Mahmood, the later is not the same as he was 5 years ago, no speed, no swing, no bite and looks tired. Rana on the other hand doesn't get tired of getting hit by the opponents. Whatever the case is, he should NOT be in the WC squad. I don't think Abdul Rahman would be a good choice over Danish Kaneria. The later is far better and more experienced. For Pakistan the opening conundrum is a bigger problem at hand than bowling. If Pakistan gets a flying start, everyone plays well, everyone contributes and the bowlers have a better target to defend..

    Here is the playing XI that I would recommend. (this is my team after the first 2 matches when Afridi will join the team in Caribbean.)

    1. Imran Nazir (he must play in all 4 first matches irrespective of his performance) 2. Shoaib Malik (he should play the role of a second fiddle and go defensive and must not play risky shots) 3. Inzamam ul Haq (He must play at no.3 like Ricky Ponting does and he MUST lead from the front) 4. Mohammad Yousuf 5. Younus Khan (if he can put on gloves he could relieve Kamran Akmal and open a slot for a bowler/batsman. 6. Shahid Afridi (in the first two games they must try Danish Kaneria to see if the leg spin works in Caribbean?) 7. Kamran Akmal (if YK put on the gloves then this spot is open for a bowler/batsman as Kamran is out of form) 8. Abdul Razzaq (Woolmer should tell him how to throw a ball from the boundary line, he tries to bowl from there when he throws the ball to the keeper!) 9. Mohammad Sami (must be tried in the first 2 games in place of Azhar Mahmood) 10. Umar Gul (hope he is fit and stays fit or else the dreadful Rana would be there, 'coz of his French Connections) 11. Mohammad Asif. (should take complete rest for one month and take care of his health and stamina)

    If the squad is for 15 then, in order of merit: Kaneria, Salman Butt, Azhar Mahmood, Rao Iftikhar.

    No need of taking a back up wicket keeper. YK is there for taking up that role in case of an emergency.

    In Caribbean the grounds are smaller than other places, so Imran Nazir, Afridi and Razzaq should be able to convert their fours into sixes. As they say leg spinners perform well in Caribbean so, trying Kaneria in the first two games wouldn't be a bad option to try when Afridi is not playing.

  • Saad on February 11, 2007, 20:05 GMT

    I agree almost completely with Mr. Kamran about the squad, and my best 15 would be as follows: Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal, Younis, Inzy, Yousuf, Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Shoaib Akhtar(if fit and passes dope test), Asif, Umar Gul, Azhar, Abdur Rehman, Afridi, Sami and Rana.

    Today's performance was out of sorts and it seemed as if the players wanted to get out, with no intention of even fighting to stay. If this trend continues, World Cup chances are very dim and we need a great turnaround to have even the slightest chance.

  • Faisal Memon on February 11, 2007, 20:02 GMT

    Agreed with the team. But now that Shoaib will most likely miss the cup due to injury sami, naved, and azhar would all make the squad.

    My XI Akmal Imran Nazir Younis Yousuf Inzi Shoaib Malik Afridi Razzaq Azhar Gul Asif

    Back up Rehman Naved Sami Hafeez

    In first two matches Rehman will replace Afridi in the playing XI, but bats down the order. Nazir and Hafeez will compete for the opening slot, Akmal will stay there. Sami will be first replacement seamer, then Naved, as I feel Sami offers more to the team; he is quicker, a better fielder. Both are equally skilled with the bat, and leak just as many runs with the bowl.

  • Asim Ghaffar on February 11, 2007, 19:51 GMT

    shoaib is out of the tournament (99% chance) shabbir hasn't played much in recent times

    playing 11 Imran Nazir Kamran Akmal Yousuf Inzamam Younis Malik Afridi Sami umer asif danish

    other 4 razzak rana NAveed Hameed Hafeez

    Replacement all rounder: Azhar Replacement bowler 1: rao iftikhar Replacement bowler 2: Yaser Arafat Replacement batsman: Imran Farhat

  • M.Saqib on February 11, 2007, 19:50 GMT

    if pakistan have any chance to lift 2007 world cup then this should be the squad..... 1.Shahid Afridi 2.Imran nazir 3.Younis Khan 4.M.Yousaf 5. Inzimam ul Haq 6.Shoaib Malik 7.Kamran Akmal 8. Abdul Razaq 9.Shoaib Akhtar 10.Umar Gul 11.M.Asif

  • Nadeem on February 11, 2007, 19:38 GMT

    so lackluster was pakistan's performance today that i rather switched the channel and watched asutralia Vs. Englang matchand thoroghly enjoyed it. Looking at the current form of players and injuries, its not hard for anyone to judge our chances in the world cup. Alas! we dont learn from mistakes,instead like the recurring sequence of them untill hit the rock bottom.

  • sharoz on February 11, 2007, 19:38 GMT

    hm...i totally agree with you though i have concerns over sami.i'd rather go for rana! as for kamran akmal oopening i jus dont understand Y oh god why! are inzi and woolmer persisting with him!i knw if he suceeds then the team will be real flexible. but the bottom line is he didnt!moreover the only wicketkeeper/opener who has succeeded recently is ghilcrist eng tried jones and prior but tht didnt work.Same with sri lanka sangakkara was better off in the middle order.then theres brendon mcculum who was tried recently but didnt work!then why!o god hope they stop this crap and get a specialist in...maybe hafeez with yasir or nazir .tht woudlt be bad.furthermore i have my doubts wethar our squad will be any close to this.shoaibs fitness is a real worry and we do need him.moreover afridi is banned.And theres rana out of form!same wid inzi!anywayz i hope pak do well i am still backing them and thnk they are right up there with SAF and aus 2 win the title.Hope they find the balance,form,rhythm and convert their potential in to performace InshaAllah cheers

  • Jawad on February 11, 2007, 19:35 GMT

    Today's performance atleast showed that we cannot be really hopeful of winning the worldcup. that would be a real miracle now. I totally agree with kamran's list of players. but somehow i think that azhar and imran nazir are just lucky to be in the team, especially azhar mehmood bcoz he hasnot done anything special to be a part of the world cup squad but still he will go to WI. I also think that we should not try kamran as an opener and give shoaib malik a chance bcoz he has proved himself up the order so many times. my 15 for the world cup will be: 1)imran nazir 2)shoaib malik 3)younis 4)yousuf 5)inzimam 6)shahid afridi 7)kamran akmal 8)abdul razzaq 9)azhar mehmood 10)shoaib akhtar 11)asif 12)hafeez 13)sami 14)abdul rehman 15)umar gul if shoaib akhtar or umar gul remain unfit then ran naveed in their place.

  • Athar Sherwani on February 11, 2007, 19:35 GMT

    Once again, alas, this Pakistani Team has shown for the umpteenth time utter lack of technical know how in the batting Dept. South Africa appear to have pinpointed these shortcomings and have exposed them clinically. Perhaps, Younis Khan will take time to analyse the manner of his dismissals. Man of his experience should find them most revealing.Younger Batsmen seem to come from a Cricket School where moving their feet was considered a cardinal sin! Moral of this tour is that Pakistan should restrict themselves to subcontinent and avoid travelling to any destination which might expose them to bounce or swing. The only ray of hope in the World Cup is the chance that most wickets in West Indies are now quite docile and one does not know the quality of new pitches. Our chances of lifting the Cup are fast receding and, alas, quite rightly so. Let's hope that the future generation of players will be better prepared by our Academies when these become operational.

  • rodzilla1010 on February 11, 2007, 19:30 GMT

    I saw Imran Khan on geo today and he made sense mostly. First i would look at what 11 Pakistan should play and then look for 4 good replacements. My playing eleven: Akmal (back him up as an opener, its too late to shuffle anyway) Hamid(A little more stable than Imran Nazir) Younis Yousaf Inzi Malik(seems to have settled down at that spot) Razzaq(nessecary evil i guess) Afridi(better ODI bowler than Kaneria) Rana(Just shows the lack of depth we have) Gul Asif ***12.Sami 13.Hafiz 14.Nazir 15.Kaneria

    Firstly, most people dont reralise that we cannot chooe Azhar Mehmood as he is not in the 30 men squad PCB gave ICC. Secondly, There are already news regarding Akhtar's Injury therefore i will plan my campaign without him, but even if he is 80% fit i would pick him in the squad and pray for him to come good.

  • Ossamah on February 11, 2007, 19:29 GMT

    What can I say - remember that for first couple of matches there is no Afridi so we have to leave him alone (what can you expect from a pathan?). Nazir and Hafeez are the best openers. Imran Farhat needs to go HOME (i.e. his inlaws place). I still wonder WHY we didn't pick SAMIULLAH and Mohammad Khalil. They are both left arm mf and rated if not better than almost like asif. I am not sure what is wrong with our selectors. Bunch of old folks who don't give a darn about our cricket team. I hope Pakistan performs better in the final game and atleast draw the series. We will think about the Worldcup after that. Otherwise how Osman said - Let's not even play in the WC.

  • Harris on February 11, 2007, 19:25 GMT

    After the failure of yet another opening pair, one is forced to question why is it that Younis can't fill the opening spot? In 80% of the games he comes out to face the music in 4th or 5th over anyways so he is an opener for all intends and purposes. I would use Younis as an opener along with Akmal for the ODI's. Imran Nazir may be talented but his absence from the international scene for such a long time is a negative and pushing him to perform in the biggest tournament infront of one billion viewers would be too much to ask. By using Younis as the opener we can create a spot for a specialist batsman down in the order. Using too many all rounders may work every once in a while but as proven yesterday, it may backfire if the top order implodes.

    Kineria should be a part of Pakistan's one day plans. He has proven himself time and again that he never loses cool in the time of crisis and tries to strike every ball. Having said that, my team would be 1)Akmal 2)Younis 3)Yousuf 4)Inzi 5)Faisal Iqbal 6)Afridi 7)Malik or Razzaq (not both) 8)Shoaib (if fit) 9) Kineria 10)Umar Gul 11)Asif

    This team gives you 4 full time bowlers and two part timers. If we pick more than two all- rounders, our ability to strike and keep the pressure on the opposition deminishes.

  • geoff wilson on February 11, 2007, 19:24 GMT

    Well - today we saw the real Pakistan. Pathetic , inept, timid, and totally devoid of intestinal fortitude. They are for ever going on about the need for respect - well, if I was a Pakistani supporter I would show this bunch of no-hopers nothing but scorn! They batted as if the pitch was strewn with landmines, and bowled like girls. Shame on them!

  • Muhammad Faisal on February 11, 2007, 19:21 GMT

    hello...miserable performance today..!!! puts doubts in minds of pakistan fans(atleast mine), that this team can win the WC :( well, unpredictable, in my opinion,the 1999 team was the most talented and unpredictable one ... and it showed its talent in England ... winning all crucial matches ... but as we know pakistan team is "UNPREDICTABLE", it showed its unpredictability in the FINAL ...!!! :( we shuold be realistic and to WIN a mega event like the World Cup, you have to be more professional and challengers for the opposition, rather than "UNPREDICTABLE". And the team, i would suggest the following 15,

    Salman Butt Imran Nazir Younis Khan Muhammad Yousaf Inzimam-ul-Haq Shoaib Malik Kamran Akmal Shahid Afridi Abdul Razzaq Shoaib Akhtar Muhammad Asif Umer Gul Danish Kaneria Muhammad Hafeez Azhar Mehmood

    Best of Luck, Pakistan..!!! :)

  • salman riaz on February 11, 2007, 19:17 GMT

    I believe we need stability at the top of the order , everytime in the first 10 overs its a rescue mission that younis, yousuf and inzy are carrying out. the solution to me is put inzy as an opener for the ODI especially the world cup and give imran nazir a chance to open with him. Shoaib akhtar hould be forgotten as a "thing sorry Useless thing of the past" . He lives in a fools world , I wonder how he analyses his own carrer. Hardly survived a series without injurt and scandal and how many wickets he has in 11 years of controversy sorry "cricket". He should not be given the "golden hand shake" but a "Iron Butt kick" and drive him out of pakistan cricket for ever. He comes in and spoils the whole team atmosphere. We should solely rely on Asif, Gul , Shabbir and the other upcoming seamers.

    My team for the world cup is in the following batting order :

    1. Inzy. 2.Imran Nazir. 3. Younis Khan. 4. M. yousuf. 5. Shoaib Malik. 6.Kamran Akmal. 7.Afridi. 8.Abdul Razzaq. 9.Gul (if fit). 10.shabbir (if fit). 11.Asif. 12.Kaneria. 13.Yasir Hameed. 14.Yasir Arafat.

    regards Salman

  • Ash on February 11, 2007, 19:17 GMT

    well,i think the most important player for Pakistan in this world cup would be the one called 'determination to win and pride to play for Pakistan'

  • Rizwan Rehmat on February 11, 2007, 19:09 GMT

    Trust Pakistan cricket team players to scare the daylights out of their devoted fans!

    It is amazing how Pakistan can be so brilliant one day, and downright pathetic the next! In the first one-dayer against South Africa, Inzy’s boys got walloped. No problem because during the next match, Pakistan seemed like a team that could go all the way in the World Cup. And in the fourth one-day match (on Sunday), Pakistan fans were left wondering - do these Pakistan players have no self-respect?!

    I mean, come on guys, getting dismissed for a score of 110 on a flat pitch? Does it hurt or not? And in reply, South Africa polished off the required runs with minimum fuss. So the players can’t blame the pitch for the meager tally on the board! Pakistan players certainly don’t lack talent! They’ve got heaps of it, that’s for sure.

    So what is it, folks? Can captain Inzy please stand up explain it to his fans – why does the team come up with contrasting displays every other day?

    Dear Kamran bhai, I don’t think this is the time for wholesale changes, like you suggested in your note. This is the time to stick to the basics and have faith in the lot you have. For some reason, I do have faith in this team despite the fact it irks me no end when performances (like the one on Sunday) are repeated so regularly.

    Rizwan Rehmat A fan of cricket in Doha, Qatar

  • Farooq on February 11, 2007, 19:06 GMT

    I agree with your squad completely, thought I feel Abdur Rehman is made pretty redundant with Hafeez, Malik and Afridi in the side. The way our team is functioning these days, we NEED a long batting card. The only reason we were able to post a respectable score in the third ODI against South Africa was by utilizing every single batsman at our disposal, including rana. Nothing wrong with Rahman, but he really brings nothing radically new to the team.

    The tricky selection is the one that comes down to Sami, Rana, and Azhar. Since I'm so paranoid about our batting, i'd be drawn towards picking rana and azhar. Though i agree with your point about Sami's extra pace bringing something new to the table which Rahman wouldnt. We MIGHT be without Shoaib in the tournament so it probably will be the case that Sami is chosen. And i guess he can sort of bat as well. As for giving away runs, i dont see how he can be any worse than rana is these days.

    I really hope Nazir does make the team. We may as well forget about having reliable and consistent openers in this generation and simply trust the international bias towards flat pitches and hope for a spark of genius from players like Imran and Akmal. Unlike Butt and Hameed, Imran can take the game away from the opposition in the few overs that he does manage to stay in. Plus doesnt he have a decent record in the Windies?

  • chudhary on February 11, 2007, 19:05 GMT

    Updated:

    In the last worldcup in matches against Australia, India, England; our problem was bowling in middle overs.

    I hope to see Afridi, Hafeez doing a good job this time around but i hate to say Abdu-ur-Razzaq may be a liability.

    My first choice eleven would be

    Hafeez Imran Younis Yousuf Inzamam Malik Afridi Kamran Shoaib Sami Asif

    Now if either Razzaq or Azhar has to play then we have to risk Kamran to open with Imran, no place for Hafeez then.

    Also Gul for Shoaib if the later remains unfit; Rao incase both of them are not fit.

  • Hussain on February 11, 2007, 19:01 GMT

    You said if this squad of players is fit. Now that's a big IF. My list goes on like this. 1) Imran Nazir 2) Mohammed Hafeez 3) Younis Khan 4) Mohammed Yousuf 5) Inzi 6) Shoaib Malik 7) Abdul Razzaq 8) Shahid Afridi 9) Kamran Akmal 10) Umar Gul 11) Mohammed Asif 12) Azhar Mahmood 13) Abdur Rehman 14) Shoaib Akhtar 15) Yasir Hameed I would hate to include Sami or Rana in the squad. Sami lacks confidence(I don't see him getting over that anytime soon) and Rana is going through a bad patch. Shoaib Akhtar is ofcourse a big doubt especially after his knee problem. I really hope Gul recovers soon. Asif on his own cannot shine without a good opening partner. I agree that Kami should be tried as an opener but I have noticed Nazir does well when he has a relatively less agressive partner at the other end. SO hafeez would be a good option as well. I think we should have been consistent with Salman butt instead of Farhat.

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 11, 2007, 18:59 GMT

    The 4th ODI proved yet again the lack of application and game planning on the part of those leading the pack.

    The South African tour so far has been futile in that it has created more headaches for the team with no effective opening combination filtering through.

    The conditions in the West Indies would be greatly different and generally speaking the batting would click there. But the big question is about a solid and reliable opening pair. Salman Butt has the temperament as an opener but most recently he had to made his exit from the team, courtesy Irfan Pathan who repeatedly found him an easy prey fishing outside the off stump.

    When the ball is seaming around and moving in the air, part of the game plan is to be selective in stroke play and make good judgment to let go and stay out of harm's way.

    Shadab Kabir's similar role that stretched for almost two hours before the lunch break at Leeds enabled Pakistan to see through that difficult period and they ultimately sealed the test series 2-0.

    Salman Butt may qualify yet again as an opener as he has shown composure and played long innings.

    By persisting with Kamran Akmal, Inzi is playing havoc with the morale of the rest of the team. Since, the PCB is being run on an Ad Hoc basis, it is difficult to say what the charter says about the extent of team Captain having his say all through. Inzi has been less than an astute leader and a wise decision maker. His passive looks do not add to team flavor. As a farewell gesture, many would be willing to see him through the World Cup in whatever role, he will marshal the forces forward. Lately though, his antiques have resulted in more disappointments than laurels.

    On occasions, I have been thinking through whether in future Pakistan would be better served by restricting the role of the captain away from team selection. Invariably, team captains have shown inclination of creating sub-groups within the team where non performing players get protection. This has been harming the cause of Pakistan Cricket.

    Dr. Nasim Ashraf had recently issued a statement that the Waqar Younous saga was the result of a trade-off Inzimam had demanded. In return for what, we could not quite comprehend.

    The talent is there but it's some task to coach and blend them into a fighting unit.

    Greg Chappell put his foot down recently as a coach and sidelined a few players irrespective of their stature and the players have started responding to his calls.

    Will the team take a turn for the better after Inzi has made his exit after the World Cup. But it would be too late and supporters would have to wait for another four (04) years.

    To sum up this discussion, I personally been disappointed by Inzi's role as a captain for the ODI squad. Going forward, a player with a level of handicap in fielding, would not find any place in the ODI team. On certain days and given situations, the contest is so tight that a little let off here and there due to handicapped platers can let the team down.

    We have to hold our breaths together and repose confidence in the team selectors less Inzi to regroup and make the best decisions based on the various combinations/permutations available. If they sit together and go about their business in a fair manner, they would be guided by their conscious.

    Like many of you, it would be difficult for me to toe that line any more that a certain player would play for his captain better than the others. Every single individual who plays for the team has a future and career of his own to advance and to hold on to.

    The selectors have some task at their hands, now that we see the team in some disarray.

    If they can guide themselves through without "the conflict of interest" coming into play, Pakistan would stand a reasonable chance.

    Let's keep our fingers crossed!

    Mohsin Malik

  • Ibrahim on February 11, 2007, 18:57 GMT

    You hit the spot, Mr. Abbasi. It's a real pity that Akmal's form has dropped so dramatically since THAT Karachi Test, but you are right that the Caribbean tracks should suit his batting. Players like Inzamam, Yousuf, Razzaq, Younis, and Malik are obvious choices because they're just so good at their jobs. I think this would be the ideal squad: Inzamam, Yousuf, Younis, Razzaq, Malik, Asif, Hafeez, Sami, Nazir, Hameed, Akmal, Akhtar, Rana, Akhtar

    A lineup would be: Yasir Hameed (defensive batting/anchor role) Imran Nazir (attacking) Younis (good number 3 bat) Yousuf (good number 4 bat) Inzamam (good number 5 bat) Malik (attack, nurdling if necessary) Razzaq (attack, defends if necessary) Afridi (attack, attack, attack...) Sami (decent No. 9) Akhtar (can hit a bit) Asif (it's funny to watch him bat)

    Asif and Akhtar could open the bowling; Sami would be one-change and Razzaq would be brought on just before the spinners, for whom we have Malik, Afridi, and Hafeez--none of them specialists but all a great deal better than Danish Kaneria. From what I've seen of Abdur Rehman, I would pick him but he doesn't have much experience.

  • gojjo on February 11, 2007, 18:48 GMT

    younis will have to keep wickets

  • Pervez on February 11, 2007, 18:46 GMT

    Well, I agree with you Kamran about team selection as you said it is too late now to try new experiments and learning from england experience of current performance. you never know what will happen.One point which I want to mention is Inzis role as captaincy. Though player respect him as a captain but he misses big time fighting sprit. He is not able at all to bring this quality out of his players.No body expect them to win all matches but at least there should be signs of fight.He has shown signs on many occasion of giving up. Anyway, I wish them very best in WC and hope they will show some fighting spirit and finally I think Danish deserves a place in team, for me he is much better bowler than AR or Rana or Sami.

  • Asad Anwar on February 11, 2007, 18:44 GMT

    We cannot be sure of Asif and Shoaib due to the doping issue. They might not even be available to us. I think we have completely lost the plot here given the injuries, the doping case, the Shahid Afridi incident, and that shows in the performance of the players.

  • Imran From Rawalpindi on February 11, 2007, 18:42 GMT

    Pakistan performence in SA was below any club cricket played anywhere in the world. I demand to know who is playing God with pakistan cricket. The whole team played the fourth match like they were on vacation and it will have no implication what so ever on players personal performance. We as a nation spend millions of dollars to watch pathetic display of batting where no legends of our team had a clue how to play a straight ball from SA.We showed no aggression no fighting no courage to show to the rest of the world that we are number 3 team in the world. we were out classed by a mile from our opponents. who is going to resign and who is going to come out and say it was my fault and i take full responsibility for pakistan poor performance Pcb, selection committee, team management, coach, captain ? I will pray for my team to show some great result in world cup but i have to say this that allah does not help and listen to the prayers for those who do not help themselfs.

  • Azam Farooqui on February 11, 2007, 18:42 GMT

    Well today was one of the those listless performances that pakistan is always capable of. Something we fans always fear no matter how much of a roll pakistani team in on. But again, hope is all we got and i still feel the squad has the ability to be a challange @ the WC. Ideally i would like to see a fully fit shoaib akhtar. Him Asif and Gul should be the first choice of Attack, sami is the only other option we have for the fourth fast bowler, Rana seems to have lost his grove and now is not the time to perservere with him. Inzy, Younis and yousuf still form a formidable middle order which can be backed up by Afridi, Malik and Razzaq (even tho he seems to be following rana's footsteps lately). Azhar mahmood, with his experience is certainly a good idea as well. My 15 for the world cup would be Imran Nazir Muhammed Hafeez Younis Khan Muhammed Yousuf Inzamam Razzaq Afridi Akhtar Asif Gul Akmal Sami Malik Mahmood Yasir Hameed (just for the fact that pakistan cannot simple afford to go with thier regular 3 middle order batsmen).

  • Jawad Jamil on February 11, 2007, 18:31 GMT

    Frankly, cant think of any XI to make up the team after a horrible display. Though one thing worth mentioning is SA's fielding. Their fielding coach Mr J Rhodes has worked wonders with them, but when paid heavily by PCB to perform mini-miracles , he couldnt achieve anything. I wonder whether it was his inability or our players' to perform those acrobatic fielding maneouvures.

  • Ali Akbar on February 11, 2007, 18:30 GMT

    1.Imran Nazir 2.Kamran Akmal 3.Shoaib Malik 4.Mohammad Yousaf 5.Inzamam 6.Faisal Iqbal 7.Shahid Afridi 8.Abdul Razzaq 9.Shoaib Akhtar 10.Umar Gul 11.Mohammad Asif

    ---Subs 12.Younus Khan 13.Salman Butt 14.Mohammad Sami 15.Azhar Mahmood 16.Shabbir Ahmad

    This is the squad I would play if I could. I purposefully left younus out of the first 11 because he has shown time and again that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a one day match winner and that’s exactly what all others are. Nevertheless, given the short time, he will be in squad in order to replace an injured player like yousuf or Inzi.

    What worries me the most is the utter lack of cricket sense exhibited by inzi. He is a great batsman but a sorry excuse for a leader, especially in the modern ODI game, so is Younus while we are at it. Personally I would choose Afridi as Captain, but given teh circumstances, let’s live on with Inzi and hope.

  • Jawad on February 11, 2007, 18:25 GMT

    i dont even wanna talk abt todays game and i have no intentions of even watching the last ODI between Pak and SA. Lets just pick the best possible 15. My playing 11 would be: 1) Imran Nazir/ Mohd. Hafeez (one of them) 2) younis Khan ( he is already 3rd opener so why not promote him) 3) Yousuf 4) inzi 5) Malik 6) afridi ( after he comes back after 4 odi ban) 7) razzaq 8) kamran akmal 9) shoaib 10) gul 11) asif thats 12 players. now i would prefer to have Naveed, Azhar and Yasir hameed as hameed can also be a reliable (not so much) middle order batsmen just incase something unexpected goes wrong with one of our 3 middle order giants.

  • AZFAR on February 11, 2007, 18:24 GMT

    Well remember ME. The guy who has asked everyone to keep watching Pakistan after 2nd Odi win, with a ANTACID...yes nothing wrong with anyone in establishment...this team errr PLAYERS need..what? Yes CONSISTENCY!! Mennn...keep watching them and you can blame your ULCERS on these guys!

  • Nasir Jamal on February 11, 2007, 18:22 GMT

    Imran Nazir,Mohammad Hafeez, Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousaf, Inzamam Ul Haq, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif, Danish Kaneria, Azhar Mahmoud,Rifat Ullah Mehmand

  • Syed Shaukat Ali Hamdani on February 11, 2007, 18:19 GMT

    my ideal starting lineup would be Imran Nazir Kamran Akmal Younis Khan Mohammad Yousaf Inzimam-ul-Haqq Shoaib Malik Abdul Razzaq Shahid Afrid Shoaib Akhtar Umer Gul Mohammad Asif

  • Danish on February 11, 2007, 18:18 GMT

    My line up in the following order:

    Nazir Hafeez Inzi Moyo MyK Afridi Razzaq Azhar Shoiab Gul Asif

  • shakur on February 11, 2007, 18:17 GMT

    i agree, the performence today was just pathetic i mean they made the ball look like it was unplayble. where as smith n villers showed the intent from the first ball "nothing to fear but fear itself".... i wud go wid kamran akmal opening although at this time akmal hasnt made his case for the spot but i am sure he will come up with the goods, the biggest worry is our pace attack just the recent news of shoaib akhter might be needing a operation must hav jolted PCB's plans i hope he is there we need his bags of tricks to defend targets as low as as 150, da next big concern is asif's workload he has been bowling non stop put aside the fact dat he missed out 20 over game which wudnt hav matterd if he had bowled 4 overs ... but woolmer needs to see his workload, getting him injured wud b a BIG BIG BLOW, the next seamer i am looking forward to play is gul i think he is surely in line for ticket to WC n his injury was jus a precaution, i don't believe they will pick shabbir in da 15 man squad not untill asif shoaib n gul are all absent from it, shabbir has no match practice n has lost much of his range as we saw in da pro20 game, i wud take sami for his pace n rather then taking abdur rehman we should have been trying danish in da ODI's he needed some exposure to blossom into da ODI kit if gets the hang of ODI he might be able to take wickets n put a stop on runs if he knows his areas, i mean neglecting a legspinner shud not be da way, luk at shane warne he played ODI's n was highly succesful, i know both of dem are in a seprate class bt still danish isnt dat bad ... i hope ICC gives PCB som time to make there list of 15 men. if not it will be intresting to see the list, can turn out to b shocker if we know PCB at all

  • AR on February 11, 2007, 18:16 GMT

    Today's performance was beyond belief. How an entire team that is supposed to bat until no. 9 can be bundled out for 107 is a statement to the lack of responsibility in their batting. Aside from Inzy or Yousuf no one steps up when they are in trouble with the bat. For the World Cup if they are to even have a chance they will need some batsmen to take responsibility whether they are chasing or setting a total. The batsmen above are the most likely choices, including Nazir with Akmal , but the order needs to be ironed out. Like to see Shoiab Malik higher up the order even 3 as he can control the pace of the innings (Younis at 6) and late order Afridi and Razzaq. Their bowling can manage with the abilities of Asif and Gul with some decent support, I would take Rana over Sami for his skill at the death and some batting ability (once he gets into some form). ODI's are won or lost by the batting and Pakistan's chances rest on whether their batting explodes or implodes.

  • calgary highlander on February 11, 2007, 18:16 GMT

    Haha, Abdur Rehman. The guy is a bloke. When he first got two wickets everyone was like this is the Next Warney baby. Does anyone know how many wickets he has in this series. O. So we can all sit at home and dream about Rehman becoming Murali, or we can think about Danish and how much he deserves to play in the WC. I know sulking won't help but he realy did deserve a chance.

    Well i guess i need to put two elevens for the WC

    Idealistic

    1. Nazir 2. Kamran 3. Younis 4. Yousuf 5. Inzi 6. Afridi 7. Malik 8. Sami 9. Gul 10. Akhtar 11. Asif

    (Sami has been decent latley)

    Realistic

    1. Hafeez 2. Nazir 3. Younis 4. Yousuf 5. Malik (Inzi has suffered a problem . His back i think) 6. Razzaq 7. Not really sure *coughs* 8. Sami 9. Rana 10. Rao 11. Shaid Nazir (who knows asif has been overworked he might come up with an njury)

  • kamran zaffar on February 11, 2007, 18:14 GMT

    my team for the world cup: 1-hafeez 2-imran nazir 3- yonis 4- yousaf 5- inzy 6- shoaib malik 7- razzak 8- afridi 9- kamran 10-asif()if cleared from doping scandal)or shabbir(if fit)or sami 11-umer gul 12-shoaib akhtar (if fit)or rao 13-abdul rehman 14- azhar mahmood 15-rana naveed

  • Umair Imran on February 11, 2007, 18:11 GMT

    Salam all I really hope Pakistan show some fighting spirit, this performance has been awful and needs to be loked at over and over again. They need to work upon this in the nets,it seems as if they play, think and then relax. This is the wrong attitude for a squad who want to relive the days of Imran Khan. Mohammed Yusuf with the terrible third man shot, its the same manner if i recall correctly as the 99 world cup. He is a good player but if he wishes to be great then he needs to correct 8 year old mistakes. Inzamam showed strength but if Imran Khan hand picked him for the 1992 side then he must show still show why he was chosen, personally I find the team in a position similar to 1999. We may find some strength but all these players best watch their back as this side will be restartedfrom scratch. This excludes Asif,Gul,Yusuf,Younis and maybe Akmal. Another point needed to be made clear is the wicketkeeping and fielding. i personally find Akmal should bat down the order if form behind the stumps keeps high or play Yasir Hameed as a batsmen who could put the gloves on. Younis Khan should open and Malik should come number 3, i was waiting for this to happen so that Malik could realise he will play the new Inzamam role after the world cup, he needs to be played like this.This should also releive pressure on the middle order. We have too many all rounders in the squad, i find Yasir Arafat should of been given a chance on this tour. Razzaq is a good player but he needs good competition with some who plays a very intruiging and similar role. We also need to utilise Kaneria and the fact he is a specialist spinner, not a fill in the overs bowler. Use him please. When will Pakistan learn ? They have all the talent but they to work together the Chairman,Selctors,Captain,Players and most importantly the coach. I pay great respect to the man Bob Woolmer and hope he can be rewarded after all the effort he has shown and lack of respect he has received. I will finaly end with my WC team.

    Nazir Y Khan Malik Yousuf Inzamam Afridi Akmal Arafat Gul Asif Kaneria

  • Saad on February 11, 2007, 18:10 GMT

    Yes, i think Kamran Akmal should be in World Cup squad. is just that he's going through a bad form. hopefully he will find his rythm soon time.

  • jamil on February 11, 2007, 18:06 GMT

    I had the same thoughts this morning as I woke up to find out much to my amazement that match was already over (canadian time - so match starts around 6.30am my time). And then I found out on the same pitch where pakistan exhibited such dismal batting, South Africa didn't lose a wicket - that would have helped Pakistani team have a justification of a difficult pitch. I believe there are news reaching the team that cause loss of enthusiasm e.g. Shoaib's injury can be a long one (as usual!), silence on Umar Gul's injury (scary silence about that too!), Afridi's ban (which will be over before world cup but obviously was one of the important factors in this 1-day series), Rana's lack of form (been a while since he bowled well!) and Kamran's (Akmal, that is) lack of good keeping. I believe it all adds up to mental weakness that Pakistani team is facing. Just before the Champion's trophy, Pakistan was the favourite for World Cup - with the best squad undoubtedly - and in mere three months, they are not sure about the 15 in a team. Despite all this, I fail to understand one thing: all the injuries and lack of form etc is in the bowler's squad - but are the batsmen even playing? Fine, the bowlers are going through a rough patch but if it wasn't for Yousuf and a sprint by Afridi and Imran Nazir (in one match), what else have the experience yielded. Younis is concentrating so much on messing with SA bowlers that he forgot which side is he playing. Inzi is back with this confused look. Openers: well crossing 25 without loss is an amazing start. Here is what I suggest: leave the bowling arena as it progresses, but batsmen got to prove the stability they need for the World Cup. West Indian pitches will be mostly batting oriented and having 300 - 350 runs targets or maintaing ~6 RPO average will be the key. It will be a batsmen world cup and intelligent (not necessarily fast) bowling (good news for Razzaq, Azhar, Asif and Gul). We are entering the World Cup like every single time we have before: Uncertain - may collapse or may win the Cup - who knows - depends on the mood of the day.

  • Sami Siddiqui on February 11, 2007, 18:02 GMT

    I'm only 17 years old but am a die-hard fan of the team and have closely followed their progress over the past 7 years or so and their inconsitency is nothing new (as im sure those of you about 30 years older than me will testify to. The basic problem is one of confidence. Only a year ago Kamran Akmal was touted as the next big thing in world cricket with consecutive ODI hundreds against England and he has had an alarming dip in form- in the tests he showed some form with the bat but none behind the stumps, since the ODI series has started he has found form with the gloves but lost any he may have had with the bat. The batting (as has been the case for as long as i can remember) relies too heavily on Yousuf, Younis and Inzimam and other players need to start performing consistently to relieve the pressure on them-i.e. Nazir,Akmal,Razzaq,. But what i have been most embarassed about in this series has been the bowling, Asif apart. For a country reknowned for it's fast bowling resources why are the bowlers a)failing to take wickets and b) leaking runs. Asif has carried the attack but today even he seemed as if he had had enough, with his head appearing to drop on several occasions. He is a rare talent and needs to be nurtured carefully-not overworked as he has been. I hope we can still win the world cup but after performances like today I wouldn't be surprised if we made another early exit like 2003-in fact i will expect it so as not to be disappointed.

  • Salman on February 11, 2007, 17:58 GMT

    Well following is my choice for the WC. I strongly believe that the results in SAF series do not reflect the kind of game we play in West Indies. Kamran Akmal Imran Nazir Younis Khan Mohammad Yousaf Inzamam-ul-haq Shoaib Malik Abdul Razaq Shahid Afridi Shoaib Akhtar Umer Gul Mohammad Asif Hafeez Rehman Shabbir Azhar Mahmood Yasir Hameed

  • Ahmad Hasan on February 11, 2007, 17:54 GMT

    I agree with your squad, only thing is maybe Rana for Sami because Sami hasnt played the last 3 ODIS, so it seems selectors have confidence in Rana. Anyway thats the only place for grabs, the rest is set.

  • Ali on February 11, 2007, 17:53 GMT

    i feel that yasir hameed and imran nazir would be a very good opening option. Shoaib Akhtar if he is fit and available to play will probably be injured after the first or second game he plays even though his extra pace is very much needed he is a big gamble. Our fielding needs much improvement, looking at the way NewZealand, Australia and S.Africa throw themselves Pakistan needs to improve a great deal. Kamran Akmal should never have been on the S.African tour, he has just let every Pakistani down, with no real effort shown. Rana Naved should never have been given a Pakistan International level game. At this time seems like only three people genuinely put an effort for the Pakistan team; Younis, Yousaf and Asif, besides this trio there is limited or no effort being made to improve.

  • Amir Awan on February 11, 2007, 17:50 GMT

    I have followed very closely the Pakistani teams ups and downs in the recent time and for me the starting 11 and the 4 reserves should be as following:

    Nazir/Hafeez Akmal Younas Khan Mohammad Yousuf Inzaman Ul-Haq Shoaib Malik Shahid Afridi Abdul Razzaq Umar Gül/Azhar Mahmoud Shoaib Akhtar Mohammad Asif

    The reserves: Mohammad Sami Danish Kaneria

    And I am very keen to see Danish Kaneria as our main spinner. I just don't know why the Pakistani selectors don't take him into account or at least give him one more chance to prove himself.

    Rana Naveed i think has spoiled his chances after coming back from injury. Giving more than 9-11 runs per over in recent games is unheard of a main strike bowler as him.

    Pakistan after my meaning consists of some talented player and they have undoubtly the best all-rounders combines in one team in the cricket world.

    It is nice to see that Shahid Afridi gaining his bowling talent back at the right back.

    If Pakistan is fully fit they are world beaters and can beat anyone, anyplace at anytime.

    The main problem of the Pakistani team is their fielding. I still can't figure out why they don't have a fielding legend as Jonty Rhodes in the team. The PCB has the money to spend on one of the weakest side in Cricket world and even Waqar Younas should become the bowling coach again.

    So I wish the Pakistani team the best of luck and one thing is for sure. My money is on Pakistan to win the world cup 2007, since West Indies is their second home ground when comparing the pitches world wide and last time Pakistan met West Indies they beat the heck out of the opposition.

    It is important to remember that 10 matches have to be won to become World Champions and even if the Pakistani team have one bad game after two good games, they are on their way.

  • saladin on February 11, 2007, 17:43 GMT

    It is time to dump Rana Naved and Mohammed Sami for good. Since the current crop of medicore players cannot win the world cup in any case, its better off to play some new faces - atleast the opponents would not have worked them out yet. Insteda of Karman Akmal, Sarfaraz Ahmed, the u-19 skipper should be taken as the wicket-keeper. Similarly 2 new openers would any day score not les that what the current bunch of openers are getting. Only the middle order - Yunus, Yousuf, Inzamam, Malik, Afridi, Razzack is established and need not be tinkered. If Umar Gul is unfit, then add Azhar Mahmood and Asif to get the playing XI.

  • Umair on February 11, 2007, 17:43 GMT

    I find it hard to argue with your selection, but I think there's a strong case for Danish Kaneria here. Abdur Rehman does not offer as much variation as Kaneria, and in any case we already have finger spinners like Malik, Hafeez and Afridi which means that what we REALLY need is a strike bowler not a run-choker like Rehman. The case for Kaneria further intensifies because there is a genuine lack of strike bowlers amongst our paceman. Shoaib Akhtar is all but out of the competition. Sami is uncertain, and Rana's form has deserted him spectacularly. That calls for a wicket-taking bowler and Kaneria provides a handsome option in that regard. Moreover, the selectors major opposition to Kaneria was based on his poor fielding and batting skills, but I'd say he was the most energetic of Pakistan's fielders in the Test series, and did show some mettle with the bat. Rehman, who supposadely posesses these qualities (though I am yet to see them) did not show much promise with the bat and his fielding is, well, ordinary. The message is loud and clear, Kaneria deserves a place in the side.

  • Jubair on February 11, 2007, 17:43 GMT

    My squad will be: Afridi and Nazir at opening(Afridi in powerplays than at the end as there are plenty of hitters like Malik, Razzaq n Azhar Mahmood to do it), Malik -one down, Inzamam(before Yousuf as I want him to play without pressure rather than taking the resposibility which is not helping his batting n Pak team......look at Ricky Ponting),Yousuf,Younus,Razzaq,Akmal(as Zulqarnain is too late to try n Inzamam likes Akmal for World Cup thats why he didnt gave Zulqarnain any chance), Shoaib,Gul(or Mahmood not Rehman as we have two spinners-Afridi n Malik), and Asif.

  • Muzamil on February 11, 2007, 17:39 GMT

    This is what happens when you play scared.

  • Ali Majid on February 11, 2007, 17:39 GMT

    Embarrassing, appalling, shocking, demoralizing...a large variety of such words can be used effectively to describe the Pakistan team's performance today. Even by the standards of unpredictability that are synonymous with the men in green the last few months have been mind boggling. The batting seems to be the consistent problem and the fact that we are unable to field a consistent pace attack is most worrying. The middle order as has rightly been said is set in stone. Younis, Yousaf and Inzi are the backbone of the side while Asif is perhaps the first name on the sheet nowadays. Razzaq, Afridi and Malik should be in the one day side even in the face of widespread opinion that we have too many all rounders. Akmal should still play and Nazir should be selected (even though he seems to be back to his usual ways - brilliant one day and incredibly poor for the next seven). Hafeez should be in the squad as a back up opener. The remaining places for the pace bowlers should be filled by Gul (best pace bowler for the last 7 months of 2006), Shabbir (if fit) and Sami. Rana should be dropped in all honesty as his performances have been on a downward curve since the ODI series against India last year. I would personally love to see Azhar Mahmood in the side due to his all round abilities and the depth that he adds to the batting. As far as the final place is concerned......draft Kaneria into the ODI squad as I am unwilling to understand how a player can be good enough to play test cricket but does not find a place as far as ODI's are concerned. In light of further injuries....have Hameed and Rana as the back up players. Finally a plea....please do not select Shoaib Akstar. When consistency is mentioned ...a team cannot go into the most important tournament with a player who can undoubtedly be brilliant on his day but a major let down, distraction, and a catalyst that is very effective in destroying the morale and spirit of the team the next. A player who is not a guarantee to be fit enough for the entire series should not be considered regardless of star power, box office draw and millions worth in sponsorship attached. To win the world cup you need every individual to give his heart and soul. Quite frankly....it seems Shoaib has neither.

  • Boom Boom on February 11, 2007, 17:38 GMT

    I agree with your choice of the starting XI, for the world cup we must open with Imran Nazir & Kamran Akmal. However after the world cup we should settle with Salman Butt and Imran Nazir or Shoiab Malik as the long term opening partnership.

  • Hassan on February 11, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    Shoaib Akhtar is injured and has been ruled out of world cup. Here is my 11:

    1. Shoaib Malik (he is playing reasonably in South Africa, and Akmal is doing nothing at this position, and there is no reason why he should not do well in carribean) 2. Imran Nazir? (not sure, just had one good one day, but pitches in carribean may suit him more) 3. Younis Khan 4. Muhammad Yusuf 5. Inzi 6. Afridi (after his suspension is over, and his batting order should depend if Pakistan needs someone calm or someone to start hitting, he would suit for the later) 7.Razzaq 8. Kamran Akmal 9. Sami 10. Muhammad Asif 11. Umar Gul

    This list has 4 fast (medium-fast) bowlers and 2 spinners. We can go with 3 fast and 3 spinner as well, by brining abdur-rehman instead of Sami.

  • sohaib... on February 11, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    Yes Pakistan's performance today was indeed quite pathetic in more than one way..it showed that we didnt learn anything from our last ODI which was washed out due to rain....Once again Kamran Akmal failed....and Imran Nazir didnt get going either...I also just read that Shoaib Akhtar might miss the world cup due to a knee surgery..which will be a huge blow to say the least..Not so sure about the latest update on Umar Gul although I'm assuming he should be ready to play. Although today's performance left much to be desired, I'm sure Pakistan will come out all guns blazing in the next games...I think its hard to say who will win this world cup because Australia has showed that they are indeed beatable...England and Sri Lanka are hitting form at the right time. Pakistan has some concerns which need to be sorted out. As I pointed out in my last thread here, shoaib malik needs to open the innings. He has done consitently well in any position, and if there is one man you can trust with opening its Malik. Kamran Akmal needs to bat down the order at number 6/7....

    My Team 11 for the world cup would look something like this:

    Imran Nazir Shoaib Malik Younis Khan Mohammad Yousuf Inzamam-ul-Haq Shahid Afridi Kamran Akmal Abdur Razzaq Azhar Mehmood Shoaib Akhtar Mohammad Asif

    Reserves: Umar Gul; Rana Naveed; Mohammad Hafeez; Abdur Rehman;

    If our players can keep their bats to themselves and not wave them at specators, or get into public spats with their coaching staff; and avoid getting injured; I think we have a pretty formidable squad. Although I read today that Shoaib might miss the world cup which is a blow. In that case, i would open with Umar Gul and Asif as our front-line bowlers. Pakistan also needs to lift their game in order tto win the World CUp. The series in south africa has been a long an aruous one, but they need to win the last game so as to get a good win before the world cup. Another factor that has been highlited is the use of having Mushtaq Ahmed as a bowling coach..OK..granted that he is good friends with Inzamam and a good influence on our dressing room. However, under Waqar Younis as bowling coach, the bowling improved quite a lot. Now, the likes of Rana Naveed are going for no less than 10 runs an over! I think in this one month, the PCB needs to hire a proper bowling coach..IMMEDIATELY...its time we wake up! less than 33 days for the world cup..but in Pakistani cricket thats a lot...and miracles can happen..

  • Jubair on February 11, 2007, 17:30 GMT

    The main problem of Pakistan right now is batting not bowling as when Gul, Shoab will return there will be no more expectations the Pak can make from bowlers. But the prob is in attitude in Pak batsman. Today they started slowly and thats what caused their downfall. If Imran Nazir didnt went to score that quickly in 2nd ODI i belive after that Akmal dismissal they will look for the new ball and score 4 runs per over and end on to finish 250 runs not 346 or sth. So Pak right now needs good attitude opning players. They can go for Shoab Malik at one down if they want Akmal to continue at opening as I wont want Malik to open.

  • nadeem on February 11, 2007, 17:30 GMT

    My Squad would be

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Yasir Hameed 3. Younis Khan 4. Muhammad Yousaf 5. Inzamam-ul-Haq 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Abdul Razaq 9. Kaman Akmal 10. Shoaib Akhtar 11. Muhammad Asif 12. Muhammad Hafeez ( off-spin option) 13. Umar Gul 14. Shabbir Ahmad

    I discard Imran Faraht because he is some how unable to develop any battign sense. Rana is a fighter , but out of form same is case with Sami. I am really worried about him, sometimes luck does not favour him and othertimes he does not favoru luck.

  • aflatoon on February 11, 2007, 17:29 GMT

    how about younis khan justifies his place in the team finally and play as a keeper?

  • Masuud Qazi on February 11, 2007, 17:29 GMT

    With the World Cup squad to be announced in less than two days time, this was definitely a performance one least expected from Pakistan, even if the dumbest of viewer kept the ever-reknowned 'unpredictability' of our team. It seriously was a pathetic shocking performance, all round. Talk of leaders, we had a leader who seemed to be all cramped with his bothering shoulder injury and fitness problems, even though he was still at the crease, but never looked like dominating the proceedings. I, myself, watched mere parts of the match itself, yet those pieces were enough to let me visualize what kind of performance it could have been since it was nothing out of ordinary for a Pakistan Cricket Team on an overseas tour, that too against one of the two biggest contenders of the World Cup. Forget for a second, the near-retard Pakistani selection and management people, the folks present in the ground at Cape Town never looked like anything close to be the bunch who were willing to perform at the biggest tournament of their careers in one month time. Most of them looked like a tired flock of sheeps, mention anything else for your own choice. The Ranas, Razzaqs, Akmals continued their merry ways of disappointment performances.

    As far as the Carribean adventure is concerned, Kamran went a yard-stick wrong about Hafeez and Sami, only on the basis of them being currently in South Africa. We, all know so well, how more'unpredicatble than the team' can Wasim Bari and co. can be. Sami doesnt deserve to be in the squad, Rana should be selected due to his ability to reverse swing and his strike rate of picking up wickets, at which Sami struggles for sure. Mohammad Hafeez's selection should be mind-boggling with already near-half a dozen all-rounders in the Pakistan Squad. As goes my Kaneria and Yasir Hameed selection, though we know there are very few chances of these vital players being selected, since they werent picked for the SA one dayers, yet they are the best available choices for the respective spots, their performances are sheer proofs of it, but as it goes in Pakistan Cricket, the deserved has the wrong effect of the medicine.

    My Pakistani Squad for the Carribean would be:

    Inzamam-ul-Haq(Captain) Kamran Akmal(Wicket Keeper) Imran Nazir Yasir Hameed Younis Khan Mohammad Yousuf Shahid Afridi Abdul Razzaq Azhar Mehmood Shoaib Malik Shoaib Akhtar Mohammad Asif Umar Gul Rana Naveed-ul-Hasan Danish Kaneria

    Surely, as always from the heart, my team for lifting the Cup, but the brain has South Africa, Australia and India get the spots above Pakistan. I just wish Pakistan team the best of luck, they are, as they say, the most talented bunch, yet we can only pray that this multi-talented group gels in the most fitting manner, and atleast makes it to the knock-out stages.

  • hasnain sarfraz on February 11, 2007, 17:28 GMT

    judging by today's performance pakistan team has once again proven that the only thing predictible about them is their unpredictabality.it was realy a spineless performance from pakistani batsmen.well judging by the performance of rana naveed in the last couple of games it will be a big risk to play him in the world cup instead should give azhar mahmood another chance

  • Farhan Feroz on February 11, 2007, 17:25 GMT

    I think it's never too late to correct a mistake. Kamran Akmal has been a failure since the England tour. I think another keeper should have been given a run from the first ODI in South Africa. Persisting with Kamran on the basis of hope alone hasn't given any dividends & the sooner the mistake is corrected the better it would be. Sure, the new keeper might fail as well but based on Kamran's current form, both in front & behind the stumps, it surely can't be any worse.

  • Yasir Faruqi on February 11, 2007, 17:22 GMT

    Todays batting by Pakistan brought back nightmaes of the Miandad tenure as coach - where we would see Pakistani sides block all day and get bowled out for scores like 54,58,80,100. All the batters today played as if they were playing on a ton of bricks - it was riduculous how they all went into a shell. Bob Woolmer needs to cancel any recreation activities that these morons have set up - and make all the batters sweat it out in the nets. As for my WC 15 - Here it is:

    Inzamam Ul Haq Younis Khan Mohammad Yousef Mohammad Hafeez Imran Nazir Shoaib Malik Shahid Afridi Abdul Razzaq Azhar Mahmood Shoaib Akhtar Umar Gul Mohammad Asif Mohammad Sami Danish Kaneria Kamran Akmal.

    My reserves would be Rana Naveed,Rao Iftikhar,Abdul Rehman,Salman Butt and Zulqarnain Haider.

  • Mohsin on February 11, 2007, 17:21 GMT

    Pakistan must get their mindset right to level the series.Switch to aggressive mode and performance will improve.There was nothing wrong with the pitch.This world cup is up for grabs,Australians have been badly dented today.Drop Shoaib and go for fitter players.He wants to go for fun at tax payers expense.My world cup winning X1 are Hafiz,Akmal,Younis,Yousuf,Inzi,Shoaib,Afridi,Razzak,Sami,Gul,and Asif. Other players to take Rana,Arafat,Rehman,Nazir. Standby (considering injuries and disciplinary actions)Yasir,Azhar,Rao.

  • sadiq on February 11, 2007, 17:21 GMT

    pakistans's best 11: kamran,imran,younis,yousof,inzi,malik,afridi,razzaq,shoaib,gul,asif

  • kappor on February 11, 2007, 17:18 GMT

    where is jamshed ahmed anwer ali and sarfraz ahmed need those young player in the team

  • Mozzam Dubai on February 11, 2007, 17:18 GMT

    I think Pakistan will do well to reach the semis at the WC. But that too depends if they are consistent throughout the tournament. For me Mohammad Asif and Shahid Afridi are the players who need to click if Pakistan have any hopes of doing something reasonable in the tournament. Shoaib Akhtar can be a trump card, but due to lack of commitment can be a burden on the team. The team has to gel together and compliment each other well for making Pakistan a serious contender for the World Cup. The talent is there but there is a lack of application which is required to compete at this level. I wish Pakistan all the best and hope they learn from their mistakes before it's too late.

  • Mohammad Mahzer on February 11, 2007, 17:06 GMT

    Pakistan's performance in todays game was atrocious. How long can they continue to play this way? South Africa played the way they normally play but Pakistan on the other hand literally gifted South Africa the win by giving their wickets away. I don't know what goes through these players heads but it seems as though they were affected by the absence of Shahid Afridi in a big way or they may have some other issues. However, they are international cricketers and should be able to put aside such issues and get on with things. The world cup is about to begin and from the current performances Pakistan might as well forfeit from the tournament as they lack the drive and intensity that others teams have shown in their games.

  • Ishtiaq on February 11, 2007, 17:05 GMT

    I broadly agree with your squad. However I would like to see Shabbir Ahmed as i believe he can offer a semblance of control in the power plays and is a wicket taker with the new ball. The unpredictability in Pakistan's play is worrying i truly believe that this is due to the Asian and in particular the Pakistani psyche. They seem to be very un-professional in their mindset you cannot see Australia,South Africa or England consistently failing if they had the same players. The only player who truly recognised and overcame this was Imran Khan. Be more professional and rhen maybe they can lift that cup come April.

  • Muhammed on February 11, 2007, 17:02 GMT

    good comments but my playing 11 would be.. i would like shoaib malik n imran nazir 2 open the innings followed by younis than inzamam at number 4..mohd yousuf at number 5..number 6 Afridi..no 7 Razzaq 8 Kamran Akmal. n the remaining 3 bowlers...Umar Gul Shoaib Akhtar n Mohd Asif...if not Umar Gul dan an allrounder could b given a chance Mohd Hafeez or Azhar Mehmood..

  • Syed Fahad Jilanee on February 11, 2007, 17:01 GMT

    Yes!!! you have got it spot on. I hope that the selectors do read your blog because following a performance like todays, you can expect weird things from the selectors.

    My playing 11 (in Batting Order) would be: 1) Kamran Akmal (Bat/Wicket Keeper) 2) Imran Nazir (Bat) 3) Younis Khan (Bat) 4) Mohammad Yousuf(Bat) 5) Inzamam-ul-Haq (Bat) 6) Shoaib Malik (Bat/Bowl) 7) Abdul Razzaq (Bat/Bowl) 8) Shahid Afridi (Bat/Bowl) 9) Azhar Mahmood (Bat/Bowl) 10)Shoaib Akhtar (Bowl) 11)Mohammad Asif (Bowl)

    This is the perfect 11 given that all are perfectly fit and not banned for any reasons. It has total 6 bowlers (4 seamers, 1 leg spinner, 1 offspinner) and even Imran Nazir can bowl a bit if required. Then the batting order is very deep aswell since Azhar is coming in at 9 and then Shoaib is certainly no mug with the bat either at 10. The batting order should be flexible and Afridi should be in around the 40th over.

    The other 4 in the squad should be Abdul Rehman, Umar Gul, Mohammad Hafeez and Rana Naved. Even though neither Rana nor Sami deserve to be even in the squad but unfortunately we have no other options. These 4 would mean we have 2 backup seamers, 1 specialist spinner and Mohammad Hafeez does provide backup for openers or one of the all-rounders.

    BEST OF LUCK TEAM PAKISTAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • kingkhan on February 11, 2007, 16:58 GMT

    Today's performance was shocking..the pakistan team look short of confidence, morale and most worryingly, form. I hope i can be proved wrong but i just cannot see them carrying enough form and momentum into the world cup to stand any chance of winning. We need two of azhar, abdur, shoaib or afridi to 'fire' everygame (both batting and bowling) or a big total and quick wickets seem impossible. Why do we continue to play rana when the more consistent iftikhar anjum should be playing? The bowling looks so disturbingly average without shoaib and gul and what's more, without shoaib next month, we dont stand a chance. So much for shock and awe, i'm shocked alright but something tells me i'll be waiting a very long time for the awe!

  • Talal Hasan on February 11, 2007, 16:55 GMT

    Today performance was shambolic. The only saving grace was the fact that conditions will vary greatly in the Windies.

    A lot of these batsman show a lack of mental toughness when it comes to pressure situations. Pakistan have been guilty of this for a numerous amount of years.

    If you can't hit the boundaries then try to get the singles. Its not rocket science. You need a bring some sort of respectability to the score. The middle order are especially guilty of this. You should be targeting average bolwers like hall and langevelt.

    Pakistan are very eccentric and they maybe able to get away with in the super 8's. However lets just hope that the Pakistani's can be more proactive within their cricket because if they don;t have a contingency plan it will cost them when the pressure is on.

    Anyway my squad would be 1. NAZIR 2. BUTT 3.KHAN 4.YOUSUF 5.INZIMAM 6.MALIK 7.RAZZAQ 8.AKMAL. 9.GUL. 10. ASIF 11.KANERIA 12.AFRIDI 13.MAHMOOD 14.HAFEEZ 15.AKHTER/RANA (AKHTER IF HE;'S FIT)

  • King0fHearts on February 11, 2007, 16:53 GMT

    I wont judge Pakistan performance in SA for WC in West Indies and many of you would agree that it wasnt the best stage prior to world cup as moral booster or practise. We should have been playing on pitches that match West Indian climate. I strongly think that any kind of our poor opening pairs will work fine in West Indies (Farhat, Salman, Taufeeq, Yassir, Hafeez, Imran, etc)

    But my team would be Openers: Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Imran Nazeer Middle Order: Younas, Yousaf, Inzi Allrounders: Shahid, Akmal, Azhar, Razzaq Fast Bowlers: Asif, Gul, Rana Wicket Keeper: Kamran Spinner: Rehman.

    Imran Nazeer, Razzaq, Rana and Rehman still dont make into my preferred Pakistan XI.

    Still, do not under estimate Pakistan. And first game of WC against WI is so important that these points will go to next round with any team that wins and I believe, most of the teams winning big matches in first round will be semi-finalists.

    Have good day,

    P.S. Somebody also tell inzi that these points go to next stage :)

  • Masaood Yunus on February 11, 2007, 16:52 GMT

    Pakistan is suddenly looking tired out there. I would attribute this to too much cricket since last year. The lack of an attack partner to Asif appears to have taken a toll on all the players. We haven't been able to stop the flow of runs, let alone duct it. All said and done, here is my playing 11 for the World Cup.

    1. Mohammad Hafeez 2. Shoaib Malik 3. Younis Khan 4. Mohammad Yousuf 5. Inzamam Ul Haq 6. Shahid Afridi 7. Abdul Razzaq 8. Kamran Akmal 9. Umar Gul 10. Shabbir Ahmed 11. Mohammad Asif

    Reserved :

    12. Abdul Rehman 13. Azhar Mehmood 14. Imran Nazir 15. Mohammad Sami

    I would stick with 3 bowling specialist, 3 Batting specialist and 1 expert wicket keeper, rest should be best of the allrounders with Hafeez and Malik opening the batting. The backup would be 2 all rounders and 1 specialist bowling/batting each.

    Yes, my list dont feature Shoaib Akhtar. The latest news is not good from his end and being a selector I have only 2 days to make the squad announcement. Going by Shoaib's history and legacy, I would prefer to pick long dependable options than Stop-Go. Players who can survive whold tournament and so far Shoaib doesn't qualify. This is probably a sad end to yet a brilliant talent but arrogant attitude. Time to move on, lets focus on the WorldCup and back the team. Fingers Crossed.

  • fhs on February 11, 2007, 16:52 GMT

    I can not beleive the way Pakistan batted today. It is a shame! It is far to imagine it is the same team who beat SA in 2nd ODI and also batted pretty good in 'rain affected' 3rd ODI. I dont understand why they were feeling so much pressure when the series was 1-1. Everyone was expecting they will play relax and positive cricket but it appears that they were playing under some sort of 'fear' and 'pressure'. They never seemed trying to do anything good.

  • ahmed786 on February 11, 2007, 16:47 GMT

    theres 1 month left the world cup and pakistan need to sit down and think hard because the way we performed today is not something to talk about the only person to show abit of resistance was yet again inzi when are our young guns gonna rise to the challenge (akmal) and look like a true bunch of world cup winners because 1 match they do the next its back to basics. and do we have a bowling line up whats the situation with shoib and gul is shoib really injured or as he upset someone. theres so many issues to talk about but so little time so many questions 1 way to answer Pakistan lift the world cup 2007. come on PAKISTAN

  • Rahim Dharani on February 11, 2007, 16:47 GMT

    It is indeed one of the worst performance by pakistan .. sure we cannot get 350 everyday but we can show a fight or two atleast .. we would not be getting dead pitches everytime so our batsman must know how to adopt to the conditons afterall they are all professionals .. anyway my team squad for the world cup would be

    Imran Nazir Kamran Akmal Younis Khan Mohammad Yousuf Inzamam Ul Haq Shoaib Malik Shahid Afridi Abdul Razzaq Shoaib Akhtar (If fit and if not then Rao Ifthikar Should be in the squad because i dont think Azhar can make it to the squad of 15 as surprisingly he was not in the original 30 man squad) Umar Gul Mohammed Asif Mohammed Hafeez Yasir Hameed (As Afridi would be serving ban so i would open with him for the time being and let kamran play down the order) Mohammed Sami (Rana out of form so i have no choice but to pick sami) Abdul Rehman (would add variety to the squad)

    My Heartiest Wishes and Prayers are for my Pakistan Inshallah they will do well in Carribean no matter what happens at South Africa

    Cheers,

  • intoxicatedc on February 11, 2007, 16:46 GMT

    yup, nobody in my opinion can argue with u at the moment because this is the best possible team in the given circumstances. Attack the other team before they do, its a very good option but ..... the thing is that attacking the opposition's bowling line is very difficult for pakistan specially openers.Most ppl dont understand two things,1: hitting fours and sixes with the new ball cant be possible without a sound batting technique, which imran nazir and hafeez dont possess. 2: Attack is not always hitting fours and sixes its a matter of keeping the score board ticking and frustrate the oposition in their planning. In my opinion Yunous khan should come up the order and play as an opener because he is always their in the middle anyways in the first 5 overs. Pakistan is too much pridictable at the moment and any team can prepare a strategy for controlling them even i think they dont have to prepare the strategy as pakistan is playing with the same combination here and there for the last 7-8 years now. Most of the teams which have surprised in the past world cups r those which brought something new to the game, as newzealand attacked with a spinner in 1992, sirilanka attacked with their openers in 1996, Australia unleashed symonds in the middle order in 2003. Different kind of strategy is required with the same group of players, other wise the team is good on the paper but not good enough to win the world cup.

  • Euceph Ahmed on February 11, 2007, 16:44 GMT

    Kamran, you can try and come up with any dream combination that you like but the fact of the matter remains that this team lacks the committment that is required to win a major event like the World Cup. Even the public huddling displays have begun to look rather spiritless.

    There is no real purpose in Pakistan's game at the moment. Inzamam, of all the people, looks to be tired and ready to retire. He's begun to look too old to be featuring in a one-day team. Let's face it, his body language is saying please let me go. Pakistan team's real problem is leadership and the unfounded belief that a patriarchal figure is needed to provide that leadership. Inzamam has given more than he possessed to Pakistan cricket. Let us recognize that there is no more juice left in that man. He needs an honorable discharge, but I dread the prospects of that stand to be tainted by this upcoming World Cup venture.

    Winning a match should never ever be as important to any team in any sport as putting up a spirited fight till the very end of the game. Playing for pride is much more important than playing to win. Unfortunately, with the culture that exists in the country the team only plays for pride against India. With the rest, our players play to keep their places in the team.

    You can come up with any number of winning strategies, any number of winning combinations, but with these bunch of nothing characters you'd be totally dumb to expect a World Cup win.

  • Kashif Malik on February 11, 2007, 16:42 GMT

    I agree we should stick with kamran Akmal-now is not the ideal time to try a new wicketkeeper. The WC is so big that any new keeper will be out of his depth. In any event Akmal is a class act, and will come good.

    I also agree we should continue with Imran Nazir, hafeez or possibly Salman Butt. After the big three middle order players, malik is the only player who has consistantly performed with the bat.

    The biggest worry is our bowling-In light of recent injury concerns to all the strike bowlers together with Rana's dip in form is a huge problem with no immediate solutions. Its also possible that Asif may still have some nanderolone in his body and Akhtar's knee injury is very serious . If this is the case Rana will get an opportunity, and so should kaneria, Rehman and Arafat.

    Razzak and Azhar pick themselves.

    This may be the WC that we have rely on two specialist spinners in the starting eleven.

  • zam on February 11, 2007, 16:42 GMT

    i would like to have kaneria in place of a.rehman because he gives an atticking option in the middle overs.

  • Muhammad Umar on February 11, 2007, 16:40 GMT

    I think following 12 men can lift the cup 1.Muhammad Hafeez 2.Yasir Hameed 3.Younis Khan 4.Muhammad Yousaf 5.Inzimam ul Haq 6.Shoaib Malik (WK) 7.Abdul Razzak 8.Shahid Afridi 9.Shoaib Akhter 10.Umer Gul 11.Muhammad Asif 12.Shabbir Ahmed

  • Bilal on February 11, 2007, 16:40 GMT

    my squad for the world cup would be imaran nazir mohammad hafeez kamran akmal salman butt younis khan mohammad yousaf inzamam ul haq shoaib malik abdur razzak shahid afridi shoiab akhtar rana naved umar gul mohammad asif abdur rehman

    and my ideal XI would be imran malik younis yousaf inzamam akmal afridi razzak shoaib gul asif

  • osama on February 11, 2007, 16:39 GMT

    finally i agree with you and couldnt have said this better. while PCB does have a lot to answer for and we are quick to blame them, this is hardly a problem that can solve itself.

    this is a first but my ideal line up is the same as yours. the only thing that can rain on this parade is the WADA appeal in the COA. If Asif and Shoaib are indeed banned than i would rather go with Sami and Azhar(Allah and everyone else knows this guy deserves it).

  • Mohsin on February 11, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    Nice artcile Kamran, an apt prognosis given Pakistan's current fluctuation between the sublime and the senseless. It was an issue I was pondering earlier today, a world cup 15. I named the same sure 10 as you, with 5 places up for grabs. It seems now that Akhtar's World Cup chances may have flown out the window owing to his knees, and its probably best if Pakistani fans accept that as the reality whilst naming squads.

    Luckily the Caribbean wickets are slow and flat, the kind our batsmen are accustomed too, so there glaring technical flaws may not be such an issue as they are in the current bilateral series. I feel the wickets and small grounds would favour a very attacking approach with Nazir and Akmal opening, going hell for leather. (2) The trio pick themselves and Malik offers that ideal floating player at 6. (6) Razzaq and Afridi could prosper in conditons where footwork isnt a prerequsite for success (8) and if Akhtar is absent, with Gul and Asif picking themselves, it leaves the one bowling option in the starting x1. Rana has lost it, so I'd opt for Sami.

    A team of :

    Nazir Akmal + YK MY Inzi Malik Razzaq Afridi Sami Gul Asif

    looks nice on paper, esp in conditions likely to favour spin.

    The greater concern in flat conditions is the bowling, and the reserves should reflect that. Rana, Rehman and perhaps another pacer, maybe Rao (maybe not...) or Shahid Nazir. I'd opt for Yasir Arafat who so often does well in English county cricket and has some pace and menace about him.

    All in all it looks ok on paper, but the key is the lack of consistency and one feels the inability to stop/catch/attack the ball in the field.

    For what its worth, I took a small punt on the Kiwis, and that's from a diehard Pakistan fan. I just think the Black Caps are running into good form, and are "due".

  • CB Fry on February 11, 2007, 16:36 GMT

    kamran-san, you worry too much. so they lost by 10 wickets today. so what? this is the hypnotic world of pakistan cricket, tomorrow is another day, full of infinite possibilities. pakistani cricketers merely reflect pakistani people: capable of sublime brilliance one day, utterly hopeless the next. if you look at the average pakistani student's exam papers, it will be full of A's and D's. c'est la vie. no point beating yourself up about it.

    okay, so here's my team: wasim bari, you better be reading this matey:

    1) safe hands akmal 2) immy nazir/mo hafeez 3) y2k 4) moyo 5) inzy (if he doesn't demote himself to no9) 6) malik 7) shahid khan boom boom (bust) lala mad dog afridi 8) razzler the dazzler 9) shoaib freak show akhtar 10) gully boy 11) a genius by the name of asif

    as far as the other squad players go, they can take inzy's mum and dad for all i care.

  • Asad Bangash- Toronto on February 11, 2007, 16:35 GMT

    Although it was a shambolic performance by our team. There are few things which need to be kept in mind before jumping to conclusion

    1. The conditions in WI are entirely different.( completely different ball game ) 2. Pakistan has always been performing spectecular one day and below par the other day ( Itz not as if this fluctuating perfomance never happened before)

    My team for WC 2007 is:

    Imran Nazir Kamran Akmal Shoaib Malik Younis Khan Mohammad Yousaf Inzamam-ul-haq Shoaib Malik Shahid Afridi Abdur Rehman Umar Gul Mohammad Asif

    ( Based on assumption that Shoaib Akhter and Shabeer Ahmed would be un-fit - -- as usual )

    I just hope and pray Rana Naveed does'nt go to WI Abdur Razzaq is a good allrounder and should be selected in 15 man squad

  • Imran Zia on February 11, 2007, 16:34 GMT

    No excuses should be entertained at this moment but it is too late to react to what is happening. All the plannings for the World Cup have been falling apart. Now is the time for damage control and PCB should take the blame for the mindboggling itenries. The travelling and back to back matches are taking its toll on the players. It is hard to belive that Yasir Hameed who seemed to be in serene touch did not get a chance in the one dayers and Kamran Akmal seems to be given a license to fail. The Pakistan Squad should be 1.Inzimam 2.Younis 3.Yousef 4.S.Malik 5.Hafeez 6.Razzak 7.Asif 8.Akmal 9.Mohd.Sami 10.S.Afridi 11.Umar Gul 12.Azhar Mehmood 13.Imran Nazir 14.Rao Iftikhar

  • Danish Khan on February 11, 2007, 16:34 GMT

    Indeed an upsetting day, but lets see the glass half full. It has been a roller coaster ride on this tour, losing the first Test, winning back the second, losing the third Test, 20:20? Whatever! --I wouldn't be surprised if they introduce 5:5 on the international level to make extra bucks. ODIs now, lost the first comprehensively and made them lose comprehensively, third I still say however balanced had a tilt towards Pakistan given the conditions, and now today, comprehensively beaten again. It has been so confusing to read or formulate a sound judgement of predictions, its like a pendulum swaying for and against Pakistan. Question arises that why has it been so this way? And it certainly has swayed for and against South Africa, not because of South Africans themselves, but because of Pakistan's own outings. Hehe, I'm sure they'd be confused as well.

    To ponder on the question about, why its been swaying? South Africa unlike Pakistan have not had to face injuries, inclusion exclusion can have a major impact on performance, yet keeping this in mind one has to commend that Pakistan has kept the pendulum swaying! Now, everyone at the PCB and the team has a daunting task of announcing the squad, break a few hearts close to Valentine's. Rana should be dropped without a question or doubt in mind! And I agree with the probables listed in the article, but one overshadowing concern is that Akhtar now may have to have a surgery on the knee, this makes the task even more complicated.

    Looking at Australia today, my hopes with Pakistan are anything but dashed, while Pakistan's ride has been bumpy, Aussies had a down(under)fall, with people already starting to question there.

    All this makes as good suspense!

  • Arham Karim on February 11, 2007, 16:25 GMT

    Disgraceful and spineless performance from pakistan. This teams unpredictability is one that reminds me of the British Weather. My squad for the world cup would be : Inzy YK Yousuf Akmal Asif Malik Afridi Razzaq (needs to be motivated, should not be in starting lineup) Gul Akhtar (fingers crossed) The remaining five places should go to hafeez as he is a well balanced player, bound to do well, Imran Nazir has to be picked even though I would prefer to see Butt or Yasir, Rana is a must inclusion as he bowls well in West Indies like conditions and is a fighter. I would also pick Azhar and pick Sami or Kaneria- probably Sami if he is fit. On their day, this squad could beat any team in the world and liftthe cup, but with such unpredictability, I think beating Ireland is perhaps the only thing that can be guaranteed- or can it? Arham Karim

  • IRFAN SAFDAR on February 11, 2007, 16:24 GMT

    Pakistan team is struggling there is no doubt. The win in the second one day was a one off performance, things have come back to norm after it with two poor performances with the bat. I still think that Pakistan will play much better in the world cup since the wickets there suit us more than SA or Australia.Let us hope players like Gul and Akhtar get fit and Rana finds some form. I would stick with the same combination it seems like too late to make changes now.

  • Mustafa Moiz on February 11, 2007, 16:17 GMT

    I'm glad you think Sami should play. In a squad I would put 1)Inzamam ul Haq 2)Mohammad Yousuf 3)Younis Khan 4)Abdul Razzaq 5)Shoaib Malik 6)Shahid Afridi 7)Mohammad Sami 8)Kamran Akmal, for your reasons 9)Rana Naveed ul Hasan 10)Mohammad Asif 11)Abdul Rehman, Shoaib Akhtar can't play 12)Imran Nazir 13)Mohammad Hafeez 14)Yasir Hameed 15)Salman Butt

    The starting team would be 1)Imran Nazir 2)Mohammad Hafeez for his spin 3)Younis Khan 4)Inzamam ul Haq 5)Mohammad Yousuf 6)Kamran Akmal 7)Shoaib Malik 8)Abdul Razzaq 9)Mohammad Sami 10)Abdul Rehman 11)Mohammad Asif

    I hope Sami will play and Razzaq and Malik get enough overs to bowl since that is their main stay.

  • Showstopper on February 11, 2007, 16:15 GMT

    Two weeks ago, Wasim Akram went on record saying, Pakistan was the only side who could stop the Aussies. At that moment, that appeared quite true, given how dangerous Pakistan can be (Durban, being proof). But as of today, it appears, those two are the ones playing the most lethargic cricket amongst the serious contenders. ;)

  • Ash Zed on February 11, 2007, 16:13 GMT

    Pakistan squad to lift the cup?

    Even getting into last 4 would be too much expectation from this team. I would love to see this team being thrashed out in the first round. They simply don’t deserve to win and if they don’t deserve they must not win.

    Squad starts from the leader. We have a leader who is sick minded and always use negative approach. I am a firm believe captain of the team must come from an educated and cultured background.

    Look at Imran and Kardar; why they were outstanding captains? Because they believed in attacking strategy and had strong educated family background.

    No disrespect to Inzi as a batsman, but coming from mediocre family background and hardly having any education, he can never be an average leader let alone a good one. He is an accomplished batsman yet he comes at no 5 or 6 whereas Imran was primarily an all-rounder but during 1992 world cup he batted number 3… This is the difference between class and ordinary.

    To cut the whole story short, if we have a captain like Inzamam who does not know how to lead and command then whatever is Pakistan’s final squad, they are bound to take an early flight back home.

  • Irfan Mayani on February 11, 2007, 16:10 GMT

    And one more thing is that no matter what the squad is . The seniors will have to take the pressure and lead from the front. Inzi stayed down in the order in 2003 and protected himself as he has done all thru his career. Why can't they stand up like pontings , laras and sachins of the world and face the best bowlers upfront and come up the order. Its just their mental block. in 1992 Javed and Imran took the pressure and batted at 3 and 4. In 1996 it was Desilva and Ranatunga( seniors in the team ) , in 1999 it was waugh , warne who led from the front. 2003 ponting , and if pakis want to win this time then the senior pros need to come up and face the music. If they cant do it , they should not blame the poor openers who are not even given consistent chances. You dont play imran nazir for 5 years and expect him to regain a place in the team playing 5 ODIs in the difficult conditions of SA against the second best team in the world. Where the hell is the planning .Why havent we found 2 or even 1 opener for the team in the last 4 years. Woolmer and Inzi have you got answers to that

  • Aun Lakhani on February 11, 2007, 16:04 GMT

    It was a very poor display by the Pakistani players today. But to be fair, South Africans really bowled well with the help of some poor shots by Pakistani batsmen as usual. In the end, bowlers did not have enough on the board to bowl at. A sorry display . . .

    Now the interesting part . . . potential 15 for the World Cup! I am writing Shoaib off completely so the team should be:

    1. Imran Nazir (Opener) 2. Shoaib Malik (Opener / Middle order) 3. Salman Butt (Opener) 4. Imran Farhat (Opener) 5. Younis Khan (One down) 6. Mohammad Yousuf (Middle order) 7. Inzamam-ul-Haq (Middle order) 8. Kamran Akmal (Lower middle order / opener) 9. Shahid Afridi (Lower middle order / allrounder) 10. Abdul Razzaq (Lower middle order / allrounder) 11. Azhar Mahmood (Lower middle order / allrounder) 12. Mohammad Sami (Bowler) 13. Mohammad Asif (Bowler) 14. Umar Gul (Bowler) 15. Abdur Rahman or Rana Naved (Bowler)

  • Irfan Mayani on February 11, 2007, 16:03 GMT

    Agree to the most part of it.But i think that most players here pick them selves . I do agree that may be yasir hameed , kaneria and others too could have made it but since they havent been given chance till now cuz of reasons un known, so now we can not afford to experiment. So have to make the best use of what players we have in contention these days. I have a very big issue with the batting order. Move akmal down the order. MY XI would be like this ( in batting order) 1. Imran Nazir 2. Shoaib Malik 3. Younis 4. Yusuf 5. Inzi 6. Afridi 7. Razzaq 8. Akmal 9. Shoaib Akhtar 10. Umar gul 11. Asif

    Other 4 Players i ll take to WI will be Hafeez( Reserve opener and spin bowling allrounder ), Azhar Mehmood( fast bowling Allrounder), Naved - ul-hassan( has done poorly in SA but was our best bowler in 2005 and can do it again if in form), abdur Rehman( spin Bowler, i wish they had tried kaneria too in some matches before the WC

  • Imran on February 11, 2007, 15:47 GMT

    Would agree largely with KA's squad but with Shoaib being ruled out for a month, potentially even longer, he is now a risk that may not be worth taking. So Rana would make the squad on that basis.

    Omitting Kaneria was a foolish error, he appears to have progressed his bowling to the next level. With Afridi being banned against the Windies a genuine spin option is important, particularly when combined with Shoaib's expected absence. Rehman has not received enough exposure at international level, particularly away from home. Kaneria would be my man.

  • Shahid on February 11, 2007, 15:44 GMT

    A Quitter Never Wins and a Winner Never Quits.

    Where was the Professionalism, the Fighting Spirit, or even a little Rsistance today? Where was the Motivation, Team Spirit, and most of all the Leadership with Balls? Sorry, I forgot, I was talking about Pakistan Cricket Team....

    It Hurts to see them go down this way. Giving 1% is not Good Enough...

    We need to Stop Drinking Water from the Clouds. There are no Shortcuts to Fitness or any Walk of Life.

    I will Turn Sarcasm Off with this Quote from Einstein on his Theory of Insanity which is quite Applicable to our Beloved Team: Insanity is Defined as, "Doing the Same thing over and over Again, Expecting Different Results."

  • Nauman Younas on February 11, 2007, 15:43 GMT

    There are multiple reasons behind Pakistan's unpredictable and inconsistent performance. Poor captaincy and coaching, lack of team spirit and game plan, lack of enthusiasm, wrong batting order to name a few. What one fails to understand is that is Bob Woolmer a good coach only when the team is winning? One good game and everyone starts praising Woolmer. But when we look at the games that Pakistan is loosing, and the overall fielding and batting blemishes, one simple question comes to mind, what the hell is the contribution of our coach? When it comes to Captaincy, I think if we rate the captains of top six teams, Inzamam will be the sixth. One month to world cup, and we are wondering if Pakistan can even reach the semis with Inzamam being the captain of this side. And let's not forget, a day left to finalize the team!

  • danish abbasi on February 11, 2007, 15:39 GMT

    Learning from mistakes Pakistan batsmen are once again badly exposed really disciplined bowling by south african bowlers. they bowled consistently on offside off stump and go the desired results.although the pitch was not the sole reason for our batting collapse but flawed technique of batsmen was also another factor in this collapse.This massive defeat has raised too many question marks on inzi and bob's world cup preparations. World cup is around the corner and opening position is insecure. serious thinking is required by team management to finalize the squad. i would back hafeez and imran nazir as possible contenders for opening slot,younis khan,muhammad yousuf, inzi, kamran akmal, abdur razzaq, shoib malik, shahid afridi, umar gul, muhammad asif, abdur rehman. Hafeez has shown good technique after his return into international cricket he just lacks to convert starts into a major contribution for the side. Yasir hameed has to be given preference over others but with this caution to control his driving instinct off side offstump.Shoaib Akhtar as well all know will be highly effective provided he is fit enough to play the whole tournament. its time to stick to one combination rather than unnecessary experiments which has really played a pivotal role in disturbing the balance of the squad. Inzi needs to change his attitude by becoming more proactive rather than defensive all the times.Good teams like australia always learn from their mistakes and play more competitive cricket in their encounters. Pakistan team seems reluctant in taking the defeat badly and then to improve afterwards. Planning, consistency,positive thinking is lacking from this squad and not supposed to rely always on individual brilliance on a given da

  • cricket fan on February 11, 2007, 15:31 GMT

    I have been following the pakistan cricket for a long time..have witnessed their heroics and shambolics hundred of times... Howcome a team with som much talent and experience, one a day touches the skys, and falls flate the next???

    I think the whole things starts from the root..and from it i mean the whole system of pakistan cricket..from the domestic structure to the PCB..everything seems to be so corrupt and manipulited..players are taken inn and out for stupid reasons..from the drug alligations to the ball tampering drama...it almost seems like if the system is run by a bunch of idiots...and one can witness their stupidity, the way the players perform on the field..

    When the pakistan team comes out on the field, you never know what might happen..it almost seems like of a flock of sheep, are realised into the field, where one follow the other.. one see no team planning..no strategy..no method of how to deal with the situation..and above all which i believ is the most important and crucial reason of pakistan failur is the missing “ self belief” factor. The players and team in a sence, seem not to have any kind of believ in their ablilities, and the ones who show some of it..are resticted by the others..

    If pakistan ever going to have a slight chance to come as near as winning the world cup, then they have to totally change the way they are playing right now...They should come up, with a more aggressive and bold way of playing, taking the game to the opposition, is the new way of playing cricket..

  • Hussain on February 11, 2007, 15:29 GMT

    After seeing Pakistan's effort in the field today,I regard this team as the most unpredictable team of the cricketing history.They simply lack the zeal and courage which is required to win matches.How long we are to rely only on players like Mohammad Asif,Younis and Yousif?Muhammad Asif looked a little rusty today.I think he needs a break.But if Pakistan is to rest him,i bet South Africans can easily achieve 500 runs mark. My world cup squad will be: 1.Salman Butt 2.Shoaib Malik 3.Inzamam-ul-Haq 4.Mohammad Yousuf 5.Younis Khan 6.Kamran Akmal 7.Abdul Razzaq 8.Shahid Afridi 9.Shoaib Akhtar 10.Umar Gul 11.Mohammad Asif 12.Shabbir Ahmed 13.Imran Nazir 14.Danish Kaneria 15.Mohammad Sami I think Inzi should bat up the order and lead the team upfront.

  • Zeeshan Lodhi on February 11, 2007, 15:26 GMT

    its these kind of performances that hurt the cricket lovers back in pakistan the most, one day they play like the best, the most gifted team in the world and the next day, well they play like wussies.. but then its amazing how the pakistan team bounces back after such performances maybe beacuse they are getting used to humiliating defeats. in the last defeat it was our bowling performance that really let us down, the batting wasnt amazing aswell but the bowlers were really to be blamed.But then again most of them are not first choice and things might have been differnt had shoaib and umar gul been playing instead but today the so called "one of the best" batting order collapsed apart from inzamam who looked like playing to improve his career average, imran nazir batted wonderfully well in the second one day but has flopped since, was it a good idea to bring someone directly into the world cup after being kept out of the team for what 3 year? the make shift opener is NOT working, but the management just doesnt get it, and bob keeps on filling the team with all rounders instead of genuine batsmen, these "match winners" fail to perfrom when the team is really under pressure, had they opened today with hafeez, probably it would have been a different story. i think that the management should stop the experimentation, open with younas khan and hafeez or may be hafeez and yasir hameed who have been playing international cricket over the last year instead of imran who has been out of the team for so long and play 5 genuine bats man, with the news of shoaibs injury in his knee and after todays performance, i have started to doubt that this team will perform well in the world cup!

  • Ashfaq on February 11, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    Hasnt Shoaib's injury taken another twist. If thats taken care of, I completely agree with squad. Otherwise probably rana and azhar will both make it in the end. Although they dont qiite look the force they were in county circuit last year.

  • harpreet bhinder on February 11, 2007, 15:21 GMT

    My team Should not Replace Sahid Afridi Imran Nazir Yousaf AT Number 3 Sahoib Must need at Four Inzi Younis Sarfraz Ahmed Wicketkeeper Abdul Razzak Jamshed Ahmed New BOwler In The List Asif Umer Gul And if Akther is ready to play keep it eyes and one more salman butt and mohhamed haffez and one more new bowler Ali Thats are 15 squared Kamran send to this Inzam If i am captaion Never make change in this order

  • Asim Hafeez on February 11, 2007, 15:19 GMT

    Well....Pakistan has been shell shocked after todays performance.But we should not lose faith in the players...They will fight back if they get the support.As far as World Cup is concerned Paksitan might be without Shoaib and according to Dr.Danish Zaheer Asif should miss it because he might test positive in doping.So this reminds me of the squad of 1992 which was as depleted as this squad is turning out to be.In oneday cricket you cannot predict so captaincy of Inzii will be crucial alongwith the performance of Yousaf and Younis if we have to progress someway ahead in World cup.

  • Razi Ahmed on February 11, 2007, 15:17 GMT

    As expected Inzi has already start whining about the injuries though what happend today was a cheap display of our batting lineup followed by complete submission of bowling. Our bowlers are injured due to laid back style as prevailed in our culture and society. We claim that we are running Cricket affair on corporate basis and they have provided central conract to our national heroes to keep themseleves fit but nobody is ready to understand his responsiblity and job description. We have to implement a system of rigrous physical excercises to achieve that international fitness level. We have seen that Afridi has been reawarded by 4 matches ban as expected so we have to stick with Razzaq and Azhar. We have to learn that our batting line up is the primary source of attack then some good bowling will play an important role in forthcoming matches in WC. After the resurgence of England from rock bottom one can say that cricket by chance.

  • Shoiab Goraya on February 11, 2007, 15:16 GMT

    A very good assessment of Pakistan's effort today but the real worries lie ahead in the world cup.If Shoaib Akhtar is not fit then ? Who do we replace him with.Is Shabbir not a good alternative for his pace as we very well know he can bowl with strick line and lenght.Considering the number of alrounders we play i fear we might become a midiocre team because allrounder can not perform to the level of a specialist batsman or a bowler with the exception of few in the world.Looking at all other teams of world cup i can see hardly any team playing more then two allrounders where as we have some six in our squad.Danish kaneria can be a good choice for carrabian pitches which are slow n turning.He has proven himself a worth player n should not be excluded for the management mistake of sending him home prior of One Day series. As far as i can see Pakistan have an outside chance of winning the Cup provided they stay injury free n keep the resolve n confidence high. Thank You

  • Atif Jamal on February 11, 2007, 15:15 GMT

    Yeah ur right .. keeping the unpredictability factor of Pakistan in mind, we can always move on .. Here is my Pakistan XI and the squad for the world cup (First 11 represent the playing 11) ..

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Younis Khan 4. Muhammad Yousuf 5. Inzamam-ul-Haq (C) 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Abdul Razzak 9. Shoaib Akhtar 10.Umar Gul 11. Muhammed Asif

    12. Rana Naved / Muhammed Sami 13. Muhammed Hafeez 14. Azhar Mehmood 15. Danish Kaneria / Abdul Rehman

    The selection dilemma which forced PCB to ask ICC delay their squad-names submission dates is which one to select between Kaneria and Abdul Rehman .. and which two to select between Rana, Azhar and Sami .. i think all three of them will make it in the end bcuz at least one out of Akhtar or Gul will be unavailable due to injuries ( i hope they both r available though) .. Pakistan can either do very well and bring home the Trophy or they may even not reach the Semis .. Only time will tell ...

  • Ŧǻûħïŗą ƒŕõm Ĵämãîċā on February 11, 2007, 15:14 GMT

    Today's performance by Pakistan was nothing short of poor. They are approximately 29 days away from the World Cup here in the Caribbean, and playing like this shows that something needs to be done quickly if they want to lift the W.C..

    I still don't get why Danish Kaneria isn't playing any of these matches against South Africa. I think he should be given a chance to prove himself worthy of have a place in the squad for the W.C..

    -Peace!

  • haepreet bhinder on February 11, 2007, 15:11 GMT

    i have replacement jamshed ahmed is a quality bowler like wasim akram and sarfraz ahmed wicketkeeper one more bowler is name ali he performed well agianst india in under19 WC so team must need on top imran sahid yousaf sahoib malik inzi younis sarfraz ahmed abdul razak momahhad asif umer gul jamsed ahmed and one more may be a batsmen salman butt or azhar mahmodd thats it no need any more replacement have to pick those guys and play in order described

  • Ashaq on February 11, 2007, 15:07 GMT

    I believe the chances of pakistan claiming the world cup are slim and none but slim just got injured.

    I just hope that they can beat India in the world cup finals.

    Unfortunately in 4 years we still do not know who the best opening pair are. Without a solid and ruthless opening attack we are doomed to failure.

  • Riz1 on February 11, 2007, 15:01 GMT

    We can discuss squads and XI's all day, the fact of the matter is in ODI's anything can happen. You just need to look at the last few days of world cricket...Pakistan hammering SA..and today the opposite. Australia on the recieving end after 3 months of dishing it out. SL beating India. My point is any teams squad can beat anothers 'on the day'.

    In all honesty Azhar could smash 15 of the last over and win the game..so could afridi, and razzaq...and Inzi..and...you get what i mean. Shoaib could get 4 wickets in 10 overs, as could asif, as could Rana.

    The same goes for all the top teams in world cricket....Bring on the Windies March 13!!

  • Amos on February 11, 2007, 14:54 GMT

    I almost fully agree with the squad mentioned except for the issue of Azhar Mahmood. He needs to start along with Razzaq for any Pakistan XI for these two reasons: He has loads of experience and that includes world cup. Pakistan seamers need as much back up as possible. He can score quick runs in the late order

    THE TEAM. I. Nazir, S.Malik, Y.Khan, M.Yousuf, I.Huq*, S.Afridi, A.Razzaq, K.Akmal+, A.Mahmood, S.Akhtar, M.Asif. --- Rehman, Naveed, Hafeez---

  • Syed Waqar on February 11, 2007, 14:50 GMT

    Such a shocking display by Pakistan! One has to say that you can never trust on them as what you can expect on a given day.

    Now Shoaib Akhtar is probably out of the world cup and that's sucks!!!

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  • Syed Waqar on February 11, 2007, 14:50 GMT

    Such a shocking display by Pakistan! One has to say that you can never trust on them as what you can expect on a given day.

    Now Shoaib Akhtar is probably out of the world cup and that's sucks!!!

  • Amos on February 11, 2007, 14:54 GMT

    I almost fully agree with the squad mentioned except for the issue of Azhar Mahmood. He needs to start along with Razzaq for any Pakistan XI for these two reasons: He has loads of experience and that includes world cup. Pakistan seamers need as much back up as possible. He can score quick runs in the late order

    THE TEAM. I. Nazir, S.Malik, Y.Khan, M.Yousuf, I.Huq*, S.Afridi, A.Razzaq, K.Akmal+, A.Mahmood, S.Akhtar, M.Asif. --- Rehman, Naveed, Hafeez---

  • Riz1 on February 11, 2007, 15:01 GMT

    We can discuss squads and XI's all day, the fact of the matter is in ODI's anything can happen. You just need to look at the last few days of world cricket...Pakistan hammering SA..and today the opposite. Australia on the recieving end after 3 months of dishing it out. SL beating India. My point is any teams squad can beat anothers 'on the day'.

    In all honesty Azhar could smash 15 of the last over and win the game..so could afridi, and razzaq...and Inzi..and...you get what i mean. Shoaib could get 4 wickets in 10 overs, as could asif, as could Rana.

    The same goes for all the top teams in world cricket....Bring on the Windies March 13!!

  • Ashaq on February 11, 2007, 15:07 GMT

    I believe the chances of pakistan claiming the world cup are slim and none but slim just got injured.

    I just hope that they can beat India in the world cup finals.

    Unfortunately in 4 years we still do not know who the best opening pair are. Without a solid and ruthless opening attack we are doomed to failure.

  • haepreet bhinder on February 11, 2007, 15:11 GMT

    i have replacement jamshed ahmed is a quality bowler like wasim akram and sarfraz ahmed wicketkeeper one more bowler is name ali he performed well agianst india in under19 WC so team must need on top imran sahid yousaf sahoib malik inzi younis sarfraz ahmed abdul razak momahhad asif umer gul jamsed ahmed and one more may be a batsmen salman butt or azhar mahmodd thats it no need any more replacement have to pick those guys and play in order described

  • Ŧǻûħïŗą ƒŕõm Ĵämãîċā on February 11, 2007, 15:14 GMT

    Today's performance by Pakistan was nothing short of poor. They are approximately 29 days away from the World Cup here in the Caribbean, and playing like this shows that something needs to be done quickly if they want to lift the W.C..

    I still don't get why Danish Kaneria isn't playing any of these matches against South Africa. I think he should be given a chance to prove himself worthy of have a place in the squad for the W.C..

    -Peace!

  • Atif Jamal on February 11, 2007, 15:15 GMT

    Yeah ur right .. keeping the unpredictability factor of Pakistan in mind, we can always move on .. Here is my Pakistan XI and the squad for the world cup (First 11 represent the playing 11) ..

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Kamran Akmal 3. Younis Khan 4. Muhammad Yousuf 5. Inzamam-ul-Haq (C) 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Abdul Razzak 9. Shoaib Akhtar 10.Umar Gul 11. Muhammed Asif

    12. Rana Naved / Muhammed Sami 13. Muhammed Hafeez 14. Azhar Mehmood 15. Danish Kaneria / Abdul Rehman

    The selection dilemma which forced PCB to ask ICC delay their squad-names submission dates is which one to select between Kaneria and Abdul Rehman .. and which two to select between Rana, Azhar and Sami .. i think all three of them will make it in the end bcuz at least one out of Akhtar or Gul will be unavailable due to injuries ( i hope they both r available though) .. Pakistan can either do very well and bring home the Trophy or they may even not reach the Semis .. Only time will tell ...

  • Shoiab Goraya on February 11, 2007, 15:16 GMT

    A very good assessment of Pakistan's effort today but the real worries lie ahead in the world cup.If Shoaib Akhtar is not fit then ? Who do we replace him with.Is Shabbir not a good alternative for his pace as we very well know he can bowl with strick line and lenght.Considering the number of alrounders we play i fear we might become a midiocre team because allrounder can not perform to the level of a specialist batsman or a bowler with the exception of few in the world.Looking at all other teams of world cup i can see hardly any team playing more then two allrounders where as we have some six in our squad.Danish kaneria can be a good choice for carrabian pitches which are slow n turning.He has proven himself a worth player n should not be excluded for the management mistake of sending him home prior of One Day series. As far as i can see Pakistan have an outside chance of winning the Cup provided they stay injury free n keep the resolve n confidence high. Thank You

  • Razi Ahmed on February 11, 2007, 15:17 GMT

    As expected Inzi has already start whining about the injuries though what happend today was a cheap display of our batting lineup followed by complete submission of bowling. Our bowlers are injured due to laid back style as prevailed in our culture and society. We claim that we are running Cricket affair on corporate basis and they have provided central conract to our national heroes to keep themseleves fit but nobody is ready to understand his responsiblity and job description. We have to implement a system of rigrous physical excercises to achieve that international fitness level. We have seen that Afridi has been reawarded by 4 matches ban as expected so we have to stick with Razzaq and Azhar. We have to learn that our batting line up is the primary source of attack then some good bowling will play an important role in forthcoming matches in WC. After the resurgence of England from rock bottom one can say that cricket by chance.

  • Asim Hafeez on February 11, 2007, 15:19 GMT

    Well....Pakistan has been shell shocked after todays performance.But we should not lose faith in the players...They will fight back if they get the support.As far as World Cup is concerned Paksitan might be without Shoaib and according to Dr.Danish Zaheer Asif should miss it because he might test positive in doping.So this reminds me of the squad of 1992 which was as depleted as this squad is turning out to be.In oneday cricket you cannot predict so captaincy of Inzii will be crucial alongwith the performance of Yousaf and Younis if we have to progress someway ahead in World cup.