New age May 20, 2007

Welcome back Team Pakistan

When Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, and Mohammad Asif gathered to discuss how to bowl and set a field to Mahela Jayawardene it struck me that this was a sight Pakistan cricket has been missing
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It might be the enthusiasm of youth. It might be a flash in the pan. It might be a false dawn. But when Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, and Mohammad Asif gathered to discuss how to bowl and set a field to Mahela Jayawardene it struck me that this was a sight Pakistan cricket has been missing. The team huddle is all well and good but the team think-tank is a far more valuable concept.

Australia, as usual, are the premier exponents of the think-tank approach. Ricky Ponting has grown into a formidable leader but his lieutenants, Messrs Warne, Gilchrist, and Hussey--or anybody else with a bright idea for that matter--will not hesitate to have a word of wisdom with their captain or the bowler. Gilchrist, for example, will often hatch a plan in the middle of an over. Even if it is a chat about the next episode of Neighbours it puts the batsman on edge.

Under Inzamam-ul Haq the Pakistan think-tank had ebbed away. All thinking resided within his tank-like frame. The huddle, an opportunity to impart instructions and urge common purpose, reigned supreme. But I'm refreshed by the return of the think-tank. It shows that Shoaib Malik is willing to debate and listen. He must have the final say, of course, but no individual has a monopoly on the best ideas.

Winning two matches against a jaded and under-strength Sri Lankan team does not make you the best in the world. It does not mean that every move that Captain Malik made was the correct one. It does not mean that Sergeant-Major Afridi will rescue Pakistan in every match with bat or ball--and today there was genuine pressure from Sri Lanka when Afridi bowled his team back into a dominant position.

Yet there is more to team spirit than the embrace of a huddle. There is a degree of sharing of ideas and strategy, as well as some disagreement, that unites players in their quest. It has to be done in the middle of a match not confined to the middle of the captain's brain.

On these counts, Malik's era has begun optimistically. Welcome back Team Pakistan.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anwar Husain on May 26, 2007, 10:14 GMT

    Hi Iam an Indian but a great fan of pakistan

    I have read your article. I feel its too early to say Welcome back Pakistan because:-

    1 Pakistan is the worse fielding side in the world. Made is worse because the upcoming players like Yaseer hameed, salman Butt, Fawad Alam, Najaf Shah are not good Fielders 2 Running between wickets is pathetic. 3 Malik needs to learn a lot and very quickly especially bowling changes. 4 Find some genuine fast bowlers by organizing Speed Gun Camps. 5 Catching should be improved. One can be a very good side in the field even if it take all the catches. 6 Batting technique of Salman Butt, Imran Nazir is not up to the mark. 7 Some work needs to done in the throwing department from deep. 8 Wicket keeping of Kamran Akmal is not up to the mark

    All this can be achieved only by lookig ahead of Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohamand Sami, Roa Ifthekar, Ran Naved,

  • Saffer on May 22, 2007, 19:55 GMT

    Great Win For SL. Well I suppose they were giving a send-off gift for Tom Moody.

  • Sahil Khan on May 22, 2007, 19:20 GMT

    3rd match over! How about saying "welcome back team pakistan" NOW! I think the way they've lost the 3rd match is a better reflection of the true Pakistan Team BACK in their own shoes. WELCOME BACK!

  • asif on May 22, 2007, 18:42 GMT

    kamran Bhai.....the pakistan team management is shit!! why was the need to bring very new team for Shoiab in the 3rd oneday? what da hell was da need for? just to do shits?? Not a single player did anything well except Captain Shoaib!! Pakistani management is shit... they just demoralise the winning track of Shoaib!!!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 22, 2007, 17:40 GMT

    3rd ODI: The Pakistan team selection always baffles me. I don't understand why this emotional ad hocism is always applied in team selection? They made quite a few changes, fine you need to give a chance to the newcomers like, Fawad Alam and Najaf Shah, but Abdul Rahman, NO. He is a mediocre spinner and not suitable for ODI and definitely not for twenty20 and his fielding is pathetic.

    Dropping Abdul Razzaq and Imran Nazir is fine, but dropping Sami and Afridi is ridiculous. If at all someone needed a rest it should have been Mohammad Yousuf and Mohammad Asif. One is a vintage player who is taking too much stress on his head and getting out cheaply and I wonder whether he would do any good today? The other is a vice captain who is loosing his stamina in the heat, both have no problems in retaining their spot in the playing XI for any important match against stronger opposition and they should have opted out to give a chance to the new comers. Like, the second ODI was a one sided affair, this one would be another one sided affair BUT, Pakistan will be on the other side of the fence this time. Like I said b4 (2-1) that my predictions are not as bad as Mr. Kamran Abbassi's, so I am convinced that I won't be wrong especially based on this team selection. Perhaps Mr. Abbassi will create a new thread on this defeat, will he? :-)

    Anyways, Mohammad Sami, started to bowl well in this series after a big gap and he needed more match practice for building up his confidence and they just seized this opportunity from him and its really sad to see him not playing in this match. Shahid Afridi is an entertainer and, for the sake of the public interest and for the viewers he should have been in the team, they keep doing this with him every now and then only to make new experiments and to ruin his rhythm. Umar Gul is very fragile, giving him a much needed rest and bringing in Rao Ifti is a good decision. Rao is an experienced campaigner and he bowls very tight, plus he is a wicket taker too. He is a very unassuming character and people don't realize how effective he is.

    In the 2nd ODI, when Sami and Umar Gul shared the new ball, the ex-Burewala Express Waqar Younus was saying he doesn't like the idea of Sami sharing the new ball, he wanted Asif to open the bowling. Actually, Sami is the second fastest bowler in Pakistan after Shoaib Akhtar, using his talent to open the innings with a new ball is obviously a better option than any other bowler except for, "now you see him now you don't" Shoaib Akhtar. Today, Asif started with the new ball, he was smashed all over the ground and not by Jayasuriya but, by Upul Tharanga. It was so obvious that he lost his line, length and the rhythm and he also gave away 76 runs in 10 overs, which is so unlike his normal performance. And suddenly Waqar Younus had a different opinion about him, perhaps there wasn't any cloud in the sky!

    I admit that I do make fun of accents and, I do it only in a very light hearted manner because, I find it funny and I don't restrict it to the English accents only. But, imo for a TV commentator who is there with an avowed purpose of commentating on behalf of the nation and representing the country then, he should not be making silly mistakes and making a fool outta himself. I am not talking about his accent, forget the accent which is so "Paindooish," but his English is really pathetic.

    For e.g., he said: "Jayasuriya is a very good player, if you give him A room, he will hit it for four. But, he is such a good player even if you don't provide him A room he creates A room and hit you for a four!" Gosh, as if Jayasuriya is a contractor who construct rooms! Also, he said: " Empire, Mark Benson is a 48 years of old." These are just a couple of his bloopers that I have mentioned but, there is no limit to his constant, non-stop bloopers. I think someone should tell him that its not that we are judging him by his accent or his linguistic abilities but, for a TV commentator it is not one of the prerequisites but, an essential requirement i.e., to be able to speak correctly and properly.

    Committing grammatical blasphemies is not a sin or a crime but, if you keep on repeating it like an ignorant idiot then its a vice. At least Rameez Raja doesn't make such silly mistakes. I know a lot of people will pounce on me for nick picking on accents but, don't we always talk about improvement in bowling, batting, fielding, catching etc.? Or as Waqar says: there is always "A room for improvement." (improvement ka Kamra hai - aur gunjayesh nishta.)

    Finally, something for Ashaq Pra, 'aNo', I am not there yet and your complexes about age are obvious from your 1907 boxing quotes. Also, from your constant tharak for gaining attention from the Torontonian mid-wife proves who is suffering from that syndrome! :-)

  • Tauhira from Jamaica on May 22, 2007, 16:56 GMT

    I think its unfair that all the blame is placed on Inzi for the recent failures of Pakistan. I guess he could have been more motivating to his fellow players [whatever]. But he just wasn't the one who had control of the bat when others were batting. There were soo many players whom high expectations were given. And poor Inzi, he gets the blame for their underperformance too, pity.

    By the way, whats with all the excitement? Whats up with that?

    I mean, its just 2 matches Pakistan won and everyone's all excited. Yes, they beat the WC 2007 semi-finalits on two occasions (maybe 3 today), big deal. Why not wait until they have past atleast 12-15 matches before judging that Pakistan is now "at the top of their game". Besides, (no offense to the team or anyone) anyteam can beat highest ranked team in ODI's, I'm just waiting to see how Pakistan manage during their Test matches ... I think their next Test series is against India in 2008, and what a team to start off with.

    I don't mean to sound negative, I'm just being realistic. And I know my blog is going to step on a few toes; I'm here anticipating the responses.

    -Peace out Y'all!

  • baqar on May 22, 2007, 16:29 GMT

    i would like to see introduction of ALI ANWAR in the team. I saw on you tube -his bowling in under 19 world cup final against India - he was awesome, good fast inswing bowler - seems very good prospect

  • imtiaz on May 22, 2007, 16:20 GMT

    Kamran, The 3rd ODI is in a very interesting phase right now. I am curious: Any thoughts on why Fawad Alam was not given a chance to bowl?

  • humza lutaf on May 22, 2007, 14:51 GMT

    welcome back team pakistan very well done umar gul and mohammad sami out 3 fast bowlers rao iftikhar anjum, mohammad asif, and shoaib akhtar

  • Aditya on May 22, 2007, 13:26 GMT

    Hold on everyone! In the Champions Trophy the people on this blog were saying that Pakistan needs Inzamam. Now you're all saying that Inzamam's dictatorship destroyed the Pakistan team! One man doesn't make or break a team, even if he is captain. It's about how the team performs. Under Inzy, only two or three of your batsmen fired, and the rest were just pretty maids all in a row for the most part. There is something called perspective. Two games doesn't define a new era, or even signal the start of anything. Make this team play on a green wicket where the ball is doing stuff, that's when the real test will come.

  • Anwar Husain on May 26, 2007, 10:14 GMT

    Hi Iam an Indian but a great fan of pakistan

    I have read your article. I feel its too early to say Welcome back Pakistan because:-

    1 Pakistan is the worse fielding side in the world. Made is worse because the upcoming players like Yaseer hameed, salman Butt, Fawad Alam, Najaf Shah are not good Fielders 2 Running between wickets is pathetic. 3 Malik needs to learn a lot and very quickly especially bowling changes. 4 Find some genuine fast bowlers by organizing Speed Gun Camps. 5 Catching should be improved. One can be a very good side in the field even if it take all the catches. 6 Batting technique of Salman Butt, Imran Nazir is not up to the mark. 7 Some work needs to done in the throwing department from deep. 8 Wicket keeping of Kamran Akmal is not up to the mark

    All this can be achieved only by lookig ahead of Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohamand Sami, Roa Ifthekar, Ran Naved,

  • Saffer on May 22, 2007, 19:55 GMT

    Great Win For SL. Well I suppose they were giving a send-off gift for Tom Moody.

  • Sahil Khan on May 22, 2007, 19:20 GMT

    3rd match over! How about saying "welcome back team pakistan" NOW! I think the way they've lost the 3rd match is a better reflection of the true Pakistan Team BACK in their own shoes. WELCOME BACK!

  • asif on May 22, 2007, 18:42 GMT

    kamran Bhai.....the pakistan team management is shit!! why was the need to bring very new team for Shoiab in the 3rd oneday? what da hell was da need for? just to do shits?? Not a single player did anything well except Captain Shoaib!! Pakistani management is shit... they just demoralise the winning track of Shoaib!!!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 22, 2007, 17:40 GMT

    3rd ODI: The Pakistan team selection always baffles me. I don't understand why this emotional ad hocism is always applied in team selection? They made quite a few changes, fine you need to give a chance to the newcomers like, Fawad Alam and Najaf Shah, but Abdul Rahman, NO. He is a mediocre spinner and not suitable for ODI and definitely not for twenty20 and his fielding is pathetic.

    Dropping Abdul Razzaq and Imran Nazir is fine, but dropping Sami and Afridi is ridiculous. If at all someone needed a rest it should have been Mohammad Yousuf and Mohammad Asif. One is a vintage player who is taking too much stress on his head and getting out cheaply and I wonder whether he would do any good today? The other is a vice captain who is loosing his stamina in the heat, both have no problems in retaining their spot in the playing XI for any important match against stronger opposition and they should have opted out to give a chance to the new comers. Like, the second ODI was a one sided affair, this one would be another one sided affair BUT, Pakistan will be on the other side of the fence this time. Like I said b4 (2-1) that my predictions are not as bad as Mr. Kamran Abbassi's, so I am convinced that I won't be wrong especially based on this team selection. Perhaps Mr. Abbassi will create a new thread on this defeat, will he? :-)

    Anyways, Mohammad Sami, started to bowl well in this series after a big gap and he needed more match practice for building up his confidence and they just seized this opportunity from him and its really sad to see him not playing in this match. Shahid Afridi is an entertainer and, for the sake of the public interest and for the viewers he should have been in the team, they keep doing this with him every now and then only to make new experiments and to ruin his rhythm. Umar Gul is very fragile, giving him a much needed rest and bringing in Rao Ifti is a good decision. Rao is an experienced campaigner and he bowls very tight, plus he is a wicket taker too. He is a very unassuming character and people don't realize how effective he is.

    In the 2nd ODI, when Sami and Umar Gul shared the new ball, the ex-Burewala Express Waqar Younus was saying he doesn't like the idea of Sami sharing the new ball, he wanted Asif to open the bowling. Actually, Sami is the second fastest bowler in Pakistan after Shoaib Akhtar, using his talent to open the innings with a new ball is obviously a better option than any other bowler except for, "now you see him now you don't" Shoaib Akhtar. Today, Asif started with the new ball, he was smashed all over the ground and not by Jayasuriya but, by Upul Tharanga. It was so obvious that he lost his line, length and the rhythm and he also gave away 76 runs in 10 overs, which is so unlike his normal performance. And suddenly Waqar Younus had a different opinion about him, perhaps there wasn't any cloud in the sky!

    I admit that I do make fun of accents and, I do it only in a very light hearted manner because, I find it funny and I don't restrict it to the English accents only. But, imo for a TV commentator who is there with an avowed purpose of commentating on behalf of the nation and representing the country then, he should not be making silly mistakes and making a fool outta himself. I am not talking about his accent, forget the accent which is so "Paindooish," but his English is really pathetic.

    For e.g., he said: "Jayasuriya is a very good player, if you give him A room, he will hit it for four. But, he is such a good player even if you don't provide him A room he creates A room and hit you for a four!" Gosh, as if Jayasuriya is a contractor who construct rooms! Also, he said: " Empire, Mark Benson is a 48 years of old." These are just a couple of his bloopers that I have mentioned but, there is no limit to his constant, non-stop bloopers. I think someone should tell him that its not that we are judging him by his accent or his linguistic abilities but, for a TV commentator it is not one of the prerequisites but, an essential requirement i.e., to be able to speak correctly and properly.

    Committing grammatical blasphemies is not a sin or a crime but, if you keep on repeating it like an ignorant idiot then its a vice. At least Rameez Raja doesn't make such silly mistakes. I know a lot of people will pounce on me for nick picking on accents but, don't we always talk about improvement in bowling, batting, fielding, catching etc.? Or as Waqar says: there is always "A room for improvement." (improvement ka Kamra hai - aur gunjayesh nishta.)

    Finally, something for Ashaq Pra, 'aNo', I am not there yet and your complexes about age are obvious from your 1907 boxing quotes. Also, from your constant tharak for gaining attention from the Torontonian mid-wife proves who is suffering from that syndrome! :-)

  • Tauhira from Jamaica on May 22, 2007, 16:56 GMT

    I think its unfair that all the blame is placed on Inzi for the recent failures of Pakistan. I guess he could have been more motivating to his fellow players [whatever]. But he just wasn't the one who had control of the bat when others were batting. There were soo many players whom high expectations were given. And poor Inzi, he gets the blame for their underperformance too, pity.

    By the way, whats with all the excitement? Whats up with that?

    I mean, its just 2 matches Pakistan won and everyone's all excited. Yes, they beat the WC 2007 semi-finalits on two occasions (maybe 3 today), big deal. Why not wait until they have past atleast 12-15 matches before judging that Pakistan is now "at the top of their game". Besides, (no offense to the team or anyone) anyteam can beat highest ranked team in ODI's, I'm just waiting to see how Pakistan manage during their Test matches ... I think their next Test series is against India in 2008, and what a team to start off with.

    I don't mean to sound negative, I'm just being realistic. And I know my blog is going to step on a few toes; I'm here anticipating the responses.

    -Peace out Y'all!

  • baqar on May 22, 2007, 16:29 GMT

    i would like to see introduction of ALI ANWAR in the team. I saw on you tube -his bowling in under 19 world cup final against India - he was awesome, good fast inswing bowler - seems very good prospect

  • imtiaz on May 22, 2007, 16:20 GMT

    Kamran, The 3rd ODI is in a very interesting phase right now. I am curious: Any thoughts on why Fawad Alam was not given a chance to bowl?

  • humza lutaf on May 22, 2007, 14:51 GMT

    welcome back team pakistan very well done umar gul and mohammad sami out 3 fast bowlers rao iftikhar anjum, mohammad asif, and shoaib akhtar

  • Aditya on May 22, 2007, 13:26 GMT

    Hold on everyone! In the Champions Trophy the people on this blog were saying that Pakistan needs Inzamam. Now you're all saying that Inzamam's dictatorship destroyed the Pakistan team! One man doesn't make or break a team, even if he is captain. It's about how the team performs. Under Inzy, only two or three of your batsmen fired, and the rest were just pretty maids all in a row for the most part. There is something called perspective. Two games doesn't define a new era, or even signal the start of anything. Make this team play on a green wicket where the ball is doing stuff, that's when the real test will come.

  • Rayed on May 22, 2007, 11:46 GMT

    Its still too early to say that malik is a good captain

    Surely pakistan have shown that they r still a pretty good team but i think the main reason for the consecutive wins was that pakistan had a superior team

    Sri Lanka didnt have murli and vaas They had just been to a world cup final. They were very exhausted. Still ive got to say well done pakistan

    WELCOME BACK

  • khansahab on May 22, 2007, 10:28 GMT

    Harish, I don’t think Sri Lanka and India are going to become worse sides. As far as India is concerned they already have a world class ODI batsman in Dhoni who has demonstrated excellent pressure-absorbing skills. He looks to be the next Gilchrist after the latter’s retirement.

    Yuvraj and Sehwag are two batsmen who will perform when they have more responsibility, that is, after Sachin, Gangluy and Dravid’s retirement. Yes in the bowling department I think India will be as inconsistent as they are now because it seems that India do not have a world class pacer who they can depend on in the future. Agarkar is going though a good patch, Munaf is impressive but he has fitness and consistency problems. Zaheer, Sreesanth and Pathan are inconsistent.

    As far as the Sri Lankans are concerned, Vaas and Murali will retire in the next two years and they will be hard to replace. Hence in the bowling department Sri Lanka will be lacking. Malinga has wicket taking ability but whether he can maintain his fitness long-term is another matter. Tharanga seems to be a sensible opener who has a bright future ahead of him. But the strength of Sri Lanka is not their individual players; it is the passion and team spirit with which they can play when their adrenaline is pumping. Ranatunga, Gurusinghe etc did not have world class averages like Tendulkar, Lara et al but they still were instrumental in Sri Lanka’s WC victory. It’s like New Zealand have a lack of world class players but the team effort makes them perform brilliantly in big tournaments. Look at Jayaweredene, he only has an average of 33 but his utility to his team is much greater than his average denotes.

    I think it’s too early to say Pakistan will become the no 2 side under Malik’s captaincy. There is some doubt whether Malik is captain only until the Twenty20 Cup or whether he is captain until December. In any event, if we look at the current planned fixtures for the Pakistani team, they don’t play a proper series until February 2008, when they will play Australia. Pakistan have to organise some series between October-December, it seems they don’t have much to do between September and January!

  • Disgruntled Pakistani. on May 22, 2007, 10:08 GMT

    PCB please look to the status of our domestic cricket and nurture our talent to play on hard bouncy pitches, not just dead flat ones. Otherwise the same heroes will be called villains in our next overseas expedition....

  • khawaja naveed zafar on May 22, 2007, 8:50 GMT

    whats is Mr. Nasim Ashraf doing there?????. Dr. Saab please leave them alone and do what other Chairmen of Board are doing

  • Meesum Raza on May 22, 2007, 8:09 GMT

    Yes Kamran I agree with you, Think-Tank approach most of the time works because all players are professionals and anybody can give their captain a better idea. With Inzamam one problem was the Age Difference, he didnt seem to be mingle with the players.

    The Law of motivation says that always try to include the voice of those people who contributes to success.

    I dont want Pakistan to Win every game but atleast show the spirit to win the Game, the way they are doing it now.

  • alisikander tahiri BC,Canada on May 22, 2007, 7:06 GMT

    Yes- They are back but back from Tyranny of another tyrant i-e Inzi, provided Wasim Akram truly stated that Inzi had become a dictator and board members would wait in his drawing rom for his instructions...Holy Crap! By the way! Why did Wasim break this news so late? Coz they are broke too? I remember- during a match Wasim's bat got some problem so he asked 12th man to bring new bat and he was like 'Inzi ka balla lana'... It also implies that the their ties were still tight but they got loosen each day, probably Inzi Bai gained weight and Wasim Bhai lost Interest. Anyways Inzi couldn't run the team with that and Shoab Malik won't be able to do so either with lots of requests to the Seniors to be handy. He has to take the stand no matter what. Darren to apologetic behaviour!!! Be a demanding and commanding source to the dismal structure of our Team! This is however cheerful moment for the young Captain and his fellow lads. They gotta grow in the same style and become more and more firnce then ever!!!

  • Ganesh on May 22, 2007, 7:05 GMT

    I think this was a fine win for Pakistan. Its time Shahid Afridi remembers how important his presence is for the team. It was a fabulous performance with the bat( I love him batting like that, except against India, ofcourse). Again a win is a win. And I also do believe that Sri Lanka depends too much on Murali & Vaas. India wiped them in India before the world cup & now Pakistan. The unfortunate thing was one bad performance put both India & Pakistan out of the World cup( A flawed format as you all know). It good to see both countries getting a series win after the debacle & it should be sweeter for Pakistan as they bet the runner-up of the WC.

    Well done. Keep it up.

  • Shams on May 22, 2007, 6:47 GMT

    The Pakistani team looked like a complete professional unit in the first two matches against the lankan's. shoaib malik showed his capabilities, strengths in his first two matches clearly sending out signals to the current & ex-senior players that matches won by clear strategy and planning and this should include all the players & not by individual character that what one mind thinks. well done pakistan, KEEP IT UP.

  • ahmad jawad on May 22, 2007, 6:45 GMT

    I dont know if anyone noticed or not but in the second match Abdul Razzaq knowingly carried on playing withe the broken bat, how shameful is that! I mean it didn't only affect his batting but the whole world was lookin at it and commentators also mentioned it. Either he was too careless to change the bat or he didn't have another bat. Both the reasons are ridiculous anywas. People like Gilchrist are inventing new ways to enhance their performance and look what Abdul Razzaq was doing, declining his performance which was already close to nothing.

  • Kamran on May 22, 2007, 6:39 GMT

    Not to be a party pooper, but the public has an extremely short term memory. We are quick to take the players to pedestals when they are winning and take relatively even less time to burn their effigies when they start to loose.

    Even during Inzimam's tenure there were huddles, there were team meetings. Has the public forgotten that Yousuf and Younis often used to have on field meeting with Inzimam.

    We serisouly have to stop following others and think on our own. God has given us all brains, it will be better if we start using it.

    Though I have been a great supporter of Inzimam as a batsman, his captaincy did suffer from his laid back attitude. But I still think that even as a captain he served a lot, as he got the team united when they were without a leader, and even though leadership did not come naturally to Inzimam, he did the best to his capacity.

    I know for a fact that even though everyone is ready to jump on Inzimam, we will forget what the fuss was all about, and he will be deservedly placed as a cricketing legend.

    The sad part is that this constant fluctuation of mindset never allows our team to stabilize, due to constant public pressure.

    Just a food for thought.

  • gruman olsan on May 22, 2007, 6:36 GMT

    well pakistan won srilanka lost again and that make lots pakistani faces happier.but we have to ask ourselves that isit momentary or for awhile.srilanka didnt have five of their front line players and they had realy hactic time in last two months plus they have to perform here with 45 degreed temparature.pakistanis had a good time back home since they got out from the world cup soon and i dont think this is real test for them.sl cricket board acknowledge they just came here for the sake of money and what else?i realy cant believe people play cricket in dubai with such harsh temparatures.all i wanted to say is these games are worthless no commitmant and just play for the money.i cannot believe icc consider this kind of nonsense games as odis.we are comming to the last day today it realy not significiant who win the game nevethless these are worthless games the sole purpose is money.every one so concerned abvout afridi these days but for me he aint a player but once in a while he get lucky.you guys truly tell whos better afridi or jayasuriya and i think as a player and classi batsman sanath is far better player than anyone who swing the bat and get lucky. good luck cheers gruman olsan

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on May 22, 2007, 6:34 GMT

    After the world cup I had vowed never to follow Pakistan cricket again, and while I am still no where near as passionate about it. My two young boys forced me to take them out to the ball game on Sunday. Then I came back and read this article. Funny, when I saw that huddle in the field I was thinking good and bad. Good cause its important for Malik to be inclusive at this stage. Bad, because its a fine line between being inclusive and being a consensus leader who is afraid to make the final call. Only time will tell....

  • Rahat Minhas on May 22, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    Negativety flows from some people like slow wickets, 3 sri-lankan players were missing or they will see what will happen with this Pakistani team on fast tracks in South Africa or Australia.They talk about what would happen in the future with this team which has overturned the tables in a month's time? Some people can never be happy whatever the outcome!!!! Criticism if positive would pinpoint the weaknesses and recommend improvements like batting technique of our frontline batsmen on seaming wickets, bad running between wickets, poor fielding and fitness in particular of this team. Victory or defeat attained only in this series by the Pak Team is not the whole story but it is the positive appraoch of the Pakistani team's performance and fighting spirit which people are rejoicing right now, so lets give the devil his share when and where its due and be positive again for a change?

  • asim on May 22, 2007, 6:16 GMT

    Awesome Pakistan!!!They have brought the smiles back on the faces of sad and somber fans.... This Srilankan is not weak as for how many years now Murali and Vaas wil play...perhaps they r also going thru a process of ressurection....Pak team played wel and deserve every applaud for this...

  • Hassan Janjua on May 22, 2007, 6:05 GMT

    Asif and Sami OUT ==> Najaf and Rao IN Yousaf OUT => Fawad IN Afridi OUT ==> Hafiz IN

  • srivathsan on May 22, 2007, 5:55 GMT

    KAMRAN,your observations are quite valid.But victory is a victory & this series win means a lot not only to pakistan but also the new captain. The begining has been good & malik should should proceed with the acquired confidence & do well in future.It is once again proved that induction of youth with less dependence on seniors ,is the awnser for our subcontinental failures.Nevertheless, as you have suggeted the victory should be seen in the right perspective & the team should concentrate on improving the weak areas & continue consultations with others in crunch situations so that team spirit is always kept high.I wish PAK.TEAM ALL THE BEST IN THEIR FUTURE VENTURES TOO.

  • V. Gomes on May 22, 2007, 5:35 GMT

    Let's be honest with our selves here, even Zimbabwe could have quite possibly defeated this junior Sri Lankan team. It is a recipe for disaster when a team like over glamorized such victories. My advice for team Pakistan - try to stay realistic even through the toughest time and take the victory for what it was worth,.. nothing more nothing less. Over glorifying your team, making commercials, making theme songs can only set you up for future humiliation like what happened to India at this years world cup.

    What should be more concerning to the International cricket community is that steroid filled players are continuing to play the cricket without clearance from the International cricket community. This, along with squash balls in gloves and graphite coated super-bats continue to distort cricket records and its prestige, much like what Barry Bonds is doing to base ball. Like in all other sports, ICC too should issue lifetime bans players using steroids.

  • pendoo baba on May 22, 2007, 5:30 GMT

    yeah!! yeah Yeah!!... sure nice to see Pak get back in the game, I am still hurt from the WC outing. I can pick apart the Abu Dhabi series, Please not below;

    1) for god's sake, as much as I like someone from Karachi being selected (SAMI), this guy needs to get his head out of his ASS. He neds to get back to training fix his bowling and then apply to play in the PENDOO league.

    2) This series was suppose to test some new players on the teams, namely Fawad and company. Why in the hell they were not given chances. The problem is if you dont put them in real game changing situation, you will not know how they will respond. Now you put them in 3rd game, which has no bearing on the outcome, and that takes the sting out. They should have rested Sami & Gul & Razzaq Bhai, and played the new players.

    3) Just becos they won the games, everyone is overlooking the whole purpose of this series. IT WAS TO TEST OUR NEW PLAYERS, and they did not do it. Playing them in a meaningless game does not show there potential.

    4)Sure I was happy to see the Pak win, but goes back to show you, PCB is still being run by the pendoo idiots that were there b4. Faces and names have changed, but they are still idiot pendoos.

    Maaaan!!!!!!!!!when are we going to learn. Sami, I lov you man (you being the only Karachi guy and all) but dude you are spent. You dont have the fire, the passion to bowl at this level. You need to go back to Karachi and re-evaluate your goals.

  • Harish on May 22, 2007, 5:18 GMT

    I am keen watcher of Pakistan's cricket. I love their fighting spirit. I was sad when they along with India crashed out in first round of WC. But cricket is not all about WC only. It is nice to see competitiveness coming back in pakistans side. I think in next couple of years Pakistan would reach no. 2 spot in test and ODI. SL' s downslide starts now. With jayasuriya on verge of retirement, vaas and murli in twilight of career. SL is going to face tough problems in bowling. India also going to lose Sachin,Ganguli , Dravid in next couple of years. So pakistan is going to be the strongest asian team and challange in WC 2011. Well began is half done.

  • syed wajahat hayat-USA on May 22, 2007, 4:52 GMT

    After a looong time we saw the team playing with the thirst to win.I think the match performance compensation worked well :)

  • Sri Lankan on May 22, 2007, 4:40 GMT

    why do you guys always jump the gun??? i feel some of you pakistanis are insane!!!

    the same people who were saying sami should be dropped are now insisting on umar gul to be dropped and sami to be kept.

    how can you judge the performance from just a couple of matches. now if you say razzak and kamran akmal should be dropped that makes sense as they have not be performing for quite a while now. but not gul - hes the best bowler pakistan has next to Asif!!!

    sami should be in the squad but when akhtar returns with 100% fitness (i mean really 100% fit) then sami should be left out

  • Anthony on May 22, 2007, 4:20 GMT

    This comment section continues to provide Sri Lankan fans with great comedy. Beating us without Vaas, Murali, Sanga, Jayasuriya and Malinga. That too with only Afridi (who is ofcourse known for Bradman-esque consistency) really doing anything to affect the game. And Kamran Bhai decides to welcome back Team Pakistan.

    Javed, Imran, Wasim, Waqar, Inzie and other Pakistani legends must be laughing their heads off at this new "team" of teenagers.

  • Ahmed M on May 22, 2007, 3:56 GMT

    A good start for a potential promising captain. Team seems more coherent and a younger captain might just be the answer for a team full of youngsters. Too early to forget the WC fiasco and any lessons learned from it, but these wins will help move the team forward in the right direction! We are hoping!! Good luck Shoaib!

  • Shawkat Shareef on May 22, 2007, 3:48 GMT

    Little too early to be very optimistic judging the vulnerability of the Pakistan team (management in particular). But hey, being a fanatic pakistani fan, I will take it as NOT an omen!

  • Samir Giri on May 22, 2007, 3:44 GMT

    Yes.. they played fantastically well. Afridi's once again to his peak form. The way he's batting and bowling is really mindboggling. Shoib Malik's captaincy will definitely improve.. no doubt about that.. rest assured, he'll do well in the future

  • Rehan Shah on May 22, 2007, 3:37 GMT

    Well done PAK cricket team... those were against MALIK's captaincy have the answers now...especially SARFRAZ NAWAZ... in the next match they should give rest to Asif,Razzaq,Yousuf,Gul n Sami n they should give chance to young blood like Najaf,Fawad Rao n others coz we have won the series...its time to have young players in ur team...

  • Fawad on May 22, 2007, 3:26 GMT

    I recently saw Nadia Khan interview with Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik. One thing that was striking was lack of Intellegence, wit and terrible communication skills from Shoaib whereas it was exactly the opposite with Shahid. I always thought he is some kind of a rebelious, ill tempered and an uncontrollable type of guy untill I saw this interview. I really really think that Shahid should be the captain. He has personality, sense of humour and a good aggresive cricketing mind. If you guys disagree please see it for yourself on you tube.

  • salman on May 22, 2007, 3:06 GMT

    hello kamran abbassi,

    ppl like u and most of the people writing against inzi for nothing - I want to let you guys know onething, the day shoiab malik plays half as good as inzi can , shoaib will not be able to sleep in the night. Arm chair or probably wheel chair critics like you donot know what it is like when there are people bowling at 90mph at you in the middle , and this was inzi who has always saved pakistan blushes. I agree he has never been very active or atleast appear so but let me tell you HE WAS THE GREATEST BATSMAN PRODUCED BY PAKISTAN EVER , HIS SHORTCOMINGS ARE HIS INABILITY TO SPEAK ENGLISH AND FAILURE TO BE A MEAN PERSON. WHAT IS DICTATORSHIP - IS KEEPING CONTROL OF YOUR TEAM IS DICTATORSHIP , WASN'T IMRAN KHAN P RAISED FOR HIS DICTATORSHIP . NOW A BUNCH MORONS (SALEEM ALTAF, SALLU, IJAZ BUTT AND DR ASHRAF) WHO ARE NOT EVEN GOOD ENOUGH TO BOWL TO INZAMAM IN THE NETS ARE TELLING ALL THIS COCK AND BULL STORY. THIS HAPPENS IN PAKISTAN AND JUST SO THAT U KNOW SHOAIB'S GENIUS WILL BE EXPOSED IN THE VERY NEXT SERIES HE PLAYS OVERSEAS.HE WILL BE THE WEAKEST LINK IN THE SIDE HIMSELF DUE TO HIS BATTING AND BOWLING , I WISH HE TURNS OUT BE MIKE BEARLEY.

    I KNOW THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE PUBLISHED BUT I HAVE SAID WHAT I WANTED TO SAY. HOPEFULLY YOU HAVE NOT JOINED THE NASEEM ASHRAF CHMACHA TEAM.

  • Safdar on May 22, 2007, 1:22 GMT

    Nothing but a team effort, everybody played well 313 runs, amazing. Every bowler took wickets, phenomenol. I have some concerns with Asif's economy rate, either he needs to be conomical or needs to strike more. I love Pakistan, love cricket.

  • Haseeb AHmed on May 22, 2007, 1:17 GMT

    I agree with EAMIRAN; indeed, I would go further: with the exception of Yousef, no batsman in the current team has the potential to be regular test-class, let alone world-class. That is not to say we will not discover more talented batsmen down the road. But until then it is imperative that the PCB does not pull the curtain on Younis Khan and Inzamam's careers.

  • waz on May 22, 2007, 1:11 GMT

    huh........its nothing new ? wat u highlighting .. i think u dont have things 2 discuss here ...nd u dont hav sense of cricket... dont u remember moin khan always comes wid word 2 akram ... its nothing new dat u telling people like ausi do somfing special in dis regard ... u should open ur eyes kamran before commenting... i think by profession watever u r ..do dat job for wat u hav studied.... doing debate on non issue iz roofless

  • Ashaq on May 22, 2007, 0:47 GMT

    Just to add to my previous post it seems no matter how well Yasir Hamid performs there are calls for him to be dropped.I think the way he is treated and Asim Kamal before him is criminal.Sure these guys may not have the charisma or the large female fan base.Their style of playing maybe as dull as dishwater, but they get the job done,Sure if a player performs badly drop him,but when guys like Hameed and Kamal get good scores and still get dropped its criminal.

    'LaLa' Javed.A.Khan I was only joking my 'Brudda'dont take things to heart besides why you start this Ashiqui,Mashaqui debate in the first place, When you know you aint gonna be able to compete with a 'Bruddas' " desi macho ishtyle" lol.Anyway I didnt have to take an Ebonics course to learn this stuff,so next time stick to the philosophical, scholarly debates. Besides whats this "Tarka Baazi chaska baazi" with all this french "Avec Tois" no wonder you got problems:-)

    Looks like you're going through a mid-life crisis. Theres no point getting depressed about old age after all it eventually happens to all of us dude. As Imran Khan put it"age is just a state of the mind" or in the words of Muhammad Ali"You are only as old as you believe and as old as you feel". By the way leave Inzi and his Niharis alone you can eat as much french delicassies as you want, Stop attacking Inzis dish of choice :-)

  • Ross, USA on May 22, 2007, 0:44 GMT

    I am bewildered that a team whose commitment was called into question just a month ago is now being adulated for winning two matches. Oh the fickleness of the media and the spectators. Pakistan has always been a good team. They had a bad World Cup and the media roasted them with utter contempt. And now Mr. Abbasi is effusive in his praise. Hmmm... Let's see how the media responds after the next loss.

  • Domink on May 22, 2007, 0:40 GMT

    Jump the gun again Kamran - just like you did before the WC - wont you ever learn

  • calgary highlander on May 21, 2007, 23:16 GMT

    Man, where is Rana? I demand to see Rana. RANA!!!!!! The most wicked new ball bowler in the world.

    Anyways, good job by Pakistan, although SL had guys i had never even heard of instead of ppl who EVERYONE knew about. Who is Perera? I'm not even sure i spelt his name right.

  • Mizan Hassan on May 21, 2007, 22:59 GMT

    The Pakistan team is playing with great enthusiasm and with conviction which was lacking in the past. However, they need a leader who understands cricket and can lead from the front. Malik is a good player but lacks leadership quality. Since the departure of great Imran Khan, this has become a phenomenom for the pakistan side. Pakistan needs to groom future captains who can lead with distinction and example as did Imran Khan. Picking Malik as a captain, in my opinion, was a wrong choice. He lacks cricketing brain. Instead Afridi whould have proved a better choice.

  • atif malik- USA on May 21, 2007, 22:46 GMT

    next match they should make the followoign changes GUL and Sami OUT ==> Najaf and Rao IN Razzak OUT => Fawad IN Nazir OUT ==> Hafiz IN

  • Umair Muzaffar on May 21, 2007, 22:45 GMT

    Excellent games indeed.

    I agree that the team huddle is important but the captain should be able to let suggestions down in a manner that does not create any personal conflicts.

    You can actually see Shahid Afridi with his tail up and coming up with ideas and forcing the pace of the game with his on field theatrics. When it works it is great … but when it fails --- it brings the team down i.e. what happened in the 2003 World Cup match against India!

    The entire XI needs to perform and give their 120% on the field and on the pitch. There has to be that body language that says “WE WANT TO WIN THIS GAME.”

    Regards,

    Umair Muzaffar

  • Masood, USA on May 21, 2007, 22:36 GMT

    Kamran, Your comments can be called over inflation. Pak. team did even better in subcontinent even under phasadi captains(do not wanna name). In a typical Pakistani style you criticized Inzi ( a quality player & served more than most of the players your country had produced) & he was a successful captain (2nd to Imran) according to results. We should be more tolerant to defeats & should criticize fairly & more importantly morally. We wish well & more successes for our team. Masood

  • Adnan Nawaz on May 21, 2007, 22:35 GMT

    hi and assalam-o-alaikum every one, Things started pretty well for Pakistan after their disasterous world cup regime. I agreed with the point, raised by the Kamran regarding think tank abilities of this youth, who might have a more solid and better grip on way in which the modern ODI cricket is shaping up. Pakistan has the ability to bounce back when the things are worse for them. In present scenario i agred withe the some of suggestions posted above by Wasim saqib, some really valuable thoughts about the "how the gears are shifted in Pakistani cricket" from senior players to young. We need to hold back this fighting and winning spirit, to derive ourselves towrads success. As far openinig issue is concerned in pakistani cricket, poor strategies by senior management and selectors in selection process had produced scary results in the past. We should stick with salman butt 'Athelete of long race' and backed up by some puchers such as imran nazir. Taufeew omer is reasonable subsitute in test cricket as compaed to nazir. One down spot is pretty crucial and some how i belive Yasir hameed with get slayghtered again with the arrival of younis khan back in the team. If younis khan cannot be captain then i doubt his presense in modern ODI cricket and yasir hameed whose average is very gud and almost a consistent performer, whenever a chance given, had been a perfect example of brutality practsised by senior management towards young talent. Younis khan might struggle for his place in future, if mangement get neutral, in the future ODI squad. Fawad alam is a perfect and better replacement for Abdul razaq, who is getting less effective with a ball day by day. The key towards the success hold in the startegy " how senior management deal with the dilemma of allrounders" hafeez, afridi, razaq, fawad alam now " is it a time for sacrifices ?" Bowling attack of pakistan is looking solid and will be more strengthened, when shoain will be back. Asif, sami, shoaib, and gul definately a world class bowlers and in the lights of young talent such as najaf shah and other under 19 stars, Pakistan can shape up a world class bowling attack again. Best of luck Pakistan and want you to develop that killing instinct again, which was gone with the departure of Wasim and waqar. ALLAH hafiz

  • Afzal HongKong on May 21, 2007, 22:35 GMT

    welldone TEAM PAKISTAN!! give najaf and fawad a chance !

  • waqas on May 21, 2007, 22:29 GMT

    Asalam u Alaikum all....Congratulations every one for a wounderful series win..But one thing in both matches played so far is common and that is Afridi. if we look at team performance without him...its not very healthy...and I personally think team needs a more reliable player in middle order other than Yousaf and Younis...Thinking for long term and non-batting pitches, we need someone strong at number 5 position.

    We have to wait for team to play in S.Africa. But excellent start for Malik and good luck in future.

  • Sam Naqvi,Los Angeles on May 21, 2007, 22:22 GMT

    Please don't read too much into this series.We have seen all these before. Sri Lanka probably are not too much serious about this series.Pakistan needs two settled openers who can perform consistently against all teams esp Austaralia,South Africa,England esp on foreign trips. Also we need fit shoab Akhtar who is cleared off drugs and committment charges. Only then we can say Welcome back Pak team.Until then its all same old stories. I wish good luck to fairweather performers.

  • Khurram Sheik on May 21, 2007, 22:06 GMT

    AA: Congrats to every one. Not fair to say that it wasn't the best Srilankan side. Its all part of the game. Pakistan didn't have Shoaib Akhtar + Younis Khan. Abdul Razzaq is making a come back. So Pakistani team was not at the peak as well. So congrats to Pakistan for this great effort. The way I see it...Pakistan was the first one to leave the world cup and Srilankans were the runners up to the world cup. So we have beaten the 2nd best team in the world and moral is up. Need to keep it up. As for as Abdul Razzaq goes, he is always the performer. He is a great all rounder and should be there. Drama Queen Shoaib will be back but for how long....Sami performed well. Got the speed and took wickets. Over all effort was great. Keep up the good work team.

  • shah-jahan on May 21, 2007, 21:48 GMT

    yeepy we won...our great team has won...we r da greatest n we should be worshiped by other cricket playing nations...WE defeated da GREAT sri lanka B team...yeepy...hey i think abdul razzak is back in form...we should make him the next captain or else the fast bowlers will eventually die in between the never ending FIRST spell....n we should make shahid afridi the minister of ''third-class'' in pakistan for his good behavior...

  • Nadeem Shafee on May 21, 2007, 21:44 GMT

    Kamran Akmal dropped catch again. His keeping is not staifactory at all. Past legend wicket keepers Wasim Bari, Moin Khan & Rashid Latif already gave negative comments about his keeping technicque. This is our national team, not a child development training acadmey.

    I do not understand why is he still in the team? He dropped bunch of catches against last SA tour just before the WC but he was not dropped from the World Cup Squad but as a team we were dropped from the World cup.

    Do we want to continue with same attitude & selection?

    Please replace Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzak and Omer Gul with Sarfraz Ahmad, Fawad Alam and Najaf Shah. Rest of the team is fine. Proabably we need to replace or tune our openers in future.

    Nadeem UK

  • Saqib on May 21, 2007, 21:44 GMT

    People chill out! Its 2 one dayer we won against a Sri Lanka side minus Murali & Vaas on a pitch resembling the sub-continent! U guys r so desperate to cling on anything. Wait & see how Aus & SA will whoop us again this yr. Then we can all talk abt Malik Asif Afridi & the fresh air! U guys r the worst kinda supporters ever!

  • Raja Pakistani on May 21, 2007, 21:38 GMT

    Kamran, you are right. Absence of Inzamam makes big difference in the results. His dicatorship destroyed Pakistan cricket team.

    Have a look at Sami. He is doing once again great under Shoaib Captinship. Under Inzi Captinship he was deppresed.

    Well done Mohd Sami. You are the fasttest bowler in the current Pakistan Cricket Team. Shoaib bowled faster than you but he used drugs. So I consider you the fastest bowler on the Pakistan Cricket team.

    We need to take out another Inzi favorite wicket keeper Kamran Akmal, who drop catch again. He should be replace by Sarfraz Ahmed. Young wicket Keeper Captain of Under 19 cricket team.

    Abdul Razzak performance is not good also from more than one year. PCB should think about him too.

    Raja Sialkot

  • Saima Khan on May 21, 2007, 21:29 GMT

    I agree with Dawar above. Pl. do not bring back Inzi for the test cricket. His shadow is not good for the Pakistan cricket.

    Also replace problem maker A Razzak with any new young blood. Proabbly Fawad Alam is the best choice for that.

    Kamran Akmal drop catch again. He should be out. Replace by Sarfraz Ahmad (WC from Under 19 cricket team)

    Saim Khan Islamabad

  • Sameer A Malik, Michigan, USA on May 21, 2007, 21:07 GMT

    I dont know if anyone noticed or not but in the second match Abdul Razzaq knowingly carried on playing withe the broken bat, how shameful is that! I mean it didn't only affect his batting but the whole world was lookin at it and commentators also mentioned it. Either he was too careless to change the bat or he didn't have another bat. Both the reasons are ridiculous anywas. People like Gilchrist are inventing new ways to enhance their performance and look what Abdul Razzaq was doing, declining his performance which was already close to nothing. Grow Uppppp Mr. Abdul Razzaq or go away!!!!!!

  • Syed on May 21, 2007, 20:57 GMT

    Good return by the PAKIS but the real test will be playing against Australia, India, South Africa. Not to undermine Shoaib's ability to lead but we haven't seen him captaining against the real side. We should not put someone on top based on two matches. However, hos captaincy seems much better than Inzimam's and yes you rae right, he makes hos team mates feel comfortable indusing their ideas.

    Nonetheless, a good prospect and Inshallah a good one too.

    Thanks.

  • Omar on May 21, 2007, 20:56 GMT

    Something our team needed after loosing two on the trot...but this new young and energized bunch of cricketers looks quite capable of stirring up more than a debate amongst international crickets hierarchies for now all i have to say is the world be known Pakistani Cricket team is back....united and ready to do what they do best play cricket for their country.

  • Rehman, Chicago on May 21, 2007, 20:44 GMT

    Good to see, team is doing good and hope new talents on the side line, it will further improve, but one thing is very disturbing, which is defaming Inzimam. When he returned from India after winning the one day series and the later on beat England at home, nobody mentioned any flaw in his captincy and now we are finding all the problems in his approach and also in his physical appearance (which I found very low). I guess this is our national character, to kiss the rear of the person in position and when gone kick on the same spot. We need to learn how to analyze without personal attacks, at least I don't expect from a mature person like Kamran Abbassi

  • akhtar jan on May 21, 2007, 20:25 GMT

    Beating the half inspired srilankans on a dead pitch is not something i'll cherish too long! Pakistans first class structure criticized by imran on numerous occassions remains intact, as are the people at the helm of PCB's affairs!

    Australia or most other teams would still trouble us on a bouncy pitch! Afterall it wasnt that long ago we were humiliated by a bunch amateurs and as far as i can tell nothing much has changed the way cricket is played or managed in pakistan!

  • Abdullah on May 21, 2007, 20:15 GMT

    salam, i am surely a fan of pakistan team. they did really good in these first 2 ODI's against Sri lanka. That's how pakistan should play against any team. Pak shouldnt be scared of anyone, and yeah for the captain u should have chosen Afridi or any better all rounder, but still shoaib malik is a good captain. Pakistan Zinadabad. Good luck for all the matches. May allah help u. Ameen. Insha-allah and Allah hafiz.

  • M.Ahmar on May 21, 2007, 20:07 GMT

    Well done Pakistan team. All players really played well and it is a team spirit that let them win the games. Very nice article.

    For those of you who think Pakistan was fav. for the world cup, please correct your knowledge, PCB sent their worst team to the WC coz they never had any other option. This is what Pakistan's senior players said during WC.

    2ndly, We should not talk about who should be captain and we should not express our inner politics over here, BECAUSE, Shoaib Malik is one of the responsible player and know what he is doing.

    Even Sri Lankan board elected Jayawerd. as a captain while they had Jaysuria, Murli and others as a strong players in their team, there was a reason behind that. This is what pakistan did and I think it was a right decision.

    If our team is playing well, we should not criticize them.

    Anyways, Very good article Kamran Abbasi.

  • Syed Asadullah on May 21, 2007, 19:58 GMT

    Do not make fast conclusions. UAE is a dead wicket. UAE is also phychologically favourable to Pakistan than any other team. On the other hand Sri Lanka was just trying their most of their new players who have not played much international cricket. Other players who did well in the worldcup are either too tired or lost some focus after a long and gruesome series. So this is not a cause for celebration.

  • Vineeth Rai on May 21, 2007, 19:32 GMT

    Dear Mr.Abbasi,

    I think you are perfectly right to beat the drum and hail when a series victory is achieved. Some weeks ago this was a team together with India that was most embarrassing to say the least. As Naweed Akram has rightly termed it, this series victory by Pakistan should be seen as a fresh start and given its due recognition. We have all come to know that what matters is consistency in any form of the game as Australia have so richly proved over time and time again. What is more credible in this series clinch is they got the shit out of the world cup finalist. Now they can say they were without Murali,Vaas & Sangakkara. But boy didn't Pakistan play without Inzi,Younous & Shoib Akhter ? Keeping away Sanath & Lasith for the second match was a very thoughtful and a cunning decision by SL think tank to save face. The momentum Pakistan had after the first victory was definitely going to bulldoze SL whether they fielded a full strength or under strength eleven on the park. We all saw which team had the energy to dictate terms on the park. I would only ask the cricketing public to go by the statistics. Even against their full side Pakistan has always maintained a better winning ratio. Sri Lanka never want to admit that Pakistan and Indian cricketers are far more talented than them. We believe SL do have talent but for god sake tell them to produce results without Jayasuriya and Muralitharan for the world to stand up and take notice. The statistics show they fail with a ratio of 85 percent without these two men regardless they play overseas or at home. As things stand one would hope SL will have to keep these two men going eternally just to win matches or to avoid nations calling them " Sri Lanka is a two man show " Mahela is very talented and a shrewed cricketer but his reserve cupboard is completely devoid of world class sans captain himself and Sangakkara and once again the tag of whipping boys of world cricket is not be very far from them. Good show Pakistan and let us see whether you can sustain this winning habit and return to good old days of eighties and early nineties.

    Best wishes

    V.Rai Saudi Arabia

  • afaq on May 21, 2007, 19:14 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, I would like to understand how can you call a cricketeer like Inz with such names. You know what I think Pakistan doesnt deserve to win if you call your legengs like that. He is the same player who got pakistan World Cup, not Imran Khan. If there wouldnt had been Inzi pakistan was as good as any other untitled teams in the world. he even now is far better batsmen than anyone else around.If inzi did something wrong, it was that he retired from ODIs, he shouldnt have. As a captain, he was unlucky big time. He had B team for world cup and got a crap pitch to play on as ICC got difference with pakistan board. Who suffered Pakistan team? No.. Only Inzi, who after playing for 17 year was commented as dictator. You comparing Shoaib malik with Inzi. It was inzi waho made shoaib Malik from a ordinary off spin bowler to what he is now. Gave him chances.

  • atif mir on May 21, 2007, 18:56 GMT

    Pakistani journalists, since the world cup debacle, were hungry for the opportunity to share positive news with the Pakistani public. The two Pakistani victories against Srilanka, which are meaningless in the scheme of things, have provided journalists the opportunity to inject a sense of excitement into the Pakistani cricket. Kamran's blog, in this regard, is no different. Now for the next few months, every victory will be celebrated until Australia comes to Pakistan and remind us that captaincy wasn't the major issue facing Pakistani cricket but PCB.

  • J Ahmad on May 21, 2007, 18:50 GMT

    Without trying to sound like a pessimist, I would like to add that this is a tournament where nothing is at stake. Three wins would be nice but its way to early to gauge this teams calibre or performance. Lets wait a few months before welcoming them back to form.

  • Usman on May 21, 2007, 18:47 GMT

    It was a good team performance and all the boys have done well. However we must not read too much in this as it is after all a weakened Sri Lanka side.

    We must improve our running between the wickets in my opinion. Also I would like to see Fawad Alam and Najaf Shah play in the last game as because I live in the UK, I haven't seen much of them.

  • Yazi on May 21, 2007, 18:44 GMT

    Yes it was 2 good outings, its only a start. The different thing in these two games was players seemed more lively and in spirit.

    I did like the young apporach that Malik took with Butt, Nazir & Hameed at the top & Asif, Sami, Gul in bowling. Yousuf, Malik, Razzaq & Afridi will have to get their game to next level while the young ones groom.

    But don't forget Pakistan always do well on these flat pitches, they have their horrors when there is some green on the pitch. That will be real test in future.

  • hassan on May 21, 2007, 18:44 GMT

    well..i must say that pak team is doing gr8 job but feilding is still major problem so must think about it...

  • shawn on May 21, 2007, 18:33 GMT

    ive noticed paki fans are way too emotional. you CAN NOT judge how good this team is based on this series. sri lanka is not vary and short of their key players after the wc. i dont think things wouldve been this easy if they were playing their full strength side. in any case good luck to pakistan!

  • Adnan on May 21, 2007, 18:29 GMT

    Pakistani fans are amazing. One minute we think our cricketers are the best thing since sliced bread the next we want their blood.

    YES the teams done well, YES they deserve a pat on the back but the article and some of the blogs read as if we have just won the world cup.

    Lets not get ahead of ourselves we have won two matches against a depleted Sri Lanka team on flat pitches.

    I am waiting to see if this much talked about team spirit will still be there when the going gets tough and Malik has to have a few harsh words with some of our stars. Will they still be as supportive and team minded or will they bite back like snakes which is the customary reaction in our players.

    I think Malik is the right choice for Captain and he can do a good job as long as the mavricks can be kept in check.

    Well done Malik and Team Pakistan and fingers crossed for the future.

  • TR on May 21, 2007, 18:23 GMT

    1. Good resluts are always encouraging, so good on you Pakistan Team, however, the current team would likely get killed on a seaming track.

    2. Do we really need three all-rounders to become the number one ODI team? We only had 1.5 all rounders (Imran and Wasim) in 1992.

    3. This is not a new team, only two people missing form the pre-world cup days were Younis and Inzamam. Let's get new blood a chance here: Fawad Alam deserves a cap

  • Rehan on May 21, 2007, 18:20 GMT

    Congrats to Pakistan!! It was good team effort. But the true test would be to beat a full strenght Sri Lankan team. This series Sri Lanka are trying out new players and identify the good players for the more important matches ahead. So I would not say Team Pakistan is back, but congrats on the team effort.

  • Sam on May 21, 2007, 18:16 GMT

    They are not good team unless they win a series in South Africa, England, New Zealand or Australia. Flat wickets means we are fooling ourself and waiting for another desaster like one he had in world cup!!! period!

  • Naqeeb Ahmed, Glasgow on May 21, 2007, 18:12 GMT

    I feel Nazir, butt and hameed have pottential to shatter top class bowling line ups...Malik need to use them properly, else the team seems to be following right track....Sticking with Razzaq is useless, its better to utilise another genuine bowler instead of him...probably new pace gun najaf or someone else who can actually take wickets...

  • Nabil on May 21, 2007, 18:02 GMT

    It's definitely too early for us to even conceive of Pakistani team playing well. It'll take a lot more wins for Pakistan to bring itself back upto the mark in the eyes of Pakistani team's fans like myself.

  • Omer Admani on May 21, 2007, 17:54 GMT

    Another flt track, a win against Sri Lanka 2nd 11. Doesn't mean much.

  • jude Ghia on May 21, 2007, 17:52 GMT

    Well done Pakistan but against what team a depleated slankan team, if Murali, sangakara, malinga and some other senior players were there Pakistan would hve a tougher time. Speaking abt Afridi, he is only good on the tracks in the UAE and Pakistan otherwise we all know what a fluke he is batting with his eyes closed

  • Daniyal on May 21, 2007, 17:47 GMT

    Strange to say but its a little too early and a little too late and as Geff Boycott may say "one swallow does not a summer make." While it is refreshing to see Team Pakistan start off on a pleasant note after the disaster and Shoaib Malik is a good choice as captain it is a little early to declare the dawn of a new era.

    I remember joking with a few friend at a popular eatery in Karachi when Inzi became vice captain under Rashid. We laughed at the thought of him becoming captain one day. We weren't laughing when he became captain. Though he was an extremely capable batsman and captain one did not imagine him being innovative with the role.

    Shoaib so far has proven to be more motivated in the role one has to wait and see how he fits into the role. I can't imagine a captain lasting too long if he keeps referring to his players as "bhai". Lets see how the team develops over the next year before we start declaring the birth of a new era.

  • Azhar on May 21, 2007, 17:39 GMT

    now pakistan cricket team become a winning combination

  • Usama Sarwar on May 21, 2007, 17:32 GMT

    These performances have been good. No doubt about that. But the problem is, these guys ALWAYS perform well on these tracks. And when they win, they look good. The team spirit flows, the unity comes out on display. But when they play on difficult tracks, where due to their poor techniques they come up WAY short, they start losing badly. And when that happens, the attitude problems start surfacing. Groups start emerging. Scandals and conspiracies become commonplace. That is the crux of the problem. This series is, to put it mildly, utterly worthless. They will probably win in the next game too, and most people will forget all the problems of the last year. And the cycle will start all over again. That, ladies and gentlemen, is Pakistan Cricket!

  • Hammad_Shahid on May 21, 2007, 17:31 GMT

    I think we should not forget that its just 2 months passed that we had the anniversary of "the defect from Ireland." There is lot to do, lot to improve.. Yes, it looks like that Pakistani team is coming on track but again LOT MORE TO LOOK FORWARD. Our ‘real’ test will come (and of course the capabilities of Malik will crosschecked) when we will play with the teams like Australia on their pitches.

    Good luck Pakistan. Together we win. Throw away internal politics and thing for Pakistan, Team!

  • mike on May 21, 2007, 17:12 GMT

    afridi , forgotten hero

  • Aftab on May 21, 2007, 17:06 GMT

    Lets not get carried away. First Inzamam wasnt as bad as ppl are making him out to be now. When the team was winning under him everyone was talkin how he had brought the fractitous bunch v call our cricket sqaud to perform well after a long time. Since the Oval Test, our team lost focus from the main aim, playing cricket. That and the subsequent doping crisis, was distracting and cost us our two main strick bowlers. Had v gone to the worldcup with razzaq, shoaib and asif, (and afridi played the first two matches) i guarantee u v would have gone to atleast the super 8 if not further, and none of this malik is the future nonsense would have been discussed. Shoaib Malik is a very very average cricketer who has a long way to go to prove his player and captaincy credentials.

  • Imran Butt on May 21, 2007, 17:05 GMT

    No doubt Inzi was a great batsman but can he justify dropping salman butt and have him missed almost 1 valuable year of his career. Waht a poor decision maker he was rather stubborn that cost us a world cup. Anyways well done team pakistan and keep up the good work. By the Asif can you not me a super star as yet after becoming a vice captain. I believe that Mehela Jaywardaney is always a cool and decent chap and there was no need to show aggresive behavior towards him when he got him out. Sledging is always good but for thoese who sledge you in a racsim way like south Africans or Brits.

  • zulfikar ali khan on May 21, 2007, 16:59 GMT

    well done team and well done people to post so many comments, but please calm down, no need to get people out or in old blood or new blood, you need told blood to teach young blood. the only thing i think improving is the fielding and run outs. Avoid paraths, watch your weight and leave rest to Allah. it is surely blessings of Allah and islam the jazba to make pakistani team so unique, that world fears us whether we win or loose.

  • Shahid Mahmood on May 21, 2007, 16:53 GMT

    I love reading your blog dear abbasi. Shoaib, Afridi and Asif together make 1½ plyers. Shoiab and Afridi are not automatic starters in all conditions. They got to prove there value in the middle. Afridi needs that consistency og Gilchrest. And one other thing, before calling Inzi names, please don´t forget that he for many fans, is the best player/batsman our country ever produced. And by the way, you have a good cricket writers brain but otherwise from the picture above you resemble the indian aging MIGs, falling her and there.

  • faheem khan afridi on May 21, 2007, 16:52 GMT

    well pakistan wins the series but it really didnt mean that they did the great job actually i really wants to criticise the team performance because thats the best time to criticise actually the way i m looking pakistan was just lucky to win this series any thing besides luck was pretty more than ordinary a team with no planning u cant win every match with luck u need to learn that how to grip games like in first game pakistan was almost lose to me when shoaib malik is gone what happen if afridi just make 20 to 30 runs the result will be different team was lucky that his wicket didnt fall he gave some chances to team but there was poor fielding from srilankan side to which really helps pakistan to win bandara was really not a good bowler afridi choose to go because afridi knew somewhere that he can take chances on bandara bowling no body trying to play shots on malinga,s bowling every body looks so scared when he bowls and thats not a good thing for the future 1st game was easy win for pakistan but they made little bit hard for them ok now game no 2 they gave a good target to srilankans but only good not a match winning 314 is really getable now a days but its really look like that srilankans wants to giveaway this match too no malinga no jayasurya no murali no chaminda no sangakara whta u guys think the result gonna be of course pakistan i already knew that because we almost had the same team which we had for like last year or two forget inzy and yousuf cause they didnt do to much in that time period the score in the second game can be more bigger then wat they get but like typical pakistani fragile batting they start losing wickets like crazy after second half of the innings and abdul razzaq look likes he forgot that how to play in last ten overs for god sake sami was hitting the bowl down the ground they really need to learn how to kill and crush there opposite sides like australians losing there grips on games like that its not a good sign for any side and in two games pakistan lost there grips two times but they were so lucky that lankans had nobody in there team to take advantages of that they need to think like cricket like a game pakistan can sealed the second game in first innings by making 350 plus and they really had a chance at one stage but they start losing there wickets because they start taking things easy that time the way afridi out on second game thats the real afridi out on 1 u cant trust on hitters specially in pakistan u cant even trust on batsmen like muhammad yousuf and now the bowling side pakistan bowled well on first match but i m not impressed with there performance in match no 2 muhamad asif he dont give away runs most of the time but in the second game i thought he change his name to rana naveed he was extremely expensive and useless in second game thanks one more time to the luck and lucky afridi who brings pakistan in to the game if u ask me i mnot satisfied with pakistan performance and tha reason i m writing all those bad factors because small things makes big changes pakistan need to improve in all there departments to compete the top team what do u think pakistan can beat teams like australia or south africa with all these mistakes i mention to you all i think the sensible mind answer will be no they win the series but they really needs to think that do they deserve it do they really took command on lankans not really lucky afridi cant help pakistan to compete best teams in the world they really need to start learn that how to grip easy games and how to kill opposition master minds plans and i m saying all this for looking improvment in pakistan because i want to see my pakistani team on top i love to watch pakistan beat australia and south africa 1000 times in a row for that they need to work and think really hard and learn from there mistakes specially grip easy matches its just a start there is long way to go.

  • ray on May 21, 2007, 16:39 GMT

    Agree with Hugh--its too early. Hope they keep up the good work. And a comment for my SriLankan friend who says Pakistan beat a shadow team. Murli is excellent, Sangakara and Vaas are mortals, doubt if they could've changed the outcome. By the way Pk didn't have Shoaib Akthar, Inzi (still good for a team like SL).

  • Aditya on May 21, 2007, 16:24 GMT

    This is only two games. The real test will come when they actually play out the season, and see how it pans out. Will be the same inconsistent Pakistan team, or will it be a newer, more hungry and focused one? The same applies to India as well, even after their wins against Bangladesh.

  • Abdul Waheed - USA on May 21, 2007, 16:18 GMT

    All said and done. This is a Pakistan team afterall. "Hold Your Horses".

  • rAi aLLY on May 21, 2007, 16:18 GMT

    Nice article kamran..i do agree about de energy levels inducted into dis new looking pakistani cricket team..first of all to all those fans who thinks performing at ABU DHABI doesnt worth nething especially wid afridi..did u all forgot when de last time pakistan visited australia it was de rise of all rounder afridi who destroyed mcgrath n lee regularly..and use to get ponting most of de time plus others with his bowling..combination looks gud enuff though still i wud like to hav akhtar or rana in place of sami and some other player in place of yasir hameed..because number 3 position is de most imp place in ODI's and and i dont think yasir is capable for attacking game play like de ponting's or sangakara's..abt de below par lankan side..then we re below par too without inzi,younis n akhtar..and rana too as he was quite a regular too..wat u ppl hav to say abt it..and mr Javed A Khan..it doesnt matter if neone likes ur comments or not but i do lyk em alot..and u re always true abt ur figures regarding afridi..he is electrifying and energetic..he roxxx..

  • Suhail Usman on May 21, 2007, 16:16 GMT

    Amazing, this is what we want to see in our side. Young, enthusiastic and energetic. There is no replacement of experience but energy and aggression is also required to win a game.

  • Robert on May 21, 2007, 16:16 GMT

    All I can say is: "About time!!"

    Possibly a new dawn. Lets see if they can continue this against a team that is firing! To be fair SL haven't been at their best.

  • AA _- Sri Lankan on May 21, 2007, 16:15 GMT

    Nice to see Pakistan in winning mood... Like to congratulate them for the performance.. Well I really hope they continue the winning way.. As for us pretty obvious guys look bit tired and they are experimenting... ( but i don't won't to take anything away from Paks ) Well lets hope that all asian team get together and steam roll Australians... That shd be the main target of every Asian.. Topple great Aussie team... Hope u guys are agree with me...

  • salman ali rai from china on May 21, 2007, 16:11 GMT

    well first of all well done pakistan team.i heard and read abt ur performance.awesome.thats wht we expect of u now plz plz sir kamran can u tell me any way of watching free live cricket on net here.i have tried every option but no success.it has been so irritating not to see cricket here in china. i would be very thankful if any reader can help me out ..

  • Muhammad Hasan on May 21, 2007, 16:08 GMT

    I find it so positively surprising that Pakistan - losers to Ireland in the World Cup 07, have just beaten the World Cup finalists with ease! It just shows the true competitive nature within Pakistani youngsters. I just hope the PCB finds a way to make practice pitches that offer Pakistani batsmen a chance to get use to seam and bounce, a recently discovered weakness of Pakistani batsmen. No worries though, with a new young captain, I'm sure most problems will be dealt with in time.

  • Aussie Rules on May 21, 2007, 16:06 GMT

    Lol beating Srilanka A doesn't make you World Champs. Try beating Ireland first on a green track and then come back to me!

  • Welcome What Back on May 21, 2007, 16:03 GMT

    pakistan still has several bearded fellas in their line up... religion is still part of pakistan cricket.. second , no murali, no vaas(pakistan destroyer).

    pakistan shouldnt get too high with these low level wins.. their best strategy would be to get back to praying again.

  • Ahsan on May 21, 2007, 15:56 GMT

    Why is everyone getting happy? We beat a way under strength sri lankan team. Without jayasuria, murali, sangakkara, malinga, vaas. Thats like taking yousuf, asif, afridi, malik & gul out of the equation.

    Its good that the team is gelling as a unit. However there is nothing to get happy about over this series win. It means nothing at all. When we can say that we have beaten the likes of South Africa & Australia comfortably thats when i`ll be cheering.

  • Kashif Anwar, M.D. on May 21, 2007, 15:56 GMT

    I am thrilled to see Afridi's passion for the team...his facial expressions with changing situations and body language...oh we loved it!! he should have been adjudged the MOM award for the way he lifted the team up with his bowling and agression on a flat batting paradise!! Lets just forget about all the logics and thinkings for now and enjoy the euphoria for few days (rare for us these days) and come back to business few days after the series. And pls pls STOP TALKING TO EACH OTHER IN THIS BLOG..exchange ur phone nos instead and argue directly to each other...argue to anyone's comments but DO NOT TALK TO EACH OTHER PLSSS!!!

  • pubudu on May 21, 2007, 15:50 GMT

    i don't think telling sri lanka is a one man attack is a fair call. sri lanka doesn't had five of their first choice players in this match(2nd match) and if not for some bad bowling up front and some fielding mistakes and one or two reckless shot sri lanka would have won it easily. but pakistan also played well and even against a weaker team u have to do well to win, if u play badly u will loose as what happend in world cup for pakistan

  • Ali Asim - Saginaw, Michigan USA on May 21, 2007, 15:48 GMT

    I've noticed a lot of confusion and negativity in the coments of most people here. Let me try to clarify it a bit. Well, a win is always welcome, but I know that winning against a weakened Sri Lanka wouldnt mean much. But, it was not the outcome of the previous two games that brought hope in my heart. It was the approach and the attitude of the important individuals that striked me and hinted towards the immediate change in approach after the dark Inzimam era. Dont get me wrong, I do and will always will regard Inzimam as one the finest batsmen ever produced, but he was the worst captain the world cricket has ever witnessed. I know everyone already have stressed upon how important is it for Malik to create an astute composure towards this challenge. But atleast I would say that he has started well and looks to be a quick learner and a teamster. Best of luck for the future.

  • Damith Kethaka on May 21, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    well one thing i`m glad to see here is that our pakistani friends have finally put the world cup trauma behind them and are starting to rally back around their national team.We Sri Lankans congratulate ur success and i think we made a good decision by letting our cream of youth have a go at the international cricket arena because as you said if ever are Murali Vaas Jayasuriya to leave then we should find (and we do have strong potents) backups to replace them.i hope the Indians give up on this "world cup defeat- end of the road" trauma and start building camps for the counter attacks too.GUYS REMEMBER ONE THING..WHAT EVER WE DO ALL THREE OF US INDIA, SRI LANKA , PAKISTAN ARE THE ONES WHO SHOULD BE WELL POISED TO TAKE AUSTRALIA BACK TO PRE-SCHOOL NEXT WORLD CUP PLAYED HERE IN SOUTH ASIA.we should BY all MEANS make sure that aussies will not steal it right in our own soil.one of the three MUST win it next time.but indians are slow at putting 2007 behind them.what a sad sight i saw from Bangladesh..only the Indian Dressing room was there to clap any Indian Batsman when he hits a boundary...where have all the crazy fans gone..come on folks recover..we have only 3 year and 8 or 9 months to go...if we`re to stop the kangaroo march that time is half what is required.so India Pakistan Sri Lanka put ur hands together and start working now.

  • muftee on May 21, 2007, 15:41 GMT

    SHAHID AFRIDI was always the one who made the difference!!! If he performs everything goes well if not he ride the team into a some degree of pressure, but i believe that this man is the x-factor he is special because he is the x-factor he brings something to the team which no other team-member does, so all in all he is a strong assert to the pakistani-team if pakistan use him rightly!!!

  • Bilal Tahir on May 21, 2007, 15:40 GMT

    didn't think Malik will be right choice for the captain...i thought either Younis or a more experienced player like Razzaq or Afridi...but Malik has proved me wrong...he got most of the decisions he made right...well done to him and to Pakistan...

    For the last match i think the youngsters such as Fawad and Najaf should be given a chance to prove themselves...

  • vishnu on May 21, 2007, 15:38 GMT

    I am not sure about team environment...etc etc in the present team. However, I greatly amused at your reference to"all thinking resided in his Tank-like frame". It was journalistically, creative and ....presentation. But I am afraid that as a journalist, it is not good idea for you to write politically appealing adages. One man is not to blame for the whole failure of a team in the world cup

  • Zeeshan on May 21, 2007, 15:36 GMT

    It is true that Shoaib Malik was the correct choice given that Younis Khan didn’t accept the responsibility. It is also refreshing that Pakistan are back at its winning ways. Although it is a fact that Sri Lanka are playing an under strength team (without Murali, Vaas and Sangakara), one has to realize that Pakistan too is playing with 3 players who would be an automatic choice in the playing 11 (Akhtar, Younis and the retired Inzi). Both teams are, I believe, equally match as far as resources are concerned. In that aspect, I think Shoaib has done great. Actually let me rephrase, “The team has done well”.

  • Jawed Shah on May 21, 2007, 15:36 GMT

    Can everyone please limit your wording

    rather than writing a long essay. Be precise some people just carries on lolz.

    It was a team effort but to perform well Pakistan team need to perform on the pitches like WI, Eng, SA above all Australia. Beat these team in their home town rather on flat pitched in sub continent

  • Tehsin Khan on May 21, 2007, 15:18 GMT

    With all said and done, I still believe Abdul razzaq should have been made vice Captain, Making Asif Vice Captain is a touch too early! Afridi has a greater responsibility and the way Malik goes to him gives him more respect that he would have ever had by being a captain himself.

  • Ali on May 21, 2007, 15:12 GMT

    So far so good. The team deserves all the praise for winning the series especially with all the dropped catches, miss fielding etc. Its time to give a chance to Fawad Alam and Najaf Shah and give some rest to Razzaq and Sami. These youngsters deserve a chance and we do need a replacement for Razzaq atleast. We also need a full battery of fast bowlers and it is not very fruitful to keep trying the tried (and probably tired) players. Fresh blood like the two younsters is necessary.

  • Mickey on May 21, 2007, 15:07 GMT

    Funny how we all seem happy. This is just a start. Malik is novice as a captain. I predict we will win some but lose a lot more before this team stabilizes. This team needs time and a lot of practice on and off the field to be an A-Class fixture. No fun in beating an Asian team. Let's see this team or similar beat SA or the Aussies.

  • Owais on May 21, 2007, 15:06 GMT

    Rubbish. Why are we so desperate to see any silver lining in such a seriously black cloud? Remember Pakistan’s tour of India in 2005? Drawn test and a convincing win in the one-dayers? Osman Samiuddin coined the phrase ‘Team Pakistan’ where Inzy’s captaincy was hailed as a major success. Brilliant. Imaginative. Uncharacteristically aggressive. We have come full-circle.

    Lets look at a pattern. When Waqar was set as captain, ‘Team Pak’ did rather well 2001 onwards. Beat Australia, SA Sri Lanka and a host of others. Then came Morocco (SA series) and infighting broke out 6 months before the 2003 world cup. The seams fell apart and Waqar and Co (most all senior members) were canned after a dismal WC showing.

    All hail a new Era.

    Inzi is captain after a disappointing stint with Rashed Latif and Pak wins series in Sri Lanka, WI and Levels with India and has victories at home. Again, 6 month before WC, religious disputes, doping, PCB mismanagement blah blah and seam falls apart again. More shunting chopping and changing.

    All hail a new Era.

    Malik is appointed as captain and Pakistan beats a well depleted Sri Lanka (who I don’t think really give a damn).

    We as a nation bear fruits for a short term. Now we win two useless dead-rubber games and everyone is happy? How pathetic.

  • Fahd Ahmad on May 21, 2007, 14:52 GMT

    Congrats to our team! They have taken the first step towards the come back but we are still a long way away from "giving them a red carpet reception". Even though we have defeated a below par SL team, we still have lots of work to do. Both victories which, mind you, featured most of regulars, we could easily notice that team needs to work on: running between wickets, fielding (especially at the boundary line and through dull periods of the game), consistency (both in batting and bowling, as we saw erratic spells of bowling and shots), and of-course we need a coaching staff. I would love to see glass half full but we have been through this too many times. I would love to extend the welcome matt, a year or two from today based on performance but it seems too soon and too early.

    Hope this time is different!!

  • anser azim on May 21, 2007, 14:48 GMT

    I watched both games. Pakistan was on top in both games. But the batting line up is still a suspect against a good bowling attack!!. I hope the batsmen get some solid coaching in that department.I was surprised to see Razzaque so much out of touch with his batting and hope he regains his form back.

    anser azim chicago

  • Ather Ansari on May 21, 2007, 14:36 GMT

    Inzi was good captain, if not the one of best, under his captaincy pakistan has won lot of close matches in ODI or Tests, the test match victory against India in India was one of his best, where his captaincy is lauded by everyone including Imran khan. A captain need a good luck also, of late Inzi decision went wrong it doesn't make him bad captain. Don't forget that he single handedly won so matches for Pakistan while playing as a player and captain. This sort of hugging was seen in Inzi's captaincy also, since Inzi is the captain, only after Imran Khan, who bring players together and Pakistan was playing like a Unit, even Rameez Raja on numerous occasion said that. If Pakistan lost to Ireland isn't alone Inzi fault, the entire team failed, this was the bad day for Pakistan and luck was not going in Inzi favour. A captain is as good as his team playing on particular day. If Asif was in the World Cup, Asif would have definitely dismiss Ireland under 100, without having resources of Akhtar, Asif, Razzaq, Afridi, our main bowling attack was missing. Then this PCB committee coming out blaming Inzi is totally bias to great batsmen like Inzi. If Inzi was so dictator why he was allowed to continue, what power PCB uses against him. Now after Inzi resigns himself, everyone is saying against him.

    Shoiab Malik as a Captain has to go long way to prove how good he is, he has tough series coming up vs SA, India tour, then Aus traveling to Pakistan, I am surprise that PCB make him Captain of when Malik is not perfect Test player. He is good all-rounder in ODI, but in Test matches, you need specialist, he is not. Mohammed Yousuf would have better choice with Salman Butt as his deputy.

    So I please request Kamran Abbassi don't write against Inzi. You need to realise his services for Pakistan Cricket. Because of him, We have won the only World Cup in 1992.

  • Michael Alo on May 21, 2007, 14:33 GMT

    Mr Kamran

    I don’t know why a lot of people are praising Pakistan’s series victory against Sri Lanka. I still think they have not proved anything yet. You MUST remember the wicket at Abu Dhabi are DEAD or FLAT hence Pakistan outshining their poor opponents. Remember Pakistan has always performed well on flat pitches and when it comes to green/grassy pitches they STRUGGLE!! They need to prove that they can play on swinging wickets rather then flat pitches!!

  • waseem nawaz on May 21, 2007, 14:26 GMT

    it`s a heartening decent but just a small beginning and i promise u we r not going anywhere up soon unless we get rid of the blue eyed doc who has played one first class match in the past and now he wants to play with pakistan`s cricket destiny. but great work shoib u have indeed taken a good start.we have alot of faith in u just repay pakistan cricket fan`s by being honest with your job.

  • Rehan on May 21, 2007, 14:26 GMT

    Its too early to say all these things. Only two matches have been played, Malik is lucky that he is not playing Australia or South Africa in his first matches as captain. And also Shoab Akhtar is not in the team right now. It will be interesting to see how two Shoab's (Malik and Akhtar) will work together.

  • khawar on May 21, 2007, 14:24 GMT

    Pakistan- Zinda-baad. they should play like this more with an open mind nd have there say in wat they think nd let malik decide on the final decision. in no time they'll be crusing the leadership. hey you never know they might stand a chance with Austrlia. CONGRATULATIONS on the series WIN. keep it up.

  • Ammar on May 21, 2007, 14:23 GMT

    The way Malik marshalled his troops was quite impressive.Big guns took the responsibility of making their impact in the middle.But one thing that was very disheartening to see, was the poor standards of fielding shown everynow n then.Nevertheless, Great start Malik boi..keep goin!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 21, 2007, 14:21 GMT

    I think EAMIRAN is right about the premature euphoria shown by the bloggers upon the series win, which imo, is too little and too early to celebrate. Yes, Sri Lanka were the finalist in the recent WC but, here they look jaded and tired and without Murali, Vaas and Sangakara, they were ineffective. The second match without Jayasuriya and Lasith Malinga.was almost one sided. One might argue that Pakistan were also without Inzi, Shoaib Akhtar and Younis Khan. Shoaib Akhtar has been so regularly in and out of the team that one should never count him as a regular member of the team. Younis is not an ODI player and lately Inzi with his extra baggage was not the same Inzi, in fact his contribution was more on the negative side, especially with no singles and where easy two runs can be taken he would walk down for a single and his boundaries dried out like an old well. So, not having these players is not the same equation as SL missing their regulars. Pakistan and its fans should stop this massive celebrations and concentrate more on improving fielding and running between the wickets.

    Ashaq; 'ignorance is bliss' but, in your case its a blister and that too on the wrong spot. ;-) For your info. CEGEP is an acronym for the French term; "Collège d'enseignement général et professionnel," which means a college of general and vocational education, where you choose your major pre-uni subjects to choose a profession in medicine, engineering, law etc., and it is a two years pre-university MUST for everyone. And you have to choose your minor subjects and ebonics is one of the minors. May be you wanna do your Masters innit and like to hang out on the streets like a lot lizard mimbo. And a big LOL at your cry for help, whoa wot a virtual "thurrkiness and chaskay-bazy" in a typical desi isshtyle to get attention from females by offering support to prove you are a real desi macho, he he he, good luck Pra Ashaq in your fruitless and unending endeavours.

    Ps. congratulations on writing "Ashiqui" and not "AashAqi" your "talla-faz" is improving or was it a copy paste from the ghazal website? In any case, aati hai Urdu zubaan aatay, aatay.

  • N on May 21, 2007, 14:10 GMT

    Clutching at straws aren't you, Kamran?

    That batting performance was pathetic against a rubbish bowling attack and all the first string SL batsmen got decent starts.

    That Ireland game was not a fluke.

  • mansoor on May 21, 2007, 14:02 GMT

    funny. down and out with two defeats and over the moon with two wins. we people will never change. and there lies the root of the curse that entangled our necks for last sixty years. srilanka with its current team is perhaps worse than bangladesh. i feel sorry for all those who watch the game without any sence at all and wonder why they are happy on one day and miserable on other.

  • SYED A.SHOAIB, KARACHI, PAKISTAN on May 21, 2007, 13:58 GMT

    Sameer A Malik, Michigan, USA at May 21, 2007 3:54 AM

    Exactly! Loved the scene that you mentioned. But i will still question the role of Mohammed Asif as a Vice Captain, i mean that guy doesn't seem like a team man, he seems a quite innocent guy who just concentrates on his own bowling and performance.

    ..sami.. i can assure you Asif isnt innocent :P he's quite proud and 'venomous',

    I LOVED THE WAY ASIF STARED AT JAYAWARDANE :D i love this new team, all young blood. something tells me salman butt has improved a looootT! :)

  • Ahmed Siddiqui on May 21, 2007, 13:52 GMT

    Dear Kamran, A well thought thread to absorb and I was impressed with the feed back from the fans...I think the most important thing that surfaced was the synergized team which was a new awakening...if we were to do a s.w.ot analysis on the current team...most of the players are the same with the exception of one or two but the difference is clearly visible in the attitude... although as agreed these were not testing conditions but the approach is very important and the team did not take any of the games complacently...the spunk was there and they were all charged up....it did remind me of the games in England in 1992 when Akram and Waqar were charged up..and this lifted the games of the others. I think the base is there and Malik is the right man to take charge....there will be better acheivements to come.....these maybe early days but it the dawn of a new awakening.........

  • kaiser mukhtar on May 21, 2007, 13:51 GMT

    So much has already been said and expressed of the latest show piece of Pakistan Cricket in A> Dhabi that it seems difficult for me to any more but still the passion i feel of my country team urges me to say something. Optimism prevails 'Thats the real thing'.And it must contimue. Dictatorial attitudes erupt from captain's mind onto his face when there are not much checks and ballances and when those captains knew there is a culture of dictatorship and ad hocism in Pakistan from top to bottom and on any slightest querrel when President of Pakistan calls on him and reassures him of his personal support then thats the defining line. I hope Shoaib Malik does not commit any of the mistakes of the past and try to lead from the front as well as keeps the support of the seniors while trying to improve his batting skills so that he could garner respect of the fellow men subsequently boosting his personal confidence.

  • Saqib Ghani on May 21, 2007, 13:41 GMT

    Lets not praise the team too much at the moment. We have a tendency to celebrate victories too early, and if we lose, we turn the tables round suddenly and lose respect for our heroes.

    Lets hope that the good performances continue. Lets hope that the think tank works. Lets hope that with new 'Young' team leaders, politics stays away from our team.

    Good Luck Pakistan team!

  • Mohammad Saeed on May 21, 2007, 13:39 GMT

    Congratulation to All Pakistani Team members. " YOU ARE BACK ON THE TRACK " My main concern is about Mr Inzamam-ul-Haq. PCB should not allow him to play any match either one day or test match. Our guys are doing extremely well & we all wish them best of luck in future.

  • Faraz (the first Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs) on May 21, 2007, 13:38 GMT

    Kamran: its good optimism on your part and like a true patriot, the sight of Asif, Afridi and Malik strategizing, rekindled in your heart and in word, the joys of a brotherly bonding which has beenlacking from our team and sadly our nation; but I 'll play devil's advocate here, I think the true test lies ahead--let this team settle in for a while, we will see how much of this team spirit and "bhai-bandi" remains alive; only time can tell. I still, for the most part think that Malik and Asif in their respective roles is premature and partly due to pressure from the lobbiests like Ramiz and other good-for-nothing so-called cricketing people in Pakistan. The proper candidate was Afridi and Malik could have played second fiddle to him...but heck ....we just have to wait it out.

    Pakistan Zindabad Pakistan Pa-indabad

  • Amanzeb Khan on May 21, 2007, 13:28 GMT

    Utterly delighted with the efforts of the team and in particular Butt and Hameed who should really have been in the team all along. Still we should not ignore the areas for improvement like fielding and running between the wickets. Also Razzaq's role in the team needs to be reviewed. I think he should be "rested" as he is becoming a liability with the ball and an occasional performer with the bat. Yesterday also marked the first time a Pakistani captain used the power plays intelligently. Shoaib Malik take a bow. This is something that has been frustrating me for the last year or so. With only three strike bowlers in the team we need to delay one power play so that we have some fire power in the middle of the innings. But I feel we need to open with Gul otherwise he is totally wasted. He can form the ideal new ball pair with Asif. I thought he was a bit unlucky in the last two games with a number of over throws and misfields and edges going against him.

  • Fahim Farshad on May 21, 2007, 13:26 GMT

    Certainly it's an encouraging start, signs of making of a shrewd captain but its too early to be really optimistic about Pakistan performance! Don't forget Sri Lanka is without some of its best performers! The acid test would be to see how Pakistan gonna play with the full blodded Aussies! While Pakistan played very well, some of the points taht I would raise needs attention. I was expecting at one point Pakistan would easily make some 350 plus runs but that did not happen! Why? The way Shoaib, Afridi and to some extent Yousuf were out explains the p

  • Sheraz (Washington, D.C.) on May 21, 2007, 13:11 GMT

    This is great to win 2 matches in a row even thou it is against a resting SL side. Winning masks flaws that are hidden until they become a hugh issues and then it is too late to do anything about it. Look at Inzy and how it became such a big issue that no one was able to correct it and our team fell into the deepest of wells during the greatest of tournament. History tends to repeat itself and those that do not learn from it will be doomed by it. PCB should prepare a team in the next 24 months that will make Pakistani everywhere proud.

    There are many issues still and we should not think the side is world beaters just because we have won 2 matches against SL.

    Here are the issues I see with the current side.

    1) Opening is a major major issue for us and has been since Aamer Sohail and Syeed Anwar were at the top. I cannot even begin to tell you how disappointed I was to see Imran Nazir in the Team. He is NOT a good batsman at the ODI level. We need to find another opener to pair with Salman Butt and give these new openers as much time over the next 2 years to show their class. There should be others that should be tried as opening BUT not ones that have been tried already and FAILED (Hafees & Nazeer).

    2) Yousuf is washed up and should not be in the 11 of the ODI. He along with INZY and Younis should be Test only. Pakistan is gifted with SO many blessed cricketers and I am sure there are youngsters that can take over the top order along with Salman Butt and Yasir Hameed. Fawad Alam is a good candidate and YET he has not played in the first 2 matches. We need to but the these young talents into the mix with Afridi, Malik, Asif, Butt, Hameed and Razzak.

    3) Sami has never realized his gift and we cannot keep thinking Akhtar will stop being a lollypop and actually perform consistently and into the next WC. Pakistan needs to test out all possibilities over the next 24 months with youngsters and then keep a stable group of bowlers for the next WC. Soaib A will NOT be in the next WC and probably neither will Sami.

    4) Kamran Akmal is a good bat but his keeping is not to par of other great keeper in this era. Again, he is an interesting situation. He can improve with the gloves and be consitent with the bat and keep his place, but in the meantime again other options MUST be tried.

    Overall, I think PCB is on the right track with one foot, but to compete with a full strength top side, we need PCB to get BOTH feet on the ground and start jogging and look to be in a sprint around 2009-2010 season, right before the WC.

    INSHALLAH Pakistan Cricket Team will make us ALL proud during the next few years and in the next WC.

    GO GANG Green.

  • nikhil on May 21, 2007, 13:05 GMT

    the ceylonese have been defeated. the nadas have ventured into the lion's den. sri lanka full strengt

  • SHB on May 21, 2007, 12:58 GMT

    Yes indeed....just like a start of nearly everything in Pakistan...a democracy or martial law....but then its back to normal....erratic, disorganized and lack of discipline....

    and sure welcome back team Pakistan....

  • Kanchana on May 21, 2007, 12:52 GMT

    Yes my congratulations to the Pakistan team, they did really well to win the series. Team play is important. Doesn't matter whether Sri Lankan team was with-out several it is key players. Sri Lanka team will have lot of hard work to regain the strength without the key players for the final game and I hope it will be another good game of cricket. This is also a good lesson to Sri Lankan team that they do need to come-up with the best when we don't have all the senior players in the team. I am sure Mahela will have his answers in the final and there will be a good show in the final game. It will not be a dead game as Pakistan will want to have a clean sweep.

    Kindest regards, Kanchana, Wellington, New Zealand

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on May 21, 2007, 12:48 GMT

    Well done Pakistan Team.It would be interesting to see the line-up for the final ODI.

    You might argue that Najaf and Fawad Alam deserve time in the XI. But then again, most of the guys in the current XI also need more time.

    I am especially happy for Salman Butt. He has a lot of potential. I hope these young guns get better and better.

  • VAAS on May 21, 2007, 12:43 GMT

    you Pakis were , are and will remain like this. Just 2 matches win against understrength Srilankan team and your team spirit is back. huh !!! Lets see when ur team play against strong teams like Aussies , South africa , Srilanka(Full strength) and kiwis.

  • Faisal on May 21, 2007, 12:36 GMT

    Kamran, I think it is a bit premature to judge Team Pakistan on these performances. SL were without five key players (Murali, Vaas, Malinga, Sangakarra and Jayasuriya) in the 2nd ODI. I'd hold the horses for now.

  • Shazad Ali Khan, Johannesburg on May 21, 2007, 12:33 GMT

    I am glad the Pakistani team started on a winning note. In the history, you never write whether the win was against a full strength or half strength team. It will be known as a win of Pakistan against Sri Lanka.Unfortunately we could not watch the match in South Africa as the super sports was not showing it but rather followed it on the internet. Hope this winning spree continues.

  • Syed Jahangir Sohail on May 21, 2007, 12:30 GMT

    this is what 'fighting as a unit' means. with imran khan, there were miandad and mudassar ... with wasim akram, there were saeed anwar, ijaz, moin khan, with frequent inputs from afridi, azhar and saqlain ... working towards a common goal, utilizing all the resources at hand .... very few notice but shahid afridi and shoaib akhtar ARE THE MOST PRIZED ASSETS in the current team... not only as outstanding performers but also as the 'crux' of the planning and strategy-making... our players need appreciation and acknowledgment .. especially shoaib akhtar, which was always missing during the reign of inzi... shoaib akhtar is the kind of a guy who when relied upon will do wonders .. if not more ... in return only needs little doses of admiration for his efforts as evident during the time of wasim akram ... what do u do with the mischievous and the naughty at school .... make them MONITORS/PREFECTS ... i am not implying that these guys are .. but they tend to be naturally 'self destructive' if not 'handled with care' ... give them responsibility, support them in lean times ... and they will take u to the heights of ecstasy we all crave for ... retrospectively play a blaming game on them ... and u'll have the rebellion of a lifetime

  • Suhail Khan on May 21, 2007, 12:17 GMT

    Mr Eager-beaver Kamran, As always, you are showing your overly optimistic attitude. Let's not rush to give any kind of verdicts. Few wins at the start of his tenure no doubt will help him to settle down, but would not make him a champion captian. In the same way, few losses at the start would not make him a bad choice overnight. Its too early to call, and for now I am all for giving him the support and encouragement but without 'seeing signs'. Cheers

  • Ashaq on May 21, 2007, 12:16 GMT

    Full respect to Malik for being an inclusive captain and sharing ideas asking for the opinions of the other players,Always the signs of a good leader.

    Credit were credit is due Afridi has taken to his role of senior adviser like duck to water.Having someone who is enthusiastic ,confident and a never say die attitude can lift the spirits of the team.Jokes aside I have to agree with Javed.A,Khan Afridi simply oozes leadership qualitys, his got confidence,charisma,an unrelenting self belief,and the support he is offering to Malik and Asif shows his character.He is transforming himself in to a brilliant team player.

    Only guy who causes concern is Abdul Razzaq,He looks like someone in a deep state of Depression.The enthusiasm and the drive he had when he first came on the scene seems to have evaporated.I think the Brother needs a break from International cricket,he should rediscover both his form and passion for the game at domestic level.At the moment he has the sullen appearance of commuters one sees in the early hours of the morning,heading of to a job they hate but need to help pay the bills.I dont think Abdul Razzaq does need the cricket financially,so he should be honest with himself and retire if the motivation is not there and playing cricket has simply become a chore.Well whatever the emotional and mental blocks are I hope he overcomes them and he rediscovers that inner drive ,be it on a cricket field or some other profession.

  • Ahmed Jamal on May 21, 2007, 12:07 GMT

    rightly said. i am not being pesimist but this would raise afridi's name for the next captain, and that can lead to the return of GROUPING....

    But, indeed you are right kamran. Atleast now they look like taking tha match on the ground, standing up to the challenge and bringing about the necessary changes to the game plan.

  • murtaza on May 21, 2007, 12:00 GMT

    Afridi for prez !! :D

  • M. IMRAN on May 21, 2007, 12:00 GMT

    hi. very good we win match but remember these openner we tried last 4 years. We need to try new opener and some new bowler... sami is not working for pakistan look his everage and look Imran Nasir techi.... plz do try new guys and keep inzi for test matches because he is a star for pakistan for last 15 years. He is nice and honest man we should respect him HE IS OUR HERO WHO GIVE US LOTS OF VICTORY... SELECTORS SHOULD LOOK INTO THE young player... they are not doing their job our board so bad and gready for posts

  • Shahid Faruqui, Detroit on May 21, 2007, 11:56 GMT

    Yes....yes....yes....Masha-Allah....fresh air...more power to them...Let us make sure that Inzi and party does not find their way back into the side. Let us keep Shoeb Akhtar and Shahid Afiridi in check. Please see both are are extremists in different directions....one is the night club guy and other is the Tablighi guy. I do not think we should burden M. Asif with VC post. For Test vice caP position, I support M. Yousuf. He is a nice religious and humble person. (He needs to learn how to run between wickets, though). Shahid Afiridi should not be given any serious post. I have watched some of his recent interviews. He is hot headed and not worthy of any leadership skills. Mohammad Younis should not be given any post as he ditched us when we needed him

  • muhammad sameer on May 21, 2007, 11:55 GMT

    yes ur rite kamran bhai ! This unity was certainly missing in inzy's captaincy , he was my favourite player but when if someone asks me about his captaincy , i'd say he's a better player not as good a captain , no exchange of ideas with other players while inzy is on the field , he just wanted to tell that my RULES are my RULES ! well malik can do wonders to this "HIGHLY TALENTED" team & will inshAllah bring great success to pakistan cricket !!

  • adeel khan on May 21, 2007, 11:49 GMT

    i hvnt seen that relaxed team for long. young and freash look is all you can see now. i too was struck by the way afridi - asif - and captain communicated just before the start of power play. lets hope the team keep this positive start intact. AND FOR GOD Sake , give najaf and fawad a chance !

  • Abdul Jabbar Kasim on May 21, 2007, 11:49 GMT

    The article is good in use of words and its rythm, Kamran is good at it. It is sign of joy and I do accept that this new knitted team will improve. The seniors and people like Kamran should first appreciate what they have done. At the end of the text/script to encourage this bunch we may add this is fine beginning you can improve and surely you discuss and learn from your senior. Do not abadte this approach in any circusmstane.

  • tabs farooq on May 21, 2007, 11:47 GMT

    Totally agree with your comments Kamran! Glad to see the regime being a little bit more open to ideas from other people. Was never really a big fan of inzi I have to say and his god like attitude in the field and off it was no good for Pakistan cricket!

  • Muttee Ahmad on May 21, 2007, 11:43 GMT

    well i hope it goes on all well for Pakistan and i certainly wish all the best and Inshallah they will get to top once again and regain the lost glory.

  • syed marsood sm on May 21, 2007, 11:43 GMT

    malik is good captian. afridi to open 3rd odi adubhabi with nazir

  • Fahad on May 21, 2007, 11:40 GMT

    Impressive beginning to a new era under a lively, young captain. Malik has what it takes to succeed as long as there are no politics involved. Lets see how he does against stronger/ full strength opposition under immense pressure. I'm 95% sure he has what it takes. Future is looking bright. Fawad Alam and Najaf Shaha to come in for the last 1 dayer please, especially Alam, who has been the best player in the domestic circuit for the past year.

    Regards

    Fahad

  • Asam on May 21, 2007, 11:39 GMT

    hey dnt u all think mohammad sami is back in form

  • Ali Altaf on May 21, 2007, 11:31 GMT

    What struck me best about this team was it's team spirit and seemingly unified outlook. Under Inzamam the team was more laid back, but having a young captain can makes the younger players feel more comfortable since it would be easy for them to talk to him more candidly than they could with inzi. Another good sign has been Afridi's attitude and his seemingly good support for malik, I can only hope that we continue to see a unified outfit like this. It's too early as you rightly pointed out but we can keep ourselves optimistic and pray to God that this team will bring more joy than sorrow.

  • Naweed Akram on May 21, 2007, 11:29 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abbasi,

    I rightly agree with you that winning this series doesn't prove anything. It doesn't make Pakistan a better team. A better (or a good) team is the one who can perform consistently. This is what Aussies have been doing for so long. Yes, they had some down moments, but overall they are the best team, simply coz they perform consistently. I would rate Pakistan a good team once they have won 4 out of 5 series consecutively. I am not saying that beating Australia would make Pakistan or any other team a good one. You can take a bunch of boys and somehow beat Aussies 3-0 in a series but that doesn't make a good team.

    What I don't agree with you or anyone else (whosoever is saying this) is when you say "Winning two matches against a jaded and under-strength Sri Lankan team does not make you the best in the world." Not the best team; I totally agree. But I would still say that give the devil its due. I have been hearing all this crap (right before the start of the Series) that SL is crippled without Vaas, Murali and Sangakarra. And in the 2nd ODI, they were without the maestro Jayasuria or Lasith, so Paki win means nothing. Let me emphasize that if they were without their star players, we too were without our cream namely Inzi, Younis, (the good-for-nothing but still rated as super-star) Shoaib. We were missing Kaneria. We were playing guys like Sami, Butt, Hameed who were struggling to find a place in the squad uptill the WC'07. And Akmal, who was only chosen coz their was no replacement, so good or bad, he had to play. So, in essence, our team was no Australia. But still, we managed to find some respect against the runner-ups. So, please don't try to take away this glory (lets hope that it is not short-lived) by saying that we won against a under-strength team.

    Best of luck to Team Pakistan. The tough challenge lies ahead (South Africa, India and then the might of the Aussies).

  • Farooqi on May 21, 2007, 11:27 GMT

    Winning matches is good. But what is even more important is that Pakistan must play the new faces in the 3rd and final ODI. They should have done so earlier. Those who are brought to Abu Dhabi, all must be given a chance. Cause Sami as we all know, can be replaced by a better fast bowler and Razzaq's prime time is over.

  • Nasir Ayub on May 21, 2007, 11:13 GMT

    Thats really great. The captain is willing to discuss plan with players and is accepting ideas from team mates. His aggression, attitude and strachidy making tactics will definately put him on path to become a successful captain. Even beating an under strength Lankan team will gain him a lot of confidance and team got their morale high.

  • Syed H Naqvi on May 21, 2007, 11:12 GMT

    Whilst the first two matches may well be a good sign for the future of Pakistan cricket, we should be cautious. We have only witnessed two ODI matches, the real test for Team Pakistan and its 'think tank' will come in a Test match series and against a good Test side. How will the team respond to pressure over 5 days and when defeated, how will they respond? These are the questions that for me require to be answered before we all enter the rosey haze of Team Pakistan and its future!

  • Umair Pervaiz on May 21, 2007, 11:05 GMT

    Indeed its a optmistic start to the Malik era. But now the sergeant Afridi, The vice Asif and the Captain Malik have to develop a united, talented and disciplined army of 23-26 individuals who are willing to be called upon anytime to serve their country with utmost pride. This leaves out Younis Khan for me as he has shown he considers his well being superior to that of the country. I mean how can you say no to the ultimate honour to captain your country twice baffles me. He might have his own explanation but he has let himself down big time.

    Things are finally looking bright for Pakistan. Go TEAM Pakistan

  • Uzair on May 21, 2007, 11:03 GMT

    Dude, you're such a tragically bad writer, it's not even funny. Give up the Sergeant-Major schtick. Now.

  • Hugh on May 21, 2007, 10:57 GMT

    Kamran, I thought you of all people would have learnt not to jump straight back on the bandwagon. Pakistan have played a Sri Lanka minus their two most experienced and arguably best bowlers and have gone 2-0 as they should, really it should be 3-0 after the series end. Wait until they play a big Test series and win that, you can't judge after two ODI's on how good they are.

  • Basheer on May 21, 2007, 10:55 GMT

    Pakistan is one of the best team in the world and i am shore that every team will be allways care full abut this team even Aus for them also not easy to handle pakistan is the great team and malik shahid and asif are great

  • Samad Saharan on May 21, 2007, 10:50 GMT

    And is this the new begining of the pakistan era? I hope so

  • krishna yonzon on May 21, 2007, 10:45 GMT

    it,s good thing to see with pakistan team. i want to see everything in comming days.

  • omar hussain on May 21, 2007, 10:41 GMT

    Well done Pakistan!!It is pleasing to see the team win but we must not forget that it was against a depleted Sri Lanka that dropped many easy catches and generally looked tired and overplayed.I agree that players consulation is vital to any captain plus encouagement and reliance and i sincerely pray and hope this spirit of teamanship prevails.I am an old advocate of Razzaq but i think time is in to try new blood like this Najaf fellow,Razzaq looked jaded and out of sorts.Inzamam had his own atitude and beliefs but frankly he is no longer the player he was and should retire albeit we must be fair with him and thank him for his services instead of attacking him; he was a great batsmen and respected captain and in his tenure Pakistan achieved memorable victories and did much to re-establish Pakistan as a force in world cricket.Losing to Ireland was a freak result; a man takes such things as part and parcel of life for no one is perfect:we Pakistanis should grow up and start treating our cricketers as human and mortal beings and pray that Allah give them health and strength to overcome all defeats and win again for all of us all over the world.

  • nomi frm kualalumpur on May 21, 2007, 10:38 GMT

    yes. he is smart. and he is not challenging anybody's ego to start personality clashes. Instead he is giving due respects to all the seniors around him and seeking thier advise sincierly to get them involved into win or loss. Excellent and very mature approach from this young lad. Best of luck shoaib.

  • faiz khawaja on May 21, 2007, 10:24 GMT

    it is a good begining. we must keep it up.Inzamam era should end and he has no place in the test team. he should not be included otherwise the whole thing will go wrong again

  • Lutf ul Islam on May 21, 2007, 10:24 GMT

    It is only a matter of time before egoes will creep up on our heroes and turn them into a bunch of idiots.

  • Tariq Saleem on May 21, 2007, 10:18 GMT

    Yup! I have to agree with you on this one. Agreed the Srilankan side was far from a complete side, and Pakistan would not have found it this easy to score over 300 runs if Murali, Vass and Malinga were playing, but its good to see the way the team played, if anything, the want was there. This is a young team so there are bound to be a few losses, but if they keep showing the same willingness and eagerness to win, then the losses won't hurt that much. At least we will know that they lost trying. Hopefully this is a start of a new era!!

  • Muhammad ILYAS from Dammam, KSA on May 21, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, Its indeed a great start of new cricket era, infact i have never seen Pakistan players so desperate to win and do well. You need to understadnd there is no super star concept any more and all eleven guys will have to contribute in equal way to post a win after win. I have seen Shoaib method and his involvement in gam and trust me he is going to be a wonderfull leader of new generation. May Allah help Pak team to continue this great spirit.

  • mohd khawaja on May 21, 2007, 10:16 GMT

    what a great come back.......always expect the most unexpected from pakistan team,but i just have a feeling now that they are on a track where stability in their performance will be their key future purpose.no doubt, you would have to appreciate shoaib malik's captaincy in this match. He took the risk and delayed the 3rd powerplay but he got his desired results....he is a good change in pakistan cricket,at least now you realize that the captain on the field is thinking something different....afridi,a huge talent,and im sure that he is going to play a huge role in pakistan cricket now,,,,you can see the pure passion in his eyes now,i still believe that until now he was misused and this is the time when the whole talented team can prove that their talent is going to win matches for Pakistan,,,,,,,ultimately its the pride that we seek for Pakistan.all the players should be united and move forward as a one unit,,,,,and i can imagine a bright future and smiles on Pakistani people........good luck my team

  • prashant on May 21, 2007, 10:15 GMT

    its gr8 to c this sort of spirit in pakistan cricket.May be this was lacking in pakistan right from the days of imran,akram,haq.....during all those periods pakistan seemed to ruled by a dictator...may be in the form of imran,inzi or akram. But shoib maleek as captain is probably the best thing hapenning to pakistan cricker....as the team looks likes more of friends or brothers working together for a common cause.....there is no disctator on the feild....But there is a leader who is ready to bend himself for the side....a leader who is ready to listen very unlike pakistani skippers..... i wish this captain and this sort of spirit bring golden days back again pakistan cricket.

  • Umair on May 21, 2007, 10:15 GMT

    Now everyone compare Shaoib Maliks every move with Inzamam's captaincy. The small conference is seen as a good sign but it is ignored how too many cooks can spoil the broth, especially when there were other contenders for the position of main cheff. It is ignored how Yousaf or Razzaq are not included in the meeting, and gestures like these can easily result in a rift in the team between senior and junior players. There is a clear sign of junior team being seniors to their seniors. This is all typical of Pakistani critique.

    What I found commendable was that we scored 313 without a big fifty or a century. It shows we are still together as a team. Let us see how long this honeymoon lasts. If Shaoib can keep this team work for extended period of time, then I would say we have done a good job otherwise I see this serious as Shaoib's honeymoon.

    In any case, it is far too early to judge Shaoib and his team. His mentality/character will be judged by how he plays in the third one day, after he already has won the series or when he plays his first test series.

  • shamee on May 21, 2007, 10:15 GMT

    this is what pakistan has been missing since a long time...team spirit...this could be a new beginning..a revival of pak cricket.

  • sohail berla on May 21, 2007, 10:09 GMT

    Congratulation !!! malik for series win over lankans. keep it up Inshaallah you will win every Title for Pakistan with full of enthusiasm

  • Omer Izhar on May 21, 2007, 10:09 GMT

    Finally we are looking like a happy bunch of players who are enjyiong playing cricket.If this team had played in the world cup we could have done so much better.These are young playes eager to taste victory and would give their best to achieve success. I feel we can play much better if we drop Abdul Razzak. By the look on his face and his performance on the field , it seems like that he has no interest in doing well and absolutely no urgency.....very very lazy!. You should be agile and agressive like Shahid Afridi, he brings life to the team. He is always involved in the game, either with hitting balls in the stands or while exchanging words with the batsmen when bowling. He makes cricket entertaining. I personally feel he should have been considered the captain or atleast made the vice captain.He is more like Ponting on the field, always chatting and a very good fielder.They made a good choice in selecting Salman butt and Imran Nazir as openers, they're a mix aggression and patience.Fawad Alam should replace Abdul Razak and Najaf Shah should be give a chance. Bowlers should be rotated so that all get equal chance to perform.

  • Atif Waraich on May 21, 2007, 10:07 GMT

    Kyaaa baat hai! Malik is definetely on the right path and it's good to see people like Afridi cheering the players up. Be it batting or bowling..I think he has played a very crucial role under Malik and Malik is appreciating it what is good to see. In my opinion Afridi deserved to be the man of the match. Nevertheless, I think it was not wrong to give Salman Butt he MoM award as he played a real crucial innings at the beginning so that even a little collapse at the end of Pakistans innings couldn't avoid Pakistan to reach 300+. Asif was impressive once again..Malik was doing the right thing by letting him bowl as many overs at the beginning as he could in the last match but this match was different. Sri Lanka was attacking and Asif was needed as a Parntership breaker. And he did it...But more importantly Afridi performed, once again in the 2nd innings. He, having after Inzi the highest winning rate for any Pakistani player in the team, will become a even more important member now of the team. I'm sure he will cement his place in Test matches as well now..

    With the captaincy of Malik and the responsabilty accepted by Afridi Pakistan seems to have a great future indeed.

    Wassalam Atif Waraich

  • syed ismail shah on May 21, 2007, 10:02 GMT

    The pakistani team always had the potential to do good. It was only that Inzimam had a single digit IQ level and was one of the most timid people every to be born on the face of this earth and under the leadership of sucha man the entire team became underconfident and developed a timid approach. Any way, discretion is not something you would expect out of a person like inzamam who is not educated and has the brain size of a hamster. Literacy and intellect, either of the two could have made inzamam a good captain. Unfortunately for inzamam, he had none of them... I cant still believe that he can still find it within himself to come on TV and say he should not be blamed for the memorable world cup 2007. Its amazing what leadership in the hands of a shallow person can lead to....

  • haseeb bajwa on May 21, 2007, 9:54 GMT

    You can only do as good as whats put in front of you.

  • Abbas Rafiq on May 21, 2007, 9:50 GMT

    Team Pakistan need to make 15/16 players in playing condition,They must start rotation policy with in team to avoid any rusty player in team like they must give chance to najaf shah and fawad alam.

  • M.ObaidUllah on May 21, 2007, 9:49 GMT

    Team is very best but boom boom Afridi's best best best

  • Jamal Feroz Islamabad on May 21, 2007, 9:47 GMT

    Dear Kamran yet again u picked up an aspect of the game which i think wud play heavily in our future winning. You r absolouty right no two opinions on sharing wisdom, experience and novel ideas within the team, which unfortunately we were lacking in the great inzi's era. Though i think with the inclusion of 02 uncapped player does not make this team young yet the junior players are now actually getting the taste of pressure which the inzi took all onto him. Apart from wining against World Cup-Semi Finalist team,despite absence of some of their key players, one thing made me feel more happy that the way they cope with the situation when things were hanging in balance and it seems that once again ever-relying mahela may once again lead his team to another glorious victory, our team and players showed tremendous temprament. I believe and hope that if we keep playing with this spirit we could even match better side of cricket world. In the end my gratitude to SALMAN BUTT for his butiful knock and happy to c him back in the team. Good Luck to him Good Luck to Pakistan.

  • Safa on May 21, 2007, 9:41 GMT

    In my opinion Inzamam brought team spirit and nurtured it and Malik has made it even stronger. MashAllah the team looked in terrific form and a strong unit. I hope they remain the same forever

  • anon. on May 21, 2007, 9:37 GMT

    Still early days

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on May 21, 2007, 9:37 GMT

    Call me a pessimist but it will probably take a couple of tough matches to get back to the norm in Pakistan cricket.

    Which is bickering, power struggles, infighting, dispirited performances and attitude problems.

  • Mohammed-Khubaib on May 21, 2007, 9:31 GMT

    Hello,I am glad that pakistan team are playing as a confident team and the captain looks positive with his approach.but i plead to pakistan manage ment that they should give shoaib malik fair chance to captain even if pak loses 1 or 2 series.They should pick 20 to 25 players and persist with them for 3 to 4 series in this way they can build a powerful team for 2011 WC.Thank you.

  • Usman Majeed RWP, Pakistan on May 21, 2007, 9:31 GMT

    Good to be back on the winning ways. But the real tests will come in the SA/Ind/Aus series. Good to see Afridi (the most senior member) taking the responsibility and performing when team needed the most. But there are some areas which need improvement, especially the out field blunders we saw in the 2nd match. and a mistake by malik to continue asif for 8 overs in the first spell.(should be maximum 6). and not to forget the poor running between the wickets.

  • Riz Khan on May 21, 2007, 9:27 GMT

    "Pakis are Rockers" if they are united.. Best of luck for the team and Good luck for the new Captain..

  • Nabeel Ahmed (Perth / Australia) on May 21, 2007, 9:26 GMT

    Well there is a very famous saying which goes like, "Success is not permanent and failures are not fatal". I think being a die hard Pakistan supporter I will take victory in a cricket match in every shape, way or form regardless. After last one year of discovering new rock bottoms this is a welcome change and hope and pray that it is here to stay. As you have said it was nice to see players discussing options as they all realize that they are ultimately responsible for their actions.

  • hayas on May 21, 2007, 9:25 GMT

    yes come on pakistan play like this no one cant beat u

  • Md Shahanur Rashid on May 21, 2007, 9:25 GMT

    I want to congratulate Team Pakistan on their series win.It will help them to put behind the sordid memories of the world cup.

  • Nabeel Ahmed (Perth / Australia) on May 21, 2007, 9:24 GMT

    Well there is a very famous saying which goes like, "Sucess is not permenat and failures are not fatal". I think being a die hard Pakistan supporter I will take victory in a cricket match in every shape, way or form regardless. After last one year of discovering new rock bottoms this is a welcome change and hope and pray that it is here to stay. As you have said it was nice to see players discussing options as they all relaize that they are utlimately responsible for their actions.

  • Ashkar on May 21, 2007, 9:15 GMT

    Pakistan had everything to play for! SL looked a team that was not interested in being in Dubai after a long world cup campaign and it showed in their selections and scratchy fielding. Pakistan has not yet proved anything

  • Irshad Muneef on May 21, 2007, 9:05 GMT

    Pakistan in general has played well in Middle East. Captains from Waqar, Lathif, Moin, Akram have won trophies for pakistan in the ME. We as pakistani supporters thought pakistan is in for a new begginning right after victories in sharjah. It always turned to be big disspointments. The real test for pakistan comes when they face stronger opposition in different surfaces.

  • Ahmed Qaisar on May 21, 2007, 9:04 GMT

    Its just too early to say how far or how good this outfit will perform in more demanding situations like the upcoming test series against south africa. That said it is most definately a refreshing sight to see a younger fitter and more energetic captain using all his resources and the thoughts of his fellow players to win the game. One can only hope that we get to see more of this and these guys are allowed to develop into a solid team. There is still hope.... go Pakistan!

  • Ali on May 21, 2007, 9:04 GMT

    I think this Pakistan series win does not mean anything. Come on it’s only a SL second team, and if Pakistan does not win 3-0 then it’s embracing for Pakistan.

    I feel sorry for Pakistan supporters they do not deserve this. Pakistan one of pre favourites for WC and got knocked out in three days. Wining this series will not bring the smiles back because Pakistan team was appalling in the world cup. They should win when it matters not when it doesn’t matter.

    Comment for Shoaib Malik, yes he could be a better captain providing he does not become big headed and a dictator like inzi.

    For me these playes play for themselves and not the country. Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan, Shoaib Akhtar, Imran Farhat and to be honest these playes do not deserve a place in the team. Why does Australia win all the time, because they play for their country and are proud of it. If pakistan team plays for their country they can be miles better than Australia because its all natural talent in this country.

    Pakistan needs a set of buch who would play for country, die for coutry and not ply for money, themselves, match fixing. Why why !!!!!

  • Khalid Khan on May 21, 2007, 9:02 GMT

    Think-tank or no think-tank, there is no denying that the team has really being given a new life. Hats off to Sallu bhai for giving the chances to the boys who want to prove and for the management to have enough sense to make Shoaib Malik the captain and sending Inzi where he belongs ????

  • Fasih on May 21, 2007, 8:59 GMT

    Agreed!The on field think tank theory and a quick discussion about field setting is a great thing to do. For once the boys do seem enthusiastic and animated about their cricket and the team has a visible spring. They give the impression they are up for it and ready to take challenges and tackle them collectively. The fact that the boys with Malik,are still young enough and each have a point to prove to themselves, needless to mention the captain himself, will also help the cause of the team. I think, appointing Malik as a captain can be regarded as one smart move from the board in recent memory, in the wake of the crisis Pakistan team has gone through.

  • Ahmed Sheikh on May 21, 2007, 8:59 GMT

    well we all know how much Good pakistan is on Batting tracks, i want to see pakistan performing on Bowling, fast and bouncy tracks. We have a major problem there, scoring truck load of runs on batting paradise is our speciality.but we have struggled against SA and Aus as well minnows like IRL on bowling tracks. This Win is good, but there are many Milages to cover.

  • Syed on May 21, 2007, 8:58 GMT

    I am sure all the fans would be pretty happy to see the enthusiasm & come back of paki cricket team. Shoaib as a captain is a good choice by PCB; long ago they would have make this decission but it wouldn't be possible in the presence of Inzi. Not to blame Inzi as he has done his part with showing us good cricket except the last world cup. I wish pak to play a good cricket in all the coming tournaments and hope can see them win over aussies

  • Samarasinghe Nuwre on May 21, 2007, 8:58 GMT

    No Murali, Vaas, Malinga et al. Pakistan are playing a shadow team. It is craven madness to make such sweeping conclusions.

  • Muhammad Tahir Khan on May 21, 2007, 8:58 GMT

    So much right, Kamran Abbasi.....this was the sting which we have been missing for a while, and as you say under-strength Sri Lankan team...it might be true but you must understand their moral they've been finalist of the grand event of Cricket History. They were the last team to walkdown from West Indies and we were in the 1st place to walkout of the WorldCup. Similarly we also have been missing Shoaib Akhtar and Younis, we have brought in the players who didnt played International cricket for a while. So i think thats a great effort from the youngsters. It doesnt matter if we Win or Loose the thing which matter is the Effort, passion which they have showed in crucial moments of the match.

  • Razi on May 21, 2007, 8:53 GMT

    I am glad to see Pakistani players putting efforts as a team, players are looking more responsible than before, overall they are looking lot better. credit should go to all the players and not to forget PCB. there are reasons i am giving credit to PCB as they have introduced Performance based evaluation program plus they have put their foot down for discipline etc.. Every player should know that they have job to do and if they can’t do the job as expected then they have to leave and someone else will be given the job to perform. Players should be given fair amount of games ( 5 test and 10 ODI)to perform with very clear job description /responsibilities and expectations, so from day one player will know what he have to do if he wants to be in the team. As Pakistani we love to see our team winning all the games like Australia, but for that our players have to be through professionals in all parts of the game. I congrats to all Pakistani team and specially the caption Shoaib Malik for the series victory.

  • Syed Masood on May 21, 2007, 8:48 GMT

    I remain unimpressed. Inzi's team could have won in this situation as well - lets see what this 'new look' unit (though full of old faces) can do on pitches where the ball actually moves a little.

  • L.S. Gill on May 21, 2007, 8:48 GMT

    Well done the new look Pakistan team.We can look forward to a very bright cricket era with you having a young and eager side. It is better to the past behind us rather than looking for scapegoats. India was no better and both teams deserved to be in the super eight,but that is cricket.My very sincere good wishes to the players and team management.The type of cricket that you play is admired the world over and let us have more of it.It is not too late to have a long term plan for the world cup in 2011 with you as host jointly with B'desh, India and Sri Lanka.One humble request is that you should bring back Shoib Akhtar in and have someone to control him in and out of the field !Good Luck . Lall singh Gill, Malaysia.

  • Ammar on May 21, 2007, 8:48 GMT

    Welcome back indeed. Watching their exuberance against an admittedly weary and passionless Sri Lankan team bought glimpses of the young team we had in '92. Its been a long time coming - but welcome back indeed Team Pakistan.

  • L.S. Gill on May 21, 2007, 8:48 GMT

    Well done the new look Pakistan team.We can look forward to a very bright cricket era with you having a young and eager side. It is better to the past behind us rather than looking for scapegoats. India was no better and both teams deserved to be in the super eight,but that is cricket.My very sincere good wishes to the players and team management.The type of cricket that you play is admired the world over and let us have more of it.It is not too late to have a long term plan for the world cup in 2011 with you as host jointly with B'desh, India and Sri Lanka.One humble request is that you should bring back Shoib Akhtar in and have someone to control him in and out of the field !Good Luck . Lall singh Gill, Malaysia.

  • rauf on May 21, 2007, 8:39 GMT

    kamran.. stop making a fool out of yourself... do you really think the srilankans care about the outcome of the series.. why is it that the pakistani team starts to play well right after the world cup.. its BECAUSE the other teams dont care

  • Naeem Shah on May 21, 2007, 8:37 GMT

    Absolutely right! the difference between Inzi and malik is that Inzi always waited things to happen for him and Malik has the ability to make things happen for his team. No worry if pakistan looses contests but with this ability, team spirit and match-fighting will always be there. Good Luck Shoaib Malik, Good Luck Pakistan.

  • sagar chittori on May 21, 2007, 8:35 GMT

    good performance..though the real task will begin only when they will play game with a full strength team..anyway somehow i feel hafeez should be given a chance as well as personal advice for M. Sami (as i like him) that other than bowling (which requires a good length as well as mind reading of the batsmen prior to the shot) he should also look to improve as a batsman, need not be too good but team should be able to trust on him for 15-20 runs even against a good bowling attack..ALL THE BEST to pak team

  • Mehboob Ali on May 21, 2007, 8:29 GMT

    I think Afridi has shown in the this recent series against sri lanka that he is a key man for pakistan..Afridi main job is bowling, bating is his plus point..we all knows he plays uncousiously most of the time, but his nature can not be changed.

  • Usman Mushtaq on May 21, 2007, 8:24 GMT

    I agree with you that it was good to see that captain and other players discussing. And specially in second match when they were being hit all over and then malik comes into bowling taking the pressure on himself was a good strategy as Imran Khan always says that change the pace of the game when things you are being struck. Not to forget that srilanka is not the same side as in the world cup, they lack their most of key players and their feilding has been really very poor and pitches are almost flat. But i hope and pray that there is still time and pakistani players should learn to play swing and spin. We have lost inzimam who was good against spin. It would be interesting to see how new team goes with genuine spin bowling though bandra did expose our weakness. Afridi's technique in first match against spin would not work with all. A simple clever wide ball would have make him fall. Anyway credit shouldnt be taken away from Pakistani players, It has been a lot of pressure on them after world cup and specially on captain. Pakistani team needed this victory badly to regain their confidence no matter how it comes.

  • Owais on May 21, 2007, 8:21 GMT

    Like I have said before, I wish this unit all the best but my assessment is that we have same old problems, fielding crumbles in pressure situations, batsmen throw their wickets when they are all set to make a century, bowlers bowling couple of hit-me balls every over. However, the biggest threat is the carry over of Inzi era selection policy and burdening Asif with extra responsibility of vice capatainship. This Sri Lankan team had only one of its established match winners, Mahela, among the rest Tharanga, Chamara and Lasith Malinga are permanent memebers of Sri Lankan team. Mahela, Sangakara, Vaas, Murali - dont forget this comprises half the Sri Lankan team. Finally performing in Abu Dhabi is no proxy for good performance in demandind venues and events like ICC Worldcup, ICC Champion's Trophy, matches in SA, England, Australia....in all these locations and events, all our "current" stars have turned out to be novices. My advice - cautious optimism.

  • Sabir Ali on May 21, 2007, 8:21 GMT

    I thing they should try new players now and replace the rust player this is a right time to make the changes I hope Malik can do that. ALL THE BEST MALIK AND COMPANY. AND GOOD LUCK TO SHAHID AFRIDI....

  • Hassan Amin on May 21, 2007, 8:18 GMT

    It is very nice to see the young guns act like they are, asif and afridis agression, knowing that Malik saab has their back, i think gives them more confidence. It was great to see their reactions after each wicket, havent seen this for a long ass time. Man, you can tell just by the way they are hugging eachother on how differnet the team attitude is. These guys are really making this a very enthusiastic group to watch, they may have played an under strenght side and they might not win, but it is atleast fun watchin all of them!

  • Ikram-LA on May 21, 2007, 8:16 GMT

    it is good to see young enthusiastic legs happy to run around, except for razzaq and yousuf. They seem unfit and out of shape. welcome back pakistan. shoaib and the young guns have bought joy to their fans. no matter who the opponent was. It was a pleasant sight seeing salman and yasir playing so well. I wish they were played in the world cup.

    I hope they play najaf shah in the third match.

    here is hoping the best for pakistan cricket team

  • Hashim Khan on May 21, 2007, 8:15 GMT

    Brilliant performance by pakistan.The confidence with which malik led his team was heartning too see.Especialy under the pressure conditions when he chose to delay the powerplay, made him look as if he's doin the job since ages.Well Done Team Pakistan it surely is bak.

  • Naeem on May 21, 2007, 8:08 GMT

    Hi Kamran, i'd agree with you - this team looks energised, hungry and willing to work towards one common cause. Having said that, i feel Afridi has shown enough to be made long term Vice Capt. Asif is far too young and inexperienced, even Butt would have been a better choice if looking for a long term replacement.

    For me the standout of this team as compared to the WC team was the energy levels and this was helped by Malik being a good fielder, i think the days maybe numbered for the journey men in the field like Razzaq - we cann't afford to carry such fielders - leaking easy runs just kills the momentum.

    I thought the bowling was pretty tight, and i'd like to see Sami more as an all out attacking option - it amazes me why he does not play every ODI when his record and average is pretty good as compared to his "dismal" Test average. He can field and bat - which makes him a versatile ODI player. I'd like to see the return of Arafat to this young team.....i think we shouldn't look back now and go for youth/fitness!

    Congrats Pak for showing some pride :)

  • Rash on May 21, 2007, 8:03 GMT

    I wonder even playing to Srilanka B team pakis are so poor in fielding and still sticking with old chaps no new player is give a chance so far. Why the heck Razzak is chewing his arse in the team with lack of batting and bowling, he should be kicket out immediately and given chance to others, seniority does not matter just perform and stay thats the cricket now.

  • sikandar on May 21, 2007, 8:00 GMT

    the begining of the malik era maybe promising, but the hard tests are yet to come. pakistan players have to learn to put the team before themselves in evey aspect of the game. when we learn to do that, we will be as good as any team in the world. pakistan doesn't need any superstar on the team bucause a supe star thinks that he is above everyone around him. by not having an superstar on the team, pakistan will have a sense of equality and all the "SENIORITY" will matter no more. it is time for a change in pakistan cricket and the change has begun. so far, it has been promising. lets just hope the new era brings new heights in pakistan cricket. PAKISTAN FOREVER!!!!!

  • Ali on May 21, 2007, 7:59 GMT

    I was impressed with Kamran's article just before the world cup started and this artcle as well.

    One thing common about both the articles are that Kamran is optimistic yet warning the think tank (shoaib and company now and Inzy and company at that time) of the short comings they may face.

    Calling Imran, Wasim, or Javed for motivation speeches etc. may be a good idea but i would give atleast couple of chances to Kamran to develop a motivational program for Pakistani Team.

  • Mehdi Ali on May 21, 2007, 7:55 GMT

    well said KARMRAN ABBASI, Its correct, the pakistani team was looking very unite after a long time the TEAM SPIRIT was missing for so long and now we hope that this young side will be ready by 2011 WORLD CUP and I believe there should be a team of best 22 players from PAKISTAN and these 22 players should rotate throughout this period ..... WELCOME BACK TEAM PAKISTAN

  • theprophet on May 21, 2007, 7:54 GMT

    Naaah...they were just talking about where to get more drugs!

  • Aizad Hussain on May 21, 2007, 7:54 GMT

    The real difference so far is the improvement in our achilles heel....the Top 3. When the second wicket fell in the 2nd match, the score was 143-1. In the first match, the score was 84-1 when the second wicket fell.

    In our first 2 World Cup matches, we were 17-2 against West Indies and 15-2 against Ireland.

    A recovery cannot be measured on flat, docile wickets. Get Nazir, Butt and Hamed into Enlgish and Australian conditions for 12 months and make them into the world class batsmen that they can be. Don't worry about near term results, let the team carry on being beaten for a year. Without batsmen who are groomed to tough it out, all near-term results will be destroyed when we face any of Australia or South Africa (and for that matter, England).

    Pakistan is a notriously confidence-dependent team and as you point our it was the individual flair of Afridi that changed the momentum of both matches. That can't be relied on for a new dawn, what we need is a true continuation of the batting run for the Top 3. I would be interested to see Pakistan's win ratio when the Top 3 score >100 against our overall average, can that be computed?

    Aizad

  • saint on May 21, 2007, 7:46 GMT

    only reason pak won because of an under strength srilanka team..wait till murali,vaas,malinga,sanga and jayasuriya returns!! dream on mate..you guys will never be able to beat lanka!!! LOSERS..

  • Iftikhar Ahmed on May 21, 2007, 7:46 GMT

    Well Done Team Pakistan, series win will bring up the morale of the team but they still need to be tested in real. There are weaknesses in the team which cannot be over looked. Consistency is missing from batsmen. If Salman Butt would have been out earlier it would have been a totally different story.

  • Jawad Tahir on May 21, 2007, 7:45 GMT

    So far so good and sincerely hopes that this does fall apart like "EGO PROBLEM" eras of waseem or inzi.

  • Saj Shah on May 21, 2007, 7:38 GMT

    Well Done Team Pakistan. OK, the Sri Lankian team was understrength, Never the less a win is a win. Excellent Batting by Boom, Boom and the first game. He failed in the second but made it up with the ball. Pakistan, also looked hungary during each wicket, we laked this under the inzi reign. Team Pakistan, believe in yourselves - Win the Asian Cup and then conquer the Aus Juggernaut. One More thing, Our attack was excellent last night. I know not everyone is a fan of S Akhtar, but with him as a 4th strike bowler with Asif, Gul and Sami, wow what an attack.

  • Anwar Malik on May 21, 2007, 7:28 GMT

    ALL HATS OFF TO THE PAKISTANI CRICKET TEAM and especially to our new captain Shoib Malik, mine and I think all of the nations well wishes are with him. I couldn’t agree with you more that “when Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, and Mohammad Asif gathered to discuss how to bowl and set a field to Mahela Jayawardene it struck me that this was a sight Pakistan cricket has been missing. The team huddle is all well and good but the team think-tank is a far more valuable concept” and “Under Inzamam-ul Haq the Pakistan think-tank had ebbed away. All thinking resided within his tank-like frame”. He was no doubt one of the great batsman ever to play the game but he ruined his image by his actions as a captain, he still showing the same attitude, in my opinion now is the time when we should all forget about the past since there is nothing can be done about that anymore and shut him up for ever, (mattee paao is the best word) and support and look to the future.

    There is one great thing I noticed about Shoib Malik was his interview at the end of both matches and I was not able ignore the improvement in his English and the way he handled the questions, this shows that he is willing and working to learn, which is a great quality of a good leader. My well wishes and prayers are with him and there is no doubt in my mind that he does have the potential to become a successful captain.

    Regards Anwar Malik Karachi, Pakistan

  • bilal raza on May 21, 2007, 7:22 GMT

    Wellsaid Mr Kamran. It is a new beginning. It could still be a false dawn. Well the positives that I am seeing from this match is that there's that thing "UNITY" in the team. Everyone's eager. More willing to play. More willing to perform. More willing to win. Shahid Afridi was outstanding. I must say that there were times in the game when it looked Shahid is the captain. He was leading from the front. This is the Pakistan we wanted to see. Openers clicking, bowlers clicking and the team clicking. However, I feel Abdur Rehman is a better choice than Razzaq. Razzaq had couple of chances, yet he couldnt score. Abdur Rehman is a better bowler.

    I still think that Salman need to work on his technique if he is to become a permanent and successful opener of Pakistan. He still has that tendency of playing a ball outside the off stump without using his feet. Rameez mentioned that he can get away with this tecnhnique in Sub-Continent but he cant play like this in Australia and England.

    Our fielding is still a major concern. We have performed well. Let's hope that we continue our performance like this.

  • Azmil on May 21, 2007, 7:18 GMT

    It’s nice to see this type of a captain for Pakistan who would like to listen & debate. Afridi’s rise as a leg spinning all rounder is also a very good sigh for Pakistan. But one must remember that Pakistan playing against almost like Sri Lanka A side without their stars. If Murali, Vaas & Sangakkkara played things would be really different.

  • Shadab Manzar on May 21, 2007, 7:16 GMT

    Well Done. Keep it up

  • Muhammad Haris on May 21, 2007, 7:12 GMT

    Congrats to Shoaib Malik for his Mainden Series Victory as a CAPTAIN.......:)

  • JahanzebKhan on May 21, 2007, 7:10 GMT

    Well, u are absouletely right.... This is what we call a team is, a captain shouldnt become a dictator;) Good going boys, utilize the seniors for their ideas has always resulted in a success.... Malik is a good choice, but Afridi would be an aggresive and experienced captain. But doesnt matter, keep planning n keep winning...

  • Nouman on May 21, 2007, 7:08 GMT

    I think we should withold judgement until a few more series with a full strength opposition has gone by...its too early to comment on Pakistan's performance

  • Haroon from UAE on May 21, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    well played pakistan everyone did a great job congrates to Shoaib Malik on his first series win as a caption.

  • Farooq on May 21, 2007, 6:59 GMT

    The team definitly showed professional approach to the game, and malik seems very much willing to take bold decisions by manipulating rules of game. I particularly liked his decision of delying third power play, that at the end brought them back on track. I'd never seen such manipulation from inzy, and many other captains. It may not work at times but its good to see malik trying to think hard in order to win games. SEcondly the idea of a bowling vice captain is also interesting, and should go well in theory.

  • Mazhar on May 21, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    Hi, I think Shoaib Malik done a good work to handle pakistan Team for time been. I hope good work carry on..

  • Javed on May 21, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    Typical pakistan and typical hopes that they will continue like this

  • usman on May 21, 2007, 6:57 GMT

    Its a good start, though fielding was below standard, especially in the second game.I think Hafeez should be in, especially on spining tracks and anyway Razzaq was not really impressive, so Hafeez's inclusion can give the batting some more depth and he can also be used as an effective bowler

  • S Haqnawaz Habib - Dubai on May 21, 2007, 6:57 GMT

    Well .. consistency is the key, if the performance is consistent then who cares? In my opinion the new talent should brought into the team more often. We need talented and smart player. Althought the sense of playing cricket in the domestic level and international level is different.

    Anyway, it's a good start. The come back of Akmal as a bastment and the come back of Afridi as all rounder was the key. Let's keep going ..

  • Adil Khan on May 21, 2007, 6:52 GMT

    Let's hope this is only the begining of a change...

  • Nusrat Hussain on May 21, 2007, 6:51 GMT

    I agree that the think tank meeting in the middle of the match was a great sight to watch Team Pakistan. Kamran, I must admire your pick of the incident and bringing it to notice. I did enjoy your 'tank frame' remark for Inzimam, but now is the time move on. Forget and forgive would pay towards the improvement of the side.

  • seeker on May 21, 2007, 6:51 GMT

    As usual Kamran blows the trumpet after two victories against a under strength Sri Lankan side. I fear the same would happen when India comes back from Bangladesh with a series win. The past will be forgotten, the fans pacified, and the show will go on for the rest. Why is our memory so feeble? We will continue to win on subcontinental pitches for years to come and come croppers abroad. And the same debate will continue for decades to come. We(The subcontinent) have become a nation of mediocrity. Just have a look at our politics, infrastructure, caste system, poverty. We do not want to change the rot as we are comfortable living in it and I think we wouldnt know how to live without it !

  • Sayed Ibrar Hashimi on May 21, 2007, 6:50 GMT

    I have been long waiting to see such a team where youngers are encourged to shoulder the responsibility. I think it is a good and seasonable start for Pakistan after a disastorous worldcup show. This time, it is a young, energetic, united and aggressive team as compared to the one under the leadership of Inzamam -ul- Haq. The only difference can be seen at top order especially the opening pairs. A perfect opening pair match is selected & I beleive these guys can always give a good start to Pakistan as long as they play like professionals.

    It is known everywhere that Pakistan is having a good middle order bunch of players & hard-hitters as well. The only problem Pakistan has been witnessing was a good opening start & hopefully this team can liminate the opening problems with the span of time. As long as Pakistan is not having the opening problems, I strongly beleive that it will be hard even for Assuies as well to beat a team like Pakistan, where there is players like M. Yousaf,Shahid Afridi, Yasir Hameed, Shahid Nazir, M. Asif, M. Sami, Omar Gul & a gifted captain like Shoaib Malik.

    At last, all I want is that the players should stand united behind their captain and support him. As well for the selection committee to select the players based on their performance and professionalism not based on relationships and family background.

  • Tariq Vaid on May 21, 2007, 6:49 GMT

    But the progress is too pre-mature to state...it depends on only 'if n only if'...so lets hope for the best n keep our figers crossed...

  • Shahzad on May 21, 2007, 6:48 GMT

    Like what Kamran said, I thinks its a bit too early to say anything, but its nice to see the team doing well. Well Done Malik and best of luck.

  • M Mahboob Hossain, Shuvro (Dhaka) on May 21, 2007, 6:46 GMT

    All but the same story again. Under a new captain, the Pakistan team looks to be very efficient, united, one for all & all for one & all the good things that a professional side should have, until the individuals starts showing their color. Before shooting the gun, wait until Mr. Akhter, Mr. Younas & Mr. Inzamum returns. And of course, as the team has some bad loses recently; the PCB officials have restrained their “Biting Spirit” some what.

    During Inzamum’s time most I found him very defensive as a captain, as a selector & very stereotype in is use of the bowlers. I hardly found him pro-actively putting pressure on oppositions (@ Bangalore & Karachi (Vs. WI) he gave opposition enough opportunity to play out for a draw; during his captaincy days of 40 odd months, I can remember only 1 major players breaking into the team (That too Asif & A Rehman debuted in matches where he was not available) & I hardly can remember Inzi changing from his initially planned bowling sequence (Despite Rana suffering with the new ball, he never thought of bringing him as 1st change. The result is that Rana is out of the team, who probably is most committed & improved player in last 3 years & team has lost a fantastic option for the dead end of the match).

    Has it changed anything with Malik? I was surprised not to see Najaf & Fawad in the team. What else a youngster needs to be in the team than Fawad? And is the think-tank (If there is any) planning to debut them against South Africa? Subcontinent team, especially Pakistan has always been benefited from unveiling raw talents (Not the type of Inzamum’s youngsters like Farhat, Faisal, Sami, Arafat, H Raza, Hafeez etc. who after 5/6 years of international career, regularly been protected for the sake of learning as an “Youngster” after regularly repeating same mistakes). I was a bit upset as 15 years old boy, when Imran favored for someone Waqar Younas, instead of Saleem Zafar & you know the rest. Imagine Wasim winning the WSC cup virtually with few “Seniors” & lots of youngsters.

    Also I was surprised for the thinking of the PCB for appointment of a new coach. Can’t they target someone from Australia, who not only plays the best cricket domestically as well & probably the mind status of the Pakistani players do match more this the Aussie type of attacking cricket, rather than the defensive English of South African game? Over the last few years, Srilanka had been the most developed team in sub-continent, reminiscence of the team managed regularly by an Aussie. When I look back & think from Dav has brought my country to this level in 2 years, hats off to the Aussie Coach (It’s not the coaching, it’s their education from their domestic system).

    I don’t think we should take the credit of because of the under-strengthen Lankan team. Still they are a professional side & Pakistan also was missing few players. Rather, I was upset with the type of display, it’s all the same, chasing mediocre score losing wickets stupidly & relying on an Afridi blitzes, not making partnerships in the top three wickets, & most importantly, no top order playing out for a ton. The middle order is still throwing wickets unnecessarily & at time when you need not to do so.

    I still believe Malik’s main challenge will be when Pakistan plays Test. Honestly, he is not a capable Test player. I rank him among the very best ODI player in contemporary world, a perfect candidate for ODI captain, but, sorry, he has long way to go before cementing his place in Test 11. Where are you going to put him? He is neither good enough to hold @ 6 as a specialist bat, nor good enough bowler to play @ 7 as an All-rounder. Only solution is for a 5-2-1-3 combination, (5 Batsmen, Malik & Afridi/Razzak, WK & 3 bowlers), but then the selector’s should not have said their plan of specialized team.

    And last, but not the least, Wait Malik & everybody hold your breath; here comes the Rawalpindi Express.

    M Mahboob Hossain (Shuvro,Dhaka)

  • Tariq on May 21, 2007, 6:45 GMT

    Malik's captaincy had sum flaws...but nevertheless, the team-meeting, discussion of ideas was a welcome thing to see...and the players who werent performing under Inzi's era are now performing...like Salman, Yasir, Akmal, Afridi...are all now performing...only the young guns n young legs can take Pakistan forward...hope to see further more convincing n nail biting victories from Pakistan...

  • Muhammad Ali on May 21, 2007, 6:44 GMT

    before welcoming the team Pak, lets not forget in the last match it was not a calculated assualt by Afridi that rescued pakistan it was a blindman slog. furthermore in this match the Sri Lankans dropped plenty of catches, which enabled pakistan to post 300 plus total. And and lets not forget that it was an under strenght opposition. As far as i can remember the Aussies and the South Africans do not have habbit of dropping catches. The Botton Line: there is still a lot of haed work to be done. CURE THE DIESES NOT THE SYMPTOMS.

  • Atiq Ahmed (Hong KonG) on May 21, 2007, 6:41 GMT

    Well Done Team PakistaN............ this was a much needed victory for the pak team... even the srilankan team was not at its best with four of their main players missing but still they were a good side .... no one wants to loose and same for sri lanks..... pak played welll .... it has always happened like this that when the team looses a series or tournament they come back strongly to show their country pepole that they can win........they have to keep winning... now pak dont have to play international games for a long time but they have to reamin in touch .... have to attend summer camp... i know that 20-20 world cup has not that much importance in the world today but winning is always goood and we want our team to win that tournament and the forthcoming series against SA, india and Aussies............. We all wish them best of luck....

  • shahab on May 21, 2007, 6:40 GMT

    GREAT SERIES WIN..Paki Power is back

  • Fahad on May 21, 2007, 6:39 GMT

    Good start for a new captain, I just hope we can continue to build on it.

  • Intelligence Exploited on May 21, 2007, 6:38 GMT

    Yes, Mr. Kamran, it was the most delightful view of the full match, in which four young players gathered and discussed about how to win the series. Really it was the pleasent scene of all the scenes. I always beleived that afridi is a matured person in his ideas regarding captaincy.. probably he's being underrated due to his lack of consistency in batting. I hope somebody in the management get realize after this series that afridi is a real team man and should be the deputy of malik as malik has himself said that he is a team booster.

    And finally, it was really a joy to see the bunch of young players.. all young players played to their potentials, showed energy on the field.. a series Pakistan needed desperately, though the real test would come later but I think the beginning has already begun!

  • Vinay Joshi on May 21, 2007, 6:35 GMT

    It was team spirit nothing else. Something which was missing when Inzy was captain..Good to see Pakistanis come back. Also thanks to stupid contracts of some players with county cricket. It amazes me everytime, what is more important for you, playing for your country or playing for more and more money. I had high regards for Sangakara, though no regards for super slow bowler Vass or chucker Murali, but Sangakara disappointed me by such a move. But all praise for Pakistan for defeating world cup runner-ups convincingly. Keep up the good showing.

  • ASIF ALI on May 21, 2007, 6:33 GMT

    yeah Kamran bhai,its great to share n discuss & highlight some points & idea together. that thing alsoshows unity in the team as well. Malik must continue this things.

  • arshad on May 21, 2007, 6:28 GMT

    congratulation pakistan team.Keep it up.But we will admire you when you show same perfomance against AUSSIES...

  • Alee Emran on May 21, 2007, 6:27 GMT

    Now shouldnt we be happy after a series win against the under par srilankans. shouldnt we be happy that our batting has flourished against a third rated srilankan bowling attack. should we rest on our this victory or should we think that what will happen against a real bowling attack. A coach is as important as the team itself the fielding was not even in the same postal code as being good. Offcourse this was a great achievement but wasnt against the greatest of the opponents so we still need a lot of hardwork.

    None of the pakistani players is in top ten odi ratings which shows that pakistan wins by team effort more oftenly by opposing team's effort

  • Kashif qadir on May 21, 2007, 6:27 GMT

    I believe its too earlly to comment on positives. But i agree it was a refreshing site to see young talent rather then old legs. While Yasir hameed scoring, younis khan might be having second thoughts about coming back. The real challenge will come when Younis , Shoaib, Inzamam return for test sides.

  • Sabeel-Calgary,Canada on May 21, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    I think there is nothing to get too excited about right now although its a good start to a new begining. Good to see malik accepting ideas from others and trying to be aggressive. I am hoping this team shapes up to be a good one in foriegn conditions as well.(Since U.A.E has always been like a home away from home for Pakistan). Afridi has been fantastic in the last 2 games. I seriously think the added pressure of being a senior player and more so an important figure in the side is helping him. Happy to see him being in a positive frame of mind even tough he had expressed dissapointment over not being handed the captaincy. And last of all this team looks much better off without a coach.

  • Sher Khan on May 21, 2007, 6:19 GMT

    "Team Pakistan" ? Never heard that one before. Sounds a lot like "Team India". Lets stick to original names.

  • Hammad Khan on May 21, 2007, 6:19 GMT

    Well, you're absolutely right. This is something that the Pakistan cricket has been missing for quite a while now. The PCB has had this bad habit of assigning the captaincy job to mostly the senior-most player in the line-up, regardless of whether the person has the leading potential or not. Take, for example, South Africa, who made Greame Smith the skipper when he was mere 22, despite the presence of Old horses like Kallis, Boucher, Gibbs even Rhodes and Kirsten. But you know, this is what long-term planning is all about. Smith took South Africa to World cup semis, and a just a couple of matches away from a World cup victory. So lets hope that this fresh change induced by PCB works out well for this Pakistan side and our success graph starts rising up again under a new leader, with atleast, some sort of innovation. Gud Luck Shoaib.

  • Luqman on May 21, 2007, 6:09 GMT

    Kamran: it would be a delight if you could stop bring up Inzamam's captaincy in comparison again and again if you continue to do so in a negative light. Inzamam had a successful tenure as captain. Just because Shoaib Malik won his first two ODIs and we see him using his other team members to formulate a plan does not make his approach any better or worse than Inzamam. Congrats to Shoaib. Honors to the spectacular Inzamam.

  • shabut on May 21, 2007, 6:07 GMT

    It was indeed a good sight to see a group of players laying out a strategy in the middle of a match which was missing for the long time. I would like to be an optimist but there is also a fact that can not be ignored which is the number of stars with realtively permanent positions in the current team. The history tells that the more stars you have the less of these mid match meetings exist since everyone thinks of himself the superstar therefore no need to consult others. The egos start to play a big role. It is too early to tell whether the current Pakistan team will prove the past wrong since most of the players are still trying to cement their place in the team.

  • Saeed Dadabhoy on May 21, 2007, 6:05 GMT

    Its still early days. Cricket in the UAE is never "real". There is more form than substance. How good this new-look will become known once it goes through the grind of a real test and ODI series.

  • Junaid on May 21, 2007, 6:03 GMT

    Yeah, its nice to see Youngsters are showing their abilities. As captain Shoaib Seems mature and cooperative with team members. Discussion with bowler before an over and consulting with other seniors is good sign and shows that Pakistan can back to his track very soon. Though its too early to say .. but its a good start anyways.

  • Zahid Irfan on May 21, 2007, 6:02 GMT

    Hey Kamran you are reading too much into this.. However I am also equally happy. And this speaks about the Pakistan team fan club.. They will forgive the team on the first sight of effort (not necessarily wins). We are happy they were putting in effort and It was also nice to see inzi in the place where he belongs... Sit on a sofa and talk on TV Expert Show :)... Best of Luck Malik, Afridi and Asif... I was thinking that this would improve three folds when Younis comes back to the team.. he is such a motivator and nice brain too...

  • ZafarYab Ali on May 21, 2007, 6:01 GMT

    Great Series win for the Come back of Pakistan team to boost their in built capabilities and natural talent. It is infact the perfect start for the MALIK that is well backed up by the seniors like Great Muhammad Yousuf and Boom Boom Afridi. Overall this will boost the moral of Pakistan cricket and will give the supporters of pak cricket "Sukoon ka Saans" means a great relief. Well done Pakistan Cricket Team and keep it up. I still personally think we miss Great Younus Khan.

  • Abdur Razzak on May 21, 2007, 6:01 GMT

    This is what we wanted to see. Good work MEN in Green, continue the good form.

  • Saeed Ahmad Lodhi on May 21, 2007, 5:59 GMT

    Its certainly a dawn of a new era ... despite the success which Pakistan had in the first two matches played against Sri Lanka, they still need to focus and plan ahead. For instance, the running between wickets is terrible and Greg was so right when he mentioned that Karman Akmal has taken the role of being the worst runner after Inzy's departure. Although I think that Later was wrongly blamed. Secondly, Malik should be brave to make decisions on his own, his two post match speeches at the closing cerimonies clearly states that he is highly influenced bu the seniors in the team. In the second match he should have sent Afridi much earlier. I guess he will learn quickly, his over all performece of OK.

  • Ali on May 21, 2007, 5:58 GMT

    I think Pakistan team needs to be given more credit. Granted Srilanka was without Murli and Vaas but Pakistan was also without Younis and Shoaib Akhtar. I dont think it makes either team any more or less dominant then the other. Given such a scenario, I think Pakistan deserves full praise in beating Srilanka, thr runner ups of 2007!

  • SHAHZAD MOIN on May 21, 2007, 5:58 GMT

    Wonderful opportunity grabbed by the youngsters by both hands.Suddenly the team's outlook became young with the exist of burly inzamam.It is really good to see the boys thinking and plannig on the field instead of chewing gums and waiting for some miracle to happen.

  • Omar on May 21, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    I have to agree with you Kamran, this is definitely a good sign for Malik's era... I also agree with the three involved in the discussion: Malik has to be in it, Asif, being the official deputy and spearhead of the bowling, should be in it, and then the third being Afridi makes it comforting in many ways. Afridi is the most experienced active player in terms of ODIs, as well as the best Spinner for the One Day team, and he also happens to be one of the better fielders... it says alot of Malik's abilities that he is using all his resources in figuring out what steps to take.

    I would also like to add that i truly loved his bold move in bringing himself and Afridi on before the 20th over and not even using Razzaq. I know that he had already seen Spin do the job for SL, but even then to give himself a bowl when he hadn't bowled a single delivery in the last match says that he is willing to try different things, and adapt. GREAT JOB PAK, KEEP IT UP!

  • SHIYAM RAZAK on May 21, 2007, 5:46 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abbasi,

    No matter, whether Paksitan beat under strenght Sri Lakan side or the full Side.

    It is the Sri Lakan National team, with 11 players who has convinced the selectorts to play at the highest level after necessary first class qualification and not just after school or not just those who have started to play cricket.

    So it is very important that we should praise the win of Pakistan.

    If you look at the Pakistan side it is naturally a yound side with most of them are in and out for last 3 - 5 years.

    Also, when a you look at the AFRIDI case, it is very convincing that he react like a real team man and also he has understood the responsibilities as a senior member of the Pakistani line up.

    This is what lacking in his career, he was just their to entertain the crowd and not to convince the selectors or to satisfy his captain.

    One thing for sure that Pakistani authorities should persist with this same side for at least for a year to get the maximum results.

    And they should never allow players like Younis Khan to get in to the team when he finishes the county season.

    My personal oppinion is that Younis khan Should not be concidered for any future one day matches.

    com-on team pakistan's young guys and the team management for the very good dsiplay in the on ging series.

    Regards Shiyam

  • Farooq Y Butt on May 21, 2007, 5:41 GMT

    Welcome back Pakistan, Nicely said but since you made the point of under strength Srilankan team, three main players missing I wouldn't say welcome back Pakistan. The thing which was refectled yestarday by Srilankan team by dropping Malinga and Jasuriya was they were not taking these OneDays as seriously as they should have, which is really surprise. In the strat of the Series, I knew this Srilankan Team would pose any challange to this Pakistan Team. I expected Pakistan to win 3-0 start of the series and they will win 3-0. About the Pakistani Team, I feel Pakistan is still missing a Batsman in there Line up may be Fawad Alam in Place of Abdul Razzaq can help. Guys don't get me wrong Pakistan did exceptionally well it is a great step toward the right direction, but one thing to remember Oneday cricket will be lot different then Test cricket. there won't be Shahid Afridi to help them there. In last I would like to say is Pakistan as almost got a right combination for Oneday cricket which is a great sign for future.

  • Muhammad Murtaza on May 21, 2007, 5:40 GMT

    Pakistan cricket team have done great job and congratulation to all Pakistani cricket fans...and I think in second match again Afridi did his best to win the series...best of luck in future....Muhammad Murtaza from Afghanistan

  • Raashid Shunthoo on May 21, 2007, 5:34 GMT

    Indeed, this victory was much awaited.Even if you play against a depleted opposition still you have to score and still you have to win.Memories of Ireland will be still fresh in the minds of players.I dont agree with Kamran, when he says that planning went in as to how dismiss Mahela, but having said that one can easily feel the entire team played as unit and contributed their part.Shahid Afridi, as always ( not so usually) gives this team a cutting edge.Salam Butt and Yasir seem to be consolidating.Asif is good as usual.In short, it is shaping up for better encounters.Let us all hope that it will be good begining of Pakistan Cricket after most awful episode of Jamaica.

  • Umar Khan on May 21, 2007, 5:33 GMT

    Kamran, once again I don't agree with your comparison of Inzi and Shoaib Malik.. NO not even as captains, Shoaib can never be Inzi and Inzi can never be Shoaib, both are different personality, both have different style of managing and playing, both are different leaders, please stop comparing them. Inzi has given lots of good to Pakistan cricket than the few bads that happened (he didnt give it) to Pakistan cricket in the form of Altaf etc. If Inzi kept his thinking to himself then so did Imran Khan, he never discussed his ideas on field with others but he is termed as the most successful captain of Pakistan. It doesnt matter how and what the captain thinks, what matters is whether what he planned and put into action was successful or not - most of the time it did and Inzi was seen as a good leader and in the World Cup - only and only in 2 matches players didnt play well, more politics was done than cricket - why blame and start comparing, please for god sake it was not Inzi alone, you people, yes you Kamran have left him alone though. Please respect Inzi for all the good that he did single handedly as a player and as a captain. While he was in form and when he used to walk in the field his opponent would wet their pants only with the thought that this Think Tank should not think of destroying their reputation to pieces, it this think tank who would cleverly shuffle his bowlers to bring the opposition on their knees, it was this think tank who stand like wall to take his team home on winning notes. I am happy that Team Pakistan has done well and I am also happy with the energetic way that he is carrying the team (it is too early to conclude though) - but fine performance shouldnt be felt good by bringing in negative thought about Inzi - this is unfair.

  • MK Beg on May 21, 2007, 5:32 GMT

    yes the un-bridled enthusiasm is back but a lot of hard work is still needed, fielding for instance. in my opinion, yusuf, razzaq are now a liability in the one-day arena. younis is not interested to play for his country as the almighty $$$ comes first. the new guys selected should be given a chance to prove themselves.

  • Hasham on May 21, 2007, 5:29 GMT

    Very much agreed Mr kamran! I beleive that we should support this team and combination without making them BIG HEROES and let them prove thierselves, In the history we have seen pakistan coming back from some shocks like 2003 world cup in a positive manner but again in 4 years time span ,some how they loose this unity and sharing of the ideas which you are talking about .I beleive its just that malik is new and he is listening to more people ,we should pray that malik stay in his cloths even if he manage to beat some good oppnenets only then this unity can stay for a longer time and we can take advantage of this. Yes we witnesses a positive attitude from our beloved team and we wish this carries on for an infinite duration.

  • Ahmad Bilal Khalid on May 21, 2007, 5:28 GMT

    i totaly aggree with you Kamran, this team does look a little energized and with a douze of good fielding coach we might be back in the buissness end of the world of cricket, now as pakistan has won the series, can't we blood the youger guns like Fawad Alam by resting the BIG Yousaf (i m not saying to drop yousaf bhai as it will be sucidel i am saying give him rest and have a look at the so called next big thing) and please include NAJAF Shah instead of the Umer Gul as Wasim Akram himself has said this Lad has potential, WELLCOME BACK TEAM PAKISTAN we are with you in your down and up both days because we love you

  • Tanzil on May 21, 2007, 5:27 GMT

    You are rigth. They are doing a great job on the field. Very positive.

  • Asad on May 21, 2007, 5:26 GMT

    good victory but i like to see fawad alam in place of razzaq and mohammad asif restin makin way for najaf shah

  • Syed Rahman Bokhari on May 21, 2007, 5:25 GMT

    Very nice team work, as it is described by kamran abbasi, its youth or energy or something but it really looks a refreshing change. Most countries want their team to behave the manner our team did so far under new umbrella of captaincy. As it said even with current efforts, you can't compare to TEAM AUSTRALIA because they earn that status, the status that can't be earned in days....or weeks or even months... it takes years, it ask you to go in the field & play hard each hour or each minute. I was embarrassed at Pakistan world cup debacle but always want it that way for 2 reasons, first, they never deserve to win the title or go even close to it, second, going into second round can gave them lots of excuses to carry on the same setup. We want change in attitude. What ever Malik did so far is commendable & I like the fact that he wants to follow Wasim Akram attitude, who I considered Pakistan’s best caption by far along with Imran Khan. One thing more I want from our new caption is to raise his own personality, as he is the caption of the nation, of an international team, he looks so humble & polite up till now, I don’t mind this entire attitude but a little more personality can give his team mates more respect in front of other countries or matter of fact anywhere, because all members & even others look to the caption body language and that does count. All the best to the team & hope they can bring some new comers specially in batting department.

  • Sameer on May 21, 2007, 5:20 GMT

    Too early to say if Pakistan is back on track. Let them win consistently in all conditions and major oppositions. then we can say they are reviving.

    SL once again have proved, they are nothing without Murali and Vaas. All games minus this 2 playes except Rajkot ODI, they have lost.

    And thanks to heavens that there r no over the top blabberings from Mahela Jaywardhena. Perhaps nothing to say after spineless performance.

  • Shahzad Khan on May 21, 2007, 5:17 GMT

    I think it was refreshing sight yesterday when I saw Malik, Afridi and Asif discussing the strategy before starting an over. This was missing from our team for a while. I agree with you kamran bhai when you say that Malik must have the final say. The team members have to forget whether they are senior or junior in the team as they have to work as "one unit" regardless of their positions in the team. Another thing that selectors should do is to stick to one combination for sometime and let the player settle down in that particular position as too much shuffling/changes can also demotivate a player. Last but not least, team managment and board should focus on the fitness levels of all the players and they (team management and members of board) should not compromise on that. Regards, Shahzad.

  • Arif Shah on May 21, 2007, 5:17 GMT

    Bravo! Welcome back indeed. Now this is what we have been yearning for.. And I dont speak of victory (albeit, that too). It is so refreshing to see a young player in charge; due to his ability to hold his place in the team - rather than his senior citizen status. We're watching, and we're dreaming, Team Pakistan...

  • Amin Dilawar on May 21, 2007, 5:12 GMT

    nicely written couldnt agree more, shoaib malik has just been a breath of fresh air. Its been so much fun to watch such a young and enthusiatic team out there.

  • Q magic on May 21, 2007, 5:11 GMT

    something positve from the kamaram abbasi pen of tricks, for a change. interesting-

    good to see youth at the helm bringing enthuisiasim, long may this success continue.

    bring on the Twenty20 World Cup! can we win it without losing a match- its possible.

  • Syed A. Huda on May 21, 2007, 5:08 GMT

    Could noy agree anymore on your comments regarding the usefulness of discussion among team seniors during the match.That definitely was a welcome sight during today's match. At the sametime, I would refrain from finding only faults with Inzamam's era. Yes, we were disgraced when we lost to Ireland and could not find a spot in the super eight. Lack of planning and application is considered to be the main causes of the failure. But, to be honest, did we really win all the matches during Inzamam's era without any planning and application.? And if the answer is 'No', why would he not plan for the most imporatant tournment in international cricket.? It is his failure that made us to look for all these absurd reasons. I have not seen a single mention of the pathetic fielding/catching performance of Pakistani team in today's game. Why.? We won the game. I wish Shoaib Malik and his team all the success in their future assignments.

  • Mahmood Akhtar on May 21, 2007, 5:07 GMT

    I hope that think-tank will keep on the consultations to make a real Team Pakistan! The comments about Inzi are just amazing, a true reflection of his personality! With malice towards none off course.

  • Sri Lankan on May 21, 2007, 5:07 GMT

    yes its good to see that shoaib is willing to listen which was not found under the leadership of inzamam. But i fear with experience as captain and some wins under his belt, that inzi-attitude will grow in Malik's mind as well

  • Fahad Jalil on May 21, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    Thank you Kamran Abbasi!! You have taken the words out of my mouth!! I repeat... we are not short of talent, we just have'nt put them to right places till now...

  • Mahmood Akhtar on May 21, 2007, 5:06 GMT

    I hope that think-tank will keep on the consultations to make a real Team Pakistan!

    The comments about Inzi are just amazing, a true reflection of his personality! With malice towards none of course.

  • Shah faisal Pathan from peshawar on May 21, 2007, 5:04 GMT

    Well done and very well done indeed pakistan team. congragulation on wining series and continue a team sprit for fuature better than this.

  • Masaood Yunus on May 21, 2007, 5:00 GMT

    Kamran, I should say you are being too optimistic this time. The acid test will be when the team loses a couple of games. This is when the real "Welcome Back Team Pakistan" will be announced. All is well when things are going well. The real test is the "bad times". Good wins, no doubt about it but its too early to judge. I will give Pakistan one home and one away series before a carpeted welcome or ? Fingers crossed, stern tests lie ahead !

  • Nuruddin Lakhani on May 21, 2007, 5:00 GMT

    Winning the first two games against the (under-strength) ruuners up of the World Cup has worked like a healing medicine for the traumatic early exit from ill fated World Cup for Pakistan.

    Besides all talks about the differences in captaincy and the strengths of the youth, the most striking thing is the confidence of the openers. I can't remember the last time when we had two consecutive confidents starts in ODIs.

    Razzak appeared a little out of league in the last game, and it won't be a bad idea to give him rest for a new pace bowler in the side. The batting has developed a depth and with openers getting confident starts, we may not need batting upto number 9.

    Go for the clean sweep young men . . .

  • ayaz arshad on May 21, 2007, 5:00 GMT

    This team looks extremely good. But I think shoeb Malik needs a professional coach.I dnt know why Pakistan is not hiring world class players as a coach like Imran khan and Wasim Akram.They have lot of talent internally who can give pakistan the best..Steve Waugh is also great choice.

  • kunal on May 21, 2007, 4:57 GMT

    Rejuvenated pakistan team comes up with 2 big wins against world cup finalist srilanka. Shadid Afridi as usual comes to party in both ODI's with both bat and bowl. I personally feel somewhere that shoiab is missing in this new pakistan team. ALL THE BEST GUYS..

  • Mo Khan on May 21, 2007, 4:56 GMT

    Kamran Bhai,

    With all due respect,I have worked for the PCB, I know how this entire deal works. How can you continue to feign legitimate coverage of such a shambolic bunch of psuedo-athletes and administrators? On the 2 month anniversary of losing to Ireland, "Welcome back Team Pakistan"?

    All you Pakistan fans are entirely deluded, and to think you are excited and being fooled again by the same ol' farcical routine would be amusing were it not so alarming.

  • Hafeez ur Rehman on May 21, 2007, 4:56 GMT

    This result of team work and batsman, Bowlers good perform and captain as well, it was a very good traget, Lets see in future that all this things will work togather. if they do... Insha Allah Resulat will more finer

  • Rehan Qurreshi on May 21, 2007, 4:56 GMT

    We dont have anything but an unlimited supply of optimisim .... so optimist shall we be :)

  • Sahil Khan on May 21, 2007, 4:54 GMT

    Very rightly pointed out! It is too very early to draw any conclusion at all. It was afterall a stripped-down version of the Sri Lankan team and not the full fledge star studded team that played the World Cup final. NEVERTHELESS, Shoaib Malik seems to have provided that right kind of "thing" that Pakistan needed to revive the thinking-team-unit concept. THE QUESTION remains, how long will it be before Shoaib Malik starts walking in the footsteps of the likes of Inzi, when it comes to captaincy. HOW LONG will the taste of freedom and democracy last in Pakistan............................................CRICKET!

  • SHERAZ on May 21, 2007, 4:53 GMT

    One more things. Pakistan always love to play in Sharjaha or something which looks like Sharjah (Abu dhabi stadium) because whenever Ball is coming on the Bat; Pakistan posted very good total on the Board. The scenario will immediately changes whenever we play on seaming or grassy track so these victories are good but not everything for Pakistan Cricket. PCB should strng their 1st class structure with grassy and good bouncy pitches. Altough after this they may loos many matches but they will then be habitual to play cricket on every pitch and may produce good results on every fixture.

  • mushtaque mohammad war on May 21, 2007, 4:52 GMT

    it seems that the age of pakistan cricket has begun well under the leadership of young shoaib malik, with the bunch of young cricketers around him.pakistan team contains the experience & vision of mohammad yousuf, who can guide them with his valuable inputs, which he has achieved through all these years. on the other hand, present pakistan team has many all rounders in its kitty who can turn the match at any point of time in its favour, they are having the capabilty of playing big knocks and big shots. this present pakistan team is looking formidable & well balanced,all i can say is that ,if they will perform like this from now, they can beat any side. i have seen fire in their eyes to win. this is the one point pakistanis were missing.

  • SHERAZ on May 21, 2007, 4:49 GMT

    Yes, It is very good sign that captain wants to listen things from some senior or jonior players for the sake of winning for his country. Now a days fresh blood, youth wants to listen things so that they may produced some good results. Look at Afridi attitute in 1st ODI when Kamran Akmal afraid for run and there was a mixed up... And Afridi give him confidence rather than shouting on kamran's mistake. Although Aridi contribution on both ODI was memorable but it looks that he is giving a message to PCB that he was better choice for Captain or even Vice Captain. He can handle the things better with his aggreesion & attacking frame of mind. Do you agree with this? But I think vice captain should be Afridi as Asif has long way to go with Pakistan Team.

  • Syed Ahsan Ali on May 21, 2007, 4:44 GMT

    Best thing happens to Pakistan cricket. Consensus, forming an opinion after debate, not just by authority. Well done and good luck, Pakistan team.

  • paki on May 21, 2007, 4:44 GMT

    afridi gives his 100% in field either with bat if not that then with the ball he is always 100% in fielding thats what makes him crowd favirate

  • Robanio on May 21, 2007, 4:41 GMT

    After 2003 world cup debacle a fresh Pakistani team was sent to Sharjha and they come victorious. Pakistan twins win against Sri-Lanka is exactly the copy of whati mentioned above. The only differnce is few new faces in the squad and the venue for ball games. They would receive a big welcome with papep petals and emotional slogans on Lahore airport, exactly like 2003. We are so naive and emotional. After sometime the same team would face defeats on hard surfaces. The same players would face chanting. Belive me nothing would bring a long positive change with our existing domestic cricket structure. Strengthen the basic cricket in the country or always cleam ur throats for " ZINDABAD & MURDABAD" slogans.

  • Sheraz Malik on May 21, 2007, 4:38 GMT

    It is too early for any of this in my opinion. Thank you for pointing out the fact that it was a very watered down Lankan team. I disagree with your statement about "all thinking resided with Inzi". Inzi probably doenst even know what the word means!! Good Luck Pakistan.

  • Yousaf--Canada on May 21, 2007, 4:38 GMT

    I truly agree with you Kamran about the "huddle". I think it is very important for the team as it will bring unity in the team and will motivate others for teamwork. I couldn't help noticing that Abdul Razaq did not bowl. It seemed a bit odd to me that when Umar Gul was being beaten brutally by the Lankans, the Captain didn't put any faith in him. But i think it is good to show the big boys (Board and Selectors) that Razaq should not be playing after all! He was and is bad with the ball altogether and as far as his batting is concerned; it is like a blue moon which comes and goes all the time! I think he should be scrapped just like Azhar Mahmood and bring in someone new or give the chance to those two youngsters! By the way Good Job team! and Good Captaincy....juggled the bowlers really good!

  • Ahmed Hassan on May 21, 2007, 4:38 GMT

    Welcome back indeed, we've been waiting for a while. I like the idea of a think-tank for Pakistan more than for any other team. The reason is that in Pakistan, a single person doing all the planning results in a gradual shift towards all power resting with that person and dictator like tendencies growing. I think the lack of a think-tank in the previous Pakistan team resulted in consolidation of power in Inzi and therefore, his dictator-like attitude.

  • Thahir Raza on May 21, 2007, 4:36 GMT

    Send Afridi 1 down batsman n make him as the 1st spinner after the power play.......and maliks ruling is quiet an awesome one........best of luck

  • Fayyaz Azam on May 21, 2007, 4:35 GMT

    After watching the game today, fortunately enough we have recorded a win against Sri Lanka, but I don't think we are anywhere a good professional team. Pakistani team did NOT display the required caliber in any of the faculties, neither batting nor bowling and of course not in fielding. We did see poor wicket-keeping too.

    We still have to go a long way and we should not get wrong impressions/ideas by beating Sri Lankan's B team.

  • shakir on May 21, 2007, 4:34 GMT

    its really good to see Pakistan cricket after the poor run at the world cup.Shoiab malik a young blood seems to make the things moving in the right direction.But its really sad to see that how we treat our great players like inzi.....

  • Abdul Baseer on May 21, 2007, 4:33 GMT

    Abbasi, please give us a deeper view of Malik's captaincy. Cricinfo is missing comments about that aspect of Pakistani cricket...

  • anwqi on May 21, 2007, 4:31 GMT

    team pakistan 1st

  • faraz shaikh on May 21, 2007, 4:30 GMT

    Very well said "Welcome back Pakistan".The young blood, fresh enthusiasm, new think-tank has got back Pakistan on the winning track. Watching those young boys, working along with great spirit, backing up each other, the sight is been missing from the Pakistani scene. Th cold blood of Inzi has gotten into Pakistani team under his captaincy but now it seems everyone wanna perform , everyone dont only want to play his part but also want to take responsibilty o win matches single handedly.The sight of mahela getting bowled by Asif and returning back to pavilion watching in the eyes, this is known as cricket, this is what we called passion and spirit on the ground.I dont say that every move by shoaib has been brilliant, I dont say that Pakistan is going to win every match now, there are still some areas that need to get improved but atleast thet boys has shown that they are working hard and they really wanna win everything and that is what I think we pakistan as a nation want just fight till the end no matter what the result is ......Well done Pakistani team........

  • KENTHIRAN on May 21, 2007, 4:30 GMT

    AFRIDI - is an asset to the pakistan team. he is becoming a genuine all rounder. if he fails with bat his bowling work and vice versa. a choice for vice captain or captain in the future. thanks for late Wob Woolmer to identified Afridi's tallent

  • Shamim Habib on May 21, 2007, 4:28 GMT

    Hi Kamran and Everybody; I certainly agree with what you had to say Kamran and as an ardent fan would like the team all the very best. But honestly the communication skills of Shoaib Malik and for that matter most of the team are awful; below par and honestly ashaming. People everywhere make fun of them and I see why. I mean on the dice they are asked something and they answer something completely irreleveant. I understand some of them are new and from country side but what of players who have been in the team for years. I mean Shoaib Malik has been in the team for atleast 7 years now.......... disgraceful man. Makes me realy wonder what these guys do when they are away from the game. PCB should seriously consider a crash course on communication and genral grooming of the 25 or 30 players it considers as the key pool. These guys are afterall the representatives of the country and we are affected by the perceptions they create. Kamran as a supporter and a fan I request and demand a piece about this and please tell me how this can be forwarded to someone who matters and cares................

  • Zeeshan Asim on May 21, 2007, 4:26 GMT

    Hi viewers ! First of all congratulations on winning the series . Yeap Mr. Kamran Abbasi that the thing that matters is the fighting spirit which we can saw in this team . My best wishes are with you . On the other hand i would say that without Murali Srilanka looks well below power . What would happen when Murali will retire . Srilanks shuold pay attention to this.

  • imran abbasi on May 21, 2007, 4:26 GMT

    Dear Kamran, I am a regular reader of your blog & though at times, differ with your views, I enjoy reading it for bringing some common sense into writing about Pak cricket. Your latest about a think tank evolving within this "new-vision" team Pakistan, is I think too premature at this stage. Its too early to conclude, esp. against an under-resourced SL team, that this is a dawn of new era of leadership & team sharing. One thing struck me odd though when you mentioned the huddle of Afridi, Asif & Malik. Where were Yusuf or Razzaq, the 2 seniors in the team & why were they not being consulted? although its heartening to see the team starting on a winning note (because defeats to this below-par SL team would have meant a complete curtains on pak cricket), its' real test will lie in the future series against tougher oppositions. In my personal opinion, for future series, Afridi should be the Captain or the VC choice at the minimum. Notwithstanding all his abrasive actions, Afridi does have a flare for leading his teams well, be agressive in his approach & keep the opposition guessing all the time. The only hitch I see for him is his relationship with Yunus (with both being tempermental & having a history of fighting each other), when he re-joins the team.

  • Shamim Habib on May 21, 2007, 4:25 GMT

    Hi Kamran and Everybody; I certainly agree with what you had to say Kamran and as an ardent fan would like the team all the very best. But honestly the coomubication skills of Shoaib Malik and for that mattermost of the team are awful; below par and honestly ashaming. People everywhere make fun of them and I see why. I mean on the dice they are asked something and they answer something completely irreleveant. I understand some of them are new and from country side but what of players who have been in the team for years. I mean Shoaib Malik has been in the team for atleast 7 years now.......... disgraceful man. Makes me realy wonder what these guys do when they are away from the game. PCB should seriously consider a crash course on communication and genral grooming of the 25 or 30 players it considers as the key pool. These guys are afterall the representatives of the country and we are affected by the perceptions they create. Kamran as a supporter and a fan I request and demand a piece about this and please tell me how this can be forwarded to someone who matters and cares................

  • Syed Aziz Shah on May 21, 2007, 4:25 GMT

    Well the victory against the major players missing from Sri Lankan side well give them the temporary pleassure.I think pakistan team is the best in the business when it comes to dead tracks.On the faster pitchers we will not see the enjoyed and success as they did in previous two matches.It's a hart truth subcontinental teams show dismal performance on hart and seemy surfaces. Time well tell whether pakistani team can translate this enthusiasm against the stronger sides or not. Lets be patient and hope for the best. BEst of luck pakistani team. May God protect you from inner politics.

  • Yasir on May 21, 2007, 4:18 GMT

    Seems like boyz have been hungry for this kind of win after a humiliating exit from the World Cup. Kudos to Shoaib's lieutenants and soldiers. Let's hope they emulate this series win with future victories.

  • waseem on May 21, 2007, 4:18 GMT

    After a long time i saw the pakistani team changing strategies and planning ball by ball. It is a very good sign with young and telented team. I agree that SL was not playing with full strength but they were best 11 from SL. Under Inzi, the idea holders had to stand on the third man or the deep mid wicket so that they can't interfere. Long Live Pakistan!

  • havic on May 21, 2007, 4:18 GMT

    yeah i agree with u Kamran bhai. Shoib Malik may have had a good start but... it was still a weak srilanka side. Yet our team had great spirit which was missing in Inzammam's time. Overall, great team performance!

  • Muhammad Waseem on May 21, 2007, 4:17 GMT

    Yes, I agree with your thinkings. Yes it is need that a consultation is necessary. Captain should make game plan with his team members, about how they bowled to the opposition and how they got them out. If a dangrous batsman in the middle. It is good thinking. Yeas pakistan team is on winning track. I Afridi in a match fails with bat then he succeed with bowl. He is precious player of the Pakistan team. I hope bright future for Pakistan Circket.

  • Nadeem Saeed on May 21, 2007, 4:16 GMT

    Good observation - overall 2 good solid performances by team Pakistan. However still some room for improvement. Firstly running between the wickets, Kamran Akmal needs to sort himself out (doesn't know whether he is coming or going literally !!) Ground fielding really poor technique namely Abdur Razzak and Umar Gul. Bowling still not convinced we have the strenght and depth required. Shoaib Akthar will need to convince selectors he has the commitment and fitness to return to the fold.

    Sri Lankans have not been at the best but will there are valuable ranking points up for grabs. 3-0 whitewash will take Pakistan to 3rd in ICC ranking. Not bad after our dismal world cup performance. Are you watching Aussies !!

  • Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on May 21, 2007, 4:15 GMT

    The hot weather, the fan-filled atmosphere and the overall ambience of the UAE suits the Pakistan Team perfectly well. Earlier some great performances were witnessed and countless tournaments won at the Sharjah, and now the records have started to be made at Abu Dhabi. So much so, that India have openly refused to play Pakistan in Sharjah and specially on a Friday afternoon, which used to be the worst nightmare for the Indian fans.

    I guess Pakistani Team should make it a point to play a few games in UAE whenever they are ‘down’ and ‘out’ ;)

  • Raja on May 21, 2007, 4:11 GMT

    No place from Abdul Razzak in the team. Replace OLD A Razzak with young Fawad Alam.

    Replace out of form Umer Gul with Najaf Shah. Umer Gul & A RTazzak are very expensive Raja Sialkot

  • Amir Khan on May 21, 2007, 4:10 GMT

    One swallow doe not make a summer!!

  • HANIF Noorani on May 21, 2007, 4:10 GMT

    Bingo TEAM PAKISTAN!! After a long time, we could see our Team playing rather than a set of gifted individuals. InshaALLAH Malik would prove himself a great leader. Best of luck to us and every Pakistani Fan

  • Mabsoos Ahmad on May 21, 2007, 4:07 GMT

    Well done Shoaib and congratulation on winning the series, although it is not the full strength SL team but winning is more important.

    Well thought article Kamrab Sahib. There is bias in your article but the fact is there. This is what I have earlier written that planning and in the middle to make stretegy for the opponents with a group of players is very important. Shoaib has done this and going forward it is a good sign. I am not saying or harping on this victory but let us build team with positive rather negative. Altough, learing processing should never be stopped. Recently I was going through a article from Mr. Bucanan the Aussies Coach that the Australians are a good learner and every player is eager to improve their mistake and it makes the Australian unbeatable. I am of the opinion that if Shoaib and Company, adopts this attitude, it is going to make a big difference and as Kamran Sahib says, Malik's era has begun and I agree with him.

    But, Mr. Malik you have to try your bench and give Fawad Alam and Najaf Shah a chance to prove his talent. It would a good idea to try these youngsters.

    Well done Malik and Company !!

  • Rohaan on May 21, 2007, 4:07 GMT

    This is a team which Pakistan has been missing for the last 7 years; the combination of bowlers & batsmen is so perfect. I am sure this team can beat the World’s best team which is Australia. Thanks for the support of Afridi to young captain and for the respect of the captain to the senior team members. All the best Pakistan team!!

  • Muhammad Tariq on May 21, 2007, 4:05 GMT

    I think Kamran Uncle got absolutely right, Pakistani team play like unit. Infact cricket is a team game and you will got success when all the player will united and cooperate with each other. We saw this spirit in Pakistan team after a long time since the great Imran Khan. Good luck Shoaib Malik and Good Luck "TEAM PAKISTAN"

  • Nabil F on May 21, 2007, 4:05 GMT

    An excellent start to Malik's era indeed. New blood, new ideas, a sense of responsibility on Afridi's shoulders, the future looks bright for Pakistan. Now await the naming of a suitable coach.

  • Vimal on May 21, 2007, 4:04 GMT

    This is wht we call Team Spirits, without Ego's, Sharing thoughts. This is the killer instinct of which Pak is famous for whc was missing at World Cup.. Now, Hopes, Malik will move ahead with this spirits and we can cheer up the same... for atleast Pakistan, and now our Great Team India (just only words)will learn atleast n try to remove ther star status for team spirits.. ALL the Very best to Shahid Afridi for Great Come back, Great Future for Pak new captain - Shoaib Malik.

  • Usman on May 21, 2007, 4:01 GMT

    Yes Kamran. Indeed that was the site that we were waiting to see for the longest of times. A discussion. I just hope that they keep it the same way. The aggression shown has been excellent. Some times over aggression (Asif). Intersting thing to see will be how we can transform such a spirit in Tests which will be really crucial.

  • khurram on May 21, 2007, 3:58 GMT

    These youngsters have still a lot to prove.but, atleast, the the start is good.

  • Sameer A Malik, Michigan, USA on May 21, 2007, 3:54 GMT

    Exactly! Loved the scene that you mentioned. But i will still question the role of Mohammed Asif as a Vice Captain, i mean that guy doesn't seem like a team man, he seems a quite innocent guy who just concentrates on his own bowling and performance. The way Afridi has dominated the team during the field in both matches it is apparent that PCB will have to over look for the decision of VC, i mean apart from his own outstanding performaces in both matches he did more than that in the field, communicating with bowlers, fielders, captain, and cheering up everyone in Hot weather of Abu-Dhabi and i feel like Malik is extremely inspired from Afridi.

    Over all look of the team is very good and somehow overcomes all the ambiguities surrounding all over.

    It was worth watching the guys winning the series and coming back to pavilion happily congratulating each other.

    Malik still gets confused at times, lets hope he learns fast and becomes more smart in taking decisions.

    Didn't Afridi deserve the Man of Match today as well?

    Well Done Pakistan Team, and looks like Mr. Kamran Abbassi's brain is also freshened up, he is coming up with good topics lately.

  • Hubert Cumberdale on May 21, 2007, 3:53 GMT

    I am glad to see that Pakistan are looking to the future. Australia have rightly set the benchmark in all aspects of the game and it is encouraging to see other teams learning.

  • Sabir on May 21, 2007, 3:51 GMT

    this is a time of great pleasure after a horrible kick out from worldcup of Pakistan team. Now it looks that this is a team unit game. Although afridi played a major role in both ODI's but remaining players also effort for theri best. We hope that team will play with confidence and present mind. (Aamin)

  • Gorilla on May 21, 2007, 3:48 GMT

    Cya Lanka

  • Kami-dallas on May 21, 2007, 3:43 GMT

    I honestly think that we need to get danish kaneria and imran farhat ( that lad with the stylish batting stance!) back into the squad because they have great heads, and can contribute to the team think that. Farhat specially is very mature. What do you guys think?

  • Salman on May 21, 2007, 3:42 GMT

    The last Pakistani cricketer to impart advice upon his captain was probably Miandad – and that’s only because he wanted to share his opinions whether the captain wanted to listen or not. One reason ideas have to be shared is because the team is so young. In the current squad only Yousuf, Afridi, Razzak, and of course Malik, have played more than 100 ODIs. Whether successful or not, I’m glad to see everyone in the team involved in the decision making. Although we say this every 4 years, hopefully, a new era has dawned on Pakistani Cricket.

  • M A Mujeeb on May 21, 2007, 3:40 GMT

    We must not read too much into the performance of our team. However, it is a good beginning and augurs well for the future of the Pakistan Team. Shoib Malik should not allow Asif to bowl 8 overs in his first spell. Six over spell would be ideal because he is Pakistan's main bowler and should get enough rest before the second spell. A piece of advice for Afridi. He should try and stay at the wicket. He does not possess the technique to slog fast bowlers as was evident in the second match. In the beginning he should try and paly carpet shots and once settled, he can go for big shots. I thought both Afridi and Shoaib Malik threw away their wickets and that put pressure on the new batsmen and Srilalnka did well to restrict Pakistan to 313 whereas at one stage one felt that Pakistan will cross 350. We must thank the Srilanka Team for undertaking this tour despite non availability of their star players and also that they had just returned after participating in the World Cup in the West Indies.

  • Adil Aziz Khan on May 21, 2007, 3:38 GMT

    Alhamdulillah........ It gies some sence of satisfaction for team Pakistan. If we win with 3-0 convinsingly, it would be icing on the cake. Buck up Malik

  • Aamir Akhund on May 21, 2007, 3:26 GMT

    I think our team is on the track. we are not at our peak but Inshallah these boys will bring back the lost glory of Pakistan. As per Shoib Malik to me he was always the best out of the available lot. And after his post match speech at the podium thanking every one in the team has laid the foundation of the road which will lead us back to where Pakistan Cricket Team belongs.

  • Raja Faisal - Dallas on May 21, 2007, 2:56 GMT

    It was a good team effort. Very refreshing to see a good batting performance by Pakistan against a formidable side in a long time. Keep it up

  • Owais on May 21, 2007, 2:44 GMT

    a interesting article which actually makes sense..

  • Aziz Rehmatullah on May 21, 2007, 2:28 GMT

    Congrats to team Pakistan for another wonderful display. The best thing about both these victories has been the team performance and not individual performances. Seldom you go on to make a 300+ score without someone scoring a century, or bowl out a team with every bowler taking wickets and playing his part. It felt like everyone is chipping in and not just relying on the senior middle order for responsibilities. Keep up the good work guys!

  • Abdul Jabaari on May 21, 2007, 0:25 GMT

    I saw that too on T.V and it reminded me what we have been missing for some time as you pointed out. Shahid Afridi's performance has very much, not surprised me but excited me because for the first time in ages, he had a team with passion to back his own. I think Malik is going to definately mature as a captain and these past two games do show he can prove to be a tactical and passionate captain. Asif is another; what struck me most about him was his aggression against Jawardene. He set it up in the last game, constantly chirping him but when he got him out and had a staring contest, Jayawardene really did look scared to me by Asif's aggression. The passion has passed on to the rest of the team by rejuvenating Salman Butt's hunger for runs and run-outs, Umar Gul's bounce-back ability and Sami's talent. The only negative aspects of the last two games for me would have to be Abdul Razzaq being the lone "loser" on the field who still has that lethargic Inzamam disease. The other is Mohammad Yousuf who seems to me that he can't grasp the extra burden of batting for two (Inzy's gone) and seems somewhat empty of passion and purpose.

    Other than that, let's be cautious in our judgement and call this a good start. The real test for these guys and Malik especially are the tough tours this winter (South Africa, India, and Australia).

  • zeeshan tirmizi on May 21, 2007, 0:12 GMT

    Very optimistic speech dear kamran. The destination is out of sight but we must take steps and thats what the team has to do. We have to start from the scratch.Its pleasing to see an exotic blend of youth and wisdom though we need more fresh blood.These kinds of tournaments are the ideal place to initiate that transfusion. Infact the whole Pakistan has been through so much despair that loosing while trying some new talents wont hurt at all. A couple of young FAST bowlers must be tried and I am talking about PACE.You cant have 3 or 4 medium pacers at the same time.It doesnt work as shown by the recent worldcup.The other important issue is that of INZY s place.someone has to get into his shoes and this is going to be laborous and painful. I wont say welcome back as yet but congratulations to team PAKISTAN.

  • Dawar on May 20, 2007, 23:59 GMT

    Recent results telling us that without Inzamam Pakistan team is well balance & strong. They are winning in a row.

    PCB should not bring Inzi Baba Jee again in the test cricket also.

    He was a good batsman in his time. But his good time is over, look at his last one year performance with bat and as a fielder.

    Dawar LA, USA

  • waj on May 20, 2007, 23:44 GMT

    nice article Mr. Abassi, I think this is a bonus of having a young captain in that he will be open to suggestions and not blatantly go his own way. Inzi was a great batsman but as a captain he was lacking strategy...this new era has certainly begun optimistically.

  • S. Sheikh on May 20, 2007, 23:32 GMT

    I agree with you on this one this is what was lacking in the team. It is never too late and I hope this keeps up it will bring the players togather. All the best for our team.

  • Mohammad Atique on May 20, 2007, 23:32 GMT

    I, myself, agree that this think-tank approach will do a lot in favor for Pakistan in the future (as it was effective in today's match). This really shows what kind of a captain Malik is- unauthoritative and a true team player.

  • Muhammad Asif on May 20, 2007, 22:55 GMT

    Everything is real, we might have to change our perception. Always look at the filled portion of the glass & do spend our precious time for its proper utilization rather than wasting the time in discussing about empty portion of the glass. Win or Loss, I won't mind anyone when they come with some style. Convert the enthusiasm into style. Never drop your shoulders whether you are winning or losing.

  • ali on May 20, 2007, 22:52 GMT

    welcome back pakistan

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 20, 2007, 22:51 GMT

    I won't say good observation Mr. Abbassi, because I am sure most people must have seen that discussion on TV when Malik, Afridi, Asif gathered to discuss the bowling and field settings for Jayawardene. BUT, its very good that you have highlighted this observation here on the blog. Also, your comment about Inzi: "All thinking resided within his tank-like frame," is not correct, because there is no thinking in that tank but, all nihari.

    I was always against that pre-match huddle on the TV where players were not willing to look into each others eyes but, for the sake of 'dikhawa, banawat and tassano' and most importantly for the TV they had to cling on to each other like penguins hatching their egss. Now, the expressions on the faces of the players and the hugs seems to be real and most importantly they aren't gliding like a plane and drifting in a different direction from the team mates who are trying to pat you or hug you, now they come running to each other and rejoice and hug and celebrate the wickets and its no more for personal achievements or milestones but, for the team as a whole. Which is a very healthy sign and good for the team and also, its nice of Shoaib Malik to acknowledge Shahid Afridi's bowling and his cheering. Although he didn't get Ramiz Raja's joke when he said, "you are saying this because there are too many Pathans here in Abu Dhabi" he said, "YES, and I like to thank the crowd for coming."

    The other good change that I have noticed in Mohammad Asif was, (thats another thing he gave away too many runs today) apart from that his controlled aggression and guile there was some fire and venom in him, which he showed after taking the wicket of Jayawardene, the staring in the eyes and the exchange of glares and may be a taunt, is generally not appreciated by a gentleman, but in today's cricket a fast bowler with a straight face or a docile expression is considered as a dumb person. Apart from the Australian and South African bowlers only Shoaib Akhtar used to do this. So, I think the norms of the game has changed, its more of a mental game than physical, if other fast bowlers are adapting this technique to win a mental battle and they are doing it so often, why not him? In one of my previous posts, I did mention that Asif is lacking this quality in him. So, its good to see that he is learning fast.

    Wasim Saqib; here is a quote from your own post:Razzak, Afridi, kamran Akmal, Hafeez they all have been performing poorly Internationally but they are renowned for coming back into form against Asian teams in Asian conditions,these players should have been left out regardless of their performance in practice matches.

    Now, you are saying: "Afridi, Razaak,and Kamran should have been rested..." There is a difference between, "should have been left out regardless of their performance in practice matches AND 'should have been rested'. You were actually questioning the inclusion of these players in the team for Abu Dhabi. Whereas, resting for a match or two is a different thing from not including them in the team. Now, you are citing the example of Sri Lankas key players being rested. Those SL players have a guaranteed spot in the team, whereas, your suggestion was dropping these players from the team completely thats what "these players should have been left out regardless of their performance in practice matches." means!

    If you drop well established, recognized, proven and tested players like, Afridi, Kamran Akmal etc., especially since they are not old in age and you cannot drop them for not performing in a season or two. If you include three, four new untested players at the international level its not a prudent decision. I believe that the induction of new players in the team must be slow and gradual. Because, number one, the senior players who are well recognized if dropped despite performing well in the domestic circuit and a new player is chosen for performing well, the senior players may not like it and loose their confidence and the motivation to play.

    Secondly, if a new player performs well in such unimportant series then, as we all know its been a habit of the PCB selectors to ignore the well established and recognized players and keep the new ones. Then, in other big matches against good teams when the new players fail two or three times, they are dumped forever. This way you actually ruin the careers of these youngsters. Besides, we have already discussed in the previous post about how instant success and media praise can ruin a player. Anyways, players like, Imran Nazir, Salman Butt, Yasir Hameed, Mohammad Hafeez are lucky to have come back but, others have not made it to the boat. There are so many names of such FOBs who came in and disappeared into oblivion. I hope they don't ruin the career of Fawad Alam. Hope he plays in the next ODI and of course he has to prove his worth at the international level.

  • EAMIRAN on May 20, 2007, 22:39 GMT

    My, my I thought the world champs of chest thumping were Indians, followed by the Brits, but it appears by the responses from the previous blog(s) we have outdone them. To become world beaters Pakistan has to defeat Australia, SA, and England on their respective home soils (in test cricket!) and then continue thereon to win consistently. Unfortunately instead of playing real cricket, i.e; Tests (is there any other?), we go from pyjama to the bubble gum kind (20-20 - a WCC to boot).

    I am still not convinced any of our batsmen is, or has the potential to be world class, except for Yousuf. The new ball did not deviate much, and when there was just a hint of movement or turn, our "tigers" either got out or were beaten. A little trip to Jamaica, an overzealous groundsman, and Ireland should bring these bullies back to Earth.

    Speaking of big cats and bullies, I'm surprised that many are still hopeful that our resident "leopard" may one day change his spots. One good innings deserves 10 poor ones, although admittedly he did bowl well enough. At least we can plan for the next few games knowing there will be a string of low scores to follow. He is consistent in that regard.

    Finally, it would be nice to see Alam and Shah have a go in the last ODI. Maybe (fingers crossed!) we can spot some real talent - with all due respect to Asif and Yousuf - our 2 remaining world class cricketers.

  • Ashaq on May 20, 2007, 22:15 GMT

    The fielding is as bad as ever,the running between the wickets is as comical as ever,but who the hell cares its all about winning.Might as well enjoy the glory while it lasts.

    I hope all those who were missing in this game Fawad Alam,Najaf Shah,abdur rehman,and Hafeez,rao iftikhar e.t.c get an opportunity to play in the last game.

    To my 'Brudda Javed out there in Montreal So you are attending CEG level classes to learn the 'Talk' I dont wanna sound harsh my Brother but you are a bit past your prime, You aint gonna attract "niswanis" with "finesse" at your age.Mehndi Hassan nahin tu Ghulam Ali sayee maybe you can drown the sorrows by listening to his ghazal "Chupke Chupke Raat din Ansoo bahana yaad ata hai ab tak woh Ashiqui ka zamana yaad ataa hai".

    As for your obsession with Afridi what can I say, Kiran Ahmed aap kahan hain,you need to return and complete the course of therapy to help Brother Javed overcome his addiction to the "insanity Pill" he seems to be going through a bad relapse:)

  • Rauf on May 20, 2007, 22:04 GMT

    Jury may still be out on Malik's captaincy skills but if he is listening to some of the senior players in the team then atleast he is doing something right.

    Well done Pakistan. Keep it up.

  • Asad on May 20, 2007, 21:55 GMT

    Optimism at its rife. Pakistani cricket is renowned for producing eras of brilliance, but even more so to swing from pendulum to pendulum. Although the past two games have been impressive...we need to build from this. Question.....why Razzaq

  • Irfan on May 20, 2007, 21:54 GMT

    Salam! First of all congrats to Malik.. But as we all know, the problem now will be to keep the players fit and and maintain their form. We should look forward to Akhtar, and i hope he will replace Sami. Further moore should Pakistan look for an alrounder, since Razzaq can't perform what he did 2-3 years ago. New and fresh players should boost the whole team! Finally i hope we get a decent coach, not from a local cricket clubb in Pakistan, The best candidate is King Imran, but he is too busy collecting votes!

  • Asad Bangash, Toronto on May 20, 2007, 21:38 GMT

    Pakistan TEAM is back ..MASHALLAH. Even though we have not faced best sri lankan side, but TEAM spirit was awesome. Every player looked like winning it for PAKISTAN. Fielding needs improvement , especially on the boundary line ( i think the ground was wet coz of humidity). What we have also seen is , S.lanka's bowling attack is a 1 man show..Murli..Once Murli is gone and jayasuria is about to retire as well. I see troubling times for Lanka. To all my Pakistani brothers and sisterS ..CONGRATULATIONS ON THE SERIES WIN !!

  • Hussain on May 20, 2007, 21:27 GMT

    Sami is a lost cause. So is Akhtar. But yeh welcome back team pakistan :)

  • Rahat Minhas on May 20, 2007, 21:11 GMT

    You are quite right in saying about the approach of Shoaib malick where the important players are involved and not one individual (one head) is deciding everything on his own. As this captain experiments and is innovative so we can give him some leway even if he loses some matches or two in the way, as the team is being newly carved, therefore a very critical approach should not be formed right away as Malick would be having a rising learning curve. In the end Pakistan will be gaining from his experience and secondly calling it very early days as hes won two one dayers against Sri Lanka is not right as we know he deserved this role because of his capabilities.Dont we still believe that he is the best option we have by still doubting by saying that we will see when he brings the moon from the skies for his beloved fans?

  • Mustafa on May 20, 2007, 21:06 GMT

    Awesome!...the team played like a unit today...it was just amazing!...we'v got a really enthusiastic captain...and we needed this sorta captain...i always believed he was the right choice...more members of the team are having a say which is a good thing!

    Just want to wish good luck to the team for all future matches...God willing they'll make the nation proud of them...

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Mustafa on May 20, 2007, 21:06 GMT

    Awesome!...the team played like a unit today...it was just amazing!...we'v got a really enthusiastic captain...and we needed this sorta captain...i always believed he was the right choice...more members of the team are having a say which is a good thing!

    Just want to wish good luck to the team for all future matches...God willing they'll make the nation proud of them...

  • Rahat Minhas on May 20, 2007, 21:11 GMT

    You are quite right in saying about the approach of Shoaib malick where the important players are involved and not one individual (one head) is deciding everything on his own. As this captain experiments and is innovative so we can give him some leway even if he loses some matches or two in the way, as the team is being newly carved, therefore a very critical approach should not be formed right away as Malick would be having a rising learning curve. In the end Pakistan will be gaining from his experience and secondly calling it very early days as hes won two one dayers against Sri Lanka is not right as we know he deserved this role because of his capabilities.Dont we still believe that he is the best option we have by still doubting by saying that we will see when he brings the moon from the skies for his beloved fans?

  • Hussain on May 20, 2007, 21:27 GMT

    Sami is a lost cause. So is Akhtar. But yeh welcome back team pakistan :)

  • Asad Bangash, Toronto on May 20, 2007, 21:38 GMT

    Pakistan TEAM is back ..MASHALLAH. Even though we have not faced best sri lankan side, but TEAM spirit was awesome. Every player looked like winning it for PAKISTAN. Fielding needs improvement , especially on the boundary line ( i think the ground was wet coz of humidity). What we have also seen is , S.lanka's bowling attack is a 1 man show..Murli..Once Murli is gone and jayasuria is about to retire as well. I see troubling times for Lanka. To all my Pakistani brothers and sisterS ..CONGRATULATIONS ON THE SERIES WIN !!

  • Irfan on May 20, 2007, 21:54 GMT

    Salam! First of all congrats to Malik.. But as we all know, the problem now will be to keep the players fit and and maintain their form. We should look forward to Akhtar, and i hope he will replace Sami. Further moore should Pakistan look for an alrounder, since Razzaq can't perform what he did 2-3 years ago. New and fresh players should boost the whole team! Finally i hope we get a decent coach, not from a local cricket clubb in Pakistan, The best candidate is King Imran, but he is too busy collecting votes!

  • Asad on May 20, 2007, 21:55 GMT

    Optimism at its rife. Pakistani cricket is renowned for producing eras of brilliance, but even more so to swing from pendulum to pendulum. Although the past two games have been impressive...we need to build from this. Question.....why Razzaq

  • Rauf on May 20, 2007, 22:04 GMT

    Jury may still be out on Malik's captaincy skills but if he is listening to some of the senior players in the team then atleast he is doing something right.

    Well done Pakistan. Keep it up.

  • Ashaq on May 20, 2007, 22:15 GMT

    The fielding is as bad as ever,the running between the wickets is as comical as ever,but who the hell cares its all about winning.Might as well enjoy the glory while it lasts.

    I hope all those who were missing in this game Fawad Alam,Najaf Shah,abdur rehman,and Hafeez,rao iftikhar e.t.c get an opportunity to play in the last game.

    To my 'Brudda Javed out there in Montreal So you are attending CEG level classes to learn the 'Talk' I dont wanna sound harsh my Brother but you are a bit past your prime, You aint gonna attract "niswanis" with "finesse" at your age.Mehndi Hassan nahin tu Ghulam Ali sayee maybe you can drown the sorrows by listening to his ghazal "Chupke Chupke Raat din Ansoo bahana yaad ata hai ab tak woh Ashiqui ka zamana yaad ataa hai".

    As for your obsession with Afridi what can I say, Kiran Ahmed aap kahan hain,you need to return and complete the course of therapy to help Brother Javed overcome his addiction to the "insanity Pill" he seems to be going through a bad relapse:)

  • EAMIRAN on May 20, 2007, 22:39 GMT

    My, my I thought the world champs of chest thumping were Indians, followed by the Brits, but it appears by the responses from the previous blog(s) we have outdone them. To become world beaters Pakistan has to defeat Australia, SA, and England on their respective home soils (in test cricket!) and then continue thereon to win consistently. Unfortunately instead of playing real cricket, i.e; Tests (is there any other?), we go from pyjama to the bubble gum kind (20-20 - a WCC to boot).

    I am still not convinced any of our batsmen is, or has the potential to be world class, except for Yousuf. The new ball did not deviate much, and when there was just a hint of movement or turn, our "tigers" either got out or were beaten. A little trip to Jamaica, an overzealous groundsman, and Ireland should bring these bullies back to Earth.

    Speaking of big cats and bullies, I'm surprised that many are still hopeful that our resident "leopard" may one day change his spots. One good innings deserves 10 poor ones, although admittedly he did bowl well enough. At least we can plan for the next few games knowing there will be a string of low scores to follow. He is consistent in that regard.

    Finally, it would be nice to see Alam and Shah have a go in the last ODI. Maybe (fingers crossed!) we can spot some real talent - with all due respect to Asif and Yousuf - our 2 remaining world class cricketers.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on May 20, 2007, 22:51 GMT

    I won't say good observation Mr. Abbassi, because I am sure most people must have seen that discussion on TV when Malik, Afridi, Asif gathered to discuss the bowling and field settings for Jayawardene. BUT, its very good that you have highlighted this observation here on the blog. Also, your comment about Inzi: "All thinking resided within his tank-like frame," is not correct, because there is no thinking in that tank but, all nihari.

    I was always against that pre-match huddle on the TV where players were not willing to look into each others eyes but, for the sake of 'dikhawa, banawat and tassano' and most importantly for the TV they had to cling on to each other like penguins hatching their egss. Now, the expressions on the faces of the players and the hugs seems to be real and most importantly they aren't gliding like a plane and drifting in a different direction from the team mates who are trying to pat you or hug you, now they come running to each other and rejoice and hug and celebrate the wickets and its no more for personal achievements or milestones but, for the team as a whole. Which is a very healthy sign and good for the team and also, its nice of Shoaib Malik to acknowledge Shahid Afridi's bowling and his cheering. Although he didn't get Ramiz Raja's joke when he said, "you are saying this because there are too many Pathans here in Abu Dhabi" he said, "YES, and I like to thank the crowd for coming."

    The other good change that I have noticed in Mohammad Asif was, (thats another thing he gave away too many runs today) apart from that his controlled aggression and guile there was some fire and venom in him, which he showed after taking the wicket of Jayawardene, the staring in the eyes and the exchange of glares and may be a taunt, is generally not appreciated by a gentleman, but in today's cricket a fast bowler with a straight face or a docile expression is considered as a dumb person. Apart from the Australian and South African bowlers only Shoaib Akhtar used to do this. So, I think the norms of the game has changed, its more of a mental game than physical, if other fast bowlers are adapting this technique to win a mental battle and they are doing it so often, why not him? In one of my previous posts, I did mention that Asif is lacking this quality in him. So, its good to see that he is learning fast.

    Wasim Saqib; here is a quote from your own post:Razzak, Afridi, kamran Akmal, Hafeez they all have been performing poorly Internationally but they are renowned for coming back into form against Asian teams in Asian conditions,these players should have been left out regardless of their performance in practice matches.

    Now, you are saying: "Afridi, Razaak,and Kamran should have been rested..." There is a difference between, "should have been left out regardless of their performance in practice matches AND 'should have been rested'. You were actually questioning the inclusion of these players in the team for Abu Dhabi. Whereas, resting for a match or two is a different thing from not including them in the team. Now, you are citing the example of Sri Lankas key players being rested. Those SL players have a guaranteed spot in the team, whereas, your suggestion was dropping these players from the team completely thats what "these players should have been left out regardless of their performance in practice matches." means!

    If you drop well established, recognized, proven and tested players like, Afridi, Kamran Akmal etc., especially since they are not old in age and you cannot drop them for not performing in a season or two. If you include three, four new untested players at the international level its not a prudent decision. I believe that the induction of new players in the team must be slow and gradual. Because, number one, the senior players who are well recognized if dropped despite performing well in the domestic circuit and a new player is chosen for performing well, the senior players may not like it and loose their confidence and the motivation to play.

    Secondly, if a new player performs well in such unimportant series then, as we all know its been a habit of the PCB selectors to ignore the well established and recognized players and keep the new ones. Then, in other big matches against good teams when the new players fail two or three times, they are dumped forever. This way you actually ruin the careers of these youngsters. Besides, we have already discussed in the previous post about how instant success and media praise can ruin a player. Anyways, players like, Imran Nazir, Salman Butt, Yasir Hameed, Mohammad Hafeez are lucky to have come back but, others have not made it to the boat. There are so many names of such FOBs who came in and disappeared into oblivion. I hope they don't ruin the career of Fawad Alam. Hope he plays in the next ODI and of course he has to prove his worth at the international level.