Twenty20 World Cup 2007 September 10, 2007

The right time for death or glory

Pakistan fans will be hoping that these miserable last twelve months, beginning with Inzamam's striking revolt and ending with Shoaib Akhtar's revolting strike, will give way to some cricket to cheer even though it might not end in a ICC World
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I'm fascinated to see how Pakistan perform in the ICC World Twenty20. For many years Pakistan's batsmen have been treating Test and One-day cricket like a twenty-over thrash, exhibiting their various versions of death or glory. Pakistan will perform incredibly well or laughably badly, probably they will manage both extremes in the same match.

Shahid Afridi and Imran Nazir have always been basket cases, their madcap assaults inspiring an amused following that includes this blogger. The other batsmen in the squad are also prone to a rush of blood to the head. Even Pakistan's deserving Test Player of the Year, the mysteriously absent Mohammad Yousuf, is well known for batting like a lunatic in Test cricket--until he acquired a remarkable serenity last year.

Hence, for this tournament I'd pick all the erratics: Nazir, Salman Butt, Mohammad Hafeez, Younis Khan, Afridi, Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal, probably in that batting order. My bowlers would be Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, and Yasir Arafat, whose batting counts strongly in his favour.

That leaves one place to juggle between Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Anjum, and Abdur Rehman probably in that pecking order and depending on conditions. We are all virtually clueless about Sohail Tanvir.

Pakistan are an attacking team with a refreshingly positive coach. Geoff Lawson says his team can win. Perhaps so. They have as much or as little chance of winning the tournament as a group of five or six possibles who sit below mighty Australia.

But Pakistan fans will be hoping that these miserable last twelve months, beginning with Inzamam's striking revolt and ending with Shoaib Akhtar's revolting strike, will give way to some cricket to cheer even though it might not end in a ICC World Twenty20 triumph.

Small mercies will suffice at the moment, and you can't get much smaller than Scotland.

(You will be allowed to post your XIs on this occasion)

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 14, 2007, 4:38 GMT

    Rain Gods deprived India of some match practice before they meet Pakistan tomorrow. Scots are to be blamed for the rain, wherever they go they carry the rain with them. According to weather forecast more rain is expected in the morning, hopefully it will be clear by evening! The twenty overs game itself is very short, if it is curtailed further then its like murdering the game by strangulation. Lets hope we get to see a full 20/20 match tomorrow.

    Wasim Saqib its not just one match I am talking about, in the previous matches also Salman Butt did not score much. And, Asif has not performed well, not just in the last match but, in the previous warm up matches and in the quadrangular tournament and, in the domestic tournaments as well. And, in the last match he has given away more runs than all other bowlers, that's what matters and not that he gave "only" 28 runs, which you think is good for 20/20. Yes, it may appear as good. But, just look at the meagre total of 120 runs where 6 bowlers have bowled and Asif's economy rate is the worst of all. He struggled through out and took the solo wicket of the last batsman, a tail-ender.

    In June 2007 during the Afro-Asian tournament Asif's analysis are as follows: 1st ODI 57 runs 3 wickets; 2nd ODI 82 runs 2 wickets and 3rd ODI 62 runs 0 wickets. It is an abysmal performance from a hero. And I am not quoting something from thin air, these are mere facts.

    And secondly, Afridi is not my cousin; you can criticize him as much as you wish. But, the fact about Afridi is when he fails with the bat he takes wickets. And whenever he scores big, invariably every time Pakistan wins. That is a fact too.

    A word about the Bangladesh. They have sent the WI team back home. (I hope England will dispatch Australia tomorrow) Despite some poor bowling by the captain Ashraful, who shouldn't have bowled his 4th over especially after being thrashed by Dwayne Smith in the 3rd with huge sixes and gave away 20 odd runs in the 3rd over, he was punished again in the 4th. He was fortunate enough to have compensated that mistake by batting aggressively and scoring 61 in 27 balls. That was a great knock, on his day he is a treat to watch. His unorthodox stroke which he spoons the ball with a flat bat from outside the off-stump and flaps it backwards into the deep fine leg which often sends the ball into the crowd for a six, is becoming his trademark. During the world cup in Caribbean against SA, he frustrated Ntini with those strokes. Whenever he scores big, Bangladesh wins.

  • Fayyaz Qadir on September 13, 2007, 20:11 GMT

    I would like to include Iftikhar in games against India , srilanka and australia who r relaly good against the spin and in those games I would like to see Iftikhar Anjum open up the inings so Pakistan can save one batsman we cant live anymore expecting that openers will do well. since Saeed Anwar was made to leave we invariably fail to make a good opening partnership and we loose a batsman too early too often. playing an all rounder in that position could be good it could have been Razaq but again a brainless decision kept him out now that position should go to Iftikhar as he even if he goes early pak would not loose a batsmen also as Asif is very ineffectiove in later stages of game ( well lately even in early stages) this is where Iftikhar with his outswingers early on or inswinging yorkers later on can be very useful. Please think about it.

  • Wajeeha Zaidi - Saudi Arabia on September 13, 2007, 19:53 GMT

    ICC T20 WC is now in the third days and we have already seen few upsets. This proves the following:

    1. Anyone can beat anyone... 2. A couple of good or bad over can change the complexion of any game. 3. No team is guaranteed a place in last four stage.

    Although I am not an ardent supporter of Pak team yet I am forced to think that this team has potential to do wonders in this version of the game.

    Reason os my changed thinking is that the team is without that rasca..... u all know what I mean.

  • WASIM SAQIB on September 13, 2007, 19:43 GMT

    Javed.A.Khan please don't be so quick to jump on the gun the team has played only one match so far and you are already trying to prove your point, if a player has to perform in every match to secure his place in the team then Afridi's career would have ended long time ago. I am amazed that you never took into account all the warm up matches and practice matches played in Pakistan and south Africa before the tournament. I don't think that Fawad Alam deserves a place as Misbah Played a very sensible innings and helped the team to post a decent total. As regards Asif he didn't conceded 50 runs he only conceded 28 runs in his 4 overs and I don't think its expensive by 20/20 standards. You need to look at the stats of Brett lee,M Johnson,Shaun Pollock and then pass your judgement.

  • Muhammad Asif on September 13, 2007, 18:40 GMT

    "Official four-nation league launched / Indian league to follow franchise system."

    Market-oriented world is quickly changing the formats of conventional cricket. Kamran would you please throw some light on a similar league in Pakistan, Because Pakistan is not included in that league. Please spare some time & do ask for different proposals & then forward it to the cricketing authoriies. The more the high quality cricketers we produce the more the prestige & foreign exchange too they will bring for Pakistan in near future. Now cricket is literally becoming a professional game like other games.

  • fhs on September 13, 2007, 18:25 GMT

    India vs Scotland game seems to be abounded bc of the rain. Means, it is going to be a huge pressure game for India (vs. Paistan) tommrrow. I think we have a great chance to defeat them. I am confident that we will perform batter. All we need is the performance of Afridi, Gul, Nazir and Asif.

  • ryan on September 13, 2007, 17:30 GMT

    i think pakistan dont have a chance at the 2020 world cup,the only way there going to have a chance of winning it is if they play as a teem and stop the voilence{my thought,bring back shoaib}

  • Abhay on September 13, 2007, 16:44 GMT

    Pakistan is a really strong team...but many times before we have seen them lose from being at a good position. So the only thing they got to do is play good cricket. Not get carried away after the first innings if they bowl or bat well...in the inaugural match we saw an example of that. And if they manage to do that really successfully...they might even win...because they also have a really god team ...all-round. Batting, bowling and good fielding also compared to some of the teams.

  • Spartacus on September 13, 2007, 16:29 GMT

    Death?? It is sport after all. Not gladiator fights.

  • Naser Ranjha on September 13, 2007, 15:09 GMT

    Test is boring, 50 overs well thirty too many. God created Pakistan cricket and on the sixth day created 20/20. Perfect!!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 14, 2007, 4:38 GMT

    Rain Gods deprived India of some match practice before they meet Pakistan tomorrow. Scots are to be blamed for the rain, wherever they go they carry the rain with them. According to weather forecast more rain is expected in the morning, hopefully it will be clear by evening! The twenty overs game itself is very short, if it is curtailed further then its like murdering the game by strangulation. Lets hope we get to see a full 20/20 match tomorrow.

    Wasim Saqib its not just one match I am talking about, in the previous matches also Salman Butt did not score much. And, Asif has not performed well, not just in the last match but, in the previous warm up matches and in the quadrangular tournament and, in the domestic tournaments as well. And, in the last match he has given away more runs than all other bowlers, that's what matters and not that he gave "only" 28 runs, which you think is good for 20/20. Yes, it may appear as good. But, just look at the meagre total of 120 runs where 6 bowlers have bowled and Asif's economy rate is the worst of all. He struggled through out and took the solo wicket of the last batsman, a tail-ender.

    In June 2007 during the Afro-Asian tournament Asif's analysis are as follows: 1st ODI 57 runs 3 wickets; 2nd ODI 82 runs 2 wickets and 3rd ODI 62 runs 0 wickets. It is an abysmal performance from a hero. And I am not quoting something from thin air, these are mere facts.

    And secondly, Afridi is not my cousin; you can criticize him as much as you wish. But, the fact about Afridi is when he fails with the bat he takes wickets. And whenever he scores big, invariably every time Pakistan wins. That is a fact too.

    A word about the Bangladesh. They have sent the WI team back home. (I hope England will dispatch Australia tomorrow) Despite some poor bowling by the captain Ashraful, who shouldn't have bowled his 4th over especially after being thrashed by Dwayne Smith in the 3rd with huge sixes and gave away 20 odd runs in the 3rd over, he was punished again in the 4th. He was fortunate enough to have compensated that mistake by batting aggressively and scoring 61 in 27 balls. That was a great knock, on his day he is a treat to watch. His unorthodox stroke which he spoons the ball with a flat bat from outside the off-stump and flaps it backwards into the deep fine leg which often sends the ball into the crowd for a six, is becoming his trademark. During the world cup in Caribbean against SA, he frustrated Ntini with those strokes. Whenever he scores big, Bangladesh wins.

  • Fayyaz Qadir on September 13, 2007, 20:11 GMT

    I would like to include Iftikhar in games against India , srilanka and australia who r relaly good against the spin and in those games I would like to see Iftikhar Anjum open up the inings so Pakistan can save one batsman we cant live anymore expecting that openers will do well. since Saeed Anwar was made to leave we invariably fail to make a good opening partnership and we loose a batsman too early too often. playing an all rounder in that position could be good it could have been Razaq but again a brainless decision kept him out now that position should go to Iftikhar as he even if he goes early pak would not loose a batsmen also as Asif is very ineffectiove in later stages of game ( well lately even in early stages) this is where Iftikhar with his outswingers early on or inswinging yorkers later on can be very useful. Please think about it.

  • Wajeeha Zaidi - Saudi Arabia on September 13, 2007, 19:53 GMT

    ICC T20 WC is now in the third days and we have already seen few upsets. This proves the following:

    1. Anyone can beat anyone... 2. A couple of good or bad over can change the complexion of any game. 3. No team is guaranteed a place in last four stage.

    Although I am not an ardent supporter of Pak team yet I am forced to think that this team has potential to do wonders in this version of the game.

    Reason os my changed thinking is that the team is without that rasca..... u all know what I mean.

  • WASIM SAQIB on September 13, 2007, 19:43 GMT

    Javed.A.Khan please don't be so quick to jump on the gun the team has played only one match so far and you are already trying to prove your point, if a player has to perform in every match to secure his place in the team then Afridi's career would have ended long time ago. I am amazed that you never took into account all the warm up matches and practice matches played in Pakistan and south Africa before the tournament. I don't think that Fawad Alam deserves a place as Misbah Played a very sensible innings and helped the team to post a decent total. As regards Asif he didn't conceded 50 runs he only conceded 28 runs in his 4 overs and I don't think its expensive by 20/20 standards. You need to look at the stats of Brett lee,M Johnson,Shaun Pollock and then pass your judgement.

  • Muhammad Asif on September 13, 2007, 18:40 GMT

    "Official four-nation league launched / Indian league to follow franchise system."

    Market-oriented world is quickly changing the formats of conventional cricket. Kamran would you please throw some light on a similar league in Pakistan, Because Pakistan is not included in that league. Please spare some time & do ask for different proposals & then forward it to the cricketing authoriies. The more the high quality cricketers we produce the more the prestige & foreign exchange too they will bring for Pakistan in near future. Now cricket is literally becoming a professional game like other games.

  • fhs on September 13, 2007, 18:25 GMT

    India vs Scotland game seems to be abounded bc of the rain. Means, it is going to be a huge pressure game for India (vs. Paistan) tommrrow. I think we have a great chance to defeat them. I am confident that we will perform batter. All we need is the performance of Afridi, Gul, Nazir and Asif.

  • ryan on September 13, 2007, 17:30 GMT

    i think pakistan dont have a chance at the 2020 world cup,the only way there going to have a chance of winning it is if they play as a teem and stop the voilence{my thought,bring back shoaib}

  • Abhay on September 13, 2007, 16:44 GMT

    Pakistan is a really strong team...but many times before we have seen them lose from being at a good position. So the only thing they got to do is play good cricket. Not get carried away after the first innings if they bowl or bat well...in the inaugural match we saw an example of that. And if they manage to do that really successfully...they might even win...because they also have a really god team ...all-round. Batting, bowling and good fielding also compared to some of the teams.

  • Spartacus on September 13, 2007, 16:29 GMT

    Death?? It is sport after all. Not gladiator fights.

  • Naser Ranjha on September 13, 2007, 15:09 GMT

    Test is boring, 50 overs well thirty too many. God created Pakistan cricket and on the sixth day created 20/20. Perfect!!

  • Muazzam Siddiqui on September 13, 2007, 14:34 GMT

    I just want to comment on the opening pair. It should be none other than Afridi and Butt. Although I am not a big Afridi fan but looking at the stats. it is very obvious that he scores the most, has the highest average, and has made the most impact by winning matches whenever he opens the innings. His record at batting 5th. or lower has dismal averages.

  • Saima Khan on September 13, 2007, 12:27 GMT

    wow, Nadeem Rajput is very correct. Karachi always been ignored. I think we should move PCB to mini Pakistan Karachi which represents every one in Pakistan not only PUNJABIES.

    This is a main issue. Saima Khan Islamabad

  • Omaire Mahmood on September 13, 2007, 10:29 GMT

    Hey guys and girls this campaign is going to be simple either Pakistan is going to thrash everyone in emphatic style or Pakistan is going to play ordinary mixed with crazy cricket and get away with a few streaky wins and some heavy loses here is my squad please take it easy on me 1.Imran Nazir 2.Kamran Akmal 3.Shahid Afridi 4.Younus Khan 5. Shoaib Malik 6. Mohammed Hafeez 7. Fawad Alam 8. Yasir Arafat 9. Rao Ifthikar 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammed asif

  • maajid khan on September 13, 2007, 10:04 GMT

    my dream team. 1) Shahid Afridi. 2) Imran Nazir. 3) Mohd Hafeez. 4) Abdul Razaaq. 5)Shoaib Malik. 6) Younis Khan. 7)Mibah Ul Haq. 8) Umar Gull. 9) Mohd Asif. 10)Zulker Nain Haider. 11) Mohd Sami.

    There should be no place for Salman Bhatt and Kamran Akmal.

  • Ali Majid on September 13, 2007, 9:57 GMT

    They say that a win is a win. However, before we all starting jumping with joy and laying claim on the trophy, especially now that the mighty Australians have been briefly brought down to their knees as a result of a humbling defeat, we have to look at the fact that the performance yestreday was one that needs to be improved drastically if we are to leave a mark.

    The batting order seems to be all wrong. Afridi at six in a twenty over contest? He surely has to get more screen time. On the flip side, sending him in earlier and then lossing him in a moment of madness (mind you - it is this very madness that will get most of his runs), leaves a huge hole in the lower order with no real bigh hitters to follow. Shoaib seemed a bit confused (like in the warm up matches) as to whether he should nudge it around or go after the bowling. This is primarily because other than him and Afridi, Pakistan lack a general crash, bang and wallop style player. This is where Razzaq would have been perfect. His prescence would have given the think tank more options to experiment and be brave. Take a spontaneous decison, who would you rather have in your side - Arafat or Razzaq?....(all of a sudden there are hundereds of voices in people's heads saying Razzaq...Razzaq..Razzaq)...My point exactly. The players initially looked scared, maybe that fateful night in Jamaica continues to haunt them. They looked nervous and the initail fifty came up in the eigth over which is not the standard that can be maintained for progression in this tournament (the scottish fifty came up before the Pakistan fifty). Thankfully, even with this lacklustre performance Pakistan have won and are almost guaranteed a spot in the next round. This should give the players the freedom to express themselves to the maximum against India. I hope that the men in green can put in a performance that can announce to the world that the last twelve months of turmoil are now behing us and we are back to do what we do best - play attacking and entertaining cricket. The batting order should look something like this; Nazir and Butt to open, Younis at three, Afridi at four, Malik five and Hafeez at six with the rest to follow. The spinners played very well.....maybe there even could be an oppurtunity to give Rehman a game. How about even opening with a spinner. It could yield the desired results on Friday as Sehwag will tend to struggle with the ball not coming onto the bat. Also, I urge all not to get carried away by the Australian defeat. Although it is great for cricket generally and Zimbabwean cricket sepcially, the Pakistan team needs to concentrate on their own performance. Take it one match at a time, play to their full potential, give it their best and hopefully (Insha Allah)things will start to fall into place. And by the way.......Mr. Abassi, is there anyway to start a pettition to ensure that Shoaib Akhtar never gets selected for Pakistan again. Thanks Ali Majid

  • sarfaraz raza colombo on September 13, 2007, 8:43 GMT

    the team is perfect ,no change is needed de only change is to move afridi up de order cos if he shines there will b a strong foundation and if he fails also no prob cos there are other players to take control,if he fails down de order den no one is backin him up so i think afridi will be better somewhere 1,2,3 or 4 not at 6 or 7

  • maajid khan on September 13, 2007, 8:37 GMT

    Boom Boom Afridi has once again proved that he is a match winner for pakistan. well done omar gull u bowled well. can the pakistani board tell the nation what is salman bhatt doing in the ream? his performance against scotland yesterday was like an ordinary colleage level player. scoring 13-runs in 25 balls shows his calibera as a batsmen and vice captain of pakistani team. its high time before the big matches of twenty20 cup start for god sake get razaq back in place of salman bhatt.

  • Omar Ansari on September 13, 2007, 8:12 GMT

    My worst fears were confirmed when I watched Pakistan open against Scotland; Salman Butt had not changed one little bit. He is still the selfish and incredibly untalented batsman he once was. He nearly cost us the match against the Scots, will the Pakistani cricket board ever learn? I have asked myself this question for over 6 years now, and the answer always turns out to be a negative one....

  • Rahat Minhas on September 13, 2007, 4:57 GMT

    Shoaib Malick has never been erratic in his approach unlike the other members of the Pakistani team.Hes a relaxed and cool person in the field.That's why he is a good choice on being appointed as captain. Hopefully he will again prove this in this tournament.

  • EAMIRAN on September 13, 2007, 1:29 GMT

    It took the one and only class batsmen in the team to save Pakistan from being embarassingly bowled out inside 20 overs by yet another minnow. The current batting line up may well be a potential power house as far as massive hitting is concerned, but realistically it is also a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, bits and pieces cricketers may occasionally win us games, and maybe more so than usual in this type of format, but never consistently.

    Hope to see Pakistan bat a bit more sensibly than they did today - oxymoron notwithstanding.

  • imran on September 12, 2007, 22:37 GMT

    My team would be

    1.I.Nazir 2.M.Hafeez 3.S.Butt 4.Y.Khan 5.S.Afridi 6.S.Malik 7.F.Alam 8.K.Akmal 9.Y.Arafat 10.U.Gul 11.M.Asif

    However,as there is no S.Akhtar & pitches won't be supporting much swing,seam therefore Y.Khan can be tried as a keeper.This would allow to include another specialist batsman/bowler.In my opinion,Pak bowling would be tested seriously in this tournament.Asif has struggled in ODI cricket in his short career so far.Reason is that he doesn't have a good slower ball & doesn't ball yorker length more often.Also doesn't have the pace to trouble batsmen on batting friendly pitches.He always struggles whenever there isn't any help in the pitch.To me,Gul can be more effective in these conditions.Also M.Hafeez would be a good bowling option to restrict batsmen from scoring freely.My semifinalists are as follows:

    Australia S.Africa England Westindies

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 12, 2007, 21:55 GMT

    The underdogs Zimbabweans steal the late night show by beating the tournament favourites Australia and, what a match it was. Even the convincing win with a margin of 51 runs by the Pakistanis against the Scots was marred by this major upset of the tournament that stun the Kangaroos and rocked the bookies who kept the odds at 50-1 for a Zimbabwean win. And, Ponting upon winning the toss boasted about scoring a big total to put the minnows under pressure from the outset. Whereas, the result was totally opposite, the OZ's were under pressure from the outset. Zimbabwean bowling, fielding and even their batting was much superior than Australians. Michael Slater was not slow in making excuses that the Australian team looks rusty because they have not played enough cricket like other teams, and Ponting has not yet recovered from his jet lag! Come on Kangaroos stop whining and be prepared for another defeat at the hands of England and get a one way ticket to the land of opportunities.

    England is quite capable of turning the tables and they must do this to bring the Kangaroo stratagem to naught. Too much have gone in their heads and they need to experience an early exit from the tournament. This humiliating defeat should be enough for them to reassess their thinking which is so full of pride, vanity and arrogance and they so often display and call themselves as the invincible team. Not so long ago they were asking the ICC to take away the test status from Zimbabwe!

    Anyways, back to the Pakistan match. Their batting, especially the captain and vice captain's performance was pathetic. Wasim Saqib, do you still have to say anything to add here? Butt played a maiden over, which is a rarity in twenty20 game and he scored 13 runs in 23 balls, what a waste! In a twenty20 game you are not supposed to score run a ball, you are supposed to score two runs per ball and anything above that is a bonus. In my opinion Pakistan scored 25-30 runs less than what they could have easily scored. Thanks to Salman Butt's heavy head due to the burden of the VC crown. Malik should see the replay and also note how Afridi played his first ball which was similar to the one on which Malik got stumped. There was no need to jump out of the crease and miss it, Afridi stood there, bent down on one knee, flashed the blade like a sword and sent the ball 98 meters away from his bat.

    Malik has finally acknowledged that Afridi should be promoted up the order, lets see. Afridi's bowling has been excellent through out, himself he has acknowledged that bowling is his main strength and batting is an added bonus from him. So, don't expect the fireworks from him in every game he plays. Glad to see Younis Khan is playing so well and I hope he continues to play like this. Misbah ul Haq must be replaced with Fawad Alam. Hopefully the team doesn't mess up their batting performance like this against India. There was no momentum in their batting, lucky they won, but you cannot afford to play like this against good teams.

    Like I have said before Asif is not that effective and Umar Gul is far superior than him in this shorter version of the game, once again he has proved me right. Gul's yorkers were deadly and right on spot. Whereas, Asif was struggling to get wickets mainly because of his length balls and as expected he also gave away too many runs. I think Rao Ifti should be included in the team, either in place of Asif or Arafat, but Arafat is still handy with his bat as compared to Asif. But, they won't drop Asif against India. So, most probably the team will remain the same as Malik feels that the same team can score more runs. I hope so and I wish they do.

    After the win, Afridi was boasting that he was confident that even with a total of 140 and with their experienced and bowling attack they would have won the match. But, I think it was inexperienced Scotland who got out under pressure and caved in, if it was any other regular team it wouldn't have been easy for Pakistan to win this match.

  • Sameer A Malik on September 12, 2007, 21:07 GMT

    Pakistan's first match with Scotland was not much different from the match against Ireland in the last world cup, i think the only difference was the presence of Afridi, he scored valuable runs at fast pace and provided with crucial break-throughs which allowed Pakistan cruise to victory, rest of them team played exactly in same manner. Anyways we all should have a sigh of relief as we crossed the first barrier. Now Pakistan can play their match against India without any fears of getting knocked out of tournament. Let's gear up for the big show. By the way Kamran Abbassi, the only hurdle (Australia) between Pakistan and World Cup 20/20 seems to be in danger of getting knocked out in group stages after losing from Zimbabwe. So the Cup is OURS?

  • Aftab Qureshi on September 12, 2007, 20:59 GMT

    I just heard Ian Chappell's evaluation of Pakistan's chances in the T20 World Cup. He has all but written off Pakistan, predicting that it will end up far below the top-4. Well, he may already be chewing his words, after watching Pakistan's reasonably good performance against Scotland and Zimbabwe's shocking but no-fluke victory over Australia. So, folks, enjoy the tournament as progresses but dont start to make predictions until we have finished the Super8. From then on, it is any body's game any way.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on September 12, 2007, 20:02 GMT

    I think Khansahab is high when he says Shoaib Malik will be a better batsman than 'INZI'. heh. I wonder if he was trying to be funny?

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on September 12, 2007, 19:48 GMT

    Forget how we played... check out what happened to the Aussies !!!

  • Riz on September 12, 2007, 19:48 GMT

    Pakistan's batting display against Scotland was rather ordinary. One would expect them to score over 200 against a team like Scotland if they want to pose any threat to the title. I guess the team should remain pretty much the same, except that Shahid Afridi should be moved up the order to 3 or 4. His going in 'not out' wouldn't do any better than getting some quick runs up the order.

  • fhs on September 12, 2007, 19:48 GMT

    Congrats all on Paki's win over Scotland in their game #1! It was a nervous start but one can underastnad it is a big tournemnet and what Pakistan has gone thru in recen series so it must a be big relief for them. It is a good start (unlike Australia who have been beaten by Zimb). Plz. think positive and encourage our team.

    Afridi, Gul, Asif and Nazir are key playes for me and they need to shine in other games -- Hope, Class, Style!

  • Owais on September 12, 2007, 19:39 GMT

    Omar Amedani, tell me how Malik doesent deserve a place in the team. He was our most consistent performer in the world cup and has been in recetn years. His bowling also comes in handy and so does his fielding. I believe he is an ideal captain for this team. As for my team selection, here it is: 1. Imran Nazir 2. Mohammmad Hafeez 3. Salman Butt 4. Younis Khan 5. Shoaib Malik 6. Kamran Akmal 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Yasir Arafat 9. Fawad Alam 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammad Asif When Yousuf comes into the team, he can replace Mohammad Hafeez. We really do need his bat.

  • Zaid on September 12, 2007, 18:48 GMT

    Shahid afridi Salman butt- will stay late Younis Khan Shoain Malik Mohammad Hafeez Imran Nazir Misbah ul haq- gud form can be promoted Kamran Akmal Yasir Arafat- or Rao Ifthikar Umar Gul Mohammad Asif

  • WASIM SAQIB on September 12, 2007, 17:39 GMT

    A.A.KHAN

    Khurram Manzoor and Khalid Latif are exciting prospects but to say that they are more talented than Salman Butt is a bit too early as they have not been tested yet in the senior team,their scores are only against second string teams even in the training camp against the front line bowlers they couldn't score,as far as Yasir Hameed is concerned he is in good form but he is not a 20/20 player, Salman Butt didn't performed well in four or five matches before he was dropped other than that his record is not that bad. However I also wanted Umar Gul to be the Vice Captain of the team as he always gives his 100% on the field.

  • Nadeem on September 12, 2007, 16:44 GMT

    Once again Karachi is a Quaid-e_Azam trophy champion.

    In 20/20 they were in second position. Many deserving players from karachi performing great from last few seasons but they are not in the team why, why, why? Here is the list: Khalid Latif, Khurrum Manzoor, Asim Kamal, Faisal Iqbal, Hasan Raza, Anwar Ali and Wicket Keepers Sarafraz Ahmed & Amin-ur-Rehman.

    Why undesrving players from Punjab like Kamran Akmal (worst wicket keeper in Pakistan international cricket history), Misba Uncle, Yasi Arfat, Imran Nazir, Salamn But are in the team. Also Yasir Hamid is a deserving player. He should be in the team. Give proper chance to all desrving players like Inzi gave to Kamaran Akmal regardless his many dropped catches.

    Mostly we give chance to desrving player in one or two match against strong team, if they do not perform well we kept out them for long time. Look how many years taleneted Faisal Iqbal is with the team but still he is not the member of Pakistani cricket team. Same with Asim Kamal after his termendous records he is always out. Mulana Inzi did not deal him with justce. Now new set up starts doing same thing with him.

    Nadeem Rajput

  • Aftab A. Qureshi on September 12, 2007, 16:12 GMT

    It seems naive, if not follish, to make any predictions about the 20s cricket. On fundamentals--solid batting, accurate bowling, efective fielding--Pakistan are not a good match to teams like Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and England, the top four teams in my opinion competing in this tournament. I would have included India as well in this group but their recent fielding problems suggest that they do not have the all round fundamentals. I would love to see Pakistan doing well, despite lack of all round fundamentals. After all, we do have boom boom. He is the one man who can take Pakistan to the winners' pedestal. He has already won us the first match. We should count on his batting to succeed, perhaps not in every match but hopefully in the crunch matches. Let us also not underrate his bowling....just look at his figures against Scotland. They are not a great batting team but 4 wickets is 4 wickets!

  • Raja Pakistani on September 12, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    Our openers even can not score against weak team Scotland.

    They will score in one match out of five or ten matches.

    Bring best available openers in the team i.e: Khalid Latif & Khurrum Manzoor. Also bring deserving players Yasir Hamid, Asim Kamal and Faisal Iqbal in the team.

    Why Misba Uncle in the team? Just beacuse he is near to PCB office at Lahore. Why Sohail Tanvir in the team? Just beacuse he is near to Islamabad. Remove Salman Butt, Imran Nazir, kamran Akmal and Yasir Arfat.

    Give Fawad Alam permenant chance in the team. In and out will effect his confidence. Like past we lost many good players.

    I like Dawar suggestion for the team above. here is his selection

    1) Khalid Latif 2)Khurrum Manzoor 3)Yasir Hamid 4)Younis Khan 5)Shoaib Malik 6)Fawad Alam 7)Sarfraz Ahmed (WC) 8)Shahid Afridi 9)Mohammad Asif 10)Anwar Ali 11) Jamshed 12) Faisal Iqbal, Asim Kamal or Salamn Butt

    Raja Pakistani Sialkot

  • Afridi Nazir on September 12, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    Guys Guys guys...

    Send Afridi and Nazir as openers. We need to give them as much overs as possible.

    What would Afridi do if you send him down the order and ask him to bat last over only. We need these two big hitters at the top. Trust me; this is the only thing that can help Pakistan win this tournament. If they manage to post some score, it will be a huge score, if they fail.. then who can say they would excel at No.6 or No.7.

  • Jamie Dowling on September 12, 2007, 15:44 GMT

    Just listened to Pakistan beating Scotland. After Chris Gayle went mental against SA I've got to agree with the idea of Shahid Afridi opening. Strike rate of 314? Stick him in first!

    I hope Pakistan, regardless of whether they win or not, plays good cricket and stays controversy free. Please let this be the start of a new era where bad attitudes in both team and administration have no place whatsoever.

  • Irfan on September 12, 2007, 15:15 GMT

    Thank god that they did not try and pull any heroics. The match just won by Pak was a clinical and professional execution in both batting and bowling a few lapses in the fielding that need to be looked at. Other then that I think it was a plan well executed.

    Younis did what he was supposed to do, so did Afridi both with the bat and the bowl. Asif was not very impressive but I think should be retained for the India encounter. Gul was spot on I still think that Fawad should be preferred over Hafeez. Anyhow, please accept my felicitations over this fine performance by this young Pak side.

  • Omer Admani on September 12, 2007, 14:38 GMT

    In the first match: Pathetic batting, no strategy, no momentum. However, Afridi swung the momentum a bit and Younis played good anchor. Bowling seems very weak apart from Gul and Afridi. Asif will get clobbered at his pace. Hafeez will be murdered by India. Trade Fawad Alam for Hafeez for the next game. Batting order needs fixing and that was part of the problem. Nazir and Butt should open, Afridi one-down, 4)Younis 5)Misbah 6)Akmal 7)Arafat 8)Gul 9)Malik... On Malik: Who is the captain here? There seem to be 4,5 captains setting their own field. The captain seems to be watching the show, while the person who should have been the captain seems to be the...captain. Malik doesn't deserve a place in any form of the game and hopefully when the contract expires we will see Afridi become the captain (with Younis leading the Test Side).

    Beware: The little master Kamran Akmal has been missing the ball too often. The ball, whenever it passes close to the bat, pops in his gloves and pops out. He will soon drop a crucial catch or two. Apart from that, his legs seem to be hitting the stumps while moving and his whole movement and confidence seems to be diminishing. He might again be the difference between a Pakistan win and a Pakistan loss.

  • nabeel on September 12, 2007, 13:34 GMT

    I just saw pakistan inning vs. scotland. Abbasi Sahib you were so right. The were good and bad in the same match and yet posted a decent score because its 20 20. I wish they had played the match against ireland in the same fashion

    Nabeel

  • Swami on September 12, 2007, 11:54 GMT

    Pakistan has as good a chance as any side including Bangla Desh

    This is an unknown format for most sides and benchmarks will develop during this tournament

    How good is pakistan bowling and fielding may be more crucial than the batting, as this game seems to be tailor made for one side to out bat the other

    It is good that most fans have no clear expectations except for a hope their side will do well and that should allow players to be free and express themselves

    Gayle has set the standard for explosive batting and the queue is for Afridi to show why he is one of the most fierce hitters in the game

    Looking forward to Ind - Pak game which I am sure will be played in a cheerful festive atmosphere as thankfully both sides will not have the huge weight of expecations usually associated with such clashes

  • Amanzeb Khan on September 12, 2007, 11:23 GMT

    I believe that this tournament will once again show that the best batsmen who play good cricketing shots will be more consistently successful. The thrashers and wham bammers will be successful in the odd match but it will be the top batsmen who will win games for their teams. I would bet on a Salman Butt or a Shoaib Malik rather than Afridi or Nazir. Other batsmenn to watch out for are Gayle, Ponting, Gibbs, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Pietersen and Jayasuriya

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 12, 2007, 11:06 GMT

    Shoaib,

    Hafeez is a very resourceful player whose only problem is that he does not use his brain when he opens. I don’t see how we can rely so much on domestic specialisms in international cricket. Why not use Hafeez as a middle order batsman? His bowling is much better than Shoaib Malik and it should be too, since Malik is a supremely talented batsman who in my opinion will be better than Inzamam by the time his career comes to an end. Malik should only concentrate on batting because he is so damn good at it (mashallah). Hafeez is a good bowler and fielder. If he is used in the middle order he is any team’s dream Twenty20 and ODI cricketer. When Stephen Fleming, Craig McMillan, Chanderpaul, Lara, Ganguly, Dravid, Katich, Ponting etc can open for their teams, why can’t Pakistani openers be demoted to the middle order?

    Wasim Saqib mentions about Salman Butt. Yes he has been in good form recently but the people who are criticising him feel that better players like Rao, Gul, Yasir Hameed etc were deprived when Butt was made captain because he has been an inconsistent player all the way through. His elevation to VC might positively affect his consistency in Twenty20 and forthcoming matches but that doesn’t remedy his unimpressive past record before he was promoted. Taufeeq Umar, Yasir Hameed, Khurran Manzoor and Khalid Latif are more talented than Butt, Nazir and Hafeez (Hafeez as an opener).

  • Hassan Ehsan on September 12, 2007, 10:08 GMT

    Mr Abbassi I agree with the majority of what you have said.. I just have one question after watching Chirs Gayle yesterday ... why not send AFRIDI to open? In a shorter format with less overs it just seems to tempting not to have Afridi open with say Nazir or even Butt....

    Following is my XI

    Imran Nazir Shahid Afridi /Butt Yasir Hameed Salman Butt Younis Khan Shoaib Malik Fawad Alam / Kamran Akmal Umar Gul Rao Ifthikar Mohammad Asif

  • omar hussain on September 12, 2007, 10:01 GMT

    Whatever the final X1 i expect Pakistan to do well in this 20 overs tournament.Our batsmen are inherent strokemakers and big hitters but about the bowling i am less hopefull.Anyways let us give the youngsters a hand and pray that their youth is given full rein.Insha-allah they will provide entertaining cricket.Afridi is the man under the spotlight but don't forget the other Khan...Younis! i have a hunch he will surprise many people!! Good luck boys and allah hafiz!!

  • tabs farooq on September 12, 2007, 9:45 GMT

    Steady on Mr. J. Khan one was merely praising your extended writing abilities. Keep it up and try not using words like "coz" and it brings the tone down of your brilliant writing style!! I hope this friendly banter makes it past our hosts screening process!! Thanks Kamran!

  • Zaina on September 12, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    I think we've already experienced death,high time for glory. I think we wont even reach the semi-finals,we havent beaten a good side in a long time,leave aside a good side we face tough competition from scotland,dont forget their irish brothers defeated us.I think our battings always let us down,this time will be hopefully different. Have to admit though I want a life ban on Shoaib without him the bowling line up will lack the killer blow. We saw pollock getting hammered against WI,so the line and length bowlers usually get a beating.Everything apart,I as a pakistani wish my team the best and hope that they win this 20 20 NOT for anything but for restoration of some pride and image of pakistani cricket.

  • Imtiaz Ahmed on September 12, 2007, 8:16 GMT

    I managed to catch the second half of the SA V WI game last night after work. What a game and what a pressure cooker for the bowlers. In the late eighties and and early nineties there was a trend in Asians that played cricket in Lancashire, England to organise an eight team or a six team tournamant that would start at 9.00am on a Sunday morning and the final would be played at around 7.00pm. The long days of the British summer helped. It used to be a 8 or 10 overs a side game and teams used to score 100 plus on a regular basis. And it was a nightmare for the bowlers. Any over that cost you less than 10 runs was a good over. Anything less than run a ball was a brilliant. It is a completely different game. The most important requirement for winning a game was players with big hearts who could take the pressure. And in my opinion it will be same for this tournament. So with this in mind my 11 are as below. 1.Nazir 2.Butt 3.F Alam 4.Younis 5.Afridi 6.Malik 7.Akmal 8.Arafat 9.Asif 10.Gul 11.Rao

    Some might say that this is a bowler heavy selection but this tournament in my opinion will be won by the team that has less variety in batting and more options in bowling. You need the fast, the medium pacers and spinners at your finger tip as a captain, because what was your game plan in the first five overs could be completely thrown out of the window with one bad over.

    Anyway tonk cricket --- bring it on. If anyone can win on reputation than that would be us (Pak).

    Regards,

    Imtiaz A Lancashire, England.

  • arshad on September 12, 2007, 7:17 GMT

    I want this 1.Shoaib Akhtar 2.Shoaib Akhtar 3.Shoaib Akhtar 4.Shoaib Akhtar 5.Shoaib Akhtar 6.Shoaib Akhtar 7.Shoaib Akhtar 8.Shoaib Akhtar 9.Shoaib Akhtar 10.Shoaib Akhtar 11.Shoaib Akhtar

  • Rashid on September 12, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    Yes, I will be happy if they do not loose to Scotland again, but you never know. I do not see any reliable batsman beside Younis. Oh yes Shoaib Malik our captain, hopefully he can score some runs to be in team.

  • Imran Nawaz on September 12, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    Razzaq is a big blow, MASSIVE!! 1. Butt 2. Younis 3. Nazir 4. Hafeez 5. Akmal 6. Afridi 7. Malik 8. Yasir (because he can bat) 9. Rao 10. Asif 11. Sami (he can win it with a bit of skidddy pace)

    Razzler is a big loss, shoaib in tests will be hard for Pakistan to take, no fast bowlers, no win

  • Muhammad Tariq on September 12, 2007, 6:22 GMT

    I think this is the best possible 15 team squad (except Muhammad Yousaf and Abdul Razzaq) they must include in the squad. Anyhow this is the time of rest for both of them. So i agree with the PCB 15 men Squad and my Playing Eleven are 1. Salman Butt 2. Imran Nazir 3. Muhammad Hafiz 4. Younas Khan 5. Shoaib Malik 6. Shahid Afridi 7. Kamran Akmal 8. Fawad Alam 9. Muhammad Asif 10.Umar Gul 11.Yasir Arafat This is the best combination of Bating, Spin & Fast bowling. The Batting order is changable according to the situation of the match.

  • jacks on September 12, 2007, 5:45 GMT

    i don't have to name a team.it is ramadhan and pakistan will win.remember 1992 and 1996-97 both times in australia what happened?and it is a long time since icc hosted anything in ramadhan too.also we purged the team of a harami too so there is no jinx around if you know what i mean.

  • ubaid on September 12, 2007, 5:09 GMT

    Some bad things are being said about Abdul Rehman, which I don't think he deserves. ( No surprise there). He can turn out to be a wild card. Lets not play yasir Arafat. All we are going to see from him are length balls and he will not be able to, get the ball up there no matter how hard he tries. Poor soul just does not have the ability to do that.

  • Nath on September 12, 2007, 4:53 GMT

    20/20 cricket is a somewhat of a lottery so far as I am concerned. This form of the game seems to 'level the playing field', and so I think there are several teams that could win the tournament, and Pakistan is obviously one of those teams in the running.

    I liked the comment 'Pakistan will perform incredibly well or laughably badly, probably they will manage both extremes in the same match.' As an 'outsider', that is exactly how I see Pakistani cricket. They are the most mercurial side in world cricket ... on their day they can produce awesome play and beat anyone in the world but at their worst they can be VERY bad.

    Regarding JAVED A. KHAN's posts ... Javed, do you ever have a point to make? Anyone can string thousands of words together and use large words in an incorrect context, but when those words make little sense or are just rambling drivel with no real underlying message, then what is the point? I don't expect you to pay any attention to my comments, but I believe that your posts would be infinitely more readable if you just came out and said what you need to say, in a succinct manner and to the point, instead of filling the screen with page after page of words that really say nothing.

  • WASIM SAQIB on September 12, 2007, 4:20 GMT

    There should be no default playing eleven, the team should be selected keeping in view the playing conditions and the opposition's strength and weakness.

    The weak links in the team are Imran Nazir, Younis Khan, and Yasir Arafat. Pakistan’s team should not be selected on the basis of the best eleven available but on the basis of the best combination. My team is as follows:

    1-Salman Butt 2-Imran Nazir 3-Younis 4-Shoaib 5-Mhammed Hafeez 6-Afridi 7-Fawad Alam 8-Kamran Akmal 9-Sohail Tanvir 10-Umar Gul 11-Asif

    I know probably Yasir Arafat will get selected over Sohail Tanvir but I have never been a big fan of Yasir he is too flat like Sami although he is fast but the faster it comes the faster it goes. I would prefer Sohail or Rao over Yasir. We have to keep in mind the bowlers have to bowl only 20 overs and we already have seven Bowlers.

    Eventually we might have to drop one bowler and select one more batsman. The only thing lacking in this team is that we do not have a Quality fast bowling all-rounder, the selection would have been much more easy and the combination would have been more strong if we had someone like Akram or Razzak. I think Shoaib Malik is doing a fine job so far criticism of him and Salman Butt by some of the posters is just baseless these two have been consistently scoring in all the practice matches and if their form continued in the main round then I strongly believe that we do have a chance to win it all.

  • Amir Rahman Khan on September 12, 2007, 0:36 GMT

    Lest we forget,Ireland !!!

  • Badar Siddiqi on September 12, 2007, 0:27 GMT

    Going by the pre-tournament games in Kenya and SA, one would rate Pakistan as the one team that can pose threat to the dominance of Australia and South Africa. On paper, this team can certainly lift the championship title. Give them a good day out in the middle and they can thrash any team even without the services of Inzi, Yousuf, Razzaq and Shoaib Akhtar! But lets face the reality. They always start as hot favorites only to succumb to the pressure of high expectations; just see the results of the last two World Cups and last year's Champions Trophy. We can't win any big championship without a well-balanced team composition. Having too many allrounders in any team is never a good idea. You need a few specialists out in the middle, too. Unfortunately Pakistan have too many batting allrounders like Malik, Afridi, Hafeez, Alam etc but perhaps no bowling allrounder ( Iftikhar Anjum could be as close as you can get). If only slog hitting could win you matches then think again! Gayle's heroics went in vain just because the West Indies didn't have good specialist bowlers who could either block runs or take wickets beside showing disciplined bowling. What good is it to see either Nazir or Afridi hitting a couple of sixes before getting out the very next ball? By the time Nazir showed his potential in the last World Cup, Pakistan was already out of the tournament. Our players seem to be hitting the right areas before a big tournament only to fail miserably when put under pressure and when the actual action kicks off. It's foolish to expect too much from the likes of Tanvir, Rehman, Misbah or Alam in such a huge tournament because they may be excellent domestic players but when they step out in front of packed stadium abroad and face a true opposition, they all collapse. It's never a good idea to try out your new players overseas especially in big tournaments like Twenty20 where you don't have time to repair the damage done by their inexperience. Don't we all remember Alam's debut in ODI just a few months ago when he got out for a duck and his captain kept him from bowling because of the nervousness he was showing in that match. And mind you, that was just a low profile match in Abu Dhabi right after the World Cup. I'll just give my XI without a certain batting order because of the nature of the game: 1. Imran Nazir (Best slogger to open the innings and a sharp fielder) 2. Salman Butt (Good accumulator and rotator) 3. Younus Khan (Good accumulator and hitter; most experienced player and an excellent fielder) 4. Shahid Afridi (Pinch hitter in the middle, sharp fielder and a wicket taking bowler) 5. Shoaib Malik (Stabilizer & hitter in center, sharp fielder and economic bowling option) 6. Mohammad Hafeez (Good fielder, run blocking & wicket taking bowling option; can also open) 7. Kamran Akmal (WK and a floater in the batting order who can do some clean hitting) 8. Yasir Arafat (Good bowler who can also bat) 9. Iftikhar Anjum (economic bowler who can also come in handy for some power hitting if needed) 10. Umar Gul (A must in the team with his economic and wicket taking bowling abilities) 11. Mohammad Asif (Senior bowler)

    Good luck team Pakistan!

  • Asif Sarfraz on September 11, 2007, 23:14 GMT

    Come on Pakistan!

    We have to put all the history behind us and show that we are a talented and spirited team that can play exciting cricket!

    I know the squad has been chosen and I am late in saying this, but I'm not sure about Yasir Arafats inclusion in the team!

    I think we should of gone with Rana Naved that has been playing well in the Twenty 20 League in English county cricket with his bowling variations, and powerful hitting on his day!

    What do you think!

    Anyway Lets Just Pray Yaar that Pakistan get to a decent position!

    Winning it would just be out of this world!

    Asif Sarfraz

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 11, 2007, 22:49 GMT

    Everyone watching the opening match of the twenty20 world cup thought that the dark horses from the Caribbean are going to run away with the game against the Springboks. Especially when the hurricane called Gayle created havoc with his bat which looked like a Twister in Johannesburg. But, as the expression goes, 'fortune favours the brave,' Graeme Smith who was injured on the first ball, decided to stay and played a good knock with his partner Gibbs to give a good start and Gibbs stayed there till the end to seal a victory for the home team.

    IMO, the West Indians themselves are to be blamed for losing this match with bad bowling and sloppy fielding. Gayle created a world record and the Windies posted the highest ever total in this form of game, which did not last for more than a couple of hours. Their bowlers also created a world record of 28 extras. Three dropped catches, two run out chances missed, changed the complexion of the game and SA cruised to a comfortable win with 14 balls to spare. The ending wasn't like the beginning to call it a nail biting thriller, still a good match from entertainment point of view and not to mention the cheer leaders and the band.

    What the Pakistan team can learn from this match i.e., when they play (hopefully) in the second round on this ground? This ground is not good for the seamers nor the spinners. The ball wasn't swinging at all and it wasn't spinning either. Philander was the most successful of all the bowlers with his gentle medium pace bowling. So, IMO Yasir Arafat and Afridi can be more effective on this ground. It would be too early to discuss about the second round because there are two important matches to be played at a totally different venue i.e. at Durban which is on the coast of Indian Ocean. May be during the night the ball may swing, but that is to be seen when they'll play.

    The first match in Durban that Pakistan will play against Scotland tomorrow is only a day encounter and nothing much to learn from it. Because, the second game on the same ground against India is a day and night game. Therefore, they will not know whether it would be better to bat first or field first in case of winning the toss against India? I would prefer Pakistan to bat first and put up a big total and their bowlers are better than West Indian current bowlers and they can defend a total of 200 runs.

    India's batting line up is also formidable with Sehwag back in to the team, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Uthappa, Gambhir and Irfan Pathan are good hitters and Karthik plays the anchor role when needed. It is their bowling department which is slightly weaker and I doubt whether Harbhajan Singh can be of any use in this form of the game? He has been out of action for quite sometime and Chawla wasn't able to mesmerize Pietersen in the final ODI at Lords. And Pakistan team plays spinners better than other teams so Chawla is not a threat. No clue about the other Pathan but, I wonder why they didn't include Zaheer Khan in the team? He is in such a good form these days and could have been a great asset to the Indian side. If the rookies fail and won't come up to the expectations of the Indian selectors then the three musketeers would be badly missed by the masses and the selector's neck would be on the guillotine.

    I do agree with khansahab about Asif's performance in shorter version of the game where most batsmen try to play on the front foot and Asif's length deliveries can be pulled away or tossed over long on and long off during the power play. In the previous ODI's and even in the recent twenty20 matches Asif was unable to contain the batsmen. Umar Gul is definitely better in this format and so is Rao and Yasir Arafat. I would also suggest that if Asif fails on a couple of occasions or, Pakistan fails because of his bowling then, they must test the new fast bowler Sohail Tanvir but, that would be depending on the pitch they play whether to give Fawad Alam a chance or replace a fast bowler with a fast bowler?

    PS. Dawar or Saima Khan - what is the point of posting the names of those who are not even in the twenty20 squad for this tournament?

  • sohaib syed from CA on September 11, 2007, 20:57 GMT

    i am pleased with the practice and build up to the match

    my starting XI

    NAZIR BUTT YOUNIS MALIK AFRIDI (FLOATING) AKMAL ALAM Arafat Asif Roa Gull

  • ashutosh k jha on September 11, 2007, 20:54 GMT

    for me pakistan is going to win this world cup ...they ve the players of the callibre of afridi(dashing,masterful and murderous and not to forget his spin),imran nazir,younis khan and bowlers like asif,gul and company they have the heaviest possible artillery this world cup can think off...only problem is their consistency but that too doesnt matter much in 20 overs match....they are vulnerable in longer matches(test and odis where batsmen need to build innings) but here they will be explosive and even mighty australians definitely wouldnot want to face them in knockout encounters before final...forget aussies,kiwis ,srilankans (india cant be even named)...pakistan (once united) are unbeatble in 20 20s....

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg Virginia, USA on September 11, 2007, 20:44 GMT

    From what we saw a little while back in the first encounter of the tournament a score of over 200 can be surpassed. Credit goes to South Africa for showing the grit needed to chase the massive score put up by Windies after Gayle's fireworks and Blitzkreig style of batting.

    How will Pakistan fare in this version of the game?

    Looking at the performance of the team in few matches played recently at international level, and the warm up matches, they look like a sharp outfit. Many of you will argue that the opposition was too feeble. Which was the case in most matches with the exception of Srilanka.

    Pakistan may not have the experience, big game temperament, capacity to chase huge scores or big Stars - like Australia widely regarded to win this tournament. The good thing is that the young Pakistan team is under no pressure to win the tournament, so if they play to their potential we could see some major upsets in this 20/20 World Cup.

    The first hurdle comes tomorrow and Pakistan has to go past Scotland and avoid repeating the faltering act they did against the other minnow: Ireland, not long ago during the recent limited 50-overs World Cup held in the Carrabean. If Pakistan can beat Scotland conclusively, they will go in to the next game against India with a boosted confidence level necessary to pull off a victory to silence the critics and give the team some respect.

    I agree with Kamran's selection of XI:

    Imran Nazir Salman Butt Mohammad Hafeez Younis Khan Shahid Afridi Shoaib Malik Kamran Akmal Mohammad Asif Umar Gul Yasir Arafat Sohail Tanvir or Fawad Alam

    I added Sohai Tanvir or Fawad Alam, because of their All-round strength. Sohail Tanvir has performed well at home in the recent matches against a strong Australian XI. Fawad Alam has a good record in domestic cricket and domestic 20/20. Pakistan is a young side and inclusion of these youngsters won't hurt, if they perform with the intensity needed to compete and learn at this level of the game.

  • Abdullah on September 11, 2007, 20:30 GMT

    Dawar thoo pagal ho gaya kia?

    here is the best team for 20/20: 1-Salman Butt 2-Imran Nazir 3-Younis Khan 4-Afridi( tell him to play however he wants) 5-Shoaib Malik 6-Mohammad Hafeez 7-Kamran Akmal 8-Fawad Alam 9-Yasir Arafat 10-Umar Gul 11-Mohammad Asif

  • fhs on September 11, 2007, 20:23 GMT

    All eyes are on Imran Nazir! HOPE!!!

  • Azhar on September 11, 2007, 20:22 GMT

    I think that pakistan must utilize their full resources in Spin department because it will more difficult to hit them as compare to medium fast bowlers.

    My XI is:

    1- Hafeez 2- Salman Butt 3- Shoaib Malik 4- Yunis Khan 5- Shahid Afridi 6- Kamran Akmal 7- Fawad Alam 8- Yasir Arafat 9- Abdur Rehman 10- Umer Gul 11- M. Asif

  • shoaib on September 11, 2007, 19:52 GMT

    how can we still support mohammed hafeez? he was given a very long time, compared to other pakistani players, to prove himself as an opener. i would pick yasir hameed over him any day to open with salman butt. even in this 20/20 wc.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 11, 2007, 19:40 GMT

    Windies have just lost against SA. If you think about it a score of 200+ is quite solid in Twenty20 (hereafter “T20”) but Windies let themselves down by undisciplined bowling and poor fielding. This tells you the importance of good fielding in T20. Many people have questioned Mohammad YousAf’s exclusion from T20 but the plain truth is that Malik did not want him in the squad because of his uninspiring fielding.

    Also, SA seem to be in really good form and should be considered a threat by Pakistan, more so because of their home advantage. SA are generally a mentally strong side and you could see they used their brains when they were facing pressure, chasing 200+. This is my worry as far as Pakistan is concerned. When I analyse the batting techniques of Nazir, Butt, Afridi, Akmal and even Younis Khan, I see plenty of experience but I don’t see mental strength. Hence, I firmly believe Malik should choose to bat first whatever the circumstances, especially in the more important matches later on in the tournament.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on September 11, 2007, 19:36 GMT

    Afridi, as always, will fail to use his brain and will be the biggest underperformer of this tournament. That is my prediction. As for the team, reaching the semis will be equivalent to winning the tournament for I dont see them going TOO far. A couple of victories here and there, but thats about it i guess. I miss the Pakistani team of the 90s. (We should have dominated the cricket scene back then) . Too bad, the infighting and all the crappy politics mucked up our chances of doing that. The current team on the other hand is a very very very average. Hence, very few expectations. Might just work.

  • abbaas akhtar on September 11, 2007, 18:26 GMT

    1. BUTT 2. NAZIR 3. MALIK 4. AFRIDI 5. YOUNIS 6. KAMRAN 7. ALAM 8. GUL 9. SAMI 10. ASIF 11. KANERIA

  • Aleem Butt on September 11, 2007, 18:09 GMT

    Nice article Kamran. But lets be realistic . This team does not have any calibre at all. They will lose and lose ...as xtime losers. Since this is not a meritorious team , you have too many useless players like Salman Butt , Shahid Afridi , Shoaib Malik etc. These chaps could not make it into any other first class cricket event ..yet they continue to appear in Test and other interrnational cricketing events. Pak fans ...it is time to reconsider cricket . Opt for gulli danda instead.Have chholay and enjoy life.

    Kind Regards

    Aleem

  • Dawar on September 11, 2007, 16:53 GMT

    "The right time for death or glory"

    As a Pakistani, I want glory but if u see merit and current performance I see the death.

    We will easily win aginst Scotland, Salman Butt will score big.

    With India 50/50 but now a days India is in the good form but they will miss inform batsman Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid. So we could win against them too.

    Many desrving players are not in our team. Our openers are good against poor bowling and weak teams only.

    Current openers in the team have serious problem with thier batting technique. We have worst wicket keeper in the team. If team select on merit its should be as follows:

    1) Khalid Latif 2)Khurrum Manzoor 3)Yasir Hamid 4)Younis Khan 5)Shoaib Malik 6)Fawad Alam 7)Sarfraz Ahmed (WC) 8)Shahid Afridi 9)Mohammad Asif 10)Anwar Ali 11) Jamshed 12) Faisal Iqbal, Asim Kamal or Salamn Butt

  • aj on September 11, 2007, 15:19 GMT

    aoa I think we should be pleased if pak team reaches the semis. that would be a great achievement. Out of the 15 the guys who wouldn't play in my team are Misbah, Abdul-Rehman, Tanveer and Rao. That gives us 10 people who can strike a cricket ball, and I think asif and Gul can do damage with the new ball especially under lights. yasir arafat must play as a death bowler! the strategy is for Salman to try to bat the innings. if he fails then younis takes his place. everyone else should just have a ball and express themselves and lets see where we end up! best of luck guys.

  • Irfan on September 11, 2007, 15:01 GMT

    Hopes and more hopes and...

    When the thorn is removed from the body, pain subsides and the body feels better. That is how Pak dressing room must be feeling. Relieved, cool and focused. I thank god that the new coach had the good sense to stay away from this mud slinging fest. He would be and correctly should be the latent force in the dressing room. Strategically, Shoaib's exit is not going to matter all that much as this game is for the bowlers who know how to save runs by tying batsman down not for speedsters who are erratic and bowl short. I think a left arm seamer could be effective if he bowls accurately.

    Afridi, certainly is emerging as a genuine ace as of late he has shown the potential to excel in all the three departments. Younis khan should play the role of an anchor as I am pretty sure that's what the coach would want him to do. Where inclusion of one specialist spinner would give us more variety(Rehman) but an allrounder who is a good spinner and a genuine bat will certainly put a lot more options in the hands of the captain in the field.

    I slightly disagree with Kamran, I think Hafeez should be replaced with Fawad in the upper order and tie should be between Rehman, Iftikhar and the new lefty. The reports reaching here tell about the swing and the seam as Aussies were undone by it I think you guys will be in for a surprise if this new lefty is anywhere near good the coach might even put him in.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 11, 2007, 14:58 GMT

    The kick-off or, "slog it on" is the apt phrase for this fast and furious twenty20 event, which is about to start in a couple of hours from now. As everyone else I am also very excited about it and more so for the Sept.14th thriller which is already a sold out event at Durban. The amount of interest that is being shown for this version of the game all over the world is a proof of what the people want to see. I don't know about the price of the tickets at the gate, but the pay per view package (in Canada it is only $49.99 for all the matches) is very much affordable and most people I know are buying the full package.

    Reportedly, like the 50 over game this twenty20 version also started in England and the reason is people like entertainment and outing at the same time. We all have seen the flying and flopping of the Hong Kong Sixes, thats because it was too short and not only that, it had only six players, so it wasn't cricket and neither is single wicket cricket - is cricket. But, twenty20 is more like fast food than gourmet dining and it is still cricket. Like the fast food industry has brought revolution in eating for the masses but, it has not killed the gourmet dining. Likewise, twenty20 has brought revolution in cricket and it is not going to kill the 50 overs game and test cricket.

    So, the third dimension that has been added to this game of cricket is dynamic, exciting, vibrant and it will revolutionize the cricket industry. From now onwards, no one would call the game of cricket a boring game! Now something for a few of my fans and admirers that I have here on this blog. One of them has written something on my behalf on this thread and it goes to prove that they not only admire my posts but, they go to the extent of adoring and worshiping me and what a shame that they find my posts "boringly interesting" and they read every word innit like The Holy Gospel, then they react with envy, praise, criticize, emulate, copy my style of writing and even use my name. I think it is a kinda gratification for them 'coz in cases of chronic perversion people like to adore and emulate their idols, I pity these poor pay and do souls for being so naive and ignorant.

  • Zalim on September 11, 2007, 14:19 GMT

    I am surprised that no one is even saying Pakistan are one of the favorites?!?!? Even the Indians think they are going to do better than Pakistan. Is everyone not following Pakistan Twenty/20 Preperations!?!?!? Beside England, Pakistan is the other country who has Twenty/20 as part of their domestic system. I am SURE Pakistan will make into the finals. NO Question about that. I am hoping that Mr. Abbassi will write a MUCH more positive article about Pakistan's chances of winning cuz we are the team to beat.

  • Sameer A Malik on September 11, 2007, 14:19 GMT

    My favorite XI would be in the following order, provided Afridi can be shuffled anywhere according to situation. 1. Imran Nazir 2. Salman Butt 3. Younis Khan 4. Shoaib Malik 5. Shahid Afridi 6. Mohammed Hafeez 7. Fawad Alam (wish we had Abdul Razzaq) 8. Kamran Akmal 9. Yasir Arafat 10.Umar Gul 11.Mohammed Asif

    Does anyone know who is broadcasting this 20/20 Championship in USA? (Any suggestions what would be better way to watch this 20/20 Live?)

  • theosa, Pittsburgh, U.S.A. on September 11, 2007, 14:05 GMT

    My bets are on mighty Australia and the home crowd favorite South Africa to win the ICC 20/20 WC. Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if any of the other test playing teams wins. None of the teams have a vast experience in this format of the game at international level so it is kindda wide open tournament. The team that deserves to win is Australia. They are the most talented and most consistent. Before start of any major tournament or a road series Pak fans have high hopes and unrealistic expectations for their team and at end of the day when smoke is clear I see them demanding firing the whole cricket Board and axe the players. Here is why this happens; Pak team is not as talented as we believe, if there was talent, it would show. To promote competition you have to have good back ups and players should be fighting for the starting job. Most of the fans might not agree but this Board took some bold steps and I have faith in the chief selector Mr. Slahuddin. Hey, lets be honest, Moyo was not among the best choices for this format of the game. No questions about his batting ability but Moyo is the worst fielder Pak ever had and not to forget the fact that this fast paced game require good running between the wickets and Moyo was a risk running people out left and right. He is a disgrace for joining the ICL. Every senior player thinks his place is warranted in Pak side. This is the first time the PCB did the right thing, hats off to them. At the end, good luck to Pak team, I like Afridi in this tournament for batting and bowling. I hope Pak team will give a run for their money to opposite teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers way.

  • Ash Zed on September 11, 2007, 13:46 GMT

    Pakistan chances ?? huh....

    Did you see Pakistan finished 6th in Asian Hockey.... Once undisputed World Champion now struggling in Asia....same goes with every other sport and you talk about Pakistan chances in Twenty20??

    Pakistan only has chances in all sort of wrongdoing..... if it is corruption, violence, bombing, drugs, human rights violation, religious extremism, hatred, intolerance....Pakistan is deserving WORLD CHAMPIONS !!!

    If you have any moral courage and truly believe in freedom of speech, publish this blog.

  • Omar on September 11, 2007, 13:43 GMT

    Haha....I like the way you put it; "Inzamam's striking revolt....Shoaib's revolting strike". Good one Kamran!

  • Tawquir Ahmed on September 11, 2007, 13:29 GMT

    I have high hopes that Pakistan will do well in this up coming tournament. Alot of debate has gone into Shoab Akhtar factor and I think now its time to move on to the games rather than discussing what happend as we will have plently of time to do this after the tournament is over.

    Sohail Tanvir, the replacement for Shoaib, I think will do wonders for Pakistan, I have played with Sohail for a long time as we belong to the same area and nearly everyday we used to have encounters with each other. He is very deceptive with his action and pace. Also he can bat very well too so he brings an additional skill to the table which some other near international bowlers might not have who are in Pakistans reserve pool.

    Lets all hope this is a new start for a new chapter of Pakistan cricket written by Geoff Lawson.

  • salman saifi on September 11, 2007, 13:09 GMT

    Why cant people understand that this pakistan team is one of the worst in years...Kamran abbasi is a die hard optimist & he writes something of this nature everytime pakistan plays in big tournaments such as this..i still remember his nonsense article before the WC where he clearly made pakistan the favourites & counted australia as the only obstacle between pakistan & the cup..same man is here again & I just cant understand why people disregard facts...the fact is Pakistan stands nowhere in this tournament..SA, WI & certainly Aus are the real contenders...

  • Mani on September 11, 2007, 13:00 GMT

    Hey Kamran, I agree with your thoughts on how Pakistan will perform 100%. I have a feeling that Afridi and Nazir will play a role but I belive the Captin will have to lead from the front! All in all I would go with your team and the last place I would award to Fawad Alam as he deserves tsi place. He earned it in my opinion. Pakistan Zindabad!

  • Abdullah on September 11, 2007, 12:52 GMT

    Kamran Bhai it was great reading ur article. Anyway I am eager to c Shahid Afridi and other Pakistanis play every match similar to the second match they played against south africa...beating them by 141 runs....Hope Allah will help them out this time unlike in the bygone world cup....

  • Navid Ahmed, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire on September 11, 2007, 12:51 GMT

    Pakistan cricket has always been in the limelight for the wrong reasons i.e. Inzamam refusing to bring his team out, Shoaib and Asif sent back from Champions trophy in India, Shoaib Akhter losing his mind as always but even with all these problems I have always had faith in Pakistan cricket team. If they ply to their full potential then they can beat any team in the world even the mighty Australians. I think Pakistan should just forget out Shoaib now, put a lifetime ban on him from playing any sort of cricket or even be involved in any manner weather coaching, commentary or whatever. He has disgraced the nation of Pakistan and hurt millions of Pakistanis who ride their hope on him that he will win us tournaments and matches.

    Well enough about that, now I think even with all the inconsistencies Pakistan battling line up has, I still think they are one of the favourites in this World Championship. Pakistan has the firepower to answer any questions asked providing that our players perform fully to their ability and Insha'Allah they will.

    My playing XI would be:

    1. Salman Butt 2. Imran Nazir 3. Kamran Akmal 4. Younis Khan 5. Shoaib Malik 6. Shahid Afridi 7. Mohammed Hafeez 8. Yasir Arafat 9. Abdur Rehman 10. Umer Gul 11. Mohammed Asif

    Pakistan all the best of luck and I hope Allah gives you the strength to put a smile on the whole nation's faces, Aameen.

  • Rizwan Shah on September 11, 2007, 12:36 GMT

    Dear Friends,

    I think we have a strong unit. Never give up hope and don't critisize your team all the time. Support your team all the time. Wish them best of luck. They will be Victorous. InshAllah.

  • Taha Kaleem on September 11, 2007, 12:24 GMT

    my team is... Salman Butt Imran Nazir Younis Khan Shahid Afridi Shoaib Malik Mohammed Hafeez Kamran Akmal Fawad Alam Yasir Arafat Umer Gul Mohammed Asif

  • mnsharif on September 11, 2007, 12:12 GMT

    gosh! i am stilling thinking how did they leave out Abdul Razzak, its suicidal at the least!

  • Anees on September 11, 2007, 11:58 GMT

    Yeah,nice team fawad should be given a chance.. Pakistan and south africa are the teams to look for.. Forget about australia they cant win 20twenty cup..

  • Ramz on September 11, 2007, 11:57 GMT

    all the best for the team....some one blamed Mohd. Yousef for signing for ICL.....actually can't be blamed...all pakistani superstars/hero's received very ill treatment from the PCB end of the career (except for Imran Khan)...so, better Yousef steps down before that having the title test cricket star in his pocket....all the best for Mohd Yousef

  • Muhammad Asif on September 11, 2007, 11:48 GMT

    We love to propose the names of our fav, knowing that on bouncy tracks their perf would be unpredictable. The reason is very simple because they are not used to play on those tracks in their domestic career. And if they are not able to perf on bouncy tracks, abusing them afterwards is to be reactive. So pen down the solution, i.e; to include such tracks in your domestic settup, making them more consistant & dependable. You would be proactive if you do like this i.e; prepare yourself before the happening (something that you know).

  • Anam Ahmed on September 11, 2007, 11:43 GMT

    Am still confused between Rehman and Anjum bc i feel that Rehman hasnt been given enough chances to prove himself and i see him one of the emerging spinners though we already have spinners in the team so Anjum can be a good choice and i agree that Anjum can be the Star instead of Asif bc Asif's bowling hasnt been that reliable in the ODIS then in the Tests. We would seriously need Afridi to set up a 4s and 6s party out there but with a sensible mind and Yunus can be quite handu though he is not one of my favorites...My XI:

    1. Salman Butt 2. Younis Khan 3. Imran Nazir 4. Mohammad Hafeez 5. Shoaib Malik 6. Shahid Afridi 7. Kamran Akmal 8. Yasir Arafat 9. Rao Iftikhar Anjum 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammed Asif

  • mnsharif on September 11, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    I'll say the last spot must be filled in with a left arm slow bowler (read Fawad Alam or Abdur Rehman).

    and for God's sake, please dont select Misbah. He doesnt look fit for on dayers, let alone T20 matches :P

  • Farid Ehtisham on September 11, 2007, 11:27 GMT

    well, i always like your positive attitude, Kamran. This current team has only potential of playing 20-20 format only. So i am dman sure they will perform briliantly in this tournment. My playing eleven is: 1- Slaman Butt 2- Imran Nazir 3- Younis Khan 4- Muhammad hafeez 5- Shoaib Malik 6- Shahid Afridi 7- Kamaran Akmal 8- Fawad Alam / Rio Iftikhar 9- Yaisr Arafat 10- Omer Gul 11- Muhammad Asif

    i am not in favor of sending Kamran Akaml at one down position. Afridi can be send up in order if requires higher run rate in chasing.

    BEST OF LUCK TO PAKISTAN

    Ehtisham

  • Gobind on September 11, 2007, 10:53 GMT

    my team is:-

    1.Slaman Butt 2.Shoaib Malik 3.Imran Nazir 4.Younis Khan 5.Fawad Alim/Hafeez 6.Sahid Afridi 7.Kamran Akmal 8.Arfat 9. Gul 10.Asif 11. Anjum

    Shoaib should be at top because of his adaptation to any situation & anjum should play as he is celver ODI bowler.

  • Samad from Sydney on September 11, 2007, 10:50 GMT

    My pick, going by recent form would be 1. Butt 2. Hafeez 3. Khan 4. Nazir 5. Malik 6. Afridi - I would prmote the guy pending on the situation obviously. 7. Alam - Extra Variety in run stopping with malik, afridi and hafeez 8. Akmal 9.Arafat 10.Iftikhar 11.Gul

    Note that the batman are set so that you have hitting nut before a conservative player that can hold a situation.

    Good Luck pakistan

  • Sho@iB Ahmed on September 11, 2007, 10:45 GMT

    Hi my XI is:

    Sulman. Imran Nazir. Younis Khan. Shoaib Malik. Afridi Fawad alam. Hafeez. kamran Akmal Ifitikhar Anjum.

    its importnat to hv fawad in lower middele order for left/right combination. Gul. Asif.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on September 11, 2007, 10:27 GMT

    I am surprised Fawad Alam is not in Mr Abbasi’s line-up. This man batted at no 3 for his team and took most of the awards of the Twenty20 tournament. He single-handedly took Karachi to the finals of the tournament. He is a crafty bowler too who knows how to get wickets. I am quite certain Asif will not perform in this event because he is a new-ball bowler and once the ball gets smashed to all corners of the park it will stop swinging. Asif relies on consistent line and length to obtain wickets but in Twenty20 you can’t bowl at the same line and length because the batsman will pick you and smash you for a boundary. Hence in my team I would include Fawad in any circumstance because he is an intelligent bowler and batsman. If the situation demands he can be equally attacking or defensive.

    1.Salman Butt (they made him VC so I guess he is an automatic selection) 2.Imran Nazir (let us hope he uses his brain if he has one) 3.Younis Khan (has been in great Twenty20 form recently) 4.Fawad Alam (brilliant all-rounder, automatic selection) 5.Shoaib Malik (captain) 6.Shahid Afridi (tailor-made for Twenty20) 7.Mohammad Hafeez (good player, will shine in this format) 8.Kamran Akmal 9.Sohail Tanvir (can bowl and bat) 10.Rao Ifthikar (can bowl and bat) 11.Umar Gul (excellent recent form)

    If Younis does not perform only then Misbah should replace him. I don’t see the point of having Rehman in the squad when you have a better bowler and batsman in the form of Fawad Alam. I have left out Arafat because he has not been in good batting form recently. One important thing to point out which many people have eluded is mental strength. Pakistan is the most talented team in all forms of the game but they lack mental strength which means amongst other things that people like Imran Nazir, Butt, Akmal etc play stupid shots when they are not supposed to. There will be some pressure situations where the players will need to use their brain.

    There is no favourite for this tournament. Any of the top eight teams can win which adds to the excitement of this event.

  • tabs farooq on September 11, 2007, 10:14 GMT

    My Team would be - Butt Nazir Khan Alam Afridi Malik Akmal Hafeez Arafat Gul Asif Batting line up will have to be chopped and changed depending on the game situation I think. Looking forward to seeing a few fireworks from all the teams in the comp!

    I know we can be ginger beer one day and Dom Perignon the next but lets hope it is the later for the next two weeks!

    Good luck to the boys and Mr.J.Khan keep sending in those essay's as they make great reading!!

  • Vikas Srimal on September 11, 2007, 10:02 GMT

    I guess it's a tad premature and out of place, but how about a World XI for T20. Here's mine:

    Adam Gilchrist Sanath Jayasuriya Ricky Ponting Yuvraj Singh Paul Collingwood Andrew Symonds Shahid Afridi Dimitri Mascarenhas Brett Lee Darren Powell Mohammad Asif

    Cricinfo's new Fantasy League had a $1million cap. That's why I had to put up my Best XI here. Thanks for obliging Mr. Abbasi :)

  • MAZHAR DAR on September 11, 2007, 9:46 GMT

    The team one to best. 1.Nazir 2.Salman Butt 3.Younis Khan 4.Shoaib Malik 5.Shahid Afridi 6. Kamran Akmal 7.Fawad Alam 8.Yasir Arafat 9.Rao Iftikhar Anjum 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammed Asif

  • Shaheer - future cricketer on September 11, 2007, 9:40 GMT

    1.Nazir 2.Butt 3.Hafeez 4.Malik 5.Afridi 6.Alam 7.Akmal 8.Younis 9.Arafat 10.Gul 11.Asif

  • srivathsan on September 11, 2007, 8:42 GMT

    Kamran ,I admire your optimism as well as others to me it looks like nobody is a favourite expect Australia as it is a new format.

    If Pakistan wins then it is really incredible and I wish the team all the best. My gut feeling says that Rao will be the star bowler in this version of the game for Pakistan.

  • Maajid Khan on September 11, 2007, 8:42 GMT

    I think Shoaib should be banned for life; whenever any major tournament is about to start he raises some controversy.

    Pakistani team is well balanced to win this cup. Afridi will be key player because of his batting and bowling. but the main thing is they should not lose early wickets.

    Kamran Akmal will have to prove his worth as his future will be decided in this tournament. If he doesn't perform with his bat he should be shown the door. He has already got so many chances.

    Best of luck to Pakistan. May Allah bless them.

  • Adeel Fayyaz on September 11, 2007, 8:40 GMT

    I will go with Kamran Abbasi's XI. I wish that Mohammad Hafeez will not be dropped as he is a very intelligent bowler and he can also bat. Asif is very good bowler in Test matches and ODIs but I doubt if he can perform in this version of the game, but we don't have other option. I hope Malik & co wins the ICC World Twenty20. If the team falters, I'm sure that it will be because of batting and not bowling.

    Pakistan is my favourite team in this tournament and I will also go with South Africa..

  • Taha Iqbal on September 11, 2007, 8:20 GMT

    Expect anything from team in green. Pakistan would need to use Younis Khan really cleverly, I would second Nadeem on having Younis in the team as an opener so as to give the side stabality. Younis should aim to stay at the wicket for the whole 20 overs, if he manages to do that he'd end up with a 60 or a 70 and the rest of the team can play around him. I'm not too keen on Asif's bowling when it come to 20 twenty, hes yet to develop that yorker on will and that might cost pakistan. My team is

    1. Salman Butt 2. Younis Khan 3. Imran Nazir 4. Shoaib Malik 5. Mohammed Hafeez 6. Kamran Akmal 7. Shahid Afridi 8. Yasir Arafat 9. Abdul Rehman 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammed Asif

  • Jamal Khan on September 11, 2007, 8:04 GMT

    My side 1.Butt 2.Nazir 3.Younis 4.Afridi 5.Malik 6.Misbah 7.Akmal 8.Arafat 9.Gul 10.Asif 11.Rehman

    Younis is in his best form for a long long time....we need a full time spinner in Rehman, the pitches are most likey gonna be low nd slow....im tipping--

    Pakistan Vs Australia Semi Final Pakistan chase 190 to win. =) lets see.

  • Tariq Salman Alvi- Riyadh on September 11, 2007, 7:41 GMT

    I hope that Pakistan will be able to show its real potentials in this short version of the game. We still have the tag of hot and cold with unpridctable team. Shoaib will not be missed rather his omission will help the team to concentrate on the game. It is a bang bang game but they must play full 20 overs. We have good results in the pre tournament although against minor teams except Sirilanka. I do have a concern that the tournament is being played during Ramadan, which should have been avoided by making the aware of this important religious duty. Yes they are travelling and it is allowed to postpone the fasting for a later period but travel means not staying in the hotel and playing cricket. We should take the opinion of the religious scholars about this issue. I hope they will domonstrate true Muslim cahracter and will not involve in dubious activities on and off the field. I wish our team success in the tournament, as Pakistani public need some good news in the presnt atmosphere. They need three things character, commitment and discipline. Good luck Pakistan.

  • Nadeem Khan on September 11, 2007, 7:20 GMT

    I think Younis Khan should open, because in the middle overs, he is a futile Entity. I would have loved to have Mohammad Yousuf opening, but he is not there. So my XI is as follows...

    1... Younis Khan 2... Imran Nazir 3... Shoiab Malik (Can bowl 3 or 4 overs) 4... Shahid Afridi (Can bowl 4 overs) 5... Salman Butt 6... Mohammad Hafeez (A good run-blocking bowler) 7... Kamran Akmal 8... Yasir Arafat (Can he replace Abdul Razzaq?) 9... Sohail Tanveer (I would have loved to have Razzak in place of Shoaib Akhtar, but I have heard that this guy can also bat). 10... Umar Gul 11... Mohammad Asif

    Australia is mighty, but Pakistan is the only team that comes out most strong in this Twenty20 format. Keep this as a record Kamran Bhai.

    Regards

  • Shoaib on September 11, 2007, 6:59 GMT

    "Beginning with Inzamam's striking revolt and ending with Shoaib Akhtar's revolting strike". Well said. But without Shoaib, our bowling will lack bite. (Asif will be thrashed around). All hopes rest on our batting. In my opinion, our kamikaze approach to it just might work.

  • Anwar Husain on September 11, 2007, 6:54 GMT

    This would be the an absorbing tournament as lot of runs will be scored and I am looking forward to see the improvement in their fielding My Pakistan team is in the following batting order:

    1. Salman Butt 2 Imran Nazir 3 Younis Khan 4 Shahid Afridi (My bet for Man of the Tournament, with Jayasuriya a distant second) 5. Shoaib Malik 6. Mohammad Hafeez 7. Kamran Akmal 8. Fawad Alam 9. Mohammad Asif 10. Umar Gul 11. Sohail Tanvir

  • Mustafa Moiz on September 11, 2007, 6:43 GMT

    Had just one other player been here, the ICC World Twenty20 is in the bag; Abdul Razzaq is, along with Shahid Afridi and Shoaib Malik, an excellent hitter and from the two Twenty20 matches he has played and bowled in, his bowling record is excellent and he should be in the Test, ODI and Twenty20 team for bowling alone. His batting is a bonus. At least we have Malik and Afridi, who can at least take us to the semi-finals.

  • Maiwand Majboor on September 11, 2007, 6:42 GMT

    1. Shahid Afridi 2. Salman Butt 3. Imran Nazir 4. Younis Khan 5. Shoaib Malik 6. Fawad Alam 7. Mohammad Hafeez 8. Kamran Akmal 9. Yasir Arafat 10. Mohammad Asif 11. Umar Gul

    I am still confused and can not decide how much dropping Abdul Razzaq will cost Pakistan. Sometimes you think the selectors lack common sense.

  • Zubair Shahab on September 11, 2007, 6:27 GMT

    1. Salman Butt 2. Imran Nazir 3. Younis Khan 4. Shoaib Malik 5. Mohammad Hafeez 6. Shahid Afridi 7. Fawad Alam 8. Kamran Akmal 9. Yasir Arafat 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammad Asif

    Power Hitting till 9 and 7 bowlers not including Salman Butt. Shoaib Malik can't get more in choices. How he uses them will be a reflection of his captaincy. His first real test awaits.

  • Umar_Muhammad_Khan_Isloo on September 11, 2007, 6:22 GMT

    First of all, selectors are terming Younis Khan as one of the key members in the Twenty20 squad. He was the same person three years ago who couldn't get the nod of selectors. Younis's average and potential/ability is much lower than Yousuf and he's not in the team.

    According to a reports, atmosphere of dressing room is much cooler and calm after the exit of Shoaib Akhtar, which I believe is true.

    We have got talented players but unpredictable players. It's a tournament that gives you no room for error. One surprising loss and team's on its way home. Pakistan cricket never fails to surprise us.

  • Usman Baj, Isb on September 11, 2007, 6:16 GMT

    Looking forward to a sumptuous feast of sizzling sixes and refreshing fours with pinch of run-outs / direct throws evenly scattered all over the plate.

    My Pakistan team; in the following batting order: 1. Afridi (My bet for Man of the Tournament, with Jayasuriya a distant second) 2. Shoaib Malik 3. Salman Butt 4. Imran Nazir 5. Younis Khan 6. Mohammad Hafeez 7. Kamran Akmal 8. Umar Gul 9. Mohammad Asif 10. Yasir Araft 11. Sohail Tanvir (Lets check this dude out)

    Cheers everyone... and let's roll the curtains!

  • Adnan on September 11, 2007, 5:54 GMT

    When ever I think that how worse it can be, Pakistan cricket shows us the way. I hope (and I still dont know why) that we perform well. As Geoff Lawson said, if we lose against Scotland he would be the first one back to Australia, I still believe we have the potential to make it to semi-finals (I believed that in World Cup 07 also). So, best of luck to Pakistan cricket.

    Here is my playing XI 1-Imran Nazir 2-Salman Butt 3-Mohammad Hafeez 4-Shoiab Malik 5-Shahid Afridi 6-Kamran Akmal 7-Fawad Alam 8-Yasir Arafat 9-Mohammad Asif 10-Umar Gul 11-Rao Iftikhar Anjum

    Younis Khan is unable to find a place in my XI

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on September 11, 2007, 5:35 GMT

    Your XI looks pretty OK to me... the only suggestion that I could put in is that, in case the openers stay for 7 or 8 overs, and the run rate is not impressive, Afridi can be moved up to number 3 or 4.

    Pakistan will never be short of talent in this format. This 20-over format is pretty much what every single child has played in the streets.

    I wish Miandad had gotten an opportunity to play Twenty20s. There hasn't been a better street fighter.

  • S. Bhat on September 11, 2007, 5:15 GMT

    If ever there was a tournament that started off with no clear favourites then this ICC World Twenty20. On the strength of their past performances [in other forms of cricket] the Aussies must have landed n Jo'burg as favourites. But am sure they were brought crashing down to earth in their first warm-up game by the hosts .

    If experience of playing this version of the game is an indicator to prowess, then England and New Zealand should have their noses ahead. However, the current bunch of Pakistani players have a perfect blend of explosive hitters and good bowlers . In my book they would start of as the one of the teams to watch out for, and with a blessing in disguise in the form of Shoaib's sending back, it will only bring the team together , what with the one disruptive force cooling his heals in far away Rawalpindi musing over what might have been !

    The other Asian giant, Sri Lanka, with its old war horse , Jayasuriya, can never be counted out in any form of the game. If I was to choose one man to bat for my life in a 20-over slug-fest I would not need to look beyond the marauder from Matara. That leaves us with the unpredictables , South Africa and India . Both these teams have a reputation to choke and self-destruct.

    For a change its nice that an Indian team is entering into a world-level competition with no real expectations . People back home for a change seem to be willing to sit back and just watch what this team of youngsters is capable of and what the people on the comeback trail like Irfan Pathan, Harbhjan and Virender Sehwag can offer. It will be nice to see what comes of it. There is always a clamour among the Indian fans that youngsters should be given a chance and their collective dream has come true this time around. Lets see what is forthcoming from them. So its time to see who can come back with the silverware. Hoping that the best team wins and we are entertained to some exciting cricket. The world stage constantly needs new heroes from all countries and what better opportunity than this !

  • Amir Hussain on September 11, 2007, 4:54 GMT

    Pakistani cricketer's start their cricket playing with the 20-over's game or at least as I remember. During the month of Ramadhan, in Karachi there are a lot of cricket tournaments going on at the same time. So even if there is not much international exposure,the Pakistan team has this in their blood. And I believe there will be something positive for all of us to cheer about.

  • Pratik on September 11, 2007, 4:38 GMT

    A specialist bowler for the last spot should be good. The short nature of Twenty20 will probably mean that the entire batting order will not be required to bat. So, why not bolster the bowling with a specialist bowler, especially when you have a batting line-up that already runs till No 8.

  • Unknown-Anonymous on September 11, 2007, 4:36 GMT

    Watch out for Pakistan, a blasting team they can be,but sometimes(mostly), a ridiculous team. If Shahid Afridi and Imran Nazir tick, even Australia can't stop us. Hopefully they wont lose to minnows like Scotland.

  • Johnny Smith on September 11, 2007, 4:35 GMT

    Can't believe your still moaning about Mohammad Yousuf. He knew he's a dead certainty for ODIs and Tests, yet he decided to go to the ICL. It tell's you about the measure of the man.

    A semi-final finish would be fine, going all the way will surely be the perfect end to the last 12 months of misery.

    God bless Pakistan

  • Wajahat Rajab on September 11, 2007, 4:15 GMT

    Pakistan will be the team to watch definitely ... The way Pakistan A have thrashed Australia A is remarkable. I hope this thrashing of other teams is done by the international Pakistan team as well.

    My X1 are:

    1) Salman Butt 2) Imran Nazir/ Mohammad Hafeez 3) Younis Khan 4) Shoaib Malik 5) Misbah-ul-Haq / Fawad Alam 6) Shahid Afridi 7) Kamran Akmal 8) Yasir Arafat / Rao Iftikhar 9) Abdur Rehman / Fawad Alam 10) Umar Gul 11) Muhammad Asif

    Players to watch :

    Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and Imran Nazir/Mohammad Hafeez.

    Best of luck Pakistan.

  • M Mahboob Hossain (Dhaka) on September 11, 2007, 3:42 GMT

    I doubt Pakistan's progress in Twenty20 version. Apart from the Akhtar controversy, I don't have the confidence in the batting line-up. I am hardly ever convinced that the Pakistani batsmen have a basic concept of batting, particularly chasing. Be it a 5-day or 5-over contest, there must be a basic calculative approach in cricket. Countless times I was surprised to see Pakistani batsmen holing out to the boundary or bowled for a slog, when the asking is less than 5 abd already a boundary or two is struck in that over.

    This situation will be in every game, be it Twenty20, be it the fourth innings of a Test. I feel in Twenty20, the team batting second has a better chance, & that's where Pakistan are vulnerable. It was one of my safest bet with friends- anything over 200 - either Pakistan will blow it within 40 overs or slog all out within 40 overs. They are so poor in calculative cricket, that once a Woolmer managed South Africa beat them for about 16/17 consecutive games.

    And the selectors have made another mistake by not picking Yousuf, the only cornerstone of the team. But still, I have little positives for the team after Akhtar was relieved the team before the tournament. I now have a feeling that they should reach the last four at least.

    I would like to see the team in following order

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Salman Butt 3. Kamran Akmal 4. Younis Khan 5. Shahid Afridi 6. Fawad Alam 7. Shoaib Malik 8. Sohail Tanveer 9. Rao Iftikar 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammad Asif

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 11, 2007, 3:23 GMT

    I don't want to brag about my choice of XI after Kamran Abbassi has mentioned the obvious 10 names and left just one name to fill in the blank and to make it the playing XI. I would like to fill in that blank with Rao Iftikhar.

    As Mr. Abbassi says, we are all clueless about the new cap, Sohail Tanvir. Certainly you can't play a dark horse in Derby. Once bitten twice shy, after a shameful defeat at the hands of the Shamrocks, Pakistan cannot take the Royal Scottish Pipe Band lightly, forget about any glory or honour, I don't even wanna think about the consequences if that happens.

    It will be the Mother of all the deaths to Pakistan's cricket if they lose against Scotland. And, definitely I am not in favour of Abdul Rehman, as in the previous tour he was hammered all over the fence by the South Africa A on their hard and bouncy pitches. Therefore, with four fast bowlers combined with Shahid Afridi's legspin and his 'faster ones' plus the option of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez (if needed), is a good enough bowling package for Pakistan.

    The main problem is not bowling, it is batting. When the Pakistan team is on the scoring rampage and the going is good, it clicks like hell and everyone is hitting sixes and fours, when there is a slide, there is no stopping, they tell the other player, 'tu chal mai aya,' (you go I'll follow you).

    There is no consistency, reliability and dependability in their batting because, there is no deliberate thinking involved in the process and expecting them to win every match they play is asking too much from a bunch of pinch hitters. Our champion proactive Asaf, has once again reiterated his point that we must only expect good competitive cricket and nothing more than that. I must say I agree. Because, I am trying to be reactive to his judicious and creative advice and his invaluable suggestion to all the bloggers, hence I want to "shrink" my post to be in the top ten.

    Tomorrow's opening match between South Africa and West Indies will give an idea to the experts about how the ball will swing at night time, especially at this time of the year in South Africa, when there is a nip in the air during the night and based on that Pakistan has to choose their team accordingly for the much awaited India-Pakistan day and night encounter.

    Including a fast bowler Rao Iftikhar in the team would be a better option. Like Yasir Arafat, Rao can also hit big sixes but, one doesn't need to even think that he has to bat in Twenty20 matches. Except for Mohammad Asif, they all can hit and clear the ropes with ease. Hopefully, Asif by now must have learnt how to swing a bat ! If he hasn't then he doesn't deserve a place in the team. Oh, by the way, by making that statement to the Urdu Daily 'Express', Asif has cleared the air after Shoaib had unnecessarily dragged Afridi's name into it. It must be like a last nail in Shoaib's coffin.

  • Sikandar A on September 11, 2007, 0:58 GMT

    Given Pakistan's tendency to get themselves in early trouble and failing all too often, I think it's a better idea to have the slightly more sensible batting approach. Mohammad Hafeez should open and give Pakistan a better chance at establishing a solid foundation. Also, Fawad Alam is way too bright a young star to ignore for this tournament which seems to be his bread and butter. My XI:

    1. Salman Butt 2. Mohammad Hafeez 3. Imran Nazir 4. Younis Khan 5. Shahid Afridi 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Fawad Alam 8. Kamran Akmal 9. Yasir Arafat 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammad Asif

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  • Sikandar A on September 11, 2007, 0:58 GMT

    Given Pakistan's tendency to get themselves in early trouble and failing all too often, I think it's a better idea to have the slightly more sensible batting approach. Mohammad Hafeez should open and give Pakistan a better chance at establishing a solid foundation. Also, Fawad Alam is way too bright a young star to ignore for this tournament which seems to be his bread and butter. My XI:

    1. Salman Butt 2. Mohammad Hafeez 3. Imran Nazir 4. Younis Khan 5. Shahid Afridi 6. Shoaib Malik 7. Fawad Alam 8. Kamran Akmal 9. Yasir Arafat 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammad Asif

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on September 11, 2007, 3:23 GMT

    I don't want to brag about my choice of XI after Kamran Abbassi has mentioned the obvious 10 names and left just one name to fill in the blank and to make it the playing XI. I would like to fill in that blank with Rao Iftikhar.

    As Mr. Abbassi says, we are all clueless about the new cap, Sohail Tanvir. Certainly you can't play a dark horse in Derby. Once bitten twice shy, after a shameful defeat at the hands of the Shamrocks, Pakistan cannot take the Royal Scottish Pipe Band lightly, forget about any glory or honour, I don't even wanna think about the consequences if that happens.

    It will be the Mother of all the deaths to Pakistan's cricket if they lose against Scotland. And, definitely I am not in favour of Abdul Rehman, as in the previous tour he was hammered all over the fence by the South Africa A on their hard and bouncy pitches. Therefore, with four fast bowlers combined with Shahid Afridi's legspin and his 'faster ones' plus the option of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez (if needed), is a good enough bowling package for Pakistan.

    The main problem is not bowling, it is batting. When the Pakistan team is on the scoring rampage and the going is good, it clicks like hell and everyone is hitting sixes and fours, when there is a slide, there is no stopping, they tell the other player, 'tu chal mai aya,' (you go I'll follow you).

    There is no consistency, reliability and dependability in their batting because, there is no deliberate thinking involved in the process and expecting them to win every match they play is asking too much from a bunch of pinch hitters. Our champion proactive Asaf, has once again reiterated his point that we must only expect good competitive cricket and nothing more than that. I must say I agree. Because, I am trying to be reactive to his judicious and creative advice and his invaluable suggestion to all the bloggers, hence I want to "shrink" my post to be in the top ten.

    Tomorrow's opening match between South Africa and West Indies will give an idea to the experts about how the ball will swing at night time, especially at this time of the year in South Africa, when there is a nip in the air during the night and based on that Pakistan has to choose their team accordingly for the much awaited India-Pakistan day and night encounter.

    Including a fast bowler Rao Iftikhar in the team would be a better option. Like Yasir Arafat, Rao can also hit big sixes but, one doesn't need to even think that he has to bat in Twenty20 matches. Except for Mohammad Asif, they all can hit and clear the ropes with ease. Hopefully, Asif by now must have learnt how to swing a bat ! If he hasn't then he doesn't deserve a place in the team. Oh, by the way, by making that statement to the Urdu Daily 'Express', Asif has cleared the air after Shoaib had unnecessarily dragged Afridi's name into it. It must be like a last nail in Shoaib's coffin.

  • M Mahboob Hossain (Dhaka) on September 11, 2007, 3:42 GMT

    I doubt Pakistan's progress in Twenty20 version. Apart from the Akhtar controversy, I don't have the confidence in the batting line-up. I am hardly ever convinced that the Pakistani batsmen have a basic concept of batting, particularly chasing. Be it a 5-day or 5-over contest, there must be a basic calculative approach in cricket. Countless times I was surprised to see Pakistani batsmen holing out to the boundary or bowled for a slog, when the asking is less than 5 abd already a boundary or two is struck in that over.

    This situation will be in every game, be it Twenty20, be it the fourth innings of a Test. I feel in Twenty20, the team batting second has a better chance, & that's where Pakistan are vulnerable. It was one of my safest bet with friends- anything over 200 - either Pakistan will blow it within 40 overs or slog all out within 40 overs. They are so poor in calculative cricket, that once a Woolmer managed South Africa beat them for about 16/17 consecutive games.

    And the selectors have made another mistake by not picking Yousuf, the only cornerstone of the team. But still, I have little positives for the team after Akhtar was relieved the team before the tournament. I now have a feeling that they should reach the last four at least.

    I would like to see the team in following order

    1. Imran Nazir 2. Salman Butt 3. Kamran Akmal 4. Younis Khan 5. Shahid Afridi 6. Fawad Alam 7. Shoaib Malik 8. Sohail Tanveer 9. Rao Iftikar 10. Umar Gul 11. Mohammad Asif

  • Wajahat Rajab on September 11, 2007, 4:15 GMT

    Pakistan will be the team to watch definitely ... The way Pakistan A have thrashed Australia A is remarkable. I hope this thrashing of other teams is done by the international Pakistan team as well.

    My X1 are:

    1) Salman Butt 2) Imran Nazir/ Mohammad Hafeez 3) Younis Khan 4) Shoaib Malik 5) Misbah-ul-Haq / Fawad Alam 6) Shahid Afridi 7) Kamran Akmal 8) Yasir Arafat / Rao Iftikhar 9) Abdur Rehman / Fawad Alam 10) Umar Gul 11) Muhammad Asif

    Players to watch :

    Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi and Imran Nazir/Mohammad Hafeez.

    Best of luck Pakistan.

  • Johnny Smith on September 11, 2007, 4:35 GMT

    Can't believe your still moaning about Mohammad Yousuf. He knew he's a dead certainty for ODIs and Tests, yet he decided to go to the ICL. It tell's you about the measure of the man.

    A semi-final finish would be fine, going all the way will surely be the perfect end to the last 12 months of misery.

    God bless Pakistan

  • Unknown-Anonymous on September 11, 2007, 4:36 GMT

    Watch out for Pakistan, a blasting team they can be,but sometimes(mostly), a ridiculous team. If Shahid Afridi and Imran Nazir tick, even Australia can't stop us. Hopefully they wont lose to minnows like Scotland.

  • Pratik on September 11, 2007, 4:38 GMT

    A specialist bowler for the last spot should be good. The short nature of Twenty20 will probably mean that the entire batting order will not be required to bat. So, why not bolster the bowling with a specialist bowler, especially when you have a batting line-up that already runs till No 8.

  • Amir Hussain on September 11, 2007, 4:54 GMT

    Pakistani cricketer's start their cricket playing with the 20-over's game or at least as I remember. During the month of Ramadhan, in Karachi there are a lot of cricket tournaments going on at the same time. So even if there is not much international exposure,the Pakistan team has this in their blood. And I believe there will be something positive for all of us to cheer about.

  • S. Bhat on September 11, 2007, 5:15 GMT

    If ever there was a tournament that started off with no clear favourites then this ICC World Twenty20. On the strength of their past performances [in other forms of cricket] the Aussies must have landed n Jo'burg as favourites. But am sure they were brought crashing down to earth in their first warm-up game by the hosts .

    If experience of playing this version of the game is an indicator to prowess, then England and New Zealand should have their noses ahead. However, the current bunch of Pakistani players have a perfect blend of explosive hitters and good bowlers . In my book they would start of as the one of the teams to watch out for, and with a blessing in disguise in the form of Shoaib's sending back, it will only bring the team together , what with the one disruptive force cooling his heals in far away Rawalpindi musing over what might have been !

    The other Asian giant, Sri Lanka, with its old war horse , Jayasuriya, can never be counted out in any form of the game. If I was to choose one man to bat for my life in a 20-over slug-fest I would not need to look beyond the marauder from Matara. That leaves us with the unpredictables , South Africa and India . Both these teams have a reputation to choke and self-destruct.

    For a change its nice that an Indian team is entering into a world-level competition with no real expectations . People back home for a change seem to be willing to sit back and just watch what this team of youngsters is capable of and what the people on the comeback trail like Irfan Pathan, Harbhjan and Virender Sehwag can offer. It will be nice to see what comes of it. There is always a clamour among the Indian fans that youngsters should be given a chance and their collective dream has come true this time around. Lets see what is forthcoming from them. So its time to see who can come back with the silverware. Hoping that the best team wins and we are entertained to some exciting cricket. The world stage constantly needs new heroes from all countries and what better opportunity than this !

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on September 11, 2007, 5:35 GMT

    Your XI looks pretty OK to me... the only suggestion that I could put in is that, in case the openers stay for 7 or 8 overs, and the run rate is not impressive, Afridi can be moved up to number 3 or 4.

    Pakistan will never be short of talent in this format. This 20-over format is pretty much what every single child has played in the streets.

    I wish Miandad had gotten an opportunity to play Twenty20s. There hasn't been a better street fighter.