World Cup 2007 February 13, 2007

The Kaneria conundrum

Kaneria has been a conundrum
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In a few hours the World Cup squad will be announced and something has been bothering me since we started the debate on who should be in and who out. What's bothering me is this: Pakistan's bowling attack can have a toothless look to it, particularly if Shoaib Akhtar is injured--and who knows what might happen if Asif's niggle becomes more serious?

One of the reasons Pakistan won in 1992 and Australia won in 1999 was that a legspinner was a threat in the middle of the innings. It wasn't a case of the opposition milking the bowling, instead they had to bat for their lives. Some commentators--including many of you on this blog--have called for Kaneria to be selected. Given the uncertainty with Pakistan's other wicket-taking bowlers, I'd say that the clamour for Kaneria is a just one. This might spell bad news for Abdur Rehman or Azhar Mahmood, but I'd make one essential change to my squad and Kaneria would make the cut. Let's hope he's there. Defending against Kaneria in Test cricket has been possible but attacking him in the one-day game might be a different matter altogether.

Kaneria has been a conundrum. He should have been tried earlier. Some of you will say that this is a mark of my insanity or evidence of my desperation but Kaneria could be the matchwinner that Pakistan's bowlers can rally around. Will Bari, Bob, and Inzy do it?

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mohd Yaseen Mir, Bangalore on March 9, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    pak should use AFRIDI as an opener for this worldcup after that they have younus khan who can bat steadilly and then inzamam and in the last mohd yousuf should come.left the places 6, and 7 for shoaib and kamran they will bat well and lastly i can say that you should improve the bowling and fielding department where feilding is must .take catches and win matches this is what south africa players are doing.stay on the pitch wait for the ball and then play as you know you guys can score over 100 runs in the last 10 overs dont think your team is not strong without your duo called Akther and Asif.you have in your team likes Afridi who can turn the match just 5 overs like inzy yousuf then you have hitters atlast i would say your team can win this world cup but should have done lot of hardwork like other teams are doing

  • syed sibte hassan shah, CANADA on February 19, 2007, 4:01 GMT

    Forget about world cup...don't go there...stay at home.....with all your injured player....still think you could win? wait for miracle.....Inzi are you a good captain? you must learn to accuse yourself, point a finger towards your head and say I am sorry, I did not play captain's inning. Say, I made mistake, I could have played better. Do you remember you were not selected in world X1 but afridi, shoaib and younis and started crying, why? think about it. Try to be a captain like Miandad,little MASTER, Mohammad Hanif, or Imran. Try to save the sinking ship,and do not run before others do. Here are some TIPS 1) IF DOPE TEST IS CLEARED AND SHOAIB COMES BACK, DO NOT FIGHT HIM, LISTEN TO HIM, HE IS AN INTELLIGENT PERSON, YES YOU CAN PASS YOUR OPINION ONTO RANA NAVEED AND KAMRAN AKMAL. 2) PLAY YOURSELF TOO, YOU ARE WAY DOWN THE RANKING NOW. 3) BATTING ORDER SHOULD BE LIKE THIS 1) Shoaib Malik and Imran Nazir to open 2) Younis 3) Yousuf 4) Yourself 5) Razzak 6) Afridi 7) Shoaib Akhter(if he is included) 8) Kamran 9) whoever ......

    4) All the team should use brain

    5) CONTACT ME FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS.....

  • Sameem Lutfi on February 16, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    We're all on the same page here Ali A. Neither of us wants to propogate acts of sectarian/racial discrimination. However, the fact remains that it is an on going issue that mars our selection process. Being defensive about it is not going to resolve the issue.

  • Arshad Jamal on February 15, 2007, 18:12 GMT

    Sorry Kamran for this is a cricket forum not a political or religious one but since it is an ongoing discussion, I have decided to add my two red penies to it.

    To my friend "ali a": I would agree on one and differ on one with you.

    To every one: Hey guys calm down and please do not bring any sactarian and political issue in this forum.

    I am from Karachi and have feelings too, but for God's sake do not look at it like that. Pakistan is a small country with big population and Lion-hearted people. Lets propagate love and unity not hatered. Those people make me feel sick who bring MQM flags in the cricket stadiums and should be banned for life. We are all Pakistani regarless of origin language and religion. All Pakistanis including Muslims, christians, Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, etc. are, for being Pakistanis brothers and sisters. Lets make a resolution to ourselves and do away with all the bigotry wether it be sectarian or religious and unit togather to form a punch. I don't believe for a moment that Inzi, who may not be a genius, is a bigot. Lets not go into this shamfull debate and pray that who ever gets the chance perform good for the hounor of the country. Diserving players should be given a chance and the only origin we have is Plakistan.

    In my earlier post when I have stressed the need to introduce the new players, I by no means meant to assert that the new players are going to bring the WC 2007 to Pakistan. I am an optimist but also a practicle and realistic guy. For practicle reasons I do not believe that Pakistani team is going to bring much glory to the country in WC 2007. It was needed by management some time ago to start preparing for the WC by introducing new players and groom them. You don't need ages to recognize somebody's talent and temprament.

    "ali a" has answered his own argument in his post by saying: "As I have been pointing out its not the team on paper that can win. Its the professional attitude, mental toughness, confidence, responsibility and team effort that win matches. Which shamefully our team is lacking. Its the laid back attitude which is causing inconsistency in performance."

    Thank you. Professional attitude, mental toughness, confidence, responsibility and team effort win the matches.

    1992 WC was won by fighting qualities of the whole team and two crickiting genius Miandad and Imran.

    In 1978 there was a state of emergency, sort of, when lots of superstars were not available and in a haste a new team was put togather but it was not a process of gradual grooming a buliding a team and was not expected to give great result.

    In 1981, it was shamfull that players have revolted against Miandad but the new team did perfom good under him and also won.

    When you are persistant with a bunch of players and all you get in return is lethargy then why not do away with them bring in new blood and new talent which might bring in all those qualities which we talked about and it might help the current players to sort out their problems and improve their performance. You don't build a world beater team in a moment but it takes years to build the world beater team, provided somebody is prepared to take the first step. Aussis traveled a long journey to get where they are now. Losing the WC 2007 is not the end of the road, there are many more WCs coming. Just be positive and don't try to take short cuts and hope for a miracle. Long term planning, strict rules and hard work are the keys.

  • Faisal on February 15, 2007, 5:16 GMT

    Well as for Lufti sahab comments, I may not tell karachi from Sindh. But at least I speak the truth. It is because of people like you that we have a Punjab XI representing Pakistan at the World cup and not a true Pakistan XI. Food for thought my friend, smile.

  • ali a on February 15, 2007, 2:37 GMT

    To Karachi walay and Faisal (I believe):

    You guys are trying to play a race (or sectarian game) here. I don't believe its players from Punjab not giving chances to players from other areas. Aren't Afridi, Gul, Yasir Hameed and Younis Khan Pathans and from frontier area - that's not Punjab? What about Kaneria and Faisal Iqbal - aren't they from Karachi? I remember Mustaq Mohammad (and all the 4 Mohammad brothers were) from Karachi and they played great cricket for many years. What about Javid Miandad.

    Let me tell you I have never thought of where is a good player from - whether Karachi, Lahore or Peshawar - it does not matter as long as he is performing. No one cares, after all he's a Pakistani first and then a Punjabi or Sindi or Pathan. I cannot forget that in 1992 there were half Pakistani flags and half MQM flags (what a shame). Have you guys ever seen flags from any political party from any country in any world events? Never! Did you any sikhs carrying their flags in India games or Tamil tiger flags in Sri Lanka game ever? No wonder when they look at our games they laugh at how divided we are. You think if Sind or Baluchistan become separate country, will India or US let them hold their own, never. Look at what's happening in Iraq - Shia vs Sunni - both Muslims and they are killing each other so mercilessly. So stop being a Sindi or Punjabi or MQM and be a Pakistani and a Muslim.

    Enough said as this is a cricket blog and not a political column.

    Some people have pointed out the names of the rookies and U19 teams here. And mentioned that how Imran and Miandad gambled with them - so why doesn't the current team? First of all lets not forget we completely overhauled the team in 2003 and got new raw talent. But lets see if it has changed anything. I would say nothing. Pakistan always had a record of winning at home and losing abroad (exception being few games or series) and this with experienced and inexperienced players.

    If you read about 1978 England series, when Pakistani top players were unavailable due to World series, Pakistan lost seires with new talent. Again if you read about 1981, when senior players refused to play under Miandad against Sri Lanka, Pakistan performance was mediocre until they came back in last test in which Imran completely destroyed them.

    Moral of the story: Young and inexperience players cannot win you big games. You can only get good young players identified - such as Moshin Khan and Salim Malik at that time. I believe we got Gul and Asif and others out of 2003.

    As I have been pointing out its not the team on paper that can win. Its the professional attitude, mental toughness, confidence, responsibility and team effort that win matches. Which shamefully our team is lacking. Its the laid back attitude which is causing inconsistency in performance.

    Of course there is politics too, but this has to do with PCB mgmt and Inzi and Bob. Not Punjab vs Sind. I believe every other person has been experimented with so far.

    We let go of: 1. Sharyar Khan as CEO PCB(I don't know if he was good or bad, but the timing of it just few months before WC), then 2. Zaheer Abbas as a mgr. I believe if he was a mgr in SA (he would have given some good advices to our batsmen compared to Talat Ali because of his experience). 3. Waqar Younis - who has one of the best strike rates in ODI cricket 4. And now PCB fitness coach Compton.

    Its not that you cannot let them go, its the timing of it all. PCB should have tried to reconcile their differences considering the timing and sensitivity of the WC tournament.

  • Sameem Lutfi on February 14, 2007, 18:48 GMT

    On a complete tangent - Good Lord! Granted that over the years Inzi has been one of Pakistan's most valuable assests. Granted that he has saved many a match and batted superbly throughout his career. Granted that he is the most senior player on the squad and has the most experience - with all due respect he's an IDIOT. I apologize for my choice of words but some of the recent decisions he has made, as captain, would leave the best of us at a loss for words.

    I strongly believe that if after 15+ years of international cricket you can't read the pitch or make an intelligent decision after winning the toss, it should not matter how senior you are. I think there might have been half a valid justification if Inzi were capable of using his experience on field, for having him captain the side, however, he has consistently proven that he is incapable of doing so. Yet, as Faisal pointed out, he is capable of telling Punjab from Sindh. I think that almost guarantees him a future in the PCB selection comittee if nothing else.

  • tariq on February 14, 2007, 18:24 GMT

    What ajoke by selectors selected rao Iftikhar before he played any one day in SA he must be supported by a very strong lobby, and discarding Azhar only on the performance of one game in which he bowled not a bad spell. Also I think Yaser Arafat deserve to be given a chance. Also under present performance Rana Naveed does not have any place in the team.

  • Asad Bangash, Toronto on February 14, 2007, 18:21 GMT

    I think if Rana Naveed bowls in WC, a lot of batting records would be shattered...Keeping fingers crossed !!

  • alex on February 14, 2007, 18:15 GMT

    Everyone contributing to this blog better not keep their hopes too high. This band of players doesn't possess any talent apart from Yousuf and Afridi. The rest are a bunch of journeymen. Gone are the days that Pakistan could boast natural talent to get them through. We now have the likes of Rana and Kaneria as front line bowlers in the World cup squad. Surely there must be some half decent bowlers around in PAkistan to take up the role when others are injured. Rana is not a consistent bowler and Kaneria is not a wicket taker in one dayers. If i were selecting the squad then just cut your losses and get a team that will at least get past the group stage. Pick decent batsmen and decent bowlers not bits and peices players. Just keep one all rounder (Afridi) dispense with the KAneria question and get a wickey who can hold onto the ball. That way at least the team can post a half decent total and try and defend it with bowlers who know what they are doing. The all rounder experiment has failed for far too long. Sorry guys but come March and APril u guys are going to be taking antidepressants...I've already planned a holiday so i can't see the carnage or even hear about it. Kamran forget about whether Kaneria can make a difference, lets look to the next world cup and see who is coming through the ranks. Since 1999 the country has discovered one bowler...Mohd Asif

  • Mohd Yaseen Mir, Bangalore on March 9, 2007, 13:07 GMT

    pak should use AFRIDI as an opener for this worldcup after that they have younus khan who can bat steadilly and then inzamam and in the last mohd yousuf should come.left the places 6, and 7 for shoaib and kamran they will bat well and lastly i can say that you should improve the bowling and fielding department where feilding is must .take catches and win matches this is what south africa players are doing.stay on the pitch wait for the ball and then play as you know you guys can score over 100 runs in the last 10 overs dont think your team is not strong without your duo called Akther and Asif.you have in your team likes Afridi who can turn the match just 5 overs like inzy yousuf then you have hitters atlast i would say your team can win this world cup but should have done lot of hardwork like other teams are doing

  • syed sibte hassan shah, CANADA on February 19, 2007, 4:01 GMT

    Forget about world cup...don't go there...stay at home.....with all your injured player....still think you could win? wait for miracle.....Inzi are you a good captain? you must learn to accuse yourself, point a finger towards your head and say I am sorry, I did not play captain's inning. Say, I made mistake, I could have played better. Do you remember you were not selected in world X1 but afridi, shoaib and younis and started crying, why? think about it. Try to be a captain like Miandad,little MASTER, Mohammad Hanif, or Imran. Try to save the sinking ship,and do not run before others do. Here are some TIPS 1) IF DOPE TEST IS CLEARED AND SHOAIB COMES BACK, DO NOT FIGHT HIM, LISTEN TO HIM, HE IS AN INTELLIGENT PERSON, YES YOU CAN PASS YOUR OPINION ONTO RANA NAVEED AND KAMRAN AKMAL. 2) PLAY YOURSELF TOO, YOU ARE WAY DOWN THE RANKING NOW. 3) BATTING ORDER SHOULD BE LIKE THIS 1) Shoaib Malik and Imran Nazir to open 2) Younis 3) Yousuf 4) Yourself 5) Razzak 6) Afridi 7) Shoaib Akhter(if he is included) 8) Kamran 9) whoever ......

    4) All the team should use brain

    5) CONTACT ME FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS.....

  • Sameem Lutfi on February 16, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    We're all on the same page here Ali A. Neither of us wants to propogate acts of sectarian/racial discrimination. However, the fact remains that it is an on going issue that mars our selection process. Being defensive about it is not going to resolve the issue.

  • Arshad Jamal on February 15, 2007, 18:12 GMT

    Sorry Kamran for this is a cricket forum not a political or religious one but since it is an ongoing discussion, I have decided to add my two red penies to it.

    To my friend "ali a": I would agree on one and differ on one with you.

    To every one: Hey guys calm down and please do not bring any sactarian and political issue in this forum.

    I am from Karachi and have feelings too, but for God's sake do not look at it like that. Pakistan is a small country with big population and Lion-hearted people. Lets propagate love and unity not hatered. Those people make me feel sick who bring MQM flags in the cricket stadiums and should be banned for life. We are all Pakistani regarless of origin language and religion. All Pakistanis including Muslims, christians, Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, etc. are, for being Pakistanis brothers and sisters. Lets make a resolution to ourselves and do away with all the bigotry wether it be sectarian or religious and unit togather to form a punch. I don't believe for a moment that Inzi, who may not be a genius, is a bigot. Lets not go into this shamfull debate and pray that who ever gets the chance perform good for the hounor of the country. Diserving players should be given a chance and the only origin we have is Plakistan.

    In my earlier post when I have stressed the need to introduce the new players, I by no means meant to assert that the new players are going to bring the WC 2007 to Pakistan. I am an optimist but also a practicle and realistic guy. For practicle reasons I do not believe that Pakistani team is going to bring much glory to the country in WC 2007. It was needed by management some time ago to start preparing for the WC by introducing new players and groom them. You don't need ages to recognize somebody's talent and temprament.

    "ali a" has answered his own argument in his post by saying: "As I have been pointing out its not the team on paper that can win. Its the professional attitude, mental toughness, confidence, responsibility and team effort that win matches. Which shamefully our team is lacking. Its the laid back attitude which is causing inconsistency in performance."

    Thank you. Professional attitude, mental toughness, confidence, responsibility and team effort win the matches.

    1992 WC was won by fighting qualities of the whole team and two crickiting genius Miandad and Imran.

    In 1978 there was a state of emergency, sort of, when lots of superstars were not available and in a haste a new team was put togather but it was not a process of gradual grooming a buliding a team and was not expected to give great result.

    In 1981, it was shamfull that players have revolted against Miandad but the new team did perfom good under him and also won.

    When you are persistant with a bunch of players and all you get in return is lethargy then why not do away with them bring in new blood and new talent which might bring in all those qualities which we talked about and it might help the current players to sort out their problems and improve their performance. You don't build a world beater team in a moment but it takes years to build the world beater team, provided somebody is prepared to take the first step. Aussis traveled a long journey to get where they are now. Losing the WC 2007 is not the end of the road, there are many more WCs coming. Just be positive and don't try to take short cuts and hope for a miracle. Long term planning, strict rules and hard work are the keys.

  • Faisal on February 15, 2007, 5:16 GMT

    Well as for Lufti sahab comments, I may not tell karachi from Sindh. But at least I speak the truth. It is because of people like you that we have a Punjab XI representing Pakistan at the World cup and not a true Pakistan XI. Food for thought my friend, smile.

  • ali a on February 15, 2007, 2:37 GMT

    To Karachi walay and Faisal (I believe):

    You guys are trying to play a race (or sectarian game) here. I don't believe its players from Punjab not giving chances to players from other areas. Aren't Afridi, Gul, Yasir Hameed and Younis Khan Pathans and from frontier area - that's not Punjab? What about Kaneria and Faisal Iqbal - aren't they from Karachi? I remember Mustaq Mohammad (and all the 4 Mohammad brothers were) from Karachi and they played great cricket for many years. What about Javid Miandad.

    Let me tell you I have never thought of where is a good player from - whether Karachi, Lahore or Peshawar - it does not matter as long as he is performing. No one cares, after all he's a Pakistani first and then a Punjabi or Sindi or Pathan. I cannot forget that in 1992 there were half Pakistani flags and half MQM flags (what a shame). Have you guys ever seen flags from any political party from any country in any world events? Never! Did you any sikhs carrying their flags in India games or Tamil tiger flags in Sri Lanka game ever? No wonder when they look at our games they laugh at how divided we are. You think if Sind or Baluchistan become separate country, will India or US let them hold their own, never. Look at what's happening in Iraq - Shia vs Sunni - both Muslims and they are killing each other so mercilessly. So stop being a Sindi or Punjabi or MQM and be a Pakistani and a Muslim.

    Enough said as this is a cricket blog and not a political column.

    Some people have pointed out the names of the rookies and U19 teams here. And mentioned that how Imran and Miandad gambled with them - so why doesn't the current team? First of all lets not forget we completely overhauled the team in 2003 and got new raw talent. But lets see if it has changed anything. I would say nothing. Pakistan always had a record of winning at home and losing abroad (exception being few games or series) and this with experienced and inexperienced players.

    If you read about 1978 England series, when Pakistani top players were unavailable due to World series, Pakistan lost seires with new talent. Again if you read about 1981, when senior players refused to play under Miandad against Sri Lanka, Pakistan performance was mediocre until they came back in last test in which Imran completely destroyed them.

    Moral of the story: Young and inexperience players cannot win you big games. You can only get good young players identified - such as Moshin Khan and Salim Malik at that time. I believe we got Gul and Asif and others out of 2003.

    As I have been pointing out its not the team on paper that can win. Its the professional attitude, mental toughness, confidence, responsibility and team effort that win matches. Which shamefully our team is lacking. Its the laid back attitude which is causing inconsistency in performance.

    Of course there is politics too, but this has to do with PCB mgmt and Inzi and Bob. Not Punjab vs Sind. I believe every other person has been experimented with so far.

    We let go of: 1. Sharyar Khan as CEO PCB(I don't know if he was good or bad, but the timing of it just few months before WC), then 2. Zaheer Abbas as a mgr. I believe if he was a mgr in SA (he would have given some good advices to our batsmen compared to Talat Ali because of his experience). 3. Waqar Younis - who has one of the best strike rates in ODI cricket 4. And now PCB fitness coach Compton.

    Its not that you cannot let them go, its the timing of it all. PCB should have tried to reconcile their differences considering the timing and sensitivity of the WC tournament.

  • Sameem Lutfi on February 14, 2007, 18:48 GMT

    On a complete tangent - Good Lord! Granted that over the years Inzi has been one of Pakistan's most valuable assests. Granted that he has saved many a match and batted superbly throughout his career. Granted that he is the most senior player on the squad and has the most experience - with all due respect he's an IDIOT. I apologize for my choice of words but some of the recent decisions he has made, as captain, would leave the best of us at a loss for words.

    I strongly believe that if after 15+ years of international cricket you can't read the pitch or make an intelligent decision after winning the toss, it should not matter how senior you are. I think there might have been half a valid justification if Inzi were capable of using his experience on field, for having him captain the side, however, he has consistently proven that he is incapable of doing so. Yet, as Faisal pointed out, he is capable of telling Punjab from Sindh. I think that almost guarantees him a future in the PCB selection comittee if nothing else.

  • tariq on February 14, 2007, 18:24 GMT

    What ajoke by selectors selected rao Iftikhar before he played any one day in SA he must be supported by a very strong lobby, and discarding Azhar only on the performance of one game in which he bowled not a bad spell. Also I think Yaser Arafat deserve to be given a chance. Also under present performance Rana Naveed does not have any place in the team.

  • Asad Bangash, Toronto on February 14, 2007, 18:21 GMT

    I think if Rana Naveed bowls in WC, a lot of batting records would be shattered...Keeping fingers crossed !!

  • alex on February 14, 2007, 18:15 GMT

    Everyone contributing to this blog better not keep their hopes too high. This band of players doesn't possess any talent apart from Yousuf and Afridi. The rest are a bunch of journeymen. Gone are the days that Pakistan could boast natural talent to get them through. We now have the likes of Rana and Kaneria as front line bowlers in the World cup squad. Surely there must be some half decent bowlers around in PAkistan to take up the role when others are injured. Rana is not a consistent bowler and Kaneria is not a wicket taker in one dayers. If i were selecting the squad then just cut your losses and get a team that will at least get past the group stage. Pick decent batsmen and decent bowlers not bits and peices players. Just keep one all rounder (Afridi) dispense with the KAneria question and get a wickey who can hold onto the ball. That way at least the team can post a half decent total and try and defend it with bowlers who know what they are doing. The all rounder experiment has failed for far too long. Sorry guys but come March and APril u guys are going to be taking antidepressants...I've already planned a holiday so i can't see the carnage or even hear about it. Kamran forget about whether Kaneria can make a difference, lets look to the next world cup and see who is coming through the ranks. Since 1999 the country has discovered one bowler...Mohd Asif

  • Kamran on February 14, 2007, 17:29 GMT

    I hope all you loosers are watching last game with South Africa - you're so called bowler RAO SAHIB is getting a blood bath there - go figure you idiiots

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 14, 2007, 16:48 GMT

    South Africa may win this 5th ODI convincingly today when they will bat after this innings break. But, hats off to Pakistan for improving their batting performance from the previous match. From 107 all out to 153 all out in 41 overs, this is an improvement and an achievement. No doubt Shuan Pollock bowled well, but Hafeez and Imran Nazir are to be blamed for a poor start. Nazir after being dropped in the deep on a poor hook shot, should have controlled his shots instead went hard and skied up like Afridi and Pollock did the rest.

    The best middle order on paper collapsed yet again and did not manage to put on a decent score, the trio of YY&I contributed a mere 24 runs and that's a shame. No wonder why the SA commentators brag about their player's bowling, fielding and even batting performances. They were bragging about SA's fielding and praising every single effort made by them and every single catch they took as a great catch. Kamran Akmal's catch which Prince took was constantly referred to as a 'splendid' catch of the match. If you look at it in slow motion replay, the ball hit the lower end of Kamran's bat, the full swing of the bat may look like a very forceful and a cracking shot, but in reality it wasn't that cracking and it got stuck to Prince's hand. Anyways, when they win, then why shouldn't they miss any opportunity to brag about their players? Whereas, Ramiz Raja explodes his frustration into loud thinking on the air, which is not a good thing to do. A commentator needs to be a diplomat and not a critic. If he wants to criticize Pakistani players then he should write a column and not sit there and complain to the whole world while the match is still in progress.

    Something about the fielding of SA and about their coach Jonty Rhodes. I don't know if anyone would agree with me, but this is funny and I can't stop laughing at this thought. You all may have noticed that, after every catch or a good fielding effort by any SA fielder they always show Jonty Rhodes in the player's balcony with his blond hair all over his forehead, and the black sunglasses, and that smile on his face, reminds me of Princess Diana. He definitely has those looks. Thats besides the point, but most people reckon Jonty as a fielding icon, even Pakistan hired him for a couple of weeks and paid him a hefty fees, which was nothing but a farce and a waste of money.

    About Pakistan's batting. I have said this before and I would not hesitate to repeat it again that Shoaib Malik should open the innings either with Imran Nazir or Shahid Afridi. Because, Malik has the ability to start a slow innings and he can always play the role of a second fiddle and when he stays on the field for a longer time, he can also explode and brings his strike rate up very easily and that is why he would be more effective playing in that slot. The only thing that he should be reminded is 'not to poke his bat for a wide outswinger'. None of the Pakistani players except Yousuf has any foot work and he too was slow today and paid the price. Can't anyone emulate Javed Miandad's foot work? Or among the current players, Chanderpaul has the ugliest stance but he is so swift and his footwork is so good, he shuffles and plays his shots perfectly well.

    Why is that Aloo being so reluctant to come at number 3? Why does he always send Younis Khan? YK is not a one day player and if at all he wants to retain a spot being the vice captain, he must practice wicket keeping and relieve 'out of form' Kamran Akmal and that would create an opportunity for a full time batsman or a bowler.

    Shouldn't Razzaq be advised to use a normal bat instead of a long handle when he comes to bat early? Long handle is good if he is using it in the death overs. Everyone knows that his weakness is in handling the short pitch balls or bouncers and that is because he holds the long handle bat high up, which is good to tackle half volleys and good length balls but when you try to play a hook shot you end up skying it. Can't Uncle Bob see this? Plus Woolmer should also correct Razzaq's throwing action from the boundry. Why does he need to emulate a bowling style when throwing the ball from the boundary? By doing that he is slowing his throw. Uncle Bob seems to be more concerned about his laptop, camera and binoculars but hardly ever tackles the real problem.

    About the SA bowlers, except for Shuan Pollock who usually completes his 10 over quota in one session, especially when he is taking wickets, no one is as effective as him. Imran Nazir was able to destabilize Pollock only once at Durban, its not easy to do that every time. Ntini is OK upto 5 overs, if he cannot take a wicket in the first five overs he is not so effective bowling regular batsmen in his next five overs. Nel is a mediocre so no need to talk about him. Kallis, can be demoralized if he is hit over the ropes in his first over, then he gets too emotional like Nel and cannot maintain his line and length. In short SA's weakness is, "they do not have a good bowler to bowl the death overs," especially if regular batsmen are playing till the end.

    Therefore, in my opinion SA cannot be so effective in the Caribbean for a team that will play aggressively against them and also play full 50 overs. Besides, they do not have the temperament to win a big tournament, they have proved it many times and never won the WC. Some might argue that by law of averages they have a good chance this time, but I doubt. Even with this win today which is possible and, even if they achieve the top ranking in ODI's toppling Australia's record, they are still not a formidable force to lift the WC.

    If Pakistan win today, that will not only surprise everyone but it will be the biggest miracle for them. So lets sit back and see how Rana Naveed is going to help SA in achieving the 153 runs in 25 overs or less. :-)

    The game has just started, Asif has bowled his second ball and got Smith out on a thick edge and what a shame Smith still standing and asking the umpire, when the ball went almost to the first slip where Kamran took the catch. This looks interesting now. :-)

  • arshad kashmir india on February 14, 2007, 15:37 GMT

    dear kamran pak cricket is in tatters watching 5th one day.captain & pcb all are to be blamed.firat imp issue of asif & shoib.It's obvious that they'll be having some traces of sreiod in blood so wat;s point retesting them that will only add to already embarassing situation.anyway they shd be punished only if their steriod levels are more than last ones.pcb shd announce that much before testing.not that i want shoib in team he adds to chaos and he'll never last world cup even if he starts.now inzi please wake up.be little innovative. u'll be retiring anyway after cup stop be scared and for GOD's sake dont cup at no 6/7.higher u go lesser will be pressure of many wickets.dont u get it.when shoib malik has good enough technique to open in tests why not in odi's now that all .plz use kaneria as attacking not defensive let him go 4 few runsothers have failed.

  • khansahab on February 14, 2007, 15:31 GMT

    after today's batting debacle i hope people will realise that the concept of "specialist openers" is flawed and that razzaq should be ousted from the team. but pakistani selectors dont learn do they. i dont know why hafeez, nazir and razzaq are playing when we need to have Asim Kamal, Fawad Alam and Azhar Mahmood in their respective positions.

  • Toni on February 14, 2007, 15:22 GMT

    Selecting Danish –

    Here are the cons – what have we (ICC and the team) doing for the past 4 years for the preparation of the WC? Has he been tried and tried again? and him being the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ is as close to what Collin Powell has found in Iraq. This is not the time to TRY – and if we are so eager to try, then try someone new and young that you ICC – has been, supposedly, grooming for the future and this world cup.

    Please give me Danish’s record of the last 2 years? NOTHING impressive. Hard working – give me a break. In order to make it to a pro team you have to work hard…unless you are Zaheer Khan and India is in desperate need for fast bowlers.

    Pro – West Indies pitches react close to the sub-continent type pitches and with Danish’s experience, he can help.

    Match Winner – I have yet to see that.

  • HardTalk on February 14, 2007, 15:18 GMT

    Lets be pragmatic and practical here; we have to remove Inzimam from the team altogether. He has become arrogant and has formed an unholy league with Woolmer. Inzimam is establishing a wrong tradition of gang-ism in the team and destroying the Pakistan cricket. Dont get me wrong, he might be a good batsman of the past. And what a pitty; that sacred cow called "Dr." Naseem Ashraf!!! I honestly think Inzimam's presence is destroying the cricket team. Well, Bari doesnt seem to be a far sighted selector to me. Cricket needs a complete overhaul; lets do it. Alas! but what to do with The most venerable and genious of brains of currents time, the Godly Patron in Chief of PCB, His Excellency Pervez Musharraf!!! Well, one really needs some balls to question his ingenuity! Oh good grief......my Pakistan!!!

  • Arshad Jamal on February 14, 2007, 15:17 GMT

    Atlast PCB did something sensible in selecting Keneria. Having a quality wrist spinner in a OD team is a blessing. Abdul Qadir has started the trend and was very successful and then Mushtaq and Warn continued on.

    Practically even at this time Mushtaq is the best choice for a wrist spinner but for some dim-witted reason he a a bowling coach rather then being in the playing XI. Keneria and next best choice.

    No disrespect to JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA who has threatened to "Court Marshal" PCB if they try any new player in WC, but, I would like to ask you that who would like to play in the team? Imran Farhat who is only there because of his connections otherwise is only good for Galli cricket, Mohammad Hafeez, Yasir Hameed, Faisal Iqbal, Rana Naveed, Salman Butt, Sami, Rao Iftikhar, etc., etc....the list goes on and on. All these players have been tried time and again and failed miserably and should be banned for life.

    There is nothing wrong picking up new players for WC. Miandad was a new player in 1975 WC. Imran Khan took uncapped Shahid Mahboob in 1983 WC. Again Imran Khan brough Waseem Haider and Iqbal Sikander in 1992 WC.

    Our history proves that picking up raw talent and put them on the highest level has been a good omen rather then a bad one. Wasim Akram was picked by Miandad when he has played just on first class match. Waqar Younus, Salim Malik, Ramiz raja and so on, the list goes on and on. I don't see anything wrong picking up Fawad Alam.

    For all practical reasons Pakistan has already lost WC 2007. Our batsmen are only consistant in giving out pathatic and shamefull batting display. All our bowlers are unfit. Isn't is incredible that Pakistan, who produce fast bowlers on an assambly line does not have any fast bowler available at all! Shoiab is injured, Gul is injured, Asif's elbow problem might recur, Sami is unfit (not that it really matter), Shabbir is unfit, Rana and Rao (Parchi) Ahmed should not permitted to come out of the Galli cricket, shahid Nazir just does not have what it takes, etc., etc...Who is going to shoulder the fast bowling responsibility?? Abdul Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood?? You have a keeping Allrounder who drop more caches then he makes runs.

    Don't you think its about time the team goes through some drastic changes which might benifit the Pakistan cricket in the future even if not in this WC??

    There are wealth of talent in the country but nobody want to give them a chance. Samiullah Niazi and Mohammad Irshad, Yasir Arafat, etc., may grow old waiting for there turn.

    As so many participents in this bolg has demanded and so do I forcfully that fast bowlers from U-19 Anwar ali, Jamshed Ahmed and wicket keeper Sarfaraz Ahmed should be given a chance as they top class cricketers and diserved to be in teams ahead of the "chalay hoay kartus" (spent bullets) the PCB has been persistent with.

    Even drafting Rashid Latif or Moin Khan is not bad idea.

  • Usman on February 14, 2007, 15:15 GMT

    I have only one question and please Mr.Kamran if you can explain it in detail please do so. Why are Rana naved in top 11.? he can't bowl, he can bat, he is given chance over azar mahmood, i would even let sami play instead of him. He must be giving good money to inzi and co or there is someone really behind is back.

  • Hassan on February 14, 2007, 14:49 GMT

    Why people from Karachi consider it as being province? Why they compare it to whole province of Punjab or NWFP? It would make sense if they compare Karachi to Lahore. And I agree the whole selection should be based on pure merit, even if it means all 11 players come from Sind or NWFP or Baluchistan or Punjab.

  • Disgruntled Pakistani on February 14, 2007, 14:15 GMT

    Well. It really doesnt matter anymore. Pakistani team is on quick sand. The good players play like rookies and the bad players (Aka Naved, Akmal and all the openers we have) have cricketing brains the size of monkeys. The management is worse than a public school administration. These fat cats (Dr. Seuss, Wasim Bhari and all those in the shadows) at the top need to be deflated, thrown in a sack out into the sea. I even do not have to say that i hope (because im pretty certain of it) that pakistan will lose before the semifinal. Even if we desimate the other sides before the semis, come the semifinal we will be thrashed and hung out to dry in the rain. I say this because then maybe the board will be shaken up. And shaken up hard. The old beurucratic leeches and need to be burnt off the skin of Pakistan cricket Now the players. If not, i think the pple of Pakistan should surely burn them on a steak. Inzamam, Yousuf, Younis, Asif aside, none of these punters are truly world class. Rana Naved and Akmal have paid some good money for their inclusion into the team. Now i hear Naved is in the WC squad. Hey i seriously think i have a chance. Sigh.... I hate PCB.

  • Asif on February 14, 2007, 11:09 GMT

    I fail to understand why Kaneria is not part of Inzimam's plan for the ODIs. Does he still believe in the myth the spinners are a luxury in one day matches. In the 1970s there was a general consensus among the so called cricket experts that spinners cannot be a part of One day cricket. Is Inzamam still living in the 70s. If you look at the other teams spinners are a very important weapon in their game plan. Examples are Daniel Vetorri,Muralithan,Panesar,Kumble,Shane Warne (when playing ODIs). Kaneria is a aggressive and wicket taking bowler and the chances are pretty good that he will be equally effective in ODIs, although some days he will definitely go for runs, which is the case with every bowler. I don't think Inzimam is a brilliant tactician. Captains should be bold in decision making and should try different options. It would have been great if Kaneria had been made a regular member of ODI team, so by this time he would be ready for the world cup, but common sense seldom prevails among the cricket establishment in Pakistan and lot of decisions taken by the Captain,selectors and establishment defies logic.

  • Mansoor Hazir on February 14, 2007, 10:30 GMT

    Sorry in my earlier comments I had written the name of English wicketkeeper as Nigel, it is Paul Nixon. He is 37 while Moin is still 35.

  • Asim Aleem on February 14, 2007, 10:19 GMT

    Finally yesterday PCB announced the squad for the World Cup 2007, just one day after their request to delay the announcement was rejected by the ICC. May be some people will disagree but i think at the moment these are the best 15 players available except for one, i would have loved to see Sami in place of struggling with poor form Rana Naved. Due to the recent abundance of injuries and out of form bowlers Rana and Sami, Pakistan's pace battery or rather medium pace battery was more than ordinary looking for many. Brutal hammering of Pakistani bowlers at the hands of South African batsmen was never a good sign before the world cup that is why selectors opted to go for injured Shoaib, Asif and Gul. There was no point going into the world cup without having them in the squad, who knows it would have been worst than SA tour. There is enough time before the start of the second round that these bowlers can be rested for. Due to the fact that in this world cup each team has to play against every other team (much like the 92 world cup), only the best will make to the final four.

    If we talk about the opening batsmen it might have been useful to select a left handed opening batsman with Imran Nazir but with everlasting poor form of Imran Farhat and Salman Butt (who last played a one day match way back) their selection was never possible having missed out on the last one day series before World Cup. As far as the opening combination is concerned its going to be Hafeez (in Afridi's Absense) along with Imran Nazir. Team management could also try Kamran Akmal who has a good track record in West Indies but struggling with form lately.

    In the spin bowling department selectors have shown their trust once again for the experienced Danish Kaneria. It was a wise decision because Abdul Rahman having no experience of the big matches might have struggled. It remains to be seen that even after selection will Captain and Coach select Danish Kaneria in the Final Eleven. For the selection of Shoaib Akhter i think that Pakistan should use him in the Big Matches only, he is kind of a player who alone can change the complete result of the match. Many people might not agree but it was his marvelous spell of fast bowling due to which Pakistan came in a position from where they went on to win the Second Test in South Africa Tour. The impact of Asif's injury is also not very clear, personally i think Inzamam is responsible for making his injury worse. When he knew that Asif is not 100% fit, then why in the world Inzamam allowed him to play in SA one day series.

    Finally what every Pakistani would be hoping that our team repeat the heroics of Imran and company but for that they will require to play as a unit and put the differences behind.

  • Syed Naqvi on February 14, 2007, 10:00 GMT

    PCB management and selectors are as consistant as the English weather! There appears to be no logic behind the inclusion of Kaneria, Rana and Anjum, and the exclusion of Mahmood and Sami. There will be, I'm sure, many more twists and turns with regards to the squad before the first (and crucial) World Cup match. I can honestly see Gul and Akhtar making way for Sami and Azhar.

  • Nad on February 14, 2007, 8:48 GMT

    Regardless of whether Kaneria should have been picked or not, his selection is typical of the amateurish way our board is run. He's hardly played any ODI cricket in 2 years. For crying out loud, he's not even in the squad playing the last series before the world cup, yet we pick him anyway. They've had 4 years to build a side and with 2 weeks to go, we're throwing him into the fire. I actually feel sorry for him.

  • Robert on February 14, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    From what I have been lead to believe the pitches in the West Indies won't take to spin. Lets face it the old West Indian saying of "Too much pace is never enough!" says it all. With that in mind the best option for a spinner is Afridi. His ablity to mix it up as well as bowl a much faster ball make him ideally suited to those pitches. His current form with the ball proves that he is in good form. And lets face it, nobody would mind having his batting even as a tail ender.

    I think someone like Kumble will enjoy those pitches too. As he too is almost a medium pacer himself.

  • Faisal on February 14, 2007, 7:34 GMT

    Going through all the Kaneria comments one thing is quite apparent. I think it is time to leave all the political correctness behind. Blog writers like Kamran Abassi and other critics like Osman Samiuddin should write something on the dominance of one province in cricket.

    It is ironic when one province gets its lion share of mediocre cricketers not only going to the world cup but representing the country poorly for decades, while all the talented cricketers sit and wait their turns.

    Why is it, that all the cricket academies (not to mention all the other sports), selection board, cricket board blah blah, reside in this favorite province. There should be national merit for selection and a rotating presidency as well as equal number of selectors representing each province.

  • salem on February 14, 2007, 7:29 GMT

    first thing first: from what i understand, pakistan chose to have 3 not fully fit players for the world cup squad, so they could replace them during the world cup. if i remember right, pcb was denied more time to chose their squad. so, i am guessing that shoaib and umar gul might just play one crunch game and then go back to pakistan and get replaced by sami and maybe even azhar. its a long shot.. but that is the only way i can make sense of this madness. kaneria is an interesting choice. i thought that the only reason kaneria doesnt do too well in tests is because he mixes his delieveries up too often to surprise the batsmen. but that might not be the case for the odis.. batsmen will no longer be actually defending off kaneria while he is attacking and mixing them up... they'll have to score runs off him which might actually prove very difficult.. just a thought!

  • Karachi Walay on February 14, 2007, 7:15 GMT

    It is Ok Asad Bangash, don't be too furious. At least your province has *some* representation. But, just think about all this debate regarding Kaneria, the sole representation from Karachi,,, Smiles.

    Yasir Hameed should have been selected but then our talented brethern like Rao, Rana, Hafeez (19 runs/Game average), Akmal (I cannot keep or bat) would be left out ... grin!!!

  • HASHAR MUHMOOD Toronto on February 14, 2007, 6:57 GMT

    Not DK ,he is test player,his average is 50 runs per wicket.it is fast bowler who are not performing well ,if the fast bowler would not take wicket in first 20 overs.then dk,abdur rehman ,afridi, all get hit,fault is fast bowling not spinner.against west indies abdur rehman performed well with the average of 3 runs per over and got 6 wickets.in the 4th one day he bowled 2 overs when the smith was hitting all around.at that time he was out but asif dropped catch,main problem is fielding and fast bowling.if rana gave score 90 runs in match and get in world cup squad.why u dropped the arm bowler abdur rehman . in between 20 and 40 overs u will have to stop singles .abdur rehman done well against west indies ,but u did not give chance him in all matches against south africa.he was furure murlithern, give him chance consistently then u would get result.otherwise experiment would give u nothing only defeat.

    good luck pakistan

  • nwak on February 14, 2007, 6:37 GMT

    well well....if kaneria is "surprised and relieved" at his selection, im shocked...honestly.....PCB has also adapted the ways of our unpredictable team. in the end, though, i think its a smart decision. just hope that kaneria repays the faith put in him. imran nazir's inclusion has surprised me though...just one good performance on a flat pitch in four years is good enough for PCB to merit his inclusion. wat on earth are they thinking?? as for the pacers,it remains to be seen how many of them will actually play the matches. As Osman Samiuddin has said, "We're winging it now, hoping and praying. At least we're used to it. "

  • Faheem,Chicago,IL,USA. on February 14, 2007, 4:31 GMT

    WOW! ASKING TROUBLE IN THE MIDDLE OF WORLDCUP--! All crazy selection again,Now let me ask:

    Shoib Akhter - Is he fit,how about dope test and who will gaurantee that he will not get injured in the middle of first match.BAD SELECTION? Rana : Another bad selection.(Inzi's Fav.) Kaneria: Good move Akmal : Inz's favorite did not rest him,and didnot allow Zulquarnain to play & show his capabilities.....? Y.Hameed & Sami should have been selected in place of Rana & S.Akther.

    I.Nazir is good on dead & slow pitches and smaller teams.Salman Butt should have been selected. Let us assume pakistan brings the W.Cup,it will be with some individual performences with no efforts of Captain.(No manipulation,no calculations,defensive attitude and before he gets an idea the match is over.)

    Good Luck INZI............? WE PRAY FOR YOU,LAST LAST SOLUTION.Rest of the selection is good. Sorry for being Harsh....could not control. THANKS FAHEEM.

  • ali a on February 14, 2007, 4:29 GMT

    Well I just read that Salim Altaf got into a row with the team's fitness coach - Compton and he's quiting within a month. Way to go PCB, first Waqar now fitness coach and what a timing?

    First it was Dr Ashraf vs Waqar and now its Salim vs Compton. This says a lot about our mgmt. Whatever the cause - whether more money for Compton or a contract extension, If there would be any sense they should have tried to work their differences because the timing is so bad.

    Probably Compton saw an opportunity to put PCB on the defensive with more money since they are obviously so desperate to get their bowlers fit.

    This is just another blow to Pakistan side - one has to wonder how many are still out there and whether it will be able to deflect all this head wind coming there way...

    The team looked alright on paper at least. I would have liked Sami over Rana though and Yasir Hameed over Imran or Hafeez though. I would have prefered Moin or Rashid over Kamran though, and Mushy over Kaneria. But at the end of the day it does not matter.

    And to all those who are suggesting new names - U19 or other, as Javed A. pointed out its foolish to experiment this late in a major event with young players. If we look around India going with Sehwag and Irfan - Sri Lanka going with Arnold and New Zealand going with Tait. Everyone is going with experienced players (in the hope they click) over rookies...

    Pakistan problem is not that the players are old (as I said in other blog Aussie has one of the oldest teams), even SA team is old too. Its not the age of the players that is Pakistan problem. There problem is lack of mental toughness, lack of professionalism and responsibility. No young or new comer can cure this problem. Its a team effort and they have to pull it together.

    The other problem is no bowling coach. When bowlers were punished by SA, had there been a bowling coach (Waqar or Wasim), he would have first pointed out their mistakes and then shown them how to bowl. Alas, neither Woolmer nor Mushy qualifies as fast bowling coach. If Inzi wanted Mushy, he could have had him as Kaneria, Afridi and Hafeez coach and Waqar for the rest. PCB has enough deep pockets to afford two different bowling coaches - thanks to fans like us who would go to see any match (whether we win or lose).

    Lets pray that they pull of a miracle here!! Because its going to be nothing sort of this if they win..

    Hope Inzi, Younis and Bob are reading this blog

  • Shahab Shahid on February 14, 2007, 3:47 GMT

    It was sad to read foolish comments by some people that Kaneria is not a good fielder so he should not be in the side.They should keep in mind that a good batsmen or bowler cannot be thrown out of the team if he is not a good fielder as batting and bowling are much more important than fielding.Only fielding alone cannot win you matches.

  • yazi on February 14, 2007, 2:40 GMT

    I am stunned at the depth of our team picked my PCB. Openning will be problem, no settled player at the top, & shouib akthar injury will be another major threat to the team, to top that Afridi's inconsistant batting apporach, going for 6 on every ball will add wounds to already Wounded Pakistani team.

    Wishing for the best for Pak under these circumstances...

    thanks, yazi www.seedabrain.blogspot.com

  • Sefal Khan on February 14, 2007, 2:33 GMT

    Now you are making sense Kamran - I agree 100% but you will need a new keeper as Kamran Akmal has no idea when keeping for DK.

    I cannot believe Pakistan think tank select Rahman ahead of DK. Rahman cannot hold the bat (DK is far superior with the bat)and certainly no way near DK when it comes to bowling.

    Pakistan squad has been announced and DK is in - let's hope the faster bowlers can recover from injuries and regain fitness before it is too late.

    Good Luck to All

  • Andrew G on February 14, 2007, 1:58 GMT

    Hi Kamran,

    Your 100% right about the middle overs needing someone that makes it difficult for the batsman. Medium pacers come on to the bat too easily. I am a fan of Kaneria and believe he should of always been one of the first bowlers considered for the WC. A big drawback though is - he should of been playing regularly in ODI's leading up to now.

    He will need to play every practise match to get close to bowling the right lines. Good selection but I feel that he may out of sync with ODI's come May.

  • Asad Bangash - Toronto on February 14, 2007, 1:39 GMT

    The biggest shame of all is Yasir Hameed not being selected. Rana naveed and Rao Ifitkhar and yasir being out ?. Just have a look at yasir hammeed's record. Itz averaging around 37 despite being in and out of team. I think pakistan's selection is based on province's quota. They must have said we have Shahid Afrid, Umar Gul and Younis Khan from NWFP. We can't add more from this province. I m furioussssssss !!

  • Owais on February 14, 2007, 1:17 GMT

    The selectors finally did the right thing by selecting Kaneria. He tryuly is a matchwinner. I am surprised that the likes of Fawad Alam haven't been picked. He should replace Inzi once he retires.

  • khalnayak_17@hotmail.com on February 14, 2007, 0:03 GMT

    i just read the pakistan combination for wc and see many mistakes in it. despite shoaib asif n gul we need sami n shahid nazir not rao iftikhar n rana because the shoaib trio needs to be rested in between matches if you want them to make it atleast in the quarter or semis in full form. 5 bowlers of pace 2 allround spinners(afridi n malik) 1 wicket keeper and 7 batsmen....if ur batting can to till no.8 including all rounders, than you are likely to score 250 n above, n these bowlers can pretty much defend that total.... pleeeez have rana n iftikhar replaced, n include farhat....whats wrong with you guys???

  • Mawali on February 14, 2007, 0:00 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, this is just one of those situations where “you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t”. Because the Pilgrims (pak team) are in such dire straits that anyone with a pair of hands even two left hands as in the case of Akmal can and should be considered. After reading the team announcement it seems as though Kaneria would have to get injured to be selected. With the list of bowlers we have announced Shoaib and Asif with the imminent drug tests have the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. Gul, will come back to the team after being out of action for months, as for Rao, you might as well send a card to the opposition saying an early Christmas present folks. Enjoy the run fest.

    A good team should always have and rely on mostly specialists in all positions. Kaneria is definitely a specialist and an expensive one at that. Kaneria in order to have a measure of success, which he could; would have to work diligently on his wayward line that allows the batsmen to feast on halwa bowling. Perhaps Mushy Bhai would be so kind as to find the time to work with Kaneria and the rest of the injured and the infirmed then perhaps, perhaps we can have a winner on our hands. AMF!

  • Imtiaz on February 13, 2007, 23:42 GMT

    It is pretty simple we need atleast 4 wickettaking bowler in oneday game and two backup bowler to make a formidable bowling lineup if he want to grab world cup, right now current situation we have only M. Asif and umer gul if fit, so it would be silly not to have Kaneria with all his limitation not to be included. Rana, Sami Afridi ,rao And razzaq currently are not wicket taking bowlers as the record clearly shows, i hope Rana can join but its unlikely .. so there you have it.

  • Shakeel Qazi (LA) on February 13, 2007, 22:54 GMT

    Kaneria should be in team not because he cried when he got back home after SA test series, but becuase pakistan team has big problem with its pace attack. Half of the pace attack is going through fitness problem. The other half has no potential to be in First-class let alone be in national team. We have serious problem with Kamran akmal who has captain blessing all the way to WC2007. There is no reason now to drop him since we have not tried anyone else for his replacment. Considering all these circumstances , i still think selectors has made right choice of selecting Kaneria in WC2007 squad. Lastly, If Imran khan says we need spinner in WI, we should get one because he is the one who got pak WC in the past.

    Shakeel

  • Atif Subhani on February 13, 2007, 22:37 GMT

    Picking Kaneria is the right move as we don't have lot of attacking bowlers in our side if Shoaib Akhter is unfit (God-Forbid).. Dropping Azhar Mehmood is a clear example of ignoring such a fine talent for no apparent reason. He was just given a couple of oppurtunites and then was dropped !! If they say he didn't scored so would someone explain who scored in that match and if someone argues he didn't pick up wickets then tell who picked wickets in that match ? No one did !! There is no way you can prefer Hafeez, Rana, Malik or Rao Ifthikhar over Azhar Mehmood !! He is a great all-round cricketer who gives his 100 % and is mentally strong !! He has proved it for Pakistan, Surrey and UBL ... played in 99' WC and had a great record !! 11 116 37 16.57 0 0 13 3/24 26.84 0 1 0 .. why is he being ignored :( Realistically speaking Pakistan won't be able to achieve any good results with these selection injustices !!

  • Irfan on February 13, 2007, 22:19 GMT

    Sorry, but a world class spinner needs to have the wits to play ODIs in modern cricket. and frankly, Kaneria is short of cricketing sense, he is way too emotional and keeps dissapointing big time in test crickets. There is no replacement for a guy like Saqlin, ignored into darkness by political decisions and media spotlight on guys like Imran Nazir and Shaoib Akhtar.

  • Khurram Ahmed (Jamaica) on February 13, 2007, 21:31 GMT

    Kaneria would be a second #11 alongside Asif. His field has certainly improved but it remains a huge doubt. [b]I find myself wishing Kaneria was as good a fielder as Monty Panesar has become.[/b] Tragic, but Monty has shown what hard work can achieve. He has also worked in the nets and asked to serve as England's night watchman. Still waiting for that kind of initiative from Kaneria.

    I wish Kaneria got a few recent matches in the ODI format. He is a huge question mark. That is the greatest problem - we don't know what we get with Kaneria.

    If he does make into the playing XI of a healthy team, then we will have to drop one of the allrounders.

    Nazir, Akmal, Younis, Yousuf, Inzamam, Afridi, Razzaq, Akhtar, Gul, Kaneria, Asif.

    3 dedicated pacemen, 1 dedicated spinner, and among the part-timers, 1 leggie and 1 medium-pacer.

  • Rizwan on February 13, 2007, 21:20 GMT

    Umm.......are we really forgetting the maulling that Danish kaneria received against Brian Lara....and usually every other quality batsmen...taking him will be disaster....Afridi's legspin is all we need during the middle overs!...look at his bowling figures plus he can bat too sometimes as compared to Kaneria ...who will just be another burden batting wise ...i mean if he wants to open the innings with Mohd. Sami....he just might be able to make more runs then are usual openers!

  • Imtiaz on February 13, 2007, 21:01 GMT

    It is pretty simple we need atleast 4 wickettaking bowler in oneday game and two backup bowler to make a formidable bowling lineup if he want to grab world cup, right now current situation we have only M. Asif and umer gul if fit, so it would be silly not to have Kaneria with all his limitation not to be included. Rana, Sami Afridi ,rao And razzaq currently are not wicket taking bowlers as the record clearly shows, i hope Rana can join but its unlikely .. so there you have it.

  • kamran on February 13, 2007, 20:43 GMT

    Playing RAO and RANA inplace of SAMI -- this is height of hypocracy - go fix your house first before calling H.Gibbs of S-Africa being a racist ! Pure Punajabi Geeri as always

  • Ashnan Yousuf on February 13, 2007, 20:09 GMT

    It's official. The selectors are reading this blog! (on reading that Kaneria is in the WC squad)

  • IMRAN QURAISHI-New Jersey on February 13, 2007, 19:56 GMT

    In my opinion Kaneria is not going to make any impression in the world cup as he was not a part of the world cup plans to begin with. The only reason he is in this world cup team is cuz most of the front line bowlers are injured and he is not. This is a no brainer as we all know that. I personally was expecting Pakistan to include 3 talented and upcoming young guns who could have changed the whole complexion of this world cup by getting this cup for Pakistan and those names are 1.ANWAR ALI 2.FAWAD ALAM 3.SALMAN BUTT Unfortunately our selectors are old and disabled people,including Inzi who is nothing but a bulky religious preacher,who is trying to pressure other team members into growing beards and right now there is a competition in the team for growing the longest possible beard and Youhana is winning that competition in a Youhana style. The new bowling coach is also not staying behind in this competition and that is the only reason why he even got this coaching job cuz he has a long beard that matches Inzi's requirements. Unfortunately Waqar Younis could have kept his job intact, only if he would have grown a beard and that too an ugly looking one cuz the French cut beards are not allowed any more. It was only allowed in the 70's and early 80's when Wasim Hassan Raja brother of Ramiz Raja played for Pakistan and I used to be a great fan of his batting and bowling abilities. In short we need to take some young blood with us to use them as secret weapons and play attacking cricket. For God sake please do not take Mr PARCHI RAO IFTIKHAR as he is just a club level bowler and we have better bowlers than him who should be a part of this world cup team.

  • Tay'yab-Ali on February 13, 2007, 19:55 GMT

    Kaneria is in at last. After the new ball opening attack; Kaneria is the only real attacking option in the middle overs.

    All of you who talk about Kaneria leaking runs against lara-well there is only one Lara. Apart from lara only gilchrist has had some success against him. Every one else, including the Indians and KP, have not really dominated him. Look at murli, can't bat or field but does a job in the middle overs.

    I feel sorry for Azar, but to be fair he has looked unfit and ineffective.

    Nazir is a brave decision but one which could be justified expecially if he fires against some of the top teams. We have tried every one else, Although I am a Salman Butt fan I hope nazir repays the faith.

    I have real feeling Shoaib & Gul may not get through their rehab and therefore Asif, Rao (Rana if he finds his form or sami if Asif is excluded due to injury or WADA), Kaneria, afridi, razzak, malik can do a job.

    There are a lot of teams who; although consistant are nevertheless mediocre. Teams such as these do not win WC.

    To beat teams like Aus, SA, Ind you need players like......well match winners which pakis have in abundance

  • Farrukh on February 13, 2007, 19:52 GMT

    I am all for Kaneria in WC squad.But can he bat?6 runs in 16 ODIs, with best of 3 not out does not promise a lot.And where would you hide him in the field?

  • Syed Irfan Ahmed on February 13, 2007, 19:49 GMT

    Not a doubt in my mind as to the inclusion of Keneria! One can question why? the answer is becuase in the middle overs it gives you an attacking option a bowler who can take wickets and against whom scoring will be tough. Containment is also key but would'nt it be a good strategy to get the batsman out. I know broaching this subject here does not make any sense but when it comes to spin it is the captain that has to know the strengths of his bowler and use him to his full potential and I donot think Inzi as good as he is has got it. Azhar needs be prefered over Rana but I dont see that happening. Good luck Pakistan!!!!!

  • SAMI SYED from Toronto on February 13, 2007, 19:38 GMT

    KAMRAN SIR,

    I HAVE TO SAY ONE THING:

    You must've some great sources, for you to put up this blog just-in-time for the KENERIA to be actually selected... LOL

    I would have given him no chance, then again, it's PAKISTAN we are talking about. Who knows they might even win the World Cup and Keneria might be the leading wicket taker... WOW!

    How Keneria found a spot in ODI's bewilders me only because he hasn't even been played in ODI's for more than a year. ( I read only 7 ODI's under BOB-INZI)...

    Let's hold on to our chairs as maybe Keneria's DRAMATIC ently foreshadows something DRAMATIC in the World CUP!

    Sami

  • Paul Joshua Mathew on February 13, 2007, 19:22 GMT

    Ah!at last , common sense has prevailed. We can now see a better chanced Pakistan, thats if Kaneria plays. Evryone has mentioned here that afridi , malik and hafeez are allrounder options but remember its a process. Warne didn't turn into a good one day bowler overnight. He was given the belief in him by the captain(s). He had teh chance to attack and responded so... If Kaneria tries to take wickets and succeeeds in doing so!then y do u want a bowler who will mostly contain??? It is audacious. Jsut the way Harbhajan is being prefered. ROmesh Powar gets 3-4 wickets at around 4.5 an over in 2 alternate matches and still is outta the team. Harbhajan gets maybe a wicket and bowls at 4 an over. Which is better? Powar of course. So thats what we need of Kaneria which others would fail in . i hope my point si in perspective.

  • Arslan Mohammed from Norway on February 13, 2007, 19:02 GMT

    Salam guys, lets just hope all is well in the pakistan team, and they go on to win.

    My initial hope was to pick a guy jr. like Anwar Ali the hero of the pak U-19 World Cup last year. He can swing the ball and is a wonderful guy to have for Pakistan - This world cup could have been a launching pad. OK i Know he is young but lets face it guys everyone else is injured or drugged. Anwar Ali would have been a cool guy to have. I mean last week he singlehandedly destroyed Rawilpindi in their match against Karachi.

    Just cool to have a surprize thats all.

  • jamil on February 13, 2007, 18:35 GMT

    shane Warne dont think he is good for one dayers but Kaneria thinks he is vow;.He should remember that Brian Lara is still alive and their are Gilchrist and DHoni and others ,come on man they are gonna eat you alive.Whats wrong with having new talent someone mentioned Anwar Ali .But please someone explain selection of Kamran AKmal,why why why.I think he or his loved one has done some Vodoo(Kala Jadoo, TaveeJ) on BaRi,Or Moin khan has some real curse.

  • Fateen Ahmad on February 13, 2007, 17:53 GMT

    The problem with Kaneria is he cannot bat and he is not a good fielder. We don't have good openers who can take shine off new ball. It usually take four wickets to take shine off the ball. That brings us under a lot of pressure. Whenever our openers perform, we almost always win the match. Now having said that I must reiterate the importance of some here some there all rounders because they give us batting option upto number 9

  • inqlabi on February 13, 2007, 17:46 GMT

    keneria is best fielder

  • Shahzaib Quraishi on February 13, 2007, 17:44 GMT

    I am generally pleased with the WC squad that PCB announced. Kaneria is a good bowler who just needs a little confidence through an extended run in the team. But having him come in for the WC might just be asking for too much, considering the fact that he hasnt played ODIs in the recent past, much like Imran Nazir. But I believe in both of them coming good. Hopefully Pakistan would use them throughout the WC, and not just intermittently. Spare a thought for Yasir Hameed. The poor guy has done everything he can, and done nothing wrong whenever hes been given one-off chances. I guess his performances have stopped mattering. He must have done/said something wrong off the field either against Inzy or Woolmer to get the treatment that hes getting. My advice to Yasir Hameed would be: Start sucking up to the people that matter, Yasir. Thats the only thing that you havent done.

  • Danish Khan on February 13, 2007, 17:41 GMT

    Well, well, well...something tells me my fingers crossed paid off. Firstly, I am happy that they included Kaneria and that on paper this squad is as lethal if not more than as the big guns. Now if Akhtar has been added, that means his knee injury isn't too bad and worth taking the chances. Umar Gul must be also healing his ankle injury fast enough which also is a good sign to prompt and finally try the Akhtar, Asif & Gul combo in the World Cup, inclusion of Rana beats me as much as it might have beaten the guy himself, just now that he should beat the bat more often rather than being beaten over or along the boundary! Thank God that they didn't make the blunder of including Moin Khan; who hasn't played a match in 2 years. I'd say overall I am pretty content with this squad 'on paper' for now, because nothing can be set in stone considering the topsy turny problems to the players.

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg, VA, USA on February 13, 2007, 17:10 GMT

    Finally the team has been announced and its good to see Kaneria in the team. The surprise is not Kaneria's inclusion, but taking on board players like Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul without disclosing their medical condition.

    PCB is adamant to conduct its drug tests on all players when the the team returns to Pakistan. Experts have concluded that both Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif could test positive and this can lead to a life ban for both these players. I can't imagine why PCB is thrilled to take players who are on injury list and carry the risk of not playing the world cup or any cricket, if they test positive again.

    In the pace department even our back up bowlers like Shabbir and Sami are unfit. Asif with the heavy work load given to him in the current series against South Africa has reported to have a niggle in his elbow. Umer Gul has not bowled in the last two to three months in international matches and his medical condition has not been made public by the PCB. It means that Pakistan could be without the services of its three best pacemen:Shoaib, Asif, Umer Gul. God forbid if that wer to happen, Pakistan will need to rely on Rana Naveed and Iftikar Anjum.

    It was a smart move to keep Danish Kaneria. He may not be able to win matches out right, but he can hopefully contain, frustrate and upset the rythm of the batsmen and give his team a fighting chance in the World Cup matches.

    On paper the team looks pretty good and if they are all healthy Pakistan can thrill its fans with outstanding cricket and produce some pleasant surprises in the World Cup.

  • Nadeem Shafee on February 13, 2007, 16:51 GMT

    Danish is better bowler than his coach Mustaq Ahmed.

    Once again poor selection for the openers.

    Yasir Hamid & Asim Kamal should include in the team as an opener.

    I do not know what are the criteria of PCB and Inzi to select players.

    Here is the comparision btw openers selected for the world cup vs. deserving openers.

    kamran Akmal Mat-Innings- total_runs--Ave 61--- 52------1098------24.95

    Imran Nazir Mat-Innings- total_runs--Ave 64----64------1462-------23.58

    Mohd hafiz Mat-Innings- total_runs--Ave 43-----43----------819-----19.50

    Deserving Players: Yasir Hamid Mat-Innings- total_runs--Ave 50-----50--------1917-----39.12

    Asim kamal (only test records, he never got chance in one day cricket BIG SHAME)

    Mat-Innings- total_runs--Ave 12----20--------717-------37.73

    Please note:

    All selected openers contained average less than 25.Even Mohd. Hafeez ave is lower than 20. But he can bowl too. He is a good fielder also. But Imran Nazir & Kamran can not bowl. Every one knows standard of Kamran's wicket keeping.

    On other hand Yasir hamid & Asim Kamal contained 37 plus average. This is extra ordinary average. PCB never gave oppurtunity to Asim to play One day. So I put his test records. Please note: Most of the past players agreed that Asim has best defensive techique than any current Pakistani Player.

    Why Yasir & Asim are not in the wrold cup team?

    I see only one thing common in selected players i.e. You guess what???

    Nadeem Shafi Pakistani

  • Mansoor Hazir on February 13, 2007, 16:33 GMT

    The squad is announced and there are the if and buts because of injuries etc but what one fails to understand is why Kamran Akmal and Naveed. They have been consistent failures. Total Sifarshees. Give me Azhar Mahmood anyday. We could have tried with Moin also. What would we lose? England had Nigel in and he is 37.The whim of Inzi, who himself is over the hill. He cannot field, he cannot run etc. etc. He would be out of the Pakistan side anyway. As for Wasim Bari being the selector, that in itself is another story. Wasnt he the selector at the last World Cup? Have the people forgotten?

  • Gulab Khan on February 13, 2007, 16:14 GMT

    I totally agree with Zakuta Jinn above.

    He said:

    Posted by: Zakuta Jinn at February 13, 2007 8:00 AM

    I am just a bit worried by the ease with which left-handers (Lara and Langer from memory) seem to take him to the cleaners every now and then (and this in test matches).

    Nevertheless it seems that he is being selected:

    http://www.dawn.com/2007/02/13/spt1.htm

    It is a tragedy that neither of the two great finds of the Under-19 World Cup (Anwar Ali and Jamshed Ahmed) were given a chance in the lead up to the tournament.

    I think they need a big province certificate. I alreday adviced Asim Kamal to change his name to Asim Akmal or Asim Malik or Asim-ul-Haq. OR move to the lahore next to the PCB office. In past Saeed Anwar move to the lahore and become permenant member of the team. Prior to that he was in & out regardless of his three one day international centuries in the row.

    At one stage great Javed Miadad move to lahore and he is keeping his one house still there.

    Same advice to other talented palyers like Anwar Ali, Fawad Alam, Jamshed Ahmed, Khalid latif, Yasir Hamid.

    Gulab Khan Peshawer, NWFP

  • Dawar on February 13, 2007, 16:05 GMT

    I do not know about Moin but I know currently Rashid Latif is playing club cricket in the West Indies from last few months.

    He was awarded man of match in his last club match.

    Behind the wicket he caught 7 batsman and scored unbeaten 75 runs.

  • Dawar on February 13, 2007, 16:02 GMT

    Danish desrver to be in the world cup team. He is the world class bowler.

    Kamran Akmal relation with Inzi are same like USA relationship with Isreal govt.

    Inzi does not care about rest of the Pakistan and keep supporting careless wicket keeper.

    Lucky Kamran Akmal.

    Where are Anwar Ali, Sarfraz Ahmad, Fawad Alam, Yasir Hamid etc?

    They desrver to be in the world cup team.

    Shoaib Malik, Abdul Razak, Azhar Mahmood, Kamran Akmal does not desrver to be a part of world cup team.

    Dawar USA, LA

  • ammar ahmad on February 13, 2007, 15:59 GMT

    I don't think we have a chance a World Cup this time... all the odds are against us! We are facing injuries, our captian sucks, our fielding is pathetic, our wicketkeeper is below average, opening pair is still a mystery and we have no plan. So friends, no need to burn your brain cells over this team. God bless our team!

  • saqib on February 13, 2007, 15:52 GMT

    wow kamran uncle. Kaneria has been picked after all. Thos could be the trump card pakistan require to win the world cup..

  • Mike Rosario on February 13, 2007, 15:41 GMT

    Pls believe me as I mean it .

    This Pakistan team is not going too far . It has to do only with the bad team selections by Bob/Inzi/Bari. All three are retards.

  • Talal Hasan on February 13, 2007, 15:25 GMT

    Pakistan are going into a world cup with 3 unfit fast bowlers plus rana. If kaneria can continue the form he showed in south african then he maybe a handful. However the most important thing for this is pakistani team is to become more thoughtful about their cricket.

    Otherwise there will be a rude awakening in the Windies.

  • Sarah from Toronto, Canada on February 13, 2007, 15:20 GMT

    Pakistan will be damn lucky to even reach super 8...no chance beyond that.

  • Faraz, California USA on February 13, 2007, 15:17 GMT

    Kaneria being the match winner is less likely than pigs flying in the carribean. he is not a one day bowler. sure Akhtar, Asif and Gul are selected but will they be able to trio in any game...very little chance and if they don't forget it... Pakistan cannot defend 300 + targets with Rana and Razzaq cause they will get slaugthered. and if we go for chase...the likes of Younis, Yousuf, Inzi and Afridi cannot chase 300 + with the fielding and bowling of SA and Australia.

    good luck Pakistan...you will need it big time !

  • Shahbaz Faheem on February 13, 2007, 15:16 GMT

    Dear Kamran, the WC-team has been announced. There are few questions to be asked to selectors: 1. What Azhar Mahmood is doing in SA if he is not to be made part of WC team. 2. Why Kaneria is not in SA preparing for WC if he is going to be selected. 3. Why not Rao Iftikhar played in SA in place of Azhar Mahmood, to get some match practice before WC.

    The team selection is mind boggling and it seems that until this morning the Captain, the coach and the selector do not have any idea to whom they are going to select.

    I fully agree with Osman Samiuddin who said in a cricinfo colum that: "In fact, if you inhale hard enough, you might just catch a whiff already of an impending clear-out post-World Cup, just like 2003. Captain, coach, chief selector, senior players, all can conceivably be gone after the West Indies".

  • Tauhira ƒŕõm Ĵämãîċā on February 13, 2007, 14:58 GMT

    I agree with you Mr Abbasi. Bring back Kaneria man.

    Personally I really think he's a matchwinner, expecially under presuure.

    Good luck to ma Windies!!!

    -Peace!

  • Gugu on February 13, 2007, 14:47 GMT

    Now the team is selected and you have your Kaneria in, good job. But I am not happy with team. No Yasir Hameed and No Azhar Mehmud. What kind of attack is this, three injured and one woefully out of form Rana Naved. Isn't Azhar bowling equally or less bad than Rana and is a safer bat and bet. What has Rana done in last 10 matches to warrant a place, if he was performing no issues but please...

  • Bashir on February 13, 2007, 14:42 GMT

    Kaneria is only an option when we are without Aisf/Shoaib otherwise we dont need to fix our spin options. Add to that Kaneria is one of the worst fielders in world cricket.

    I'm surprised that Rao iftikhar and imran nazir made the cut, Pakistan has haled onto its policy of making mind boggling decision, Imran Nazir has struggled through out his career against fuller deliveries on the off stump!! And Rao is a stock bowler at best.

    A majore reason for pakistan's unpredictibility is the un-accountable nature of younis khan's place in the side. He is not a one-down batsman. He simple cannot hold an innings together and has too few big scores to warrant him a one down place. Mhammad Yousaf or shoaib malik should be one down. I wouldn't even mind openning the innings with younis, but plz he is not a number three. Mohammad yousaf should bat at number 3, otherwise we should have a policy similar to the one used by south africa under woolmer and cronje.If an opener gets out with 10 overs send someone other than yousaf(preferably not younis) and if openers last for more than 10 overs send yousaf. but i think this simple scheme is way too complicated to fit into inzi's fat ridden brain.

  • johan on February 13, 2007, 14:37 GMT

    it seems kaneria has been included in the squad, but it wsa not a necessary move. as far as a leg-spinner in the middle-order is concerned, it is a risky move. so, rather than employing a specialist bowler, the likes of Afridi will prove invaluable. he is not given enough credit for his bowling which has won matches for Pakistan.

  • Ahmad on February 13, 2007, 14:28 GMT

    I dont think that Kaneria should be included in the one day squad. Even the wickets he takes in tests are likely to be in the second innings with the aid of a deteriorating wicket and they are generally at a high average. He will be slaughtered in the world cup if he's played. Afridi is a better one day leggie than Kaneria in my opinion and why would you have someone like Kaneria who cant bat or field in your one day world cup squad? I'm sure that as well as Afridi, Malik and Hafeez can bowl just as tidily and they can actually field and bat too.

  • virtuoso on February 13, 2007, 14:09 GMT

    Hmm kaneria, poor mans warne, is lucky to get the nod. Hes fit, undrugged, unbanned but is he mentally tough enough to stick to his plans and hold his nerves if the first bowl of his over goes for a spanking six followed by a boundry? I dont think so. He is not consistent, he loves trying different things which is not the way you go arnd in ODIs. What i can see is that during the tournamnet he will be a unused substitiute, he may get an outing against the likes of ireland but he would be chopped against big guns. May be another proper batsmen for middle order would have been picket(to cover inzo and his bad back).

    Middle order only has three proper batsmen and in the absence of any one , our whole team will loose its shape. Its the middle order who carries all the burden if the top order fails (which is not an exception in our team) so cover for them should have been a priority. But who cares , we arent gonna win it ne way with this squad. lets hope and pray!

  • Valavan on February 13, 2007, 14:04 GMT

    6 matches are being played in a Single ground for the first 10days of World Cup. An article in the cricinfo said as the games go by they try to become slow. So anyway spinners are really needed. Even if you take Super, first 12 Super 8s 6 for Antigua and 6 for Guyana and last 12 Super 8's 6 for Barbados and 6 for Greneda. so anyway pitches can slow down as days pass by. So atleast one specialist spinner is pivotal, and inclusion of Danish Kaneria is absolutely needed. Even Kamran said about 1992 World Cup and everyone knows about Mushtaq Ahmed's Contribution as well, So Pakistan must play one specialist spinner else they may regret in crunch games especially in Super 8's. Compare other world cup squads. Australia has B Hogg, england will have Monty after his successes in Australia, India has Anil and Harbhajan, Srilanka has Murali and Malinga bandara, NZ has Daniel Vettori and Jeetan Patel, WI may have Dave Mohammed who did well last summer against India. Its just Pakistan and SA without spinners. So definitely Pakistan needs a specialist spinner and DANISH is the right one to show up in the WC.

  • Rafakat Khan on February 13, 2007, 13:59 GMT

    Kaneria has been added to the sqaud which is a surprise , not because of his talent or skill which he has plenty of , but jus because he has been untried and lacks experience with only 16 ODI to his name and to put him in the biggest ODI tournament in the world is like putting a kitten in the jungle , its a big gamble and out of desperation , me personally my heart says yes it will work my brain says no it wont , his inclusion will definately weaken the batting and he might go for plenty , jus hope shoaib, gul and asif are fit so he wont be needed if there not fit then Kaneria it is

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on February 13, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    Well well! Moin Khan for world cup eh?

    Are we certain that he's not just looking for a free 6 weeks trip to get away from his wife. If only he could control his drink!

    What is he hoping for! What a loser!

  • nasir on February 13, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    Kaneria should be given a criteria for success. He is a "containing bowler" hardly capable for unning through a side. In the middle innings he will be asked to keep things quiet and pick up wickets when the batsmen make mistakes. I will consider him successful if he bowls his 10 for 40-45 with at least a couple of wickets.

    At least he is fairly fit and would expect him to play every match if he sticks to his plans and bowls orthodox leg spin rather than going for too much variety.

  • Mudasir on February 13, 2007, 13:33 GMT

    We need a regular spiner & Kaneria is the best choice.

  • khansahab on February 13, 2007, 12:34 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, I beg to differ on the point about Kaneria. He is an automatic selection for Tests but not for ODI’s, It’s not that he has not been played and been given opportunity- he has played 16 ODI’s and has a bowling average of 50 and a strike rate of as much as it’s in Tests. That demonstrates that he isn’t ODI material. Some players are just fit for one form of the game. Afridi cannot play Tests, similarly some people say Asim Kamal cannot play ODI’s. I think playing Kaneria will be a liability. I certainly think that while Afridi isn’t there, a batsman should be played in his position. Someone said that Mushtaq should be brought back. Mushy lost it 2 years ago in my opinion. He did not contribute in his last few matches. His inclusion should now be forgotten. We don’t need a bowling coach- if a good fast bowling side like Pakistan needs a bowling coach, what will the lesser teams do? Why do all the other teams perform well without bowling coach and we can’t? Are we really that poor? I have just seen the squad, I am most disappointed that Razzaq is there in place of Mahmood and that Fawad Alam isn’t there. Alam could have replaced Hafeez who has been very ordinary recently.

  • kHALID ARIF SIDDIQUI on February 13, 2007, 12:22 GMT

    Now that the team has been announced and kaneria is also in. I think Bari and Inzy (may be scared of the reactions of the cricket loving Pakistanis)have or were forced to act a bit senile. I do agree with Mr. Javed A. Kahn that Kaneria will be our main attacking bowlers and the example of Waqar that he quoted in very right. But one thing i must add here that it was Imran who was leading the side and he had a very able deputy in shape of Javed under his wings. The combination was really excellent a leader who possesed tremendous fighting ability and self confidance combined with an excellent cricket brain that Javed had did the trick in Australia. Here we have a person who is no where near the caliber of Imran, added to it his form which has a big question mark, how can we expect him to use the resources available to him perticularly when we know that his man management has benn abysmal. Inzamam will have to rise above himself and not only raise his own game but also try to get the players perform to their potentials alongwith stay away from his favouritism and act as the captain of the Pakistan team and not as an Inzamam sellect XI. Pakistan has sellected 3 quickies who are on either injury list or have problems with Inzamam, well this can be sorted out as we have only one important match in the prelimenary round and the real battle is expected to start in the super eight matches and Inzamam has enough time to mend fences with Shoaib as well as the injured players also have sufficent time to recover. Speaking of the combination of the team and i feel taht its ok but my only concern is the batting for we have only 2 openers in the side and i feel that Salman should have been taken in place of Rana Naveed just to strengthen the batting for that has been an area of concern through out the South African campaign. Rana's sellection did surprise me for his performance in South Africa has been very disappointing and i feel that his inclusion is not justified. Now coming to the most important issue and the is the presence of Moulvi Mushtaq the assistant coach, is he going to be there with the team. I for one am against it and would like Mr. kamran to speak about it as well. I personally think that we need Waqar with the team because the main constituent of our attack will be the fast bowlers so it will be wise to have him with the team. I wish the sellectors show some guts and stop taking dictations from Inzy this time and for the sake of Pakistan. Mushtaq however should not be there with the team for we dont need him nor his family. I am sure many of us will agree with me on this issue. In the end I wish this Pakistan team the best and may Allah give them strength to ensure that pakistan's flag flies high at the World Cup (Amin) Its not only winning that we should aim at instead we must try and portray ourselves as the really deserving Gentlemen in Whites, true ambassadors of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. May Allah be with you the choosen sons of my homeland Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabad.

  • Daniyal on February 13, 2007, 12:18 GMT

    I think it was a completely stupid move to pick Kaneria in the world cup squad. The man has played no ODI's for as long as I can remember... 16 ODIs in a 6 year career is nothing specially when you have players who play 20 a year. The reason he was never considered for the shorter version of the game is simple HE's NOT AN ODI BOWLER! Mushi or no Mushi you cannot change Kaneria overnight he still needs to ball a hundred deliveries before he can get a wicket and in an ODI that's too much to hope for plus he's never been the most economical bowler around with Pakistan's current batting form runs are at a premium and every effort to contain them required. I can see Brian Lara waltzing down the pitch and hitting him over his head for a huge six the first ball he faces.

    Kaneria will a huge liability unless he can ball his allotted 10 overs for around thirty odd runs or so.

  • qazah on February 13, 2007, 12:16 GMT

    man this is seriously messed

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 13, 2007, 12:10 GMT

    Guys, chill out now, the team has been announced and Kaneia is in it. So pls. do not suggest any more names, especially for debutants. Lets hope there aren't anymore injuries, anymore hot tempers, anymore fights between the coach and the players and they all gel and play as a team.

    There should be one purpose, play GOOD cricket and fight against the opponents in the field and put up a good show.

  • Ali Majid on February 13, 2007, 11:48 GMT

    I have always maintained....at least for the last two years (ever since the Austrailian tour) that Kaneria should be in the Pakistan ODI squad. The guy has all the qualities that one would want in a fellow team mate. He is committed, dedicated, enthusiastic and takes pride in playing for his country. A true workhorse who is a general threat in the middle of the innings (especially at the present point in time - where there seems to be no threat at all bar Asif). An individual who is good enough to play test cricket (and has missed hardly any matches in the last couple of years)is a certainty when it comes to ODI's. It is totally baseless to suggest a guy who can prove to be a test match winning performer isn't capable of finding a place in the ODI squad. People have singled out his batting. Quite frankly he is to be selected for his bowling and if he can do that adequately then he is deserving as the top 6 or 7 should be the primary run getters in any given situation and any additional runs that the tail contributes is a bonus. A guy batting at eleven cannot be expected to get a fifty and getting twelve quick runs from that position but then going on to leak four times more while bowling along with providing no apparent threat whatsoever (providing the opposition with an oppurtunity to relax, settle in and easily take off five runs an over) is not the way to win matches. I would rather have a player who is likely to be a threat, take wickets, make batsmen think and not settle into a comfort zone in the squad. Just for one second look at the opponents that Pakistan is likely to face. Making it to the super 8's stage they will have by the end of the second round faced almost all the test playing nations. Austrailia and India aside, all the other teams are most likely to struggle against a leggie (NewZealand, West Indies...England are not known as the best players of leg sping bowling)and a genuine wicket taking option rather than a bits and pieces bowler should always be the way to go. This does not mean to say that Kaneria should be an automatic choice in the starting XI for every match. The playing XI should continue to be selected depending on the best likely combination, conditions, tournament situation, form etc. In any sport whether it be cricket, football or rugby....tournaments are won as a result of depth in the squad. To win the world cup Pakistan needs a well balanced squad....if we have that....the playing XI should pick itself.

  • osama on February 13, 2007, 11:40 GMT

    well its official!!! no moin, no azhar, no sami. instead rana, rao and akmal,

    god help us

  • Shafiq on February 13, 2007, 11:02 GMT

    Intersting if Moin is ready----! Then why not Rashid---a great cricketer in anyway---i believe even after 5 more years Rashid can keep better than Kamran. Moin will not make any differnence, coz he was at best like Kamran at worst. Ofcourse i am a huge fan of rashid, and ruin all missed years by him... well it shows disappointment why Bob & INZY not drop Kamran for few matches for rest---now we have an enigma, a real one. Ok so conclusion go for Kamran or rashid, coz rashid is the best to keep especially again kaneria (academy link the prove)

  • Imran Zia on February 13, 2007, 10:49 GMT

    It is most probable that Kaneria will be selected and it will be a decision in haste. He may be a better fielder in Test cricket but he is a sure liability in the one day arena where we already have to bear with Inzi Yousef and Razzak in the field and if Shoaib Akhtar is included it is further weak fielding side. In whatever one day matches he has play and even in the domestic twenty circuit he was taken to all parts. His loop is too inviting for the batsmen and this does not warrant his selection. Even if he has to be selected he will probably not play when Afridi plays. If Pakistan has to take a legspinner Mansoor Amjad should have been tried. He can turn the ball field well and decent with the bat or Fawad Alam's form and allround abilities would have been useful. But i think it is too late for all this and a decision will be made in Haste! Inzimam should take the risk and take one surpise package with him as did Imran Khan when he took Inzimam in the 92 world cup. Especially in the form he is Fawad Alam could be the wonder boy in the West Indies. The bigger problem is of Rana Naveed, Yasir Hameed and Azhar Mehmood. Rana has done all its possible to be dropped, Yasir hameed not tried after looking in supreme touch in the Test Series and if Azhar Mahmood hasnt impressed so hasnt Abdul Razzak. The team will probably be selected on reputation rather than form and fitness and there will be lots of unsatisfied people.

  • Mustafa Moiz on February 13, 2007, 10:48 GMT

    Kaneria is definitely a team player. The problem is he can't help the team, at least not with his batting or fielding. Malik will spin well, with Afridi and Hafeez playing the supporting role. And then a bowling genius like Inzamam or Yousuf will bowl too.

  • Shahrukh Khan on February 13, 2007, 10:47 GMT

    It is very evident that Inzi is backing Mr. Rana for some strange reasons. I am sure the opposition camps are eagerly waiting to face yummy stuff Rana is dishing out these days.

  • Haseeb - Kuwait on February 13, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    If kaneria will be in playing 11 then either Afridi or Shoaib Malik or Razzak will be dropped. Can pakistan efford to drop any one of their best allrounders?

  • Irfan Rizvi on February 13, 2007, 10:43 GMT

    I totally disagree, Kaneria should not be in the ODI squad, Abdur Rehman is a far better prospect in ODI then Kaneria, and about Moin since they havent tried zulqarnain for even a single game WHY? that is still puzzling my mind moin should be included in the squad at least as a 2nd wicket keeper, And inzi's favoritism is really getting on my nerves now

  • Yasir on February 13, 2007, 10:37 GMT

    Where is Saqlain these days? He was really the sort of spinner to have in ODI squad. Its all about being one level more intelligent than the batsman and he really was, his first 200 wickets are still a record i think.

  • Yasir on February 13, 2007, 10:29 GMT

    I think Kaneria has a temprament problem. Good players have found it easy to counter attack him. His strike rate is not promising enough to think that he can be included as a wicket taker.I would prefer Abdur-Rehman over Kaneria if a spinner is to be included, Hafeez is a good container and difficult to be counter-attacked. Even Afridi has improved significantly in last couple of years so I am against inclusion of Kaneria in ODI Squad

  • adnan on February 13, 2007, 10:27 GMT

    kaneria in the ODI is a joke he takes his first wickets in the test matches after his 25th over and he is only lethal on the 5ht day of the test he is the worst fielder in the team and cant bat at all so no point of having him in the ODI he sucks in the tests forget about odi gives away 150 runs every inning to get 2 or 3 wickets after bowling 40 overs thats pathetic

  • Syed Naqvi, Bristol UK on February 13, 2007, 10:24 GMT

    KAMRAN - picking Kaneria at the 12th hour is a sign of panic. Unlike any other cricket in the 2007 World Cup, Pakistan will I'm sure, have he added bonus of fielding 2 (possibly 3) batsmen that can bowl quality spin. Malik, Afridi and Hafeez can bowl just as well as any specialist spinner, whether this be Kaneria or Rehman, plus they can also hold a bat! Why on earth would Pakistan want to substitute an all-rounder (or fast bowler) for a spinner when we have players that can fulfill that role in ODIs? No need for a genuine spinner in this Pakistani squad.

    I would play 2 fast bowlers (Gul and Asif) with the back up of Razzak, Azhar, Afridi, Malik. This combination gives you 60 overs to play with, you have both quality and variety in this attack without sacraficing the batting line-up with a huge non-batting tail. This, I believe, is very important in ODIs.

    Would like your thoughts please......

  • osama on February 13, 2007, 10:04 GMT

    is it true? is moin eally fit and ready??

    if it is then i agree better to go with the old horse than with Mr. Buttrfingers

  • Yassar on February 13, 2007, 9:58 GMT

    There is no doubt Kaneria is a wicket taker and wicket takers can win you matches and hence why he is vital for Pakistan in test cricket.

    ODI cricket is a different game altogether and is not totally about taking wickets but more about containing. We should not forget that cricket and in particular ODI cricket have evolved and changed a lot over the last decade, so to use Pakistan’s last success in 1992 and Mushtaq Ahmed’s participation in that tournament as a way to justify Kaneria’s inclusion would be silly.

    As far as I can see, the only reason Kaneria is not in the set up at the moment is because of Pakistan’s un-reliable batting line up and the all round spin abilities of Afridi, Malik & Hafeez.

    I would back Kaneria’s inclusion in the squad but not as a first choice starter. A fully fit Pakistan team needs to have Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammed Asif and Umar Gul as first choice seamers. The only way Kaneria would be able to get into the team would be at the expense of one of the all rounder’s, but taking into account Pakistan’s fragile batting line up it would seriously disturb the balance of the team.

    Ultimately it can be said…Kaneria’s non-inclusion is down to our unreliable batting line up, because if our batting line up was more consistent we could afford to drop an all rounder and play a specialist bowler. Unfortunately we do not have that luxury or consistency at the moment and Kaneria at best should be expected to be a squad player in the ODI format for the time being.

  • Paul Joshua Mathew on February 13, 2007, 9:58 GMT

    I just don't know what needs to get into the selectors head, there in PCB, also including the BBI(mentioned above). Kaneria is such a tenacious and hardworking cricketer. He shouldn't be left out, his googly is worth watching (not handling though), you may ask the english batsmen about the same. If you have noticed the one day side got beaten black and blue in SA, because all were medium pace players and were easily milked around or rather thrashed around. Kaneria is the answer to Pakistan's realistic dreams of winning the world Cup 2007. You live or die by that decision. He is difficult to pick up to attack as has been mentioned by this writer, whereas someone like Shahid Nazir is easier to pick up, with all respect to him. All he needs (if picked) or needed (if not picked) is / was belief in him by the captain. If everyone would remember how he made the SA batsmen dance in the first and second innings of the last test series. I'm an Indian well wisher of the wonderful talent, so it cannot be called a biased comment or support.

  • sajidkhan on February 13, 2007, 9:55 GMT

    I would say that when world cup would starts all teams will play with different spirits and so the players. So its not always right to make selection on the basis of last few matches. As for as kaneria is concern i would never recommend him to play for the world cup. Shahid Afridi will be back after two matches, and when he is there, i think we don't need Kaneria especially in the World cup event.......because when Afridi works he can easily win you a match from Aus and SA and it could be the Semifianl or even final. We must go with Razzaq,S.Malik and Afridi and i know that they are match winner player atleast in big events. But i would say that Kaneria must have been given the chance in 5 odis and would have seen him in recent action.........

  • Akeel Kazmi on February 13, 2007, 9:42 GMT

    Okay according to Geo, squad is following

    The world cup team includes Imran Nazir, Muhammad Hafeez, Inzamamul Haq, Younis Khan, Muhammad Yousuf, Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afiridi, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhter, Muhammad Asif, Rana Naveedul Hasan, Umer Gul, Rao Iftikhar and Danish Kaneria whereas Muhammad Sami and Shahid Nazir would be stand-by players, sources added.

    Dilema is who do u pick if all bowlers are fit

  • Jupiter on February 13, 2007, 9:35 GMT

    I have no doubts in kaneria’s ability and I am sure he’ll make the cut. I also feel that Azhar Mehmood should be in the squad in place of Rana. Rana is going through the worst form of his life and taking him to a once in four years competition would be a grave mistake.

    Probably this is not the right time to raise a completely different issue but just for the sake of some future topics I request Mr. Abbasi to analyse something under Inzi's and Bob's reign. How many batsmen have made their debuts under them. They have tried different combinations with openers but that also revolves around few players. We do not have a number six batsman and in two years time the prolific three (Inzi, Yusaf and Younis) won't be there. I think Inzi and Bob have concentrated more on winning rather than building a team. This is where they have lost it, almost completely. They have kept calling the old faces again, again and again but they have never addressed the sustainability issue. I can not believe the Pakistani domestic cricket does not have batsman who can fill in the shoes of these three. Both Imran Khan and Javed Miandad were much better in this sense as every time a team was announced we always knew that we'll get to see someone new faces. If this persists, in two years time we will have a team that will make a habit of getting bowled out for 50 in both innings of a test match..... not again please!!!

  • Haseeb - Kuwait on February 13, 2007, 9:28 GMT

    Pakistan is allready having 3 spinners Shoaib Malik,Mohammed Hafeez and Shahid afridi. Though afridi is ban for 2 matches but he will play rest of the matches plus kaneria's fielding is not that good. I don't see any point of picking up 4 spinners in the team.

  • arshad on February 13, 2007, 9:12 GMT

    i think pakistan captaincy & management is most unorganised in world.inzi is very defensive n negative.he lacks any innovation.when africa was blazing in first one day he kept taking power plays although he could have delayed till iwcket fell.he just goes with motion without much thinking.kamran akmal failed as opener in home pitches vs india then again vs england then how could he perform on bouncy pitches of s-africa.he must possess a guiness book of records for persistent failures and still continues to open.they just think playing him upfront lengthens their batting line up which is just a illusion yonis is always batting in first few overs u might as well try him opening.hafeez was atleast trying to do a job within his limited capabilities and he's best of all spinners after afridi so dropping him is beyond me.and how many times will rana play he's badly out of form ,rao iftikhar has performed well and he shd play regularly.plz give asif some rest before world cup

  • kamran on February 13, 2007, 8:31 GMT

    I would not say that u r insane but definitely desperate and u cant be blammed for it aswell, given the fitness of most of the bowlers. However, i think Abdur-Rehman is a much better option. I say this because he has shown some good form in one dayers in pakistan and given that the pitches in westindies are not much different, he seems a better choice to me. Kaneria has never been a real threat in odis, whenever he has been given a chance. Also consiedring that he has not bowled in one days recently, i dont think he is a good chopice even in a desperate sittuation like this.

  • Shanzai afridi on February 13, 2007, 8:30 GMT

    Hey guys I been reading most of the post up on the blog but I havent seen one intelligent comment so far. First of all, Kaneria should be playing every game why because you need a experience spinner in the team. I know you have hafiz, shoaib and afridi but they'r just over killers not any threat to opposition maybe once in a blue moon but not consistently. I think he's one of the best bowler who actually tries really hard, he puts his heart and soul in the game compare to the rest of the players. For example Srilanka has murli, New zealand has Vitteroi, Indian bajan or kumble, england has panesar, and goes on etc.. My point is in every department you got to have a specialist for example in fast bowling department you got Shoaib if not Asif so in slow or sping you got to have Kaneria, he's a technician from both sides.. Plus pakistan needs a video analyst to analyze the opposition teams weakness and strength. So he can advise the bowlers where to bowl for specific batsman... Its not street cricket its international so more attention is required.....

  • shaz amin on February 13, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    Kaneria has to be given a place in the side, him and Asif give us 2 match winners with the ball. Pack the side with allrounders unto 9 to hide Asifs and Kanerias non ability with the bat.

    Come on selectors be brave select Kaneria. We need his skill,aggression and fight in the side.

  • Noorallah Kamruddin on February 13, 2007, 8:16 GMT

    I think danish is the only bowler who will succes in world cup, if selectors are really patroitics and inzi n bob are well wishers of pakistan,they must select Danish kaneria,bcuz our all bowlers are not performing weel except Asif.

  • Raza-e-Mustafa, Gujranwala, Pakistan on February 13, 2007, 8:13 GMT

    Most of us agreed in the blog about the enigmatic performance of Kaneria that his biggest undoing had been his too much variety, too much enthusiasm, and over-doing things. He bowled in the tests with a One-day attitude where you have only ten overs to do all you can. Therefore, he can prove a handful for the opponents if he shows the same attitude in ODIs, but it can affect his performance in tests as it requires a total shift in attitude and temperament

  • Jibran on February 13, 2007, 8:09 GMT

    In my personal opinion, Pakistani team would not have embarass itself in the ongoing series in the South Africa if Kaneria had been there. South African batsmen were having trouble playing Shahid Afridi, so just imagine the thought of Kaneria having a go at them. They have to pick him, otherwise they will lose, Asif can only take an attack to to opposing when the bowl is new, once that is done they can smash the other bowlers around; Kaneria can keep it tight in the middle.

  • Muhammad Ashraf on February 13, 2007, 8:02 GMT

    I dont think Kanerai can be suitable for one day cricket. in ODI, along with bowling and batting, fielding always makes the difference between two team. Pakistan is already handicapped in feilding with its few players cannot run or dive properly. Beside other things pakistan's tail could be long.

  • Zakuta Jinn on February 13, 2007, 8:00 GMT

    I am just a bit worried by the ease with which left-handers (Lara and Langer from memory) seem to take him to the cleaners every now and then (and this in test matches).

    Nevertheless it seems that he is being selected:

    http://www.dawn.com/2007/02/13/spt1.htm

    It is a tragedy that neither of the two great finds of the Under-19 World Cup (Anwar Ali and Jamshed Ahmed) were given a chance in the lead up to the tournament.

  • Hussnain on February 13, 2007, 7:57 GMT

    A good choice, if and only Pakistan is really willing to play attacking cricket. But Kamran, what do you think, will Pakistan Captain be able to play attacking cricket. The leg spinner is always handy when captain is changing his plans as per the match situation, I really have doubts with Inzi capability in this regard. I think the captain himself is not willing to take any chances.

  • Asif Ahmed on February 13, 2007, 7:55 GMT

    There are many reasons why this is not a good idea.

    First, Kaneria is very inexperienced in ODIs. You are right in complaining that he was not used earlier, but the bottom line is that he is a huge unknown quantity. We should not be experimenting with our team during the world cup, we should be persisting with our tried and tested combinations. Kaneria's case would be stronger if we lacked other successful spinners in the team, but that is not the case, as I will mention below.

    Second, Kaneria is a very poor fielder. Take our worst fielder and multiply that by 100, and you still will not get Kaneria. In a team that is already short of stellar fielders, we just cannot afford to bring in another slouch. Actually, that is the main reason why I am against Abdur Rahman as well. He needs to show more commitment in the field.

    Next, Kaneria lacks any kind of batting acumen. True, he will be in the team as a bowler, but many matches will go down to the wire, and we need someone who can "tread water" in those tense times, and Kaneria is not that man. His poor batting could be excused if he was an outstanding bowler (eg Asif, McGrath, etc.), but alas that is not the case.

    Finally, we already have successful spinners in the team. People lament the fact that we will lose Afridi's bat early in the tournament, but the real loss will be his bowling. His bowling has improved tremendously in recent times in ODIs. He restricts runs, he works fast, has just enough variation, and takes regular wickets. What more could you want?? I fear that Kaneria would experiment too much with this variety and be blasted to all parts of the field. In addition, Hafeez and Shoaib Malik have proven to be very successful as well. There is just not any room for Kaneria.

    For these reasons, it is clear that the PCB would be extremely myopic in selecting Kaneria. But then, I have come to expect such crap from them. This clinical analysis in infallible! It would be a disaster if Kaneria was selected for the world cup--trust me on this.

  • Azam Farooqui on February 13, 2007, 7:53 GMT

    Kaneria in my opinion should only be considered if Shoaib Akhtar fails to make the cut, not because Kaneria lacks anything to stop him from playing limited overs cricket, i just feel that he hasnt been played enough, having said that he's an experienced bowler if selected he can do the job. I think bowling's looking quite toothless right now, infact even with all problems last year i thought we still had a good chance at the WC because i was satisfied with the overall progression with the team. The only concern i've ever had is was the bench stregnth which is strikingly thin in Pakistan's case, more than the coach or the captain, i think it's the selector's fault. Inzamam as a captain has done a decent job in the last couple of years with the limited resources he's had. Coming back to kaneria, it's one of those tricky scenarios, in the end the selectors just probably need to trust thier instincts and make a decision.I just hope that if selected he does makes an impact, he's complained in the past about him being overlooked, for once he seems to be certain to make it to the squad, let's hope he lives up to the expectations.

  • Gohar Ayub on February 13, 2007, 7:52 GMT

    If one of our front line bolwers (Asif, Shoaib, Gul etc) are not fit then Kaneria is best option to have in WC. He can be destructive on West Indian pitches in the middle overs. But Pakistan main worry is to take early wickets in the first twenty overs. I believe that first twenty overs would decide the outcome of the match. In my opinion Rana Naveed is not a complete bolwer technically. He has round arm action which is most suspectible for leaking runs; seconldy, he can only swing the new ball by pictching it up which can be a good ploy to the batsman like Gayle but against Gilcrist, Fleaming and smith he can't be successful regurarly. If Shoaib is not available then we should persist with Rao who has good height and can move the ball both ways by pitching it on good length. Afridi has matured as a bowler and would definately be handy inshallah. For opening we should go with Nazir and Hafeez. Inzi requires some extra side games to find his supreame touch. Selection of Nazir & Hafeez also give us some nous in fielding also. In the end i must say that If Shoaib & Asif plays the WC we have a very good chance inshallah.

  • Mohsin Malik - San Francisco Bay Area on February 13, 2007, 7:49 GMT

    Dear Kamran:

    Inclusion of a front line leg spinner is a necessity in the West Indies (for most if not all venues).

    A spinner would be needed to stem the flow of runs during the middle overs. The key consideration for the selection of a leg spinner has to be his ability to restrict the batsmen and tighten the grip on the proceedings. This is a key requirement and merits consideration as such.

    Given the difference in style of deliveries, Abdul Rehman remains the front runner in this department.

    He has better control and can easily vary trajectories of his deliveries against aggressive batsmen advancing down the track inducing false strokes in the process. Good fielding support would prove handy for him. The South African wickets are less spinner friendly - yet in every match Abdul Rahman played in, whether 20/20 or ODI, there were aerial shots of his bowling that Pak fielders failed to hold on to.

    Kaneria concedes (rather leaks too many runs) and given the adverse fact, it can have in an ODI game for the bowler operating from the other end - he remains a distant second choice.

    It's strange but true that I somehow, carry a strong feeling in hindsight about Abdul Rahman delivering in the West Indies and coming trumps.

    Actually, having watched him in action live against the West Indies last year when I was visiting Pakistan, I have formed strong opinion about this prospect and as such I find myself more than inclined to back Abdul Rahman as an economical front line spinner who would give us a complete spell of ten overs with a degree of success - economy as well as strike some gold.

    Seeing is believing!

    Keep fingers crossed.

    As a last note, never mind difference in opinion. We all have a right to make and hold on to.

    Mohsin Malik

  • Mohamed Admani on February 13, 2007, 7:44 GMT

    This should be interesting. Personally i feel a bowler should be picked for his ability with the ball and not with the bat (classic example Ashley Giles; Ashes 2006). You need a bowler that can carry the attack on from the fast bowlers. Without a doubt Danish Kaneria has the ability and as mentioned before i think he would have picked up more wickets if Kamran Akmal had been in form.

    One must not forget though that Test cricket is very different to ODI. Danish Kaneria has a few "glitches" to his system ie. his temprament therefore resulting him in bowling variety of deliveries rather than being consistent.

    My personal choice would be to include him in the 15 man squad and make him play in the warm-up matches. I think the slow and low pitches of WI (lost alot of pace over the years) would suit him as they resemble conditions that of Pakistan; where he bowls very well.

    On a different note people go to YOUTUBE and type in ANWAR ALI KHAN and you will see that guy's ability to swing the ball. Probably next King of Swing for Pakistan after Waqar Younis. I would love to see him bowl alongside Mohammad Asif in the near future.

  • chudhary on February 13, 2007, 7:37 GMT

    This would be a big mistake to have Kaneria in the ODI team & that too in WI with such small grounds. In Australia with big grounds Imran even had Iqbal Sikander with Mushtaq.

    Lastly Kaneria is not yet prove in ODIs, if we are that desperate then re-call Mushtaq - he's already there with the team.

  • Sameen Rana on February 13, 2007, 7:34 GMT

    Agreed , we do not have any other option except to take Kaneria.. What a shame.... last 2-3 years we are trying to build our team for WC and tried many option excluding Kaneria because every body was convinced that he is not a one day bowler .. But now we are taking about Kaneria , Azhar , Moin (as per the press report) etc.. What is going on ? where is the plan? Azhar played in Last WC and then in Australia ... and now after two years directly in WC...? To me that shows how we were preparing for this mega event ... I wish and pray that Pakistan will win this WC but i do not think they are well prepared for this (Also it is not happening in holy month of Ramadan like 92 WC)..

  • Salman Elahi on February 13, 2007, 7:29 GMT

    Forget the Kaneria issue for a second. Here is the real issue. Have you given thought to the possibility that Asif and Shoaib both could be left out of the worldcup squad. They still contain have nandrolone traces in their system ( rumored from an internal PCB test and scientifically plausible) and if tested at the WC (which they will be without a doubt) they are gone forever - Life Banned. Its a speculation yes, but a very real one. I feel sorry for the Pakistan selectors and management. They've made mistakes time&time again by selecting the wrong individuals and overplaying them for the sake of consistency. Honorable mention goes to Hafeez and Farhat. Great young guns like Mansoor Amjad, Shahid Yousaf & Salman Butt to a lesser extent have been consistently neglected, all for the sake of a consistency which has never really been there. The only positive for the world cup is that its being held in home-like conditions with small grounds, low bounce pitches suiting power hitters (unless of course Atkinson pulls another ICC trophy like debacle: with seeming pitches in India!! Also, Bob Woolmer better come up with a winning strategy and come up with it fast. The strategy to conserve wickets and blast in the last 10 which worked in 92 and 99 is annulled due to the 20 over power plays. Consistent attack is the only real option backed by clever tight middle over bowling. Lets hope Pakistan team picks up a winning momentum from the last ODI, making things easier till the lead up to the worldcup.

  • Crazy Cricket on February 13, 2007, 7:19 GMT

    Well! the problem is even if you include Kaneria, you have a Wicketkeeper who can neither catch or stump. So, when teams started slogging against Kaneria, there will be many wasted chances behind the stumps.

    At least you can hear him chirp behind the stumps, with his 'Shabash Kaneria' Bhai nonsense,,, hehe. And this guy is no Gilchrist either, his batting leaves a lot to be desired as well. I cant stand all this mediocrity going to the world cup. But then again it is a result of poor planning or rather no planning since the last world cup as well as petty politics and favorable domiciles of some of these glorified club cricketers.

    I agree with Admani, Kineria will be discarded in favor of Rana and Akmal.

  • Jamal Akbar Khan,Dubai,UAE. on February 13, 2007, 7:18 GMT

    Kaneria Disastrous performence proved him his diligency and skillfulness in recent Test against SA.I dont know which lobby is doing all that funda selection,which is absolutely indication of some malpractices behind all that recent Pakistan Fiasco. Alls there experiments would definetely burst out in the WC with shame. There should be an honest n Professional person nedded to tackle all that ,which in my opinion is Imran Khan (All the time Best Captain)

  • Hasan Jafar on February 13, 2007, 7:07 GMT

    I fully endorse the idea to include Kaneria in the squad. He has performed admirably in the Tests for Pakistan. Why not try him out in the ODIs? Kaneria will be a better choice than an untested Abdul Rahman. Salman Butt also deserves a fresh chance. Don't want to see Rana in the squad.

  • zain kazmi on February 13, 2007, 7:05 GMT

    dont worry guys he will surely be there in the team, esp in the absence of shoaib and asif its impossible to overlook him.good luck to all

  • Haider on February 13, 2007, 7:03 GMT

    You have a point. Our bowling lineup with asif, rana, azhar and razzaq seems too similar as far as pace is concerned. With everyone bowling lower 130 and higher 120 it is too slow for todays cricket.

    However you forget that we do have a leg spinner in Sahibzada Mohammad Shahid Khan Afridi.

    But you never know Kaneria might just be the answer to all our problems.

  • Harry on February 13, 2007, 7:03 GMT

    Kaneria a attacking bowler. But he would struggle in ODI version simply because of no match practise. Why was he not in team playing with SA.?. Kumble is also struggling. Sorry but this WC is going to be worth writing about for leg spinners. But due to injury problems of pace bowlers it is better to pick kaneria than Azhar mahmod ( who is spent force).

  • jawad on February 13, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    Maybe it is insane, but what about Mushtaq? Comparison between Mushtaq and Warne in County championship (2006) Mushtaq took 102 wickets in 15 matches at an average of 19.91. Warne took 58 wickets in 13 matches at an average of 27.08. Obviously, Warne is a better bowler, but Mushtaq hasn't performed badly recently. Took Sussex to county championships. "Player of the season Mushtaq Ahmed (for Sussex) - 102 wickets, endless match-winning performances and forever part of Hove history" (Andrew McGlashan September 26, 2006)

  • Mohammed Sharif on February 13, 2007, 6:59 GMT

    Unfortunately, injuries aside, it doesn't seem that Kaneria will be heading to the Carribean this March. Which is real shame. Let's just hope that whatever happens, plenty of ODI oppurtunities go his way after the World Cup. For retaining him as a test specialist would be a real waste of talent.

  • haroon on February 13, 2007, 6:56 GMT

    he is a test bowler not one day bowler his record will tell u the rest. abdur rahaman should be in the team. what about azhar mahmmod who is ganuant batsman also.

  • Owais on February 13, 2007, 6:43 GMT

    Please Plz Plz have Kaneria for the following reasons: 1) Wicket Taking Option 2) Only 100% fit strike bowler with minimal chance of injury 3) Ability to either stay economic or take wickets, remember in SA, when he did'nt take wickets, he was extremely economical. 4) Shoaib Akhter in all probability will not be fit.

    Having said that, I think if you have Kaneria, please select Moin / Latif / Zulqarnain / Sarfaraz instead of Akmal. Like someone said above, we cannot affort Mr. Akmal missing a stumping chance with Ponting / Hussey / Smith / Dravid / Lara on 9 facing Kaneria. I think Moin or Latif are the best options, with good positive attitude, experience and skills.

    Finally, why are we not considering good attack bowlers from under 19, Jamshed Ahmed, Anwar Ali Khan, A Ayub.

    Our automatic choices should be Asif/Gul/Kaneria and Shoaib (if fit). Do away with Rana, Shabbir, Sami. Have only one or maximum two from amongst Hafiz, Azhar M, A Razzaq. Afridi and Shoaib Malik are the inform all rounders, afridi a better bowler and malik a better batsman.

  • TheWall on February 13, 2007, 6:34 GMT

    The only thing that can be held against Kaneria is his fielding. But given the team's fielding standards, how much does he deviate from the norm really? Razzaq, Inzi, Yousuf are equally bad.

    For those saying he can't bat either, why the hell do you need 10/11 bats in ODIs?!!! Its a fallacy to believe you need that kind of batting depth. *Usually* the first 7/8 win it or lose it.

    All that said, they wont pick him - for the silliest reason that it will cause selection headaches, esp if Akhtar's taken. A pity.

  • eddy on February 13, 2007, 6:31 GMT

    my advice to kaneria is that please try to bat a little, even at number 11 you need people who can bat for 10/15 runs. It will make his chances so much better for the world cup squad.

  • Asif on February 13, 2007, 6:30 GMT

    How people could ask for kaneria is beyond me... a bowler who takes at least 50 overs or waits for 5th day, 3rd session pitch to take wickets is being hyped up as our saviour. Afridi should be the spinner for the ODIs. Either of Malik or Hafeez would be there.

    As a batsman ask yourself who you would want to face in an ODI... Kaneria or Afridi.. 99% would want to face kaneria. The way Lara and Co. decimated him on home pitches should be a good enough answer

  • Ovais Khan on February 13, 2007, 6:30 GMT

    I think apart from Kaneria, I would also pick a youngster who is a left arm swing bowler I forget his name but I watched the Junior World Cup highlights and was impressed. He looks like a younger copy of Wasim Akram. I am amazed that the selectors haven't tried one or two of these U-19 bowlers, Pakistan has a history of picking up raw talent and let them shine amongst the senior team.

    With Shoaib, Gul and Shabbir all carrying protracted injuries & Asif [and Shoaib] still under the drug ban cloud, we should go for an unknown commodity.

    He will be real a surprise package for our opposing teams and there are atleast 2 games in the first round where he can soothe his nerves and give a chance to a senior bowler to recover for the main rounds. We need youthful exuberance to go with experience and there is plenty of it in this team. I would pick a swing bowler with raw talent who will show greater zeal & vigour over the stale and off-colour 2nd tier pacemen which sadly include Rana, Rao & even Azhar Mehmood.

    The selectors have killed talented players like Azhar Mehmood, he has been out of favour so often that there seems very little hunger. If I was Azhar, I would raise my hand and offer to open (take a leaf out of Ganguly's book..when it seemed there was no place in a water0tight batting line up with Sachin, Sehwag, Dravid, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Kaif & Raina he said he was ready to open and now that Kaif, Raina and Laxman are out of favour he is back as an opener and doing well against all odds, this supremo was written off by everyone a few months ago).

    All rounders are good but will not win you a World Cup, you need specialist batsmen and bowlers and only all rounders who can make the team either on the basis of their batting and/or bowling to win a sustained campaign like a World Cup. Like '92 Pakistan had Imran and Akram, while Imran would have made the team purely as a batsman, Akram would have made it as a bowler; it was their other abilities that added value to the team effort. Malik and Afridi make the cut even Razzaq but Hafeez will not win games. Also Azhar has to bat out of his skin perhaps as an opener to be in the team else no point in batting up to 9 or 10. If your top 7 haven't made a score then chances are that you will never have a balanced side, i.e. not enough bowling fire power to defend a low score hence the need to have more than Asif as a pure specialist bowler. Kaneria fits the bill and if Gul is fit then you can rely on Afridi, Malik and Razzaq to bowl the 20 overs. Apart from Afridi I don't think neither Malik nor Razzaq have shown the form to go through 10 overs at under 5 an over. We need a rookie fast bowler in the squad and that can be at the cost of a second keeper. Akmal has to play the whole World Cup and deal with the work load of keeping and a recent loss in confidence. iw ould not recommend him to burdened with opening the innings as well.

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg, VA, USA on February 13, 2007, 6:29 GMT

    TO GO OR NOT TO GO WITH KANERIA

    Kamran you have managed to stir up another interesting debate on the issue of selection. I guess like the team performance and its injury roster, day to day changes are not too far fetch. Danish is a good leg spinner and many may not consider him in the class of Shane Warne, Abdul Qadir or Mushty, but he is the only genuine leg spinner that we have got.

    Even India has selected Anil Kumble in view of his big match temperament, experience and the belief that the pitches in the Carrabean will support spinners and the conditions will be similar to like what we have in the sub-continent.

    Our selectors, Inzy and Bob may feel that when we have a full strength in our pace attack and with our all-rounders providing the necessary support in spin bowling, they do not need a regular leggy who can't be counted upon for Batting or fielding.

    I agree with Kamran that Danish Kaneria can be useful for Pakistan in the World Cup, specially in the absence of match winning bowlers like Shoaib Akhtar. In the recent Test Series against South Africa, Kaneria bowled well and should have bagged more wickets if the fielders had not dropped catches. Some umpiring decisions also went against him. He should have been given a chance to play the ODI's, but the return of the all-rounders meant that there was no space for him.

    Right now Pakistan selectors have to be concerned about the weakness in their pace bowling attack. It is toothless without Shoaib Akhtar or Umar Gul. Rana is off color and Sami (with a niggle) has not been bowling to his full potential. Young Asif can't carry the entire attack on his frail shoulders and needs support from other bowlers to win matches. Perhaps the presence of Danish Kaneria can be a plus point for Asif.

    Like you said in a few hours the team will be announced and there may some surprises in store for all of us. Let’s hope the selection will be a balanced one and the selected players will give their best team performance in all the matches irrespective of a win or loss.

  • Shah Ahmed _ Toronto on February 13, 2007, 6:20 GMT

    By running his mouth openly for the last few weeks, Kaneria has succeded in getting people to talk about him. I understand that without Shoaib Akhtar, the attack will lack outright pace, but the solution to that is NOT Kaneria. Kaneria's inability to run through top batting attacks even on spinner friendly tracks has been clear to see for everyone, Mushtaq Ahmed in the 92 and 96 World Cup, was effective because he had much BETTER control, temperament and confidence in himself even when a batter looked to go after him. Also, Mushy was fast and a good fielder and a decent batsman lower down the order as well. Kaneria is the worst fielder and the worst runner in Pakistan as his displays have already shown - Secondly and most importantly he lacks the heart and the temperament to succeed when the preassure is on and he will easily be taken for plenty of runs in the West Indies, where the grounds are much smaller than Pakistan. So - even with Akhtar out, you have to look at the fact that Pakistan will play allrounders as spinners because they give much better balance with their batting, and they are all good spinners as well. Afridi, Malik and Hafeez are quite capable as spinners and excellent ODI batters, therefore Kaneria has no place in the 11. I think the team can take him to the WI as the 15th player instead of Rehman, but I doubt whether he will even get a game because Kaneria simply does not fit into a ODI line up that has Nazir,Akmal,Younis,Yousef,Inzy,Malik,Afridi,Razzaq,Gul,Asif,Akhtar (Or Rao Iftikhar). Pakistan HAS to play 3 specialist seamers which is Asif,Gul,and Shoaib Akhjtar if he is fit or Rao Iftikhar if Shoaib is out. Razzaq is NOT a 1st change bowler and therefore he has to come on as 2nd change, followed by Afridi as the 5th bowler and Malik as the 6th bowler for Pakistan. This way Pakistan bats to number 8 and has 6 bowlers in its team. No way does Kaneria warrant the exclusion of an allrounder or a specialist seamer, because quite simply Kaneria isent good enough. He can whine all he wants, but thats the simple truth.

  • Talha Ahmed on February 13, 2007, 6:12 GMT

    Inzi wont do it. While i believe that Kaneria can play a similar and possibly an even better role than Mushtaq, I don't think he has the right captain to do it. Even if he gets in the squad I don't picture Inzi putting any close catches, attacking with him early or banking on him in any way. Lets face it ... playing a leg spinner in the team who can't bat or field is a risk. I don't see Inzamam as a risk taker. Kaneria could be a force in oneday cricket if he gets a more proactive captain. Spinners have special needs and Inzi doesn't have any will to fulfill them.

  • imran on February 13, 2007, 6:05 GMT

    its no time for kaneria b/cwe have good spin bowlers in the sqad with bitting ability.if we select DK then i dont think he play the matches .then why we pick danish in the sqad.if we give chance him in south africa tour then u can salect him into the sqad.we have no time of thinking.he not play so many onedayes.in which he playes he not perform well.we have already four spinners in sqad with extra batting and fielding ablities.we have the problem of fast bowling department.work on that.

  • Monty on February 13, 2007, 6:03 GMT

    It is extremly disappointing to see our fragile players down with injuries however It is more disappointing to see a player like kaneria suffer due to seemingly pointless politics. I dont get why abdur rehman was chosen in the first place, if they were to build a decent one day team/squad for the world cup. Another blow would be sending Imran farhat back as he's a typical one-day player. He did under-perform in the test series but see then again its the team management to be blamed as they have no clue as to how they should use their players. Akmal on the other hand needs to go back and learn the basics of quality wicket-keeping at the junior level (not domestic). In an international team of a country whose population exceeds 250 mill, I just "cannot" believe there isnt a better keeper in Pakistan. We have been the laughing stock for the past year with all the controversies surrounding the on-the-field and off-the-fields incidents.It might just be time for a change,a change in everything from the world cup squad thats going to be announced shortly and the team managment it certainly would help considering all our hopes for the world cup have far vanished in thin Air.

  • nabeel adeel on February 13, 2007, 6:03 GMT

    hi all well kaneria should be in the squad simply because he gives us a chance to take wickets in the middle of the innings.But to me the big issue is shoaib and gul.They must be selected because a realistic chance of doing well in the world cup is attached to them.I understand shoaib is injury prone,he has been problematic but all said and done we need him for the world cup especially in those crunch games.A bowling atatck without gul and shoaib would mean a disaster in the most important event of the cricketing calendar.I hope these two can gain fitness and inzi and woolmer can bury past differences with shoaib for the good of the team.It is inzi's last chance and i think he should realize that the strongest squad should be selected.The performance in South africa is a testimony to the importance of these two to the winning chances of the team.i hope sense prevails.

  • Ansir Mahmood, HK on February 13, 2007, 5:57 GMT

    I think Kamran Abbasi is right.Pakistan are lacking a genuine wicket taking bowler in the middle overs.Pakistan should re-think their strategy and must fit danish kaneria in the eleven.He can change the whole game in a few overs .

  • Hammad on February 13, 2007, 5:57 GMT

    It is of no use to include Kaneria in the WC squad. Kaneria can give away runs and his wicket-taking abilities are not going to be fruitful as long as Kamran Akmal stays behind the stumps.

  • Raza-e-Mustafa, Gujranwala, Pakistan on February 13, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    Given the ever-thinning resources of bowling and the impending WADA proceedings against Asif, it will be very wise option to take Kaneria along and I wouldnt be surprised to see him playing Deepak Patel by opening the bowling alongwith a fast bowler. Openers are generally vulnerable to quality spin bowling, but Pakistani openers are vulnerable to all kinds of bowling be it is of Collingwood or that of Brett Lee.

    Imran Nazir is a very weak link in the batting. One good showing has catapulted him into an icon and we dont know for how long we shall have to wait to see another such innings of glorious uncertainties and rashness. Compared with Sehwag, Gilchrist or Gayle, Nazir is found wanting in technique and temperament. Unlike others, he generally plays across the line and doesnt wait for the bad ball. As long as the ball keeps falling in no man's land, he keeps playing, but it can not go on for ever. Like a rash driver, he depends on his luck, and the moment his luck runs out, he goes back to the pavilion. We need to have a solid batsman with aggressive intent for an opener. The new ball swings, seams and bounces more than the old ball, hence the need for technically sound and compact openers. I think Hafeez and Hameed will do well as openers. They need to be given time to settle in that position.

    Pakistan is thin on bowling resources for the first time in decades. Sami's radar is out of order for a long time now, Shoaib is always suffering from perpetually incurable illnesses, Asif is an over-bowled and over-worked horse whose effectiveness will definitely be reduced under so much burden and the fear of imminent ban which can fall like a guillotine anytime. Rana Naved is not the bowler he used to be. It seems as if the batsmen have got his measure.

    Fawwad Alam is a genuine all-rounder who has been constantly ignored. He is a better batsman than Shoaib Malik and a better bowler than Afridi. I think we can do away with Abdur Rehman and bring in Fawwad Alam as a left-arm finger spinner with tremendous batting potential.

  • Anair Mahmood on February 13, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    I think Kamran Abbasi is right.Pakistan are lacking a genuine wicket taking bowler in the middle overs.Pakistan should re-think their strategy and must fit danish kaneria in the eleven.He can change the whole game in a few overs .

  • Imran from Bahrain on February 13, 2007, 5:52 GMT

    Well quite good comments from all you guys, i want you to check this out: Indian Squad for WC:

    1 Rahul Dravid (capt), 2 Sourav Ganguly, 3 Robin Uthappa, 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 Virender Sehwag, 6 Yuvraj Singh, 7 Mahendra Singh Dhoni, 8 Dinesh Karthik, 9 Irfan Pathan, 10 Ajit Agarkar, 11 Harbhajan Singh, 12 Anil Kumble, 13 Zaheer Khan, 14 Sreesanth, 15 Munaf Patel.

    I understand every team has its own combination, although Indian got 5 professional fast bowlers still they included two spinners.

    Other thing, India is concentrating on all-rounder’s. Rest you guys have to decide. I agree with Mr. Kamran Abbasi.

    Good Luck

  • Realist on February 13, 2007, 5:52 GMT

    Whatever Kamran. Pak is has been.

  • Muhammad Haris on February 13, 2007, 5:50 GMT

    Kamran, May be you are totally correct.. We might loose a trick or two by not picking up Kaneria in the World cup.. he surely is a wonderful leggie.. And in the absence of other strike bowlers he might be very handy..

    Plus one more thing, the way he has worked all day in all the tests for Pakistan, I think he deserves a spot in the Pakistan World Cup Squad..

    Drop Mahmood, Rana, Abdul Rahman, or anyone and pick him up he's the man.. !! :)

    Haris!

  • raheel on February 13, 2007, 5:46 GMT

    I agree, if shoaib is not fit than kaneria must be given a chance. Remember he is known for too much variety and experimenting in test cricket , which many critics argue makes him lack consistent line and length. But in ODI's the same technique might prove useful as it could keep the batsmen guessing and built pressure. I also believe that Pakistan must show hunger and fight like cornered tigers like the 92 team to have a realistic chance of beating better teams like AUS and SA. Hope Inzi and the boys will show up for this one!

  • Haseeb - Kuwait on February 13, 2007, 5:45 GMT

    The good news is that first 3 of pakistan matches are with weak teams except WI and in those matches we can survive without Asif, Umar, shoaib akhtar, danish and afridi pakistan's schedule of group stage is:

    West Indies vs Pakistan - Tue 13 Mar Pakistan vs Ireland - Sat 17 Mar Zimbabwe vs Pakistan - Wed 21 Mar

    This means super 8 matches will start on 27th March so from there onwards the competition will get tough, which means Asif, Umar, Shoaib Akhtar have 42 days to take rest and then get fit by then which is enough for any player to get rid of injury.

    I am sure Rana Naveed,Rao Iftikhar and Razzak can handle the bowling department against west indies, ireland and zimbabwe unless l lara/gayle tries to go after them and when super 8 comes then we can put umar,asif and shoaib akhtar in. Like this all of our 3 main strike bowlers will be fresh , energetic and fit by having enough rest of 42 days.

  • MAJID ALI ABRO on February 13, 2007, 5:43 GMT

    Ridiculous, where is kaneria? he should be the part of world cup squad, he can be aorry he will be the mtch winner for us in the event. pick him mr. Captain, Mr. Coach & Mr. Old Selector

  • Imran Panjwani on February 13, 2007, 5:40 GMT

    i think kaneria should be in the worldcup squad as the picthes in West Indies is like subcontinent pitches and there are lot of chance for legspinner as other teams also relaying on spinners like India they have 2 good spinners though they left Ramesh Powar which should in the squad but its tough job pakistan must pick Danish Kaneria in worldcup squad as shoaib akhter is not able to make any selection in worldcup squad

  • Qasim Saeed on February 13, 2007, 5:38 GMT

    Rana bashing seems to be the flavor of the day. As usual the Pakistani supporters (ehsan faramosh) have let a few off color performances overshadow some really good ones. I my self am no fan of Rana’s and am certain that there are much better fast bowlers than him in Pakistan. At the same time, I firmly believe that Rana is a better option than Rao, Sami or Kaneria in ODIs. He has had more than meaningful performances in atleast two ODI series from memory (in Australia and India) and if we compare, the other three have had one off performances in matches here or there. Infact I don’t even recall seeing Rao bowl a good delivery even. That hes taken a plethora of wickets on the domestic level speaks volumes of the caliber of the batsmen in Pakistan. This is not the time to wring in such changes. I hope they persist with Rana and Akmal. Akmal who was until the England tour last year was hailed as the second best after Gilchrist isanother player who has been woefully out of form for the last year or so. Unfortunately, after his poor showing in the Tests on this tour the team management should have tried either Zulqarnain or Younis Khan as wicket keeper to take a meaningful decision Not much to say for the rest of the team which is decided to an extent barring the ifs and buts on fitness and bans. End of the day, whoever is selected, we should put our full weight behind them and root for them to inshaAllah lift the World Cup.

  • Kash on February 13, 2007, 5:36 GMT

    Honestly speaking! I have never been a staunch supporter of Danish as I have always felt he has been over rated in test cricket. Having said that, i totally agree on including him in the world cup squad. Pakistan lifted the world cup with fighters. You had only one strike bowler:Akram. Imran had a niggle, Aqib ofcourse was very economical, Mushy was bowling well in patches and then u had support from Amer & Ejaz. By no means a threatening bowling attack. As I write this column, you don't have a single bowler who is a certainty. Rana is out of sorts, Sami, Shoaib, Shabbir & Gul are injured. Asif has a niggle. Razzaq & Mahmood are not threatening. Who are u left with? Afridi & malik. I say bring on Danish & let's spare a thought for Samiullah Niazi too. The bloke has been travelling with the team for ages and has not played a single match. This just might be a blessing in disguise. After all, we don't have any alternatives and desparate times call for desparate measures!!!!

  • Dilpazeer on February 13, 2007, 5:33 GMT

    Kaneria bowling 10 over conceding 40 odd runns; batting miserably and fielding poorly - hey you are talking about world cup team!. I am sorry there is no place for Kaneria. I have a question: What's Shoaib Malik doing in this team?

  • arsalman on February 13, 2007, 5:20 GMT

    I think you are right in suggesting Kaneria’s name for the World Cup squad. I mean, had Inzi been using his head, Kaneria should not have been sent back after the test series as he was the 2nd most successful bowler after Asif.

    In the current scenario, as far as one-days are concerned, Asif & Afridi have been the only bowlers who have brought any respectability to our bowling attack and with Kaneria in the side the bowling department will certainly strengthen. Shoaib Akhter & Umer Gul are still not fully fit and it would be interesting to see what kind of rhythm they would be in once they do recover from their injuries.

    Finally I just hope and pray that Inzi uses Kaneria tactfully and remembers as to how Imran used Mushi during the 1992 Cup.

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on February 13, 2007, 5:16 GMT

    Dear Kamran Bhai,

    As I mentioned yesterday only in my statement that Danish Kaneria should be in playing eleven as the wicket in WI will be slow. Let us keep our fingers crossed as the team will be announced in a few hours. It would not be out of place to mention that the specialist needs to be picked for this mega event otherwise, it will be suicidal. I fully agree with you that in the middle of the innings, Kaneria will be handy. Let BBI (Bari,Bob &Inzy), think about him. We can only build up pressure but rest is up to them to decide????

  • sunny on February 13, 2007, 5:09 GMT

    The equation is simple.You got to go with your best bowlers and to me kaneria is the second best in pakistan at the moment after asif.Leaving kaneria out would be a foolish mistake considering how impotent the present pakistan attack is.In my opinion he is a quality hard working bowler .His strike rate may not be great but he will definitely fare better than rana naveed,sami etc.. Pak at present time simply lacks quality wicket taking bowlers.There is no one in the team who can block runs at the death... Pakistan should follow India's example of picking Kumble for the same reason.

  • Nasser on February 13, 2007, 5:08 GMT

    Not a bad thought. From your original team, I would drop Rehman for Kaneria. Rehman is not much of a batsman either. On a separate note, I think we should revisit Salman Butt as an opener. Of all the openers we have tried under the Woolmer/Inzi era, he was the least likely to throw his wicket away and also showed the capacity to play bigger knocks and not just the odd quick 50. We desperately need the openers to fire because then our middle order followed by the all-rounders can be a winning combination. If I had to pick two between Nazir, Hafeez and Butt, I would make Butt one of my choices and then figure out who to gamble on between Hafeez and Nazir.

  • nwak on February 13, 2007, 5:07 GMT

    imran khan has been crying out for kaneria for as long as i know;the team management didnt hear the call then so i doubt if it would be heard now.i would prefer a specialist to a bits-and-pieces player anyday,unless of course the specialist isnt worth it. kaneria could have been an interesting choice had he been tried earlier but right now he's an unkown quantity in ODI's. lets not forget dear old PCB's ways though,there's no way they are gonna change their strategy abt him. lastly,i dont think calling for kaneria is a mark of your desperation kamran.its a fair enough call given the circumstances.who would have thought our team's first-choice bowlers would be injury-ravaged come the world cup?had shoaib and umar been fit,the thought of kaneria might not have even crossed the mind of some of you out there. turns out,imran khan has always been ahead of the rest....its a pity his cricketing brain isnt being used,lets not forget,he was the man who won us the world cup. kaneria's selection was his call but would our mentally-challenged PCB ever listen?

  • Muhammad Shoaib on February 13, 2007, 5:01 GMT

    If we see the 2005 tour of Pakistan to West Indies, Kenaria has taken 11 wickets in two test matches with a remarkable haul of 5 for 46 in 20 overs. But the questions arouse that he didnt play in ODIs and his record in ODI is not so Impressive. so can he be a threat to the batsman there

  • Ehtasham Usmani on February 13, 2007, 5:01 GMT

    I really feel that the control which kaneria showed in test series in SA, he deserves a place in ODI team. With a bit of luck & better wiket keepng he could have picked a few more wickets.

    But...

    I dont think that Kanaeria Inzi combination will work as an attacking option in middle overs because sometimes the fielding positions which inzi opts for, even for new batsman is often defensive i.e 4 men in the ring & kaneria will be treated as any other finger spinner, frequent singles & ocassional boundary

    To take most from kaneria you must have an attacking captain and should have been an understanding b/w bowler & captain which isn't in this case.....in ODI's.

  • Nuruddin Lakhani on February 13, 2007, 5:00 GMT

    Let's say that Bari includes Kaneria in the 15 man squad of the world cup and he gets the support of Uncle Bob (the coach) also. Do you think Inzy has enough confidence on Kaneria to perform in an ODI within 10 overs? We have talked about this before, as pointed out earlier, that Kaneria has disappointed us on the tracks which were ideally suited for him in the Test matches.

    Mushtaq was tried in ODI's before when he played the World Cup of 1992, and frankly speaking, the team had not performed as brilliantly in the earlier games as they did in the semi-final and final.

    Personally I think it will be big gamble to pick Kaneria . . . it may work out but may backfire also. And please do not forget his fielding which is an act of comedy on the field. You can't replace him with Azhar Mahmood (better batting ability) or Rana (better wicket taking ability in ODI, only if he gets picked up).

    By the way, what's the news on Saqlain Mushtaq? Does he exist anymore?

  • Moin Madraswala on February 13, 2007, 4:57 GMT

    If Pakistan wants to be a serious contender in the World cup they need to improve their bowling. If they rely on their batsmen they are not going to win the cup and it is not fair to ask your batsmen to perform all the time. I hope it is clear to the Pakistan board that no team with less than two wicket taking bowler has ever won the World cup (well we can leave the Indian win out since that was just luck on the final day). You would not beat any half decent side with just one attacking bowler (Mohammed Asif). Pakistan need to play Danish and someone else from the domestic cricket and may be a new face might get you some wickets, I think Sami and Rana would be a waste of place, I know that Rana was the man of series against WI but I do not think he bowled well even in that series, I think the only good wicket was of Lara when he opened. Every other wicket was due to poor batting. Rana has lost his touch and Sami is just taking up space. They need to go back and find their rhythm in domestic cricket. The trashing by South African batsmen has clearly shown that Pakistan bowler are not learning bowlers (specially Rana and Sami), they keep on bowling in the same area again and again. Honestly I do not think the coaching is good all the way from Bob to Mushi, they are not doing their job. I hope Pakistan include some new faces and play Danish consistently in One Day Cricket. He might go for 50 runs but there is a chance that he will take a bunch of wickets. Our bowlers are going for runs anyway so why not take a genuine spinner when all the cricketers in the world don't know how to play leg spin. I hope the Pakistan selector realize this but then again will they? So long from a dedicated cricket lover in Denver

  • Niaz Hussain Jagirani on February 13, 2007, 4:54 GMT

    i think at this stage we should include kaneria, we have no any other way. because kaneria has many technique to handle batsman from attacking.

  • Amanzeb Khan on February 13, 2007, 4:53 GMT

    Its true that wicket taking ability in the middle overs is critical. The importance of overs 20-40 is sometimes overlooked. This is the period where a team can build the platform for a big total by playing risk free efficient cricket and accumulating singles and twos. As a bowling side striking in these overs can really set the batting team back as they are never able to build the momentum required. Our middle overs bowling right now does appear thin and can easily be milked for runs. However, I am not sure Kaneria is the solution. He has an inclination of losing the plot and his focus if attacked at the beginning of his spell. And this is a well known fact particularly in the county circuit. All teams look to attack Kaneria in the first few overs he bowls and he just falls apart. I think Pakistan will have to do with Abdul Rehman and the part time bowlers with a mid innings spell from Shoaib in between. The key will be to set single saving fields and create pressure. Not to allow easy runs. That needs astute captaincy and sharp fielders in the ring. If you dry out the runs in the middle overs it creates a lot of pressure and leads to wickets. The SriLankans are experts at this. But they do possess some very sharp infielders.

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on February 13, 2007, 4:52 GMT

    I think most people on this thread have gone a bit desperate including Kamran. Kaneria bowling credentials even in test cricket are suspect! Leave alone ODI cricket where his batting and fielding will be an out and out liability. This guy could not pick up a wicket in 4th innings chases in SA. He was hammered all over the park in England. Inzi will never use him in an attacking mode like Imran used Mushtaq. If you beleive that Inzi will have a slip and silly point in place in the 25th over when Kaneria is bowling you have not been watching the same captain I have. If you want a spinner in the middle overs Rehman is a much better option. Even I think that between Afridi/Malik/Hafeez we have enough spinning options. And if you need more proof of Kaneria's ineptness, take a look at his record in the first innings of test matches against all teams except Bangladesh. A ODI pitch is likely to be a 2nd or 3rd day test pitch not a 4th or 5th day pitch where Kaneria is most effective. I'm sorry but to compare Kaneria to Mushtaq is not an effective comparison at all. Like I said at the start, if he is included the selection will reek of desperation.

  • Ehsan Ur-Rehman Khan Chattar, Ottawa on February 13, 2007, 4:51 GMT

    Ball starts turning in Caribbean as early as 15th over. So there is almost a 25 overs span where an attacking leg spinner can have a shot to demolish the opposition. The only way Pakistan can get out of the inconsistent run is by playing attacking cricket. The fact that all teams will try to score big is a great opportunity for a leg spinner to gain wickets. The difference between Afridi's leg spin and Kanerias' is the amount of turn and remember what a turn can do ( Aus vs Pak 1999 wc final thanks to S Warne). If we would have two of our three frontline bowlers available ( namley Asif, Gul and S Akther) then we won't need Kaneria otherwise he is a must to add sting to the attack. I am surprised when people say that we should pick some guys from under 19 wc winning squad. The real World cup is not a stage for such debutants. The atmosphere and pressure of the wc is not the same as the junior wc. So please don’t be so hasty for those youngsters. Haste only makes waste. Also too many a players out of international circuit coming back in the team will only do more harm than good. I shall stress again like I said in my earlier comments on this blog that most of our wins will come from strong batting performance and a reasonable bowling. Yesterday’s loss against SA by ten wickets and our win against SA just showed that. Having a bowler like Kaneria in the squad gives us higher probability of a respectable bowling effort. Without him it might come out to be very poor.

  • ali a on February 13, 2007, 4:50 GMT

    Previously I used to write my comments as "ali", but since many people have started to use "Ali", I am switching to "ali a".

    Anyways, it looks like Shoaib is going to be out (according to dawn - could be knee injury and/or dope test results we don't know). Surprisingly, Gul is also in doubt. I remember hearing his interview about week to ten days ago that he was completely fit, infact they showed him cycling in NCA. Now how come he's still unfit? I have seen Shoaib and Gul both come on TV more than week to ten days ago claiming their fitness levels? What's going on?

    I think given all the uncertainties Pakistan now has, it is the best time for them to gamble: Lets take Kaneria or Mustaq Ahmed as a spinner, Wasim Akram as bowling coach. Some people are leaning towards Salman Butt (I have my doubts, but why not). Someone else wrote in last blog that Rashid Latif has been playing WI domestic lately, lets take him too, he better than Kamran in keeping. What else can go wrong that we already don't know?

    I think Sami could be a little better than Rana, since he's been struggling. On other hand, have Rana, Azhar, Razzaq and Sami unofficially take lessons from Waqar (don't worry Bob, Inzi and Nasim A - we won't publicize your dumb dumb dumb mistakes).

    Oh by the way as I said before in other blog, don't play Asif in the last SA ODI, rest him please. The series does not matter now.

    Oh please give a boot to Inzi and Bob in the rear (tell them their bonus depends on winning the WC). Inzi even dawn is writing you off man as "his best days are behind him", so have some dignity (look at pathetic England, even they won the CB series or say Aussie let them win). It looks from your face as the current series was not challenging for you... lets hope WC is.

  • zeeshan on February 13, 2007, 4:43 GMT

    I can only say that the reason behind pakistan's success in 1992 and 1999 final was not a leg spinner. In 1992 Imran khan come at no. 3 and hold the batting line up by playing slow but safe and their was Javed miandad who glued to crease in every match so that others can play their game. The best example is the semi final of 1992 against New Zealand. In 1999, Razzak was playing at no. 3 and was playing very slow but safe game and let the others come and play attacking game. Pakistan current batting line up is attacking and un predictable so they can score even 400 or bowled out for 50. Suggestion for Bob, Inzi and Bari is to see the videos of 1992, send Razzak and let him play the role Imran has played and tell younis to fit in shoes of Javed Miandad. About Bowling , in 1992 we were short of two bowlers and even ejaz ahmed was bowling his ten overs against Australia. Its all depend on the mind of captain.

    Zeeshan

  • mohammed on February 13, 2007, 4:43 GMT

    Well guys. I am sure Kaneria will not be needed for world cup. Use malik, afridi,and hafeez

    But I earlier recommended Samiullah Niazi for the world cup.

    His speciality is left hand bowling that Pakis doesn’t have which is needed for the squad to bowl against Left handed batsmen

  • TK on February 13, 2007, 4:35 GMT

    Kenaria does not hold the pivotal position to lift the world cup. The key to the success remain in selecting an effective opening pair and the opening pace express!

    Due to their myopic vision and insights, DNA & Co. (Dr. Nasim Ashraf) are in process of failing to select a winning combination of talented cricketers. DNA & Co. ought to listen to what Imran Khan has been saying about the selection of world cup squad. Salman Butt and Yasir Hameed must be included as openers. Half-fit Shoaib is still more effective than the rest of pace attack.

    P.S. Various Business schools around the world could incorporate case studies, on DNA and HP’s Carly Firorina, to teach student how efficient organizations could be ruined by mediocre leaders and their myopic vision.

  • Jawad on February 13, 2007, 4:17 GMT

    kaneria can play at an expense of a either (asif/gul/shoaib) or an allrounder like (razzaq/afridi/malik). do u think its really worth it ? plus remember guys, kaneria can be really expensive unlike afridi who can not only take wkts but afridi can also stop runs. ICC have given us a chance to substitute an injured player if a need arises so lets cross our fingers and hope all three main fast bowlers come good. if not we can always substitute kaneria with one of the injured player

  • Imran Naqvi on February 13, 2007, 4:16 GMT

    Well u r right that he should be selected before.But the time hasn't gone yet.Its just that when our selectors will think about it.The way our medium pacers are being hammered in the middle of the innings,its badly needed that there must be a bowler who contain runs as well as a wicket taker.And Kaneria is a wicket taking bowler.So lets wait and see what our team management is looking upto on this issue.

  • Faridoon on February 13, 2007, 4:11 GMT

    The problem with Danish being in the ODI team is his complete lack of fielding and batting skills. Certainly preference in ODI games is goven to people who can contribute multi-dimensionally.

    However, given the current injury hit state of affairs, I think you make a good point. Plus trying to attack him in his ten over spell would definitely result in wickets or at least less than 30 runs; another good point you make.

    Let's give him a run.

  • Rehan Qureshi on February 13, 2007, 4:11 GMT

    I agree with every word what you have said but I also beleive that as inzimam is a veeeeerrrrryyyyyy defensive captain, he would just like to stop runs by offspinners rather than taking wickets with a legspinner. Imran Khan has been saying this for a long time attack is the best policy and a legspinner in ODI is an attacking option. One more thing to consider here is that a legspinner's effectivness depends upon the quality of the wicket keeper. Mushtaq Ahmed had Moin Khan, Warne had Gilchrist, who does kaneria has ??? Akmal??

  • Shams on February 13, 2007, 4:10 GMT

    KARACHI, Feb 12: Leg-spinner Danish Kaneria and pacer Rao Iftikhar have been reportedly included in the 15-man Pakistan squad for next month’s World Cup in the West Indies.

  • AMIN S. on February 13, 2007, 4:10 GMT

    Yes, you are right Kaneria could be the matchwinner. I hope they select him for the world cup. They also have to find a better opening pair. The current one Nazir and Akmal looks good for nothing. They should also consider Samiullah Niazi the left arm seam bowler. IN the last ODI they should try Yasir Hamid, Zul Haider and Rao. With current form they cannot make it to the Semis in World Cup. Lets hope the best.

  • Humayun on February 13, 2007, 3:58 GMT

    Kaneria would not make it in the WC. He would be torn apart by the opposition teams. I think the PCB should stick with what they have said about Kaneria. Yes, Moin Khan has said he is available and fit for the WC. I think with Akmal being known for dropping so many catches, its time to turn to the old horse. That would be a very bold move, are the PCB selection committee ready to unshackle themselves with such a move? We'll find out in merely hours.

  • Fraz on February 13, 2007, 3:55 GMT

    Kaneria is no Shane Warne not even Mushtaq. Filter his record for Bangladesh and look at rest. He may be able to take 500 wickets and play 150 test matches but he would never be such a big threat as Warne was not even as Mushtaq was (though for a short duration during 95-96). Shahid Afridi is much better a spinner than him in one dayers.

    Those who think Kaneria is a match winner, look at his performance 2nd innings during first test and last test in SA. He only plays his part in winning when someone else starts the collapse.

    Just like Sami, Kaneria is an enigma. People like Ramiz Raza would call Sami a wicket taker without looking at his record. Its just a same way as Kamran Abbasi would call Qadir better than Warne.

  • Hasan Rizvi on February 13, 2007, 3:52 GMT

    I would rather that Moin threw his bat out of the ring than throw his hat in the ring.

  • muhammad zaheer on February 13, 2007, 3:42 GMT

    when pakistan won thier second odi i make the prediction that with that squad only tow things can happen either pakistan score 402 or (more likely)102.more likely happen in just few days. i always think u do not need a allrounder who score 20 runs but gives 45 or more runs in less than 6 overs.squad shoud have atleast 4 spaciliast batsmen and atleast three wicket taking bowlers than at the end u have 4 spots to fill with a slugger ,keeper,good middle order batsman allrounder and allrounder whos bowling job isonly not to give runs and if neede can hit at the end of the inning.if u try to add way too many specailst or way too many allrounder in yuor team than u will take a chance of inconsisty in yuor team.

  • fhs on February 13, 2007, 3:22 GMT

    Agreed with you, Kamran! I love to see Kaneria in WC games. I can only pray for him to be included in the squad. It would make a huge difference. He is the match winner!

    I have no fear to say that the reason Kaneria is not in the ODIs bc of Inzy. Inzy does not want Kaneria to play in ODIs. As long as he is there, Kaneria (and all of us) should forget to play in ODIs...

  • Ashaq on February 13, 2007, 3:11 GMT

    Kamran I was just teasing you. I think the reasons you put across are quite valid given the present situation. I would also fully concur with Javed sahib from Canada. Who as usual has put across a forceful argument.

    "Its better to make a U-turn than head off down the wrong road with no way back". I love that sentence pretty good advice for anyone in general.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 13, 2007, 3:04 GMT

    The latest news is even Mohammad Sami is injured and that's why he is not playing. No wonder why we have to see so much of Rana Naveed. What's happening to these fast bowlers? Are they so fragile and so unfit that they cannot last three test match and a 5 ODI series? What a shame!

    Omer Admani:

    You are saying: "Rao can be replaced with Rana" you mean to say, "Rana can be replaced by Rao"? Since Rao Iftikhar is already there in SA, I hope they include him in the playing XI for the 5th ODI.

    Ashaq:

    I am not supporting Kamran Abbassi's view nor criticizing yours, but in that thread (Kaneria: An enigma to all) what Kamran Abbassi highlighted by saying that; "Kaneria failed to take a single wicket in these (the first test) circumstances is bewildering, an enigma." Well, enigma means a mystery, and every player goes through a patch which could be bewildering and mysterious, especially when he is not performing, we say whats the mystery, why is he not performing? But, very soon Kaneria got in to the grooves and bowled magnificently in the second and third test. In my opinion he has been a luck less bowler, especially in the recent past. But, its sad to see that some people were pushing Abdul Rahman ahead of Kaneria and that is absolutely wrong and an unjust comparison. Abdul Rahman has no credentials, no history, no track record, just 2 wickets twice against WI at home. In SA, when he bowled in twenty20 and in the ODI as well, he was lacking in self confidence and was thrashed all over the fence. Whereas, Kaneria bowled very well in the second and third test, yet he was sent home on the notion that PCB has labelled him as a test bowler only! Yes, he is a poor fielder, so is Monty, but England is keeping faith in Monty and he did not fail them.

    Also, there a tendency among some people that they love to push new names like, Fawad Alam etc. They should know that Fawad Alam's one time 5 wicket haul and a fifty in a domestic match does not warrant him a place in the WC squad. You cannot experiment new players in such an important event like WC by bringing in debutants. If the selectors are going to include any debutant in the 15 I would demand a court martial against them. It would not only be suicidal but also a big insult for the other players who have already played for Pakistan. If Fawad Alam is so talented he will get in to the team after the world cup. I wish him all the best and success in future, but not for the world cup.

  • SHAQ TORONTO on February 13, 2007, 3:03 GMT

    My vacation, work schedule and watching world cup all depends on PCB selectors. Like others i have also stressed on selecting Danish in ODI team before and and i would still say the same. Danish would be a good asset specially without Afridi against W Indies and infect against any other team he can be leathal. It all depends on how to use him, when to use him and who will be the keeper for important stumping chances and caught behinds !!?? Will inzi be fit enough on the crunch games(2nd round)? How many of team members will be on the beach party before an important game? Stay tune !!

  • Omer Admani on February 13, 2007, 3:01 GMT

    Kaneria! A good bowler is a good bowler in both tests and one-days. If you give our bowlers a bowling plan which would have it to consistently pitch the bowl off and around off stump at a length that hits the top of off stump, then that bowler will be successful in both tests and one-days. Kaneria was reasonably successful in test matches against South Africa. Who knows without Akmal he might have won us the lost matches as well. Secondly, South Africa had to only defend against Kaneria knowing that rana would soon come to bowl. In one-days they will have to at least make runs consistently. Moreover, in the latter matches in the West Indies the bowl will take a lot of spin. Lastly, looking at the alternatives now, selecting Kaneria is a no-brainer. But i guess you never know with Inzamam and the PCB. They still might persist with Rana and Akmal, while they discard Kaneria.

  • khurram on February 13, 2007, 2:52 GMT

    I 200% agree with u Kamran and in my previous comment i wrote that Kaneria should be in the squad for WC not only in 15 but also in starting eleven irrespective of the fact that Shahid Afridi is playing or not because bot are different legspiners. With Afridi you cannot go on all out attack in crunch situations but with Kaneria you certainly can. He should be the part of team as a regular member but unfortunately due to some inexplicable reasons he is not. I think a quality legspiner must be in any side. They might be bit expensive but they can provide vital break throughs. But unfortunately now a days genuine legspinner in ODI a rare commodity.

  • Ashaq on February 13, 2007, 2:47 GMT

    Hey Mr Javed.A.Khan relax dont get too stressed out sir. WE might not win the world cup but we certainly will be the most entertaining controversial,and colourful side thats for sure.

    Think positive at least there wont be a dull moment with the present lot. Hell if your gonna lose might as well do it in style.

    Incidentally Moin Khan has belatedly thrown his hat in to the ring. Well thats something to ponder. Certainly a far more colourful option than Akmal if nothing else. Moin as vice captain certainly would be an interesting contrast to Inzis personality.

  • Kamran Abbasi on February 13, 2007, 2:37 GMT

    Fair enough Ashaq but three points:

    1 My puzzlement with Kaneria was caused by his Test performances. With the onus on the batsman in one-day cricket, this could be Kaneria's chance to become a match-winner.

    2 Even if you still consider this to be a u-turn, it's better to make a u-turn than head off down the wrong road with no way back.

    3 Kaneria seems to be the only fit top-class bowler that Pakistan possess at the moment. Four or five months ago Pakistan's bowling options were plentiful, now they are pitiful

  • harjinder on February 13, 2007, 2:33 GMT

    i thought thats good india have agoldon chance to won this world cup aus is also going to lost well no way india have a cup 2007

  • Danish Khan on February 13, 2007, 2:27 GMT

    You know, all can be speculated here, lets wait till the announcement of the squad, commend, ponder, blast or be hopeful towards what the selection is. Fingers crossed.

  • harpreet bhinder on February 13, 2007, 2:26 GMT

    give him a chance wasim akram

  • J.Singh on February 13, 2007, 2:26 GMT

    Shahid Afridi. Shahid Afridi. 2/42 (10.0) What brilliant analysis in the face of a 392 run total. Brilliant. His bowling is steady, however his good first class record indicates he can further lift his bowling at an international level. His batting provides the capability to do quick and extreme damage to opposition bowlers. Pakistan need the capability to upset teams such as Australia. And there is no doubt that Shahid Afridi brings that capability, he is deadly and dangerous, and Australia are afraid of him. Remember what he did to Glenn McGrath in Australia a couple of years ago?

    P.S. Kamran, I am still awaiting your apology about your article claiming that Qadir was better than Warne. I understand that you simply were making it up and trying to stir up some debate and I commend you for that. Of course Shane Warne was twice as good, as you of course know, however it was still good to get some debate going as Qadir was excellent to watch.

  • bhinder on February 13, 2007, 2:25 GMT

    hey men i don't know kaneria is not for one days where is it? jamshed ahmed anwer ali sarfraz ahmed otherwise pick up wasim and waqar i don't why they don't thoght about those player i saw under 19 world cup both bowler are amazing and wicketkeeper who have the skill og leadership why not give him a chance why akmal? first they told he is away for whole one day series then immidetiely he started as opner why? not afridi as opner he score most runs in that position why? i have only why they are not thingking like me

  • Asad Bangash on February 13, 2007, 2:17 GMT

    Off the topic ...but i read the blog ahead of me and googl-ed moin khan. It says Moin Khan was arrested for beating up wife...and released. I don't think i ll ever see a day in my life in which all the Best XI are : 1. Fit 2. Unbanned 3. Undrugged 4. Without any controversies

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

    Quite a U-turn Kamran.only a few weeks ago we where discussing Kaneria the Enigma. Now suddenly he is a match winner.

    I personally think he would be a liability in the one day format. A spin bowling version of Rana Naveed. They both have loads off talent and variety, but not enough control , and can be very expensive. Only real legspinning threat in the one dayers is Magical Mushy given his form over the last 4 years at Sussex County in the U.k.

    You seem to be clutching at straws Kamran. WE might as well be a bit more bold and crazier and go for a team of allrounders. HOw about Mansoor Amjad, Fawad Alam And Yasir arafat in the line up. Imagine a side that can bat all the way down too 11. Could be Explosive. I think i am starting to lose my own marbles.

    However I think Mansoor Amjad as a legspin allrounder could be a future threat to both afridi and Kaneria.

  • Omer Admani on February 13, 2007, 1:59 GMT

    I have been saying all along that Kaneria should be in the squad. What the hell would Rana be doing in the squad at the expense of Kaneria? If PCB can ever learn from thier mistakes, the time is right now. What can we concievably lose by removing Rana? We can only get better... Rao can be replaced with Rana, Yasi Arafat, Samiullah Niazi, whoever...even without match-practice, short of confidence, they will probably bowl better than him. If they are as bad, at least we can be satisfied with the thought that we did what was the best for the team, which wasn't worse than as it was. Rana will fail. Akmal is another point in case. For the life of me get Rashid Latif, Zulqernain, or anyone, but Akmal. May I ask you whether you can live with the thought that Akmal might drop Ponting or Kallis or Pieterson in an important match? And we know that it will happen, it has been happening, there is no reason to dream otherwise...Please, consider it hard.

    Ultimately in effect we will be discarding the bowler who would have taken quite a few more wickets in the test series but for a man who has let us down since awhile now.

  • Danish Khan on February 13, 2007, 1:47 GMT

    HmMmMmMmm...Kaneria more than deserves a call for the Country, interesting observation of Mushtaq during the 1992 World Cup! And SINCE!!! Mushtaq will be accompanying the squad for the event, it is more sensible to pick him so that he can benefit from the veteran. But what is this news with possibly Moin Khan getting picked????? Does anybody see the sense or purpose behind that? Wouldn't that affect Kaneria's chances? This worries me, and I completely agree with Mr. Javed A. Khan's perception of giving Kaneria a chance or two to see how he plays out!

  • Sami Syed from Toronto on February 13, 2007, 1:36 GMT

    It is not so simple with Keneria. I would agree with Kamran to a certain extent. You make a very good point that Keneria is an attacking bowler. However, for me I would only consider him is Shoaib Akhter cannot be in the world cup. If Shoaib Akther is in then there is no room for Keneria. Having said that, you have to consider we have a good spinning option with Afridi and then we Hafeez and Malik as support. THere is simply no room for another spinner who can't even bat.

    The fact is that Shoaib Akhter needs to be there. And the other aspect we have to consider is that all our fast bowlers seem to be fragile so we need pace back up in the 15 man squad. Given this predicament and the availablity of 3 spinning all rounders, there simply is no room for Keneira in the 15. He is a batting and fielding liability

    Sorry Keneria... the only way you could even be half considered is if Shoaib Akhter doesn't play the World Cup.

    Sorry to burst the Keneria bubble but this won't happen in a long shot!

  • Amyn Habib on February 13, 2007, 1:36 GMT

    A really important thought. Given the injuries to a number of pace bowlers, this suggestion makes a lot of sense. Hopefully, he will make a useful contribution, if he is selected.

  • Hasan Rizvi on February 13, 2007, 1:35 GMT

    let me put it this way ! not to have Kaneria in our team at any time is beyond me, he is always hard working,bowls with zest,guile and sincerity and I believe is a real team player,what is wrong with these people? look at what happened once they sent him back from South Africa, I just don't understand these people, I certainly hope they read your blog and pay some attention to your readers many of whom are more intelligent and cricket savvy than what I have seen these people do thus far, hope they listen.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 13, 2007, 1:18 GMT

    Whether BBI (Bob, Bari and Inzi) would do it or not will be known in a few hours from now. But, most of us on this blog, including myself have stressed the need of including Kaneria in the WC squad. And the better time would be to try him while Afridi is out for the first two matches. Remember, in the 1992 WC, Waqar Younus who was in such a devastating form was not in the team due to injury. So, Shoaib's absence should not be felt that badly if Asif is fit and that should suffice the needs. For that Asif must take complete rest and not do anything silly. Also, there is a rumour that PCB wants to conduct drug test for all their players before the WC, and some experts have expressed their concerns that traces of Nandrolone (more than the acceptable level) may still be present in Asif's system, that means he would be banned! What would be the alternative choice in case that dreadful thing happens? The bowling department is already very weak and without Asif it would be impotent.

    One question: IF people like you, me and others on this blog can think of considering Danish Kaneria in the WC squad, and if, only IF, BBI do not consider him as an asset in the team and a potential threat to the opposition, then shame on them. They are really dimwits and not worth representing Pakistan as a coach, selector and captain.

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  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on February 13, 2007, 1:18 GMT

    Whether BBI (Bob, Bari and Inzi) would do it or not will be known in a few hours from now. But, most of us on this blog, including myself have stressed the need of including Kaneria in the WC squad. And the better time would be to try him while Afridi is out for the first two matches. Remember, in the 1992 WC, Waqar Younus who was in such a devastating form was not in the team due to injury. So, Shoaib's absence should not be felt that badly if Asif is fit and that should suffice the needs. For that Asif must take complete rest and not do anything silly. Also, there is a rumour that PCB wants to conduct drug test for all their players before the WC, and some experts have expressed their concerns that traces of Nandrolone (more than the acceptable level) may still be present in Asif's system, that means he would be banned! What would be the alternative choice in case that dreadful thing happens? The bowling department is already very weak and without Asif it would be impotent.

    One question: IF people like you, me and others on this blog can think of considering Danish Kaneria in the WC squad, and if, only IF, BBI do not consider him as an asset in the team and a potential threat to the opposition, then shame on them. They are really dimwits and not worth representing Pakistan as a coach, selector and captain.

  • Hasan Rizvi on February 13, 2007, 1:35 GMT

    let me put it this way ! not to have Kaneria in our team at any time is beyond me, he is always hard working,bowls with zest,guile and sincerity and I believe is a real team player,what is wrong with these people? look at what happened once they sent him back from South Africa, I just don't understand these people, I certainly hope they read your blog and pay some attention to your readers many of whom are more intelligent and cricket savvy than what I have seen these people do thus far, hope they listen.

  • Amyn Habib on February 13, 2007, 1:36 GMT

    A really important thought. Given the injuries to a number of pace bowlers, this suggestion makes a lot of sense. Hopefully, he will make a useful contribution, if he is selected.

  • Sami Syed from Toronto on February 13, 2007, 1:36 GMT

    It is not so simple with Keneria. I would agree with Kamran to a certain extent. You make a very good point that Keneria is an attacking bowler. However, for me I would only consider him is Shoaib Akhter cannot be in the world cup. If Shoaib Akther is in then there is no room for Keneria. Having said that, you have to consider we have a good spinning option with Afridi and then we Hafeez and Malik as support. THere is simply no room for another spinner who can't even bat.

    The fact is that Shoaib Akhter needs to be there. And the other aspect we have to consider is that all our fast bowlers seem to be fragile so we need pace back up in the 15 man squad. Given this predicament and the availablity of 3 spinning all rounders, there simply is no room for Keneira in the 15. He is a batting and fielding liability

    Sorry Keneria... the only way you could even be half considered is if Shoaib Akhter doesn't play the World Cup.

    Sorry to burst the Keneria bubble but this won't happen in a long shot!

  • Danish Khan on February 13, 2007, 1:47 GMT

    HmMmMmMmm...Kaneria more than deserves a call for the Country, interesting observation of Mushtaq during the 1992 World Cup! And SINCE!!! Mushtaq will be accompanying the squad for the event, it is more sensible to pick him so that he can benefit from the veteran. But what is this news with possibly Moin Khan getting picked????? Does anybody see the sense or purpose behind that? Wouldn't that affect Kaneria's chances? This worries me, and I completely agree with Mr. Javed A. Khan's perception of giving Kaneria a chance or two to see how he plays out!

  • Omer Admani on February 13, 2007, 1:59 GMT

    I have been saying all along that Kaneria should be in the squad. What the hell would Rana be doing in the squad at the expense of Kaneria? If PCB can ever learn from thier mistakes, the time is right now. What can we concievably lose by removing Rana? We can only get better... Rao can be replaced with Rana, Yasi Arafat, Samiullah Niazi, whoever...even without match-practice, short of confidence, they will probably bowl better than him. If they are as bad, at least we can be satisfied with the thought that we did what was the best for the team, which wasn't worse than as it was. Rana will fail. Akmal is another point in case. For the life of me get Rashid Latif, Zulqernain, or anyone, but Akmal. May I ask you whether you can live with the thought that Akmal might drop Ponting or Kallis or Pieterson in an important match? And we know that it will happen, it has been happening, there is no reason to dream otherwise...Please, consider it hard.

    Ultimately in effect we will be discarding the bowler who would have taken quite a few more wickets in the test series but for a man who has let us down since awhile now.

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

    Quite a U-turn Kamran.only a few weeks ago we where discussing Kaneria the Enigma. Now suddenly he is a match winner.

    I personally think he would be a liability in the one day format. A spin bowling version of Rana Naveed. They both have loads off talent and variety, but not enough control , and can be very expensive. Only real legspinning threat in the one dayers is Magical Mushy given his form over the last 4 years at Sussex County in the U.k.

    You seem to be clutching at straws Kamran. WE might as well be a bit more bold and crazier and go for a team of allrounders. HOw about Mansoor Amjad, Fawad Alam And Yasir arafat in the line up. Imagine a side that can bat all the way down too 11. Could be Explosive. I think i am starting to lose my own marbles.

    However I think Mansoor Amjad as a legspin allrounder could be a future threat to both afridi and Kaneria.

  • Asad Bangash on February 13, 2007, 2:17 GMT

    Off the topic ...but i read the blog ahead of me and googl-ed moin khan. It says Moin Khan was arrested for beating up wife...and released. I don't think i ll ever see a day in my life in which all the Best XI are : 1. Fit 2. Unbanned 3. Undrugged 4. Without any controversies

  • bhinder on February 13, 2007, 2:25 GMT

    hey men i don't know kaneria is not for one days where is it? jamshed ahmed anwer ali sarfraz ahmed otherwise pick up wasim and waqar i don't why they don't thoght about those player i saw under 19 world cup both bowler are amazing and wicketkeeper who have the skill og leadership why not give him a chance why akmal? first they told he is away for whole one day series then immidetiely he started as opner why? not afridi as opner he score most runs in that position why? i have only why they are not thingking like me

  • J.Singh on February 13, 2007, 2:26 GMT

    Shahid Afridi. Shahid Afridi. 2/42 (10.0) What brilliant analysis in the face of a 392 run total. Brilliant. His bowling is steady, however his good first class record indicates he can further lift his bowling at an international level. His batting provides the capability to do quick and extreme damage to opposition bowlers. Pakistan need the capability to upset teams such as Australia. And there is no doubt that Shahid Afridi brings that capability, he is deadly and dangerous, and Australia are afraid of him. Remember what he did to Glenn McGrath in Australia a couple of years ago?

    P.S. Kamran, I am still awaiting your apology about your article claiming that Qadir was better than Warne. I understand that you simply were making it up and trying to stir up some debate and I commend you for that. Of course Shane Warne was twice as good, as you of course know, however it was still good to get some debate going as Qadir was excellent to watch.