New age October 12, 2007

An unfortunate series of miscalculations

It was disappointing to hear Shoaib Malik insist on the righteousness of his spin strategy
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Graeme Smith was right: who could have predicted that South Africa would dominate nine out of ten days of this series? The fact they did should add an extra sheen to his team's newly grown beards. On their last visit to Pakistan, South Africa were an obnoxious bunch mislead by their captain. There was little to choose between the teams other than the speed of Shoaib Akhtar.

This time round both teams had left their bad attitude behind. With a touch of bonhomie to complement their skillful determination South Africa flourished. All credit to Smith for a quick maturation.

Without their bad boy, Pakistan's pace attack was more nullified by the spinning tracks than South Africa's batsmen. Sadly, Pakistan had forgotten some home truths about their own dead wickets. First, you require a bowler of express aerial speed to fully exploit the bounty of reverse swing, an Imran, Waqar, Wasim, or Shoaib. Second, Pakistan don't really possess a spinner who runs amok. Danish Kaneria is an earnest soul but he rarely cuts through a top order like Abdul Qadir, Mushtaq Ahmed, and Saqlain Mushtaq did at their sharpest. Third, with only two pace bowlers you tempt injury and long-term damage.

If Pakistan's bowlers weren't great, the batsmen were even less impressive until the final day. This suboptimal display made Inzamam's final two balls the most memorable performance by any Pakistan batsmen throughout the series. Perhaps Inzamam's contribution would been best remembered whatever the effort from his colleagues?

But Pakistan are a Test team with problems. And the biggest perhaps is mindset. It was disappointing to hear Shoaib Malik insist on the righteousness of his spin strategy. What happened to the PCB's promise of livelier tracks? Pakistan's bowling strength lies in pace complemented by spin.

A further irritation was to hear Pakistan constantly claim that they were finding it hard to adapt to Test cricket after the Twenty20 World Cup. South Africa have endured a similar One-day glut to Pakistan.

Worse still, though, was the initial argument that Pakistan had better back spin because why would they choose wickets that suited the opposition's strengths? A mantra of international sport is that you plan and play to your strengths and not in fear of what the opposition might do to you. That was the first in a series of unfortunate miscalculations that ended with Inzi's crazed dance down the wicket to Paul Harris.

Shoaib Malik is a smart young captain and Geoff Lawson is an equally smart and aggressive young coach. Pakistan will learn but they need to learn fast. This dead-track spin-bowling strategy is a fantasy that has never been realised in Pakistan cricket, and with the bowlers that Pakistan possesses it is unlikely to be realised in a hurry.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Omer Admani on October 19, 2007, 5:24 GMT

    Unfortunately Osman Samiuddin has blamed the top order. When has the top order ever played after the departure of Saeed Anwar? It is surely Malik's fault that he persists with a player who just isn't a batsmen (Mohammad Hafeez). He keeps on crossing 15, but never makes 50s so obviously he is born not to be a batsman, no matter however much he attempts to act like Tendulkar. What has Malik against Fawad Alam? And why a Karachite is being so conveniently discarded again despite the apparent potential? Malik's stubborness is again in question as he doesn't just promote Afridi up the order. Moreover, Malik's weakness against the short ball has been exploited by the South Africans and I would see more of the same from the other teams. His dream run of batting is over now where he averaged 30 or thereabouts. Another important thing that I hope Malik understands in time is that one-day cricket is not 20/20 and he needs wickets up the order. Batsmen won't give their wickets away like 20/20 and the teams really still have to work to get them. Which means it is rather stupid not to give the new ball to the strike bowler Umar Gul. Again a very defensive strategy ha been employed to just let the game drift initially rather than take wickets. Again it has failed. Malik, in other words, is satisfied with South Africa reaching 300 and the Pak team having to chasse it. Unfortunately, he may pull the batting till 11, but he still won't chase 300 often. I am just hoping he doesn't become stubborn about it and let umar gul open the bowling soon. In one-days Umar Gul has generally opened the bowling with relatively more success and that is the way it should remain. Personally I'd also say Razzaq should make way for Younis Khan in the one-day team. No doubt Younis Khan is one of the greater test batsmen Pakistan has produced, but Razzaq can average the same with a better strike rate in one-days. He could also be useful with the ball, after all he gets the wicket when nobody is able to take one.

  • Hassan Abbas on October 18, 2007, 0:42 GMT

    Can anyone point out a single batsman from the following list who can play in difficult batting conditions on hard and bouncy or green and seaming tracks or even on a spinning track for Pakistan.

    1. Salman Butt 2. Mohd. Hafeez 3. Yasir Hameed 4. Taufeeq Omar 5. Imran Nazir 6. Imran Farhat 7. Faisal Iqbal 8. Bazid Khan

    Pakistani selectors have simply toyed with these guys over the past three years. All these players have been tried and tested yet thay have failed miserably whenever they have been called back to the squad. I think all these players are nothing better than part timers, they are not professional cricketers as they fail to correct their abysmal techniques even after so much experience of all types of cricket. I think we need fresh blood in our squad, players who have sound technique and some real gutts.

  • Shakil on October 16, 2007, 23:11 GMT

    I like what Dawar's wrote above. "It’s better to use word no merit instead of miscalculations. We need a system base on merit."If we have good keeper who can handle Danish, the result could be different?Remember he dropped Kalis when he was on 31. Kalis scored century after that in first test.

    Once again Kamran Akmal performance was unsatisfactory behind the stumps. It’s true he did some good batting innings in the last test.But he is a keeper first. And now days every wicket keeper has some good batting skills. Under-19 ex-captain Sarfraz Ahmed is a good wicketkeeper batsman too.

    Inzamam's performance was not good in his last test match. I do not know any good reason he played one more Test.

    If Asim Kamal or Yasir Hamid were there, I am sure we could chase 349 runs in last day. Inzi was completely out of touch in both innings. We should tried Fawad Alam instead of Abdur Rehman; no doubt his bowling was good on spin wickets. But all spinners performed well from both teams. Wickets were for the spinners. Fawad Alam is young spinner with better batting skills. Once again Salman Butt was preferred regardless of his performance. If Khurrum Manzoor or Kahlid Latif or Taufeeq Omer were in the team. We could have good opening start in both test matches.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 16, 2007, 19:31 GMT

    ALL that HYPE and the BULL about including the youngsters in the Pakistan national team i.e., players like Taufeeq Umar, Bazid Khan, Abdul Rauf (these three are not youngsters in any case) Shahid Yousuf, Naveed Latif, Zulqarnain Haider, Junaid Zia, etc., etc. must have landed in the pit-hole after South Africa thumped them like school boys team and romped to victory in 31 overs. The way the PCB XI played in the one day game today at Bagh-e-Jinnah, Lahore must have made the selectors job much easier. None of them should be included in the National Team. None of them bowled well or batted well against the tourist, who were without their ace players Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis. I wonder how long Bazid Khan would be playing in matches like these by capitalizing the name of his father and stealing a place from another deserving candidate to prove his worth!

    I think Malik, Lawson and the bunch of "Sallu Mallu" selectors should rely on the tried and tested seniors and not go about experimenting more changes in the team. These players are not ready for big games and with the seniors performing badly, they would be under tremendous pressure to perform. Therefore, toying with the squad in this crucial ODI series before a full fledged tour to India would absolutely be a recipe for disaster if they loose now.

    Ricky Ponting has admitted yesterday by saying that the Australians lost both, the CB Series and the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy after toying with the squad. Hence, Australia's rotation policy did not yield any good results but it paid back when they kept the regular squad for the World Cup. They managed to recover just in time to proceed through the World Cup undefeated. Therefore, Pakistan must learn a lesson or two from their experience rather than experiencing themselves and that would be a high price to pay.

    I think SA made a big mistake by not including Jacques Kallis in the twenty20 tournament, had he been in the team, the results would have been different.

  • Roshan on October 16, 2007, 17:21 GMT

    Hmmmm....Javed arrogant khan has again proved how stupid one can be....In a blog that is devoted to cricket, he is worried about Mr. Afridi's handsome(not so handsome) looks.....I believe send Mr. afridi for a beauty pageant....I wish him luck to win it....but wait he could only win it if it is organised in asian subcontinent....because overall his performances outside are abysmal!.......Mr. Arrogant khan also quote lines from Hindi movies every now & then that just proves the point that there are no takers for poor pakistani films anywhere not even their own people watch them....Mr. Khan if you do watch hindi movies then why afraid of accepting it.....we are not asking for any rent!!!!!

    Keep spitting on this blog...thats the best you can do...Hats off to other bloggers for keep reminding this fool his real "Aukaat"

  • Hassan Abbas on October 16, 2007, 15:55 GMT

    @khansahab I agree to your comments about Younis Khan but I think he is a good enough test player. He shouldn't be selected in the onedayers though. He has lost us enough matches by showing irresponsibility specially in the ODIs.

  • Reehan on October 16, 2007, 13:44 GMT

    Dizzy,

    I appreciate this is this is the first test series for Lawson and Malik but my dig really wasnt at them, more at the management structure around them. Ashraf is a bafoon, and the PCB is doing more damage to PAK cricket then ever. Salman Butt as vice capt, forstering team disharmony, marginalsing great players.

    Somebody critcised Yousuf for the first defeat, without considering what a mess the PCB had made by overlooking his selection for the captaincy of pak and the 20-20. Look at the bigger picture because, while the Ashraf bafoons run pak cricket its a bleak picture for PAK cricket. Expect more series defeats.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on October 16, 2007, 13:39 GMT

    Wasim Saqib,

    Your post was quite useful. I share similar views on Kamran Akmal and I find it quite mysterious that the selectors rate him very highly and there seems to be no question to remove him from the team. It was under Wasim Bari’s tenure that he established himself as the best wicketkeeper in Pakistan and I am not disputing that at one time he was one of the best keepers in the world. What is also amazing is that Bari himself, as well as Rashid Latif and Moin Khan have constantly criticised Akmal’s technique for about a year now but he has not committed himself to remedy the problem. Now we also have two good keepers in Zulqernain and Sarfraz who have been knocking the doors of selection for some time.

    As regards Mohammad Hafeez I will disagree with you because the only problem with him is that he cannot open or bat at no 3. Otherwise he should be a near-automatic selection in ODI’s or Twenty20. Afridi’s bowling has improved of late and we have to give him credit for that. Last year I was quite convinced that Afridi should be dropped and Hafeez should take his position in the ODI middle order but owing to Afridi’s impressive bowling, it seems unlikely that Hafeez will be able to maintain a permanent position in the team. What I suggest as a long term measure is to make Akmal open with anyone from the regular openers and make Hafeez bat at no 7, Akmal’s usual batting position. Akmal’s batting in ODI’s is pathetic anyway and as an opener he can’t do much worse than any stock Pakistani opener. Hafeez’s batting performance has been substandard and I am not doubting that but it is merely because he is not being used the right way. I have said it repeatedly that he is a rare talent and one of the very few players who can bowl, bat and field well provided he has some sort of stable presence in the team. Usually players carve a niche for themselves and are not facilitated with a suitable batting slot on a plate, but I recommend that for Hafeez, just because he is so talented.

    Meanwhile the case for removing Salman Butt permanently from the team has become stronger now especially since his Test average has dropped to an unbelievable 28. Imran Nazir can do better than that.

    Since more than half the regular players in the team are now below average performers, the only way ahead is for the selectors to either adopt a strict rotation policy with no guarantee of a permanent place, or to continuously keep trying youngsters excelling at domestic level, like how the England Cricket Board has been doing for some time. Many individuals have criticised that measure stating that it affects the consistency of the England team, but in my view the reason why the England team is weak is because they are too accustomed to their own pitches and also because they lack aggression and mental strength which is so important for a team to succeed these days.

  • Milind raj on October 16, 2007, 11:03 GMT

    People like Javed khan are the reason why the relations between India and Pak can never improve.He spreads rumours trying to create discontent amonsts Indian and other muslims

  • Aamir Akhund on October 16, 2007, 10:49 GMT

    Kamran Bhai. The current series has surely opened our eyes once again. Like always with an exception of a few individuals in our team im am satisfied with our team performance. i think once again our board has shown us that they are useless and know nothing about cricket.

  • Omer Admani on October 19, 2007, 5:24 GMT

    Unfortunately Osman Samiuddin has blamed the top order. When has the top order ever played after the departure of Saeed Anwar? It is surely Malik's fault that he persists with a player who just isn't a batsmen (Mohammad Hafeez). He keeps on crossing 15, but never makes 50s so obviously he is born not to be a batsman, no matter however much he attempts to act like Tendulkar. What has Malik against Fawad Alam? And why a Karachite is being so conveniently discarded again despite the apparent potential? Malik's stubborness is again in question as he doesn't just promote Afridi up the order. Moreover, Malik's weakness against the short ball has been exploited by the South Africans and I would see more of the same from the other teams. His dream run of batting is over now where he averaged 30 or thereabouts. Another important thing that I hope Malik understands in time is that one-day cricket is not 20/20 and he needs wickets up the order. Batsmen won't give their wickets away like 20/20 and the teams really still have to work to get them. Which means it is rather stupid not to give the new ball to the strike bowler Umar Gul. Again a very defensive strategy ha been employed to just let the game drift initially rather than take wickets. Again it has failed. Malik, in other words, is satisfied with South Africa reaching 300 and the Pak team having to chasse it. Unfortunately, he may pull the batting till 11, but he still won't chase 300 often. I am just hoping he doesn't become stubborn about it and let umar gul open the bowling soon. In one-days Umar Gul has generally opened the bowling with relatively more success and that is the way it should remain. Personally I'd also say Razzaq should make way for Younis Khan in the one-day team. No doubt Younis Khan is one of the greater test batsmen Pakistan has produced, but Razzaq can average the same with a better strike rate in one-days. He could also be useful with the ball, after all he gets the wicket when nobody is able to take one.

  • Hassan Abbas on October 18, 2007, 0:42 GMT

    Can anyone point out a single batsman from the following list who can play in difficult batting conditions on hard and bouncy or green and seaming tracks or even on a spinning track for Pakistan.

    1. Salman Butt 2. Mohd. Hafeez 3. Yasir Hameed 4. Taufeeq Omar 5. Imran Nazir 6. Imran Farhat 7. Faisal Iqbal 8. Bazid Khan

    Pakistani selectors have simply toyed with these guys over the past three years. All these players have been tried and tested yet thay have failed miserably whenever they have been called back to the squad. I think all these players are nothing better than part timers, they are not professional cricketers as they fail to correct their abysmal techniques even after so much experience of all types of cricket. I think we need fresh blood in our squad, players who have sound technique and some real gutts.

  • Shakil on October 16, 2007, 23:11 GMT

    I like what Dawar's wrote above. "It’s better to use word no merit instead of miscalculations. We need a system base on merit."If we have good keeper who can handle Danish, the result could be different?Remember he dropped Kalis when he was on 31. Kalis scored century after that in first test.

    Once again Kamran Akmal performance was unsatisfactory behind the stumps. It’s true he did some good batting innings in the last test.But he is a keeper first. And now days every wicket keeper has some good batting skills. Under-19 ex-captain Sarfraz Ahmed is a good wicketkeeper batsman too.

    Inzamam's performance was not good in his last test match. I do not know any good reason he played one more Test.

    If Asim Kamal or Yasir Hamid were there, I am sure we could chase 349 runs in last day. Inzi was completely out of touch in both innings. We should tried Fawad Alam instead of Abdur Rehman; no doubt his bowling was good on spin wickets. But all spinners performed well from both teams. Wickets were for the spinners. Fawad Alam is young spinner with better batting skills. Once again Salman Butt was preferred regardless of his performance. If Khurrum Manzoor or Kahlid Latif or Taufeeq Omer were in the team. We could have good opening start in both test matches.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 16, 2007, 19:31 GMT

    ALL that HYPE and the BULL about including the youngsters in the Pakistan national team i.e., players like Taufeeq Umar, Bazid Khan, Abdul Rauf (these three are not youngsters in any case) Shahid Yousuf, Naveed Latif, Zulqarnain Haider, Junaid Zia, etc., etc. must have landed in the pit-hole after South Africa thumped them like school boys team and romped to victory in 31 overs. The way the PCB XI played in the one day game today at Bagh-e-Jinnah, Lahore must have made the selectors job much easier. None of them should be included in the National Team. None of them bowled well or batted well against the tourist, who were without their ace players Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis. I wonder how long Bazid Khan would be playing in matches like these by capitalizing the name of his father and stealing a place from another deserving candidate to prove his worth!

    I think Malik, Lawson and the bunch of "Sallu Mallu" selectors should rely on the tried and tested seniors and not go about experimenting more changes in the team. These players are not ready for big games and with the seniors performing badly, they would be under tremendous pressure to perform. Therefore, toying with the squad in this crucial ODI series before a full fledged tour to India would absolutely be a recipe for disaster if they loose now.

    Ricky Ponting has admitted yesterday by saying that the Australians lost both, the CB Series and the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy after toying with the squad. Hence, Australia's rotation policy did not yield any good results but it paid back when they kept the regular squad for the World Cup. They managed to recover just in time to proceed through the World Cup undefeated. Therefore, Pakistan must learn a lesson or two from their experience rather than experiencing themselves and that would be a high price to pay.

    I think SA made a big mistake by not including Jacques Kallis in the twenty20 tournament, had he been in the team, the results would have been different.

  • Roshan on October 16, 2007, 17:21 GMT

    Hmmmm....Javed arrogant khan has again proved how stupid one can be....In a blog that is devoted to cricket, he is worried about Mr. Afridi's handsome(not so handsome) looks.....I believe send Mr. afridi for a beauty pageant....I wish him luck to win it....but wait he could only win it if it is organised in asian subcontinent....because overall his performances outside are abysmal!.......Mr. Arrogant khan also quote lines from Hindi movies every now & then that just proves the point that there are no takers for poor pakistani films anywhere not even their own people watch them....Mr. Khan if you do watch hindi movies then why afraid of accepting it.....we are not asking for any rent!!!!!

    Keep spitting on this blog...thats the best you can do...Hats off to other bloggers for keep reminding this fool his real "Aukaat"

  • Hassan Abbas on October 16, 2007, 15:55 GMT

    @khansahab I agree to your comments about Younis Khan but I think he is a good enough test player. He shouldn't be selected in the onedayers though. He has lost us enough matches by showing irresponsibility specially in the ODIs.

  • Reehan on October 16, 2007, 13:44 GMT

    Dizzy,

    I appreciate this is this is the first test series for Lawson and Malik but my dig really wasnt at them, more at the management structure around them. Ashraf is a bafoon, and the PCB is doing more damage to PAK cricket then ever. Salman Butt as vice capt, forstering team disharmony, marginalsing great players.

    Somebody critcised Yousuf for the first defeat, without considering what a mess the PCB had made by overlooking his selection for the captaincy of pak and the 20-20. Look at the bigger picture because, while the Ashraf bafoons run pak cricket its a bleak picture for PAK cricket. Expect more series defeats.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on October 16, 2007, 13:39 GMT

    Wasim Saqib,

    Your post was quite useful. I share similar views on Kamran Akmal and I find it quite mysterious that the selectors rate him very highly and there seems to be no question to remove him from the team. It was under Wasim Bari’s tenure that he established himself as the best wicketkeeper in Pakistan and I am not disputing that at one time he was one of the best keepers in the world. What is also amazing is that Bari himself, as well as Rashid Latif and Moin Khan have constantly criticised Akmal’s technique for about a year now but he has not committed himself to remedy the problem. Now we also have two good keepers in Zulqernain and Sarfraz who have been knocking the doors of selection for some time.

    As regards Mohammad Hafeez I will disagree with you because the only problem with him is that he cannot open or bat at no 3. Otherwise he should be a near-automatic selection in ODI’s or Twenty20. Afridi’s bowling has improved of late and we have to give him credit for that. Last year I was quite convinced that Afridi should be dropped and Hafeez should take his position in the ODI middle order but owing to Afridi’s impressive bowling, it seems unlikely that Hafeez will be able to maintain a permanent position in the team. What I suggest as a long term measure is to make Akmal open with anyone from the regular openers and make Hafeez bat at no 7, Akmal’s usual batting position. Akmal’s batting in ODI’s is pathetic anyway and as an opener he can’t do much worse than any stock Pakistani opener. Hafeez’s batting performance has been substandard and I am not doubting that but it is merely because he is not being used the right way. I have said it repeatedly that he is a rare talent and one of the very few players who can bowl, bat and field well provided he has some sort of stable presence in the team. Usually players carve a niche for themselves and are not facilitated with a suitable batting slot on a plate, but I recommend that for Hafeez, just because he is so talented.

    Meanwhile the case for removing Salman Butt permanently from the team has become stronger now especially since his Test average has dropped to an unbelievable 28. Imran Nazir can do better than that.

    Since more than half the regular players in the team are now below average performers, the only way ahead is for the selectors to either adopt a strict rotation policy with no guarantee of a permanent place, or to continuously keep trying youngsters excelling at domestic level, like how the England Cricket Board has been doing for some time. Many individuals have criticised that measure stating that it affects the consistency of the England team, but in my view the reason why the England team is weak is because they are too accustomed to their own pitches and also because they lack aggression and mental strength which is so important for a team to succeed these days.

  • Milind raj on October 16, 2007, 11:03 GMT

    People like Javed khan are the reason why the relations between India and Pak can never improve.He spreads rumours trying to create discontent amonsts Indian and other muslims

  • Aamir Akhund on October 16, 2007, 10:49 GMT

    Kamran Bhai. The current series has surely opened our eyes once again. Like always with an exception of a few individuals in our team im am satisfied with our team performance. i think once again our board has shown us that they are useless and know nothing about cricket.

  • rev on October 16, 2007, 10:41 GMT

    offtopic - as I have asked Mukul, where is the blog about the allegations of racism agains SA in Pakistan? Had the situations been reversed there would be a new blog up with 500 comments instantly. A little integrity would be nice.

  • Saeed Dadabhoy on October 16, 2007, 10:07 GMT

    Can someone please tell me why is Mohamed Hafiz included in any form of cricket? Is it his batting? Is it his bowling? Is it his fielding? To me the answer is no on all three counts. Why, then, the selectors insist on including him? Some enlighten me, please.

  • Awas on October 16, 2007, 9:49 GMT

    JAVED A KHAN / khansahab

    Humm! You have both been unnecessarily harsh on each other in your last postings. Khansahab, perhaps a tad harsher, in my view, but perhaps understandably his reply was in retaliation.

    You both (along with other good regulars) have been excellent contributors to this blog. Your comments are always well written, sensible, thought provoking and often humorous. You complement each other with your contrasting styles and have often commended each other for your differing views. No need to be so personal. It would perhaps be a good idea for both of you to covey a little apology to each other which all started from a mere misunderstanding. Let’s concentrate on cricket that we all love. So, chill out guys. On a light hearted note, to cheer you all up, here is a cricketing conundrum:

    Rules of Cricket:-

    You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he is out. When they are all out, the side that's been out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

    When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out, he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who are all out all the time, and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.

  • Hemant on October 16, 2007, 9:40 GMT

    Come on now Mr Kamran Abbasi. Why are you are letting your blog turn into a joke? Since when have a cricketer’s looks and his cricketing abilities become synonymous? Well, okay - for one of your regular contributors, Afridi’d looks may be an issue but shouldn’t you advise him to keep his “interest” securely locked in a “closet”? Jokes apart, but don’t you think you are being far too lenient (ignorant?) by allowing Mr Javed A Khan, Montreal, Canada to commit sacrilege when in his ramblings he decries the “policy” of offering the other cheek as utter non-sense? Albeit, by cunningly, ascribing the philosophy to one Karam Chand (who the hell is Karam Chand?) he wants to keep his escape route clear. But shouldn’t you know better? Does the saying “You have heard that it hath been said: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other” ring a bell Mr Abbassi? Mr Javed A Khan, Montreal, Canada? Does it come as a surprise to you that this “exaggerated philosophy” has been espoused, not by Karam Chand (who the hell is Karam Chand?) but by a person acknowledged as a ‘masiha’ and a ‘nabi’ by your religion? Personally, I have nothing against this sort of a transgression but can you say the same thing about your co-religionists? Cricket is just a game and let us leave it at that. Articulate your views as forcefully as you want to but keep these confined to the game – eschew religion. Especially, when people like Mr Javed A Khan want to deceitfully feign ignorance by attributing the sayings of a prophet to ordinary human beings and that too non-existent ones. It will bring nothing but shame on you, Mr. Abbassi, if you were to allow such utter non-sense to appear on your blog. Since I am on the subject let me also inform you that “Ahimsa”, as a way of life was, propagated by one of the apostles of peace, one Prince Siddharth (later known as Gautam Buddha) and certainly not by Karam Chand. BTW who the hell is Karam Chand, Mr Javed A Khan, Montreal, Canada whose disciple you don’t claim to be? The only Karam Chand that we know of is a TV serial character (actually a take on Mr Peter Falk’s “Columbus”) whose only claim to fame was his one liner, “Shaddap, Lily”. So would you, kindly, Mr Javed A Khan, Montreal, Canada on issues non-cricketing?

  • waseem on October 16, 2007, 9:15 GMT

    My observation is that we have a good spool of 3-4 fast bowlers but they are very similar to each other so missing a variety. I think in this team we need a young very fast bowler and for that selectors needs to go out for young talent and get out of our existing pool of bowlers like sami, Rao, GUll , Shabir and Asif as they all are good but we need only two from them and the third should be a speedstar and if not atleast a left hander to give a different angle. On batting, whatever the scenerio is, we need two sepecialist openers and they should not be compromised to create a balance in a side or to add a favourable player.

  • Irfan on October 16, 2007, 6:55 GMT

    Salam & Eid Mubarak! I havent expressed my views on this blog since the last world cup which is about six months now because of two reasons one I dont have too much time to write because of my work and the other, I am very lazy in typing, but i have been reading the views of some regular bloggers with a lot of interest especially of JAVED A. KHAN. He is simply the best when it comes to giving expert comments on the game and when he is criticized he responds in the most hilarious way and I love his funny comments. I cannot imagine how this blog will look without him? I have played club level cricket in Karachi and I never complained about why Karachi players are not included in the team or why punjab players are in the team? I believe that the Pakistan team is selected on merit basis. I am from Karachi and I have no qualms of homesickness as others who have migrated from India. My parents are from UP India they migrated with my grandparents in 1947 and I was born, raised, educated in Karachi neither my parents nor I have any regrets about the decision my grandparents took 60 years ago and I don't understand why some people even after 60 years still consider themselves as immigrants or mohajirs? Its a matter of assimilation and integration, if you wish to isolate yourself from others then you are not accepting the concept or the creation of Pakistan in other words you are denying its existence. I don't accept this bakwas of khansahab that he can say anything about Pakistan because it was created for muslims. First of all it was not created only for muslims but also for those living in these provinces which are in Pakistan now. Apart from Sikhs and Christians there are close to 3 million Hindus living in Pakistan,its a fact they are in minority still it is not a small population and Pakistan is for them too. As a pro-indian you talk of secularism and democracy and progress and being a so-called muslim living in the UK you are remotely connected to Pakistan through a cricket blog, your views are different about Pakistan and Pakistanis, in fact you are very biased and bitter and by no means you have any right to say all that bullsh*t and spit your drivel on the entire Pakistani nation. I very strongly oppose your senseless comments about Pakistan. I used to think you are a sensible person but you are not and you are just a confused desi living abroad and it is your murky vision that sees so many faults in Pakistan, even if you see, you have no right to blab out the crap on a public forum like this you sound like Judas and you sound so anti-pakistani and pro-indian you should go to India and settle there and stop this bakwas against Pakistan. Don't ever think that you have the right to utter non-sense against Pakistan I would like other bloggers to take note of this and raise their voice against your anti-pakistani comments.

    God bless Pakistan

  • Does Javed A Khan have a life ? on October 16, 2007, 6:48 GMT

    Does Javed A Khan have a life ? Does Javed A Khan have a life ? Does Javed A Khan have a life ?

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 16, 2007, 5:36 GMT

    Fahad Khan

    Please go back in the archives and read all the posts made by this person and then you would realize why the term MqM 11 was used.

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 16, 2007, 5:19 GMT

    Osman Ali Khairi:

    For me all the players are Pakistani and who so ever deserves to be in the team should be given the chance regardless of their ethnicity, but I have seen a lot of criticism on this blog which is politically motivated just to create a false sense of deprivation amongst a particular group of people and to create hatred for another group in general, if the criticism is genuine and not biased I have absolutely no problem with it and I will stand by it, but to glorify players who have just begun their careers and have not proven themselves against any quality teams and to portray them as victims of politics is absolute nonsense, the criticism should be fair and should be made with only one goal in mind that in the end we get a strong Pakistani team rather than a team which has all the players from one city or race, else the criticism will continue, I think such an approach is racist and I will condemn or counter such propaganda on all occasions. I have voiced my criticism so many times on this blog when Asim Kamal was dropped from the team but when people want him to be included in the ODI team or 20/20 team then they are crossing the limit as he has never been selected by the Karachi team for any domestic ODI or 20/20 tournament as he is only a test player. Now I think if he performs well in the domestic tournaments he can still get his place back in the Test team but his supporters should know that without any domestic performance their support will not carry any weight.

    People criticized the selection of Salman Butt and Hafeez on this Blog but the fact is that they got selected because of their performances in the domestic tournaments, which Asim kamal has failed to do over the last year, it’s a separate issue that they failed to take advantage of this opportunity.

    You have only 11 players in the team, sometimes for the sake of better combination some good players are left out and if a player is useful for only one position which is already occupied by another good player then it becomes difficult for the selectors to accommodate, Misbah is a good example he got very few chances and we all know that for the past five or six years he has been the #1 batsman in the domestic arena but still he couldn't get selected the problem was that like Asim Kamal he is a middle order batsman and we were not looking for middle order batsmen we were only looking for openers.

    Secondly those who blame every thing on Punjab they should remember that the president and the prime Minister are not from Punjab and the majority of selectors are also not from Punjab so why not yell and curse at those who are actually responsible for the injustice. I like and respect your nationalist approach and I can only wish that others can think like you.

    Although your second question regarding Younis Khan was not directed to me but since I also have been criticizing him I would like to respond. Younis is playing Dr Jekyll and sister Hyde with us, since the last WC you never know whether you are going to see Younis the "Clown" or Younis the "hero" on the ground the way he is throwing his wicket at crucial moments of the game makes me question his integrity, he is not out of form that is evident from his two 100's but the way he got out in his other two innings it seems as if he is a novice. I have posted the ODI averages of our main batsmen for the year 2006-07 in my last post and Younis is averaging around 20 in ODIS during that period which does not match his caliber, Kallis for the same period is averaging 63.It has become a dilemma for the selectors too as these players after a few bad performances give a stunning performance and manage to retain their place in the team.

    All of us love to criticise Shoaib Akhtar for his behavioral problems and we crucify him after one bad performance or physical breakdown but fail to realize that he is the only player in the current team who has been winning tough matches for us single handedly, why can’t we criticize these so called senior players or “Khalifas “who are not giving their 100% match after match.

    I have never felt shy from criticizing the Punjabi players and I am not afraid to criticize other players ,for me there are no sacred cows, these players should only play for the national pride and nothing else if a player fails to do that then he should not be in the team.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 16, 2007, 4:39 GMT

    Mr. Kamran Abbassi, with your permission please! I want to say a few words for Inzamam here on this thread, because you have closed the thread on Inzamam too soon. And, I request you to please let it be for Inzi's sake. It is good to see the continuous praise and accolades being showered over Inzamam by sports journalists, statisticians, former players like, Allan Donald, current players like Kumble, Hoggard etc. Even today, Javed Miandad the great has hailed him by saying: "A player like Inzamam is only born in centuries and his performances were proof of that." Wow thats, good to hear from Miandad. Also, from Wasim Akram, Intikhab, Zaheer Abbass and even the current coach Lawson has admitted that, "it will take a long time for the team to mould a replacement for Inzamam." Only kids who don't know the game of cricket can blab against the humble giant and hold an eternal grudge against him and hate him because he is not a "gin-win" em-que-em wala.

    The vacuum that has been created by Inzamam cannot be filled in by any other middle order batsman, especially in test matches and also in very tight situations in the ODI games. When Inzi used to hold one end, partnerships used to evolve around him. Now, who is going to improvise and accelerate the run rate? Although in the over all team interest and for the good of team Pakistan, I am against Malik's removal from the post of captaincy, but its a fact that, he does not justify his place in the team as a batsman. Omar Admani has done some "very good cricket analysis" of what the doctor has ordered and how the patient is responding. Well done Omar, I like that doctor - patient relationship narration. Its indeed a very good observation and narration. And thats what most of us do here, make note of our observations and do the analysis of the game.

    You must have also observed that some psychopaths nonchalantly abuse the nation or the players for no reason and when you try to tell them nicely in a benign way, vo bhee chota samajh ker, then it doesn't get in their hot head because its not just hot, its full of pride, vanity and takkaburr, its a typical example of psychopathic, idiopathic personality. They wake up only when you hit them on their head with a dead trout and say hey dude you are rude and obnoxious. Then, they get upset and assume and complain that, we are doing their psycho-analysis! LOL at his dream that Pakistan was made by me and my late father! Its a shame that the hot-headed spoiled brat hurled a cheap prank at me and my deceased father and thinks he has passed a great comment. I think JamJar is right that some people take cover under the frock of their gender and some under the umbrella of their tender age! In "Shusta Urdu" it is called, "naazuk umariya." To be very honest, he did not disappoint me, this was expected from him that after reading my post, instead of showing some grace and poise, he will react like this. And me, just after reading a few lines of that pathetic "rona-dhona and naak-surakna," I moved away to read Wasim Saqib's analysis.

    Wasim Saqib, I cannot agree more with you on "your analysis" about Pakistan's batting and player's batting average. But, you did not mention anything about Pakistan's bowling attack, which IMO is very mediocre at the moment. I can only hope that with the inclusion of Shahid Afridi and Sohail Tanvir in the ODI side may be, may be, it will be a little better than the test bowling battery, which was absolutely "Thussss" or dead. I don't know the level of Asif's fitness but, he keeps playing with his injured elbow like Flintoff does with his ankle, which is bad. Shouldn't "they" do some real assessment in determining whether he is 100% fit or not? If he is not 100% fit, then he should be rested now. Pakistan need him for India's tour, because he is good against the Indian batting line up especially against, Sehwag and Tendulkar.

    JamJar, the only reason I had asked you about those districts is because of your mentioning about seeing Younus Khan in Glasgow city center! Anyways, for your information Renfrew used to be but, Newton Mearns is my second home now - après Montreal. And Irfan Khan (UK) and the one stumbling across this blog, pyaro, Kamran Abbassi is Kamran Abbassi, mais c'est moi, Javed A. Khan and my dear friend(s) and foe(s) I am a real akhroat unlike the fake Biharis who call themselves as "PathunWa's." ;-) My mother tongue is Pushtu, but Urdu and English is spoken at home and I have great interest in English and Urdu literature, still I am not perfect in either of these languages. Vaisay bhee, "aati hai Urdu zubaan aatay, aatay!" And, who can claim to be perfect other than the Almighty?

    You guys please leave Kamran Abbassi alone, he is a doctor by profession and he has been writing regularly at cricinfo since a long time. I have been reading his write-up, articles and columns with great interest ever since i.e., when he used to write for BMJ (British Medical Journal) I used to read and even write my "cheap" comments over there. ;-) To answer the question of someone who asked on this blog, how it is possible for me to remember what someone has said in the past or in their earlier posts? All I can say is, I don't have to dig up the archives, I have got an excellent memory. See how good my crude akhroat brain is? :-) Those who are not as bright as a button, shouldn't be envious, they may eat badaam (Almonds) vo bhi ghiss kay! ;-)

  • Johnathan from Sussex UK on October 16, 2007, 4:39 GMT

    Javed khan from montreal writes cheap thnigs. His cooments are akin to some one who is jobless and spends his time on the roads as roadsidse Romeo whistling at girls and criticsing office going people and making fun and bieng happy. But buddy you are putting so much hatred in your heart one day it will be your enemy. Accept life as it is and see good physciatrist as they have proper treatment methods for your kind who are lost in an imaginary world and refuse to accept the realites as they are in real world. ;) Take care or shouls I say Au revoir .

  • Ahsan Khan on October 16, 2007, 4:24 GMT

    WHERE HAVE ALL THE COWBOYS HAVE GONE?

    Yaar, I am sick and tired of all this talk about pakistani cricket and the emotion behind it. I have played cricket for karachi at a fair level. Let me just say, all you people talk about this and that, and that and this and then this and that... THERE IS NO STRATEGY BEHIND PAKISTANI CRICKET. All they do is go and play. PERIOD.

  • Junaid on October 16, 2007, 3:34 GMT

    Like it or not Pakistan needs fit and in form Shoaib Akhtar back ASAP. We need match winning bowlers like him in India otherwise Pakistan will face the worst ever defeat against India. We should also recall Saqlain and Mushtaq as spinners will play a huge role in India. Saqi took 20 wickets in first 2 test matches in 1998 and if he is fit than he should play. Salman Butt has already scored 2 hundreds in India with one of them being the match winning in Calcutta so he should be in the side. Kamran Akmal had a successful series last time and he saved the first test in Mohali with his great hundred so he is the best choice for this pressure series. All the other under 19 kids can be given a chance on some easier tours like Zimbabwe etc but not now when we will be playing SA, India and Austrailia.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on October 16, 2007, 2:10 GMT

    For Javed . A Khan and Khan Sahab:

    I have been following the tussle between you two and on this threat at least, it seems to be bludgeoning out of control and getting out of hand. As amusing and entertaining as it is, I think both of you in general need to tone down the antics a bit. As I wrote to Wasim Saqib, a few hours ago, it is high time that we as Pakistanis start looking at life with a more holistic perspective and endure and tolerate opinions we don’t necessarily agree with. As for Javed Khan, I couldn’t be bothered about his lineage or well, his ancestral past for that matter. However, on the basis of his posts, I get this strong inkling that he is a proud Pakistani, who despite being in Montreal, always puts Pakistan first, especially during an onslaught by those that wish to rebuke our country just for the sake of doing so. I respect him for that as well as all those who live abroad and still hold their country, dear to their heart. Having said that, Khan Sahab, I agree with you when you say that there is a mindset or well, a school of thought that tends to blame external elements (Indian, American, and Israeli) for everything that has gone wrong in our country. Nevertheless, I also think one should be proud of being Pakistani and should refrain from deprecating and criticizing everything in it. Unfortunately, the way I see it, you are highly dismissive and decisively critical of many things in Pakistan (which is okay I guess) but to see you voice it eternally and incessantly, on this blog or forum, that is read by thousands of non-Pakistanis as well, I just think that gives Pakistan a bad name and exacerbates our image. Let me reiterate that I am 24 and not from a generation before you, so I can understand and relate to your outlook on many social and economic problems in the country. However, just to elucidate what I’m trying to say here, while working on this 6 month project for the World Bank in New York ( I am now, back in Islamabad), I got to interact with many non- Pakistanis in general and many Indians in particular. And I can assure you that I did not come across a SINGLE Indian who bad mouthed his homeland, be it on political or cricket- related topics. And trust me on this; it is not because they are idealistic and think their country is perfect. It is not because they overlook the fact that their country has colossal poverty related issues in addition to many other political and social tribulations. It is because they are proud of being Indian and represent their country with distinction and pride. However, as sad as it was, I interacted with many Pakistanis that perpetually disparaged, condemned and mocked our homeland in the presence of many foreigners. Frankly, that broke my heart.

    (I have DIGRESSED big time, and I hope that Kamran bhai endorses this post) but what I mean to say my dear friend Khan sahab, is yes, call it as you see. But stop saying things like most Pakistanis are “undereducated, immature and too headed”. And learn to respect your country and your country men. And I believe that goes for Javed Khan too. Once again, I am sorry for offending either of you, if I have, with my tirade. I deeply apologize but I hope we can all learn to live and let live. Pakistan zindabad.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on October 16, 2007, 0:36 GMT

    One thing I don’t understand is when people say “Traditionally Pakistan’s strength has been bowling so don’t moan so much about batting”. What era do people refer to? People are obviously referring to the eras when Pakistan had Sarfraz Nawaz, Imran Khan, Abdul Qadir and then later, Wasim, Waqar, Saqlain and Mushy- all world class bowlers. But did we not always have some consistent and focused batsmen complementing these great bowlers? With Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail, Ijaz Ahmed, Salim Malik, Inzamam and even Moin Khan or Rashid Latif, Pakistan not too long ago also had a world class batting line up. So the batting has deteriorated so much that leading or senior players like Younis and Afridi cannot accept responsibility and demonstrate reasonable consistency, and someone like Malik who started as a tailender, finds himself as the second best batsmen in the team currently.

    Osman Ali Khairi,

    Thank you for your response. You have stated that in the early 90’s you sympathised with MQM and then you have put a :) next to that. I don’t think it is something to be proud of! However I respect your patriotism and your guts for admitting your sympathy with MQM. Hamid Mir, the famous Geo correspondent, said, “Risk is the beauty of journalism”. I guess that can apply here.

    Jamjar,

    I always thought you would be one of those who would instigate or jump on a bandwagon regarding any issue about my age and how that can (ostensibly) affect my cricket knowledge or acumen. I don’t really want to be confrontational but since you have criticised me in your message to Javed Khan, let me remind everyone of the time when you appeared quite dim-witted when I had to take the pains of explaining you the difference between the common contextual uses of two words of the English language? I recall you attacked me first sounding very confident (that is how our communication started on this blog) but my rebuttal succeeded in making you appear thick, more so because you were ridiculing me for my age. So Jamjar, I think you should be cautious of what you say from now on because I will be keeping my eyes open :-)

  • Mat C on October 15, 2007, 21:49 GMT

    Kamran, You are not correct about your theory of swing. You do not need a lot of speed to swing ball. A medium fast bowler like Asif and Omar can swing well. Wasim Akarm never bowled very fast when he swang the ball. Waqar's action helped him termendously. Swing requirds skill not speed. Jeff Thomason was flat bowler who did not know anything about swing but he was the fastest bowler in the history. At speeds around 80 mph (around 130 km/h), the airflow around the ball is in transition between smooth, or laminar flow, and turbulent flow. At speeds of 90 mph (around 145 km/h) and above, all the flow is turbulent. A medium-pace bowler, working at 75 to 80 mph (around 120 to 130 km/h), takes advantage of this. In this critical region, the raised seam and other minor imperfections in the ball's surface can induce turbulence while air flowing over other parts of the ball remains laminar. Turbulent air separates from the surface of the ball later than laminar flow air, so that the separation point moves to the back of the ball on the turbulent side. On the laminar flow side it remains towards the front. The result is a net force in the direction of the turbulent side.

  • Irfan Khan (UK) on October 15, 2007, 21:42 GMT

    I just want to say that I am more then 200 % sure, Kamran you post couple of comments in each of your threads. The most common and obious one is JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA. May be KHANSAHIB (AA Khan) is another name of yours. But i guess that is the way you make the thread successful. I feel no shame in admitting that I only read Pak Spin because of Javed Khan (your other half)'s comments, which is a genuine treat.

    It is very easy for any body to understand that Pathan from Waziristan can not have such a nice sense of humour and a good command of english so Abbassi come on admit it, there is no harm. (I guess i should expect AIK SARA HUWA JAWAB FROM ABBASSI 2 - AKA JAVED KHAN)

  • someone who stumbled across this blog on October 15, 2007, 21:17 GMT

    well i dont have any comments about pakistan's performance in the 2-test series against SA as i believe it too early to judge themand their captain.But i just was curious about who this JAVED.A.KHAN might be. His comments seem to be quite intelligent and gives us insight of things,but i wonder how he gets time to remember what other reguler bloggers mentioned in their threads and use it when bashing them.He deems like the only thing he ever has to do is responding to comments on this blog and give his opinions on every matter anyone rises. So i just want to know if who this person might be

  • JamJar on October 15, 2007, 20:47 GMT

    Eid Mubarak all,

    We can clearly argue that the strategy used by Pakistan against South Africa was flawed but I’m still not convinced that it was the core reason we lost to South Africa, although it was certainly a contributing factor. In both tests, Pakistan had a slim of victory going into the final days and I think it was our inability to post competitive first innings totals and dropped catches which ultimately led the downfall for us. It has been ironic that in situations where Pakistan’s openers provided a rare and descent platform to construct a competitive total, our middle order would fail to click.

    In my opinion, the reluctance to produce bouncier tracks by the PCB perhaps has something to do with them showing up the technical frailties of our own batsmen. Whilst it is true that bouncier tracks would help our strength in the pace department, I’m not so convinced our batsmen will handle them.

    Another issue I’d like to see some action on is the position of Kamran Akmal. This dude has got to get it together behind the stumps otherwise Pakistan will continue to rue missed opportunities. His batting has improved this series otherwise I’d like to think he’d be duly facing the chop. Pak should perhaps try out the second string keeper of Haiider which. Perhaps being temporarily dropped will provide greater focus for Akmal to improve his game.

    Pakistan’s U 19 team have won the two previous World Cups and recent their recent series whitewashes against Australia need to be commended. I cant be bothered doing the research on it, but whats happening to these players who are making their mark on the Under 19 stage, albeit at ODIs? I know that some of the Indian stars of U-19 are coming through with the likes of Uthappa, RP Singh and Sharma but Pak should groom these starlets for the bigger stage and ensure they do not fade away on the domestic circuit.

    Javed A.Khan,

    Man o man. You certainly had me cracking up laughing in your post concerning Khansahab and I think your comments are very valid and justified. Some of the commentary in his posts directed at players and the Pakistani nation are unjustified, not to mention his inconsistent views. His constant argument to avoid using age as a barometer of maturity and capability goes out the window when it comes to Shoaib Malik.

    P.s. ha ha, I’m from neither districts but I know them well! There is not much happening in terms of ethnicity in Renfrew so an interesting suggestion.

  • DiZzy on October 15, 2007, 19:19 GMT

    I just need few simple answers from those who think Pakistan shud have prepared a seaming track for The Africans...

    The questions:

    HOW MANY MATCHES HAVE WE WON ON SEAMING TRACKS? AND THAT TOO AGAINST AFRICANS?? Just go thru the results of all the recent series you will get an answer ....

    WHAT WORLD-CLASS FASTBOWLERS ARE YOU BOASTING ABT THAT HAVE USED THE SEAMING CONDITIONS TO FULLEST ?? HALF-FIT GUL ?? OR RAPIDLY-LOSING-PACE ASIF ??

    PAKITANI BATSMEN CUDNT COPE WID HARRISS AND STEYN ON THESE "SPINNING TRACKS", OH WOW, THEY WUD'VE MASSACRED THE AFRICAN BOWLING ON "SEAMING TRACK" ....

    You take chance of seamin tracks against oppositins like InDIA or SRILANKA, but not against a team who play on such tracks day in and day out in their country ...

    And talking abt the batting, i am surprised no one pointed a damn finger on yousaf for opting out of teh first test match at the eleventh hour citing "Lack of Match Fitness" .... Wow... some COURAGE by the leading run-gettter last year.... wid pakistan short of senior batsmen, ur most prolific batsman opts out at the last moment ... and then just after the first test, he declares himself MATCH FIT .... :) . someone needs to teach him wat the term MATCH FIT means ... waisay, all he had to do was to look at his counterpart in the african team, KALLIS (who, i dun think played any match since the worldcup) and be ashaameedddd.....

    And then we have these EXPERTS here who have started pointng fingers on the new captain and the coach and their strategies afer just ONE series... for god's sake, it was teh FIRST test series for both the captain and the coach ... atleast give them a decent amount of time before letting out ur typical-emotional-pakistani mentality ..... you are teh same ppl who were cheering for this very captain in t-20 ....

  • Nasir Rasheed on October 15, 2007, 18:47 GMT

    The problem is our batting. I am pretty sure that insistence on slow wickets in Pakistan is because our batsmen are afraid to play fast bowlers, make fast bowler captain and you will see better wickets, otherwise with the spin attack we have never justifies spinning tracks.

  • irfan on October 15, 2007, 18:32 GMT

    Glad to see all the regulars firing on however many cylinders they operate upon. All is well, Pak again showed that they can not handle top class teams even on their own grounds, the factors are very generously discussed here and need no further analysis and articulation. The mindset right from the top "PCB" to the skip is exactly the same, i.e. of a juvenile. They have already ingrained it in their minds that the only thing they can do is defend and didn't have the good sense to build upon the momentum of the last tournament.Tired, old, predictable tactics applied with the same amount of success as in the past i.e. none.

    Kamran, there you go promoting your golden boy again who got a reprieve instead of a boot. You are absolutely one hundred percent wrong about the reverse swing only showing up when the ball is traveling at an express speed. But, what is important to assess here is the ability of our current stock of bowler. Do they know how to employ it? Control the swing? Make the ball "dance" as they call it on the street? I have strong doubts about that. More than Asif I have grown fond of Gul but despite the fact that he is a different kind of bowler I don't think he knows how it is done. Ah! but the good thing though is that they can be taught! People like Aquib with a wealth of knowledge could be instrumental, time to use him!

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 15, 2007, 18:22 GMT

    Most of us keep on wondering why our team does not Win consistently, we all come up with different reasons but the best way to analyze the strength and weakness of a team is to compare it with its opponent. Statistics don’t lie and they always reveal the true strength and weakness of any team.

    PAKISTAN Vs SOUTH AFRICA STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF PLAYERS FOR THE YEAR 2006-2007 Part-1

    1-Shoaib Malik: Malik played 15 matches in 2006/2007 at an average of 45.11 with three fifties only he does not have any big scores because he bats so low down the order he needs to promote himself and should become the anchor of our batting line up.

    2-Salman Butt Salman played only one match in 2006-07 and scored only 1 run however in 2007 he has played 3 matches at an average of 36.6 with one score above fifty, his performance has been dismal being an opener and the Vice Captain of the team he has been disappointing so far. I don’t think he should be selected for this ODI series but chances are that he will get selected, IMO before the India series we should try out somebody new.

    3-Mohammed Yousuf He is the spine of Pakistan’s batting in 2006-07 he played 13 matches and scored at an average of 45.30 with one century and two fifties, by his standards its not a good record, he needs to score more consistently one more concern is that lately he has been batting too slow in Odis. In 2007 his average was only 28 in 6 matches he played he is consistently showing a decline in form and fitness.

    4-Younis Khan Younis khan with his current ODi form does not deserve to be in the team, the way he has been throwing his wicket lately in crucial situations clearly shows that he is playing for himself and not for the team, his good performances were meaningless to the team in the last two tests as the damage was already done. He has played 12 matches in 2006-07 at an average of 19.33 with one score above 50. He is the main batsman in our team along with Yousuf and if he is going to score less than 20 a match then no wonder we are losing so often these days .The selectors should be ruthless and should show no respect for Big names and Paper tigers.

    5-Imran Nazir He has played 7 matches in 2006-07 and has scored at an average of 40.28 with one century and one fifty, his average has been boosted because of his 160 against Zimbabwe otherwise his average would also be lingering below 20’s. He needs to play with a straight bat as whenever does that he looks good, other than that he is also highly inconsistent.

    6-Shahid Afridi He deserves his place mainly because of his bowling and fielding, his batting has been poor and disappointing for his fans but consistent with his record. He played 8 matches at an average of 19.71 with only one score above 50. In 2007 he has played two matches and has scored 73 n.o and 1 respectively. He needs to improve his shot selection and should play for the team rather than the crowd.

    7-Kamran Akmal Mr. butter fingers not only he has been dropping catches at key moments but his batting has been pathetic he in my opinion is the most overrated player in the eyes of selectors. He played 15 matches and scored at an average of 15.66 with only one score above 50. He also has a habit of throwing away his wicket after getting set and gets out at crucial moments of the game.In 2007 he has played 3 matches at an ave of 45.

    8-Mohammed Hafeez He is also one of the over rated players in the team after getting so many chances he has not established himself as a batsman in the team he is a good bowler for Odis but whenever we include him the balance of the team is disturbed because the batting becomes weak. He played 11 matches in 2006-07 and scored at an ave of 20.54 with only one score above 50’s His performance is pathetic especially when he usually bats higher and has been a part of the team for quite some time now.

    Five batsmen in our batting line up have an average of less than or around 20 in Odis in the last year but the selectors are still selecting them either they are blind or they don’t know about statistics.IMO the job of selectors is to find new talent and to give them a chance rather than playing a musical chair game with the Old players.

    Ps. Kamran I am sorry this post is a little lengthy but please don’t delete it.

  • Fahad Khan on October 15, 2007, 17:54 GMT

    Quick question..assuming Dawar, Raja Pakistani, and Saima are all the same person, which I have been thinking for a while, why does advocating for Asim Kamal or whoever make them advocates for an MQM XI..and what does that mean anyway? i understand why you would say Karachi XI but why bring MQM into it? You are right that an MQM XI or a Karachi XI would be impossible.. its also impossible for more than one player from KHI to be on the national team..or so it seems.

  • asad rashid on October 15, 2007, 17:50 GMT

    Dear Kamran, This is not related to this particular blog but please bring attention to the fact in your next blog that Hair has quoted Rudi Koertzen as having called the Pakistani team a bunch of cheats. The south african umpire must issue a denial or an apology and depending on which comes forth the ICC must consider his eligibility as an unbiased international umpire.

  • Syed on October 15, 2007, 17:07 GMT

    Hi,

    Thing which really hurted me as a fan was the mental attitude towards the series. We all know that Danish kaneria is just a workhorse kind of spinner and never a match winner for us. Still we persist with him the way there are no one else in Pak same we do with Kamran Akmal. Just because he can bat it doesn't mean we should ignore the fact that he is not doing his first job properly which is keeping. We had good test batsmen in Asim Kamaal and Yasir Hameed and we are not giving them enough chances at all. Where is Fawad Alam who was rated too high few months ago ? How come we have started relying on spinners than pacers. Stats will show us that we have won matches on the basis of our pacers and not spinners.

    Malik needs to mature and decide what is the best position for him to play, #6 can only be given to an all-rounder who can bowl and bat at the same time.

    We look more balance for ODI cricket though i don't see more success against SA as they are too good in that department as compared to us.

  • Saima Khan on October 15, 2007, 16:39 GMT

    Drop Kamran Akmal,Salman Butt,Faisal Iqbal,Misba ul haq, Mohammad Hafeez, Rao Ifthikar and Yasir Arfat.

    Here are the replacement for all above players: Sarfraz Ahmed (WC batsman, ex captin Under 19 winning team), Khalid Latif (ex Opener of Under 19 ), Yasir Hamid (WHB), Asim Kamal (LHB),Khurrum Manzoor(Opener), Fawad Alam and Anwar Ali (ex under 19 fast bowler, played a major role to won under 19 world cup for Pakistan).

    Saima Khan Islamabad

  • fuad on October 15, 2007, 16:13 GMT

    I have never been convinced that Kaneria is a good spinner. I don't understand why people recognize him as a premiere spinner. He neither gets sharp turn nor has enough tricks under his arm to surprise a quality batsman. He has never been a match winner. Let's try someone else. Pakistan need to do something about Shoaib. Either bring him back and make sure he gets his acts together or ban him forever. PAK board could try a genuine fast bowler. In any formidable test team there should be genuine (90+ mile) fast bowler who can at least scare the batsmen every now and then and unsettle them so that the other bowlers can work on that. And finally Kamram Akmal should be rested, his keeping has been disastrous. And please find a good reliable opening pair rather than trying the old ones with different combinations. This is just total waste of time. Test openers need to be solid in defense and should be able to better handle the fast bowlers on a seaming track. PAK do not need big hitters like Afridi or makeshift opener like Hafeez to open a test. The middle order looks okay and I believe Asim Kamal deserves a chance.

  • Rebuttal for Javed A Khan on October 15, 2007, 15:46 GMT

    Javed bhai Eid Mubarak ! What did you have for Eid ..I have just about every version of Sheesh kabab . Mind you nothing tastes like the kebobs . Hope you enjoy them too .

    Coming to cricket , I am appalled by some really dumb comments of some die hard pak cricket fans.

    Please Pak fans get your head out of your assess and accept the fact that Pakistan does not even have a mediocre test batting lineup, at best has a mediocre bowling lineup. What do you expect from the likes of Shoaib Malik , Haq, Kamran Akmal , Shahid Afridi , Salman Butt or MAsif(druggie) or Kaneria (hype) . Failure and nothing more .

    Solution :

    Dump the slection committee and relocate it to Islamabad. Enough of these dumbass Lahorias.How about some players from Chakwal or Sargodha or Hazara ?

    Thanks

    Rebuttal

  • Muhammad Asif on October 15, 2007, 15:42 GMT

    "The only fear, as Pakistanis know painfully well, is that religion has often also been at the very heart of the country's troubles." These are the concluding remarks of Osman Samiuddin. I don't agree with you, my analysis is as follows:

    I would give you one example of Hockey. Before the start of every match, Pakistani Team comes close together & say Nara-e-Takbeer Allah-o-Akbar, even spectators join them and no one accused the team to be religious. And on the other hand people get offended by Bismillah & InshAllah at the end of a match in award ceremony. Its just a misconception because people are not offended by the use of religious words but for not accepting the poor display by the team.

    Here you are missing one important aspect & ground reality is that when you don't like the performance of a player, you start hating his every action whether its relevant or not. These non-issues pop-up only when team is performing poorly.

  • Haseeb Ahmed on October 15, 2007, 15:31 GMT

    I can't understand why the Pakistan team lacks confidence thus.

  • nasir on October 15, 2007, 15:27 GMT

    Pakistan's success at the 20/20 was over hyped and we have been brought down to earth in the Test series. There is a chance for redemption in the ODIs and a series win is a must.

    Pakistan inherent problems conue from regime to regime. First the squad was announced too late to allow for the mental conditioning of the players. Our opening is continuing to struggle and Hafeez should be dumped for good. Butt is pretty close as well. Openers averaging less than 30 are just not good enough.

    Younis seems to score hundreds in lost causes. Had those hundreds come in the first innings, things may have been better. The middle order is bare. Iqbal and Misbah are simply not up to grade at test level and are a liability.

    The bowling, what can you say. Asif looks like he is at the end of his career rather than at the beginning. he looks exhausted and like someone who has run three marathons after a two week hunger strike. He needs to be conditioned and trained otherwise continual breakdowns will become a habit, fit for a game and out for the next three. Gul is getting better and better. Kaneria is useless. If hardly troubles a batsman and getting 4 wickets in 50 overs is not a big deal. When was the last time he sliced through a quality top order and boweld a 5-50 or 6-60 kind of spell. We tried these sort fo wickets against England in 2000 and failed miserably back then. If our spinners can't win games in spinning tracks there is no hope for them. We should have more confidence in our fast bowlers and the batsmen will jsut have to stand up and be men.

    Our fielding as usual is pathetic and for the upteenth time missed catches have cost us dear. We can only improve from here. Our 20/20 hangover should end here and lets see some solid performances henceforth.

  • Xalman on October 15, 2007, 14:52 GMT

    Mark my words. Shoaib Akhtar is not done with his scandals, his next big scandal would be on his bowling action.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on October 15, 2007, 14:48 GMT

    Wasim Saqib: Yes. I agree. The things people do to get into the limelight and hog some attention! Talk about multiple personality disorder hun? :) Also, for the record, I hail from an Urdu speaking family and I sympathized with the MQM in the early 90’s :) but never, have I ever put my ethnic or political affiliations before the country. As I said in the previous thread, (where I specifically thanked you and the other regulars here) for providing a fitting and much needed retort to Mukul's deranged article, this blog in an inexplicable and immeasurable way gives me hope. I pray that we can set aside our political, cultural, ethnic and religious associations and look at the bigger picture. i.e. Pakistan. May we always stand united and may Pakistan always prosper, Amen. Having said that, let me just say that I’m a firm believer in calling a spade a spade. And as a natural ramification, find it very difficult to condone or digest the treatment that has been meted out to certain players from Karachi, including Asim Kamal. I just think as a society, we need to fathom that everyone is entitled to their opinion and importantly, that different point of views need to be comprehended and respected. I don’t mean to offend you in anyway or create and foster some mind boggling controversy. All I’m saying is that we need to be a little more tolerant (not that YOU aren’t) as a nation. Also, on a totally unrelated note, I detest the way certain expatriates bring MQM flags to the matches involving Pakistan. It really boils my blood. Next thing we know, we’ll have Pakistanis in different places bringing PMP and PPL flags to cricket matches. At the risk of sounding dramatic, I will die a slow death that day.

    Khan Sahab: When I wrote, “I see an overwhelming number of bloggers castigating Younis all the time”, I had you in mind;) so well it’s good to hear your insight on this one! Heh. Firstly, let me reiterate and clarify that I am not a huge Younis Khan fan. However, I also believe one should abstain from criticism just for the sake of it. And the fact of the matter is, Younis Khan has an average of around 50 my friend and though, I acquiesce with you when you say he is capricious, inconsistent and at times dim-witted (especially when he refused to captain Pakistan after the world cup debacle), I also think he is far more consistent and better (in every aspect of the word!) than some of the other senior players in the team including Afridi and Akhtar. Tell me, who in the current set up, plays professionally and sensibly? Afridi is a joke, a retard and that’s putting it mildly. Akhtar, the less said about him the better. What I want to know is who deserves to be called a senior player in your book? Frankly, all these characteristics you spoke about i.e. (playing sensibly and not throwing their wicket away), when, if ever, have you witnessed Afridi or any of the other Pakistani batsmen display these essential traits? Yet, my point was none of these idiots come under the fire as frequently as Younis does. I get what you’re saying. The whole ‘He has the potential to take over Miandad’s mantle’ deal! And to that, I’ll say that though statistics don’t delineate the entire picture, they do tell half the story. And statistics alone reveal that Younis along with Yousuf has been one of the main reasons why Pakistan has won the last few series it played at home (prior to this one, of course!) Yet, whenever he plays badly, people hurl abuses at him and conveniently ignore the role, or well the lack of it, which was played by the other morons (read Afridi). That is unfair. Hena ?

  • Reehan on October 15, 2007, 14:20 GMT

    Dark days for Pak cricket ahead! I want to believe in Malik and have faith in Lawson but they dont look up to the task. I miss Inzy and Woolmer who took us to third in test cricket rankings. I thought Malik make inspirational field changes and move his bowlers around. It was clear that the team selection was wrong from the first test. I am shocked the team went in with the same team for the second test. I expected the new set up to make mistakes and I can understand when you lose to a good team but when you repeat the same mistakes, it shows we have learnt nothing. I forecast a downward spiral for pak cricket. That was the worst home series defeat I have ever witnessed. The team lacked passion, motivation and direction. I am not a professional cricketer but even I knew that spin on its own wouldnt work.

    As for Kaneria, he is a misused talent for Pak, he should be in the one day squad. The management need to show faith in him in all forms of the game if he is to improve. However I have no confidence in the Musharaf yes boys like Ashraf. What is his pedigree for being in a position of authority for Pak Cricket? What happened to his fielding coach from the US lol? Predictions India, Australia to trash us in the next few series, Shoaib gets injured, Asif gets injured, Kaneria goes wicketless in the second innings of the next few test matches. Salman Butt's average drops to 15 and Kamran drops a few more sitters. By 2008 either Malik/Lawson will be sacked or they will give it up. Solution: Get King Khan to sort out the cricket mess- if he does that he could run the country without any political agenda.

  • Amjad Husain on October 15, 2007, 13:06 GMT

    This is for Mr Raza from NJ. Please refrain from using such words as'' Pakis'' on these blogs. In England this is regarded as a racist remark. Pakistan lost against SA due to bad selection. Our strength has been fast bowling, we should stick to it.

  • Nadeem Ahmad on October 15, 2007, 11:01 GMT

    Can PCB explain and justify the “thought process” behind team selection and pitch preparation. Here are few interesting facts. Afridi is not considered a Test team material by many in and out of PCB but:

    1- Afirdi’s test bowling strike rate is better than our specialist so called match winner spinner Danish Kaneria. Infact Afridi’s strike ratre is better than many specialist bowlers like Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Aaqib Javed, Abdul Qadir, Sikander Bakht, Sarfraz Nawaz, Mohammad Sami. Interestingly his average is not far behind from these past greats. 2- Afirdi’s test batting average is far better than our current specialist batsmen Salman Butt, Faisl Iqbal, Yasir Hameed. Interestingly Afridi’s average is better than many past “recognised batsmen” like Rameez Raja, Aamer Sohail, Mohsin Khan, Qasim Umar, Wasim Raja, Sadiq Mohammad, Haroon Rasheed, etc I don’t know why Selectors can not admit that Afridi is better batsman than all those. 3- Afridi’s batting average is more than Kamran Akmal who is mainly there because of his good batting skills 4- Afridi’s test batting average 37.40 is almost equal to our captain Shoib Malik’s 38.03. If Malik can be a Captain, then Afridi can play purely as a batsman. People may not agree but these facts show Afridi can be in the team in both cases purely as a Batsman or a Bowler !

    Can anyone analyse when we won a match purely on our spinners strength. I can’t recall in recent past. I suggest our captain and selection committee should improve their analytical skills.

  • Intoxicated on October 15, 2007, 10:53 GMT

    Inzamam, did anything else or not but I belive his biggest cintribution is that he united the team andddd he taught Pakistan how to play test matches. They are a very good team in one day cricket butt I feel they are always vulnerable when you talk about test cricket. Atleast for the last 15-20 years they have always been dependent heavily on induidual brilliances whenever they were successful to win. Planning is always not there from preparing pitches to player selections to game plan, I mean just take the 2 years out when Inzimam was captain and Pakistan started to give other teams a little more tough time. Butt again in this series same problem was visible. They need to learn to play tests, make plans and then presist with them and mould their selves into test mode. England has overcome their oneday weekness but I hope pakistan could do so as well.Perhaps they could adopt the same strategy of picking specialist players for test matches.

  • srivathsan on October 15, 2007, 10:29 GMT

    I was upset that though pakistan began very well in the second innings,they gave it up too meekly.There was nothing to lose for,except the margin, as they had already lost the first match.The way things were going ,the match was very much within the grips of pakistan before they gave it up on their own volition & not because of any good bowling.IT IS HEROIC TO LOSE FIGHTING THAN SURRENDERING.PAKISTAN CHOSE THE SECOND OPTION.Had pakistan won,which was very likely,they would have become not only heros but also a more confidant side.We in sub continent lack agression even in our own back yard & i.e. the reason australia ride high even outside their home.Even dogs would be lion in its own lane (a hindi/urdu proverb) but our teams (both india & pak )are worse than that.At least for the one dayers ,PCB should pick up talented youngsters so that the team gives good fight.With inzy's retirement an era has come to an end & the team should look forward & induct new talents.The biggest problem for both india & pakistan is their substandard fielding though pak has little edge over india.So the criterea for induction to the team should be one has to be a good fielder first.This will not only boost the confidence of the bowlers but also win matches.IAM EAGERLY WAITING TO SEE WHEN THIS WILL HAPPEN .

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on October 15, 2007, 10:07 GMT

    Javed Khan,

    I was contemplating dropping the “Bhai” since lately you have shown yourself to be an immature and unreasonable person. I think the fasting has affected your mental stability. Let me address all of your criticisms and psycho analyses now. It seems that lately you have been concentrating too much picking out “inconsistencies” from my arguments and using them against me. The truth is that I don’t have an ego problem like you and many other individuals on this blog and I am willing to accept hot-headedness on occasions which leads to harsh words. However I feel I always justify my arguments and provide cogent reasons for them.

    Firstly that comment made in relation to Mohammad Hafeez was regarding his position as opener. I don’t think you read my posts with attention (probably because you are always too lost in your ideas of cheap, harsh and insulting rebuttals the moment you see a point you do not agree with). I have always supported him lower down the order, more so because his performances lower down have been credible. As for Razzaq, he should have been kicked out two years ago. Pakistan is not owned by you or your father. It was made for Muslims and I have a right to criticise it anyway I want because I see many faults with it. I care too much about the country and that is precisely why I focus on its shortcomings so profusely. At least I am not foolish living in Utopia. I did respect you and I do admire your writing skills and your extensive general knowledge. At least give me credit for acknowledging you as better than me when quite a few individuals stated that we are the kings of this blog or something similar to that. And there is absolutely no question that you write better than me and that you are more learned than me. However at the same time you have a “cheap”, egotistical mentality. You can be hilarious which is fine but there is a limit to how insulting one can be. Many of the things you say absolutely don’t make any sense but unlike you I do not go into Pakspin archives and search for any stupidities or inconsistencies on your part to use against you, simply because I have grown up. And isn’t it about time anyway? As far as respect goes, I respect everyone who is older than me. I speak to Wasim Saqib and other critics with respect although their tone is usually more harsh and confrontational. Have you forgotten those posts by other bloggers time and again where they have condemned you for speaking to ME harshly or disrespecting me? Ever since I have joined this blog you have been so insulting and bitter to Punjabis and then you have always come out with rubbish like your best friends are Punjabi or something like that. In response only a very minor number of Punjabis have used harsh words against you in return- most like Wasim Saqib have been tolerant and forbearing.

    The precise reason Javed Khan that Younis is unprofessional is because he declined captaincy when he was the right man for the job. As far as his inconsistency is concerned, he has never been a consistent batsman especially in ODI’s. In ODI’s Malik’s record is better than him. As a captain I stated he could have been brilliant because on the rare occasions he captained the side in Inzi’s absence, he showed himself to be proactive. I think it is clear what I was trying to say- Malik has only been captain for a few months and Younis, with the experience of being Inzi’s deputy and showing himself as a proactive individual on the field, would have been a better bet. If he would have been captain then obviously he would have been included in ODI’s. I can tell you that as captain he would have changed his playing style or demoted himself down the order. If he would have been unable to do that, he would have either been relieved of his captaincy by the PCB or he would have resigned anyway. Usually there is a change to a batsman’s playing style when he is promoted to captain, whether it is a positive change or negative change. Inzi, Ponting, Dravid became better batsmen as they were promoted to captain. Saeed Anwar, Tendulkar, Lara became poorer batsmen. So I hope you now “get my drift”.

    I don’t have hatred against Inzamam Javed Khan, only a slight grudge because of Inzamam’s personality. I never said I “hate” Inzi. Plus I have stated he was a brilliant batsman and please don’t even use his name in the same sentence as that loser Afridi. Javed Khan, you were going on about Afridi’s looks (quite bizarrely) in your previous post so I reckon if any man has a “soft corner” and “special feelings” for another man, it has to be you in the case of Afridi. Malik is a top class player who has demonstrated extreme intelligence to reach where he is now. He started as a tailender and has now become a more consistent batsman than Younis or Afridi. He has probably won Pakistan more matches than any of those two players you lust for. When was the last time Younis’s innings helped Pakistan win any match? In the past 12 months how many times has Afridi helped Pakistan win an ODI or Test? Whatever you say, Malik is a more deserving player than Afridi and that is exactly when he was made captain ahead of Afridi. What other reason could be there?

    I think if anyone considers himself so intelligent that he can drop so low to be insulting and cheap in his comments and be constantly judgemental about others, it is you. As a writer and cricket enthusiast I, at 21, have plenty of experience and acumen. However as a captain Malik is inexperienced and he was only labelled as a “senior cricketer” a year or two ago and hence, you have to expect him to be a little rough around the edges. Poor Javed Khan, I have accepted harshness and hot-headedness repeatedly on this blog so I am not an egotistical person and I do not think of myself as too intelligent. When that blogger mentioned the “corporate jungle” to me, I did provide a reasonable response to him which in turn elicited a reasonable response from him.

    You are trying your utmost to stir up hatred against me. You seem to now have commenced a tirade of cheap personal attacks which is so very typical of you. My observation regarding most Pakistanis (who are undereducated, immature and too hot-headed) is that they love to be too judgemental and believe their purpose in life is to destroy and malign India. I am aware of the political and social problems Pakistan has against India and my sympathies regarding those are with Pakistan. However, what I do not understand is that why people like you cannot accept something which is very clear before you. Why toy with reality? Look at yourself first and remedy the problems with your country first. Because it is only then you gain some sort of right to criticise and malign your neighbour. I can provide you with a contemporary example of what is wrong with our country. You being a Pathan have too much sympathy with Younis or Afridi. Regarding of my lineage and roots, I don’t have sympathy for Pathans or Urdu Speaking players like Sami or Faisal Iqbal who are poor performers. I think it is very clear that Asim Kamal and Fawad Alam deserve to be played and that is why I have campaigned for them on this blog. However I have not gone overboard with my frustration as to why they are not given more chances, unlike that individual who keeps changing names and attacks Punjab frequently on this blog.

    So Javed Khan, get a life and stop kidding with a 21 year old. Please stop these cheap personal attacks on others and don’t be such a loser to go way back into archives to gather minute points, so that you can attack others and prove them as “dumb”.

  • Freesia Khan on October 15, 2007, 9:58 GMT

    This series was a step backward as it showed the pre-imran khan mindest of Pakistan cricket when cricketrs were appreciated for drawing matches instead of winning. Can current captain or coach explain the logic behind preparing dead wickets? Do we posses world class spinners? Is there any evidence of winning a cricket match with mediocre spinners. Why we insist that danish kaneria is a match winner? If he bowls half of the overs then it's not surprising if he takes half the wickets as well. After all batsmen has to get out as well.

  • yalmaz-USA on October 15, 2007, 9:25 GMT

    For God's sake, Mr Lawson and Shoaib Malik don't push Pakistani cricket in the 1980's where we had Ehtashamuddin and Sikander Bakht open Pakistani bowling for few overs and then Iqbal Qasim, Tauseef, Qadir would bowl all day. Pakistani success in the 1990's was based on fast bowling, raw fast bowling not on Goddamn medium pacers and a bunch of lame spinners. Where is the talent? Every body says that the difference in the series was Kallis but I am afraid Pakistani bowlers never looked like taking 20 wickets. South Africa's top bowler in my opinion was Steyn and he won him the first match. Asif in my opinion is highly overrated. You cannot expect him to lead a pace attack. He at best in effective in the first 30 overs after that he neither has the reverse swing nor the pace to get people out on flat pitches. How on earth we are going in the test match with such weak bowling. Why do have to play Misbah when Inzamam and Yousuf are in the team. Please don't make Misbah a star along with Asif because they are not and Misbah is a tried option. Please let him leave the cricket scene in peace. Mr Lawson's inexperience was brutally exposed as he had no plan for the series. Malik should also understand that he is no Imran Khan that he can't defend his bad decisions. He doesn't have the ceredentials for that kind of attitude. As far as I am concerned he doesn't even have a permanent place in the team.

  • zsherwani on October 15, 2007, 8:05 GMT

    i agree with sajjad's post about afridi's bowling ability, i we see the stats of Danish kaneria his last 22 innings take only 1 five-for and in his career he give over 100 runs per inning are over 30 innings. after this calculation how can we say danish is automaticaly playing 11 choice. i thing selector should drop him atleast 2 series. and give the chance for afridi as a leg spiner. dont worry about his batting but look up his bowling in all form of cricket. Afridi is a genuin spiner. but i cant select or drop any player. i dont know what is in hafeez or butt please drop both of them and include yasir hameed and taufeeq umar as a opening pair and give another chance to Asim kamal replacing Faisal or Misbah. pak team is badly needed a left hander down the order

  • Omer Admani on October 15, 2007, 7:57 GMT

    Faraz (the first Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs), my Senor Don Quixote, please don't loose so much sleep because of Malik's captaincy. I agree with you completely and I knew he wasn't the right choice of captain from the beginning. You point to the lack of his personality and that is what it ultimately boils down to. The most interesting thing is that, till this point, Malik has sought to eliminate competition by discarding senior players rather than bringing them together for the collective good of the team. The doctor has supported him in this as the doctor wants Malik to have power as well, but the doctor fails to realize that there are just no replacements for some good players. Whatever I have against Inzamam's captaincy put aside, he was a very good batsman. Malik told the doctor that he won't be able to lead the team with Inzamam in the team. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and we might acclaim Misbah after the fact, but before the 20/20 worldcup Malik had effectively done the same thing: eliminate two senior players. I am sure it is because of Malik's weak personality that he is trying to drop senior players such that he is the only one who can impose himself on the other players, rather than someone else who, because of his performance and seniority, would otherwise be easily more respected than Malik. Also, senor Don Quixote, you are making a flawed comparison with at least Smith. Smith is just too strong a character to compare Malik with, while Ponting and Mahela are tactically very good and command respect by their own performances respectively. Malik has interestingly showed that he lacks the basic sense of captainship while his performance will soon be found lacking. One score of past 50 in the last four innings doesn't make a good performance on the pitches of Pakistan as some people have said. He should take heed from Younis and go on to play longer innings. Everyone says he is a learning captain, but I just wonder what can he learn. He might get basic sense of cricket captaincy, but could he ever be tactically innovative like others? In other words, the best he can be tactically is like Inzamam. Can he change whatever 25-30 years of work done on the person of Malik to become an inposing and inspiring person, a leader as it were? Can he ever perform better such that he can match the performances of our past captains like Miandad, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Inzamam (I know it is a ridiculous comparision, but just to emphasize the calibre of past captains and the doctor's current choice)? The doctor is earnestly hoping that the team does decent so the stick is not given to him, but the doctor should deem wins and losses irrelevant as far as the choice of captaincy is concerned. Can Malik maximize potential is the question and the answer is no. Doctor might be happy to see the team win here and there, but he has done harm to the team. The idea was right to get a young captain. Good examples such as Smith from South Africa were cited. A leader wasn't simply selected.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 15, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    khansahab, there is a slight problem in the consistency of your comments. While commenting on players and people in general, you don't remember what you've earlier said about them in the recent past and what you are saying now? You don't realize and rationalize your comments and you suddenly say something totally opposite to what you have uttered earlier, you negate your own statement more often than others. Sometimes, we all forget what we have said in the past and with the change of time and tide we change our views without realizing that we have changed too, that is OK.

    But, you are doing it too frequently and sometimes you come up with very harsh words, not only on players but even on the nation. For example a few months ago in expressing your views about Mohammad Hafeez, you expressed your opinion about which slot he should be playing and, you said: "Trust me only in a stupid country like Pakistan we can keep using him as opener and keep including Razzaq in the squad." For the actions of a few individual selectors you passed such a shocking comment on the whole country! In the previous thread on Inzi, you have said: "Javed bhai abandon this nonsense and think logically and rationally." khansahab, its so very kind of you to say that to me. I guess you do that to your elders too in real life to abandon nonsense. I really don't care if you call me "bhai" or Sir or whatever. In fact, on this blog, a year or two ago, I was the one who criticized this 'bhai' culture prevailing among the desis. Because, I believe the true respect doesn't come from using the four letter word bhai, its in your heart. Anyways, leave that personal matter aside.

    Now, in your last post you are calling Younus Khan, "an idiot and an unprofessional and inconsistent player". In the next breath you are saying "Younis could have been a brilliant captain for Pakistan had he accepted the position." Then in the same breath you are questioning the selectors " Why is he (Younus) even in the ODI squad especially since now?" To quote Ian Chappell, "your good player, is a good player in every form of the game." That is why he is there. But, in your opinion he is an idiot, unprofessional, in consistent and at the same time, brilliant? Like Omar Admani has been questioning Malik's place in the team by saying Malik cannot justify his place in the team as a batsman, based on that question tell me now, would you include Younus Khan in the ODI team had he been the captain? I think you are now trapped in your own "intelligence trap." I think in batting terms Younus Khan is ten times better than Malik.

    I don't remember a single player who must have got out playing a loose or lethargic shot, that is why he got out. The loose shot is now being termed as a stupid shot. If a person plays a stupid shot and gets out, you cannot label him as a stupid, idiot or unprofessional player. There is no doubt that, he is a professional player, the whole world knows he is, and by saying he is unprofessional you are exposing your own intelligence. He is definitely not inconsistent, he has scored in every series and in every tournament. It is another thing that, he did not score at the right time when it was really needed the only thing is, his innings or big scores did not bring victory for Pakistan like Inzamam's scoring. Both his second innings hundreds in the recent two tests did not bring a victory for Pakistan. I am not Younus Khan's big time supporter but, I won't discard him completely, especially with the current resources available, he is definitely a better player than the whole immature bunch, and I won't throw this kinda harsh abuse at him. Your thinking of making Shoaib Akhtar a captain is like, day dreaming.

    Another sweeping statement from you, Pakistan has Misbah ul Haq, Shoaib Malik, Yousuf and (another idiot) Afridi in the squad now? It only shows your personal hatred against a few players, one is Inzi second is Afridi. And you have some real liking, a soft corner in your heart and special feelings for Shoaib Malik that goes to the extent of adoring him. You place him as number two batsman after Yousuf? I would say LOL and nothing else. Even when you are defending him, you are saying: " In my view the biggest problem with Malik is that he is simply too young and hence inexperienced to be a sound captain."

    This is absolutely ridiculous, because you are one person who claim that age is not a criteria in assessing a person's intelligence or performance in terms of a job or in comparing a person's knowledge or his achievements with others who are older than that person. And you very proudly say that you are 21 years of age and you are better than most people who are older than you! And you consider yourself as a very intelligent and a matured person, not only consider but, you firmly believe in it and you have said this on this blog that most people who know you in person also think that you are one! In response to that comment of yours, someone on this blog said: "wait, till you go the corporate jungle and enter the real world."

    You know, the pat on your shoulder that you so often get for being so broad minded, secular and sensible for showering the undue accolades and praises across the border and for ridiculing your own people and players with harsh words must be the reason to keep bashing your own people in public. Your Pak bashing is like an Indian movie scene where they show the poor desi parents beat their own child in front of their employers / masters even when they know for sure that their own child has not done anything wrong and is in fact a victim of the abuse by their master's bully child, but they beat their own child in front of them only to prove a point to their employers / masters that their child is a real rogue and always brings trouble and disgrace for them. Later they go and hug their child and cry in repentance or even damage their own hands by cutting them or by hitting them on the wall and beg the Lord for forgiveness and curse their destiny for being so poor and helpless. I am not saying you do that, but you feel very good when you get those pats, which IMO are very sinister and you'll come to know when you are matured enough to understand. ;-) Those who deny that they don't like to be praised are doing that only to hear it again!

    For your information, Malik is 25 years and 256 days old in other words almost 27 years in age and has been playing for the country for the last 8 years (ODI debut Oct. 14, 1999 - did not get a chance to bat, but got two good wickets) and 8 years is a lot of time in cricketing "carrier" and you think he is "simply too young" in age and also in experience? Eight years from now if you are offered a managerial position, will you consider yourself as "simply too young?"

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 15, 2007, 5:43 GMT

    Shoaib Malik impressed everybody with his energy level and captaincy in the 20/20 tournament but in the test matches it seemed as if he was a mere spectator, he was not communicating with his bowlers, his field placement was questionable, his bowling changes and the overall handling of the bowlers was also beyond my comprehension, and I don't think he commands complete authority over each and every player of the test team. The selectors also betrayed him by not giving him a proper combination and they persisted with their stubbornness and selected a team which was not balanced at all.

    If we look at the one day team again I find it difficult to find the right combination, Since Shoaib Malik does not bowl anymore regularly we have to select either Hafeez or Rehman as our fifth bowler and by doing so we make our batting weak ,in order to make the right combination first option is that Shoaib should start focusing on his bowling and he should be the fifth bowler, and in place of Hafeez Pakistan should select a regular batsman like Yasir Hameed or somebody else who so ever is in form because we all know that Afridi, Imran Nazir, Younis Khan and Kamran Akmal they are highly inconsistent and either they give a stunning performance or they fail miserably that leaves Pakistan batting highly vulnerable so in order to manage risk it will not be a bad Idea to include another full time batsman.

    The second option is that Pakistan should find another quality all-rounder and should select him in place of Imran Nazir or Younus Khan.

    Without Shoaib Akhtar in a 50 over game Pakistan's bowling will again look ordinary and flat, Pakistan must quickly groom some of the young bowlers from the A team or the U 19 team they must try one or two of them before the tour of India because we all know Asif is on his way to become another Munaf Patel and we cannot depend on him.

    It’s unfortunate that we are no longer trying to infuse young players in the team and we keep on trying the same pool of players it seems nobody wants to take the risk.

    It will not be a bad Idea to rest Younus Khan or Mohd Yousuf for a match or two and try out one of the new upcoming batsman from the A Team or the U 19 team, some of them are consistently performing well, the selectors should realize that there is somewhere something wrong we cannot continue with the same old players we have to find new talent as same players will continue to produce same results.

    The batting order should also change Shoaib malik and Misbah should bat higher up the order as they are in form batsmen so they should try to play as many overs as they could. Shoaib Malik should be more flexible in using Afridi and Sohail Tanvir depending upon the situation.

  • Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on October 15, 2007, 5:14 GMT

    Ashaq Bhai ..... Welcome Back.

    Good That Inzimam could not break Javed Miandad's record. I do not know if Javed was a better player, but I am dead sure Javed Miandad was a much better cricket-brain and tactician, plus more patriot and less selfish than Inzimam.

    Cheers !!

  • Faraz (the first Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs) on October 15, 2007, 5:00 GMT

    Woh! Javed Khan, you are ever so articulate whenever you write, but today you have lit up this blog in the true sense. I cannot wipe this (ear-to-ear) smile off of my face; it is a gem in its own right...simply unbeleivable....I mean you are killing so many birds with your solitary stone that I am hoping to see an imminent extinction of the paindoos, the sulky indians and the "em que em" folks ...hehehehe....

    A wonderful and jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring work of art with a freedom to express.... We need more like you....lol

    Pakistan Zindabad, Pakistan Paendabad

  • Nadeem on October 15, 2007, 3:59 GMT

    Here are some valid reasons for our defeat. Selection, Fielding, Keeping and bad Captinship.

    1) Inclusion of Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal (WC) and Inzimam. Inclusion of Misba in both tests. Misba played 7 or 8 test matches, his average is 18 and never scored 50. He is not a test player at all. Asim Kamal was the best choice.

    2) Bad Fieliding and Drop catches specially in the first test match. 3) Again low level wicket keeping by Kamran Akmal. 4) Some fans over rated Inzi. Inzi was the good bastman but not the finest batsman of Pakistan cricket history. Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, Basit Ali, Salim Malik and Majid Khan were the better batsman than Inzi in technique and style. All above players have good batting record against good bowling attacks.

    In current team Mohd Yusuf, Younis Khan, Yasir Hamid and Asim Kamal are better batsman than Inzimam in techique. Unfortunately we are not giving proper chances to Asim Kamal and Yasir Hamid. Overall scoceond test was sux by Inzi so called farewell. We need new group of openers. Taufeeq Omer, Khalid Latif and Khurrum Manzoor are the best avilable openers in the Pakistan. Sarfraz Ahmed is a best wicket keeper batsman in the country. No more chance to Kamran Akmal. Well inning by Younis Khan.

    Nadeem Rajput

  • Jith R on October 15, 2007, 3:39 GMT

    Wheres Mohammad Sami??? one day hez in the side...next day hes no where to b heard about

  • Blah (the n-th Blah of this board (where n is a positive integer)) on October 15, 2007, 3:39 GMT

    Bring back Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmad or find a new spinner! Danish Kaneria isn't working out for Pakistan. Get rid of Salman Butt. If I were the selector, I would have played a fast bowler instead of him. Gul and Asif are ok, pretty good actually if they aren't playing for a subcontinental team. For subcontinental wickets you don't just need be a good bowler, you need something special to get something out of these dead tracks and I am afraid the current crop doesn't possess that. And finally a word on Inzi. He was a great player and gave so much for Pakistan, but in his last match he forgot that and tried to play for himself. This is what you get for keeping your interest ahead of your country! Inzamam didn't deserve to break Javed Miandad's record anyways. Mohammad Yousuf does and he will do so - inshallah.

  • Andy Singh on October 15, 2007, 2:45 GMT

    I disagree. Batting was the problem for Pakistan not bowling. As far as the pace attack is concerned I dont think it would have bothered SA's.

  • KaneriaSux on October 14, 2007, 23:15 GMT

    Danish Kaneria is the most over-rated Pak bowler in history after Mohd Sami. LOL @ those who call him a matchwinner... matchwinners are spinners like Warne, Murali, Kumble. Take a look at his career stats/strike rate etc, esp during the last 3 years and you'll see what i mean.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on October 14, 2007, 22:28 GMT

    Osman Ali Khairi,

    The reason why Younis is criticised is because he is an idiot and an unprofessional and inconsistent player. There is a huge responsibility on his shoulders yet he often throws his wicket away. He does not deserve to be called a senior player if he demonstrates such foolishness on so many occasions. He could have been an astute and proactive captain after Inzamam but because of his stubbornness and unprofessionalism the country is suffering. In my view the biggest problem with Malik is that he is simply too young and hence inexperienced to be a sound captain (although he is a very talented and intelligent batsman). Unlike Smith, another young captain, Malik does not have a solid opening pair in his team and he does have consistent matchwinners right from no 1 to no 11 in the team. Hence Younis could have been a brilliant captain for Pakistan had he accepted the position when the PCB offered it to him. Whether the players would have accepted him happily as captain or not is a different issue altogether but Younis should definitely have taken the chance because it was in the best interests of the country. On many occasions he has performed simply when his place in the team has been threatened. He made a 267 vs India after the team manager had a stern talk with him and pressurised him into taking more responsibility. So Younis’s problem is that he does not apply himself all the time when he should. Despite my grievances against Inzamam he always tried his best even though he suffered from poor running between the wickets and inconsistent fielding. In my view Younis is so talented that he could have surpassed Miandad as Pakistan’s greatest batsman but his only problem is lack of focus and application. His ODI performances have been very ordinary. He must have played more than a 100 innings at no 3 and yet only averages 31. Why is he even in the ODI squad especially since now Pakistan has Misbah ul Haq, Shoaib Malik, Yousuf and (another idiot) Afridi in the squad now?

  • Muhammad Asif on October 14, 2007, 22:12 GMT

    Its written on the wall, no rocket science, that unless you change your system you can't produce competant cricketers. The country in which people are fighting for bread & butter, We should not expect or even think of fundamental changes in cricketing authorities. Hard to swallow but what you can do except writing meaningful sometime or meaningless most of the time. Might is right is the only rule superceding all the laws made by our so called lawmakers. And one thing just as a note to the people who support Asim Kamal, If he can be consistant while playing in Aus, Eng, NZ or SA? Or hes extraordinarily consistant in Pak? And if your answer is a big No, Then the problem is not with selection but somewhere else? You people are fighting for your fav. While theres not big difference in selecting Misbah or Asim Kamal for Australia's tour, both will do more or less same. So its not about players, its about system which is responsible for their below par performances abroad. Correct the system to make Asim Kamal an automatic choice.

  • Omer Admani on October 14, 2007, 21:33 GMT

    Khansahab, I will have to voice my disagreement on Malik's position. Ideally a batsman of Malik's calibre and technique shouldn't be in the test team. It seems like he is squatting flies. He will NOT be able ro perform, rest assured, outside the subcontinent. Secondly, to ask him to come and bat at 3 is ro ask him to finish his career in the next 6 months. Despite the runs he gets (and by no means they are exceptional), you and I can reason here that Malik with his technique will NOT be able to play in swinging and seaming conditions, or against a newer ball. The problem with him up the order is that he stifles the batsman at the other end. He can't take any singles and he cannot create momentum. On the other hand, I don't see why Younis's place should be threatened in any way. The guy is averaging 50, has just made 2 fourth inning hundreds (how many pakistani players have done that?), and performed against all major teams except Australia. He is a better player now and I think he will correct that when Australia comes to Pakistan. I tend to usually agree with you, but on the issue of Malik and Younis I guess we will agree to disagree.

  • Omer Admani on October 14, 2007, 21:21 GMT

    Saleem Butt, Hilarious post. I have heard that as well (no offense intended): Punjabis are Germans (aryans). It is hilarious.

  • Hassan Abbas on October 14, 2007, 21:18 GMT

    @Osman Ali Khairi

    I also feel that Raja Pakistani, Saima Khan and Dawar are same person. Infact its quite obvious by their posts.

  • ruchit on October 14, 2007, 21:04 GMT

    Hi Salman,

    This is my repsonse to this post of yours:

    October 13, 2007 10:32 PM

    This is in response to this point of yours:

    4) RUCHIT SAYS THAT BOTH THE TEAMS ARE IN RE-BUILDING PHASES . THAT IS BULL , MY FRIEND . "WE ARE IN A REBUILDING PHASE" IS AN EXCUSE FOR THE TEAMS WHO LOSE

    9 out of times I would have agreed with you.

    However right now I tend to disagree with you. And here are the reasons.

    1. India and Pakistan after the WC 2007 debacle are in indeed in a rebuilding phase.

    2. Please dont compare Aussie cricket structure with that of ours. The likes of Haddin and Jacques are extremely well prepared at domestic level before they embark on international missions. Where are any proper cricketing structures in subcontinent. I once a very apt article from Harsha Bhogle where he correctly mentioned - India has produced Tendulkars and Dravids not because of the system but inspite of the system. That guy knows his cricket and is really an intellectual. Afterall is from IIM Ahmedabad considered the toughest B-School to get into all over the world- togher than Wharton's por Kellog's. I may say bull but I hope you too will agree that this guys doesnot.

    One of the reasons why India or Pakistan are in this hole is because of their obsession with only one discipline of the game. For India it is batting while for Pakistan it is express fast bowling. Aussies are very much balanced.

    Mr. Khan,

    I am disappointed that you have not attacked me so far inspite of me having written against you in last couple of posts. Am I too insignicant for your comments or are my comments valid enough for you not to write against me coz my comments are alright. Please let me know.

    Hi Kamran,

    I am disappointed that you closed Inzy thread so soon. I just watched his farewell ceremony on you tube. My eyes welled up a bit. Javed Miandad may have been a slightly better batsman than Inzy but when it comes to Gentlemanship he was not even a patch on the Sutan from Multan. I would reserve this title once for Inzy and not for Sehwag as we have in India. More than anything Inzy was a wonderful human being for me and that counts for a lot. In long run 8032 runs won't matter match but his graciousness would. I was 12 and a half when I first saw him and I hated him as any Indian kid would have felt for any Pakistani cricketer (Imran was an exception9 and I am 28 now and today I adore Inzy the batsman and repsect the man.

    Regards. Ruchit.

  • Awas on October 14, 2007, 20:18 GMT

    Making spinner friendly tracks for this series was a real mistake. The notion that Pakistan are better players of spinners is a myth. India definitely is but never Pakistan. How Tendulkar and Co have hammered Shane Warne in their own back yard is a fact. Pakistanis on the other hand have always been poor at handling even innocuous of spinners. Even Kumble, definitely not so innocuous, but who doesn’t spin very much has been successful against Pakistan. The only time one can say Pakistan were better at playing spinners was when India was the only country that had good spinners in the likes of Bedi, Parsanna and Chandersheker. But then we had the batsmen of the calibre of Hanif, Mushtaq, Sadiq, Majid Khan, Asif Iqbal, Wasim Raja and so on. Ever since then from the times of Derek Underwood, who at least was a quality spinner, till present day every spinner of some sort has caused problems for Pakistan. So, making spinning tracks is not going to help Pakistan in any way. A batting paradise would have been a better option if they wanted to play safe. A sporting track with bounce, grassless though it may be, that gives equal chance to both batsmen and bowlers would have been a better option. Playing two fast bowlers only was plain silly.

    Ashaq

    Your first post on this thread was hilarious. You are slowly getting back in the groove. Good entertainment……keep it up. Just heard that Nasim Ahraf has recommended Shoaib to see a shrink. This should have haapened a long time ago.

    JAVED A. KHAN and also Faraz have described Malik as defensive and a meek captain and there may be some validity in this assessment but the problem is this. Firstly, it is very early days to assess him in this way and secondly he has been appointed for another year now, we do need to persevere with him to see how he establishes in his role. And lastly, to be perfectly honest, I cannot see another viable option amongst the current crop of players. MoYo? To be perfectly honest his personality is even meeker than Malik's and age is not on his side and my view is also we should definitely be looking for a younger captain with a long-term view. Afridi? I know you like him and so do I and agree that he should be part of the team in both tests and one-days but the problem is because of his inconsistency, he is not a universal choice. You just need to look at many diverse views about him on this blog and I bet it would be a similar case within the PCB setup. I do think though that his mercurial nature overcomes his consistent shortcoming of being inconsistent. Younus Khan? Well he was rightly groomed but it’s a shame he shied away from this responsibility. I, like many others, was quite surprised by his decision.

    Other than these players, I cannot see anyone else who has the right credentials to be a captain. Lastly, a passing thought needs to be given to Shoaib Akhtar as a captain. Well, if he wasn’t a Psycho, he would have been given an automatic choice. As a bowling spearhead and a strong personality are definitely traits for being a captain but his fragility and dual personality rule him out completely. He should have had a dedicated shrink than a trainer from day one. So, at present I cannot see anyone else but Malik for the foreseeable future. JAVED A. KHAN, you quite rightly say in your later posting that removing Malik so soon is not good for the team.

  • Saleem Butt on October 14, 2007, 19:56 GMT

    Okay folks ..a lot of points of views.

    I will keep ut short and sweet.

    Pakistan and India and different reasons for their shortcomings.

    Pakistan's main problem is a malifide selection process. Just about everyone in the existing team is anything but meritorious. Lets look at the bowling. The slow medium pacers selected Asif , Umar and Rao ain't the best of the breed.Asif is a drug addict with a history of injury problems.He can only bowl at max 80mph for five overs a day.His success depends primarily on a really seeming track.Gul who is definitely better than Asif can max out at 83 mph. His major shortcoming is he stresses his body a lot to generate the 83 mph max and and is very susceptible to injury. Now Rao is actually a club level bowler , reasonably half assed. The trio have been coached exactly the same way , any one who has played one has played them all. So in effect this bowling lineup is very predictable and very benign at best. the inclusion of a genuine fast bowler like Sami might just give some versatility. Danish Kaneria is overrated ..it is time to try something else. Coming to batting and wicket keeping. Kamran Akmal could not qualify as WK for a regular county given he actually does not like keeping.Why persist with him at all. Batting : With the possible exception of Yousuf and Younis ..not one single slected batsman is qualified to be in the playing eleven.The likes of Salman Butt , Shahid Afridi , Shoaib Malik , NewHaq , Imran Nazir , Yasir Hammed and Taufeeq Umar do not qualify as average first class players for county or sheffield shield or even Ranjhi Trophy.

    So it not the talent ..it is the .....screwed up

    SELECTION PROCESS

    which is resposible for the screwed up team. Those pandering to democracy around Ghaddafi stadium and Constitution Avenue should look at themselves first before talking the talk.

    The selection ideology has to change. The image of Panickstan has to change. The german monopoly on cricket has to cease . It has to happen now ..or never ( as the Great Quaid said) .

    Do realize there is a mettle shortcoming among the germanic tribes prevalent in Pakistan team. They crumble under pressure and cant fight a fight. The shame that has been brought to the nation of Pakistan has to end and for good.

    Regards

    Saleem Butt

  • Asif Ali on October 14, 2007, 19:25 GMT

    well kamran bhai, i really miss late Bob woolmer. if he were the coach at that time,pak could win the series. or atleast it could be a nail biting contest. just think that pakistani openers did well couple of times, but when they came into defensive mood,the wickets fallen. Like Younis khan was playing in the second innings of 1st test by scoring a century,he played agrressively,then what the shit have had with other players to play like him? Australia always win because they have 11 younis khan(i am not praising younis khan but the way he played agressively was awesome) if other players would ve played in the same passion i bet pakistan could win. i see shoaib malik is a dull captain,coz he just play himself only. captain is like a player who leads from the front,& who know well how to motivate others to play agressively for win. WELL I SEE WHEN EVER PAKISTANI PLAYERS THOUGHT TO STAY AT THE CREASE(TO BE DEFENSIVE) THE WICKETS FELL, WHEN THEY PLAYED AGRESSIVELY THEY DID BEST LIKE YOUNIS KHAN DID & KAMRAN & SALMAN DID IN COUPLE OF INNINGS BY SCORING FIFTIES AT THE AVERAGE OF 5,6 PER OVER! WHEN THEY TAKE PRESSURE ON THEMSELF THEY LOST THE WICKETS!! PLEASE CONVEY MY MESSAGE TO THE COACH,"I REMEMBER YOUR FIRST TALK,YOU SAID I LIKE AGRESSION & I WILL MOLD THE PAKISTAN TEAM INTO AGRESSION MODE,YOU WRONG MR LAWSON.

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 14, 2007, 18:37 GMT

    Osman Ali Khairi:

    Dawar,& Saima Khan and all the Rajas are the same person.

    Yeh "He" mein hain Na "She" mein Hain In ki Panchoon Ungalian Ghee mein Hain

    I have stopped bothering about what they write like all the other serious contributors to the blog and would advise you the same ,their ultimate desire perhaps is to see a MQM 11 instead of a Pakistan Team they can keep on dreaming as it will never happen.

  • Hamid on October 14, 2007, 18:20 GMT

    Kamran, I agree with your comment about dead track-spin-dependent mindset. Even if we had won on these spinning tracks, we would still be severely lacking on overseas tours if we persist with this strategy. If we continue to prepare these dead tracks, we will produce batsmen who score double hundreds at home and ducks on overseas tours. That is not the formula for becoming a world champion. Ideally, we should have different types of tracks at different centers so that our players are used to playing on any surface, not just spin friendly surfaces. And I would never recommend giving a playing eleven the option to choose the type of wicket to play on-- they should be ready to play on any type of wicket offered. The winning strategy should be based on the players skills, not the environmental factors. In the old days surface preparation was never up to the team and I think that was 'cricket'.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 14, 2007, 17:12 GMT

    On Mr. Kamran Abbassi's comments about Inzi's crazy dance down the wicket to Paul Harris was an unfortunate miscalculation, it is rather unfair to mention it on this thread. Either he should have continued that previous thread on Inzi and mentioned something over there and allowed some people to share their views or close that chapter. Mathew Varghese, a sports statistician has recently posted some valuable statistics on cricinfo about Inzi (after the test match) which is worth reading, for those who missed it out, here is the link:

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/pakvrsa/content/current/story/315169.html

    Amar Deep Shsssssssssht yeah the head is still between the ears but, you must get a colonoscopy or an endoscopic examination to see if your rear is still between the legs or gone to the cows? Because you are splattering too much of cow dung. Why don't you keep your expert comments for your dull dull kar & Co.? Because, they need more sympathies after Symonds bashing and loosing the series. Mind you, if all my predictions are 100% correct then you would be licking my feet and I don't want to be your God. Now you can eat your splattering or shove them wherever you like it in your backyard.

    Salman Khan of Canberra now you do see the 'reference to the context' in which I respond? I have earlier mentioned in my previous post on your comment that, generally I am not the aggressor when it comes to criticism and I don't take the initiative to attack people with personal names. If you look at my first post in every thread on this blog, I am usually to the point and focus my attention on the game or in response to the thread only. It is only when I am provoked and attacked personally that I give them back what is due. Like, you've said that, you are relatively new on this blog, so you will get to know them better either by going through the archives or wait for the new events to unfold. They come to this blog not to write or discuss cricket, but they come with an avowed purpose of disturbing and abusing others for no reason and, in the process themselves get screwed. By the time they realize what went wrong with them? Its too late to get their rear ends galvanized and they are seen lying on the deserted road to recovery avec flat butts!

    Waqqas Qavi, bro you don't owe me any appreciation, you don't have to be formal, what you wrote was good and whenever some one writes something which makes sense to me, then I appreciate it. And he /she doesn't have to be a Pakistani to get that appreciation, there is one mr. srivasthan who is always very moderate, honest and sincere in his comments, Elle too is very open minded and give fair comments and I appreciate that. Whenever someone respond to my comments in a civilized way, I always reciprocate it in the same manner. But, I am not a disciple of Karam Chand and neither do I believe in his fake Ahimsa policy to offer my other cheek, :-) that is utter non-sense and an exaggerated philosophy which doesn't exist even in their own country, its a mere propaganda on paper. Anyways, I reciprocate your Eid Mubarak with similar warm Khair Mubarak!

    Faraz, your suggestion, "bring on Afridi" is more like opening the Pandora's Box, they will be swarming in like bees against you for that suggestion, because Afridi is their biggest enemy. I wonder why there are so many blokes here who are jealous of him for no reason? I can understand about the Indians because, he has demolished them so many times in their own backyard. Apart from cricket, they have this inferiority complex to his handsome looks. Because, they are so obsessed with their govinda, shove in da and shitty, mitty looks that they cannot imagine a cricket player could be so handsome that, in front of him their celebrities and heroes look like a Villain's "aik-is-trass" (villain kay chamchay who are more ugly than the villain himself) Apart from the Indians, there are a few from the same roots who want an 'em que em' representation in the team and wants a quota system to make a cricket team look like political arena rather than building a team on merit.

    As regards changing the captain, I don't think its a good idea. Even though I don't approve of Malik's poor pathetic captaincy, but removing him too soon is not good for the team. Like the PCB is offering Shoaib Akhtar some counseling, Malik also needs the same. In fact, Malik needs lessons in man management and team strategy. But, does he have the time, desire and the ability to learn all that? I think they need to give Salman's tired Butt a wee bit of rest for these ODI's. But, knowing Malik and the PCB jokers they won't do that and probably try Butt and Akmal as openers in light of their two fifty plus opening stands (70 and 90 in those two innings.) But, that may not be the case in ODI's, as the field settings is different from a test match and Butt will not be able to play those shots in the gaps and, it will slowdown the run rate. I think Malik should open the innings along with Akmal. Because, even if Malik starts slow he is better than Butt in a way that he can improve the run rate later on, especially if he is not running out of partners. And Afridi should play at number 3 before Younus and Yousuf. This is a bit unconventional move for the orthodox pundits but, thats the way it should be.

  • Ibrahim on October 14, 2007, 16:42 GMT

    We need Asim Kamal back, definitely. Faisal Iqbal has played a couple of decent knocks in his career but certainly not enough to get ahead of Kamal. Also, what happened to Yasir Hameed? In terms of the spinners--I really think Shoaib Malik doesn't put himself on enough. Danish Kaneria toils hard but he's not a matchwinner, especially when you tire him out by making him bowl half the day's overs.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on October 14, 2007, 16:02 GMT

    This series in my opinion has established that it does not matter what type of pitch you play on; your bowlers and batsmen have to persevere and play positively. Pakistan, much like its batsmen, has been an inconsistent team ever since the departure of legends such as Wasim, Waqar, Saeed Anwar etc. How many times have we seen the team reach a final/semi final of a tournament and then appear lacklustre and disinterested in any following tournament or series? As a general truth we will have to accept that Pakistani cricketers are not the most resolute or committed. That explains why the openers and batsmen like Younis only perform once they are pushed to the limit. For instance, Butt has been recalled in the ODI squad whereas he clearly does not deserve inclusion. It was probably the 40 he scored in the first innings at Lahore that influenced the selectors’ minds to retain him in the squad, although he has had a pathetic year so far, save the Abu Dhabi series.

    As a batsman I would rate Malik as the second best in the team now, behind Yousuf. Many people have already mentioned that his captaincy at times lacks sense and aggression. His biggest mistake undoubtedly was to play two pacers only in both Tests, which is something I mentioned a few posts ago. The most worrying aspect of this defeat is that Pakistan have plummeted in the ICC ratings. Pakistan won an ODI series against Sri Lanka under Malik’s captaincy but it must be emphasised that Sri Lanka was a very tired and unfocused team because they had just completed an arduous World Cup campaign. Hence these following ODI’s will be a good test of Malik’s efficacy and character. It must be stressed here too that Malik’s promotion to captain was quite a strange event because although he was the most deserving candidate, there was also a “desperation” element since no one else was there!

    So does this series establish anything new? I think Malik should start batting at no 3 in Tests. Pakistan are a weak side in Tests now and Malik needs to lead from the front and set examples for Younis, Misbah, Akmal etc. Malik promised an era that would be different to Inzi’s leadership. What I have said repeatedly on this blog is that you cannot be a top Test side with poor openers. With a bowling attack consisting of Asif, Gul, Kaneria and a middle order of Malik, Yousuf, Younis and Misbah, Pakistan only need a decent opening pair now. In ODI’s you can get away without a solid opening pair but in Tests every aspect of your bowling and batting has to pay off. Of course the selection of players has to be criticised. I was under the impression that this current selection committee is a sensible one. However I guess in Pakistan it is hard for anyone to bring about a revolution and reform the status quo, unless it is done on gunpoint (or in a military uniform I may add!). Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal, Younis Khan- three huge weak links in the team. It does not matter if Akmal or Younis were impressive with the bat in this series because so far in their careers they have shown themselves to be inconsistent performers and there is very little, if any, hope that they will change. I don’t think Malik should bowl because his batting skills are too important for the team and his 100% concentration should be on his batting. He should forget he knows how to bowl off-spin. Kaneria was not at his best in the series and Abdul Rehman looked mediocre for most of the part, although some of his spells were impressive. I think Kaneria should still be used as a regular Test specialist because he is primarily an attacking bowler and in my opinion he is the most experienced attacking spinner Pakistan has got currently.

    My advice to Mohammad Asif is that he should study all teams in detail and look after his fitness more. Pakistan does not only play against India and it is also important to win against other teams. Asif studies the weaknesses of Indian batsmen and is very potent against them. However, he should keep his biases aside and divert the same amount of concentration studying the weaknesses of other teams too because he is a top class talent who can wreck any top order provided he gives his 100%.

    Finally I would like to thank Salman Khan from Canberra for his very kind comments regarding me in the previous thread. I don’t think I deserve the praise he has lavished on me but I should be grateful anyhow.

  • Abbas on October 14, 2007, 14:03 GMT

    Maybe my comment comes late or it is addressing the same issue many have... Shoaib Malik said when he was selected as captain that he will be agressive and positive but I didnt see anything positive from Pakistan. I beg PCB and the team to make sporting picthes and play to your strength i.e. FAST BOWLING. We lose by playing defensive anyway so why not try agression maybe it will work. With Aussies due in next, I beg again to go on all out attack rather than become sitting ducks and give them easy target practice. Aussies are good in all sorts of conditions so play to ur strength and treat them with there own medicine i.e. ALL OUT ATTACK, u may fall short but not short of trying something new.

  • Faraz (the first Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs) on October 14, 2007, 13:09 GMT

    I did not think that I would be on the blog on the second day of Eid, this early in the morning, and I dont think I the only one losing sleep over the way we handed the test series to the south africans, so here is my two cents (again !!)

    Like I said (or atleast attempted to in my earlier post), the lifespan of this current PCB setup is prone to a sudden ending and the same applies to Malik's captaincy. Malik's contributions have been medicore especially since he became captain and his personna (and I would not be wrong to suggest that it has always been) that of a punk kid on the bloc.

    Is this who we look to symbolize the leadership of Pakistan Cricket Team Captain ?? and if Jeff Lawson ever visits this blog: I'd pose him this question: "Will you ever have someone like Malik represent Australia, and if not, then it is your job to recommend a change to PCB"

    Malik lacks the demeanor that some of his counterparts in Smith, Ponting or Mahela sport oh so non-chalantly....and if this is too much to wish for then atleast he should bring along with him his family jewels, when he comes to play for the country -- an area Afridi is bigger than anybody in the current roster!! -- becoz with his apparent lack of testicular fortitude and subdued antics Pakistan looks all the more frail and ready to be dominated. Forget winning we cannot even stay competitive with this man who** (oops)

    His display of committment has lacked as if being a captain is a license to put your feet up and let others do the job.

    I defended Malik on this blog when he made the error prone comments at the end of Inda-Pak T20 final ceremony, but really, is this how we want the public relations be represented for Pakistan cricket ?!

    To be factual, he is not even a true punk kid, even they have some heart, I was up in arms when he took that shove from Nel (5th day, 2nd test AND Symonds's beamer at T20 Aus clash -- last ball of the match) and he did nothing to deter it and show that we are not Bangladesh or Zimbabwe to take this abuse!!!

    Malik in my analysis somewhat mentally retarded, physically superficial and a docile freak who has broken all records of taking this captaincy job as UN SERIOUSLY as possibe, instead he has made a mockery out of it -- by his actions, his appearance, his work ethic and his words --- his appointment indeed is the end result of "AN UNFORTUNATE SERIES OF MISCALCULATIONS"

    Replace him with Younis (needs to work on his language skills OR Yousuf (never heard him speak) ORRRR Afridi (improved his English skills, now needs to remember the names of his own teammates and needs a focus on word choice) --- they are all better than having a retarded, cowardly and lame cricket captain in Malik.

    I would go with Afridi to be honest for the zeal and aggressiveness that he brings.

    Kamran: Is there anyway you could address this crack head Speed's claims about racism against the current visiting south africans !!??!! another villian cricket needs to get rid of. Thank you sir.

    PAKISTAN ZINDABAD, PAKISTAN PAENDABAD

  • asif khan on October 14, 2007, 13:09 GMT

    New captain, coach and the management miscalculated and paid the price perhaps, but many of the comments by these posters re equally miscalculated. How can the pitches be so dead if SA were able to take wkts consistently. Fact is that our pacers were outplayed by SA pacers, our spinners were outplayed by SA spinners and finally our batsmen were outclassed by SA batsmen. Malik is a young inexperienced captain, but i'm sure he'll learn quickly and his own performances will improve.When Pak do well in T20, Javed from MOntreal attributes it to players rather than anything to do with captain. When same players fail against SA, its all down to the captain. We dont need such powers of logic. Kaneria may be a force if Pak have runs on board on a day 5 pitch, but he has to have that match situation tailor made for him. Otherwise he is not a match winner. His place in the team has to be questioned. Up and coming players like Anwar Ali and young leggie Mansoor Amjad should be brought into the squad. Opening pair problems continue to plague the team, and is a major challenge for the new leadership. People here will cite their own choices but the fact of the matter is that all the names have been tried and have failed to cut the mustard at this level. And finally we need to be a little patient and move away from a culture of glorifying the players when they win a game and then crucifying them when they lose one. Good luck to Pak in upcoming ODI series and beyond...

  • Rauf on October 14, 2007, 12:44 GMT

    We can argue and write lengthy blogs about who should have played and who shouldn't, what strategy would have worked (spin or pace) until the cows come home and it won't make one bit of a difference.

    Cricket like any other sport demands skill, preparation, strategy, aggression and hard work all rolled into one. Has any of the so called "specialists" on this blog and Indian/Pak cricket board morons ever taken a minute to wonder why Aussies have been on top of the game for so many years? They know sub-continent game and psyche better then us. This is why they can cream us at will (not withstanding the gooly danda contest in SA). I wonder why there are so many Aussie ready made exports of cricket coaches to the sub-continent... !!!

    Cricket foundation in the sub-continent sucks. We will bring a kid from craddle to the international cricket if he could hit two sixes in a row or can throw a ball faster then anyone else in the world. Just raw uneducated talent without any guidance/grooming and without proving the skills in the pathetically inept first class cricket on equally bad wickets. Youth means nothing if it can't put a "W" in the win/loss column.

    This is the foundation of cricket in the sub-continent and then we moan and groan when Aus/SA come here and play us like flutes at will.

  • Waqqas Qavi on October 14, 2007, 11:13 GMT

    To Javed Bhai (Montreal, Canada): I owe you for appreciation in my last blog. Wonder if I am worth being addressed as ‘sir’ though. Your thoughts are a treat to be read and I extend my warm wishes for Eid- hope you have a pleasant one.

    I commence with my heartily Eid Wishes to everyone all around the globe. A very happy Eid Mubarak!

    Mr. Abbasi! A very timely and pertinent article covering issues which demand immediate action from PCB or a as quoted by Javed Bhai ‘a bunch of jokers’. A further inclusion to this extremely meaningful thought would be of jokers being focused on their clear vision and so called missions i.e. to entertain people with their skills to gather audiences’ applauds.

    I reckon PCB lacks that vision. The lack of consistency in team selection and display of mere brainless decisions leave us supporters in entire ambiguity of what to perceive about our team and the ‘management’ responsible for their operation. The article grabbed my instant attention ‘An unfortunate series of miscalculations’. Mr.Abbasi I must admit that this article displays your excellent ability to think and draft the most appropriate of Pakistani Cricket Issues – arising far too often now; though they may not be ‘unfortunate’ or ‘miscalculated’. It’s about time we stop blaming calculations and the ‘un’s’ and ‘mis’s’. This has been the dilemma of Pakistani Cricket which in itself carries a simple solution.

    ‘Forget everything else – simply select and right composition of players and demand performance- they get paid good bucks don’t they?’

    The SA-test series had numerous problems; to name a few:

    Kamran Akmal needs to go back to the ‘learning school’. If he cannot find any in Pakistan due to the ‘gali-cricket’ nature of our country; I would be only pleased to invite him to Australia and get him admitted to a training camp with a bunch of Aussie kids before he resumes this vital position in our Cricket team. Notwithstanding his last match performance which provided Pakistan a solid start; he needs to learn ‘keeping’ and learn quick. It would be wise to state that Keepers like Gilchrist; Sangakarra, Dhoni, Boucher and McCullum are only discussed on their shortfall of scoring runs as they hardly persist with errors rather ‘error events’ which appears to be Akmal’s reiterative nature in the cricket field.

    Salman Butt – another contributing factor to the ‘opening issue’ ever since the demise of Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail. Like many other players he had a good start to his career- blasted a quick match-winning century in one of his earlier matches in India followed by a century here in Sydney against Australia; the Pakistani fans were quite hopeful to witness the end of that problem but as one might say ‘in your dreams – mate’. I am appalled by his shots selection and rather constant poor shot selection but guess what? He is the Vice-captain of our team where not too many supporters would be content even with his selection.

    Mohammad Hafeez – ‘chip of the same block’. Probably a very calculated ‘parchi’ in the team who gives his 110% to contribute to team’s losses with some exceptions and accidents of scoring a ‘few runs’ – and that too -very seldom. I find it an uphill task to realize his importance in this team.

    In addition to this, a major problem as discussed by many others in this blog was the continuity of ‘spin strategy’. I was amused by it in the first test and assumed that it would not be repeated in Lahore only to result in my surprise and shock. Excuse me? When was Pakistan bowling ever a spin attack? Complimentary – yes! We would happily accept that. Poor Danish bowled approximately 80 overs if not more in the second test – might be a good idea to get his arm rotation checked by a local doctor.

    Shoaib Malik – yes he is a new captain – a fresh entry in the timeline of Pakistan Captains but isn’t he a mature-enough Cricket player? If my stats are correct he has been around for 7-8 yrs and supporters expect some sort of development to display his ‘cricketing brains’. Well I am uncertain of the ‘level of authority' he actually possesses in the management - so might skip Malik for now.

    Summarizing my thoughts- I believe PCB needs to think and implement meaningful ‘real cricket’ before the players receive some relentless treatment from Australia and India in the consequent months. The team selection needs to be pondered about and in a hurry too. Being honest I don’t expect Pakistan to win each and every game- I own a ‘sporty heart’- all what we expect is the players to treat ‘game as work’ and be religious about it. I cannot stress enough the level of professionalism being observed by all the teams but Pakistan.

    Undoubtedly the country has loads of talent but where is it? Where have all these gaps come from? Or will PCB ever be willing to expose the ‘hidden truth’ and ‘hidden talent’ by overcoming the provincial differences? We expect good sensible Cricket…not a big ask – is it?

  • Amar on October 14, 2007, 10:00 GMT

    those who are bashing asif kamal should get their heads checked!! they want afridi in the tests!!lol the one who prefers batsmen scoring 10 runs in 5 balls and getting out to..scoring 100 from 100 ...i think such stupid do not deserve to post!! all they know is to rant about other things apart from cricket!! cant wait for november when his it gets shoved up his *rse...all his predictions have so far proved wrong!!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 14, 2007, 6:54 GMT

    I am sick of this repeated rants about NOT including Asim Kamal in the team. His supporters should go on a hunger strike in front of the PCB head quarters and, stop brooding on this blog. Unfortunately, its just one person who is changing names and genders and assumes that the rest of the world is as stupid as him/her/it. Osman Ali Khairy, please read my comments and also of Wasim Saqib's on the previous thread and your doubts would be clarified. You don't have to stick out your tongue in reluctance, you are right on spot. There are two, three other nicks that are being used by the same person, like the votes are rigged in elections, this person is rigging this blog to create an opinion.

    Salman Khan Canberra, this is on your defending Malik from the general criticism (don't want to say anything about Lawson right now), agreed that it is only a few months since he is the captain. It is not the wins or the losses that we are talking about, its his attitude which looks so disconnected and he appears to be very defensive in his approach. As regards reaching the twenty20 final, its not because of his captaincy. Its the overall performance of the team, mainly Gul and Afridi bowled well and Misbah batted well that was the reason and not his captaincy. I have said this before in my previous posts that you cannot make him a hero even if Pakistan had won the twenty20 world cup. You have to judge his captaincy on the basis of his performance, not just batting (a couple of fifties) but because of his captaincy. And, other than using Umar Gul after the 12th over there was nothing innovative or aggressive that he did in that tournament. And that too, we don't know whose suggestion or idea it was? But, Malik gets the credit for it.

    What is expected from the captain is not just an odd fifty but, his moves, his body language, the field settings, placement, bowling changes, batting order, and the team selection plus the communication skills on the field and cheering up the players when the chips are down. He wasn't doing anything. In fact he was letting things happen. His communication level was absolutely minimal, his body language was negative, in fact he appeared very disconnected, dejected and defensive, field settings was pathetic, choice of team selection was not right, he did not use his resources the way he should have.

    I reckon Inzamam despite the criticism on his captaincy, used Malik many times as a bowler who could break a partnership and he was successful. But, Malik himself as a captain was seen lacking in self-belief and he hardly bowled. He should upgrade his batting order and lead from the front rather than batting at number 7. In the first test, second innings he was running out of partners and played a very reckless shot in the end and gave away his wicket to Ntini, which was his solo wicket in that match. It helped Ntini getting back his confidence and in the second test he got 3 wickets in one over. Had Ntini gone wicket less in the first test, perhaps they wouldn't have included him in the second. Ntini's bowling average in Pakistan prior to this trip was almost zilch and only in this second test he improved it and got 4-5 wickets.

    There are so many small and finer things that are under the microscope and are observed by people in judging a captain's moves and its not just a matter of saying "OK he scored two fifties," no sir that is not enough. Its like Kamran Akmal scoring a fifty in Karachi in the second innings it wasn't good enough to compensate the catch he dropped and let Jacques Kallis score a big hundred. That was the margin of runs by which Pakistan lost the first test.

    Apart from Iqbal Qasim and Tauseef Ahmad during Imran Khan's time Pakistan has never played a test match with two specialist spinners and that was because he was playing them in India, where the pitches during that time were prepared for spinners only. May be I am wrong, but I don't recollect, Qadir and Mushtaq ever bowled in tandem. When Saqlain started bowling exceptionally well, Mushtaq was dropped on many occasions although one was an off-spinner and the other a leggy. Even if they have played together, you cannot compare them with Danish Kaneria and Abdul Rahman. They were definitely better bowlers than these two.

    Kaneria bowled a marathon 80 plus overs in the second test and he looked very exhausted, besides the English county season has drained him out completely and he wasn't seen using his full armory or variety that he often used to. I don't reckon seeing him bowling any flipper. And his odd bouncy balls were not directed towards the wicket and were harmless and ineffective. Abdul Rahman is not that class anyway so there is no point discussing him.

    As regards Harris, he is a very mediocre bowler but, Pakistanis have this negative mindset against left arm legs spinners and secondly, they were playing with too much caution against him and not scoring any runs. Inzamam was extremely unlucky to get out on that ball. During the whole of second innings Harris was bowling extremely negatively. He bowled around the wicket aiming outside the leg stumps, only to contain the batsmen from scoring runs, there was no way he could have got an LBW decision in his favour. That was so negative on part of Harris and Smith.

    Btw, you should check out the caps lock button on your keyboard, its the first button in the middle row on your left, perhaps it got stuck. ;-)

    Finally, the series is still on, it hasn't ended, so the calculations could be done again before the start of the ODI's, some pride can be salvaged if they win the ODI series by doing some good homework and through soul browsing. The good thing is Afridi will be back in the side, he brings a lot of enthusiasm and motivation in the team and bowls and fields well and if his batting clicks, singlehandedly he wins that match for Pakistan. So, lets keep our fingers cross and sit back till the 18th.

  • Reema Khan from Karachi on October 14, 2007, 6:32 GMT

    Pakistan need match winning bowlers like Shoaib Akhtar back in the team. Bring back Saqi/Mushtaq and this pathetic Keneria should be out of the team now. Younas, Yousaf, Salman, Shoaib Malik,Misbah and Akmal makes a decent batting line up. It is time to give chance to Ahmad Shahzad from under 19 as he is constantly scoring a lot of runs against Austrailia, England and in domestic cricket.

  • arun on October 14, 2007, 6:20 GMT

    Pak's spin strategy gone wrong:

    1. Sri Lanka - under Saeed Anwar's captaincy, One Word: Murali 2. England- Karachi, 1st loss at the venue 3. Now SA.

    When was the last time Pak beat a world class opponent on Spin? Aus under Salim Malik decade ago.

  • alu jo potou on October 14, 2007, 6:11 GMT

    abey teelie lagao pcb ko...bhaar jhonko cricket pey..we have all boys in the team and we field school going kids against the professional guys of the opponents!!

  • Salman Khan , Canberra on October 14, 2007, 2:25 GMT

    And wassup with Faisal Iqbal. Has any one in this blog ever seen him playing a match-winning or match-saving knock or even a great knock which was not match saving / winning. I haven't . But I have not seen many Pakistan matches recently so correct me if I am wrong.

    Many in this blog have mentioned Pakistani team's poor body language on the field, lack of determination ,lack of killer instinct etc etc. IMO all of the above will be rectified as soon as the bowling attack gets nippier.The Indian teams of the nineties always suffered from this syndrome because , with the exception of Srinath and Kumble,they never had a decent bowling attack (Kapil Dev past his use by date, Manoj Prabhakar, Venkatesh Prasad , Kuruvilla , Agarkar , V. Raju, Hirwani ,Rajesh Chauhan etc etc ).This was despite their batting which had Tendulkar , Azhar , Ganguli , Dravid and Sidhu as permanent fixtures.During the same time Pakistan had Wasim , Waqar,Aaqib, Mushtaq & Saqlain and the supporting cast was not bad either . That, my friends ,was the reason for the killer instinct and aggressive body language.In other words, although the game is all about scoring more "roons" , it is the bowlers who win you matches , instil fear in the hearts of the opposition and give you confidence to become aggressive in the field.

  • Manohar Karki on October 14, 2007, 0:44 GMT

    REBUILDING? For how long? Thats such an easy excuse for failure. So when was the time that they were not rebuliding? One batsman goes out fill in another one! You are expected to perform! International Cricket is not a litmus test! It is the production phase not experimentation!

    SPINNER BASED ATTACK? I can count 2 pace, 2 spin. What would you do? 3 pace two spin? which batsman would you take out, when the team is in need of surving SA attack! 3 pace 1 spin? Who goes out the best bowler of the last game, or the most consistent "bowler"? PACE BOWLERS! Can we rely on them? ShoaiB????? Asif: Wickets Anyone? Injured! Gul : OK but 6 wickets in 4 inn

  • Hassan Abbas on October 14, 2007, 0:44 GMT

    FOR GOD's SAKE KANERIA IS NOT A MATCH WINNER!! Shoaib Malik must understand it and the sooner he does the better it is for Pakistan. At current form Kaneria does not deserve a place in the test side at all. Infact, his form has been shoddy for the last three years now but he keeps on playing, costing Pakistan series after series. Even Saqlain Mushtaq would have managed to take 10 wickets for less than 400 in the two test matches on these pitches but danish kaneria as expected failed miserably. The thing that amazes me is the naivity of the Pakistan captain, he is still not accepting that making slow wickets was the ain cause of losing this series. I m not saying that Pakistan should prepare green seaming tracks, no way. They must prepare hard track with some bounce in them, not a lot of bounce but atleast enough to help their pacers and a bouncier track is better for a leg spinner than a track that offers a lot of spin.

    I would also like to comment on Abdur Rehman. I think he bowls with a negative mind set, he doesn't flight the ball enough and the drastic difference between the Pakistani spinners and Paul Harris was the accuracy. kaneria has never been accurate, Rehman is not too accurate either. Pakistanis played Paul Harris like he was Shane Warne or something. They were so meek against him, scared to play a shot or two. If Pakistan has a bad batting line up against fast bowlers, they r worst against spinners. Come on guys show some guts and prepare sporting wickets (Bouncy not green top).

    I wonder what the selectors will do about Kamran Akmal now. He managed to perform well enough in the last test match and now it really going to be tough for the selectors to decide about his fate for the Indian tour. He is totally unreliable and should not have been selected for this series in the first place. I hope this series would be the last of Salan Butt. FOR GOD's SAKE TRY SOME NEW FACES IN THE UPCOMING ONEDAY SERIES, specially for the opening and wicket keeping slot.

    My last point is about the scheduling of this series. Looks like, the PCS was out of its mind placing a series in the last ten days of Ramadan. This is serious because all the talk that is done here about making test matches interesting and trying to attract more crowd to come and watch the test serieses played in our country. PCB would never be able to do so if they continue to fix the series on such foolish dates and if they continue to prepare dead unsporting wickets.

  • Manohar Karki on October 14, 2007, 0:23 GMT

    Mr. Kamran,

    I read the main article and most of the comments! I'm just a Pakistan Cricket fan! And I am not from Pakistan (not India as well)! When I started watching cricket, Saeed Anwar was makign back to back centuries! He became my favourite player and I loved to watch him play! I did not get to see Wasim and Waqar in their prime, but yet what I saw from them was brilliance. I have always looked for a Hero in the Pakistani team. Shahid Afridi, when he was a regular in the team during the late 90s and early 2000s and Inzamam( in the past and after the BANGLADESH test), have filled in that spot!

    The problem is most of them have not left with a pleasant note (although Afridi has not left yet)! All of them were dropped after the world cup. Anwar, Wasim and Waqar quietly retired. Now its Inzamam's turn!

    Looking at a possibility of "Hero", like Sachin is of many Indian cricket fans, there is none in Pakistan!

    Akthar: Looks like doesn't care for Pakistan! May be some fans still believe that he can be the rescue person for Pakistan when needed. But I would never think that! He has dissappointed us too many times. The "team" would do much better without him.

    Asif: He's not too far from Controversy either. And he gets injured, is in drug scandal, etc. Too early to say for him! Gul: He is one who likes he is playing for the team! Nice job at the Twenty20 but not much happening wlse where. Still has time.

    Openers Butt, Nazir, Hafeez, Taufeeq, Hameed: Inconsistency.

    Akmal: Failing at his primary job!

    Malik: Nothing extraordinary! Only thing he has left to prove is Captaincy, rest we have seen!

  • Salman Khan , Canberra on October 13, 2007, 23:39 GMT

    A thought for "The Butt" : Sweat and talent maketh a good batsman . Thou shall not become a good batsman cos thou speaks good english.

    Shakespeare will be turning in his grave faster than a spinning wheel. Talking about William Shakespeare , is it true rhat his real name was Wali-Mia Shaikh-Pir ?

    On a more serious note , is it true that The Butt's good english has contributed towards his elevation as VC?

    Don't get me wrong guys ,I do think that he is a decent batsman but IMO his current form dos not warrant his selection.

  • Ashaq on October 13, 2007, 22:58 GMT

    Yeah while we is at it, lets bring back Wajahatullah Washti, Muhammad Wasim and Saleem Elahi.

    Lets make Asim " cycle Rickshaw" Kamal captain, Yeah Dawar I take it all back. Kamal Rocks, the man is excitement personified. His got more Smoke then 'smokin' Joe Frazier.

    Whilst the guy is batting them spectators, will have enough time to do the London Times Crossword. Play a game of monopoly...and have a barbecue party in between the Runs he scores.

    Cycle Rickshaw cricketers Union Zindabad.

  • Salman Khan , Canberra on October 13, 2007, 22:32 GMT

    Dear Dr Abbassi,

    I know this is blog about Pakistan's performance against SA but I have taken the liberty of expressing some views which would fit both the sub-continental teams .I hope you will accept the post.

    1) To win u need to take more wickets , score more runs , take more catches and save more runs on the field. No rocket science or clinical genetics required to understand that . AND you can lose despite scoring handsomely and bowling well if the catches are dropped and runs are not saved on the field.

    2) AN EX-INDIAN PHYSIO ONCE SAID THAT "IN THE SUBCONTINENT THEY NAME A ROAD AFTER U WHEN U WIN . WHEN U LOSE THEY CHASE U DOWN THE SAME ROAD".GUYS GIVE MALIK AND LAWSON A CHANCE . THEY HAVE BEEN IN THE JOB ONLY A COUPLE OF MONTHS. IT WAS A MONTH AGO THAT THEY ALMOST WON THE T-20 WORLD CUP.

    3) I AM NOT GOING TO RUB MALIK'S NOSE INTO THE GROUND COS HE CHOSE A SPIN HEAVY ATTACK . THE BELIEF THAT SA BATSMEN ARE WEAK PLAYERS OF SPIN MAY NOT BE COMPLETELY TRUE BUT THEY ARE CERATINLY LESS COMFOTRABLE AGAINST SPIN . I CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT WE FAILED NOT BECAUSE WE CHOSE TWO SPINNERS BUT COS THE TWO OF THEM WERE NOT TOP QUALITY . AND WE WERE WEAKER IN ALL OTHER ASPECTS OF CRICKET AS WELL.

    4) RUCHIT SAYS THAT BOTH THE TEAMS ARE IN RE-BUILDING PHASES . THAT IS BULL , MY FRIEND . "WE ARE IN A REBUILDING PHASE" IS AN EXCUSE FOR THE TEAMS WHO LOSE . IT IS A MISCONCEPTION THAT A CRICKET TEAM CONSITS OF 11 PLAYERS , IT DOES NOT . IT CONSISTS OF 22 PLAYERS . IF THE QUALITY OF THE SECOND 11 IS POOR THEN U DO NOT HAVE A GOOD TEAM . AUSTRALIA LOST WARNE, McGRATH, MARTYN AND LANGER ALMOST SIMULTANEOUSLY . IF ANY OTHER TEAM WOULD HAVE LOST AS MANY TOP PLAYERS THEY WOULD HAVE GONE IN TO "REBUILDING" HIBERNATION FASTER THAN A TROPICAL LIZARD EXPERIENCING A SNOW FALL .THEIR NEW CROP OF FAST BOWLERS ARE SECOND TO NONE AND EVEN IF THEY LOSE GILCHRIST AND HAYDEN RIGHT NOW , THEY WOULD STILL BE FAR BETTER THAN ANY OTHER TEAM IN THE WORLD COS THEY HAVE HADDIN AND JACQUES IN THE WINGS.

    5)SURPRISE ,SURPRISE WHO IS THE BEST SPINNER CURRENTLY ON VIEW IN THE SUBCONTINENT. I HAVE NOT SEEN PAUL HARRIS BOWL (THE PAKISTAN-SA MATHCHES ARE NOT BROADCAST HERE) BUT I WILL TAKE THE RISK OF SAYING THAT IT IS HOGG . A FEW OF THE INDIAN BATSMEN ARE FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO READ HIM WHICH IS SAYING SOMETHING COS NONE OF THEM HAD A PROBLEM READING WARNE. HE HAS VARIETY , ACCURACY AND THE ODD ONE TURNS REALLY SHARPLY.

    6) I AM NOT A BIG FAN OF AKHTAR AS A PERSON, BUT UNFORTUNATELY PAKISTAN NEEDS HIM GUYS AND I HOPE HE CAN PLAY SOON.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on October 13, 2007, 21:54 GMT

    I don't know but I sometimes, get the feeling that Dawar from LA (US) and Saima khan are both the same person: P But I have been known to be wrong at times: P I'm just wondering if anyone else thinks this way too? p.s. Saima or Dawar, please feel free to clarify!

  • Sikander Rashid on October 13, 2007, 21:15 GMT

    I don't know why Umar Gul reverse swing when Steyn could and why Asif couldn't extract seam movement with Kallis did on a few occasions.

    I disagree with 90% of the people here. Danish Kaneria performed okay in county cricket and don't forget he's the only one we have. Fine, the spin strategy failed, however Pakistan could have competed better had they played with passion and an objective.

    Who is Paul Harris? Pakistani spinners are better than him. They underestimated him big time and paid the price.

    Their body languages and lack of determination to win said it all. Simply, they just didn't try harder. Dropped catches, wides, no yorkers to the tail enders, and of course the poor stroke play clearly imply lack of focus.

  • Mustafa Moiz on October 13, 2007, 20:45 GMT

    I maintain that Shoaib Malik should bowl more. He had always bowled at least 6 overs per ODI until the tests on his bowling action. After those tests of his action, Malik started bowling less, and now that he is captain he only brought himself on for three overs in the Twenty20s. Even then, against Bangladesh, it was probable that Pakistan would have lost to Bangladesh had it not been for Malik bringing himself on and taking two wickets in one over. And he wasn't really expensive, 2 for 15 in two overs. Until those tests on Malik's action, he was definitely a bowling all-rounder. Now, however, he rarely brings himself on to bowl. And even when he does come on, he is amazing. He is one of the few spinners I have seen who can win matches or turn them so dramatically. Of Pakistan's one-day spinners, Hafeez can stop runs, even at the death, Afridi can take wickets, but his economy rate is high (4.80) but only Shoaib Malik can take wickets and block runs. He is so good that Inzamam sometimes used him to bowl at the very end of the innings, like Wasim Akram used to use Saqlain Mushtaq. I hope that Sohail Tanvir will play in the ODIs as he impressed me not only with his bowling, but with his batting too. Sohail Tanvir and Mohammad Sami should play in the ODIs and, as I have said before, the PCB should do anything right down to Nasim Ashraf going down on his knees and begging, to get Abdul Razzaq out of retirement and back in the team. Abdul Razzaq is, along with Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Yousuf, Pakistan's best player. So, summed up, the changes sould be, Shoaib Malik bowling more, Mohammad Sami, Sohail Tanvir and Abdul Razzaq returning to the team.

  • Ubaid on October 13, 2007, 20:16 GMT

    There are a couple of posts up there advocating for a comeback for Taufeeq Umar. You gotta be kidding me. Just go back and watch those old tapes and if you don't have them , I can send them to you. The guy has a woeful technique. There is a gap the size of Russia between his bat and pad whenever he plays any kind of a stroke. Besides hasn't he been given enough chances. Aren't we done recycling players. No we are not. Just as I right this, I can see him getting another chance on a dead tarck, scoring a 50-60 odd and be loaded on to the team eons to come. Only to fail, again and again on tracks that seam just a little bit.

  • Ubaid on October 13, 2007, 19:56 GMT

    I agree with the strategy to not prepare wickets to the other team's strength but in doing so, one should not overlook one's own weakness. I believe we play fast bowling better than we play spin bowling. That's right you read it correctly. We just don't play spin as well as some people would have you believe. Many mediocre spinners have established their carriers playing against pakistan. ( remmember robert croft). we may be ahead of only bangladesh and zimbabwe in terms of ability to play spin well ( bangladeshi's would dispute that). And we don't play left handers well at all. We struggle against left arm spin bowlers, left arm seamers, and we cannot get left hand batsmen out, if our life depended on it. All a team has to do is fill themselves up with 3 or 4 left handers and the match is as good as done, even before it starts. Abdur rehman is no allrounder but he bowled well in this series. Kaneria has never run through a batting line up and neither will he, ever. If he plays it has to be in a stock bowler role. Unfortunately we don't have an attack that can come close to taking 20 wickets in a game, so we won't be able to win any test matches. But the batsmen have to put their hands up because we should at least be able to save them.

  • Karim on October 13, 2007, 18:59 GMT

    The series loss to SA shows that Pakistan is in huge trouble:still no batsmen of note being produced and being out-bowled by the oppositions's spinner and seamers and also out-batted on our own turf is too depressing for words. The stats say it all :only one series loos at home (and that too to the West Indies in 1980-81) from 1969-1995 and then 8 in 18 home series since then. If we're not going to win series in Australia and South Africa and even the Caribbean when the Winides are soo poor, then the least we should be doing is ensuring that we don't lose at home. But Fortress Karachi has fallen and so has the Pakistan team.

  • Am Ahmed on October 13, 2007, 18:33 GMT

    I missed a bit in my earlier drivel, what ever happened to Pakistan's opening saga...

    Taufiq, Farhat, Hameed, Butt saab, same-shot-every-time Nazir, Hafeez, and my fav Akmal later... wait fot it...BIG FAT NOTHING!!!

    Oh yeah, Pa Inzy enjoy the dosh!!!

    Peace out!!!

    Celebrating Eid in UK

  • Roshan on October 13, 2007, 18:00 GMT

    Time for Reality check!!!

    Both India a Pakistan team supporters need to realise the simple fact that they are supporting two ordinary teams who just manage to play extraordinarily here & there...the sooner we realise it the better it is....None of these teams can ever match the consistency of Aussie side or the streangth of mighty Windies in 80's...

    Eid mubarak to all friends across the border...May this day be happy & prosperous for u all.

  • Rohit on October 13, 2007, 17:53 GMT

    While fans have a right to be disappointed , i think everybody is going a little overboard here . Agreed the pitches were flat and spinner friendly , but subcontinent batsmen are definitely the best players of spin in the world. I think the problem was that both Inzy and Yousuf were not selected or preferred to rest in the first test. With these two playing , a stretched out draw would have been most the most likely result in the first test match.Secondly in both matches South Africa batted first after winning the toss , and we all know how important batting first is in these conditions . Once you put a half decent score on the board , the other team is always playing catchup on a crumbling track.I think Pakistan should take the positives from this series , such as Younis's batting and the emergence of Abdur as a spin bowling all rounder.

  • Nizar Dinani on October 13, 2007, 17:04 GMT

    First of all Eid-Mubarak to everyone. During the test series I figure it out that PCB should find more and more fast bowlers from domestic cricket. This is the first time I feel that there is no fast bowlers left in Pakistan. Shohaib (you can not trust after all this) Sami (fitnest problems all the time) Asif (fitnest problems again and again) Naveed (injured and will note play for a year) Arafat (not realy good bowler) Roa (its ok) Gul (is the only we can trust) Sohail (very new and its ok) last U-19 world cup I have seen Anwer Ali and he was moving ball like wasim and waqar and in the final He took 5 to 6 wkts against India and pakistan won championship.

  • mustansar on October 13, 2007, 17:03 GMT

    very well said kamran bhai yes it is true that shoaib malik is not a good captain in the test match squad i it should be muhammad yousaf who have to be the captain of the test matches and i thik affridi is good captain for the one dayers beacuse he is a attacking player and we are not find any captain who have enough faith on there batting lineup after imran khan but it is also truth that we dont have any quality player find after muhammad yousaf it think it is time for selector to go to rurel areas to find talent they cant find that in there office yes you have to do this for the sake of pakistan cricket

  • Blue Devil on October 13, 2007, 16:13 GMT

    I agree with most of the comments - the 'lets play as a spin attack' was a disaster. Kamran Akmal needs to improve his cacthing to say the least. Come one dude - get your act together! On a bright note, he batted really well as an opener. Hmm....Could he be part of a sustainable solution to our opening pair problem?

  • ahrash on October 13, 2007, 14:34 GMT

    Lets not get carried away here - we only lost one match.South Africa just showed that they are better at quickly adapting to different forms of the game,we did not play to our strengths, we were jaded and unmotivated (plus many of the players were fasting).

    My main concern is the perenial inability to find an opening pair - is it time to try two pinch hitters i.e. Afridi and Nazir with Malik coming in third,Yousuf 4th and Younis fifth. - also lets give Anwar Ali a go in Asif's absence in the one dayers - he would of been excellent on the pitches provided in the test series.

  • Dawar on October 13, 2007, 14:16 GMT

    Once again we lost the Test match serise against South Africa. Part of the reason for this was that we lacked someone in middle order who could stay on the wicket firmly against the good bowling attack of South Africa. Asim Kamal has proved to be a solid middle-order batsman whenever he is given a chance. He scored 99 runs playing against South Africa on Oct 17, 2003 in his first Test appearance at Qadhafi Stadium in Lahore.

    Although he was not able to make a record for scoring a century at Test debut, 99 is never a bad score against South African bowlers. Kamal has played Test matches against Australia and India as well. He was always there to respond positively when the whole batting line collapsed.

    In fact, most of his scores were achieved in crucial situations where Pakistan needed to build a partnership after some sort of debacle in the batting line-up.

    He is firm in his technique and plays the ball with concentration and treats it according to merit and situation. He is never in panic and that is the key to success for a middle-order batsman. Being a left-handed batsman, his importance increases automatically. There are some world-class bowlers who look struggling against a left-handed batsman and a left-right combination always puts the opposition in trouble.

    If we consider his overall Test record till date, we find he has scored 717 runs in 12 matches and 20 innings he has played. He has scored eight 50s in 20 innings and two out of those eight 50s were 90+. He caught 10 players in 12 tests as a filder.

    Especially in the absence of Mohammad Yusuf in the first Test, Asim Kamal was the best choice. But unfortunately he was not selected.

    Why Misba ul Haq and Faisal Iqbal was prefered on him? Please remeber compare to Asim Kamal 37.7 average in 12 tests, Misba played 7 tests with the average of 17.7. Misba average against SA is 29.00 compare to Asim Kamal average against SA of 46.00. Misba did not score more than 50 runs against any one yet and Asim scored eight times. But Misba was considered for the test but not Asim Kamal. It’s true recently Misba played well in 20/20 but no one put stamp 20/20 stamp on him but when Asim Kamal played well in tests PCB/Captain put stamp of only test player on Asim Kamal.

    Faisal Iqbal played 19 tests with the average of 25.75 compare to Asim Kamal 37.7 average. Faisal Iqbal average against SA is 14.88. He never scored 50 or more runs against SA. Compare to Asim Kamal average against SA of 46.00.

    Amazingly as a fielder Asim Kamal catching rate is better than wicket keeper Kamran Akmal.

    And we missed some one in the first test who can properly catch SA batsman.

    Dawar LA USA

  • Saima Khan on October 13, 2007, 13:49 GMT

    Here are the statement of Inzi after another defeat in serise against strong SA:

    I am religious but not the fool. I did not break the record of Javed Bhai (whom I never respect as a Captain and Coach) but I made good money. It's remind me world cup 99. This is all on the will of ALLAH. He is the one who provide me 10 million rupees jackpot.

    Inzy bhai, enjoy the 10 million rupees!!

    Saima Khan Islamabad

  • kasim on October 13, 2007, 13:47 GMT

    Eid Mubarak

    I need to ask where was,MOHAMMED SAMI & YASIR HAMEED???? India & Australia will be licking their lips if there isnt a emphasis on pace with a supporting act of spin & a top order which can actually concentrate for 1-2 days of batting! I fear for pakistan if a team reaches over 350...their just isnt enough application & desire to bat for long periods. It showed, without younis khan's knocks the team arent capable of creating a match decideing innings! I cant believe that in the whole of Pakistan there isnt any straight batted patient batesman! MaYbe ThE BrOtHeRs On ThIs BlOg WhO KnOw AbOuT ThE DoMeStIc ScEnE CaN TeLl Us Of AnY PrOmIsInG YoUtH Or PlAyEr WiTh A StRaIgHt BaT & A TeSt AtTiTuDe......... Please Please reply & allay my fears!!!

  • roomi on October 13, 2007, 12:53 GMT

    In the past losing a series would have meant a big thing rather than the margin. The fact that Pakistan didnt go for it in a meaningful despite their recent 20-20 success shows a very defensive and cowardly approach. Having the 20-20 Master Chaser Misbah just sit on the bench and not even contribute was plain stupid. He should have been promoted ahead of Inzimam perhaps given his recent form in situations like these. Everytime a person becomes more imortant than the team we unfortunately pay. Smith was right that Inzimam's farewell test would distract Pakistan. A shrewd captain like Imran Khan or Javed Miandad would maintained the focus of the team on leveling the series. Shoib Malick talented though he is and a wonderful twenty twenty and limited overs player would not be selected in the side as a player in the test team if he wasnt the captain. I think he hasnt really earned the right to be the captain of the test team yet.Maybe in future he may become a test batsman. (it remains to be seen)

  • Ami Ahmed on October 13, 2007, 11:32 GMT

    Come off it man, PACE??? Where is the pace? Pakistan are no longer the fast bowlers haven, that they were in the 90,s....

    I dont see any fast bowlers, do you? Where?

    Let me tell you, Shoaib is not gona be back, Rana injured/not test standard/mediocre, Razzaq (well, the less said the better), and Sami? Dont make me laugh!!!

    So, what are we left with, Asif and Gul, backed up by Rao (tests to his name, ZERO), Arafat, he's off to Hong Kong Sixes, Tanvir, too ealry.

    So, YOU HAVE Shahid Nazir, of all the tundlers, to back up Gul and Asif...not a wise move.

    So, therefore, it was the right option to play Rehman and Kaneria...even though it didn't work!!!

    However, it was the wrong decision to play Akmal, he needs a rest...badly too!!! He needs someone kicking up his spikes to wake him up!!

    No.2 Im glad Rehamn is in the fold...Kaneria needs a kick up his nethelands as well...

    No.3...Inzy has been great for Pakistan..nay doubt about it...but come on guys...why offer him a farewell just for the hell of it!

    Ironically, Miandad's nephew (Faisal...everybody knows every body,in POLLYWOOD)makes way for the Multan Bear so that he can break his uncle's record. How very Star Plus soapy... Not to mention the fact, that PCB had earlier decided not to allow any ICL contarctors to paly for Pakistan again. Yes, I know Yousuf did as well, but only after cancelling his contract.

    So, Inzy bhai, enjoy the 10 million rupees!!

    Peace out!!

  • ali on October 13, 2007, 11:15 GMT

    the series was a total disaster..lets face it we have never lost a test series to south africa at home ..the phrase a learning captain is abnoxious .if the guy is not fit for captaincy for god sake he should not captain the side...we are playing professional cricket ..its not street cricket where you can experiment . All his strategies back fired ..how can you make wickets like that pathetic too defensive ...and your so called spinners are very very ordinary spinners ..its true that south africa might not be the greatest sided when it comes to playing spin but they can play ordinary spinners ...i still kaneria under perfomed ..partly due to very defensive captaincy by shoaib malik..at the end of the day ...the captaicy was the real difference between the 2 sides...what was the logic in not trying to win the match ..losing 2-0 or 1-0 doesnt make a difference ..he had the opportunity to level the series ..he was way too defensive in his approach ...hmmm a learning captain ...it was very irritating to see the manner in which he was giving singles to kallis ..it was unbelievable ..the height of negativeness..i have this feeling that some of the guys over here have judged too much about shoaibs character from the 20/20 format ...well thats a different ball game ... test match is a real test of character and he has failed it ..imagine what would happen when they play australia they might loose 3-0 ...beating pakistan in pakistan is almost impossible ...the genius did what he said nothing wrong with that ..prior to the test series he said we will carry the 20 form and this is apparent from pakistans batting in 3 innings...i mean even if south africans would have had a gr8 side i might have undesrtood it ...but their side is not really that strong when it comes to test cricket..they rely heavily on kallis ...and he is the only good player in the side worth mentioning..asif i feel sorry for the lad he was over bowled due to maliks genius strategy ..but i think he wont be effective at all in the near future he has no pace and if the wicket isnt doing much he will struggle ...and in a year after carrying some injuries his pace will further reduce ...over all a disaster from planning to execution.

  • munirhk on October 13, 2007, 10:52 GMT

    hi, it's just dreaming to win test match with this sort of bowling attack,u need at least 3 fast bowlers and one spinner in test matchs normally and some parttimer. shoaib malik's saying that spin was his strenth was totally fake, he knows deep down it was misleading the nation. we r not stupid poeples as the world feel and our leader think and dream. we deeply understand cricket (other things in life)and every move of it tinnest to the sharpist, we applaud it and we criticise it. pakistan is no where if we keep playing our vice captain as sure slection in the playing 11, we must make sure only captain is the one, who can get in the playing 11 but all the rest must earn there place with performance, i believe yaseer could hav done better job as opener then butt, butt is no where in his footwork, timing his feeling and confidence level is not as we need from him, as our opener and hafeez is not test material at all. we must give chance to those how love to play for pakistan and take pride in it. not just can speak english and feel they r better then others. it feel so sad to think like that, this is happening in pakistan for so long. we need stronger leader who can stand up to any one of the slector and player then tell them the truth who is good to play and he needs that player. but if he tells us that our strenth is in spin bowling then we better change this kind of captain and better give it to younis or yousaf instead at least they r sure of a place in the playing 11. in my opinion pakistan should not mix test opener with one day openers. we must find some one more serious and technically sound opener and keep him safe for just test games and make very clear to him that what is expected from him. yaseer and some one from domestic cricket who is young and technically best opener should be given chance to open the innings followed by younis,yousaf,shoaib,faisal(depends on his form),kamran, and then the bowlers.kamran should be left alone at no.7, and must not be used as test opener at any cost it's just like sending dog to fight with loins. he can't or not longer. he should go through special training for his keeping and his hands positions specially on spin bowling. he should know how importent his keeping is for the team then his 30 or 40 runs, which r also importent at no. 7. we must be truthful to our self to understand our strenth and not try to jump in the air for one wicket or some thing very short living. we should only feel happy when we finish the match on top of other teams and can challenge to the best and i believe our coach and captain r able to do it. finding new blood is the key to success and pakitan hav it more then any other cricket playing nation only need to give them a chance.

  • ruchit on October 13, 2007, 9:18 GMT

    Hi Kamran,

    Pakistan were bound to loose against South Africa as were India against Australia. Quite a few reasons.

    1 To start with Pakistan: They lost the first test only and managed a decent draw in second one. Point to be noted is that there were no Inzy and Mohd. Yousuf in the first test.No Shoaib as well. 3 world class performers. People may disagree about Shoaib but when that guy plays well he can simply decimate batting line ups.Asif is alright but he is no Mc'Grath at this moment. Gul ain't all that classy.He has been around for 3-4 years. How many world class perfomances has he given. Batting has been a huge problem since turn of the century. They need to play proper batsmen not look for allrounders like Malik,Afridi etc. all the time. If you need allrounders get someone like Imran or even Wasim who was a master with the ball and actually very useful with the bat. Malik and Afridi are masters in none and just jack of all trades.

    2. Both India and Pakistan are going or are on the verge of a rebuilding phase. I remember India struggling in early 90's. It was a time when -Jimmy Amarnath,Sreekanth and Dilip Vengsarkar- batting stalwarts for Indian team atleast decided to retire,Kapil was getting older and past his expiry date,yongsters like Sachin,Srinath,Kumble,Kambli,Jadega were trying to find their feet. Also Azhar got the captaincy arond the same time. Resultwas a disastrous phase from 1990 to almost 1993 end. Starting with England tour of 1990 (remember Gooch getting 333 and me listing to AIR commentary) and culminating with home series against them in 1993 which India won 3-0. Afterwards there some noticable perfomances for a decade or so- 1993 Hero Cup victory,World Cup 96-Semis, Test series win over Aussies-2001,World Cup 2003-Finals. But now again India is on the verge of rebuilding. Problems have already come to fore and may last for couple of years. Same is happening to Pakistan.

    So basically no need for us to get too agitated or worried. Life is just completing a full circle. Pakistan has lost Inzy. May be losing Shoaib and Yousuf also with in next couple of years. So they are also the verge of rebuilding. Relax and take chill pill. All will be fine.

    Regards. Ruchit.

  • aftab on October 13, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    We should be happy to have lost 0-1 instead of thinking that a livelier track could have changed the results. After the W's, we had one world class match-winning bowler and we are all happy to see him and Pakistan cricket punished for his childish behavior. Let's say losing is the price for the enjoyment we get to see him dragged (remember SA tour?). I agree to Naseem Ashraf that SAkhtar should see a shrink; who would refuse the 90M offer to do his professional work in his right mind. See, Yousef was a wise guy and have pitted PCB against ICL while enjoying the additive benefits of accepting a timely offer. But this troubled child of Pakistani cricket is pretty much the only contender for match winner at this time. Test cricket is not about making 600 runs. It's about getting 20 wickets for less runs than you make.

  • resmyrakri on October 13, 2007, 8:21 GMT

    I cant find the reason why Mushtaq was not considered for selection. He still wins trophy for sussex. Finally, Inzamam, another great batsman retired. As an Indian we hate to see hom bat against India, but I always respected him for his great abilities especailly to play the fast bowling, and followed his career closely. I wonder has henot performed to his potential? He could have been as good as Tendulakr or Lara.

  • Anthony on October 13, 2007, 8:00 GMT

    Great wake-up call for all the sub-continent teams. The issues are startlingly similar:

    1. Extreme over-reliance on ancient players: Take Inzy, Sachin, Sourav, Dravid, Jayasuriya, Vaas and Murali out and the team from the "Asian powerhouse" could hardly be expected to beat an Aussie A team.

    2. Due to the lack of bench strength engendered by point 1, players act like prima donnas. Afridi and Akhtar from Pakistan, Sreesanth for India and Atapattu for SL. Their reluctance to give their all for their country undermines the entire team.

    3. An incredibly unhealthy obsession with trash talking in the press. Sangakarra has time to write columns in every newspaper in the world, Dhoni is forever ready with a soundbite and Shoaib Malik with his gem of playing for the "Muslim peoples of the world". Why cant Asian cricketers just shut up and play cricket.

    There is a common thread that underlines the great Asian cricketers of the past. They played with passion for their COUNTRY, not for their marketing image. Until this fact is realised, every WC and T20 WC final (where Asian players summon the determination because of huge financial reward) will be followed by months of humilation by the determination and professionalism of the other sides.

  • Huzaifah Butt, Lahore, 14. on October 13, 2007, 8:00 GMT

    As usual, Pakistan have once again shown their inconsistency on the field. South Africa did'nt play their best cricket but still managed to beat Pakistan at home! Twice or may be more in the series Pakistan threw away an almost perfect start in an innings. Poor strokeplay was the root cause of the dismissals as I don't think that South Africans were playing their full strength bowling line-up with he obvious absence of Shawn Pollock with whom I think Pakistan would have been in a worse situation.

    Furthermore, I would deeply critisize the seletion of the Pakistan team. It was outrageus to play just 2 seamers, especially without any back up fast bowler like Abdul Razzaq. Playing 2 specialist spin bowlers with the presence of M. Hafeez and Shoaib Malik already in the team was another flaw in the selection (not to mention South Africa being one of the best players of spin) leaving the team with one batsman short that ultimately proved fatal! Faisal Iqbal has time and time again proved a failure in the middle order. I think the decision to include Misbah-ul-Haq in the team was another bad choice, especially when he flopped in the first test. However, he deserved a chance so we cannot argue. Going with Yasir Hameed and Asim Kamal would have been an ideal choice in the middle order with Yasir Hameed so consistent and Asim providing a left hander in the line-up. It is beyond my understanding why these 2 are not included! However, whats done is done! Now we need to concentrate on the future, on the odis that precede the tests.

    HAPPY EID TO EVERYONE !!!!!!!

  • Bilal Amin on October 13, 2007, 7:32 GMT

    Hi Kamran, I think you should dedicate one column about Danish's performance, rather lack of it, as a spin bowler. His strike rate is pathetic. Annoying thing is that he is being consistently touted as very very good bowler but this "accusation” is not backed by his track record in the ground. How many times he has taken 5+ wickets in less than 20-25 overs by giving less than 100 runs in a test match.

    Compare him with an ordinary bowler like SA spinner Harris, I am sure, our magical Danish will be well below him, in the tests in which both played for opposing teams.

    With the power of pen in your hands, I am sure you can cut through the false mist created around him, an ordinary bowler will certainly take 2-3 wickets by bowling 30-40 overs in an innings.

    By the way, I have not seen any comments on cricinfo for not giving enough overs to Abdul Rehamn during Lahore test 1st innigings. I don’t mean that he is better than Danish but that was a pathetic piece of captainship. Can someone please provide the rationale?

  • Dawar on October 13, 2007, 7:05 GMT

    Kamran,

    It’s better to use word no merit instead of miscalculations. We need a system base on merit.

    If we have good keeper who can handle Danish, the result could be different?

    Remember he dropped Kalis when he was on 31. Kalis scored century after that in first test.

    Once again Kamran Akmal performance was unsatisfactory behind the stumps. It’s true he did some good batting innings in the last test. But he has a keeper first. And now days every wicket keeper has some good batting skills. Under 19 ex captain Sarfraz Ahmed is a good wicket keeper batsman too.

    Inzamam performance was not good in his last test match. I do not know any good reason he played one more test.

    If Asim Kamal or Yasir Hamid was there, I am sure we could chase 349 runs in last day. Inzi was completely out of touch in both innings. We should tried Fawad Alam instaed of Abdur Rehman; no doubt his bowling was good on spin wickets. But all spinners performed well from both teams. Wickets were for the spinners. Fawad Alam is young spinner with better batting skills. Once again Salman Butt was preferred regardless of his performance. If Khurrum Manzoor or Kahlid Latif or Taufeeq Omer were in the team, We could have good opening start in both test matches.

    Dawar LA USA

  • Sikander Rashid on October 13, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    I really don't see why KAMRAN AKMAL is still in the side. That's all we have? I mean, come on, don't tell me this country has ran out of Inzis and Saeed Anwars. Unbelievable!

    Wait untill the aussies come around, that'd be one nightmare!

  • Maulana Fazlur rehman on October 13, 2007, 6:58 GMT

    nahmado ho wa nushali! the test series was lost because our players were fasting..did'nt you see the Inzi's dash down the wicket...roza lug raha tha.! so who was the idiot that scheduled a test series in ramadan..one day main dekhna hamaray moumin khiladee kia kamal kartain hain ! the other thing is why did PCB gave 2 million dollars in prizes before this series...eid se phelay eidy? akhir kyon..

  • Vivek Sadh on October 13, 2007, 6:33 GMT

    Hello. Why cant we agree we are bad teams. Our Physique and endurance level donot meet that of whites. Our Fielding is pathetic, and they have caught up the art of playing spin and having a good spinner. Who are the best spinners in world cricket ? without doubt Warne and Vettori.. ( besides Murali... Kumble is only good in 4th innings of a turning track.)

  • subodh bhat on October 13, 2007, 6:25 GMT

    Nice piece again Kamraan. Sport, and success in sport is all about winning encounters against able opposition. There are no brownie points ever. Asian cricketing teams have been satisfied with the crumbs for far too long. A drawn series here and a 1-0 win there are no superlative acheivements. Take a team like Australia...i say Australia as currently they are the ones setting bench marks for others to catch up...they are never satisfied with drawn series' or narrow wins they look to decimate oppositions against all odds ...home or away. True, that one should play to our strengths and thats the crux of the home advantage factor. Sporting pitches and level playing fields etc are all theoretically wonderful terminologies but the bottom line is all about winning. If Asian cricketing strength is spin bowling then so be it. Get the mine fields ready and let loose your reliable tweakers amock on the opposition. Sounds easy but reality is that both India and Pakistan have been caught in no man's land. Neither are the pacers real match winners on seamer friendly tracks nor are the spinners as dangerous any more. Gone are the days of the Indian spin magicians or the maverick Qadir and Saqlain who were almost unplayable on helpful conditions. The oppositions world over have matched India and Pak in the spin department and are far ahead in the seam sphere. Sheer pace is whats required now and neither Pak nor India have a seamer worth his salt who can send the shivers down the collective spines of the opposition. A Shoaib Akthar who spends more time cooling his heals in his Pindi home is no threat unless he is on the park sending down his thunderbolts but with his attitude, character and fitness always in question he is now a disruptive influence on the scheme of things rather than a galvanising force he ideally should have been. If the cricketing history of India and Pak over the last 10 yrs are taken into account one would find that the batsmen have been the ones to have matched world standards and competed and stood out even against the best in the world. But, despite their best efforts , this has rarely tranformed into team wins because neither teams had the bowling fire power to get 20 wickets cheaply. This has resulted in batsman dominated draws or when the batsman failed , as any sportsman is bound to, the teams crubled to huge defeats. Lonely rangers like Kumble or Kaneria are not going to set the rivers on fire in this part of the globe and even more rarely across the oceans when teams tour hostile territories like Australia, England and S.Africa. Change for change sake is something of a knee jerk reaction that we are so prone to. Yes, youngsters should be drafted in . no one is denying that. But youngsters at the helm is a dangerous trend we are seeing . With due respect to Dhoni and Mallik , captaicy is about being a leader and being seen as a laeder at the same time. Both currently have got the hot seat more as a compromise to keep the elder statesmaen at bay rather than on cricketing merits. If the selectors cant bite the bullet they have no business to be where they are. Let them ask themselves in the quiet of their homes if they have chosen the right men to lead the countries destiny. In all probability their conscience (if they know what that means) will give them a resounding NO. Neither has really been groomed before being thron at the deep end of the pool. In the long run its like a lottery ..if the team does well , damn good for them but when the team doesnt then the selectors have a easy scape goat to slaughter. Not the ideal situation to be in. Heart felt sympathies go out to both MSD and Mallik. Kaamran called Mallik a smart captain, fair enough he is smart. But is that enough to be at the helm . What about the respect of your team mates, what about strategies, what about experience...?? Not evey one is a born leader. Tiger Pataudis dont come often and neither of the two poor souls are a patch on the Nawab. Both nations have to get a plan in place...back strengths rather than play safe . Avoiding defeat is never the right way to go about things . Win at all costs should be the motto. Other wise lets all stop thinking about matching the Aussies. There is no way we are going to get even remotely close to them in any way. fod for thought for the Colonel and his counter part across the border... i admit inspite of being a hard corfe cricket fanatic I am not aware who is currently the head of the selectors in Pakistan. With musical chairs played out often there I am worried that given the slow speed of my internet connection there may be a new one in place before this comment gets posted. !!

  • santosh mishra on October 13, 2007, 6:23 GMT

    I think Sub Continent Teams now dont concentrate on their own home conditions and strengths.We can see that in lasr few year Indai and Pakistan have not performed well in their Own Back yards and now is the time for these two teams to really concentrate on their home conditions and strengths.

  • M Mahboob Hossain (Dhaka) on October 13, 2007, 6:16 GMT

    Thanks Kamran. It’s very frustrating for me to see all three major sub-continent teams being thrashed at home by the other three major contemporary outsiders, since I had very little to expect from my own team.

    I don’t think it’s about spin or pace tracks that mattered. Had Pakistan won the toss at Karachi, probably the result would have been different, however that should not be the excuse, since last winter, on a New Lands dust bowl, India lost to the home side despite batting first & posting over 150 for first wicket. Had it been played on hard, seaming tracks, yet Pakistan would have lost the series, even had Shohaib played, I presume. The problem is the basic temperament of their Batsmen, which has hardly anything to go with the track. With 7 Batsmen & a 90 runs opening partnership, only the batsmen can explanation 1st innings batting at Lahore. I can remember at Faislabad in 96/97, 124 were too much after a 25+ opening score & surely Wasim, Waquar & Mushi did sufficient to win the match.

    Pakistan plays too little Test cricket & if you look at their batsmen’s dismissals, hardly you’ll find a good ball getting them out. We don’t have a strong & competitive domestic 1st class structure here which the other three teams have. Australia can play 100 ODI’s a year & still get players mentally tough & can perform under pressure. The innings Michel Cleark played at Bangalore as 20 years old debutant; I don’t fancy a sub-continent seasoned pro would have managed. He was bamboozled by the spin twins, yet had the maturity to play for the survival till he got composed.

    The shorter the game, I guess the difference between better prepared sides narrows. Because of raw talent, India, Pakistan did well in T/20 (They’ll continue to do so for few more matches, till the other teams can strategies to negate the raw talent) but for the longer version, they are caught off guard. You see, so many talented Pakistani youngsters are starting with a bang, till the opposition starts to work on them & they are badly exposed & gradually diminishes, since hardly these boys can develop from domestic cricket. (Best example is Faisal Iqbal @ Colombo against Australia).

    For a Pakistani youngster, the best way to learn & develop is to be a part of a long 4/5 test series (Which they played last in 92, what a shame that, due to the lack of interest of administrators, slowly but surely Pakistan is relegated to second bunch of Test teams, by being offered 2 Test series. I wonder if England of 90’s can play 5 Test series with Australia, South Africa & West Indies, why can’t India, Pakistan do, at least in between them. Surely it’s not lack of public interest or financial short comings, rather the unwillingness of the decision makers). In 60s and afterwards talented Pakistani boys were developed by two ways, either by playing in County circuits or being a part of long series, where temperaments could be groomed from predecessors. At my early teen, in late 80’s under Imran, Pakistan played few 4/5 Test series & the youngsters flourished for the next decade (Only Inzamam, after Hanif is a domestic world class product, & that too he started with a long away trip to England).

    More alarmingly, because of ODI focus, sub-continent spinners are gradually becoming darters & for the last decade, Bhaji is the only upcoming young spinner that excited me. Whereas at a time we had, Anil, Mushi, Saqline & Muruli & now Panesers & Harises are coming from outside. Even on a dust bowl, I don’t back now sub-continent next generation spinners to spin out teams, since, to do that, you need the accuracy of an Anil or the guile of Mushi, Saqui or Vhaji of yester years (You can’t fancy to have a complete package like Murli in every generation, do you?), which surely can’t be developed by playing 7 ODIs on flat belters or 2 by 5 Test/ODI ratio series.

    The situation is more alarming for Pakistan than India (Wait till Anil, Rahul & Sachin retires), as their administrators are least Test focus & because of the domestic structure & media attention, hard hitters (or sloggers) will be plenty, but hardly any craftsmen like Rahul, Marvan, Inzamam or Sachin. Moreover, the selectors in Pakistan are interested for popular dashing flashers then gutsy solid blocks. It’s probably only in Pakistan it’s possible, that flashers like Farhat & Butt are selected as Test openers ahead of Umar or for that surprise Asim Kamal not being given a permanent Test spot.

    I can read the Test scores archives of Hanif, Sunil, Javed, Mohinder, Vishi, Zaher and many of them even before played out for hours to save a match or play out for a draw, facing a large first innings score, how many of present sub-continent batsmen (That includes Sachin as well) can do that? Match saving innings are all coming from other side. This is nothing to do with the stroke play. None can be more destructive than Hayden, yet I saw him battling for a 7 hour ton at a boiling Sharja heat, it’s the temperament that could only be developed by playing more & more Test cricket, not the 2 Test stuff.

  • raza FROM NJ on October 13, 2007, 5:59 GMT

    Eid Mubarak: Its time pakis, its time to roll out the carpet for guys like Irshad, Rauf, Khalil, shah. Playing with two seamers was ridiculous. I don't get it. Pakistan in the test arena is in trouble. Akmal should be opener in test and odi but not a wicket keeper. Time for new blood! Haider or the under 19 captain wicket keeper. bring up some youngsters! transition period. Leading upto the 2007 world cup, pcb never played with youngsters and just delayed it. Now is the time, if your going to lose which we are then why not do it with youngsters instead with discarded players like Hameed, Umar, Kamal, Butt, Hafeez, Faraht, and Sami. Tanvir gave you a good lift, asif and gul have grown up. Tme to roll in the new kids from under 19 world cup championship team. Salam

  • Omer Admani on October 13, 2007, 5:34 GMT

    Eid Mubarak Everyone! Just reading along the comments I think the young -captain-consolation isn't right. Also, Osman Samiuddin's opinion that Malik played three captain's knock isn't quite right either and Malik should be very much in the spotlight for his batting abilities. What I couldn't understand was the defensiveness in Malik's captaincy thruout the series and at times, it seemed, he was least interested in the match and just wanted to let the game drift along. Tail-enders from SA were made to feel like good batsmen and good batsmen like Donald Bradman. When batsmen approached their centuries, rather than putting pressure on them he let them thru so that they quickly get their 'deserving' hundred and the match can move forward once again after that. On the final day, even with him on the crease, there was a golden opportunity to square the series. 7 runs per over from 24 overs was attainable and a draw was pointless in the context of the series. Misbah was also about to come who has shown propensity towards big-hitting in the 20/20 world cup. Mohammad Yousof had been on the crease for a while and Rehman and Kaneria can swing the bat and can get the odd 20,30 here and there. But instead they opted for a draw. This should be scrutinized more than playing two spinners, it still strikes me dumb. I tried to imagne what other teams might have pursued in similar conditions and I don't think even Bangladesh wouldn't have attempted to win. Imagine Australia or SA giving up like that. But I guess Malik knew about the 'learning curve' wich everyone seems to stick his tongue to, and didn't care much about winning the match. He might learn standard field placements as he becomes a more mature captain (which he, in theory, already should know after playing for so many years) but he will never be a good captain or an innovative one. Even then I think the worst thing about him is his man-managing skills. I don't think he has the capacity to inspire the team-- he just doesn't have the personality of a leader. Here's where he is like Inzamam. However, he is unlike Inzamam in two things: 1) He won't be able to combine the team in a religious setting with him sort of being a leader thru that, and 2) the lack of his batting abilites. Even under Inzamam, a trend can be noticed. When Inzamam was in form, the team played well. As soon as Inzamam's form went low in England, the downward slide of the team started. When Inzamam earlier came up with the new team, it was only untill he struck good form that the team started winning. The team respects a captain only when he can claim respect and I expect Malik to be a loner on the field-- and off it in the dressing room-- in time. Pakistan still might not do bad (as matches can always be won despite mediocre captaincy), but I don't see a test captain in Malik. The second thing I'd like to mention is Kaneria. I also thought that sooner or later Kaneria might turn into a consistent matchwinner, but obviouly that hasn't come off. He has the skill, but to be anything remotely as close as Shane Warne, he needs a mind like him. Unfortunately, he doesn't have one. Rehman as a left-arm spinner also seems unlikely to be a matchwinner, though, he can do a run-containing job and take wickets when batsmen play aggresively.

    Lastly, Pakistan lacked a fast bowler. Asif will only be good on certain pitches and Umar Gul needs to make use of more bouncers and yorkers. But certainly anyone who bowls 145 kms or plus was needed on those pitches.

  • Irfan Chaudhry on October 13, 2007, 5:21 GMT

    The loss to South Africa has come as a huge disappointment. In both tests SA put up clinical performance and left Pakistan chasing their tail. SA deserved to win as they played with purpose and showed a lot of heart. They had a great game plan, executed it to perfection, and the final result showed it. Pakistan on the contrary looked totally at loss albeit having the home field advantage. I am no cricket expert nor do I pretend to be one but Pakistan conspicuously missed the mark by playing only four bowlers in Lahore. It is mind boggeling that Shoaib Malik is still adament to prove his theroy right despite the crushing defeat. Shoaib did a super job in the 20 world cup but jury is still out on the kind of leader he will be in the longer form of cricket.Geoff Lawson has his hands full and only time will tell if he can help achive the much needed maturation process for Shoid Malik. With Shoaib Akhtar missing in action Pakistan anemic attack clearly missed the services of a tear away fast bowler. Shoaib is in the twilight of his career and unless I am missing the obvious there is no one on horizon to replace him. Pakistan should learn from Australia and SA who do a fantastic job of grooming the youngsters. Mitchell Johnson for Australia and Dale Styen for SA are two prime examples of how the truley superior teams methodically infuse the young blood to replace the ageing players. Our Batting and fielding were out right pathetic. Pakistan needs instant improvement in both departments to have any hope of competing with the juggernauts of the cricketing world. For now Shoaib and his men will need to turn things around in a hurry. They are far from being t

  • Abdul K Hussain on October 13, 2007, 5:03 GMT

    Well having vowed never to be passionate about Pakistan cricket ever again after the World Cup debacle, I find myself strangely unmoved by thier latest failure. I agree with your main point, that Pakistan have never won with spin as their main strategy. The primary reason being that it is inherently a defensive strategy, and we have never been good at defensive cricket. But I will leave you with a few observations of an unbiased but keen and experienced observer of the game.

    1) Drop Akmal the keeper, keep Akmal the opening Batsmen. When was the last time a Pakistan opener had scores of 40+, 50+, 70+. Imagine what he could do if that was his sole job.

    2) Pick Afridi ahead of Kaneria as your specialist spinner. Make him bat 8 or 9 in the lineup an tell 30 overs an innings are expected of him He has more variety and is more aggressive. I am sick of hearing how unlucky Kaneria is. He is an average bowler at best. To make him your primary match winner is ridiculous.

    3) Bringing Shoaib back is mistake for the long run. If you want pace, give guys like Irshad and Najaf Shah an extended run. High 130's to 140 is enoug pace. The attitude that comes with a few extra K's in not worth it.

    4) Strip Butt of the Vive-Captaincy his comment on the umpiring shows he lacks the maturity. If you have the vision to play Afridi as your main spinner in tests and a bowling allrounder in ODI's then use him as your vice captain. You already have a captain who is still a bit immature to have his back up the same way is asking for much. Plus his place in the side is not guaranteed.

    5) Get some new faces in! Stop recycling the old ones like Faisal Iqbal, Bazid Khan etc. Why not try Khurram Manzoor as an opener, Fawad Alam and Adnan Reza in the middle order, Sarfaraz Ahmed as the Keeper, Anwar Ali, Najaf Shah, as the back up pacemen.

    Barring all this there is always the option to apply to the ICC to revoke our test status and become purely a limited over team!!

    A word finally about Bob Woolmer. I think any Pakistani fan can now see what his contribution to Pakistan cricket was particularly in test cricket. Even though we lost the series in England and SA last year our Batsmen had the ability to bat out sessions, something that was sorely missing in this series.

    We are only above WI and Bangladesh in tests now. Don't hold your breath it will be a long road back. And the lack of vision of the current administrators will make it even longer

  • fhs on October 13, 2007, 4:06 GMT

    100% agree with you, Mr. Abbasi!

  • Nasir Ayub on October 13, 2007, 4:01 GMT

    Great performance from a young team as some one said. It was a good experience for a rebuilding team, there were some miscalculations, some errors, though the captain didn't admit either of them but the fact is they didn't get any lessons from the past. Inzi's innings was probably a sad ending to a great career but I can say atleast there was one man with the correct mind set. Forget about earlier miscalculations and poor show. Pakistan needed to play an agressive game. Loosing a series 1-0 or 2-0 wouldn't had made much difference but Pakistan needed to gamble on playing agressively to level the series. Its time to change mindsets and directions. Pakistan need to start thinking in Imran Khan's way where the captain leads from the front and the team follows and who never had the word defensive in his book.

  • Rahul Menon on October 13, 2007, 3:59 GMT

    Pakistan were outplayed in all depts on home wickets.It is also true that this constant chopping & changing (are the Pak selectors listening?!)is not doing Pakistan cricket any good at all.Time for balanced innovation & consolidation, I guess. Otherwise you guys are going to get a pounding in India & at home against the Aussies.

  • Excuses Excuses Excuses on October 13, 2007, 3:45 GMT

    You know, as long as I can remember. India and Pakistan has the same excuse "We have a young team". Series after series, the words are "We have a young team, give it some time". Before you know, the old new kids are out and new new kids are in and hence its a young team again and again season after season of non performance. I think our cricket teams should accept now that they suck except handfull of individual and they dont have it in them what takes you perform.

    Our domestic competition are flimsy, BCCI and PCB wont do squat to improve it. I think its jsut we have to accept, (and I think its more administration rather than players) we suck, and we suck bad.

    Our elected board official fight like cats to get elected once they do, no results come out. All there duties are involved around discipling players, well, I got news for you, that should be least of tasks.

    What are the improvements in last 10 years. and the improvements in last 10 years, could they have been done in shorter duration of time. I bet yes and as far as I see this is just example, if an economy grows 3% a year and inflation is 3% a year, thats not really growth, that is called keeping up. And in similar terms that has been our improvement, we are merely keeping up.

  • Muzammil Mohsin on October 13, 2007, 3:43 GMT

    More than the defeat it is disheatening to hear the Pakistani captains and vice captains statements. I thought after the first test they would realize that they made a mistake of making a dead pitch with just 2 fast bowlers and no all-rounders. But they didn't and even after the second test they are giving statements that the problem wasn't in the strategy of playing just 2 fast bowlers and 2 spinners but because of the reason that they were playing test cricket after a long time. As far as remember the last test series that Pakistan played was against South Africa before the World cup and that happened to be the last test for South Africa also and since then even they didn't play any test cricket. I still pray that Malik and company realize their mistake and change their attitude and mindset of giving lame excuses for the beterment of Pakistani cricket. And please! Salman Butt doesn't even deserves a place in the selected 14 and how come you make him a vice-captain. I hope Imran Nazir is given some more chances to prove his ability at Test level also, for he is one of the most talented batsman in the current Pakistani setup and I have seen him taking attack against the best bowling attacks in the world. Saying that, I think he will need to change his batting approach and shot-selection and the coach and captain should make him realize his talent and change his batting approach.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 13, 2007, 3:02 GMT

    Talking of strategy in cricket, one needs to rationalize the available resources and compare them with your opponents. I think Pakistan's team selection and strategy during the test matches was based on this light desi humour which is as follows:

    George Bush was sitting in his office wondering whom to invade next when his telephone rang.

    "Hallo, Mr. Bushoe!" a heavily accented voice said. "This is Sheeda from Chuk no - 3, District Gujrat, Pakastan. I am ringing to inform you that we are officially declaring war on you!"

    "Well, Sheeda," Bush replied, "This is indeed important news! How big is your army?" "Right now," said Sheeda, after a moment's calculation, "there is myself, my cousin Basheera, my next door neighbor Karam Deen, and the entire kabaddi team from the village. That makes eight."

    Bush paused. "I must tell you, Sheeda that I have one million men in my army waiting to move on my command."

    "BLOODY Hail " said Sheeda. "I'll have to ring you back!"

    Sure enough, the next day, Sheeda called again. "Mr. Bushoe, it is Sheeda, I'm calling from Chuk no-3 Gujrat, the war is still on! We have managed to acquire some infantry equipment!" "And what equipment would that be, Sheeda?" Bush asked. "Well, we have two combines, a donkey and Amjad's tractor." Bush sighed. "I must tell you, Sheeda, that I have 16,000 tanks and 14,000 armored personnel carriers. Also, I've increased my army to 1-1/2 million since we last spoke."

    "Oh teri (oops)..." said Sheeda. "I'll have to get back to you." Sure enough Sheeda rang again the next day. "Mr. Bush, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne .... We've modified Amjads's tractor by adding a couple of shotguns, sticking on some wings and the pind's generator. Four boys from Sahiwal have joined us as well!"

    Bush was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. "I must tell you, Sheeda, that I have 10,000 bombers and 20,000 fighter planes. My military complex is surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I've increased my army to TWO MILLION!"

    "Tera pala hove ..." said Sheeda, "I'll have to ring you back." Sure enough, Sheeda called again the next day. "Mr. Bushoe! I am sorry to tell you that we have had to call off the war." "I'm sorry to hear that," said Bush. "Why the sudden change of heart?"

    "Well," said Sheeda, "we've all had a long chat over a couple of days and we've decided there's no way we can feed two million prisoners!!"

    kerlo jo kerna hai!

  • Junaid on October 13, 2007, 2:50 GMT

    Kalis was the difference between the two sides. Bowlers like Kaneria will not win matches for Pakistan. We need Fit and in form Shoaib in India and even recalling Saqlain and Mushtaq Ahmad in place of ordinary Kaneria would be a better idea. We have decent batting line up with Yousaf, Younas, Salman, Misbah, Shoaib and talented Akmal so all we need now is a potent bowling attack to win matches.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 13, 2007, 2:30 GMT

    Graeme Smith can boast now by saying: "I was saying to the boys after play that on the flight over, if someone had said to me we'd probably control nine days out of ten, I wouldn't have believed him." Earlier upon arrival in Pakistan he said: "It's a big challenge being stuck in a hotel all the time because you have nothing to take your mind off the cricket and the training, and it's easy to slip into boredom, get lackadaisical and lose that drive." And he was complaining about the excess of security guards.

    I think it is the same "Elle" who responded to that comment in Daily Telegraph that, Smithy is getting weary for nothing, as the schedule will keep him and his mates busy and I wonder how can he get lackadaisical? And, I said, it was nothing more than a precautionary move, a kinda moaning and a building up of excuses i.e., in case of a defeat he has got a reason to fall back.

    I don't think South Africa played any great cricket during these two test matches. It is Pakistan team who played like school boys and the team selection was pathetic. Everyone is now ruing for the defeat. What else do you expect from a bunch of jokers who select a team on their whims and wishes? The worst of all is the captain, who appears as a gutless, spineless, or as they say in Arabic "la faqari." It seems he has no say in team selection or in making on field decisions. He is a mere spectator who is lost in his own world, so disconnected from the rest. I think the burden of captaincy is too heavy on his shoulders. There are people who make things happen. There are people who watch things happen. There are people who wonder what happened? And there are people who don't know anything happened. And Malik at the moment fits in the last category.

    Inzamam despite not scoring in his last match has still left a mark and a lasting impression on the team and his supporters. Whereas, there are some people who instead of leaving a mark, leave a stain behind them. Shoaib Akhtar is definitely one of them and the rumour which goes from 'mouth to mouth', is backed by Mr. Kamran Abbassi also, who wants the "Bad Boy" in the team.

    But, he is such an old stain that doesn't leave the fabric even if you soak it in bleach or "shout" it or "Tide"it. To get rid of that stain, you have to make a hole in that fabric. After this humdrum pace bowling attack, the selectors are also looking at him despite imposing heavy fines and bans on him. I don't know whether he will pay that hefty fines or simply get away with that. But, one thing is for sure, if he is included in the team, it is going to make him feel indispensable and more arrogant and he will do something unthinkable once again.

    Also, it will effect the team's performance and create a dent Malik's meek and weak personality even more in a negative manner. Because, he knows how to influence and manipulate the juniors, as it is Malik doesn't take any initiative, in Akhtar's presence it is going to be even more difficult. Besides Asif, there will be Afridi, Mohammad Yousuf and to a certain Younus Khan in the team that he (Akhtar) will have to rub shoulder with. If he takes wickets he will dictate his terms, if he fails he will spoil the atmosphere in the dressing room and on the field. So, in my opinion he is a double edged sword which can work either way.

    Therefore, why should the selectors have to go for him and instead not try Sohail Tanvir and Rao Iftikhar? They both have great potential and Tanvir seems to bat with more authority and confidence, all that lad needs is a chance to prove his worth in ODI and test matches, he has already proved his worth in twenty20. So, why can't these dumb selectors see what a lay person can see?

    When Akhtar does something stupid its a pain not only for him but for everyone. Like they say there are two types of pain in life; one that is of discipline, which lasts a short while and the other is of regret, which can last a life time. Shoaib Aktar needs to delve deeper into his psyche to find out which one is he suffering from?

    I want to end this post on a happier note, Eid Mubarak to you ALL and hope to see a good fighting and interesting ODI series, unlike the dull and boring test matches.

  • Asad on October 13, 2007, 2:13 GMT

    bad boy or not we need shoaib akhtar...he is a match winner...he only has a couple years left...let him play...drop misbah for the tests but not in one-dayers...let yasir hammed open with akmal..we need all-rounders like afridi or razzaq...pcb and selectors make so many bad decisions it should be a record now...and since inzamam is gone...try asim kamal before hes gone too.

  • WB on October 13, 2007, 2:04 GMT

    Pakistan say they are stuck in a twenty20 mindset but don't attempt the 6 per over required in just over 20 overs to square the series. Funny.

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 13, 2007, 1:44 GMT

    The way Pakistan team loses in test matches it seems to me that they follow a script and match after match they lose in similar fashion, the key players fail to perform in key moments of the game and when it doesn't matter they give outstanding performances. I have no doubt in my mind that certain players in the team do not give their 100% and pick and choose when to perform.

    The selectors were the main culprit this time as they didn't learned from their mistakes and selected the same team as if somebody trying to follow the same script for a repeat performance of a stage drama.

    Shoaib Malik will have to learn a lot his field placement was horrible his handling of the bowlers was absolutely wrong.If he has to become a successful captain then he will have to show confidence in younger players he should have fought for the selection of Sohail Tanvir that was a fatal mistake.

    Danish kaneria in my opinion cannot win us matches single handedly he is a good bowler and can take a lot more wickets but he has to work on his wicket taking deliveries he cannot bowl a flipper his leg break is usually off target he lacks accuracy also he gives away too many runs.

    Asif needs to improve his fitness and speed if he has to retain his place in the team it seems that he runs out of gas too soon,the team mangement and the selectors should make it clear to him that he is not indispensable. The selectors have the most difficult job a head of them they have to find some young players from the U19 and A team as a replacement of some of the underperforming senior players.

  • Muhammad Asif on October 13, 2007, 1:42 GMT

    "What happened to the PCB's promise of livelier tracks?" Unorthodox wickets gives way to Unorthodox Team combination. So you are right in asking the authorities about their promise. If I am not wrong sometime back it was said that a project is given to one of the universities to prepare supporting wickets. But it seemz to be Gone with the wind. And as per our seasoned politician " mittee pao"

  • Atif on October 13, 2007, 1:09 GMT

    What is wrong with the team !!!! They were playing to draw the test...was that the plan of a young captain and then people point fingers on INZAMAM that he was too defensive....This team looked like an amateur bunch of men playing for the sake of just getting paid. the body language of the captain was as if he had lost it from the start.....MOHAMMED ASIF is a good bowler but dont compare him to any of the great bowlers, he took wickets alongside SHOAIB AKHTAR(in karachi test against India and other games) and alone on a flat pitch he nothing but a medium paced RAZZAQ.....Please search for mature talent not just talent!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Prasanna on October 13, 2007, 0:02 GMT

    Blame should always direct towards the PCB.. I do not want to talk much about the series, but I just realized how lucky Inzamam is.. he actually got a chance to bid farewell playing cricket rather than in controversy like so many of previous pakistan hall-of-famers.. wasim, waqar.. PCB shows no respect to its players and it's selection is always bad.. A board should select players on their merits and should not hold any grudes against them.. to PCB and sometimes BCCI.. .that's an alien language

  • Faraz (the first Faraz on all of Kamran's blogs) on October 12, 2007, 23:50 GMT

    Eid Mubarak to all here !

    Shoaib Malik - it would be long before Malik gets replaced -- mark my words folks!

    Yousuf and Younis did not play to full potential because they will not win anything for this rat from sheikhupura

    I would have criticize Nel for shoving Shoaib, but I wanna thank the guy for it.

    A Pakistan team without Malik is the only way for this team to win.

    Shame on Lawson, how can he defend Malik and his pathetic selection of spin over fast bowling and that too having two half fit bowlers in Gul and Asif -- what a disaster of sorts!!

    Shame on PCB ..err I guess I am expecting too much out of a unit selected by the incapable gang of thugs spearheaded by Busharraf and Co.

    Oh in the end shame on all the paindoos who wanted Inzamam to break Javed Miandad's record..but fate had only humiliation engraved for Inzamam and then for Pakistan....

    Pakistan Zindabad Pakistan Paendabad

  • Haroon on October 12, 2007, 23:35 GMT

    Glaring Weak Links in Pak team: (1) Kamran Akmal's glove work behind the wicket. He dropped Kallis in Karachi. He always does that. Yeah he batted well in Lahore but in seaming condition and greener wickets he is usually toast quickly (2) Kaneria: He's predictable and average. Bowls 50 overs in every innings and usually take 3 wickets for 125 runs (3) Lack of an opener. Fix these three and Pak will be top 3 very quickly.

  • SAZ on October 12, 2007, 23:14 GMT

    Pakistan cricket ills stem from one problem that is delusion and denial in the face of evidence. What I am going to say is painful but true. The cricketers you think are great are indeed very ordinary. Inzamam brought back to go past Minadad' record and failing symblise that malaise. When did Yousuf Younus khan played a brave innings of substance in a tough competition in SA,ENGLAND OR AUSTRALIA? All of their mnocks comes in irrelevent games at home against India SL or perhaps England. Yet all Pakistanis are quick to put these batsmen on a pedastal from there they are difficut to dislodge. There are some palyers who not only play badly on a consistent basis but infect a malaise in the team at a very bad time, recently Pakistan had Rana,Kaneria ,sami but the top of the list must be Mohd Hafeez and Shahid Afridi.So many good starts and oppurtunities are squanderd by these players the most recent one in T20 world cup. I bet it will take 20 years before Pakistan get a chance like this coming so close to a world title. Matches are won by brave souls and not tame batsman who masquerade as 'greats'the sooner pakistan get rid of them the better. Only batsman(( Ponting,Gilchrist,Yuvraj,Tendulkar,Kallis and Lara) who perform when it matters are worthy of title great sadly no pakistan batsman is in that category.So plaes pause and stop before heaoing praise on these palyers after an odd knock and make a habit of jusging 10 consecutive innings of substance as a benchmark of quality ,if a batsman has performed well

  • Osman Ali Khairi on October 12, 2007, 23:13 GMT

    Firstly, let me start off by congratulating Elle. She hasn’t contributed anything as yet but I have a sneaky feeling that within a few hours, perhaps when her kids stop pestering her, she most certainly will ;)

    Secondly, our batsmen are incapable of holding their own against a formidable bowling line up, be it on a flat batting paradise, as was evident during our abysmal performance in the first innings (which in retrospect, I believe, cost us the game!). As a corollary, all those crying out for green pitches should specify which side they support? For Pakistan, as unfortunate as it may be, is generally unable to put bat to ball on seaming tracks. As much as it hurts to bring this up, even teams like Ireland can give us a rough time on bowler friendly pitches. Hence, all this talk of leaving grass on the pitch should really be tossed out of the window, especially if we’re now focusing our attention on the series against Australia. Having said that, let me reiterate that I acquiesce with you Kamran bhai when you say that the ‘let’s spin ’em out’ strategy has backfired quite spectacularly and not for the first time, if I may add. This is also accentuated by the fact that Kaneria, for some incongruous reason, is unable to run through sides despite being able to prodigiously spin the ball at times and having several variations at his disposal:S Hence, keeping this in mind, I believe that we should adopt a middle ground approach. An approach which results in us preparing a ‘sporting’ track, a track similar to the one we had in Lahore. So that Asif and Gul and hopefully, a fully fit, drug free and unarmed Shoaib can get some assistance and put the opposition batsmen in a spot of bother. That, to me, is our best chance of toppling the mighty Australians.

    Also, though, I was pleased with the way Yousuf and Younis batted, I was perplexed to see them not giving it their very best to chase down the target. I am not an idealist or someone who is unaware of the fact that historically, very few teams have scored in excess of 300, in their fourth innings, let alone 400. However, as things stood today, a draw was resulting in us losing the series anyway. Fact is, I am unable to take much solace in the fact that’s it’s a 1-0 defeat. It’s a loss at the end of the day and that’s what eventually matters. I’d rather have seen these guys trying their utmost to win the game, especially after the first extended session when the South Africans seemed to be on the back foot. We should have taken the game to them and tried our best to overhaul the score. And if we had lost wickets in the process and lost the game, well so be it. It wouldn’t have altered the end result; a predicted series defeat to South Africa, right? At least, that way I would have been proud of the boys and their never say die attitude. This is perhaps, why I was thrilled to see Inzi come out all guns blazing. It didn’t work and well, in hindsight, looked rather silly. But hey, he made the EFFORT to WIN the game and frankly, for me, that was a fitting end to a great and illustrious career.

    In addition, I have noticed an overwhelming segment of the bloggers here castigating Younis Khan, all the time. Younis, despite being a consistent performer for Pakistan, especially in the test arena, is always criticized here for some reason or the other. I just hope his century will help to silence the critics on this blog for the time being. It’s ridiculous really, more so when you consider the number of supporters that idiot Afridi has: S

    Lastly, I was surprised and a touch upset, to see no one booing Nasim Ashraf at the presentation ceremony today: S How on earth did he get away with that?

  • EAMIRAN on October 12, 2007, 22:51 GMT

    I will say it again: 1. Malik's/Pakistan's ridiculous tactics bordered on the cowardly. Tactics that were adopted unsuccessfully (mostly to secure draws) by Pakistan in the 60's, and discarded in the late 70's. This has already left one bowler injured and I am sure by the end of the 1 day series Gul will also have some sort of a niggle that will render him ineffectual in India. Continuing to believe that it was the correct approach is being muleish or "akhroat-ish". 2. As long as Pakistan's undying fascination with the shorter format of the game continues - it will continue to churn out "fast-food" cricketer's - good for the Sunday slog but hopeless in Big-Boy cricket. This hurts our batting more, since batting is more about honing one's technique rather than relying on raw talent alone(as fast bowler's might). 3. The PCB must discard, with immediate effect, tried and tested players who are consistent non-performers, regardless of their "potential". The revolving-door policy is hurting the team. New blood must be introduced. 4. We must stop saying that there is an abundance of talent in Pakistan. This is a falsehood. While there is still some (not a lot) bowling talent available, there is very little batting talent. Our perennial opening-pair conundrum is proof of this. With Inzi's retirement Pakistan has 2 real world-class batsmen left - Younis and Yousuf. 4. Pakistan must prepare bouncy, green pitches for domestic and International cricket. This is the only way forward. 5. It is quite possible and also probable that Pakistan cricket will plunge further down in test cricket. The team looks anaemic without the big "3" of batting (of which 1 has retired and the other is closer to it than not) and also Shoaib Akhter. Asif needs someone rapid from the other end to be successful, or a little more help from the wicket. Gul is honest and little else. He has lost both swing and seam, as was evident whenever he bowled. Kaneria should talk a little less and get more wickets. I fear some more pummeling coming our way in test cricket.

    Long live McDonalds, MTV and 20/20.

  • Ashaq on October 12, 2007, 22:34 GMT

    First of all Eid Mubarak to each and every person out there.

    Success is all about attitude,the burning desire to win and the Will to make it happen.so here is my take.

    Salman Butt: Needs to overcome the demons of self doubt, the poor Kid is going through a crisis of Self Confidence. So he should go and Chill with Sarfraz Nawaz develop an attitude, become obnoxious, arrogant and develop some delusions of grandeur. Otherwise he is gonna remain a shrinking violet a damsel in distress forever. Being picked and dropped has shattered his confidence. So Salman Bro, In the Words of Muhammad Ali.." self belief is everything impossible is nothing."

    Kamran Akmal, he needs to learn how to catch, very simple, batting improved in this series so learn how to catch dude. or this Young confident and Cocky kid, called Sarfraz Ahmed is gonna take that spot. So atleast improve your reflexes and reaction, start playing Squash or Something as Part of your training regime.Most importantly learn to catch.

    Asim Kamal, another guy whose confidence got shattered since he last got dropped. His performance in domestic cricket has gone downhill. so he needs to realise life is not fair, sure he was treated badly. so to Make it back into the Squad, the man should develop an image hire an agent. Grow a Pony tail, get your ears pierced. Make guest appearances on every Tom,dick and Harry T.v. show to keep his profile in the News. Beat up a few Journalists,Preferably Indian ones. He will become an instant hit. It will help create a massive public campaign to get him back in the Team. He will also have Sponsors Knocking on the door Man controversy sells. Because lets face it the guy looks like your average rickshaw driver. If Prisoners where forced to watch him play, They would scream torture....Or else he should buy himself a Rickshaw, and strat a new Career nothing wrong with that profession, a very suitable job for him.

    Misbah ulhaq, well big, big, mistake for being the only guy in the team to actually show his real age. So if he gets dropped, they is not gonna be any way back " His too old we need fresh blood.." The critics will shout.

    So Misbah remember Luck is being prepared when opportunity presents itself. Take the Bull by the horns and show people what you is made off.

    Shoaib Akhtar, Man the trantrums are growing tiresome..the Public is getting fed up. Pretty soon the Sponsors will lose faith and invest the money in some other player. so if that happens the P.c.b is gonna kick you out, for good, they will realise this goose no longer lays them Golden eggs. Soften the image do the unexpected, Join Inzamam on them Tablighi missions. Do your " I am a changed man routine." THe James Dean " Rebel Without a Cause" act no longer carries the appeal.

    Danish Kaneria, aim the Ball at them stumps and start taking wickets. No point flashing the feathers like a Peacock, if you is not getting them wickets. Pretty soon some young guy is gonna come along, and you will be yesterdays news. Then you will end up like Marlon Brando Crying.." I coulda been somebody, I coulda been a Contender." Well at this rate you are never gonna Match the 2 Mushys, forget the likes of Warne and Muralitharan.

    Shoaib Malik, pretend to be nice to these Journalists. They cannot handle the Truth. so be a bit more diplomatic, or else they going to launch a campaign against you.Yeah also take that number Three spot in the Batting order.

    Younis Khan, refuse to bat at three, And make the retirement from the one day side permanent.Or else the writing is on the Wall.

    Most Importantly, Nasim Ashraf, needs to learn Cricket now Busharaff is never gonna remove him from his post. so the guy should atleast go on a course or something to learn about cricket.

    Yo, Doctor Nasim sahib, You cannot apply the Principles of Gynaecology to Cricket. Its like a total different sport old chap...Its like Chalk and cheese.

  • Shalal on October 12, 2007, 22:25 GMT

    Completely agree .Pakistan has always had this mindset of trying to nullify the oppositions strength. The only time positivity was evident in their planning was when Imran was captain. Surprisingly though Paul Harris caused more problems for Pakistani batsmen than Kaneria posed to the S.A line up. Harris, in honesty is an ordinary spinner ; has no credentials to be otherwise. Kaneria on the other hand is billed as a real weapon and 9 out of 10 times has failed to deliver. Rehman is very ordinary as well. One can only hope that we start recognising the fact that whatever little talent there is in Pakistan cricket, lies wit our pacemen.7th in the world is not being unkind; lets just hope there isnt a seriess against WI or Bangladesh in the near future!

  • Javed on October 12, 2007, 22:13 GMT

    "To err is human" ..n i do believe our unduely- underfire captain, is human. I agree - the 2 spinner strategy was wrong it shud have been either danish or rehman.. But other then that..i completely agree with tyche (seems like a sensible man-which unfortunately Kamran is not acting like one) ..in the contest of the fact that its a young team..under a young captain who has much much to learn (just his first test series as captain!)..has done exceptionally well. The difference b/w the two teams has been Kallis (who is a world class player-the class of whom cud not be matched by anyother SA or PAK player, since yousuf was not playing in the lost test)

    Other then that part, even with a young side, captain and coach i think we did well.

    Everybody makes a few mistakes. A few catches were dropped (2 of kallis). The strategy was a lil over ambitious to put it lightly. But come on..give it time..dont pull out your knives so soon..

    Well done Mailk, Better Luck Next Time, sport!

    p.s: if anything, i think our biggest problem lies in preparing dead pitches, when our strength should be our pace battery!

  • Aarif on October 12, 2007, 22:03 GMT

    as i had predicted in my comment after the team lost to India in the Twenty20 final, the Pakistani batting line folded in this series and unfortunately the bowlers could not keep the momentum going. Salman Butt, the vice captain's place in as a specailist opener should be a non playing one. He is a lousy fielder and even worst batsmen. Why is he in the team? No one including the selectors know. Kamran Akmal dropped the crucial catch in the first Test. He is dropping more catches than he can grab. These are the players who are on a downward spiral. How long they will be selected and paid a handsome amount ($) for robbing talented players positions, is still anybody's guess. The only good news is that we are almost near the bottom (no. 7) and only West Indies and Bangladesh are below us but for how long?

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on October 12, 2007, 21:28 GMT

    I do not know if my comments will find space in your blog because all my previous comments (at least last three) were not considered appropriate enough to make it public. I do hope you do not have any personal grudges…

    I do not see any miscalculation anywhere by anyone. The results were very much expected, but I am extremely happy to see Miandad’s aggregate still intact. It was a matter of great shame to bring Inzamam back for one Test just to break Minadad’s record. Inzamam’s yet another selfish approach very rightly let him down…..and I am so happy with the outcome.

    Pakistan’s middle order bating is in very fragile shape. I don’t know what will happen after departure of Younis and Yousef. No matter who is the coach, captain, trainer or PCB chairman…future of Pakistan cricket is bleak and depressive of the highest order.

  • Hassan on October 12, 2007, 21:26 GMT

    PCB selection sucks. For home series, they choose final playing 11, and perhaps had made Shoaib Malik take blame if he wants to keep captaincy. No way in world you should play with 2 seamers only. Just plain stupid

  • Badar Siddiqi on October 12, 2007, 21:18 GMT

    Well said, Mr.Abbasi. You've covered pretty much all the areas that needed immediate attention. That Pakistan avoided a white wash in the test series is indeed a blessing in disguise. With a defensive captain, an out of form and extremely irresposible vice captain, flat lifeless pitches, and horrible team composition, we sure were asking to be punished and humiliated badly. All credit goes to Smith and his men for their positive play; they refused to be bogged down by the flat pitches and warm weather. It was purely a team work by South Africa and each of the 11 players contributed at some point towards the team's triumph. Their body language suggested that they were here to win, and win comprehensively. They showed the energy, the spirit, the guts, and the smartness needed at the top level. They played like a top class team and thoroughly deserved the win. Sadly it was just the opposite for Pakistan. They all looked like worn out horses that had lost direction. The bowling attack was listless and non-threatening. The batting was totally out of depth even on the final day because the way the batsmen were playing, slow run rate and over cautious approach, it wasn't upto test class.

    Pakistan started the series with negative mind set and failed to correct their mistakes. South Africa could have brought an additional spinner with them but they relied on their best men to deliver the goods and they did. They played their best 11 for both matches and Pollock's omission is a great example that he didn't fit in their scheme of work. Paul Harris performed better than both Kaneria and Abdul Rehman together. Opening with the keeper is never a good idea for a test match. This may work in ODIs but not over a five day match. It affects keeper's main role, wicketkeeping. Pakistan need to find an immediate solution to their long time head ache of finding the right opening pair. Furthermore, they need to have a variety in the middle order by having a left hander and Asim Kamal deserves a chance now. Shoaib Malik is a young captain and he must act aggressively and the sooner he breaks the shackles of negative mind set the better of he will be. Pace is Pakistan's strength and they must not ignore that fact. We're fortunate enough to have the likes of Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif, Rao Iftikhar, Mohammad Sami, Shahid Nazir, Rana Naveed and Shabbir Ahmed available first hand and promising rookies like Najaf Shah, Mohammad Irshad, Sohail Tanvir and Abdul Rauf waiting for their chance. I hope Pakistan's strength in India will be pace, not spin because even Australia didn't play Warne and McGill together there. If we're struggling to make 300 in an innings and failing to take 20 wickets on our own grounds then that must be sorted out immediately. Shame on Salman Butt for trying to cover his own weaknesses by publicly criticizing much respected umpires Taufel and Benson. He needs to pay attention to his game first before looking for excuses. The way he got out in the second innings is a clear sign that he never worked on his faulty technique and keeps on depriving other promising opening players in the team. He needs to be butted out immediately. Lets hope we learn from our mistakes here and don't repeat the miscalculations on the Indian trip and when we host the Aussies next spring.

  • Adam Nadir on October 12, 2007, 21:10 GMT

    No doubt, Pakistan is long over due for greener pitches. Asif' latest injury is a scare and a reminder that this level of over-exertion on bowlers part must come to an end. Sensible planning is required desperately on PCBs' part. Omar Gul was lucky enough to survive a spinal fracture a few years ago. But next time around Pakistan bowlers may not be that lucky. Brown-to-Green is an absolute must. Pakistan pitches were diagnosed nearly two years ago by the New Zealand ground experts as in dire need of re-conditioning. They should be asked to come back and help PCB out.

  • Vajahat Banday on October 12, 2007, 21:10 GMT

    Pakistan got what they deserved. By adopting the illusionary spin supremacy strategy, they got the taste of it second time in about 7 years (first time in 2000 against England). Well, what can you say for such a foolish thinking? Of course, it was their new captains call, who by the way doesn't warrant a place in the test team. Thank goodness, who will say he is a thinking captain after the recent debacle and drubbing at the hands of Proteas. Shoib keep thinking like this and you will bring more laurels to Pakistan.

  • Muwaddat on October 12, 2007, 20:58 GMT

    Please, get rid of Kaneria. Why Pak rate him to be their premier spinner is beyond me...

  • EHU on October 12, 2007, 20:57 GMT

    The fact that AbdulRehman got 8 wickets in the first test didn't helped. They were reluctant to drop their most wicket taking bowler of the first test & were not thinking of dropping Kaneria (the "match winner"). This is where the aussies has been brilliant, even though in the few matches Warne & Macgill have played together (specially in sydney), & often Macgill has performed fantastically well & better than Warne, still they didn't hesitated to drop him from the next game as Warne was their premium spinner.......THEY DIDN'T CAHNGE THEIR STRATEGY FOR ONE INDIVIDUAL i.e. THEY DIDNT PREPARED SLOW TRACKS TO KEEP HIM IN THE ELEVEN.

    The more you depend on Kaneria, the most he disappoints. Kamran is right, he can best used to complement the pace.

  • Munir on October 12, 2007, 20:50 GMT

    Well its really doesnt matter. Pakistan's entire team is a wrong selection. I personally think Pakistani players should not be selected in the team unless they pass BA/BS degrees. I think they lack education. Education brings tactive and sharpness in any player. Our players are JAHAL. They are college drop outs and they have no analytical and tactical skills. I personally think Salman butt, Muhammad Hafeez, Faisal Iqbal, Dinesh Kanaria, Afridi and some other new players should be kicked out and banned. We have tested them for longer period of times and they have no glamor plus talent. Pakistan should search for talent nationwide and recruit players based on talent. We need talents like Imran Khan, Miandad, Izimam, Waqar Younus, Waseem Akram and Saleem Malik. Now all of the players we have are all JUNKIES. One more interesting thing, we have a JUNKIES PCB's Chairman. We have no system in place, cricket is dying like hockey... only GOD CAN SAVE CRICKET IN PAKISTAN.

  • ZESH on October 12, 2007, 20:43 GMT

    Going with 6 specialist batsmen & only 4 bowlers doesnt make any sense..There should have been an genuine allrounder in the side like afridi or razzaq who could have batted like a tiger when required just like the last day of the 2nd test & shared the work load of the poor bowlers keeping them fresh.. Since afridi opted out of the series,PCB should have contacted razzaq as they had done with yousuf because in my opinion he has won us more matches(specifically ODI's)than what yousuf has did,with his nippy seem bowling & some awesome display of powerhitting,single handedly wining us matches.. Pakistan is wasting razzaq & they should deeply think of bringing him back..

  • khalid on October 12, 2007, 20:40 GMT

    Although I'm a big fan of Shoaib Malik but in all honesty I was surprised big time by a certain decisions he took. The 1st and the foremost is sticking with 2 spinners & 2 fast bowlers strategy followed by losing most of his trust by under using the pacemen in both tests(Ok ! Asif was injured in the 2nd innings of the 2nd test). Then instead of trying to bowl himself ,he used Younis Khan which just confused me big time. Danish Kaneria is one spinner who is never ever going to be the big match winner they have always talked about.He is overrated big time , Rehman did his job fine but Pakistani bowling attack just look terrible and that's why they were dominated by SA's batting and in turn they failed to take the 20 wickets in either of the 2 tests. Batting looked extremely shaky and under immense pressure which I have not seen before at least at Home. They other thing which surprising was that our young and dynamic captain who also happens to be a bold one never even tried to go for the win which was not easy but still a possibility especially after surving last night & even the pre lunch session today for the lost of Only Butt(Why is he in the team ?? Only becuase he is the only one who can speak English ? It is mind Boggling ) & Akmal. From lunch to tea their was not even a remote sign showed by the Pakistanis that they want to win this match (A part from poor Inzy ,who wanted to win the game single handedly). Even if that was the plan then why did Yousaf come out at # 4. They should have sent Inzy earlier. Malik's remarks that they wanted to survive till tea and then go for the kill does not make any sense as it was the Friday and the last session was the way too late. To be fair to Malik it was his 1st Test series and it was definately against a better team , so we have to give him some time and then see how he is going to learn from some of these big blunders he did .

  • Arvind on October 12, 2007, 20:38 GMT

    I dont know why they went ahead with two spinners. they should have picked sohail tanveer atleast for a variety. i still dont understand why they have failed to find good opening pair.until they find a steady opening pair pak is going to struggle. I dont know how PCB can allow afridi to chose whether to play or not .This is absolute rubbish.In the recent years it is very clear afridi's spin is more threatening than danish kaneria. kaneria does not run through a side like kumble or harbajan.So definitely afridi has to be in the side mainly as a bowler who can bat. Unless they sort out these they cannot win a test series

  • EHU on October 12, 2007, 20:28 GMT

    The strategy for this series was based on the assumption & hope that Pakistan will win the toss & bat first, batsmen will put the runs on the board & the spinners will take advantange in the fourth innings.

    So, the result of this series shows that in order to win a test match, the batsman should be able to put sufficient runs on the board & the bowlers need to get 20 wickets. But surely neither department did their job 100%, batting first or not....

    Its time that Pakistan must stop considering Kaneria as a match winner. He can win a match for Pakistan once in a while but surely you cant be dependant on him & base your strategy on that.

    I agree that the absence of the bad boy was one of the main reason for this plan.

    I hope that they dont repeat this strategy for any future home series.

    & you cant blame the pitch & excuse Inzamam for the shot he played. This is the way he has been playing spin for the whole of his career & unluckily he missed the shot today.

    Malik has really disappointed as a test captain but one can really hope that he learns quickly because we cant afford such mistakes in the tour to India & Aus home series...

  • senior player on October 12, 2007, 20:17 GMT

    pathetic display by a meek looking team. as they say first step to resolving a problem is to identify it, our captains, boards live in a state of denial. spin bowling = defensive approach. Is it me or pakistan team really looks fearful on the ground? pakistan players = pussycats

  • Usman on October 12, 2007, 20:12 GMT

    I don't understand why a good test player like Asim Kamal is going through constant injustice, why experiments are going on with opening position, why they are not giving salman butt and yasir hamid a constant chance to open?

  • usman on October 12, 2007, 20:01 GMT

    u r write. v lose and there is no excuse. but the question is when v r going to change ourself?.. and the 1 important question i wanna ask that if shoaib malik saying that we havn't got out from 20 twenty then why didnt we win today. bcz the equation was quite simple .we needed just 6,7 runs in over...... and yes all that spin mantra at home grounds. we were playing with 2 spinners in which 1 was playing his 2nd test and the other alwayz require 15 overs to get lose. last thing i wanna say iz that we need a allrounder like razzaq who can provide a little more in both batting and bowling..

  • omar hussain on October 12, 2007, 19:54 GMT

    Let's face the facts:SA outplayed Pakistan in all departments of the game and their determination,discipline and undying spirits deserves the success they achieved.Pakistan,even after encountering roughly the same side in SA had no strategy or plan for the series except the doubtfull and misguided theory of spinning pitches.That was a stupid mistake to have only two pace bowlers in both matches where both proved ineffective.Tanvir should have been given a chance or Fawad Alam in place of Abdul Rehman in the 2nd. Test.Pakistani batsmen are alarmingly suspect to extreme pace and woefull against slow bowling; SA had done their homework well knowing how our batsmen fall like nine pins to Harminson and Panesar in England.I don't believe Harris is that good but he was far better than Kaneria who bowled below par.Pakistan should stick to their pace bowlers,a shock bowler like Sami would have helped,and learn to play slow left arm spin where they were like myopics.Younis played well as did Yousuf and Akmal but Shoaib Malik and the rest were like cats on hot bricks against the fast bowlers.I wonder what will happen on faster,bouncier pitches...i shudder to think.

  • Rex Wood on October 12, 2007, 19:51 GMT

    Kamran, your analysis is spot on. I would only add that the "smart young captain" would be a little smarter if he admitted error. The error was the spin strategy. He should also stop whining about the change from 20/20 to Test cricket; professionals have to adapt all the time.

  • Amin M - Toronto (North Yrok) on October 12, 2007, 19:50 GMT

    Pakistan Cricket board should take the responsibility for the series defeat, They are a bunch of unprofessional people. I can't blame any player, there was no strategy whatsoever, they never thought of what kind of pitches they will make, every country's cricket board take this advantage, but our board only knows to cut grass at the very last moment, look at the team they picked, Hafeez, I dont think could be a test player, Inzamam I cant understand the logic behind his selection, the only motive for him is to surpass the Great Miandad's reocrd, but unfortunately he couldnt break it, instead we could have picked Asim Kalam who has been constantly ignored by the selection committee, Taufeeq should be in the team, but they did not pick him, instead I bet that they will pick him for the one dayers, Danish was a big disappointment, he is not a match winner & I strongly agree that we had very good bowlers, like Abdul Qadir, Saqlain & Mushtaq. Danis should understand that he need to bowl more cosistantly rather then bowling 5 diffrent deliveries in one over. Its not like we have not played a test fro long, we have professional players, they should know how to transform there game to diffrent levels of cricket. I wish good luck to Shoaib Malik for the coming one dayers.

    Amin M - Toronto (North Yrok)

  • Tyche on October 12, 2007, 19:41 GMT

    Come on, Kamran, be patient! The problem with both Indian and Pakistani cricket is the amnesia of their fans and supporters. When they win, they are glorified, and when they lose, they are crucified. There are no objective evaluations of strengths and weaknesses. There is no strategizing that strikes an optimal trade-off between long-term progress and short-term success. This is the root cause of all evil in Indian and Pakistani cricket. Your article is a great exemplar of this problem.

    To me, Pakistan performed quite well for a young team. It is wonderful to see some creative thinking on the part of Malik and Lawson, in terms of experimenting with and trying to develop spinners. The only real difference between the two teams was Jacques Kallis. Had Yousuf been available (in shape and form) for the first test, the series would have ended in a draw.

    So, stop complaining and enjoy the new direction of Pakistani cricket. I only wish that India would learn from Pakistan, and gradually phase out their senior cricketers, Sachin, Sourav and Rahul, and invest more in their young cricketers under Dhoni's direction.

  • Shahab Ahmed on October 12, 2007, 19:35 GMT

    Pakistan's miserly series with South Africa can draw attention to a number of problems. Firstly, it is no fault of the captain nor coach as both are fairly new recruits and will very quickly learn from losing matches. The PCB and selection committee are main culprits at hand. Yes, the coach and captain have a hand to play but to wholly blame them both would be unjust to Pakistani cricket. What are the selection committee thinking? Does History not repeat itself? Clearly it does remember the unmemorable Test 2000-2001 England v Pakistan in Pakistan where once again the selection committee adopted a spin strategy? Do they not learn? Secondly, what happened to our friend Sohail Tanvir who bowled I feel so beautifully and with presence in the World Cup 20/20? Alright the 20/20 is a different format and discipline entirely and we already know that Test cricket suggests just that, a long test of mental and physical toughness and to play for prolonged periods. But what about Tanvir, why not include him in this present side as he adds that very spice Pakistan require in the pace bowling attack. And in my view ban Akhtar from all forms of the game as his arrogance has got the better of him for a long time now, Pakistan could do without such a soul destroyer. Cheers!!

  • Sajjad on October 12, 2007, 19:27 GMT

    The problem I have always had with the pakistan team is their mind set. The lack killer instinct by this I mean if the team or a player has performed well in a match or a tournament they feel they have done enough and can take it easy. They had a couple of good games in 20/20 but they failed when it mattered. They lost to a team twice with out a coach. The team looke much prepared in both the matches. Any way enough said about that. The team and management thinking they have done enough move to SA series. Team selection was wrong.Can not see why they chose 2 spiners, when Danish Kaneria there prime choice will get 2 to 3 wickets after bowling 30 odd overs and giving over a 100 runs. His country statistics are not much different, if Afridi bowls as many overs I can bet he will have a lot more wickets. In this series no younger player was induced. I keep seeing pakistani young bowlers out performing their counterparts in under 19. But in last 6 years I have not seen any sucessful high performer given a chance compare that to Indi who we are superior in every right have put through Pathan, RP, etc. I want to see shahid who is pretty quick, Anwar Ali and current under 19 star. Imran Khan, Wasim, Aqib and Waqar all started their international careers at a very young age, why cant these. lets make sure we dont loose them like so many others.

  • Amar on October 12, 2007, 19:15 GMT

    Well pak team is a new time..it will take time ..especiall with a new captain.but its got talent..give it some time..

    but i dont know what will happen once akthar is back..he really is bad influence and may undermine the captain.

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on October 12, 2007, 19:13 GMT

    Success at Twenty20 counts for very little! Welcome to real cricket guys! Home truths! This team minus Shoaib's pace is accurately rated at number 7, only above Bangladesh and West Indies! This is real cricket. 5 days of graft. What happened to the golden boy, Misbah?

  • Daniyal on October 12, 2007, 19:13 GMT

    The only thing that came out of this series for Pakistan was Kamran Akmals batting many people in Pakistan are calling for him to be dropped as his keeping has not been upto standard. I agree play him as a specialist opener. The commitment he showed in his batting after keeping for so long is something that has been lacking in Pakistan Openers for a long time. And Kamran Akmal may perform a lot better in Tests if he plays as an opener

  • Omer Admani on October 12, 2007, 19:09 GMT

    No mention of not attemtpting 6 per over in the last 24 overs?

  • Hamza Shinwari on October 12, 2007, 19:06 GMT

    I completely agree. Since when has spin rather than pace/seamers become Pakistan's strength. Pakistan team management completely miscalculated strategies and blew it. Briefly, it was bad selection and poor fielding which cost us for sure the first test if not the series. I hope and pray that Malik and Lawson can re-think their strategies for the Indian tour.

  • Kiran on October 12, 2007, 18:55 GMT

    It is very sad to see sub continent teams loose home series. Are the batsmen so weak kneed to play on dead wickets? See the last ODI India played against AUS - 148. It is indeed painful to see the sub-continent giants play such pathetic cricket on their home soil.

    India lost to Aus last time they played at home, now Pakistan loose to SAF on dead wickets. On both the sides there are no quality spinners (barring the ever fighting Kumble). Have we lost on the ACE we always possessed?

    The board on either side is always into their own world of making money & so called promotions of other countries - have you ever introspected what has happened to your home team -- NO..NEVER.. All that is done is to find a scapegoat.

    if AUS/SAF/ENG can tailor their wickets to suit their bowling why shouldn't we? Hope we do find good quality spinners (not defensive/restrictive) to carry on the legacy - bowlers who are not afraid to toss the ball or turn the ball square.

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  • Kiran on October 12, 2007, 18:55 GMT

    It is very sad to see sub continent teams loose home series. Are the batsmen so weak kneed to play on dead wickets? See the last ODI India played against AUS - 148. It is indeed painful to see the sub-continent giants play such pathetic cricket on their home soil.

    India lost to Aus last time they played at home, now Pakistan loose to SAF on dead wickets. On both the sides there are no quality spinners (barring the ever fighting Kumble). Have we lost on the ACE we always possessed?

    The board on either side is always into their own world of making money & so called promotions of other countries - have you ever introspected what has happened to your home team -- NO..NEVER.. All that is done is to find a scapegoat.

    if AUS/SAF/ENG can tailor their wickets to suit their bowling why shouldn't we? Hope we do find good quality spinners (not defensive/restrictive) to carry on the legacy - bowlers who are not afraid to toss the ball or turn the ball square.

  • Hamza Shinwari on October 12, 2007, 19:06 GMT

    I completely agree. Since when has spin rather than pace/seamers become Pakistan's strength. Pakistan team management completely miscalculated strategies and blew it. Briefly, it was bad selection and poor fielding which cost us for sure the first test if not the series. I hope and pray that Malik and Lawson can re-think their strategies for the Indian tour.

  • Omer Admani on October 12, 2007, 19:09 GMT

    No mention of not attemtpting 6 per over in the last 24 overs?

  • Daniyal on October 12, 2007, 19:13 GMT

    The only thing that came out of this series for Pakistan was Kamran Akmals batting many people in Pakistan are calling for him to be dropped as his keeping has not been upto standard. I agree play him as a specialist opener. The commitment he showed in his batting after keeping for so long is something that has been lacking in Pakistan Openers for a long time. And Kamran Akmal may perform a lot better in Tests if he plays as an opener

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on October 12, 2007, 19:13 GMT

    Success at Twenty20 counts for very little! Welcome to real cricket guys! Home truths! This team minus Shoaib's pace is accurately rated at number 7, only above Bangladesh and West Indies! This is real cricket. 5 days of graft. What happened to the golden boy, Misbah?

  • Amar on October 12, 2007, 19:15 GMT

    Well pak team is a new time..it will take time ..especiall with a new captain.but its got talent..give it some time..

    but i dont know what will happen once akthar is back..he really is bad influence and may undermine the captain.

  • Sajjad on October 12, 2007, 19:27 GMT

    The problem I have always had with the pakistan team is their mind set. The lack killer instinct by this I mean if the team or a player has performed well in a match or a tournament they feel they have done enough and can take it easy. They had a couple of good games in 20/20 but they failed when it mattered. They lost to a team twice with out a coach. The team looke much prepared in both the matches. Any way enough said about that. The team and management thinking they have done enough move to SA series. Team selection was wrong.Can not see why they chose 2 spiners, when Danish Kaneria there prime choice will get 2 to 3 wickets after bowling 30 odd overs and giving over a 100 runs. His country statistics are not much different, if Afridi bowls as many overs I can bet he will have a lot more wickets. In this series no younger player was induced. I keep seeing pakistani young bowlers out performing their counterparts in under 19. But in last 6 years I have not seen any sucessful high performer given a chance compare that to Indi who we are superior in every right have put through Pathan, RP, etc. I want to see shahid who is pretty quick, Anwar Ali and current under 19 star. Imran Khan, Wasim, Aqib and Waqar all started their international careers at a very young age, why cant these. lets make sure we dont loose them like so many others.

  • Shahab Ahmed on October 12, 2007, 19:35 GMT

    Pakistan's miserly series with South Africa can draw attention to a number of problems. Firstly, it is no fault of the captain nor coach as both are fairly new recruits and will very quickly learn from losing matches. The PCB and selection committee are main culprits at hand. Yes, the coach and captain have a hand to play but to wholly blame them both would be unjust to Pakistani cricket. What are the selection committee thinking? Does History not repeat itself? Clearly it does remember the unmemorable Test 2000-2001 England v Pakistan in Pakistan where once again the selection committee adopted a spin strategy? Do they not learn? Secondly, what happened to our friend Sohail Tanvir who bowled I feel so beautifully and with presence in the World Cup 20/20? Alright the 20/20 is a different format and discipline entirely and we already know that Test cricket suggests just that, a long test of mental and physical toughness and to play for prolonged periods. But what about Tanvir, why not include him in this present side as he adds that very spice Pakistan require in the pace bowling attack. And in my view ban Akhtar from all forms of the game as his arrogance has got the better of him for a long time now, Pakistan could do without such a soul destroyer. Cheers!!

  • Tyche on October 12, 2007, 19:41 GMT

    Come on, Kamran, be patient! The problem with both Indian and Pakistani cricket is the amnesia of their fans and supporters. When they win, they are glorified, and when they lose, they are crucified. There are no objective evaluations of strengths and weaknesses. There is no strategizing that strikes an optimal trade-off between long-term progress and short-term success. This is the root cause of all evil in Indian and Pakistani cricket. Your article is a great exemplar of this problem.

    To me, Pakistan performed quite well for a young team. It is wonderful to see some creative thinking on the part of Malik and Lawson, in terms of experimenting with and trying to develop spinners. The only real difference between the two teams was Jacques Kallis. Had Yousuf been available (in shape and form) for the first test, the series would have ended in a draw.

    So, stop complaining and enjoy the new direction of Pakistani cricket. I only wish that India would learn from Pakistan, and gradually phase out their senior cricketers, Sachin, Sourav and Rahul, and invest more in their young cricketers under Dhoni's direction.

  • Amin M - Toronto (North Yrok) on October 12, 2007, 19:50 GMT

    Pakistan Cricket board should take the responsibility for the series defeat, They are a bunch of unprofessional people. I can't blame any player, there was no strategy whatsoever, they never thought of what kind of pitches they will make, every country's cricket board take this advantage, but our board only knows to cut grass at the very last moment, look at the team they picked, Hafeez, I dont think could be a test player, Inzamam I cant understand the logic behind his selection, the only motive for him is to surpass the Great Miandad's reocrd, but unfortunately he couldnt break it, instead we could have picked Asim Kalam who has been constantly ignored by the selection committee, Taufeeq should be in the team, but they did not pick him, instead I bet that they will pick him for the one dayers, Danish was a big disappointment, he is not a match winner & I strongly agree that we had very good bowlers, like Abdul Qadir, Saqlain & Mushtaq. Danis should understand that he need to bowl more cosistantly rather then bowling 5 diffrent deliveries in one over. Its not like we have not played a test fro long, we have professional players, they should know how to transform there game to diffrent levels of cricket. I wish good luck to Shoaib Malik for the coming one dayers.

    Amin M - Toronto (North Yrok)