World Cup 2007 March 8, 2007

Road to Jamaica 5: New strategy, new hope?

Despite Bob Woolmer's stonewalling of my piercing questions earlier this week we now have a good idea of what Pakistan's new strategy will be
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Despite Bob Woolmer's stonewalling of my piercing questions earlier this week - I know you all thought the interview was tremendous really - we now have a good idea of what Pakistan's new strategy will be.

Younis Khan will try and enforce some stability at the top of the innings while young Mr Nazir attempts to unleash hell. Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam will move up one position to number three and four, the premier batting slots, and Shoaib Malik will be left to marshall the lower order or then again Mohammad Hafeez might.

It is too early to call this a winning strategy. But when your old system isn't working, a reasonable approach is to try something completely different. On that basis Pakistan's new batting order is worth persevering with. It also gives Pakistan's best batsmen, Yousuf, Inzamam, and Younis, the maximum opportunity to influence the match.

Furthermore, Hafeez and Malik, who can both be leaden footed when the ball moves around early in an innings, might be more comfortable lower down the order.

Kamran Akmal will take one of the next two batting slots, but the complication arises when considering which combination of bowling all-rounders and bowlers to go for. One of those slots would go to Afridi, in my view. Potentially, though, Pakistan can bat right down to 9, even number 11 if the mood takes them.

The first indication is that the wickets might indeed be to Pakistan's liking but the warm up against South Africa will give us a better idea if this is a strategy with legs. It has had a mixed start but one that offers hope.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ILoveUSA on March 15, 2007, 15:27 GMT

    team of 92 vs team of 2007 Now pakistani fans are saying we had same kind of team in 92 worldcup and we can win this worldcup too.

    but they are forgetting one thing on 1992 worlducp pak batting lineup was very very long.

    there was only two tailenders that team those were Mushtan ahmed who can easily hit sixes as well and last man was aqib javed only one poor tail ender. but now we have half team with tailender worst than aqib javaid.

    these tailender is worst tailenders in the world cricket.

    these all are laughable for batting.

    Danish keneria,Umer gull ,Rao, Rana and Sami

  • abdul on March 14, 2007, 21:50 GMT

    pakistan is going to win the world

  • Saad Qasim, SA on March 12, 2007, 17:55 GMT

    I think Inzy would like to retire from captaincy before he gets hated by all the fans in Pak. Also Mohommed yousef should a least average 35 for Pak to have hope in winning the world cup.

  • fahad on March 12, 2007, 11:53 GMT

    what is the result of playing so many number of oppners over the last four years.yasir hamid would be better choice than imran nazir.pakistan need a solid start.afridi is already there for some quick runs in the power play overs.

  • FT on March 12, 2007, 6:35 GMT

    Statics dhows that pakistan in last couple of years didnt win more than 2 matches in a row lets see how Pakistan could win 8 out of 11 matches and at least semi and final in a row. This is statics but wat would be the reality lets see

  • Asad Bangash, Toronto on March 12, 2007, 4:12 GMT

    In response to A Kamran at March 11, 2007 :

    No offence, but the stuff u write is hardly understandable.The words u use, i have never heard them in my entire life. I mean isnt writing Blogs, is about a lay man voicing his opinion in simple words. Can't we even raise our voice,without being ultra diplomatic. I seriously need to brush up my vocabulary skills lol

  • mahmood on March 11, 2007, 18:34 GMT

    I bet any opposition in the world would love to face RANA as bowler..i think he look like a coach rather than a bowler ..i dont know why PCB is not givng chance to other tlents..i have read almost every posts ..almost 95% bloggers feel tht rana shuld be given rest..Sami is nt a great bowler but he should be given chance becos WC is pressure game and there speed matters alot. finally i hope Bob and inzy will realize this and take corrective action.. i think its gud move to bring yunus khan as opener atleast he can play long inning..best of luck inzy

  • A Kamran on March 11, 2007, 15:11 GMT

    Sir,

    A million dollar ( or say a Rs. 10,000,000.00 ) question. What do you buy with a Rs. 10,000,000.00 contract? Answer, an ageing Trojan horse. The Trojan ploy against their nemesis Spartans was a stroke of genius. They won. The ".....are my personal favorites" (in)fame blue hair's comments are a clownish attempt at,.... something. All this ill timed, ill advised and down right unprofessional statement proves is that his I.Q. is smaller than even his own small shoe size. This statement is wrong, morale killing, and degrading to Team Pakistan and their aspirations. This statement alone is raison de'tat enough to fire him on the spot and let him participate in the World Cup opening ceremonies with his beloved team. No doubt Team Pakistan did not fare well in his beloved land of dreams.

    As an after thought, he would make a fantastic candidate for a libel suit by the concerned ( if indeed any body is concerned ) Pakistani cricket authorities. It would be a fiasco to dwarf O.J. Simpsons' circus. Entertainment! Yeehaw!!

    The pun in your article notwithstanding, the person in question was not so "diplomatic" in describing the "strengths" and "plans" of his beloved team. Shame on him. A classical case of a two faced, speaking from both sides of his mouth money grubber.

    My my two bits' worth is still a happy candidate for the bin if deemed too incindiary.

    A Kamran.

  • Ali on March 11, 2007, 14:55 GMT

    Come on islamicricket. First of all there is no islamic or unislamic cricket. A game is a game and please do not make this blog a place for talking religious politics.

    And secondly please grow up with your thinking. Bob's comments are just of an intelligent person as even your captain has favored the springboks. The morale of the team is high as long as we stop posting the negative comments.

  • Zaheer Sheraz. on March 11, 2007, 14:39 GMT

    well to be honest wat i know is dat its jus too hard to predict wats actually gona happen coz u never know n as long as our bowling is concerned thing i cant understand y dun dey jus get rid of rana naved coz its ben a while DAT weneva i c him he is bein banged by da opposition JUS GET RID OF HIM! only thing which i blv to b gud in our team dis world is dat dey APPARENTLY i repeat APPARENTLY bit united dis tym hmmmmmm.. and also i wanted to add WATS DA POINT OF HIRIN MUSHTAQ AHMED AGAIN?????????????? i jus simply cannot understand Y,is it just to help DANISH KANERIA?? ONLY ONE BOWLER??? which he duzan even need help i reckon he is a god gifted natural bowler,shud have had WAQAR YOUNUS whu had to quit coz of da boards bad behaviour(nassem ashrafs). GOD KNOWS WATS GOIN ON HUH inshllah pakistan wud do GUD INSHALLAH. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!

  • ILoveUSA on March 15, 2007, 15:27 GMT

    team of 92 vs team of 2007 Now pakistani fans are saying we had same kind of team in 92 worldcup and we can win this worldcup too.

    but they are forgetting one thing on 1992 worlducp pak batting lineup was very very long.

    there was only two tailenders that team those were Mushtan ahmed who can easily hit sixes as well and last man was aqib javed only one poor tail ender. but now we have half team with tailender worst than aqib javaid.

    these tailender is worst tailenders in the world cricket.

    these all are laughable for batting.

    Danish keneria,Umer gull ,Rao, Rana and Sami

  • abdul on March 14, 2007, 21:50 GMT

    pakistan is going to win the world

  • Saad Qasim, SA on March 12, 2007, 17:55 GMT

    I think Inzy would like to retire from captaincy before he gets hated by all the fans in Pak. Also Mohommed yousef should a least average 35 for Pak to have hope in winning the world cup.

  • fahad on March 12, 2007, 11:53 GMT

    what is the result of playing so many number of oppners over the last four years.yasir hamid would be better choice than imran nazir.pakistan need a solid start.afridi is already there for some quick runs in the power play overs.

  • FT on March 12, 2007, 6:35 GMT

    Statics dhows that pakistan in last couple of years didnt win more than 2 matches in a row lets see how Pakistan could win 8 out of 11 matches and at least semi and final in a row. This is statics but wat would be the reality lets see

  • Asad Bangash, Toronto on March 12, 2007, 4:12 GMT

    In response to A Kamran at March 11, 2007 :

    No offence, but the stuff u write is hardly understandable.The words u use, i have never heard them in my entire life. I mean isnt writing Blogs, is about a lay man voicing his opinion in simple words. Can't we even raise our voice,without being ultra diplomatic. I seriously need to brush up my vocabulary skills lol

  • mahmood on March 11, 2007, 18:34 GMT

    I bet any opposition in the world would love to face RANA as bowler..i think he look like a coach rather than a bowler ..i dont know why PCB is not givng chance to other tlents..i have read almost every posts ..almost 95% bloggers feel tht rana shuld be given rest..Sami is nt a great bowler but he should be given chance becos WC is pressure game and there speed matters alot. finally i hope Bob and inzy will realize this and take corrective action.. i think its gud move to bring yunus khan as opener atleast he can play long inning..best of luck inzy

  • A Kamran on March 11, 2007, 15:11 GMT

    Sir,

    A million dollar ( or say a Rs. 10,000,000.00 ) question. What do you buy with a Rs. 10,000,000.00 contract? Answer, an ageing Trojan horse. The Trojan ploy against their nemesis Spartans was a stroke of genius. They won. The ".....are my personal favorites" (in)fame blue hair's comments are a clownish attempt at,.... something. All this ill timed, ill advised and down right unprofessional statement proves is that his I.Q. is smaller than even his own small shoe size. This statement is wrong, morale killing, and degrading to Team Pakistan and their aspirations. This statement alone is raison de'tat enough to fire him on the spot and let him participate in the World Cup opening ceremonies with his beloved team. No doubt Team Pakistan did not fare well in his beloved land of dreams.

    As an after thought, he would make a fantastic candidate for a libel suit by the concerned ( if indeed any body is concerned ) Pakistani cricket authorities. It would be a fiasco to dwarf O.J. Simpsons' circus. Entertainment! Yeehaw!!

    The pun in your article notwithstanding, the person in question was not so "diplomatic" in describing the "strengths" and "plans" of his beloved team. Shame on him. A classical case of a two faced, speaking from both sides of his mouth money grubber.

    My my two bits' worth is still a happy candidate for the bin if deemed too incindiary.

    A Kamran.

  • Ali on March 11, 2007, 14:55 GMT

    Come on islamicricket. First of all there is no islamic or unislamic cricket. A game is a game and please do not make this blog a place for talking religious politics.

    And secondly please grow up with your thinking. Bob's comments are just of an intelligent person as even your captain has favored the springboks. The morale of the team is high as long as we stop posting the negative comments.

  • Zaheer Sheraz. on March 11, 2007, 14:39 GMT

    well to be honest wat i know is dat its jus too hard to predict wats actually gona happen coz u never know n as long as our bowling is concerned thing i cant understand y dun dey jus get rid of rana naved coz its ben a while DAT weneva i c him he is bein banged by da opposition JUS GET RID OF HIM! only thing which i blv to b gud in our team dis world is dat dey APPARENTLY i repeat APPARENTLY bit united dis tym hmmmmmm.. and also i wanted to add WATS DA POINT OF HIRIN MUSHTAQ AHMED AGAIN?????????????? i jus simply cannot understand Y,is it just to help DANISH KANERIA?? ONLY ONE BOWLER??? which he duzan even need help i reckon he is a god gifted natural bowler,shud have had WAQAR YOUNUS whu had to quit coz of da boards bad behaviour(nassem ashrafs). GOD KNOWS WATS GOIN ON HUH inshllah pakistan wud do GUD INSHALLAH. PAKISTAN ZINDABAD!

  • Adam on March 11, 2007, 13:15 GMT

    I support Pakistan from my heart and soul. They are as good as any team in this event. Every team is in the process of formulating their game plans and assessing their team strength and also the individual player strength. New Zealand lost to Bangladesh now can anyone write them off from this World Cup? W.I lost all their wickets on 85 can we write them off from this World Cup? South Africa lost to Pakistan, can we write them off from this World Cup? The answer is "NO"... we cannot write them off from this World Cup because we know that these teams have the ability to lift their games and that also applies to Pakistan. I know that I am talking about Warm-up games but no team will take even warm-up matches lightly and would like to win them.

  • Mohammed Jafar Akram on March 11, 2007, 12:36 GMT

    alot of comments have been negative towards Pakistan's bowling, but i feel they still have one of the best bowling lineups in the world, with Hafeez and Kaneria in the spin department, also with Umar Gul and Sami and Rana Naved (when in form), Iftikar Anjum can be economical with the new ball, and also with Azhar Mahmood and Afridi in the team.... this team doesnt lack any bowling they got the bowlers.... the main problem lies in the batting collapse's that they encounter but with Hafeez in form and Younis opening with Hafeez if they can get a good opening partnership going with Yousaf at 3 and Inzi at 4 and a couple of big hitters down the order the batting should be ok as long as they dont collapse getting through the opening overs will play a big part in the teams performance. The bowling is still world class but with Asif would have been the best int he world but we cant cry about tht lets look forward to the WC.

  • musharraf naveed on March 11, 2007, 9:59 GMT

    mr. nasser, you are absolutely right that mushtaq is hired only for spiritual coaching of players. i remember when yousuf made nine centuries last year he publicly admired mushtaq for his spiritual lectures to yousuf and he said that due to his motivation i am scoring runs and my catches are being dropped. when pak wins they say it is because we say prayer five times and visits to raiwind etc. and when they lose it is due to bad behaviour of pitch . i am not against their prayers but they should not show it only to please the public , because they pray for their own betterment in aakhirat not for any one else. they represent pak as a sportsman they should only talk about their profession. in this world cup i hope pak will at least reach semi final and the rest depends upon luck , so good luck to pakistan team

  • Shahneel Baray on March 11, 2007, 9:51 GMT

    As mentioned by some, and as posted by me in one of the previous Forums, Younus Khan is an ideal person to open the innings... why? 1. He is more confident than the youngsters

    2. He is brave, unlike Inzi, Yousuf, Malik and Afridi... yes for those of you who don't know, Shoaib Malik and Shahid Afridi will never play well if they are sent as an opener. This is because they don't want their average to be spoilt. Last year, in the papers, Afridi was quoted to have said that he will not open the innings and is more comfortable at number 7-8. Now if we force these guys to open, they will purposely fall short of big targets because they know they cant face the new ball. Similar case with Inzi and Yousuf... even if Woolmer asks them to open, these guys will back out... why? because they just can!!! they are the senior most, and it is their will!!!

    3. We need a pro at the start of the innings. We have match finishers like Afridi, Malik, Kamran and Mehmood. We have middle order stability with Inzi and Yousuf. We need a strong one up front, and Younus is the most obvious choice... following the example of Flemming, Jayasuriya, Hayden, Vaughan, Ganguly and Chanderpaul!!!

    As far as the bowling is concerned, yes this seems to be a place for Spinners! Afridi, Malik, Hafeez and Kaneria should play all the matches with Gul, Mehmood/Sami, Rao/Rana. That makes it 11... (3 Specialist Batsmen, 4 Allrounders, 1 Wicketkeeper Batsman, 3 Specialist Bowlers)

  • Qasim Saeed on March 11, 2007, 9:38 GMT

    Going through some of the comments, its actually amusing to see people expect Bob, Inzi or the PCB officials to read our valuable advice and then apply it to the team strategy. Just imagine, Bob saying, “Ok guys, that’s a wrap, now lets take out our laptops and check out what Qasim and a coupla hundred people think we should be doing.

    This blog is merely a place for us to share our thoughts and I really enjoy reading and writing here as I see so many people who know so much about cricket (and so many who don’t too).

    The team knows what it has to do. Nevertheless I would put my two bits in regarding the line up in what I think would be a good option.

    Pakistan has to persist with Imran Nazir as the explosive opener and I would have Shoaib open with him. Looking at Hafeez’s performance in the warm up games, there will be the obvious temptation to play him as opener but IMO Shoaib is a more determined player and should be kept at the top of the order. He is perhaps one of the best runners in the team too and you need to keep the scoreboard ticking over from the beginning. Hafeez can be used lower in the order.

    There is a lot of talk of sending Younis as opener and Inzimam as one down. I rather agree with the current strategy of Younis coming one down and Inzi at no.5. Imran Khan had to do it in 92 because Malik and Ijaz were not up to it. Younis is in good touch now and Yousuf has been outstanding (mashaAllah). Inzimam is good batting later in the order, can be very correct and then switch from 1st to 5th gear with ease. Younis can only play at his pace and is a liability lower in the order.

    So Shoaib, Imran, Younis, Yousaf and Inzamam forming the first five.

    When Afridi is available he must be in the team. While he is “serving his time”, Hafeez should be tried. I hear he is a good 20-20 player (has anyone seen fire works from him?) Then comes Kamran, the only WK option.

    And finally the bowling. Funny that a fit Umar Gul is the only automatic selection in this department. Then you have to choose between Kaneria, Yasser, Azhar, Rao, Sami and everyone’s favourite, Rana.

    For me the other three would be,

    Sami: So much promise and to date gone to waste. Hope he can deliver in this world cup.

    Kaneria: The bowling analysis for the warm up matches suggests that the spinners will come in handy. Kaneria should be tried atleast until Afridi returns. Playing two leg spinners might not be a great idea. If he does not succeed, bring in Yasser or Rana

    Rao: In normal circumstances, I would have picked Azhar ahead of Rao BUT I thought Azhar looked lethargic and unfit in the RSA series. Rao has bowled with good economy rates. He should open the attack with Umar with Sami to follow as first change by the 10-12th over.

    By the way, once upon a time I saw Imran Nazir bowl against India and as far as I remember he could bowl useful leg spinners. Wonder why they don’t try him when things get stuck.

    Finally a word about Shoaib and Asif. Their presence on paper is a big boost on paper but it still does not ensure a Pakistani win. Pakistan could not get anywhere with Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib and Abdur Razzaq in 2003 so lets not lose hope here. This team is a good one too.

    Just sit back and enjoy the game, support your team come what may. Let us not forget, 15 teams will NOT win the world cup!!!! GO PAKISTAN, YOU ARE THE SIXTEENTH!!!!!!!!!

  • islamcricket on March 11, 2007, 8:12 GMT

    Well as per latest Bob Woolmer interview,he reckons SA are fav for him. Cool man. Coaching pakistan and building up morale of Pakistan team ???Is he????

  • Prabal on March 11, 2007, 7:36 GMT

    Pakistan for the last 2 years has tried 15 pairs of opners. THe new ball has always been doing damage.Since our tail enders are scoring more than our openers, why not give tail enders a position to open. Well if they can stick in for 4-5 overs, the Kooka buraa ball is not going to swing after that and we can launch hell.

  • Malcolm J Speed - Dubai on March 11, 2007, 6:26 GMT

    Purely from statistics point of view, if Pak has to win WC, they will have to win at least 8 out of 11 max matches. This includes the match against WI in the first round so that they can carry 2 points from this vital first round match to super 8 league. In super 8, they will play 6 matches and they must win at least 4 matches to ensure a place in last 4. SF and F are sudden death matches and they have to win both to take the cup to Pak.

    Now the million dollar question is: can they sustain good form and produce miracles 8 times?

    With a lazy captain who likes to bat down the order (remember, against SA warm up match, he did not come to bat at all up to position no. 5), I will put all my money on teams playing against Pakistan.

    The best team Pakistan has ever produced for any WC was 1999 team led by Wasim. The team that played in 2003 was not that bad either but it suffered ill fate due to politics and bad policies of Tauqeer Zia. He is the man who in fact destroyed Pak cricket by sidelining players like Saeed, Waqar, Ijaz, Rashid, Saqlain etc.

    In short, this team has no chance to get the SF stage, let alone winning the Cup.

  • Sri Lankan on March 11, 2007, 6:04 GMT

    what a lame excuse is micky arther giving "If the coin had fallen the other way the result would hv been different" anyway inzi & co shouldnt get carried away with these 2 wins. Like dravid says the real test is when the big event starts all da best pakistan

  • asim on March 11, 2007, 4:25 GMT

    I have to say that the idea of a batting order that long sounds nice but where on earth will the bowlers go lol .. plus i think pakistani bowling lacks some serious bite asif would be a good boost so would shoaib but hes soemthing of a nnuisance injuries drugs and all, all of this usually shadows his bowling, which is appreciated (when hes actualy in the team). I think pakistan could use mahendra singh dhoni as well .. rana naved confuses me ! they shouldve hired wasim akram as bowling coach but i dont think he'll be interested especially after what the board did to waqar , overall pakistans in some serious trouble, but they managed to beat south africa in the warmup match, its like strategy is of no use to pakistan. i hope pakistan hits some kind of lucky streak tillthe end of the world cup ;)

  • Irfan Safdar Gollumbird on March 11, 2007, 2:38 GMT

    Gollumbird, I think every one is entitled to their comments, no matter where they are from. I think your comment about Mr Hossain is very rude.You do not speak for every Pakistani.

  • M. Tahir from springfield illinois on March 11, 2007, 1:39 GMT

    I entirely agree with the views of someone on the blog about considering AFRIDI AS A BOWLER WHO CAN BAT . I will actually go on to say that he is actually the Most Intelligent Bowler pakistan has .He may not turn the ball like the other spinners, but my god ,the faster one that reels off his arm actually reminds me of the Akhter's fast thunderbolts.I say this because I always watch the expressions of the batsmen when he is bowling,and when they get his fast one,the expression on their face is worth the same as one when one is completely bowled.I just think that the field placement should be be alittle more aggressive when he bowls.Furthermore, I think that Afridi and Kaneria both need to be playing in every one day.Furthermore, without the great Akhter and Asif,we need to definately play Sami in all the one days excwpt when playing the minnows so as to give him some rest.Any team should be proud to have a bowler who can throw JOLTS of 90 plus miles an hour.Its how the captain uses him that actually counts in the end.Sami is still young and avery hardworking individual,lets not bury his cricketing life with our spontaneous 'vibes' that we get while sitting on a fat chair sipping tea and coke.We also have to handle Gul with great care because he is also a great bowler but we should not play him against the minnows to prevent him from injuries.I wish our team the best of luck although I will definately miss the great shoaib akhter, who as I mentioned in one of my earlier comments was the person who brought a smile back on my face after I had gone through a series of tragedies in my life (loosing three family members in a span of three months)and i had been completely cut of from watching cricket, untill I saw him bowl for the first time.I again ould personally like to Thank you Shoaib Akhter, for bringing the smile back on my face.Lets hope our other Pakistani cricketers can caryout the good work you started.On another note I would like to thank one of our indian well wisher who was very gracious in wishing that our two teams Pakistan and India may make it to the final.May god make that happen..zindagi aik safar hai suhana,yahan kal kya ho kis nay jana. Khuda Hafiz

  • Nasser on March 11, 2007, 0:40 GMT

    Btw, any thoughts on Rana Naved's new look. He seems to be growing a beard. I wonder if players feel pressured to go that route to curry favor with Inzi. Kamran, it would be interesting to read a well researched article about the actual day-to-day influence of the Tableeghi Jamaat on our cricket team. Mushtaq's role in the team management is another area of curiosity. What exactly does he do all day? Is his role to be more of a spiritual/religious teacher? What else can it possibly be? It will be interesting to see what happens to our team (and it's public displays of religous devoutness) after the World Cup (assuming Inzi retires).

  • Sakul Gupta on March 10, 2007, 23:08 GMT

    So Far So Good, Let the good works continue, Let the best 11 suited to the conditions be selected on the playing day & may those boys give their best on that day to win!

  • Gollumbird on March 10, 2007, 21:34 GMT

    M Mahboob Hossain (Dhaka), you will be well advised to devote even half of your attention (that you paid to Pakistan team) to your beloved Bangladesh team. They will certainly need it. At least against Pakistan.

  • B AFRAIDI B VERY AFRAIDI on March 10, 2007, 20:43 GMT

    AFRAIDI should be used as a specialist bowler who can bat in this W.C coz this paki squad seems to be the weakest bowling team of d W.C so afridi should be given full quota of 10 overs in every gameas afridi has exp of about 230 games with bt 200 wickets,afridis 1st 5 overs should be used in the middle overs, and a SHOCKING STRAITEGY would be using afridis 5 overs during the last 10 overs, with sami bowling 150kmph reverse swinging yorkers in slog overs from 1 end and with afridis variety of spin bowling at the other end,would surely suprise d opp team, and it will b difficult to hit afridi, afridis worst overs in slog overs would be 15 runs in a over with 1 wicket,while rana bowling his constant short pitch deliveries with occanional no ball would be 25 to 30 runs in a over which we has seen often, rana can bowl well only when waqar younis is the bowling coach, so i bet if inzi atleast try this gamble of bowling afridi in the slog overs will surely succed,as we have seen pak loosing games due to giving about 100 runs in the last 10 overs and afridi should be batting at 1 down, coz afridi finds its difficult when the bowl is swinging in the 1st 6/7 overs,and afridi boom booms successfully when bowl isnt swinging and power plays are used aint this an unique straitegy which would surely succed???

  • Mohammad Ali Ilahi (lahore rulz 14 years) on March 10, 2007, 18:17 GMT

    well.............seems like paki r in their right senses now .........as for the openers i wd hv prefered butt over nazir and gul needs 2 lead from the front.......i hope Mr,kamran doesnt praise himself more coz tht makes us make more fun of him .....lolz

  • Omer Admani on March 10, 2007, 17:33 GMT

    The question still is, Rana or no Rana? Look at the team without Rana, how much inspired they seemed to be when he was absent. Because surely if I were in the team, suppose I were Mohammad Asif, and I would work my ass off, and then a certain Rana would come and spoil my efforts each and every time, and then play yet again, I would be fairly demoralized. His absence seems to have inspired the team, the bowling for once read 30-odd runs in 10 overs rather than 70 or 80. After that, as is the case most of the times, all is well that ends well.

  • Aftab Qureshi on March 10, 2007, 16:49 GMT

    Following the success of Mohammad Hafeez in practice match against South Africa, the job of selecting the 11 against WI in the first World Cup match has become more challenging than before. If Izamam plays Hafeez, as seems obvious from his post-practice match response, who is he going to omit, Afridi the boom-boom or Kaneria? I hope he has read Andrew Miller's most recent remarks on Afridi:

    "Step forward Shahid Afridi, one of the most natural talents the game of cricket has ever seen. His ballistic batting has to be seen to be believed - his most recent onslaught was an absurdly belligerent 77 not out from 35 balls at Durban. But it is his under-rated wrist-spin that is arguably his most consistent weapon. Brisk, accurate and fizzing, they leap disconcertingly from a good length, and will undoubtedly be a big asset as the tournament progresses."

  • Alex on March 10, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    Who tried to combust Rana in the hotel? I think locking him in a cupboard might be a little less dangerous.

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui, Jeddah - Saudi Arabia on March 10, 2007, 14:17 GMT

    Pakistan have won its second warm up game and that too against South Africa. Warm up games are said to be taken lightly and i quite agree to it, but in South Africa's case I would beg to differ a bit for what we have seen in the 2 warm up games that they have played in the run up for the world cup does point out that things are not well and maybe the "CHOKERS" tag that they carry will continue to be with them. Australia and South Africa are very strong teams when they play at home and become vulnerable in away matches, that is why I have a feeling that South Africa has some problems.

    Coming to Pakistan's performance, well I think it was a very welcome sign and this match must have elevated their confidance level. Younis has again scored as was expected and so has Hafeez, but the question mark still hangs with Imran and I think we must try him again against the West Indians for one good innings will bring him back in his elements. the bowling also is coming of age and it was good to see Kaneria bowl all his 10 overs. He will definately be one of our main strike bowler alongwith Sami and Gul.

    May Allah be with our team (Amin)

    Rgds ...Pakigreen

  • A Kamran on March 10, 2007, 13:32 GMT

    Sir,

    Despite the chronic pervasive chaos and mis-management (and then some) at all levels of cricket administration in Pakistan, the Team Pakistan keeps coming back to slay cricket giants (proverbial!) on a regular basis. Talent a plenty! The passion and cricket sense amongst almost all the 150 million or so people who call the Land of the Golden Fiber home is plainly visible from the responses to your articles. I can't imagine what poor Inzamam would go through (or goes through) if he was privy to so many winning strategies as how to deploy his troops (proverbially speaking, again) to win a match. I am sure he and all the rest of the Pakistani team are quite appreciative of this invaluable advice and good will.

    On another note, could you weed out "yellowish", sensation or attention seeking blogs to keep it all civilized and clean fun. Your blog gets respones aplenty anyway. Please feel free to toss my two bits in the bin.

    GO TEAM PAKISTAN!!

    A Kamran

  • concerned Pakistani on March 10, 2007, 13:20 GMT

    After Hafeezs performance in the 2 warm up matches, he is the only player guaranteed to play. If I was captain I would never play Afridi and Nazir together in a match. This means you are playing with 9 players as both are mere flukes.

  • Avneesh Prashar on March 10, 2007, 13:11 GMT

    Being Indian, I can identify with the passion and anxiety being exhibited by all the Pakistani fans, we have the same fears and worries about our Indian team. All I would like to say is best of luck to Pakistani brothers and may both our teams contest the final and leave Aus & SA behind. Let's rock this cup!!!!

  • Hussain Ahmed on March 10, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    Well plenty of questions and answers.

    However still I do not see Pakistan winning the World Cup. Reason being there are other very strong teams (in all departments) competing for it as well. However if we are a bit lucky and few good performances we can reach to the final than there is a hope since we can be top notch team for one day but only for 1 day (no consistency as you all know).

    Now the question comes as who should be in final 11 from the current squad?

    GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN

  • Zohaib Shah on March 10, 2007, 10:31 GMT

    Well I've been reading some of the comments that have been put up here and i must say that while we are all disappointed, no frustrated that our team gets only updates while they get live scores, it should be noted that the majority of the sponsors are Indian and cricinfo after all is running a business, it's nto a charity organization. Besides it's not liek this happens for every match, it's just for the warm-up matches and as far as i can tell, the Sa match against Ireland, that too had only updates. So let's not get all cranky and say it's prejudice, come on people!

  • inqlabi on March 10, 2007, 10:19 GMT

    i was watching score card of pakistan warmup match and i saw inzaman again at No 6 in batting order.He really a coward

  • saaniya on March 10, 2007, 10:09 GMT

    i hope pakistan can do well.they hav done something better now.and to all those pakistani fans who critise inzi and woolmer u dont hav any right to do so.first of all tryt and be in theri shoes they are running out of resources and u being a pakistani can not support them shame on ur path to do so.i hope pakistan can do well.allah hamesha mehnat karne waloan ki madat karta hain or mujhey allah se puri umeed hain.my wishes are with them.bravoo and go take the cup agian!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • nathan williams on March 10, 2007, 9:52 GMT

    i like pakistan as an opposition they are a great team if they can come to the world cup not just to find some form in the game but do what everyone else is there for... its respect as an aussie i respect the pakistan team they are as good as anyone without shoaib and co they will be fighting hard... when pakistan comes to the world cup they play hard i remember the 99 world cup distinctly they beat australia in the opening matches but had a shock loss to bangladesh australia had a chance in the final to seek redemption...but anyone who can boast being a finalist in the games most prestigeous tournament should be proud of what they have achieved all they need to do is go out there and remember why they are where they are... they are playing for there country...and living there dreams...!

  • Sara on March 10, 2007, 9:14 GMT

    well that was a better display of what we've got for the WC..but who knows.....it might be the same "chaar din ki chandni"......

  • JUNAID on March 10, 2007, 8:22 GMT

    rajesh shing..your claims/arguments are almost laughable. indian website?? if this is an indian website then why is it called cricinfo ..the home of world cricket and not crickindia ..the hoem of indian cricket?

  • Faridoon on March 10, 2007, 7:57 GMT

    In response to Rajesh Singh at March 10, 2007 12:23 AM

    Mr. Singh the word bias is fully justified in the case of this website. Not only are Pakistan warm-up games not getting commentary coverage, their scorecard doesn't even show the number of balls/minutes faced or number of 4s and 6s scored. Check out the scorecard of the warm-up Pak-SA game. The SA scorecard shows all details, the Pak scorecard shows only the runs made. Now if it were business only then why so much details for SA? This is definitely a targeted effort, a clear bias; downright prejudice if I may be so bold. If this site is only catered to the Indian audience, it should be called CricIndia, not Cricinfo. As the leading provider of cricket coverage in the world, it is the responsibility of the people who run this website to be fair and impartial.

  • wasim saqib on March 10, 2007, 7:41 GMT

    It seems that pakistan team has hit the right combination early on,the batting line up is settled for now,I am only concerned about Afridi and Maliks form in Big Matches they will have to Deliver,as far as bowling is concerned I think sami and Arafat against good teams they will get hammered bcz they have pace but no movement in the air,if they start rolling their fingers on the ball and try to get some movement they will be OK, I would prefer Rao over Yasir, looking at the WI team batting today I have a observation that they are not practicing on slow pitches bcz the timing of almost all of their batsmen was off it seems they have been practicing on faster pitches, We might get a surprise pitch on tuesday, Today I also got a chance to look at Indian bowling and batting I think Indian team has the best batting line up in the tournament, but thier bowling is pretty ordinary I think WI batsmen were commiting suicide one after another the bowling was not that impressive,all the teams batting first against India will have to pile up huge totals if they have too win. Australia also performed well today their bowling is average but their batting is good and the best thing about their team is they can shift gear and can play at a even higher level,you will have to bowl exceptionally well to beat this team.

  • JUNAID on March 10, 2007, 7:38 GMT

    I Totally agree with what Asad Bangash. cricinfo is the most biased sport site! they hve live commentary (very detailed i must add) for india games but only updates every 25 overs or so for pakistan gameS! kamran plz take this matter up with the people who are responsible

  • M Mahboob Hossain (Dhaka) on March 10, 2007, 7:37 GMT

    I think, we are looking for a worldcup & the early seson of Carriebian Isls., with chances are there that there will be be more help for the New ball bowlers than when recently the subcontinent teams have toured. Also, initially, despite playing on smaller grounds, scores might not be that big (At least not in those matches which are free from ICC Globalization Contamination). Opening with Younus might backfire for Pakistan, as they are sacrificing a top middle order for the sake of survival of a preety dam ordinary openar (Remember, King Khan did not put strugling Malik or Ijaz @ three, nor put pressure on Inzi. That greatman took the responsibility himself & was successful). This world cap will not be a WWW stuf with the bat & its best for Pakistan that, their most prolific 3 plays at their respective position.

    In first place, I would like not to see Hafeez in the team, rather Hamid as an opener. Yet, if he is selecetd, best place for him is to open as on someone if Pakistan can invest few years to make a Test opener, its shameful that he should need protection in ODI new ball bowlers.

    I would like to see the following lineup

    1. Nazir (He don't have any brain, better let him slog his own way. If succesful, outstanding, if not, at least he'll make something up in field)

    2. Hafeez - Some please make him understand the fact that, his job is single dimensional & relatively simple, try to survive as much as possible, none will look @ his strike rate, if he can do half of what Ramiz did in 92. I keep him in the team only for his fielding & bowling.

    Younas - He'll open practically, you know. He's batting @ 3 after the Paki openers. Lets not make it mandatory. I'm sure he'll face a ball ahead of No. 2 in some matches. Not being capable of handaling the new ball is one thing, but these Paki openers don't have the attitue to fight it out. Probably because of playing regularly on the graveyears of new ball @ home.

    Yousuf - Simply the best bastman now, not in Pakistan, but at least in subcontinent Imzamam - If he bats @ 4 & gets out earlier, we'll who says its & 50 over game, better be prepered for a 20-20 in a slowmotion version

    S Malik - To me the most inteleget bastman in Pakistan after Inzi, who atleast knows, when not to play ambitious shot, at least most of the time

    Afridi - To me I never blamed Afridi. When he opened, it was Sayed & Ijaz's responsibility to carry on, & now its the fault of the top order, for whom he makes things so simple, guys take Pakistan to 4 or 5 down with 10-12 overs remaning. Foget about the runrate. If any of No. 3, 4 or 5 is set with afridi coming, is the ideal situation.

    Akmal - Lets not put extra pressure on him. He did sufficient enough to convince that, one of the greats of the game is in making. Once I hard Ian Chapple to say that, Akmal was the best man with Gloves & I always respect Aussie Scippers' comments (As they are nominated on merit, for that we have only 12/13 captains since WW I, the number Pakistan produces in a 4/5 year cycle)

    For the bowlers, with Razzak not playing, we'll have to go for 3 fast bowlers, in bowling order

    Gul - To ball atleast 8 overs with the new ball Sami - in hort bust 5 at best with the new ball & Rana - Left @ least 5 with the old ball after 35 overs.

    In some cases, we might have Danish, playing for any of the new ball bowles, but not replacing Afridi. Unless its a seamer's wicket, Rao or Azhar should not play & having Sabbir out of ban, someone please convince me that, Arafat is more desarving than him.

    Good luck Pakistan. Honestly I would like to see Pakistan beaten by Bangladesh on 28th of April & Bridgetown.

  • imran peshawari on March 10, 2007, 6:52 GMT

    This new plan of PAK i described before here.Now pakistan apply that on warm up game but i dont so thay will apply in WC main matches B/c in second warm up match pakistan again sent hafeez as opner.And when afridi come to the team i think there s between nazir and hafeez b/c the pitches look like spin pitches so hafeez has extra advantage of spin option.So the real plan of pakistan will be in 1st match aganist WI in that we will be find the plan of batting .So another good news for PAk is thay win warm up match esily against SA.So good start for pakistan hopley they will keep it up.inshallaah............

  • Teamwork on March 10, 2007, 5:19 GMT

    I saw that pic of Bob and Sami in the pool. Don't want to say too much but I guess Sami is going to get a lot of games in the WC!! :)

    Yes Kamran, we all thought your "piercing" questions really didn't get a fair response from Bob. Perhaps u need to meet him in a swimming pool somewhere!!

    I too feel that althought all Pakistanis are majorly disappointed about the make-up of the side but quietly, everyone has hope. No one wants to say anything so as not to jinx the team. Lets keep it that way.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on March 10, 2007, 4:38 GMT

    VICTORY in the practice matches could be a morale booster. But, it could also create a sense of complacency and that often happens in case of Pakistan. I hope they don't get complacent with these two wins, especially after today's win against SA. Some people did not agree to my comments about Younis Khan and now they must be nodding their heads upon his scoring the match winning innings. But, I am not going to change my stance about his one day performances despite the statistics (which I already know) that have been mentioned. The point to note here is, this was a very casual match and the real test is in the big games and my opinion is Inzi should demonstrate this spirit by coming at number three. Anyways, I will be happy if Younis Khan keeps proving me wrong, because for me, there is nothing more exhilarating than watching a game that Pakistan wins.

    West Indies, on the other hand after a real bashing at the hands of mediocre Indian bowling attack today, must be working out a plan to regain their confidence and would not be playing the same shots on March 13th as they did today. Like any other team, when the openers give a flying start usually the rest of the players chip in and reach somewhere around the 300 mark. But, the present West Indies side has shown this kinda vulnerability in recent past i.e., in Malaysia, India and Pakistan, their last 8 wickets fell within 30-40 runs in the past few matches, and today was one of their lowest scores, hope this happens again on March 13th, but according to the law of averages it won't happen in the very next match they play!

    Therefore, Pakistan needs to watch this game on video and see how the West Indians played and what mistakes they made. Despite some erratic bowling, Irfan Pathan was lucky to get three wickets including one of Lara's. Neither him nor Patel or Agarkar bowled with any pace and yet got wickets. Although the first match would be played in Jamaica and not at Trelawny Stadium where India played today, but at Sabina Park. So the pitch would be entirely different and there will be a different ball game. WI at Sabina Park has always played well against Pakistan, at this very ground, it was Sir Garry Sobers scored 365 n.o. The pitch surface which used to be one of the hardest and fastest in the Caribbean is reported to have slowed down in recent years. So, it would be good if Inzi gives Rana some more rest and Sami bowled well today (prolly that was due to the assurance he got from Bob Woolmer in the pool the other day) he definitely needs a few more of the pool hugs to keep the momentum going. Finally Bob has discovered new methods of motivating players. As long as they win, who cares how they get the inspiration!

  • Usman Malik (Super Fan) Toronto on March 10, 2007, 0:31 GMT

    Pakistan Zindaba'ad I was going to reply to the blog given the change in the batting lineup against Canada. After looking at today's match vs S.Africa Hafeez was back at open.

    I would recommend to play Kaneria in the first 2 matches while Afridi is serving the last of his 2 matches imposed on him in the south africa series.

    I was going to suggest even sitting out Hafeez to play the extra bowler Kanaria but seeing how he has scored runs along with picking up wickets but that is something to think about going forward.

    It surely is a long tournament with 9 matches till the end of the super 8 which pakistan will surely get into.

    Seeing how many changes Imran back in 92 with him sitting out 2 matches due to injury Miandad was benched for 1 match atleast there were quite a few changes. It was also Sirjee Imran that opted to play 2 leg spinners in One day cricket and it was done in the world cup. Playing Kanaria and Afridi together would be a good fit with the likes of Hafeez, Shohaib providing offspin support.

    I am so glad Sami was able to come through against S.Afria we need to Sami to play the role that Aqib Javed played in 1992 if he does we will definitely qualify for the semi-final.

    Key to Pakistan reacing the semis: 1. Top 5 Batsman in the lineup playing the bulk of the overs. 2. Sami / Gul combo with the new Ball. 3. Akmal keeping stumps superbly, runs he makes our simply icing on the cake. 4. Kanaria/Afridi/Hafeez/Shohaib bowling in the middle of the innings overs 20-40 restricting runs and picking up vital breakthroughs. 5.Inzimam playing like he did in 1992 I predict that he will be the player of the tournament. 6.Boom Boom Afridi. 7.Rao Ifthikahr bowling a tight line as 1st change. 8.Rana please accept the 12th man role

  • Gulab Khan on March 10, 2007, 0:27 GMT

    Inzi came at # 4 against CANADA. He did not come for bat against SOUTH AFRICA.

    Mulan Inzi is not fool. He knows what he is doing.

    Great Younis KHAN ready for any number.

    Gulab Khan Peshawer

  • Mustafa Habib on March 10, 2007, 0:25 GMT

    I will argue that it is best if Younis Khan bats one down. We need stability in the middle order and also no.3 is where Younis is most comfortable. Nazir and Hafeez should open. Even though they are both highly undependable, it is the best option we have right now.

    With regards to the bowling, Sami should definitely be given a chance in the opener against West Indies. He is bowling well recently. However, we all are well aware about the consistency of his form.

    Finally, Pakistan has a decent shot at winning the world cup. We have to be realistic and at the same time optimistic.

    Best Wishes to my country God bless Pakistan

  • Rajesh Singh on March 10, 2007, 0:23 GMT

    Mr ASAD BANGASH, You said following: P.S As u can see in warmup matches too, only indian matches were given live commentary. Pakistan's match was updated every 25 overs or so..What a biased site !

    Please not1 1) This is a indian website,we are under no obligation to give live matches commentary for pakistan.Pls ask a pakistani website to give you scores if you are going to resort to name-calling us words like biased.No one asked you to visit the website. The sponsorers or the website are Indian companies and they are not intrested in any other fans other than Indians for financial reason .If you want pakistani commentary ,please ask pakistani companies contribute to sponsorship. Or else just relax and enjoy whatever you get for free. Its just business and not bieng biased or selective profiling.For example If no Indian companies sponsored the website,there would be no Indian commentary.

  • Tay'yab-Ali on March 9, 2007, 23:10 GMT

    is it just me or is everyone quietly confident of pakistans chances after seeing how slow, low and docile the pitches have played up to now.

    Spinners are going to be the key. I no longer believe teams like SA, NZ & Aus can go all the with their pace dominated attacks.

    Pakistan possess a good spin attack and have a just as good chance of doing well as the Indians and Sri L-

    Since Younis was always coming into bat in the first few overs, him now opening makes sense altough he batted well in his usual position in the second warm up match

  • Nauman on March 9, 2007, 22:35 GMT

    So Bob & Inzi have decided one thing...Pakistan's lineup in every game will be a surprise package. We discussed so much about Yonuis providing stability as an opener and I really liked the idea that he walks in to bat on the first ball of first over & not first ball of 2nd/3rd over with one wicket already down. But, they dropped Younis Khan down to his conventional one-down & Imran Nazir made sure that Younis Khan doesn't have to wait too long with his pads on...they promoted Hafeez instead & now he scored against the miser & hostile SA attack. Dilemma it seems, Hafeez scores 100+ runs in 2 practice games. Is that the beginning of his World Cup, or was it the end of it...only time can tell, if Bob & Inzi let the time to tell. The thing that shocked (read as pleasantly surprised) me most is that atlast chose not to play Rana, did the sun rise in the West today...this would have been a hard one for them to chew, not b/c Rana possesses any exceptional qualities (or even any notable quality), but b/c despite his consitent failures, he had been persisted with as if he were the savior, if he were the God. They made me think that atlast they opened their eyes and minds and started making sane decision, but wait...here comes another surprise, Yasir Arafat replaces him in the team when all the debate had been to put Rao in the playing unit!!! Its Friday night in WI, the first game begins on Tuesday morning, and someone please correct me if I am wrong but Sami & Yasir have not yet gotten ICC approval for being the official replacements for Akhtar & Asif. If lightening strikes upon us again, we effectively might not even be able to play Sami, don't you all think that Rao deserved a workout really bad. My lineup would have included Rao at expense of Rana & Yasir Arafat at the expense of Afridi. Rao for Rana is the obvious call, the reason I 'd prefer leaving out Afridi is b/c (1) any number of practice games, nets session have not had any affect on him for last 10 years, we all know he would click with his bat on his day, and we all know he would be fairly effective with bowl just about any day. (2) He 'll sit out the next 2 games anyways, so why not use these practise games on players who may just play for the first 2 matches. And last but not the least, with Pakistan in a commanding position when Younis got out (157/3, 40-odd runs to get, a well-set Yousuf on crease), I think better would have been to send out Azhar Mahmood or Yasir Arafat to spend some time on the crease, get a feeling of having scored some runs before the real contest. And one last observation...why did we concede 12 byes in this game!!! Is Kamran Akmal asking for a pay-back for the rare 50 he scored in the last game. I still back the lineup they sent in the first game...Younis as opener, Hafeez/Afridi compete for #6 slot, Yasir/Azhar for bowling all-rounder & 3 specialist bowlers (PLZ, LET RANA ENJOY THE SUN ON THE CARRIBEAN BEACHES)

  • Sarim Ali Toronto on March 9, 2007, 22:32 GMT

    I was very surprised to see pakistan beat south africa sami bowled really well.If pakistan can keep this up then inshallah we'll make it to the semifinals

  • Nasir on March 9, 2007, 22:29 GMT

    Pak batsman are as good as anybody else in the world. like anyother side you cannot expect them to successfully chase a total of 250+ everytime. The question is wether we have the bowlers to restrict the other side to under 250. everyone has doubts about that. if our bowling combination can do that- we have a chance

  • haroon on March 9, 2007, 22:03 GMT

    i think it is a good move if they still continue with the same order. they just changed the order back again in warm up match against SA. i belive that only sinair batsman can solve the pakistan opening problem. yousuf and younis are the two ideal batsman on that position. if younis opens and yousuf comes on number three it is still a good move i think.

  • Zohaib Shah on March 9, 2007, 21:54 GMT

    Well Pakistan just won today. Inshallah ill post a more detailed comment when you (Mr.Abbasi) dedicate a post to the victory (hope fully you will) but i would like to say that i'm very happy Pakistan has proved the pundits wrong. Everywhere i went i was hearing Pkaistan has no chance in the World Cup and South Africa are hot favorites. I know this is just a warm up match adn that Pakistan are unpredictable but the bottomline is that we beat the chokers err South Africans with ease today and it wasn't a flat deck either!!!! Cheers Mates!

  • calgary highlander on March 9, 2007, 21:53 GMT

    I know that this has nothing to do with this but just what are Woolmer n' Sami doing in the pool. Here is a link. http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/pakistan/content/image/284582.html

  • Asad Bangash, Toronto on March 9, 2007, 21:51 GMT

    Kamran bhai: can u plz pass on the message to cricinfo to do live commentary on Pakistan's World Cup Matches too. I know itz a website run by Indians, but i hope they do live commentary for atleast TOP 8 TEAMS!!

    P.S As u can see in warmup matches too, only indian matches were given live commentary.

    Pakistan's match was updated every 25 overs or so..What a biased site !

  • Wasim Akram on March 9, 2007, 21:34 GMT

    Oh ho We won against South Africa. Younis Khan made a ton of runs. I am loving every moment of these warm up matches. Wow Mashallah.

  • calgary highlander on March 9, 2007, 21:26 GMT

    And why should we not depend on batting. We have a good deal of it.

    Congratulations Pakistan on betaing SA. Ya know what won us the match? Batting! Pakistan decided to look at their positives and made sure that the ingredients they had (and they did have some zesty ingredients) made an excellent meal.

    But lets not forget that this is Pakistan, which has earned itself the reputation as the worlds most inconsistence cricketing team. But then again we are Pakistanis. Our whole nation has that same reputation. Oh well, lets forget the negatives and focus on our positives.

    Good job Pakistan on beating the worlds top ODI team and also the team that nearly lost to Ireland.

  • Asad Bangash, Toronto on March 9, 2007, 21:16 GMT

    Pakistan is BACK..and BACK with a BANG !!

    So All the ppl saying shit about our team , just shut up for few days !!

  • Shiraz, Houston, TX on March 9, 2007, 21:14 GMT

    The hunger Pakistan has played with in the warm matches (specially SA) I think they do have the guts to go all the way....but their inconsistency is what can break them on the way....IF PAKISTAN CAN BEAT THEIR DEMONS WITHIN...THEY CAN BEAT ANY OPPOSITION!...GOOD LUCK AND GOD SPEED!

  • saba on March 9, 2007, 19:54 GMT

    i am happy that atleast they have moved inzi n yousuf up the order......the PAk vs SA match is going on......whatever the today's result is this one strategy INSHALLAH will work in the WC

  • Zaraf on March 9, 2007, 19:45 GMT

    Kamran, I will completely ignore your first paragraph! About new batting approach, you are right. We have nothing to lose really. Instead of couple of players who have no use other than opening - where if they fail that's it their role in the game is over - we could have allrounders who can perform other functions as well. I think it's debatable who you would put in the opening slot along with Younis Khan. I am talking about this with a little bit of hindsight since we just have Imran Nazir failing against SA today. So I don't know. I thought Hafeez was a useful alternative. He has a reasonably solid technique although he hesn't performed upto his potential. Since he can bowl and field as well, I would make the case for him as our best bet.

  • S. Sheikh on March 9, 2007, 19:42 GMT

    Destroy a batsmen consistancy change his batting position. Destroy a high performing player make him the captain. Stratgy of indo pak cricket. As I mentioned before bowling good line and length. Minimize no balls and wides good fielding and accepting catch makes all the differce there is no other way. Good luck for our team.

  • chudhary on March 9, 2007, 19:03 GMT

    Inzy is one of best finishers around, we have to have him at no-5.

    Younis & Yousuf have to take the responsibility of middle order, although Younis is still not consistent in ODIs at all.

    If there's one player in Pak team who can win us the worldcup that is Inzamam.

  • Asad Bangash, Toronto on March 9, 2007, 18:57 GMT

    sami, gul and hafeez bowled well. 1st Half is well done. Letz hope they can win this match. It will boost the confidence level enormously in the camp. GO TEAM !!

    P.S Thank GOD , Rana didnt bowl !

  • Malay Thakershi on March 9, 2007, 18:23 GMT

    Funny and stupid. His response was either 'all of the above' or 'none of the above'.

  • Jakaria Khan on March 9, 2007, 18:03 GMT

    I do not like this batting lineup. I think Inzi is the best batsman to bat with the lower order and finish the innings. He has proved it over and over agian.

    With Younis opening,if couple of early wickets fall, then the lower order would be under pressure and fold.

    Pakistan should open with Imran and Hafeez.

  • Disgruntled Pakistani on March 9, 2007, 17:35 GMT

    We's been billed the underdog for the tournament...sounds like a good scenario scenario for us to win this one then eh?

  • Sami Syed from Toronto on March 9, 2007, 17:33 GMT

    CALGARY HIGHLANDER's LINE UP IS ALMOST AS GOOD AS MINE, with the exception of that UMAR GUL needs to be in the lineup.... Read my comment 2nd one and read Calgary Highlander's comment, it makes perfect sense....

    PAKISTAN WILL WIN THE WORLD CUP, hands down!

    SAMI

  • baqar on March 9, 2007, 16:48 GMT

    Jawad - a very inovative idea- having slogger + stablizer batting all the time. Pakistan have has 3 stable batsmen and luxury of quiet a few sloggers and this idea could work for them. Nazir+Yunis followed by Hafeez (for Nazir) or Yusuf ( for Yunis)and so on. Good idea Jawad!

  • Adnan Siddiqui - Houston, TX on March 9, 2007, 16:39 GMT

    yea this sounds good for batting...but if we bat down to 9 or 11, then who on earth will be the wicket taking bowlers?

  • Ozzy on March 9, 2007, 16:17 GMT

    Hmmm i was shocked and amazed to learn of the new batting line up being tried by pakistan..and i was very happy because it was evident the previous order was not working. I think pakistan only needs an opening start of 40+ and then the middle order can kick on and post scores of 250+ but in the past we are ALWAYS 10-2 after 5 overs and this puts yousuf and inzi etc under severe pressure. I think inshallah the batting line up moves will pay off but we can only wait and see and in terms of the bowling i think gul and kaneria will be very important for pakisan if they are to have any impact at this world cup

  • Shahid on March 9, 2007, 16:10 GMT

    kamran, i am really upset that we cannot follow Pakistans game online at cricinfo.com. Looks like that you along with Osmansamiuddin are not doing anything for Pakistan cause. They keep showing the live scorecard for all other teams but not Pakistan. Plz ask cricinfo to take a notice of that. Thanks Shahid.

  • Usman Aziz on March 9, 2007, 15:52 GMT

    I think for the first time in his career as Pakistan's coach, Woolmer has got the batting order right. Opening with Younis is quite a good idea since he is technically more sound to cope with the early swing than either Shoaib Malik or Hafeez. Then starting from Number five, we have a barrage of strong all-rounders who are quite capable to destroy any bowling attack. If this strategy clicks in the start of the tournament, my gut feeling is that our team can give a tough time to a lot of strong oppositions eying for the coveted World Cup.

  • Faraz, California on March 9, 2007, 15:34 GMT

    ONE WORD....CONSISTENCY...

    Australia and SA....even now England and Kiwis are showing consistency in their approach. Pakistan team , Woomer and INZI are like...

    'OK BOYS WE HAVE WON ONE MATCH..LETS GO AND EAT LOTS OF NEHARI, BIRYANI AND KABOB/PARATHAZ AND SLEEP ALL DAY TOMMORROW, SKIP PRACTICE, AND BE LAZY AND OUT OF SHAPE FOR THE NEXT MATCH SO WE GET OUR *** KICKED'

    sorry this approach will not do if you wanna be WORLD CHAMPS!!!

  • Khalid Arif Siddiqui, Jeddah - Saudi Arabia on March 9, 2007, 15:33 GMT

    Kamran Sahib I do agree with your comments and have always thought that Younis should have been tried in the opening as our openers were failing constantly. Pakistan has a long list of upper middle order batsmen being converted as openers like Majid, Mohsin, Ramiz and Sallahuddin(Salloo) all of whom did very well in their carreers. This strategy should have been planned last year after having tried all our resources of openers. any how now that the Coach and Inzy have finally taken the right decession I am confidant that this will prove to be a good plan.

    Mr Javed A. Khan fro Montreal thinks otherwise, well I always read his comments with great interest and like em as well, but this time I would beg to differ. Javed Sahib Younis is a kind of player who works very hard and is good for any type of cricket and his ODI record is also pretty decent, he has played in 148 ODI's, scored 3951 runs with a strike rate of 73.74 and an average of 31.60 and 26 fifties alongwith 2 hundreds. The strike rate could have been much better if we had good openers. Since he has to come in very early due to the quick departure of the openers so most of the times he has to concenterate in building the innings so his strike rate suffers a wee bit. In any case even 73.74 is worth proving that he has substantial fire in him and can explode if needed.

    Coming back to the new strategy I will back it up 100% and hope that Inzamam sticks to it, as regards his position I think it would be nice if he comes in at 3 and Yousuf should follow him. By the look of things I dont see him coming at 3 and I dont think there will be any problem if he decides to bat 4 as well. So now we have 4 positions filled and we have to see who else will follow I personally feel that Hafeez and Shahid should be a must and we should not take a chance with Shoaib for he has been terribly out of sorts for the last one and a half year. Inzamam and Bob should dump their policy of favouritism and have the best eleven playing. The fact that Shoaib is a partner of Bob's son in business should not inflence sellection of the final eleven. I think Shoaib did not deserve to be there instead we should have taken Yasir Hameed or Asim Kemal in the squad. It is now a known fact that Inzy and Bob had influenced the sellection of Shoaib and the reason they picked him was to have him open the innings because every one expects Imran to fail as he did in the South African Safari and that would give them a reason to have him in the playing eleven. I do wish and pray that Imran uses his head properly in sellection of shots, he is a good batsman and can do well provided he uses his head in shot sellection.

    Now we have settled that batting problem and we have Imran, Younis, Yousuf/Inzy, Inzy/Yousif, Hafeez, Shahid as tha main batsmen with Kamran and Azhar to follow as all rounders, then Sami, Kaneria and Gul for 9, 10 & 11. This should be our playing eleven in the world cup.

    May Allah help our team (Amin)

    pakigreen.

  • owais on March 9, 2007, 15:27 GMT

    calgary highlander i like your suggestion for the team for this world cup....but i would make 1 change, i would play rao iftikhar in place of sami

  • Aamir Rizvi on March 9, 2007, 15:26 GMT

    Very well said YS

  • Nabeel Siddiqui on March 9, 2007, 15:18 GMT

    I agree with the batting order approach and the concern over the bowlers versus allrounders selection. On batting order, for Younis it should not make a big difference anyways as he must be used to of coming in in the 2nd over of Pakistan innings if not the very first one. I do have a different opinion on the middle order, though. I think we should either play Hafezz or Shoaib. My personal pick would be Hafeez. For bowling line up, I think Gul, Sami or Rao, and Kaneria are the must. The rest of the bowling load should be taken up by Afridi, Azhar and Hafeez.

  • nabeel on March 9, 2007, 14:26 GMT

    i still think hafeez should open as he can unleash some awesome strokes together with imran who at his best can be devastating.younis should come at 3 and the rest will fall into place.even though, lets hope pakistan makes us proud!

  • Shahid on March 9, 2007, 14:03 GMT

    I am hopeful that Pakistan can do well in this world cup. Despite of all the problems i dont know why i am so hopeful. As Allama Iqbal has said

    Tundiye bad e mukhalaf se na ghabra aey Ukab. Yeh to chalti hai tujhe uncha uranay k liye.

    Thanks Shahid.

  • Karim Khan on March 9, 2007, 13:50 GMT

    Pakistan doesn't have a chance to win the world cup whether they depend on batting or bowling. In fact they may even struggle to reach the second round.

  • nasir on March 9, 2007, 13:42 GMT

    Batting till no. 9 doesnot necessarily mean it will click each time. We need to rely on our top 7 to win us the games.

    8-11 can come in handy with a few runs here and there. I think it is a good strategy to have Younis open since he is there quite early anyway. Let Yousuf, Inzi and Malik after them.

    Batting all rounders should be Afridi, Arafat and Akmal.

  • Zakir Khan,Ireland on March 9, 2007, 13:37 GMT

    Guys this is not going to be the last World Cup in History of cricket.so fully back up our team for the 2011 World Cup and we should consider this world cup as a preparation for the next world cup.if we were again in the same situaiton in the 2011 World Cup than we should consider that world cup as preparation for the 2015 world cup and so on.we should think long term.this is how PCB think and full marks to PCB. after all we have the best cricketing brain runing our cricket at the moment in the form of Dictator General(Rtd) Pervez Musharaf Patron in chief,Dr Nasim Ashraf(physician)Chariman PCB and so on. but dont loose heart after all miracles do happen in life and I am sure that this World Cup is for Pak because all the indicators are pointing towards Pak victory.

  • umair on March 9, 2007, 13:26 GMT

    Well,it could be said that if younis khan is not a one day player then same could be applied to Inzamam,he is not a one-day player either. because he scores sluggishly against top bowling attacks and he only capitalizes on realy gentle mediocre bowling attacks,i really dont see what the big deal is about his batting he is just way too over-rated,He can only hit sixes off spinners.he definitely is one of the worst batsman i have seen against quality fast bowling,he is just a batsman of docile,flat pitches.

  • Talal Hasan Cambridge on March 9, 2007, 13:24 GMT

    Listen KAMRAN AND PAK SPIN READERS

    Pakistan have no chance in this world cup.

    4 REASONS 1. OUR BATTING LINE IS SUSCEPTIBLE TO COLLAPSE. WE RELY TOO HEAVILY ON YOUSUF AND INZI. WHEN THEY FAIL WE FAIL! 2. OUR BOWLING ATTACK IS VERY AVERAGE WITHOUT AKHTER AND ASIF. YOU CAN'T WIN A WORLD CUP WITHOUT A QUALITY BOWLING ATTACK. 3. WE ARE BY FAR THE WORST CULPRITS WHEN IT COMES TO FIELDING. WE ARE SO UNATHLETIC, I WOULD SAY IT LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE A BUNCH OF GERIATRICS ON THE FIELD BUT THAT WOULD BE AN INSULT TO THE ELDERLY! 4. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON OUR CRICKETERS DON'T HAVE THE CRICKETING SMARTS TO WIN THE WORLD CUP.

    IF THE PLAYERS COULD LEARN TO THINK ON THEIR FEET THEN I WOULD GIVE THEM A CHANCE. BUT THIS WILL NOT HAPPEN.

    I LEAVE THE PAKISTANI CRICKET TEAM WITH THIS FINAL MESSAGE AS THE GREAT APU Nahasapeemapetilon SAYS 'THANK YOU COME AGAIN !!!!!!!'

  • Asad on March 9, 2007, 13:20 GMT

    Pakistans best bet for this world cup would give us 6 decent bowlers, cant find a place for azhar mahmood in that squad, with razzaq in the carribean might have been different. The talk about Danish in the team is very tempting, would love to give him a spot and the best part to try him out would be the very first game. Rana though out of form, but you gotta hope that he gets it back, most likely sami could be replaced.

    Other than that, dont quite like the idea of younis khan opening. But what could you possibly do, Pakistan has tried just about every possibly combinations. I wonder when would that day come again when I would see Pakistan 100-0 with in the first 20 against a decent opposition. Lets hope its soon. The thing with mohammad hafeez is his lack of application. Would get off to a brisk nice start with a few lovely drives, and flicks going to the boundary in a flash. But just when u think he has settled, he starts flirting with the ball playing half a shot and edging it to the keeper. Only if Woolmer could actually gets some progress by adding the element of application and concentration into hafeez game. Imran and Hafeez would have been the best combo in the given squad.

    Lets hope all goes well for a change. The team on paper doesnt look the star 11 that will win the world cup But its got potential. The day they played to it recently, we all saw how S.A cudnt do a thing about it. (and that was without shoaib, even though he is my favourite bowler and would be in my best pak 11 in ne event. but just not now).

    Call me tooo optimistic but i think Pak might just be the team.

    Lets Hope the campaign gets off to a flier on the 13th. and the Pakis of The Carribean go on to clinch the gold.!!

  • Nadeem on March 9, 2007, 13:18 GMT

    Inzamam should open the inning.

    If he is a great or good player then he should open the inning.

    He is also a Captain.

    Pakistan really needs good opener. Inzi should promote its batting order not only against Canada.

    Inzi fans think he is the best batsman Pakistan ever produced.

    Actually true is opposite. He can play good only against cheap and slow bowlers on the cheap wickets.

    Nadeem London, UK

  • Gulab Khan on March 9, 2007, 13:12 GMT

    We are still in testing mode. Inzi & Bob failed completely to prepare for the world cup.

    They are changing batting orders again. Only our DUAS to allah can give success to Pakistan. Otherwise Inzi & Bob done thier job very bad.

    They should kicked out.

    Gulab Khan Peshawer

  • Mohammed on March 9, 2007, 13:12 GMT

    Mohammed Yousuf at #3 is not a good idea: he struggles with the moving ball. A middle order of Younis at 3, Yousuf at 4 and Inzamam at 5 is the best. Imran/Hafeez and Shoaib Malik should open with Afridi, Akmal and Mahmood at 6, 7 & 8. Additional bowlers should be Kaneria, Gul and Rana/Rao.

  • rahul on March 9, 2007, 12:58 GMT

    If we compare the team player by player with the best team :Australia Gilchrist : Akmal Hayden : Nazir Ponting : Younis Hussey : Inzy Symonds : Yousuf Clarke : Malik Watson : Afridi Mcgrath : Gul Tait : Sami Hodge : Kaneria Clark : Naved

    Realistically, this is no match up. The same holds true for India as well. Only way our teams have a chance if they play witha killer instinct. Of course the slow pitches give some hope. So regardless of the batting order, it is going to be the fighting spirit and self belief that is going to win us matches. Just my humble opinion.

    Symonds :

  • Muhammad Rizwan on March 9, 2007, 12:48 GMT

    Inzi is a legend and does not deserve the comments which are posted on this blog. It is amazing how some one regarded as back bone of our team just a year ago is now considered as a liability and the only one responsible for pakistan teams failure!! Let me clarify that leading from the front does not mean that one should come up the order! if this is the case then all the openers are leading from the front!! leading from the front means performing well and setting an example for others to follow. Only last year inzi was regarded as leading from the front by non other than our own imran khan but now as form has deserted inzi, he seems to leading from the back!! I hope inzimam finds his form and silence his critics but i beleive his natural position is # 4. By the way pakistan won the 1992 world cup by sheer luck as we lost our first 5 matches in a row and some how sneeked in to the semifinals due to rain related rules, if we had lost that world cup we might be cursing imran for comming out at # 3 spot, and our best batsman javed miandad was comming at # 4 so why javed didn't batted at # 3 if you beleive that inzimam is hiding behind Younus then Miandad was hiding behind Imran???? I didn't intended to heart any one as all of them are our heros and we respect them but when you say some thing then you have to give practical example also.

    Wish inzimam and his boys best of luck

  • Owais on March 9, 2007, 12:37 GMT

    Good to see some positive comments from Kamran Abbasi. I agree either Younis or Shoaib should open. Yousuf, Inzi and Shoaib could come after that. Then you decide the order yourself between Akmal, Afridi and Azhar (we could improvise the numbers depending on match situation for these three slots only). As for bowlers, I think Gul, Mehmood should open the bowling, the we can have Sami/Rana/Rao, Afridi, Kaneria and Malik. Unfortunately no place for Hafeez or Arafat. Hafeez should be in place of Arfidi. Moreover, two from amongst Sami, Rana & Rao would be sitting out.

  • Waheed on March 9, 2007, 12:27 GMT

    Dear Kam:

    All the teams have their weaknesses Australia lacks in spin department and death boweling South Africa lacks spinner and they cannt bat well against spinenr and they can be hit likes of Pollock and nitini and Nel. India is sort of old team, means ganguly, tendulkar, dravid, kumble and they lack allrounder

  • Adil on March 9, 2007, 12:14 GMT

    It is a great plan by Bob and Rana Naveed will be replaced by Afridi after he comes back and the team is a dusty gem now with its new batting order but a fairly weak bowling attack! Rock on Pakis!

  • nalin on March 9, 2007, 12:13 GMT

    I believe all three asian teams can come to semi-finals, and I hope so. This tournament is all about batting, even though some pitches are slow. So players like Hafeez, Malik, Afridi & Azar is very valuable. Azar must play as he is very good medium pacer and a good hitter. All pakistans must hope that Afridi can come good in this world cup. Even he can come in powerplays if the wickets are slow.

  • khansahab on March 9, 2007, 12:13 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, You are not a fan of people mentioning their playing XI’s on this blog. However when we speak in terms of strategy I am sure you can expect some individuals to mention their preference for batting positions. I believe that this new move is welcome. However (and I have stated this before on this blog) I would have preferred Yousuf to bat in place of Younis up the order. That is because Yousuf takes the least amount of time to settle in and start playing his shots. The focus is crease occupation but Younis is not such a good player of the outswinger and he is especially vulnerable to the wide ball outside the off stump- he needs to work on that. I actually don’t foresee a problem with Younis batting after Inzamam- at no.4. I have a sincere message for all people who support Afridi as an opener. The plan has been implemented for almost a decade now and it has not worked. When the ball is fast and moving, Afridi is most vulnerable. The general strategy for this WC is MAXIMISING YOUR RESOURCES TO THEIR OPTIMUM UTILITY and sending Afridi at no 2 does not conform to that ideal. Pakistan will fail if three specialist pacers and one bowling all rounder are played. That is because Pakistan already has a dented frontline bowling attack for the reasons: 1) No Asif and Akhtar 2) No significant recent match practice for Gul and 3) out of form Sami and Rana. Promoting our big 3 batsmen up the order will help insofar that batting collapses will not be as drastic as the norm. I think this means an extra fast bowler can be played just to provide the attack with that firepower. Yes, if Kaneria’s inclusion in those matches where Afridi will be absent brings success, then he should be played. My line-up conforms to the ideal of MAXIMISING YOUR RESOURCES TO THEIR OPTIMUM UTILITY.

    You have to get the balance right; no point in having 9 batsmen/all rounders in the team at the expense of a weak and inexperienced bowling attack. West Indian pitches are similar to Pakistani pitches in that medium pacers are easy to smack around. If you still don’t agree with me, then I would like to inform you that Imran Khan and Rameez Raja still choose Sami and Rana over Mahmood and Arafat.

    Ahsan, you think Mr Abbasi is out of his mind to support a middle order batsman’s promotion as opener? What planet do you live on? You belong to the Aamir Sohail school of thought, which never benefitted Pakistan. What about Lara, Chanderpaul, Sangakarra, Atapattu, Tendulkar, Dravid etc. All these middle order batsmen have been successful as openers when they were needed. Yasir Hameed is a good middle order batsman but a failed opener. Pakistan cannot have good, consistent openers if players like Hafeez, Nazir, Farhat etc are played because openers need maturity and temperament. 20 somethings from small towns/villages do not have the requisite temperament to succeed. Either you change the concept of the “Pakistani opener” altogether, which means dismantling the system from its very roots. Or you simply accept that someone with maturity and temperament should open.

  • Quney khan on March 9, 2007, 12:02 GMT

    kamran lora da , good tem al pakistan brisky, go to world cop won . afridi khan gud player da along with other pathan gul kaan , n yonis kaan, great imran kaan, zama da para di , all the best, laka o janim bye, khuda paiman

  • mohidin gundroo on March 9, 2007, 11:56 GMT

    It is totally unrealistic for any manager to discuss the team strategy in advance,in any case such stratgies need to be flexible.Anyway plying conditions both batting and bowling look more favourble to Pakistan and other Asian teams.SA absence may turnout to be a bleSSing.I dont think we are going get many score above 300 on these dusty pitches with low bounce, very little swing after first 10 overs and lot of turn for spinners,of which we have afew perhaps not enough in the team. I would prefer always to bat first on these pitchs and aim for a score of only 270 to begin with.I will use same strategy as of 1992 world cup,4runs/over for first 10, save wickets,aim for 10 an over from 40 onward and 20/over for last 3/4 overs. That can only happen if we have saved enough wickets to start with. I will leave last 10 overs to shohaib,afridi, kamal and azhar.Use Azhar as pinch hitter in the middle if need arises and not Afridi.Be flexible with batting line.Bring in spinners early perticularly if medium pacers are not doing well, be bold and imaginative like true champions if that is what you want to be.when it comes to bowling pakistan needs to aggressive with attacking field placing

  • Sajid Ahmed on March 9, 2007, 11:49 GMT

    Our openers are simply not worthy of opening.. Bob, listen to me and if you are reading this then do me a favor and open with Mehmood or Afridi and Arfat.. you might as well as they will get just as many runs..

    So how about it Bob...

  • Umair Pervaiz on March 9, 2007, 11:42 GMT

    I think its a good move to promote Younis up the order.

    Now the batting look in much better shape, at least on paper, but the question that arises though is related to bowling.

    Is it worth having 3 part time spinners and one speacialist spinner in the same team. If the two quickies go for a stick at the death, can the spinners handle the pressure, I reckon they can't.

    I am a firm believer that Danish and Gul are the only bowlers who are match winners, and we must play them in any circumstances. Rana is a good proposition at the death so they are the three i would definetely choose. But who would bowl at the start with Gul, cause Rana invariably is too expensive at the start.

    It can be Azhar or Yasir but then we have to drop Hafeez or Afridi which is a tough choice to make.

    Guys what do you reckon ??

  • aamir akhund on March 9, 2007, 11:21 GMT

    Kamran bhai. Even before the tour of South Africa i had been hoping that dear Inzi and Bob would realize our main problem and send Younis Khan to open the inning. If this theory works in the WI then i have no doubt that pakistan can surely get to the semi-finals after which it is any bodys game. Lastly i hope that our supporters would behave in a positive manner. by this i not only mean that they have to take defeat lightly but also not to use these matches as to spread any political agenda. i am a proud pakistani and it hurts to see my tem playing and our supporter raising political party flags and banner. i hope that i see pakistani flags n the ground rather than flags of any party i.e MQM or any other. once again i hope we win and inshallah world cup will be ours.

  • Majid on March 9, 2007, 11:08 GMT

    What Younis Khan can do as an opener is yet to be seen though I am optimistic as I want Younis to succeed. What we need to look at is the fact that Bob and the team haven't thrown in the towel by losing three of their key players. That is a positive sign but let me state the not so positive aspect of this move. The only reason we have made this change is because we have either finally realized that we had an opening problem or finally decided to do something about the opening problem that existed for quite some time. We are experimenting until the last mintute when everyone has a stable opening pair and (some teams have) suitable replacements for them. This is not being flexible as it is a desperate move to fix a problem that has existed for a very long time. I am making it sound like I don't welcome this move. That is not the case but I do have to question the timing. If Younis is asked to open during the world cup then Hafeez has to come down the order which doesn't sit too well with me. To be very honest I am not a huge fan of Hafeez and I have serious doubts about his ability to bat at the international level. I think there are far better players in Pakistan who can bat in the middle order under pressure. I believe that a surprise selection of a middle order batsman (Asim Kamal) would have been better. Asim is a left handed batsman and in the middle overs a left right combination can be very productive against any bowling attack (spin or pace).

  • Hadi Cricket on March 9, 2007, 10:55 GMT

    Obviously we don't have the kind of bowlers to depend on our bowling to win matches, so WE MUST DEPEND ON OUR BATTING. Yes, we do have batting talent in our side to post big scores. Yet, batting down to 9,10,or 11 IS A BAD IDEA because there are some quality sides in the world cup with some explosive batsmen. Exposing our second rate bowlers will only see our opposition blast our hopes out of the stadium in the first 15 overs. So, GUL, KANIERIA, AND SAMI should be included for sure. KANIERIA IS KEY.

    Note: -If it doesn't look like we're going to be all out, send Afridi in earlier, because the bigger score he gets a chance to post the better. - KANERIA NEEDS TO PERFORM, AND WE NEED TO GIVE HIM RESPONSIBILITY

  • Shadab on March 9, 2007, 10:34 GMT

    Well thats not a bad ploy to start with. When nothing seems to work right, we need to take our chances. Lot of people have talked about batting but the main concern is our bowling. I think Inzi should open the bowling with Gul and Arafat because rana had a very bad record of opening the bowling. But Instead he is very lethal with the old bowl. RANA and SAMI can ruin the oppositions plans with Old bowl.

  • Umer Ahmed on March 9, 2007, 10:26 GMT

    Because of the terrible opening starts that Pakistan has been getting Younis even when coming in at No. 3 comes in to bat very early on. He is indeed batting as a virtual opener so this move is sensible. If Pakistan had problems in the openning department why did they not give Yasir Hameed a fair go at this position? He never openned in South Africa and did not play in any of the one dayers. Yasir has a reasonable average and plenty of experience.

    My other area of concern is using Rana as a new ball bowler. He got hammered by England in England, in champions trophy, by West Indies in Pakistan, by South Africa in South Africa and even by lowly rated Canadian openers yet Pakistan keeps persisting with him. Cricinfo article clearly illustrates Rana's value when the slog is on at the end but not at the beginning. Why Rao is not given the new ball and Rana brought into the attack later on? Furthermore Rao's style is similar to Aquib Javed who was pretty successful when he played in the 1992 World Cup. Rao can bowl his 10 overs upfront and be a good support to Umar Gul as his opening bowl partner.

    Another area of concern for Pakistan is that they have still not cut down on extras. In the last one day match against the West Indies Pakistani bowlers did an excellent job in this regard. Waqar Younis should have been congratulated for this achievement instead he got a sack. Malik a persistent offender of no balls is totally inexcusable.

  • IMRAN AKHTAR on March 9, 2007, 10:21 GMT

    You are right Kamran, if the old strategy has not worked, then Pakistan must try something different, and with the exposure givien right at the top to our premier batsmen, I hope that it works well for Pakistan. A litmus test for this new strategy would be their warm up match against South Africa. However I still do not see much room for Danish Kaneria in the side, two fornt line fast bowlers, My choice : Gul, Rao, and then the allrounders , Azhar, Shahid, shoib and Hafeez, with Gul and Rao, taking the new ball. With this eleven Pakistan should would be batting right till the 9th down. The case for Kaneria is lost for me because I feel Shahid Afridii is more then usefull as a leg spinner.

  • Usman Majeed from RWP on March 9, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    To me the main problem is in the bowling department, v r not missing much in the batting except for Razzaq's brilliance at the end. Hopefully the big guns coming up the order will help the cause. But the question remains who will put his hand up and lead from the front in bowling?

  • Hafdix on March 9, 2007, 10:07 GMT

    Let's compare the arch-rivals man-for-man....

    Man-to-man, both India's batting and bowling looks well above the Pakistan's. On a slow-low pitch, I dont think Malik and Afridi have the technique to cope. During India's tour to Windies, Dravid was opening the batting, he wasnt in the middle order. With the return of Ganguly and advent of Uthappa, that problem is solved. I have serious doubts about Pakistan's probabilities in the worldcup, but you never know

  • Sal - Hong Kong on March 9, 2007, 10:02 GMT

    Kamran, I think it's a very balanced assesment. Everythings happens for a reason, hopefully good ones. Perhaps, absence of SK and MA would provide better results, as the ODI's are generally dominated by batsmen while the top bowlers get the beating no matter what. So, in my assesment, batting deep 9 or 10 would be the key. I'd rather play all all-rounders rather specialists in the lower order, with an exception of Kaneria.

  • Zrazzaq on March 9, 2007, 9:58 GMT

    Kamran you are right we now have a good idea of what Pakistan's new strategy will be after the first warmup match.

    I think pakistan would do very well in this tournament. They will started well winning first warmup and today its the time to beat S Africa.

  • tanny on March 9, 2007, 9:57 GMT

    We will find out if this new strategy works against the south Africans, but i like it and it balances the team out and gives players more time. Kamran akmal can play the role of a big hitter and he needs to in this world cup as he is required to cover for the loss of razzaq. Afridi has more time with this strategy so he can spend more time at the crease and hafeez and malik can provide a bases for a late assault.

  • Mian Gul Muhammed on March 9, 2007, 9:57 GMT

    I guess it is a very good strategy and i sincerely hope, it works for Pakistan. Having Younis at that position, will give our openners more stability and an opportunity to Imran Nazir for playing his natrural cricket. So Pakistan seems to be more reliant on attacking cricket rather than taking defensive which is an excellent move by Pakistan. I would have preferred Afaridy with Nazir as openners but inzi is very defensive in his approach. Anyway good luck guys, i will be more than happy if we qualify upto semis, inshallah.

  • Umair Dar on March 9, 2007, 9:52 GMT

    I think Younis opening is very sensible - our 3 top batsmen have to have the best opportunity to make a big score.

    However, given the absense of Shoaib and Asif I feel Kaneria MUST play, we need a top quality bowler to support Umar Gul, not just allrounders.

    Beyond the 1st game, Afridi comes into the picture. He will HAVE to play. So I can see him being slotted in for any one of Azhar/Hafeez, depending on if we think we need the extra pace or extra spin on that day.

  • Murtaza Ahmed on March 9, 2007, 9:51 GMT

    pakistan should not let younis open he has the ability but if they lose him early pakistan may grt under pressure

  • Ali Khan, Cambridge UK on March 9, 2007, 9:48 GMT

    I think Pakistan have come up with a very nice batting order. At least now we can hope for at least one of the openers to survive more than 5 overs! Kamran, you have rightly pointed out that the big question now is to balance the bowling attack. Here are a few observations:

    1. Pakistan has persisted with Rana but he has constantly been expensive with the new ball. Is it not possible to use him like West Indies uses Bravo. Give him the old ball (after 25-30 overs) and he can pick crucial wickets with his reverse swing. I think Pakistan has to be as innovative with their bowling strategy as they are with their batting.

    2. With so many part-time spinners the temptation is to omit Kaneria. But this may not be the right thing to do. Kaneria is a wicket taking option in the middle overs. I am not fully convinced about Hafeez and Afridi taking many wickets against a top batting line up. Apart from India and Sri Lanka Kaneria would be effective agaianst most oppositions.

    3. Ideally Pakistan needs Gul and Sami to fire with the new ball. However if Sami does not rise to the occassion the job should go to Rao.

    4. In the current setup there doesn't seem to be much room for Mahmood. He is no longer an attacking option with the ball and in Windies' conditions we are better off with the spin of Hafeez and Afridi. It is important not to play too many all-rounders at the cost of wicket-taking bowlers. However on a newly laid seeming track Mahmood can be played at the expense of a spinner.

    5. Imran Nazir??? (and this is a big question mark) Can he finally realise his potential? If he does Pakistan would have a real chance.

    Pakistan are outsiders in this WC and that might work to our advantage. Let's watch out for the most evenly contested World Cup of them all!

  • symposium on March 9, 2007, 9:48 GMT

    One day cricket has long become a batsmans game.The size of the bats is remarkable.Have you ever wondered why Jacque kallis never seems to edge the ball.There is no doubt spin will play a role in this tournament.Generally as the tournament continues the pitches are never a fast bowlers dream but the difference between south africa and west indies is that there is decent turn on these ones.The first games will be tough,so expect a few surprises.Younnis has always been a grafter so if he has a bit of luck then he may make a couple of 50s at that opening position.The other advantage of him opening is that imran will be well marshalled.The youngsters tend to get out embarassingly when they are on their own.Inzy is in discomforting form but has to lead from the front.Remember before the two Ys became our two most profitable partnership,Inzy and Yosuf were the best at the crease,never mind their terrible running between the wickets.for me malik is world class and bob knows the final overs will be crucial given the several faces these pitches will have so he is the best to marshall the lower order along with shahid,Hafeez and Akmal.Always felt hafeez was a good player,Its just the decision making,Akmal is a good batsman,even under pressure,its a pity he has been exposed as a wicket keeper.Once you are marked you are marked for like.Gilchrist doesnt have the best glove work but is proffessional so nobody ever notices.For me the two allrounders must be Malik and Hafeez.With Afridi in the team as abowler that means no automatic place for danish,although I feel he can be used on turning pitches.I know fast bowlers are not the most important aspect in a one day team but our fast bowlers are just horrible at the moment.I would be tempted to play sami but the extras equation rules him out.Gul is not even a good one day bowler but I would play him and I hope he will not be exposed.I am tempted to drop rana.God knows` whats wrong with him but even his fielding qualities and determination cant get him a place now,surely.Rao looks efficient and azhar should get the third seamers spot.In the inner circle there should be malik,imran,younis and afridi.Inzy at first slip and yosuf as third man please.

  • muhammed ansari on March 9, 2007, 9:46 GMT

    hi it is an interesting approach. I must applaude the risk taking bob woolmer after all this is not the traditional way is it after al. I was just wondering why does pakistan not consider dropping kamran akmal and making younis keep wickets after all he has done it before and he is preety allryte with it not the best i would agree but that will allow us extra room for azhar to come in. That will give some strenght to your depleted pace attack as well and we would be able to fit in kaneria as well that way we would be able to bat till number 8 and we will have 7 bolwers in the team can it get any better;)

  • Mustafa on March 9, 2007, 9:40 GMT

    pakistan's problem was not batting but bowling. well todays warmup will shed some light on this lets see how much can southAfricans can score. Some of the teams even have much dangerous batting order than south Africa so lets see

  • ishrat on March 9, 2007, 9:38 GMT

    Yes the strategy needed some revamping for the world cup and the peculiar situation that the team finds itself in. There is criticism from all corners and the senior players have to take the initiative and lead by example. If Mo Yo can come in at three and inzi at four shoaib malik has shown to be consistent at five or six then you can have the all rounders. Lets wait and see whether Younis can play well enough alongwith Nazir. Eagerly waiting for the 13th

  • N H shah on March 9, 2007, 9:37 GMT

    Hoping that Pakistan should qualify the super 8 stage with no hicups, one can predict the following out comes from their games 1.Vs England----win 2.Vs Westindies--Win 3.Vs South Africa--50/50 4.Vs Australia--Lose 5. Vs India---50/50 6.Vs Sirilanka--50/50 7.Vs Nezeland--Win This gives them 3 wins 2 loss's and 2 50/50

    Therefore these two matches(Vs India and SeriLanka)would be crucial in order for them to qualify for the semifinals. Good luck after that. Najam

  • Armughan on March 9, 2007, 9:32 GMT

    Very interesting observations. I guess the Pakistanis are trying a bit of Indian experiment where Dravid opened for some time. Not a bad idea if it can be executed. Shoaib Malik and Muhammad Hafeez can be good attacking options. So lets see what happens tonight and hope for the best.

  • Ahsan on March 9, 2007, 9:30 GMT

    YK as an opener should have been experimented a bit earlier. now it leaves no time really to see how he fares at opening slot. nonetheless, worth trying. would be fantastic if 'the opening' factor also comes out from him, AMEEEN.

  • Ali on March 9, 2007, 9:29 GMT

    Let's just hope for good!

  • qaisar sheikh on March 9, 2007, 9:27 GMT

    of sourse kamran this is the way to go but they should have gone this way lot earlier so that younis could get enough time to be familier with this spot.its bit late but its never too late.

  • Ali Wazir (Amsterdam) on March 9, 2007, 9:17 GMT

    Mr. Abbassi, I truly agree with your statement that if the old stuff doesn't work, try something completely new. Anything experimental CAN click in Pakistan's favour, but the question is, is this the time for trial and error?

    The countries which will succeed in the world cup will be those that have unity and best batting partnerships, not those that aren't injury struck.

    Maybe no place for Muhammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik, but do you really need them? ODI cricket is a fast game and Shoaib Malik is a slow settling batsmen; someone who is utile in Test Cricket.

    All I can now say is good luck to Pakistan! (P.S. Do take my advice ;) )

  • Mohammad Fouzan Alvi on March 9, 2007, 9:14 GMT

    Well I partially agree with you but experimenting in such a mega event seems very ridiculous. We see lack of planning in Pakistan squad, first they said Akmal will be rested in South Africa ODI series, that never happen. Asif was pretty fine in ODIs, they said the same for the final ODI, and we never saw him at the bench.

    Secondly I think Pakistan should play spin all-rounders, the problem will arise when Shahid Afridi return after serving the ban.

    Thirdly with the results in the warm up matches suggesting maximum spinners from the sides, it means Kaneria should be definitely selected.

    Lastly it is the only thing encouraging before the mega event that our senior players are stepping up the order, deciding the balance of the match and leaving youngster to carry on.

  • neral on March 9, 2007, 9:13 GMT

    you are forgetting about azhar mahmood! Would open with afridi, and azhar in at no. 5 to be the finisher. push Mohammed yousef up the order, perhaps as a opener. inzi should be no. 3;

  • Imran A Javed on March 9, 2007, 9:10 GMT

    Kamran, come to talk of top 5 batsmen, all were there in SA. Why was this not tried then? Just few days away from the WC and we are going for a new combination. What were Bob and Inzi doing there? I think it’s too late to comment on what ever they are doing. One thing I am sure of that like every team our team will also try its best. In case if they fail then they are not to be blamed, it’s the board, the coach and selection committee as they failed to get true openers for the team in last 4 years or so and of course us the cricket lovers? Why expect so much when we know what is going on.

  • Rizwan Younus on March 9, 2007, 9:10 GMT

    I think that the pakistan thinktank and hierarchy does get a lot of stick especially from us fans but i believe they must be commended for such a bold and innovative approach. It clearly shows that we have realised that inzi is batting way to lower down the order therefore the order has rightly changed. I know people would have a opinion on younis khan opening the innings but hey he is normally coming in after a couple of overs anyway so whats the difference?. This also frees up the best player in the world today (along with ponting? Big Mo to bat at 3 where he can dictate the situation and not let the sitauation dictate him. Hafeez 5 Malik 6 Akmal 7 Afridi 8 Gul 9 Sami 10 And Rana 11. Best of luck boys!

  • first post on March 9, 2007, 9:09 GMT

    wheeeee I got first post look at me, yeay me...England will win world cup (they won a match recently so of course they are going to win - just like in football)

  • Faisal Javed Siddiqui on March 9, 2007, 9:07 GMT

    I absolutely agree MR.Kamran Abbasi. I am of the view that Younus Khan comes in the 1st over very often so he might as well open with Yousuf and Inzamam the next two. I would then put in Shoaib Malik and then Afridi followed by Azhar Mahmood.My Bowling Line up would be Sami,GUL and Kaneria.

  • Muhammad Owais on March 9, 2007, 9:07 GMT

    Kamran you have devised a really good batting order, the conditions will also favour Pakistani style of batting. The major concern is that Inzamam and Yousuf might be in very early which they are not used to. I hope that the opening pair of Younis and Imran clicks and that can do wonders for Pakistan. Regarding the bowling options, I think if we play Afridi than there is no place for Hafeez otherwise 40 overs will be bowled by spiners i.e. Afridi, Malik, Hafeez and Kaneria. I think Azhar Mehmood or Yasir Arafat should be tried at number 8 after Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar should be used with Umer Gul. This will give Pakistan the two strike bowlers in Gul and Kaneria and Rao, Malik, Arafat can do the containing job. Afridi we hope can do a good job with the bat and the bowl and we all know that if its his day Pakistan have a 80% chance of winning the match. Well wishes for the Pakistan team.

  • Soda Singh on March 9, 2007, 9:01 GMT

    Kamran jee...baley bai baley.. yep new strategy is there... to me it should be in this way..

    Combination Baley bai baley.. Attacking: 1-gulla, 2- Afrida, 3-Danisha or Samia containing:1-iftekhara, 2- Hafiza 3, malika or Azhara

  • HASEEB - KUWAIT on March 9, 2007, 8:58 GMT

    Only thing i am afraid of is WHAT IF Younis or Nazir fell down early ? Then Yousef and Inzimam will be revealed to new swinging ball. I think this strategy will work good for pakistan only if openers cover yousef and inzi by getting rid of new ball.

  • Hameed on March 9, 2007, 8:57 GMT

    Hi In circustances this the best strategy as Imran Khan promoted himself to one down position and was successful I gues Younas Khan is capable of doing same in this world cup as he a natural fighter not like Inzi who will never budge from 6 position.

  • Harry Iyris on March 9, 2007, 8:48 GMT

    Younis Khan can be tried at top of order. However if he fails in next match Kamran Akmal should be put at top. Younis Khan is too precious to be wasted in first few over, he is key to providing stability in middle order along with Mo.yousuf. I am not too sure about form of Inzy, but as indictaed in warm up match he should find WI conditions to his liking for pulling etc. Rest of the middle order and lower order is OK. Afridi should be moved up the order in case PAK has a huge target to hunt down. Main Bowler to be picked : Gul,Sami,Ift.Anjum,Kaneria

  • Mohammad Athar Hameed on March 9, 2007, 8:46 GMT

    I think Inzi feels compertable at NO 6. let him play at NO 6. They have changed batting order because they felt huge presure from Paksitan media. I think, if we lose inzi early than whole team come under presure, and no one is capable to handle this presure. Hafeez and Malik they good but you can trust them to play good ingings in tough situation. They can go with one more batsman but problem is they don't have any?

  • Ibraheem Khan on March 9, 2007, 8:43 GMT

    I still dont get why Shoaib Malik is not tried out as the opener. He was exceptional when he played one-down and quite frankly speaking he is under utilized when he bats down the order.

    I think Shahid Afridi will replace Hafeez in later stages of the game. but let see :)

  • Syed Hasan Ali Hashmi on March 9, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    Pakistan's New Startegy! Some how looks similar to Srilankan dream run in 1996.(1 or 2 decent Bowlers & Batsmen, Rest...Every body Bats & Every body balls. Who knows Muhammad Younis grabing an important wicket...& Our RANA ji after going for 80 runs for 1 wicket, may eventually HIT a winning 4 ...This team can do any thing. As is apparent, they are getting more n more Hot favourites to lift the cup, even HILTON catching fire. I just wonder, What ICC would have decided on 'The Fire issue', Had the World Cup been played in Pakistan(Sri Lanka Or Bangladesh)...

    Though Pakistan bowling attack looks average, specailly if compared to the past Pakistani attack, for me still the Batting remain the main concern, we need Match winners, only Inzi Bhai is a true Match winner. In Batting 2 Y's still need a lot to prove, specially in a pressure run chase situation against quality bowling. I still say Azhar Mehmood could well be "Man of The Tournament".

    Anywayz, my team to lift the cricket world cup 2007 is PAKISTAN.

  • faizan on March 9, 2007, 8:23 GMT

    yess kamran your right that younis yousif n inzi all of em will get chance to show how good they r n i think nazir if he goes down da order wid afridi cud boost our chances of winin cuz dey can b hardhittin towards da end of da match so good pakistan

  • Faisal on March 9, 2007, 8:19 GMT

    Pakistan have realised, that having your two best batsman play at 4 and 5, when you have a team full of explosive yet erratic players, is not the way too go. With Younis being the opener that Pakistan desperately need, it gives Mohammed Yousuf and Inzamam a chance to really change the game in Pakistan's favour. Australia already does this, with the combination of Ponting and Clarke. As do South Africa, with Kallis and Gibbs. Malik is a very calm and controlled player, and can provide great stability for his big hitting partners, such as Afridi, Mahmood, Akmal etc. Mohammed Hafeez is in this way the odd man out, and in my opinion should only play as a specialist spinner, which would allow pakistan to bat all the way down to number 9, with the two quicks coming in after. Mahmood is essential to this World-Cup campaign, as he is the third quick as well as another big hitter down the order. If he can nail both of these slots, it will provide flexibility for Pakistan that few other teams have, and will allow Pakistan to play Kaneria. With two quicks, Kaneria and Mahmmod firing plus the spin of Afridi and Malik Pakistan will have a very potent bowling lineup which can destory any team in the world. The Key though is the Batting, and if Inzamam and Yousuf can be the two main pillars Pakistan still have a hope of doing serious damage, and winning the World Cup.

  • Azam Farooqui on March 9, 2007, 8:06 GMT

    As Kamran mentioned, that if all other strategies arent working, then this new combination of Younis, Yousuf and Inzamam moving ahead in the batting order is something to consider atleast in the first round, might help them decide if the team is comfortable with it or not, if not they can always go back to thier old batting order without much damage as except the opening encouter, the other two games are quite meaningless except that they can help Pakistan tinker with different ideas. I think Malik and Afridi and Hafeez can be a useful trio at 5 6 and 7. One has to take up the job of a finisher. My money goes for Malik, after the main three, he looks more likely to spend the max. time in the middle with hafeez and afridi provide the explosiveness. But playing all three means that they have the job of bowling 20 overs together as Pakistan then afford to play only three specialist bowlers, which in my opnion keeping in mind the limited strength of the attack might not be a bad idea.

  • zain kazmi on March 9, 2007, 8:00 GMT

    not sure this will work players needs time to settle themselves in some positions esp b4 the world cup i dont think they will bear its pressure

  • Mustafa Moiz on March 9, 2007, 7:59 GMT

    That would be excellent. However, Imran Nazir, unlike Afridi, plays a more calculated game and his shots are good while Afridi is just lucky. But as, after his ban, Afridi will be back, I think that he should be at five, followed by Akmal and then Malik. Then it will be up to who else is in the team. If there is Azhar Mahmood, then he will come in at eight, Sami and Rana after him. When there is no Afridi for the first two matches, Akmal should be at five, Malik: six, Azhar Mahmood at seven and eight and nine will be Sami and Rana, then Gul and Kaneria. This also gives their best spinners: Malik and Kaneria more time to bowl.

  • Shafiq on March 9, 2007, 7:58 GMT

    Hmmm! new strategy! well, i feel it tough to digest coz WC is not right place to test it! Though i am a huge fan of Inzi-Woolmer (except 2004 CT, when they opened with debutant Salman butt) but i feel it was better for Inzi & Yousuf to play over Number 15 to 35 that is no 4 & 5!

    ANyways best of luck to pakistan, and if this experiment with Younis is failed after 2 matches of S8 , then we should move to old Haffez/Nazir/Malik and pray for the best. Anyways Younis/Yousf/INZI are precious and should not be wasted in first 10 overs.

  • AJ on March 9, 2007, 7:58 GMT

    Yes, you are right. This strategy may work, but Pak will have to show attacking intent and not play too many all rounders. For example, play Sami over Azhar, unless he appear totally out of form. Also, we should only play one out of Afridi and Nazir. Then play Danish in every match.

  • Amir Malik on March 9, 2007, 7:53 GMT

    If Pakistan somehow manage to score evev 350 still it could be chased because we have got Rana in the team. I cant understand his presence in the team despite his continuous poor performances.He would play a vital role in making new records against Pakistan and I am surprised u hav never criticised his performances. Apart from Rana everything is fine in the team.

  • Imran (NZ) on March 9, 2007, 7:51 GMT

    Sounds good. As long as they stick to it. It really does look good on the paper and we know that the guys are capable of it so perhaps we need to be a little positive... SA will be a good warmup, i hope the result only fires them up. WI will be playing against India which is a strong candidate this time around. So WI will be comming in the real game playing a team with relative resemblance.

    All the best Team Pakistan.

  • Haris Anis on March 9, 2007, 7:34 GMT

    Opening with Younis Khan is really good decision in my opinion. It will provide the much needed stability at the start and will also allow Imran Nazir to play his strokes freely. I am a bit apprehensive about the decision to play Yousuf at number 3 especially in high run chases since he tends to throw his wicket away in such situations.

  • Salman Khimani on March 9, 2007, 7:33 GMT

    Well yes, I agree. In fact this world cup offers a good opportunity to do all the experiments that Bob ever wished to do. Since there aren't too many expectations - we have nothing much to lose anyways. At least these experimentations would help us in preparing for the next world cup for sure!! Good Luck Bob, Inzi and your boys!!

  • tariq from stockport on March 9, 2007, 7:28 GMT

    "But when your old system isn't working, a reasonable approach is to try something completely different." Quite true, but surely not IN THE MIDDLE OF A WORLD CUP?!

    "but the complication arises when considering which combination of bowling all-rounders and bowlers to go for." There is no complication, i love Rana Bhai but even i must admit that he's got to be given a rest. As people have already pointed out, if he got tonked by Canada what will the other teams do to him. And i thought i saw him with a beard (mashallah) in a cricinfo, if so then i doubt Inzi Bhai will drop him. Ho hum...

    Something else occured to me as well.. here i am born, working and living in the UK yet i support Pakistan. Where do you think Uncle Bob's priorities lie (i.e. who do you think he's rooting for in this WC ?) ?

  • Waqar Khattak on March 9, 2007, 7:25 GMT

    Pakistan has to come up with some bold decisions sending it top guns up in order other wise their strategy was defensive to save the batsman which is of no use in today cricket. Your best player should come at top. This batting order will give maximum chance to Inzi, yousaf and younis to play maximum now let see how it works.

  • omar on March 9, 2007, 7:25 GMT

    I think, hope and pray that this strategy'll work. Now its upto the players that what they do, we can just be optimistic here back in Pakistan and hope everything goes well. Younis can be a calming influence in the team and for Nazir and i think he is well eqiupped technically to handle the new ball, more or less he was the virtual opener for Pakistan in recent series to SA, because our openers were not well equipped technically. Plus i think Pakistan may find an exciting finisher in the form of Hafeez. May Allah bless us with the honor of another WC...Ameen!!

  • zain on March 9, 2007, 7:19 GMT

    i think younis should definitely open with nazir not a bad idea coz it will be better opening with younis than hafeez.then yousuf and inzi bhai should be at 3 and 4. hafeez should be 5 and malik 6.then akmal at 8 and boom boom should come at 7.then the rest are the bowlers.thats my view anyway.

  • usman on March 9, 2007, 7:17 GMT

    lol @ "my piercing questions" :)

  • irfan saleem on March 9, 2007, 7:16 GMT

    well,lets hope for the best.Thats how we,pak fans,keep on consoling ourselves,with pakistan team trying different permutations n combinations.Pak always have had problems with settling the batting order.But i would like u to go back to the 2005 one day series in india,it seemed pakistan had settled down with their batting which was in the order:afridi,butt,malik,inzi,yousuf,younis.....but pakistan think tank had different plans,they didn't feel comfortable with it and kept on changing n chopping,rest is history.younis has always been a better player of spin and is unable to keep things moving in the earlier part of the innings when fielding restrictions are on which puts a lot of pressure on later batsmen.Recent comments by inzi where he said that yousuf might be batting down at 5 is a shocker.Well,everybody knows that your best batsman has to bat at 3(in extreme cases at 4) and arguably yousuf is the best batsman in pak line up at present with inzi struggling with his form for more than a year now.

  • Khuram shahzad on March 9, 2007, 7:11 GMT

    I think the only strategy that can work is Remove Bob from pakistan coaching

  • Rehan Zarak on March 9, 2007, 7:11 GMT

    I guess that is a good idea to send your best batsmen earlier to give them more time to build the innings and then have the hitters come in later for the fireworks. Hopefully we will see some good surprises from this bruised Pakistan team. Everyone nowadays is mocking us about our fitness and weaknesses but they don't know that if they get their momentum and play as a unit, they can beat any team in the World.

  • Laloo on March 9, 2007, 7:04 GMT

    Doing well in the world cup depends tremendously on the batting. Batting first, it will be very important to post a huge score to give the bowling a chance, while batting second will certainly put the onus on the batting. So either way, without a frontline pace attack, the batting has to come through big for Pakistan for any hope of doing well. If changing the batting order may help, then I'm all for it.

  • Ali Azhar on March 9, 2007, 6:56 GMT

    i am NOT sure that younis khan will open the batting. Inzy in his interview said that this is a experiment they have done. However i totally agree with Kamran bhai that the everytime should give their best batsmen as much overs as possible. Secondly younis khan isn't really a slogger or big six hitter in the death overs. He is more adept at finding gaps, and thus can find more boundaries inthe powerplay with only two men on the boundary.

  • Farhan Arif on March 9, 2007, 6:54 GMT

    Kamran, I could not agree more to the idea of changing your strategy when its not working in its present state. Still then, I feel inside that Younis khan opening is a good idea, but what if it does not work and he fails against South Africa. Kamran Akmal has done well opening on flat pitches earlier, and I think if Younis cannot adjust to the opening slot, Akmal should be used with Imran Nazir to unleash the mirror image of hell. Younis can then come down at 5, with Shoaib at six. Pakistan bat down to any number, especially considering what danish kaneria did to the South African bowling attack with umar gul during the recent tests. Shoaib, Asif and Razzaq are turning out to be convenient absentees. We do not have to be over optimistic to expect pakistan to win the World Cup. Just optimism would do.

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on March 9, 2007, 6:49 GMT

    Yes, Kamran Bhai when you old strategies are not working, there is no harm in trying something new. If we go by with your suggestion, it is a good idea to spend more time on the wicket for the inform batsmen rather than sending up the order that batsmen who are running out of form. It is clear that the WHITE balls only swing 8-10 overs and then it is easy to play. If we have Nazir who can start his inning with GO it is a good idea to have somebody to preserve his wicket. The middle order looks safe and sound and if Hafeez and Malik are being used 6&7 respectively, it is safer than ever. But how Afridi and Akmal are being used, will be watched by me very carefully. The ODI cricket is all about batting and if they click as a unit, this team is going to do wonders for us and I am sure, all the pundits will eat their words. It is in the interest of Sub continent team that the pitches are going to be slow. I think this is going to be one of the most amusing tournament where batsmen will win matches for them. In this particular WC, strategy will be key for winning the matches and shrewd captain will take all the matches as it is the last one. Remember we have seen the first upset before the WC whereas Bangladsh defeating NZ one of the most contenders for the WC. In my personal opinion,it would be a good idea to plan different strategy for every new match rather than one strategy for each and every match. Kamran Bhai, once again my best wishes for the team and I am not loosing heart and they will do WONDERS... Pray to ALMIGHTY

  • Danish Abbasi on March 9, 2007, 6:47 GMT

    STRATEGY Pakistan team has always changed its strategies once the previous one has backfired. Now again we are hearing that they have changed their batting order and promoted Younis khan at the oening slot. The decision of Inzimam and Yousuf to play up the order sounds logical being a premier batsmen both of them have to play maximum role in the batting performance of the team. I am not expecting miracles from Younis khan in opening positin because he has some basic flaws in his technique as well and he will feel the pressure of a big tournament as well. But he is much better in technique form Muhammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. We have to go for the depth in bowling as well due to the reason that right now that is the grey area in the present squad. The bowling options lacks variety and gives the impression of sameness in all of them. I like the phrase Imran khan uses time and again " bits and pieces" but now we have to play with what is in our repertoire. Inzimam has to be proactive his captaincy and needs to guickly change his gears from defensive skipper to one who will remain positive in his approach through out the Tournament.

  • Jay Khan on March 9, 2007, 6:44 GMT

    We wish Pakistan well. More than a handful of players can win a match anyday. All things remaining the same, I have a hunch. Wicketkeeping will let the team down. Few flashes of brilliance cannot cover missing sitters at regular intervals. Who bats where and who bowls when can become irrelevant.

  • Zaid ilyas on March 9, 2007, 6:41 GMT

    I think the real question is what pakistan will play with. will they include three pacers or two pacers with danish kaneria and 2 other part time spinners. i think they will have to play with 3 pacers and danish kaneria.

  • Masaood Yunus on March 9, 2007, 6:37 GMT

    I have previously advocated this same idea in one of your blogs. Having YK open the bat gives us plenty of options in the rest of the batting order along with a solid batting at top spot. The new strategy shows the attacking mindset for the worldcup. I agree, Afridi should take one spot down the order after Malik and Hafeez. This might leave no room for Azhar Mahmood but with too many allrounders, you have to play the best cards. Iftikhar Anjum contines to impress and along with Umar Gul is the first choice attack duo. Rana Naved's spot in the team is very shaky since having him in the team now a days, Pakistan plays with 10 players while the opponents play with 12 players. Yes, Rana jee plays for the opponents. (just kidding). I dont think Inzi is getting the idea yet. Rana is the bowler at the death and we continue to see him with the fresh red cherry ! Tomorrows game with SA will make the picture more clear.The game is ON ...

  • Daniyal on March 9, 2007, 6:08 GMT

    Once Afridi becomes available he will probably replace either Malik or Hafeez depending on who's batting better my guess is Malik may have to defer to Afridi even though his influence in the middle order is crucial to stabilize the innings but with Hafeez's current form one never knows

  • Danish Syed on March 9, 2007, 5:51 GMT

    Even if Pakistan plays without Yousuf, Younis and Inzi. Pakistan is equally likely to win the game as it is to lose the game. Pakistan has always had ONLY ONE strategy...making the whole nation PRAY.

  • wasim saqib on March 9, 2007, 5:46 GMT

    I hope Pakistan persists with the same batting lineup and younis khan should hold one end as long as possible he is too good to fail continously, he does not have to be over agressive should only play his normal game,if our highly experienced top order stays uptill 30 overs and play solid cricket rather than flashy their is no reason why we will not post 300+ score in every match given the depth in our batting,I think the match against WI will be the real test for our team,it will also give us an idea what kind of pitches we are going to get, remember its ICC which is preparing the Pitches so we can expect hard and bouncy wickets also,remember the pitch in champions trophy where we lost to SA,ICC will do its best to provide goree teams their home environment,I can bet on that.

  • wasim saqib on March 9, 2007, 5:18 GMT

    World cup hasnt begun officially yet and as usual we have pulled out our swords and heads are already at the choping block,reading the comments about Woolmers interview on this blog posted by different people I can easily say he will be the first one on that choping block, but is it fair? Is he the reason for our problems? Did he suggested Asif and Shoaib to take Drugs and destroy the whole planning for the WC? And if we fire him will that bring any improvement in our team? Is there any other coach who can coach players like Afridi? Bob woolmer stired up a huge reaction when he didnt said a word, Imagine the reaction if he actually had given the answers. Our frustration and disappointment is justified to an extent but honestly speaking we expect too much from our team most of the times and sometimes even think they are invincible,we never assess their capabilities realistically thats the biggest problem. Now as far as Bob woolmer is concerned we need not to worry about him bcz he will not re-sign with Pakistan. The question is what needs to be changed in Pakistan cricket so that it lives up to our expectations. I think the biggest problem with our team is players over extending their careers,in almost all the teams in subcontinent nobody announces an honorable retirement we have to kick them out, and as a result when they leave they leave a big void which takes years to fill. If we look at Australia their 4 senior players retired they could have easily played the WC but they made a honorable choice to leave with dignity and make room for more deserving young players which will be ultimately beneficial for their team.Whereas In our team merit is never the key to selection,internal politics is the key if you join a powerful group you can remain in the team even though you have nothing left to offer, the members of the board the selectors the Explayers they all join different groups for their own interests.And as a result we witness the drama we are witnessing right now. Until this problem is fixed we should not develop any serious expectations from Pakistan cricket, Dont sweat Just enjoy each game regardless of the result afterall you are paying to watch.

  • calgary highlander on March 9, 2007, 5:16 GMT

    Kamran i didn't think we actually had 11 batsmen. turns out we do. I know Mohommad Sami's isn't to bat but he did make a 46 against SA in the ODI's. I know Test matches are more or less irrelevant irrelevent but, he did make a 31 against SA. Kamran i know listing a playing 11 ticks you off, but i will go ahead in listing them just to prove YOUR point.

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Younis Khan 3. Mohommad Yousuf 4. "Eat, Sleep, Gym?????" (Yeah right) 5. Shaid Afridi 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Mohammed Hafeez 8. Kamran Akmal 9. Azhar Mahmood 10. Yasir Arafat 11. Mohammad Sami

    LOL! An all batting line up. Here it is folk. Look in any other country n' you won't find it. I think Pakistan has a copyright on all really stupid, yet very possible line up. ONLY IN PAKISTAN PPL. COME VIEW!!!

  • sufyan on March 9, 2007, 4:59 GMT

    Stilll Zero Commment,,,,,,,

    Let me be the first. The last interview was so bad that I have lost faith in U

  • Shabhir khan ,Milan,Italy on March 9, 2007, 4:43 GMT

    HOPE. Thats all we need for a WC win . Thats the only thing which won us the last WC. Or else with this captain,this team and this coach and bowlers like sami,Naved only allah can save us.

  • SYED AHMED on March 9, 2007, 4:42 GMT

    First time, it seems like Pakistan team did something right..Combination seems just right and a receipe for success,...

  • Jawad Haque on March 9, 2007, 4:37 GMT

    Danda sada peeer ha....as a paki i understand if we wont apply enough pressure to our players (for decipline) they wont change..They will hang out at beaches in Jamaica and here we are praying hard..Dont put all the blame on Bob Whoolmer...I am living in USA..here the boss politely tells you to do something and you do it..well unlike back home!!...you all may not agree but i think most of us south Asian dont undersatand the meaning of professionalism..

  • ali a on March 9, 2007, 3:21 GMT

    I disagree with this lineup, I think Shoaib and Imran should open. Since, Shoaib bats slowly he could hold wicket at one end, while Imran Nazir bats aggressively from other end. Shoaib has in the past opened the innings, although not sure if Younis has or not.

    I believe Pakistan should also play Sami as opening bowler as his pace may help restrict opposition scoring. Not sure about Arafat's selection. Considering that Shoaib and Asif were pacers, it would have been better to have Shabbir Ahmed (who I heard was available).

  • Omer Admani on March 9, 2007, 2:41 GMT

    Hope will always remain, but the head says that hope wouldn't be able to last the world cup. As far as bowling goes, Kaneria and Gul should definitely play. Although, unlike many posters on this blog, I don't think Afridi is anywhere close to Pakistan's ultimate or the only hope, he should be in the team. He will be a utility player, but I should warn my Pakistani brethren not to hope too much in this instance or they will be dissapointed. The fourth bowler should be Rao; he is more consistent than the others. The fifth one is a tricky one: I would prefer to give Sami a bowl in the first few matches and see how he does; if he does what he usually does, then I would play Yasir Arafat (who apparently is a good death bowler as well).

    If someone advocates one extra all rounder for a bowler, I'd like to ask if the first six fail, what will a part-time batter do? Don't think in terms of useless 50s that Malik was hitting in SA, but rather the impact of those 50s in the match. The simple thing is that 99 times out of 100 if the top 6 don't play, the seventh half-batsman won't play, or have any significant impact in any case. On the other hand, imagine Smith and Devilliers getting an excellent start and hitting the ball around. If we turn to Kaneria, we have a better chance of taking a wicket and probably get the match back in grasp. Also, Kaneria could prove a match-winner as well if Akmal is good enough. I will be happy if Pakistan make it to the semi-finals. And, if that is the case, then it is just two more matches...two good days!

  • Ghalib Imtiyaz on March 9, 2007, 1:54 GMT

    The plan is a sound one indeed if it works. However it seems more sensible to protect someone like Hafeez and Malik to a certain extent as they are both useful batsmen when it comes to belting the old ball all round the park and then there is Afridi. With Akmal to reinforce the faster scoring rate its paramount that Pakistan strengthens its battery of pace bowlers. Sami, Iftikhar and Gul should be automatic choices. Even canadian got better of Rana(perhaps being mindful of his recent ODI record).

    Unfortunately Rana can cause as much damage with the ball by leaking extra runs that he can compensate with the bat. With so many batsmen to bat down to Akmal, it would be foolhardy to use Naveed. None of the teams are strong enough as Bangladesh proved by beating NZ. If Pakistan cant beat India then they can forget about winning the world cup. I am assuming that Pakistan can beat Australia :)

  • sophiyan on March 9, 2007, 1:29 GMT

    When ur Blog is not advertised on the front page. you dont get a lot of Hits.

  • ajaya on March 9, 2007, 1:16 GMT

    kamran akmal.. what a joke of a wicketkeeper

    oh, for a rashid latif or a moin khan. too bad their careers had to overlap

  • Adeel from Toronto on March 9, 2007, 0:26 GMT

    Finally finally....Bob Woolmer and Inzi get something through their thick heads!!!!!!! I have been saying this forever that we should open with Younis and bring up Yousaf and Inzi. This is a really good strategy and one which I guarantee will work. Your best batsman has to come in at number 3 and the best batsman at this time is Yousaf. Younis will stabilize the opening slot and Nazir will be more comfortable opening with a senior partner. Inzi had to come up as he either doesnt have enough time to play at number 5 or comes in with too much pressure.

    The bowling is still a concern but if we get our batting back on track, the bowling will come itself. Danish should be included in the opening round matches and see how we pans out and then decide on what to do in the Super 8 round.

  • Yasser Qureshi on March 9, 2007, 0:01 GMT

    i think the batting line up we played against Canada is the best one Pakistan has yet adopted. But id still rather see Shoaib Malik open the batting with imran nazir and have Younis to play wit the tale.

  • Taimur Huk on March 8, 2007, 23:11 GMT

    i actually like this new strategy. inzi needs to step up as the captain and bat higher up the order. this is what i have been saying the whole time. always put your best batsmen at the top of the order. inzi needs to step up as captain and bat higher up the order to take charge instead of coming in late when 3 wickets are gone. he will be free to play his style of cricket without having to worry about the wicket. plus, his teammates will be insured that their captain is batting higher up the order. then the allrounders can take care of the rest when our specialist batsmen are gone. EVERYBODY! NOW IZ DA TIME 2 COME 2GHETTA AND BACK OUR TEAM IN BRINGIN' HOME THE TROPHY!!!!!!!

  • Mawali on March 8, 2007, 23:03 GMT

    Kamran Sahib, nice to see a touch of humor in the intro. No doubt the batting line up you suggested is aggressive and attacking. They need to stay with it, until a better combo comes around.

    As for the bowling, Pakistan needs to adopt the strategy of Shock and Knock. Sami would provide the shock with maximum speed and sheer pace with a reckless abandon. Gul and Arafat from the other end would knock wickets through disciplined bowling and immaculate line and length. Because Sami would be exerting a tremendous amount of force and energy, he should only be allowed to bowl in sets of 4:3:3. Now, all three pace bowlers should understand their roles and Mushy has to take the lead role in making sure the bowlers understand their roles to the tee. The importance of not giving extra’s should be drilled into each bowler. In addition Mushy in consultation with Woolmer should in fact chart out each over with all bowlers but especially Sami cause I have a feeling dear old Sami may not be the brightest bulb on the porch as it were.

    It would also not be a bad idea to introduce Kaneria early and by that I mean as soon as Sami completes his first set, introduce special K with Arafat. Now we all know that Afridi Duck is not playing in the two openers, so special K has to be in the mix early on.

    The world cup is here. Only Zeus and the Pakistani team know how well they will do. This is Inzi’s last hurrah, I do not hide the fact that I am not now or ever been a fan of the man as a captain. Yet, my inner voice says to support him and the team and hope that he finally walks away from the game with integrity and peace. So as of now I AM ON THE BANDWAGON. I need a drink and some oxygen. AMF!

  • YS on March 8, 2007, 22:35 GMT

    First of all, I was a little suprised at Bob's answers to your interview. I wasn't completely surprised since a coach and captain have to keep some strategies to themselves, specially when it comes to being in a situation that Pakistan is. However, right after your interview, I read a few of Bob's comments about the team and his planning and they were far more forthcoming. So, either he has something against giving you information or you did not honestly publish all of his comments.

    Whatever the case may be, I think people who criticize Bob just because he is a gora should be ashamed of themselves. They claim that Bob-supporters have some sort of complex but it is they themselves who are suffering from it. A coach is not about being gora or desi, it is about having someone who knows what to do. There is not one Pakistani at this point who is (1) capable and (2) willing to take this job. They all like to sit on the outside and criticize. Yes, this includes Imran Khan, Miandad, Aamir Sohail etc. etc. They all like to sit on the outside and criticize. They either do not take up the responsibility or when they do, they screw it up real bad. So, instead of discussing gora vs. desi, we should appoint coaches based solely on merit, no matter what the nationality. They are being paid to do a job so nationality does not matter.

    Now, for Bob's performance. Up until this time last year, we had a very solid team and were well on our way to establishing ourselves for the WC. The only open item at this time last year was the openers and we would have settled that were the team to continue making the progress it made before. However, due to the numerous unforeseen events happening i.e. injuries, doping, bans, captaincy issues, changes in board leadership etc., we are left in this situation that we are in today. This is not the coach's fault at all. It is just fate. However, I am glad we have had our share of bad luck before the WC. Hopefully, it will average out and we will have some good luck during the tournament. One thing is for sure, no matter how good your team is, you absolutely need luck on your side and I hope our time for bad luck is over now.

    All these whiners, all these people who complain about Inzi and Bob, all these people who like Imran Khan so much they would kiss his feet if given the opportunity, what I would say is get a life. The current lot is what we have and I for one am supporting them all the way. If they lose, they lose, no problem. If they win, I will at least be able to be proud of them. You guys either won't be able to be proud of them or will become hypocrites and claim them as "your team" and "your captain" and "your coach" when the going gets good. I am behind our team whether we win or lose and I am proud of that.

  • Wasiq on March 8, 2007, 22:32 GMT

    I have always thought Younis Khan is overrated and will be exposed if he is persisted with to open for Pakistan. There are three things that i believe will lead to his failure; his footwork which seems to be as if he is playing dodge ball, his tendency to go after every short ball and fails for most part, and he frequently guides the ball to cover-point area uppishly as if he is giving catching pratices to a fielder in that region.

    But i suppose desperation requires desparate strategy and Pakistan has nothing to loose as they have already been disounted by the cricket pundits all over.

    I certainly hope i am wrong but it might be too much to ask from Younis Khan, who might not be mentally prepared to take this challenge and roll with it straight away especially in such a big tournament.

    I would stick with our given specialist openers to start the tournament and if that doesn't work then try this strategy.

  • SarmadR on March 8, 2007, 22:27 GMT

    Well at least its a good move that shows us that the think-tank is actually thinking...it had appeared over the last few months as if the Pakistan team had gone stale and only idiotic changes were being made (i'm reminded of sending Afridi 2 down in Abu Dhabi when the ball was swinging)...but anyways, this is a very positive change from the Pak team and I hope it works, Shoaib Malik i guess is some1 who can take charge if things dont go right at the top although i was hopin a wiser, cooler head such as Inzy could be there to marshal Akmal, Afridi etc. during run-chases...but that said, this is a good and positive change, lets hope yasar arafat can bolster the balling...and i'm very happy that the wickets are turnin...this world cup is unique for pakistan cos its dependant on there Batting rather than there bowling..lets hope the batsman perform to there potential... oh and BTW....Kamran Akmal hit a 50!! Alhamdulillah! YAHOO! so wat if it was canada, its a good sign!!

  • guymed from NY on March 8, 2007, 21:51 GMT

    I think Younus has got the heart for an opener.He is no chicken like Inzi,First 4 position should play as they did against Canada. I think, With Akmal,Malik,Hafeez and Afridi middle order already looks formidable.I will play 3 specialis t bowlers atleast in GUL, Kineria and Sami over Rana with his current form.

  • adam on March 8, 2007, 21:42 GMT

    This is a strategy Pakistan should have worked on a long time ago.....younis khan used to be at the crease by the second over anyway..it provides our best batters with more time to have an impact on the game....but i feel it should have been thought up and tested b4 the warm up matches...i hope its not too late...other then that..DOES ANYONE FEEL SORRY FOR SHOIAB???

  • Mohammed Jarrie Abbas on March 8, 2007, 21:14 GMT

    this will be a great strategy to look forward, i think younis is a great choice if he takes responsibility , if we look in the past for example in South Africa he blossomed only in the winning match although you can look into it with a positive sign that when he scores Pak wins but the other side of the pic is horrific that when Pakistan dose not win he never reach a good score he went back always by chewing gum as he has no tension or regrets what happened ,i m not against him but i have to say that he should take the responsibilities being the set player in the team as he has no worries of dropping out of the team ,other than that i think inzi should come at 3 although he will not but this will not be right to change the no of Yousuf ,lets see, malik and hafeez after that will be a better choice for first two games with having mehmood,kamran,rao,umar and danish ,

    i have suggestion plz ask or give the following idea to inzi some how its just an idea that in first power play he should give three overs to danish if pitch is turning because the field will be close and batsman will defiantly go after him and probably give a stumping catch or a skyscraper catch to a fielder , bye

  • cb fry on March 8, 2007, 21:11 GMT

    yeah yeah forget all this: WHERE CAN I GET AN "EAT.SLEEP.GYM" T-SHIRT FROM LIKE INZY? i think it's an instant classic, on a par with immy's cornered tigers t-shirt from '92. both men our legends, in extreme and opposite ways.

  • Dil Tera Diwana on March 8, 2007, 21:09 GMT

    My advice to Inzi is to start a mental hospital after he retires. I am sure that he can at least admit 15 patients immediately.

  • Supriya on March 8, 2007, 20:41 GMT

    And that leaves us with the all important position to be decided - that of the captain. The true problem with this team is that it lacks an inspirational leader with a hunger for victory . On-field strategy is an area where Inzamam sadly lacks. Imran led Pakistan to the cup because he had a lust for vistory. The same seems to be missing from Inzamam. He already has straws to clutch in form of Shoaib and Asif missing from the team. I think that this team may reach the semi-finals riding its luck and its mercurial batsmen , who can shred and attack on their day . Beyond that looks improbable .

  • Sajjad Parekh on March 8, 2007, 20:35 GMT

    To promote Younis to the top is not as out of order as it seems. After all, the no. 3 batsman for Pakistan is often at the crease in the second over. It just might work and give us the stability needed at the top of the order, needed even more so as the only way for Pakistan to win is through their batting.

  • JAMSHED on March 8, 2007, 20:12 GMT

    HI, I agree with you Kamran this New strategy, gives new hope and a realistic one as it gives Pakistan's best batsmen, Yousuf, Inzamam, and Younis, the maximum opportunity! Pakistan teams body language looks good and they look determine and focus these are very good signs, lets wish them all the best and support team PAKISTAN in any case!

  • Brian on March 8, 2007, 19:43 GMT

    Hello Pakistani cricket fans, Thank you for your comments Kamran, where you picked up on Mr. Woolmer's info that he was considering putting Malik at #6 in the batting order. I think that position is OK when Afridi is not playing due to the ban, but Malik is best suited as an opener with Nazir, then Younis, Yousef, Inzi, Afridi, Akmal, Azhar and the fast bowlers. During Afridi's absence you could include Hafeez in Afridi's spot as Hafeez can bowl as well, otherwise I don't see how Hafeez can be included in this line up other than as a sub for Nazir. The Pak team should have 2 slow bowlers (Afridi and Malik) and 4 pace bowlers (Gul, Azhar, Rao, Rana?? and Sami??). I think most experts have written off Pakistan, so there shouldn't any pressure on the players. One-day cricket is such that anything can happen, and I think that if we play as a unit we might surprise a few good teams and hopefully advance. It would be a miracle for this team to advance to the semi-finals (sorry for being a realist). Anyway, good luck to Pakistan and we enjoy some fantastic cricket for the next 7 odd weeks. CHEERS, Brian from Toronto

  • farrukh on March 8, 2007, 19:38 GMT

    No matter what combination we try, the fact is that unfortunately for years we have a ver non-prpfessional team and team mangement.Pakistan shall certainly cause some upset in one or two matches but honestly we are far down in performance,discipline,devotion and fitness, compared to other top teams.I think it is all a national culture to do adhoc activity.This last minute change in batting line up, I hope it works for Pakistan, but do we really deserve to be the winner of this world cup?? If by an act of God,we rae bale to win this cup, I amm afraid we will be humiliated by every other team in future.Any way I shall be the first to celebrate any win our team gets.I hope we reach semi-finals and if we loose it,we loose with dignity and after fighting hard.I guess under present condition with some many mediocre batsman and bowlers in our team, this would be a good performance.

  • Aftab Qureshi on March 8, 2007, 19:38 GMT

    Two elements in your view of emrging make-up of the Pakistan team are beyond my comprehension. First, you seem to suggest that Hafeez will definitely be played. On what basis? His ODI batting record is pathetic, and his bowling duplicates Shoaib Malik's off spin variety. No, Sir. His place is not automatically guaranteed. I think his chance will come if Imran Nazir fails in the first couple of matches.

    Second, you seem to conclude that Younis Khan will be asked to open. This is double edged. He could stabilize the batting at the top, albeit at the expense of run rate, but he may also fail in a role he hasn't played with enough success (but if facts are otherwise, I would stand to be corrected). He is in my view too valuable to be exposed in front of the innings.

    Finally, before we start talking about depth in batting, let us first pick four specialist bowlers. At least two of them ought to be wicket taking attack bowlers who are not too expensive. Let us say these two would be Umar Gul and either one of Sami and Rao Iftikhar (I hope Inzamam will learn from recent past and not use Rana Naved in the first half of the innings). I also think that, in the absence of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohd Asif, Kaneria will be used as a strike bowler. I also believe Bob and Inzi will have paid attention to a recent Cricinfo analysis that Rana Naved is the world's most effective bowler in the last 10 overs...enough reason to not overlook him at least in the first two games. I would use him in two spells in the second half of the innings. So, my four specialist bowling positions would be filled in the first match by Umar Gul, Kaneria, Sami (or Rao Iftikhar....between the two of them, I am perfectly neutral) and Rana Naved. Next, we need two all rounders who can consume 10 overs (and some more, if needed) between them. Shoaib Malik picks himself purely on merit and record, and in the absence of Razzaq, you have to decide between Afridi and Hafeez. Both can open and bowl spin, except that Afridi offers variety, better wicket taking ability, better fielding and the potential to play an explosive match winning inning once in a while. So, I will prefer Afridi over Hafeez any day.

    That makes 6. Inzi, Yousaf, Younis and Akmal are automatic choices, for a total of 10. But we are still missing at least one opener, assuming that either Younis or Afridi will fill one opener's slot. So, Mr. Abbasi, if Imran Nazir is picked as the specialist opener, where is the place for Hafeez?

  • Furqan on March 8, 2007, 19:09 GMT

    I believe that pakistani batting was always there to prevail. We have been chasing/putting runs on score board even though our top 2 were coming for a short time to check out the weather in middle.

    It is the bowling that can be trouble. When one see Rana naveed going for so many runs against canada, the hope that he can pull a rabbit out of hat against SA, Australia or India becomes weaker, i wish i cud have jumped up and down with joy on the news that sami is coming up but as we all know he wud give rana saab a run for money in "who got struck for more runs" department.

    i see pakistan losing the matches on basis of bowling more then on batting. But that is Just me !

  • Farhan Adil on March 8, 2007, 18:54 GMT

    Kamran Bhai, I could not stop laughing after reading "I know you all thought the interview was tremendous really--we now have a good idea of what Pakistan's new strategy will be". I think you forgot Sarcasm Tag :) anyways, sorry Kamran Bhai, don’t be embarrassed, and by the way, the strategy that you think you understood from Bob's Interview; it is what you have been saying for a while, so these are actually your thoughts, not some thing you got out from the Interview. by the way, Nice post by DAWAR LA USA

  • Imran Nawaz on March 8, 2007, 18:45 GMT

    Pakistan have a bleak chance without Shoaib and Asif. We really have to win 10 miracles to win the world cup! GOD HELP US!!

  • Fahd Siraj on March 8, 2007, 18:38 GMT

    I think its a positive move after a long time,younus was virtually the opener since being promoted to number 3, and him being the opener means that yousuf and inzi come up a slot...which is good as they will face most of the overs,...i hope they stick to this

  • Jawad on March 8, 2007, 18:10 GMT

    i kinda like the new batting order but bowling is still shakkkky. u know what would be a good idea. since pakistan has to depend more on their batting, i think what pakistan should do is break batting order into 2 component. first one would be to stabalize the inning with younis, yousuf , inzimam and then azhar/arafat and second component would be to attack with the batting order of nazir, malik, afridi and akmal . now whenever a fella is out, the next person should come to bat from the same department. for example when nazir is out at number 1 position, send malik followed by afridi, akmal and then possibly yousuf and inzi thats if younis is still occupying one spot. and when younis is out, send yousuf followed by inzi and azhar. if we stick to this strategy, we will always have one slogger to get the boundries and other stabilizer to keep the scoreboad moving with singles/doubles/"blue moon boundries"

  • baqar on March 8, 2007, 17:59 GMT

    agree with Kamran and welcome new approach by moving up yunis / yusuf /inzi in the battting order and playing hafeez or malik later. Gul,Rao Iftikhar and Kaneria are our best bowlers and they should ( if fit) play in every game. Mahmood and Arafat can be rotated as required. Afridi - we have to gamble and play him as much as possible, he is a "match" winner - not "matches" - and definitely he will win the all important game! Rana Naved - sorry but he has to stay on the sidelines.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on March 8, 2007, 17:42 GMT

    Well, Kamran it seems that you are pleasing yourself by praising yourself by saying: "Despite Bob Woolmer's stonewalling of my piercing questions earlier this week -- I know you all thought the interview was tremendous really --"

    LOL....This is called, monkey praising his own tail. .... I don't mean to ridicule you here, but the fact is you were too modest in your approach with Bob. Never mind... its over now!

    But, the NEW STRATEGY AND BOB HOPE :-) you are proposing or you have perceived through Bob's diplomacy is not so appealing to me. Especially if Inzi is NOT gonna bat at number 3. He has to be like Imran Khan of WC 1992 final....... Inzi must play in that slot, This is his last chance to prove and lead from the front like a true leader rather than hiding behind Younis Khan at number 3. Younis is not a one day player. He is a good batsman, I have nothing against him, I like the way he plays a test match. But, not in ODI's he is too slow and when he tries to improvise he gets out cheaply. Whereas, Inzamam is a slow starter but the longer he stays on the crease, the more deadly he is for the opposition. I hope my words sink into his deaf ear!

    Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik should open, period. Of course this is my opinion and its based on the facts that Shoaib Malik has the ability to stick on to the crease for a longer period of time and thats what you need from an opener. The rest is all OK Pakistan has no other choice but, just this top order reshuffling is needed, c'est ca! And God bless Rana Naveed.

  • Anon. on March 8, 2007, 17:41 GMT

    I think Malik should be preferred over Hafeez... Younis should have 1 more go at opening

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on March 8, 2007, 17:18 GMT

    Great News ! At last we come up with a plan!

    In theory it seems good.... Whether it works or not is another matter, but it definately is the best utilisation of the available resources.

    A glimmer of hope.. I just might be tempted to renew that Sky Sports subscription.

  • Ahsan on March 8, 2007, 17:08 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi,

    You must be completely out of your mind of supporting the idea that a middle order batsman can do the job for Pakistan as an opener. Yasir Hameed should be given a well deserved chance to open again. You and Bob are claiming that the conditions there will suit Pakistan, then why isnt Shoaib Malik being given a chance to go top of the order like he has done successfully before? It is very risky to alter with middle order batsmen positions who are established in their current slots. Pakistans strategy went hay wire when Waqar was fired and Mushtaq hired & deserving openers left out of the squad (Hameed Salman Butt - Imran Khan's suggestion). Come bowling and i dont even know where to begin!

  • Naveed on March 8, 2007, 17:01 GMT

    So far it has been the spinners taking majority of the wickets so believe we have to play Kaneria, at least until Afridi gets back. and i dont see how we can afford to play Rana over Rao.

  • Sami Syed from TORONTO on March 8, 2007, 16:51 GMT

    Finally you have come to terms KAMRAN SAHAB that change in this case might not be so bad.

    Well batting 9 deep would be amazing and what is more amazing is that all my past predictions and batting order have made it to Bob Woolmer and INZI. YOUNIS should open, that has been my MOTTO for the last two months, and we have it.

    No more or no less, for the first time in PAKISTAN's history we can say that WE WILL DEPEND on batting rather than bowling.

    LADIES AND GENTLE MAN, announcing that PAKISTAN has gone in depending on BATTING.

    I think batting 9 deep is going to be LETHAL for the opposition and IF I MAY SAY SO, Pakistan has a GREAT CHANCE OF WINNING THE WORLD CUP.

    From seeing the first PRACTISE MATCH, it is evident that Pakistani team has not YET clicked as a unit, but the key word is "YET", and WATCH OUT WHEN THEY DO... cause they'll take the world cup by STORM...

    Here is another prediction, THEY WILL CLICK to PERFECTION come to SUPER 8's and they will demolish the oppositions.. maybe not the next practise match but by the SUPER 8's for sure... and NAZIR, AFRIDI and SAMI are going to be the HEROES

    PAKISTAN, zindabad, my HOPES are well ALIVE!!!

    SAMI SYED from TORONTO

  • Akhlaq Hanif on March 8, 2007, 16:32 GMT

    I am not all too optimistic of Pakistan's chances in this tournament, but let's see how they do. Im hoping that Umar Gul can be a top bowler in this World Cup as we desperately need him. Rana Naved, Sami are just too expensive and their overs are full of wide's and no balls.

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  • Akhlaq Hanif on March 8, 2007, 16:32 GMT

    I am not all too optimistic of Pakistan's chances in this tournament, but let's see how they do. Im hoping that Umar Gul can be a top bowler in this World Cup as we desperately need him. Rana Naved, Sami are just too expensive and their overs are full of wide's and no balls.

  • Sami Syed from TORONTO on March 8, 2007, 16:51 GMT

    Finally you have come to terms KAMRAN SAHAB that change in this case might not be so bad.

    Well batting 9 deep would be amazing and what is more amazing is that all my past predictions and batting order have made it to Bob Woolmer and INZI. YOUNIS should open, that has been my MOTTO for the last two months, and we have it.

    No more or no less, for the first time in PAKISTAN's history we can say that WE WILL DEPEND on batting rather than bowling.

    LADIES AND GENTLE MAN, announcing that PAKISTAN has gone in depending on BATTING.

    I think batting 9 deep is going to be LETHAL for the opposition and IF I MAY SAY SO, Pakistan has a GREAT CHANCE OF WINNING THE WORLD CUP.

    From seeing the first PRACTISE MATCH, it is evident that Pakistani team has not YET clicked as a unit, but the key word is "YET", and WATCH OUT WHEN THEY DO... cause they'll take the world cup by STORM...

    Here is another prediction, THEY WILL CLICK to PERFECTION come to SUPER 8's and they will demolish the oppositions.. maybe not the next practise match but by the SUPER 8's for sure... and NAZIR, AFRIDI and SAMI are going to be the HEROES

    PAKISTAN, zindabad, my HOPES are well ALIVE!!!

    SAMI SYED from TORONTO

  • Naveed on March 8, 2007, 17:01 GMT

    So far it has been the spinners taking majority of the wickets so believe we have to play Kaneria, at least until Afridi gets back. and i dont see how we can afford to play Rana over Rao.

  • Ahsan on March 8, 2007, 17:08 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi,

    You must be completely out of your mind of supporting the idea that a middle order batsman can do the job for Pakistan as an opener. Yasir Hameed should be given a well deserved chance to open again. You and Bob are claiming that the conditions there will suit Pakistan, then why isnt Shoaib Malik being given a chance to go top of the order like he has done successfully before? It is very risky to alter with middle order batsmen positions who are established in their current slots. Pakistans strategy went hay wire when Waqar was fired and Mushtaq hired & deserving openers left out of the squad (Hameed Salman Butt - Imran Khan's suggestion). Come bowling and i dont even know where to begin!

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on March 8, 2007, 17:18 GMT

    Great News ! At last we come up with a plan!

    In theory it seems good.... Whether it works or not is another matter, but it definately is the best utilisation of the available resources.

    A glimmer of hope.. I just might be tempted to renew that Sky Sports subscription.

  • Anon. on March 8, 2007, 17:41 GMT

    I think Malik should be preferred over Hafeez... Younis should have 1 more go at opening

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on March 8, 2007, 17:42 GMT

    Well, Kamran it seems that you are pleasing yourself by praising yourself by saying: "Despite Bob Woolmer's stonewalling of my piercing questions earlier this week -- I know you all thought the interview was tremendous really --"

    LOL....This is called, monkey praising his own tail. .... I don't mean to ridicule you here, but the fact is you were too modest in your approach with Bob. Never mind... its over now!

    But, the NEW STRATEGY AND BOB HOPE :-) you are proposing or you have perceived through Bob's diplomacy is not so appealing to me. Especially if Inzi is NOT gonna bat at number 3. He has to be like Imran Khan of WC 1992 final....... Inzi must play in that slot, This is his last chance to prove and lead from the front like a true leader rather than hiding behind Younis Khan at number 3. Younis is not a one day player. He is a good batsman, I have nothing against him, I like the way he plays a test match. But, not in ODI's he is too slow and when he tries to improvise he gets out cheaply. Whereas, Inzamam is a slow starter but the longer he stays on the crease, the more deadly he is for the opposition. I hope my words sink into his deaf ear!

    Imran Nazir and Shoaib Malik should open, period. Of course this is my opinion and its based on the facts that Shoaib Malik has the ability to stick on to the crease for a longer period of time and thats what you need from an opener. The rest is all OK Pakistan has no other choice but, just this top order reshuffling is needed, c'est ca! And God bless Rana Naveed.

  • baqar on March 8, 2007, 17:59 GMT

    agree with Kamran and welcome new approach by moving up yunis / yusuf /inzi in the battting order and playing hafeez or malik later. Gul,Rao Iftikhar and Kaneria are our best bowlers and they should ( if fit) play in every game. Mahmood and Arafat can be rotated as required. Afridi - we have to gamble and play him as much as possible, he is a "match" winner - not "matches" - and definitely he will win the all important game! Rana Naved - sorry but he has to stay on the sidelines.

  • Jawad on March 8, 2007, 18:10 GMT

    i kinda like the new batting order but bowling is still shakkkky. u know what would be a good idea. since pakistan has to depend more on their batting, i think what pakistan should do is break batting order into 2 component. first one would be to stabalize the inning with younis, yousuf , inzimam and then azhar/arafat and second component would be to attack with the batting order of nazir, malik, afridi and akmal . now whenever a fella is out, the next person should come to bat from the same department. for example when nazir is out at number 1 position, send malik followed by afridi, akmal and then possibly yousuf and inzi thats if younis is still occupying one spot. and when younis is out, send yousuf followed by inzi and azhar. if we stick to this strategy, we will always have one slogger to get the boundries and other stabilizer to keep the scoreboad moving with singles/doubles/"blue moon boundries"

  • Fahd Siraj on March 8, 2007, 18:38 GMT

    I think its a positive move after a long time,younus was virtually the opener since being promoted to number 3, and him being the opener means that yousuf and inzi come up a slot...which is good as they will face most of the overs,...i hope they stick to this