Openers October 23, 2007

Afridi: Back where he belongs

Shahid Afridi was on a roll today
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Shahid Afridi was on a roll today. An incisive bowling performance has become a norm, a stunning catch was within the realms of expectation, but the sight of Afridi striding out to open the batting was the most welcome surprise. He might not like it but it's the best place for him in limited-overs cricket. Another welcome sight was an opportunity for Yasir Hameed even though he fluffed it. Pakistan must be flexible in their selection and their approach. It would be equally welcome to see another wicketkeeper given a try. Kamran Akmal's current run is no good for him or Pakistan cricket. This drip-drop Akmal torture must end.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 3, 2007, 17:55 GMT

    It will be one of the worst things to happen in the history of cricket in Pakistan, if this tour is called off due to the declaration of Emergency in Pakistan.

    The same doubts are also being aired on cricinfo and more news to follow in the next few hours. It all depends on the General's speech today!

    I don't understand how the state of emergency in Pakistan can affect the matches being played in India? He should be really stupid if he calls this tour off. He should not only allow them to play but he should also open the private TV channels (which have been closed since last night) to air the live matches. At least some people will stay indoors and watch cricket rather than going out and protesting, especially if they have nothing else to do they will go out. I don't think there is any kind of danger for the team, as India has already deployed additional security forces on the ground and also assured for the safety of Pakistani fans, media and the players. So lets hope that the game of cricket can keep the masses together and peace prevails.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 2, 2007, 20:07 GMT

    A win during a warm match match is always a sense of complacency for the Pakistan team. For them it is better to play a major game after a loss, that usually wakes them up and they play well. The Delhi team lost but, Shoaib Akhtar was smashed for a SIX by Dhawan and the whole team jumped up to celebrate. Whether the win should be considered a morale booster or Shoaib giving away 46 runs in ten overs and getting a consolation wicket of a tail-ender also being smashed for a six, is it a sign of worry for the Pakistanis?

    Asif ka hona ya na hona doesn't make much difference for the ODI squad, so they should not even think about his absense. IMO, Umar Gul needs to get back in to his rhythm of inswinging yorkers and that is more important for the team. Rao would be economical but, for whatever reasons best known to Malik and Lawson, Rao was not in the playing XI today. Does that mean they are not playing him in the next match? If not, he too needed a match practice before the ODI. Like, Butt Saheb was given a chance and finally he moved his "IF" today and scored 83 in 84 balls, I hope this is the beginning of his new era.

    Talking of new era, I was surprised to read on BBC sports that "Australia named squad for a new era," I don't understand what that new era is all about? Playing without McGrath is a new era? Pakistan is also without Inzamam, so? In fact after the 2003 WC all of the senior Pakistani players were axed and they formed a new team, wasn't that a new era for Pakistan?

    Anyways, back to the match on 5th in Guwahati, the venue is famous for crowd trouble and also for the early morning fog during this time of the year. India has won 3 matches and lost 3 at Guwahati. I am not sure if Pakistan has played any match there! Whatever it is, winning the toss and batting first would be very important. If Pakistan needs to put pressure on India they have to start with a bang. And Shoaib Akhtar needs to reassert his bowling. Bowling express deliveries is not going to make much difference if he is going to bowl wide and giving width for playing shots. Players like, Sehwag, Dhoni, Yuvraj they all can cut loose. Uthappa has his own style of walking down the pitch and playing a shot over mid-wicket and he has done it well so many times. Therefore, like I said, Umar Gul's yorkers would be the key factor in containing the Indian batting.

  • Muhammad Asif on November 2, 2007, 16:18 GMT

    By doing so you are just demoralising the young guys nothing else....

  • Muhammad Asif on November 2, 2007, 16:16 GMT

    imran nazir, shahid afidi & kamran akmal at the top order shows how naive we are about cricket. Have cricketing sense & don't stop the way of young guys. Give them a chance to find out some new saeed anwar or amir sohail......

  • Nadeem Rajput on November 2, 2007, 14:54 GMT

    Why again Kamaran Akmal, Misba -ul-haq, Imran Nazir & Butt????

    Even now they score in a match.

    This is unfair with the other players who got only one chance or no chance at all.

    In past PCB gave Taufeeq Omer, Asim Kamal (no chance at all), Faisal Iqbal, Fawad Alam (got only one chance recently), Sarfraz Ahmed, Anwer Ali, Jamshead (No chance)

    DOUBLE STANDARD or I need to agree with Saima Above.

    Nadeem Rajput

  • Raja Pakistani on November 2, 2007, 14:31 GMT

    For Saima Khan

    All above players have two things common.

    GUESS WHAT!!!

    1) PUNJABI 2) NOT CONSISTENCE IN PERFORMANCE

    Raja Pakistani LA USA

  • mujtaba hussain on November 2, 2007, 13:24 GMT

    well said jamjar! disappointed as you are brother but i quiver to think of the outcome of the inda/pak series if pakistan dont get their act together.but hey no one can predict the drama of a pak india affair.best of luck pakistan as you will need all the luck you can get.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on November 2, 2007, 11:29 GMT

    Unfortunately, Javed. A. Khan has retorted to my post, on the basis of some erroneous presumptions. But before, I elucidate what I expect from Afridi and try my utmost to demarcate that every story has more than two sides or perspectives, here’s one from Mir Taqi Mir.

    Kia kahay gay hum…Agar koi poochlay Kiss liay aye thay…aur kia kar challay

    Though, my great grandfather Rashid-ul-Khairi was a renowned Urdu writer, I am ashamed to say I don’t have profound or consummate understanding of most Urdu ‘misras’. Hence, if Javed A. Khan could translate Amir Khusro in simple or ‘salees’ Urdu or even English for that matter, it would help. French would be futile. For ‘Comma tale vou’ and ‘Comma Tu Ta Pelle” are all I know. And I’m pretty sure that’s definitely ‘not’ how they’re spelt. But oh, I do know that it’s “lush” and not “Laiysh” as you incorrectly stated.

    This one by Mir Taqi Mir though, encapsulates Afridi’s essence and his impact on the game. Mr. Javed A Khan, and let me just say that I hold your opinions in high regard, not because you’re older but because you back up your logic with rational arguments, I arrived at my ‘bowling quotes’ courtesy Rajesh in his ‘Afridi’s fantastic run’ column. Those averages that I mentioned were not a figment of my imagination but were stated or quoted in that very article. (How convenient of you to completely overlook them but that’s not even the point) For the record, I don’t judge a book by its cover and I ‘always’ do make an effort to look at situations from a well-rounded, dispassionate angle (hence, my support for Younis) but at the end of the day, averages hovering around the late 30’s to the early 40’s during a time frame of 8-10 years, do not in any way justify an individual’s inclusion in the team as a bowler. As a natural ramification, all this twaddle that Afridi has been a consistent bowler for Pakistan should be swept under the carpet. Granted, this year has been phenomenal by ‘his standards’ but never in the past, has he been able to guarantee his position in the side by virtue of his bowling performances.

    I don’t blame for you for being unable to read between the lines in my previous post but what I was trying to say sir, was that Afridi, after having had so much exposure to international cricket, should be able to play ‘according to the match situation’. I mean after more than 250 odis, it’s about fricken time he did. You mistakenly assumed that I and other Afridi critics want him to ‘score big’ in every match. What we want is for him to tone down his aggressive instincts a bit and (that imperatively, is not synonymous with altering his natural game) and play according to the prevailing circumstances. Clearly, in the final odi against SA, when singles were the need of the day, Afridi went about slogging away as if he wasn’t concerned with the team’s cause. I don’t mind losing. But when there is no application or an effort to play sensibly on Afridi’s part, it does bother me. Also, this mindset that the coach has no contribution or nothing useful to offer to us, is one of the fundamental reasons why Afridi hasn’t evolved into a consistent batting all rounder. I don’t know where you work or what you do, but if I told my boss Richard, “I don’t value your input and frankly, I don’t even know why you’re here” I can assure you I’d get fired. I know working at World Bank is very different than playing cricket. But what’s consistent or chronic is that without self-actualization and the effort to ‘constantly improve your game’, you never achieve your goals in life. And at the end of the day, Afridi plays for a national side and when he does something foolish, it is Pakistan that suffers.

    I was in Delhi for the final odi between India and Pakistan (the one you talk about). And I had Pakistan’s flag wrapped around me. And when Afridi went berserk early on, I could hear my voice echoing, “Pakistan Zindabad” despite being engulfed by a sea of Indian supporters. I had goose bumps then. Aah, what a feeling that was….. I hence, think it’s unfair of you to think we are biased and prejudiced when it comes to Shahid Afridi. We love Afridi, because he plays for Pakistan. But just like Wasim Saqib and many others think Younis needs to be more responsible and consistent, we think Afridi needs to get his act together. Can’t you respect our opinion?

  • Awas on November 2, 2007, 10:22 GMT

    After my last posting on Kamran Akmal, I just read in The News that the PCB are actually thinking of giving him a break in the series against Zimbabwe. So, the ideas that we come up often in this Pak Spin are not so bad after all ;-)

  • fhs on November 2, 2007, 2:57 GMT

    Question: If Pakistan win the 1st two ODIs, would it change your negative views and thoughts. I am sure we will start good but you have to promise to write healthy and positive comments then. It is time to support our team on this tough tour of India.

    Go Pakistan!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 3, 2007, 17:55 GMT

    It will be one of the worst things to happen in the history of cricket in Pakistan, if this tour is called off due to the declaration of Emergency in Pakistan.

    The same doubts are also being aired on cricinfo and more news to follow in the next few hours. It all depends on the General's speech today!

    I don't understand how the state of emergency in Pakistan can affect the matches being played in India? He should be really stupid if he calls this tour off. He should not only allow them to play but he should also open the private TV channels (which have been closed since last night) to air the live matches. At least some people will stay indoors and watch cricket rather than going out and protesting, especially if they have nothing else to do they will go out. I don't think there is any kind of danger for the team, as India has already deployed additional security forces on the ground and also assured for the safety of Pakistani fans, media and the players. So lets hope that the game of cricket can keep the masses together and peace prevails.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 2, 2007, 20:07 GMT

    A win during a warm match match is always a sense of complacency for the Pakistan team. For them it is better to play a major game after a loss, that usually wakes them up and they play well. The Delhi team lost but, Shoaib Akhtar was smashed for a SIX by Dhawan and the whole team jumped up to celebrate. Whether the win should be considered a morale booster or Shoaib giving away 46 runs in ten overs and getting a consolation wicket of a tail-ender also being smashed for a six, is it a sign of worry for the Pakistanis?

    Asif ka hona ya na hona doesn't make much difference for the ODI squad, so they should not even think about his absense. IMO, Umar Gul needs to get back in to his rhythm of inswinging yorkers and that is more important for the team. Rao would be economical but, for whatever reasons best known to Malik and Lawson, Rao was not in the playing XI today. Does that mean they are not playing him in the next match? If not, he too needed a match practice before the ODI. Like, Butt Saheb was given a chance and finally he moved his "IF" today and scored 83 in 84 balls, I hope this is the beginning of his new era.

    Talking of new era, I was surprised to read on BBC sports that "Australia named squad for a new era," I don't understand what that new era is all about? Playing without McGrath is a new era? Pakistan is also without Inzamam, so? In fact after the 2003 WC all of the senior Pakistani players were axed and they formed a new team, wasn't that a new era for Pakistan?

    Anyways, back to the match on 5th in Guwahati, the venue is famous for crowd trouble and also for the early morning fog during this time of the year. India has won 3 matches and lost 3 at Guwahati. I am not sure if Pakistan has played any match there! Whatever it is, winning the toss and batting first would be very important. If Pakistan needs to put pressure on India they have to start with a bang. And Shoaib Akhtar needs to reassert his bowling. Bowling express deliveries is not going to make much difference if he is going to bowl wide and giving width for playing shots. Players like, Sehwag, Dhoni, Yuvraj they all can cut loose. Uthappa has his own style of walking down the pitch and playing a shot over mid-wicket and he has done it well so many times. Therefore, like I said, Umar Gul's yorkers would be the key factor in containing the Indian batting.

  • Muhammad Asif on November 2, 2007, 16:18 GMT

    By doing so you are just demoralising the young guys nothing else....

  • Muhammad Asif on November 2, 2007, 16:16 GMT

    imran nazir, shahid afidi & kamran akmal at the top order shows how naive we are about cricket. Have cricketing sense & don't stop the way of young guys. Give them a chance to find out some new saeed anwar or amir sohail......

  • Nadeem Rajput on November 2, 2007, 14:54 GMT

    Why again Kamaran Akmal, Misba -ul-haq, Imran Nazir & Butt????

    Even now they score in a match.

    This is unfair with the other players who got only one chance or no chance at all.

    In past PCB gave Taufeeq Omer, Asim Kamal (no chance at all), Faisal Iqbal, Fawad Alam (got only one chance recently), Sarfraz Ahmed, Anwer Ali, Jamshead (No chance)

    DOUBLE STANDARD or I need to agree with Saima Above.

    Nadeem Rajput

  • Raja Pakistani on November 2, 2007, 14:31 GMT

    For Saima Khan

    All above players have two things common.

    GUESS WHAT!!!

    1) PUNJABI 2) NOT CONSISTENCE IN PERFORMANCE

    Raja Pakistani LA USA

  • mujtaba hussain on November 2, 2007, 13:24 GMT

    well said jamjar! disappointed as you are brother but i quiver to think of the outcome of the inda/pak series if pakistan dont get their act together.but hey no one can predict the drama of a pak india affair.best of luck pakistan as you will need all the luck you can get.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on November 2, 2007, 11:29 GMT

    Unfortunately, Javed. A. Khan has retorted to my post, on the basis of some erroneous presumptions. But before, I elucidate what I expect from Afridi and try my utmost to demarcate that every story has more than two sides or perspectives, here’s one from Mir Taqi Mir.

    Kia kahay gay hum…Agar koi poochlay Kiss liay aye thay…aur kia kar challay

    Though, my great grandfather Rashid-ul-Khairi was a renowned Urdu writer, I am ashamed to say I don’t have profound or consummate understanding of most Urdu ‘misras’. Hence, if Javed A. Khan could translate Amir Khusro in simple or ‘salees’ Urdu or even English for that matter, it would help. French would be futile. For ‘Comma tale vou’ and ‘Comma Tu Ta Pelle” are all I know. And I’m pretty sure that’s definitely ‘not’ how they’re spelt. But oh, I do know that it’s “lush” and not “Laiysh” as you incorrectly stated.

    This one by Mir Taqi Mir though, encapsulates Afridi’s essence and his impact on the game. Mr. Javed A Khan, and let me just say that I hold your opinions in high regard, not because you’re older but because you back up your logic with rational arguments, I arrived at my ‘bowling quotes’ courtesy Rajesh in his ‘Afridi’s fantastic run’ column. Those averages that I mentioned were not a figment of my imagination but were stated or quoted in that very article. (How convenient of you to completely overlook them but that’s not even the point) For the record, I don’t judge a book by its cover and I ‘always’ do make an effort to look at situations from a well-rounded, dispassionate angle (hence, my support for Younis) but at the end of the day, averages hovering around the late 30’s to the early 40’s during a time frame of 8-10 years, do not in any way justify an individual’s inclusion in the team as a bowler. As a natural ramification, all this twaddle that Afridi has been a consistent bowler for Pakistan should be swept under the carpet. Granted, this year has been phenomenal by ‘his standards’ but never in the past, has he been able to guarantee his position in the side by virtue of his bowling performances.

    I don’t blame for you for being unable to read between the lines in my previous post but what I was trying to say sir, was that Afridi, after having had so much exposure to international cricket, should be able to play ‘according to the match situation’. I mean after more than 250 odis, it’s about fricken time he did. You mistakenly assumed that I and other Afridi critics want him to ‘score big’ in every match. What we want is for him to tone down his aggressive instincts a bit and (that imperatively, is not synonymous with altering his natural game) and play according to the prevailing circumstances. Clearly, in the final odi against SA, when singles were the need of the day, Afridi went about slogging away as if he wasn’t concerned with the team’s cause. I don’t mind losing. But when there is no application or an effort to play sensibly on Afridi’s part, it does bother me. Also, this mindset that the coach has no contribution or nothing useful to offer to us, is one of the fundamental reasons why Afridi hasn’t evolved into a consistent batting all rounder. I don’t know where you work or what you do, but if I told my boss Richard, “I don’t value your input and frankly, I don’t even know why you’re here” I can assure you I’d get fired. I know working at World Bank is very different than playing cricket. But what’s consistent or chronic is that without self-actualization and the effort to ‘constantly improve your game’, you never achieve your goals in life. And at the end of the day, Afridi plays for a national side and when he does something foolish, it is Pakistan that suffers.

    I was in Delhi for the final odi between India and Pakistan (the one you talk about). And I had Pakistan’s flag wrapped around me. And when Afridi went berserk early on, I could hear my voice echoing, “Pakistan Zindabad” despite being engulfed by a sea of Indian supporters. I had goose bumps then. Aah, what a feeling that was….. I hence, think it’s unfair of you to think we are biased and prejudiced when it comes to Shahid Afridi. We love Afridi, because he plays for Pakistan. But just like Wasim Saqib and many others think Younis needs to be more responsible and consistent, we think Afridi needs to get his act together. Can’t you respect our opinion?

  • Awas on November 2, 2007, 10:22 GMT

    After my last posting on Kamran Akmal, I just read in The News that the PCB are actually thinking of giving him a break in the series against Zimbabwe. So, the ideas that we come up often in this Pak Spin are not so bad after all ;-)

  • fhs on November 2, 2007, 2:57 GMT

    Question: If Pakistan win the 1st two ODIs, would it change your negative views and thoughts. I am sure we will start good but you have to promise to write healthy and positive comments then. It is time to support our team on this tough tour of India.

    Go Pakistan!

  • Omer Admani on November 2, 2007, 2:48 GMT

    Javed Khan, Akmal has been consistently dropping catches of players since Pakistan went to England. It was a ridiculous 6,7 catches in a single test match innings in SA. The difference between him and a regular fielder, of course, is that he is wearing gloves and, secondly, expecting the ball to come at him every ball. I am sure the test series' in Enlgand, South Africa, and just now in Pakistan would have been won/ much more closely fought if Akmal weren't wicketkeeping. And, what is Shoaib Malik's logic? 'Everyone drops catches'. In other words, you, me, and a regular anybody might as well become the wicket keeper of Pakistan, as 'anybody can drop catches'. This is the mental capcity of the captain. In DAWN it appeared that Malik said that it was a good thing Pakistan lost to SA. Why is he being such a sour loser and diverting the maginitude of losing a test series at home?

    It should be enough of Akmal. I can easily conceive him dropping Tendulkar (or someone else) at a low score and Tendulkar going on to score a big century or a double century. Imagine him dropping Sehwag?

    It will happen, and as I have argued before, he can't collect balls which don't deflect with the bat, so how will he take balls which do? He can't even read the direction of spin out of Afridi's hands and seems to go on the other side when there is a googly.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 2, 2007, 2:40 GMT

    Asaf Pra active

    Since a very long time I have ignored your granny style nagging, but this time you got my attention. The problem is when I write something about Afridi's achievements then dimwits like you and a few more 'nuts and dolts' think that I am living in some sort of DreamPura or KhwabaonKiDuniya. The quote from S. Rajesh, who is known to be an expert guru of numbers on cricinfo was not enough for you or even for those bitter neighbours. They would have gladly accepted it like a word from the Holy Gospel, "IF" it was about Tendulkar. But, the name of Afridi is too big and too heavy for them to digest. And you are also puking due to indigestion because, Afridi is not from Bhawalpur, SheikhuPura, District Khotiyaan, or Tahseel Chichawatni.

    OK, now if you use your Grey Matter i.e., if you have any, here is something for you to ponder and wonder! Out of the 243 matches he was MoM for 18 times, right? I have asked this question à Monsieur Osman Khairi to give me a name of any Pakistani player or any player in the world who has been named MoM 18 times in ODI matches? Now, to answer you baba black cheap question, he scored 4 centuries and 28 fifties, right? Assuming he was MoM each time he scored a hundred, that leaves 14 matches. So, out of the 28 fifties he made, one can assume he was MoM 14 times.

    Which means there are 14 more times when he made 50 plus runs, but he was not MoM. Now, the total amount of his 100's and 50's work out as follows: 100x4=400 and 50x28=1400 that means he scored 1800 runs in fifties and hundreds. (for simple arithmetic purposes, I have rounded off the 100's and 50's) He scored 5166 runs. So, 5166 - 1800 = 3366. Besides, he took 210 wickets and he also took 87 catches, thats what he did in the rest of the matches, samaj ayee? Oh, one more thing he is the only player from Pakistan and the third in the world to have scored 5000+ runs and 200+ wickets in ODI's. Jayasuriya is number one, Jacques Kallis is the second and Shahid Afridi is the third. Afridi has many more years left to play cricket, so you better save your breath to cool your porridge.

    Ashok et Roshandan, like most Indians you two have freaked out by Afridi's name and his performance. Everyone knows that he has a great record against India. He has scored a lot of runs and he also took a lot of wickets. And players like Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathunwa have forgotten how to bowl because, he hammered so many sixes of their bowling and eventually they were dropped from the team for several months. Like Balaji's balls were hooked out in the deep fine leg fence, in fact over the fence and into the crowd that, he too finally disappeared from the cricket arena, mainly due to Afridi.

    So, my dear Ashoka The (not so) Great, this is not IF's and Butts, these are FACTS. And FYI, I am a very happy person and thats why you see a lot of pun in my posts. ;-) If you think I am depressed then its your perception or the reflection of your own thoughts and your own sad mind. I pity you. And also pity the minor moon of this blog, she ends her every single post with my name like Amen! She claims to have played more cricket than most of us, I think it would be better if she enlightens us by clarifying, whether it was high school under 14 or under 17 girls cricket team?

  • Awas on November 1, 2007, 23:32 GMT

    Now seriously, Kamran Akmal has had long enough stint to test fans' patience. After showing his talent initially, I was supportive of him because of the criticism that he was having and felt a bit sorry when he kept fumbling but the problem is that his “bad run” is never-ending. I now believe it would have done him no harm to give him a break from international cricket. It is questionable whether that would have dented his confidence. His fumbles are probably not only doing him more damage but hurting the team as well. The fact is that whenever a keeper takes a good catch or even any catch, it lifts the whole team. And conversely, if a crucial catch is dropped, especially by the keeper, it deflates the whole team. If a player gets a couple of chances only and then gets dropped then there is a case in saying we never got to know his true abilities. Fawad Alam and Yasir Hamid, for example, could be the ones to mention here. However when a long enough stint has been given and the problem still exists then I think a change is necessary but definitely not at this juncture. In the next home series someone else needs to be tested.

    Many posters have criticised Afridi on playing a rash shot but the fact is, after the good partnership by Younus and Yousuf, many got out playing poor strokes. Misbah especially has played a poor series. He hasn’t made a single good knock. He was all at sea against the fast bowling in the last ODI. Surly, he has had enough chances.

    Javed A Khan

    I couldn’t agree more on the question of who allowed such commentators to do English commentary. Waqar Younis however, despite his flaws, at least keeps you engaged and as someone once said, he always has something interesting to say. Zaheer Abbas on the other hand is not only so drab but also sounds very silly at times with his poor English. In the 5th ODI, for example, when Younus and Yousuf were playing well together, he said the two “U’s” are really playing well at the moment. After a pause Ian Bishop asked “why did you say two U’s” but Zaheer didn’t reply to that. His command of English is such that he couldn’t differentiate between a Y and a U. Waqar, at least, when he said about Imran Nazir that he played “five shots too many”, he was quite right at that because a couple of balls earlier Waqar said that it is not necessary for Imran to hit out every single ball. So, basically some commentators like Zaheer and Mushy are completely useless and some plain irritating and biased in the likes of Botham and Jackman. It is now been said by Duncan Fletcher that even Botham’s own team found him annoying every time he went in their dressing room. I bet, annoying, just like his commentary with an irritating harsh voice, biasness and one word sentences like “shot”, “out”, “gone”, “excellent”. He never has much to say.

    Osman Ali Khairi

    I liked what you wrote in your last post. Interesting observations.

  • Moon on November 1, 2007, 17:25 GMT

    Younis Khan has been appointed as vice-captain, i wonder if team management asked the clown if he wants to be the Vice Captain, presumingly if PCB asked him then what would have been his reply

    Either "Yes I want to be" OR "No i don't want to be a dummy vice-captain" second option is most likely the scenario and the PCB would have said we will reduce the authorities of a captain and increase the authorities and benefits of a vice-captain if you accept the offer, finally Younis accepted the offer hence for recent future our vice-captain will be more authoritative and influential than the so-called captain!Period What a funny bunch of losers is PCB management made up of? In past we had fights and controversies over captaincy but these days we are facing Vice-Captains controversies as PCB has already changed 3 vice captains in last couple of months, i feel like everyone will get a chance in the upcoming year. By the way Mr. javed A(fridi) Khan, Khali pa'nda bohat kharak'da ayy i think someone should come up and fill these gaps that are causing problems for the subject(victim) himself too ;)

  • Irfan on November 1, 2007, 16:03 GMT

    Kamran! Please start a new thread. I am sick and tired of hearing Afridi's name as the staccato of Carribean drums. Our skip is about to say something stupider!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 1, 2007, 15:55 GMT

    I am glad to see that Mohammad Asif has been left out of the team for the India tour, at least for the ODI's, which means there will be sometime for him to recover fully i.e., if his injury is not that serious, but I doubt, it seems similar to Tendulkar's elbow injury which lasted for months. There is no point in carrying an injured player in the team, not only he becomes a burden like a "linear drag" which not only resist the flow of the force but, in real sense it also ruins the aspirations and motivation of others.

    In my previous post I have echoed my views very strongly and opposed his inclusion in that ODI but, I knew the PCB selectors will include him and they did not disappoint us from their predictable nature by doing the obvious. Asif bowled below par, in fact it was a pathetic performance and he gave away 64 runs in 8 overs without a wicket. That not only affected the team's morale and performance but, it was a big blow for Suhail Tanvir. If Tanvir is 'in and out' of the team at the expense of some spent force, then he too will be performing badly. Any player, especially a new fast bowler needs to be playing in the team on a regular basis or else he will loose his line, length, rhythm and his confidence.

    It is the assurance of a permanent place in the playing XI that makes a big difference in boosting the morale and the confidence of any player. When he is assured of a place despite a couple of poor performance he feels there is some sense of belonging. But, at the same time he needs to be advised by his captain, coach and seniors by way of counseling or identifying the errors that he is committing, it certainly helps the player in rectifying the silly mistakes and in rebuilding or regaining his confidence.

    Kamran Akmal needs same kinda help, advice and guidance. And thats what Malik said before leaving for the India tour that, "Akmal is a good player and he has dropped a few catches, who doesn't? But, Akmal needs some help and we will provide him that help." I am glad to see that kind of attitude in Malik. I am sure it will do a lot of good for Akmal to think, contemplate and rectify the mistakes that he has been making in the past.

    On dropping catches, I would like to remind how Younus Khan, one of the best fielders in Pakistan side dropped catches. In that famous Mohali test match which ended in a draw due to Abdul Razzzaq and Kamran Akmal's defiant batting, Younus dropped two sitters one of them was of Tendulkar's who was on 2 at that time and he went on to score 90 odd runs. Also, he scored a duck in that match and everyone thought he would be dropped in the next match. And Younus has dropped quite a few sitters and he keeps smiling after dropping them. Actually the lady luck smiled at him at Mohali, in the next match in Kolkata he scored a big hundred followed by a big double hundred in Bangalore and he became a permanent fixture in the team. But, he still drops easy catches and takes some of the most difficult ones and stuns everyone. And he still scores a duck or plays a silly shots and throws away his wicket. Therefore, lets hope Akmal improves on this tour.

    My observation and a thought: Jacques Kallis was very upset and disappointed by his selectors for dropping him in the twenty20 WC. He was included in the team for Pakistan tour and he played in test matches and played brilliantly, he made 3 centuries in two test matches - courtesy dropped catches and his experienced paid off handsomely, he played like a cool cucumber and took full advantage. But, his ODI performance in the first 4 matches was very abysmal. The last big score in the 5th ODI was due to Akmal's courtesy. If the ODI's were played before the test matches (like it is happening in India now) and had Jacques Kallis not scored in the last ODI, his confidence would have shattered completely and may be SA may not have included him in the test team, like Pollock was made to sit on the sidelines, he too may have joined Pollock. Sometimes, it is the luck and, sometimes it is the decision to persist with the experienced players pays of handsomely. In case of Jacques Kallis he was lucky to have both things on his side and in his favour - the decision to play him in the last ODI's despite his failures in the first 4 was because of his three test hundreds in 2 test matches - and the luck was on his side and he grabbed them both, with both hands.

  • JamJar on November 1, 2007, 15:37 GMT

    I held off submitting a new posting to this thread in the hope, or expectation should I say that a new one would have been created. As for the stalling of Pak Spin, I can only guess you were as gutted as the rest of us and that inhibited your reactions to post something new on this Pakistan team.

    Being a Pakistan supporter is no easy matter. I thought that being a Celtic supporter during the stranglehold years of Rangers in the 90's Scottish football would have thickened my skin to defeat, but the Pakistan team truelly finds ways of disappointing their fans.

    Our friend Akmal deserves the term 'makhana' coined in some pinds in the Punjab because the dude contributed to another failed series by Pakistan with his butterfingers! And while we are on the topic of Punjab and excusing my ignorance, I have no idea why there is constant chat amongst certain bloggers about where cricketers come from in Pakistan, i.e. the whole Punjab/Karachi issue. If a cricketer is talented who gives a monkeys?!

    To all those fickle Afridi supporters who said that he should be promoted to open the innings after his blaze in the 3rd ODI, you got your wish and it backfired in the 4th ODI. I was also surprised to see some slightly harsh comments by Javed A Khan on Afridi after some previous posts of staunch support. What happened there dude? But I guess you were just as disappointed and emotional like the rest of us. Some despair even shone through in Osman's article after the match where he rightlfully named the team chokers!

    The loss of 6 wickets for just 20 runs is despicable and the Pakistan tailenders should have lived up to their label of 'professional' cricketers and seen the match home and not take the baton of 'choking' from their opponents.

    Osman Khairi - chill dude, you sound pretty frustrated in your last post!

    Tanveer/Irfan Khan - Some good posts there.

    On the back of the SA series, I think this blog will be pretty hot during the tour of India. Keep those posts flowing guys.

  • Saima khan on November 1, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    From last four years PCB is trying same unsettled players.

    Imran Nazir (only socres when other team drop his catches), Mohd Hafeez (Never consistent in his performance but better than Butt & Nazir), Salman Butt (over rated but performance is not satisfactory), Misba -ul -Haq (He is nearly age of his retirement, I do not know any good thing in him, look at his records it will tell you)

    http://www.howstat.com/cricket/Statistics/Players/PlayerOverview.asp?PlayerID=2262

    Kamran Akmal (worst wicket keeper on the world international cricket history, he conained highest dropping rates %, atleast have a world record for Pakistan)

    Abdur Rehman -- 30 years old Rehman, PCB needs future planning.

    Yasir Arfat--- Over rated , look at his records.

    http://www.howstat.com/cricket/Statistics/Players/PlayerOverview_ODI.asp?PlayerID=2946

    Now Abdur Razzak (king of player group mafia is coming back).

    All above players have two things common.

    GUESS WHAT!!!

    Saima Khan

  • KAMRAN on November 1, 2007, 15:19 GMT

    I think Pakistani cricketers should start playing "Gulli Danda"...and leave the "SPORT" of cricket to cricketers.

  • Junaid on November 1, 2007, 14:18 GMT

    @Shiblii Ahmad Brother I know Kamran has dropped a few catches but than he has also scored more runs than some of the other recognized batsman. If you are following Pak cricket than you should remember Moin Khan in 90s who was an average wicket keeper but a fighting batsman and he was acceptable to everyone but for Kamran Akmal everyone is so crictical just bcoz he is from LHR. I agree that we should have another keeper in the squad to groom him with Akmal but I don't agree that we have anyone ready to replace Akmal. In the last trip to India Akmal was one of the heroes and we again need him there. We don't have any Adam Gili or Dhoni in our domestic cricket who can repalce Akmal in a day. Yes I agree that we have to think like Paksitanis and stop critsizing players based on their origin. Misbah was a great hero month ago and now everyone is calling him a safarshi on this blog. Same thing with Afridi. When he scores some runs he is the champion and in the next match he becomes the villain. We are asking players to show consistency but first of all we should should be consistent with our comments. When u select a player you have to give him a complete season to prove himself rather than making decisions based on a match or one series.

  • Muhammad Asif on November 1, 2007, 13:29 GMT

    "In his 243-match ODI career, Afridi has won 18 Man-of-the-Match awards, which translates to one every 13.5 games; this year, though, he has already bagged two in nine: apart from the Faisalabad game, he also won the prize for his unbeaten 73 from 34 balls against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi. At this rate he has at least one more MoM performance coming up before the year is done." unquote.” I would like to ask you what happened to the rest of games(225)? Would you like to paste it over here? It would be more surprising then the data you just provided us. Thanks in advance......

  • Tanveer on November 1, 2007, 13:27 GMT

    Pakistan loose matches from a winning position because they don’t use their brains. And Malik said, “we have learned a lot from our mistake” is all BS. They will never learn and you know why, it’s because Pakistan players do not have mental toughness, they do not know how to play according to the situation. They lack planning. They always play their natural game - and they admit that - but a good player is one who plays according to the situation not swing his bat wildly and throw away wickets when victory is just few runs away. Good teams never give up hope, they fight till the last ball. Pakistani team is far from winning pressure matches. Gone are the days when Waqar and Wasim won us matches single handedly.

    Giving chances to Nazir, Hafeez, buttery-hand Akmal again and again is costing us defeats after defeats. ODI is not a game of short cameos. You have 50 overs to play and you have to play and pace your innings. Shahid Afridi has tons of experience yet he always fail when it matters most - recent example, last ODI against SA and final of T20. Misbha-ul-Huq played poorly in the ODI, he did play well in T20 but not in a winning cause. When it mattered most - in both matches against India - he just couldn’t finish it off. I think it is about time, to get rid of these tried and tired players and get young players in. Fawad Alam, Khalid Latif, Anwer Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed are just a few that should be in the playing eleven.

    And as far as India-Pakistan series is concerned. India is a much better team than Pakistan. India have class players like - Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid, Yuvraj. And now India’s pace attack is much better than it used to be. As usual Akmal will slip a few chances behind the stumps and we’ll see India pile up 300+ runs in every match. Let’s just watch that. And I am a Pakistani, I want to see Pakistan win…. but I can not help but state the truth. :-)

  • Roshan on November 1, 2007, 11:26 GMT

    Javed Montreal Khan....Thankfully after Ashok's comment you have accepted that you were expecting something of this sort....but you never had courage to write this one liner in your normal epic essays! strange...why on earth you are still supporting a guy like Afridi who has definitely cost you the series...there is a limit to blind attachment! More than me I think your poor performer is a dimwit....& please let me know why do you need "bright light" every time even for simplest of cases...may be like your idol afridi you also dont have anything between ur ears....

  • Javed khan from Toronto ;) on November 1, 2007, 6:51 GMT

    Afridi is a 100%match winner. He wins 13 matches for the opposiition ( T20 final and final ODI are prime examples) and then wins one match after 13 for opposition for Pakistan cos his luck favours him on that day and ball connects to his wild swoshes here and there. I wish he continues in same form. Atleast for 13 matches he is playing for opposiition ;). And the convenient amnesia of his fans assures he is still a star and in team. Keep it up Afridi keep it up

  • Ashok on November 1, 2007, 6:30 GMT

    JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA Pls get out of your dream world and accept facts of life. It will help u be happy than be depressed always as is evident from your blogs. Your reasoinig is full of IFS ,...if this happens if that happens if stars were here...if stars were there. Accept it buddy that Pak choked in T20 finals and in the ODI with SA and tests it choked big big time.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 1, 2007, 4:03 GMT

    Before this thread on Afridi is shelved by Mr. Abbassi, let me reply to those questions, rather the criticism that has been bombarded on Afridi for no reason. I would like to clear the doubts that is in the minds of his critics. But, I am sure they are not doubts but, biases, preconceptions and prejudices against him and they won't go away that easily. Still, I would like to answer them just for the records. And I request Mr. Kamran Abbassi not to ignore or delete this post, because it is to the point and on the dot.

    Mr. Osman A. Khairi

    First of all, thanks for the sarcasm. I don't mind that sarcasm coming from your proverbial "machcher." I will reply to that mosquito comment of yours after I finish writing about our Akhroat.

    Secondly, all those stats are from Mr. S. Rajesh of cricinfo, and they are very reliable.

    Thirdly, do you have a name of any Pakistani player or any other player who has won MoM award 18 times? THINK !!!!!

    What Rajesh forgot to mention in his article is, the occasions when Afridi deserved to be adjudged as MoM but, someone else got it. Recent example: Remember the Durban ODI in Feb.2007 when he scored 78 n.o. in 34 balls? He also took 3 wickets for only 25 runs in that match. But, Younus Khan was adjudged as MoM for his 93 in 98 balls, mais pour quoi? Or, to make you feel at home should I say, "Laiyshh?"

    There are other occasions where his contribution was very meaningful towards winning and, I am not talking about the Kanpur carnage 100/45 for which he got the MoM award that was beyond any doubt one of his best innings. But, I am referring to the match before and after Kanpur i.e., in Ahmadabad and Delhi where, as an opener he smashed 40 and 44 in just 22 and 23 balls, and others capitalized on that foundation, and in those two matches Inzi and Malik were the MoM. It doesn't matter who was the MoM but, why do you deny his contribution? People tend to forgot those instances and many more, and they only remember his few 100's or his abysmal 0's. And who doesn't get out on a zero? If you rummage into the archives or the records you will be surprised that there must be at least 2 dozen players all over the world who must be above him in that list. Like there is a general perception about most run outs associated either with Inzi or Mohammad Yousuf, but FYI it is Attapattu who holds the record of highest number of run outs.

    In 2005 in Australia, Pakistan lost the ODI matches despite Afridi's blistering knocks, he scored 56 in 26 balls at Hobart, 48 in 37 balls in Sydney and 37 in 13 balls in the next match, and during that Australian tour his batting average was 50.25. Don't you think it was a significant contribution especially since all others failed against the pace battery of Glen McGrath, Brett Lee, Shane Watson etc. In McGrath's 2 overs he smashed him for 4 sixes and scored 31 in 12 balls.

    As regards your bowling quotes, rather runs given away by him, I don't know how you arrived at that? I think you need to compare them with others and also must see them in the context to the match situation. Let me remind you about Mohammad Asif's ODI statistics. Because Asif is a specialist bowler and he is aka Glen McGrath of SheikhuPura, thats why I am using his performance as a yardstick to compare. Asif's recent bowling performance is not just mediocre but, pathetic. A few months ago in three matches he gave away 70-80 runs without a wicket and in the last ODI he gave away 64 runs in 8 overs without a wicket. His twenty20 performance is also very abysmal. No sarcasm, no pun intended, what are you trying to say here? I think you have too much expectations from Afridi and you want him to score in every match. He cannot be Mohammad Yousuf, his style is very different and he will remain like this.

    In the Bangalore test, although Younus Khan made 267 in the first innings and 84 in the second, but realistically speaking if it was not Afridi, the match would have ended in a tame draw. He scored a breezy 58 in 34 balls in the second innings to gave Inzi the option to declare the innings on time. Then he took 3 crucial wickets of Tendulkar, Laxman and Ganguly to turn the match in Pakistan's favour. Earlier in the first innings he took 2 wickets, again one of them was of Tendulkar. Perhaps you don't remember all this, do you? Even in the past when Miandad was the coach, in the Chennai match Afridi scored 142 runs and Pakistan won the test match, but the MoM award went to the losing side's performer Tendulkar who scored 134 runs. Any justification???

    OK, now about the mosquito quote which you've mentioned in the previous thread. Here is something for you to enjoy the machcharr ka bhinn bhinnana. It's a quote from the legendary Hazrat Amir Khusrau. It is called, "Keh Mukarni" or Kehna aur Mukar jaana (literally meaning say & deny) its a kind of poetry for fun.

    Jab woh moray mandir aaway, sotay mujhko aan jagaway; Padhat phirat woh birah ke achchar, Aye sakhi sajan? Na sakhi machchar!

    Translation of the above verse in Punjabi ;-)

    Whenever he visits my place, wakes me up from the sleep, he sings the song of separation; is it the beloved, oh friend? No, its mosquito.

    Those who don't know Amir Khusrau should not judge him by that funny kehmukarni, I simply love his famous, "Chhaapp Tilak Sab Cheeni ray mo say Naina Milayee Kay" which is a gem of the gems.

  • Osman A. Khairi on October 31, 2007, 20:46 GMT

    Bravo! *clap clap! * Applause!!* Bravo! Hail Shahid Afridi, the match winner. I sometimes wonder why I expected a man who, once categorically stated, “The coach has no input in the game other than just cajoling the players to play their natural game” in his interview on Geo’s much watched Bolain Kia Bat Hay, to comprehend the term ‘improvement and level-headed cricket’ after having played 4 T R I L L I O N one day games. Yes, I stand here applauding a cricketer that always puts his team and country first. Bravo! Afridi! Truly a fantastic ‘reader’ of the game. Mr. Javed A. Khan, while accurately pointing out that Afridi wins the man of the match award, on an average after every 14 odi games, with the aid of Rajesh’s column on cricinfo, inexcusably forgets to mention the number of times he has influenced bilateral series and various other tournaments in um someone’s favor. Aray? Clearly, ‘THAT’ shot on the very first ball of his innings against Irfan Pathan in the um not so important T20 world cup final against India, swung the game and well, ultimately the tournament. And I always thought why he won the man of the tournament award? Hmm. The world makes sense again. And of course, just incase the numerous die hard supporters of Afridi on Pakspin suffer from amnesia, let’s consider the last one day played by our SENIOR player, who ‘justly’, deserves the captaincy for ALWAYS leading from the front, in addition to receiving another bonus from President Musharraf for playing such *sigh* breath-taking cricket. 27 odd runs required off 43 deliveries. Abdul Rehman smashes a four through the covers. Brilliant! There’s light at the end of the tunnel! Yes! A single. OOoooh, this is exciting! Afridi, the champion, is on strike. Bang. Yes. This is EXACTLY what the ‘FANS’ wanted. A classy swipe/slog/attempt for six. To hell with the fact, that it wasn’t required. Afridi, truly a man who takes playing for Pakistan seriously. “I play for the fans!” I salute you Afridi, for being a man of your word. But you know what REALLY bothers me? When people try to take credit away from Afridi by saying, “He’s a consistent bowler!” Tsk Tsk. That is just grossly unfair, and I believe, Euceph Ahmed will acquiesce with me on this one. From the very column that Javed A Khan used to rightfully highlight Afridi’s powerful performances; here are some of his bowling averages ever since he burst onto the scene. 48, 40, 66, 63, 35, 61. Hmm. Javed Khan’s physics lesson has helped. It does ‘SPIN’ both ways. Clearly, Afridi is a bowling sensation, winning games for Pakistan, from hopeless situations. I say, make Afridi the prime minister. What a player. What ability. What a patriot. Bravo!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 31, 2007, 19:38 GMT

    Ashok,

    I knew that sooner or later this comment would be appearing on this blog. And I am glad that you mentioned it. So, now I want to ask you a question, in the next 5 ODI matches in India, if he performs well then, are you going to change your views again by saying this is where he truly belongs? Or you will eat up your words and chew the cud?

  • Dawar, LA USA on October 31, 2007, 18:20 GMT

    I appreciate PCB decision to appoint Younis Khan as a vice captain of our cricket team.

    PCB needs to crack down player's mafia or Favoritism on national level. All this favoritism causes to build player mafia.

    Kamran Akaml,Salman Butt,Imran Nazir,Misba-ul-Haq and Abdur Rehman do not deserve position in the team on merit.

    But unfortunately merit is not the part of our current system.

    Every one knows in the Pakistan cricket team that Misba is an old buddy of Shoaib Malik.

    Imran Nazir and Abdur Rehman both play for the same local team as Shoaib Malik.

    Kamran Akmal is also in the good book of Malik.

    I wonder, is there a man in Pakistan luckier than Kamran Akmal?

    Sarfraz Ahmed or Salman should replace Kamran Akmal.

    PCB can break player mafia by implementing merit system.

    what are the criteria to select team for an Indian tour?

    Here what great Javed Miandad said about two very talented players?

    Cricket followers were surprised at the exclusion of talented batsmen Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif for the South Africa series and now for the tour of India.

    Asim Kamal contained highest averages against Australia, India and South Africa. Against India his average is over 50. 48.50 against Austrlia and 46 against South Africa.

    Source: http://www.howstat.com/cricket/Statistics/Players/PlayerOpponents.asp?PlayerID=3137

    But he was not given chance against SA and now his name is not in one day squad of an Indian tour.

    I hope PCB will include him in test squad. He is far better than Misba-ul-Haq.

    After wonderful record in test cricket, Asim should not ask to proof his performance.

    PCB should give proper chance to Fawad Alam.

    21 years old Fawad is a young and talented left arm bowler with strong batting and fielding skills.

    But why selectors or captain preferd 30 years old Abdur Rehman in the team.

    Is it the future planning?

    Dawar Naqvi

  • Waheed in USA on October 31, 2007, 14:59 GMT

    “Posted by: JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA at October 26, 2007 6:32 AM Those who criticize Shahid Afridi must read this new "Friday Column" on cricinfo titled "Allrounder Afridi's stunning run" by S. Rajesh dated October 26, 2007. Here is the link: http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/columns/content/current/story/317029.html I am reproducing his last paragraph, which is worth mentioning here: quote: "In his 243-match ODI career, Afridi has won 18 Man-of-the-Match awards, which translates to one every 13.5 games; this year, though, he has already bagged two in nine: apart from the Faisalabad game, he also won the prize for his unbeaten 73 from 34 balls against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi. At this rate he has at least one more MoM performance coming up before the year is done." unquote.” Very interesting statistics. I am sure S Rajesh had gone to great pains while collecting data about "Allrounder Afridi's stunning run". I would request to S Rajesh or maybe JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA to kindly run some statistics, how many games does it take before “Afridi does something really worthwhile. Is it 13.5 games? I will again repeat myself. I love it and enjoy as much as any other Pakistan supporter does when it is Afridi’s day on the ground as he usually ends up with MoM award. But, all said and done can one justify his 11 years career with Pakistan team? As I believe and said it in my previous two posts, he would never have been able to go this far, were he to represent the likes of Australia, SA, England and India.

    Cheers

    Cheers

  • Irfan on October 31, 2007, 13:59 GMT

    I don't know where this pak team is headed. Certainly not up. Their performance is not indicative of any improvements in mental strength, finishing skills and individual error correction. The idiotic comments made by the skip speaks mountains about where his brain resides and his approach towards the game. On a sadder note repeated failed offenders such as Nazir, Akmal, Misbah, Rehman and the company still found a spot in the team to India. Repeated calls fell on flat years to include new openers such as Kahlid Latif, Khurram Manzoor, Bowler Anwer Ali. This is worst form of nepotism. Whatever is flourishing is not cricket and the way I see it will never be.

  • Captain on October 31, 2007, 12:11 GMT

    Younis Khan should be a Captain.

  • Ali on October 31, 2007, 9:15 GMT

    Please someone kick out Kamran Akmal after such wonderful performance as a keeper. He is a keeper first not a batsman

  • Javed Mansoor on October 31, 2007, 8:52 GMT

    OK! SA has won the series now. What about next tour of India? Here is team purely based on specialiss. Pak needs to take 3 openers, 6-fast bowlers, 5 or 6 middle order batsmans, 2 spinners and 1 wicket keeper. Openers: I Nazir, S Butt, Y Hameed). Middle order batsman: Younis, Yousaf, Asim Kamal, Sohaib, Faisal or a new comer. 6-fast bowlers-at least 2 who can bowl in 90 mph range, like Sohaib & Sami, others are Asif, Gul & A Razzaq. Razzaq can bowl and bat with some reliability. There is a place for 1 more seamer, but am not convinced with A Anjum and S Tanveer. You need fast bowlers who can take wicket & these two can’t. This rule of wicket taking is absolute & applicable to both test and one-days. Captain should allow their fast bowlers to bowl as they want to bowl, while asks batsman to play with sensibility. Batting and bowling involve different approach. Wicket-keeper: Do not know. Spinners: Do not know as Kaneria takes almost 30 over to get 4/5 wickets-too much. Good luck to Pak team.

  • Ashok on October 31, 2007, 8:43 GMT

    The title makes more sense now than it did at the time of its writing.

    After the typical flops in the last two matches - "Afridi is back where he truly belongs"

  • Khizar Hayat Khan on October 31, 2007, 7:53 GMT

    "Damned if u do, damned if u don't", that summerizes the view of punjab dominated contributors of this forum about younis khan.

  • Dawar on October 31, 2007, 4:04 GMT

    http://www.dawn.com/2007/10/31/spt5.htm

    Cricket followers were surprised at the exclusion of talented batsmen Khurram Manzoor, Khalid Latif for the South Africa series and now for the tour of India.

    Dawar LA USA

  • Raja Pakistani on October 31, 2007, 3:58 GMT

    Please do not try same openers. Kick out Butt, Nazir, Kamran Akmal, Misba ul Haq , Abdur Rehman (from all types of cricket) and Afridi (Afridi from One Day squad)

    Raja Pakistani Sialkot

  • Hamid on October 31, 2007, 1:44 GMT

    Shoaib Malik: ".....it is good we lost..."!!! Losing is good. Doping is also good. Scandals are the best. Pakistan cricket team is the world champion.

  • Amyn Habib on October 30, 2007, 23:12 GMT

    A hard spanking awaits this team in India. It is probably too late to make the necessary changes now for them to take effect in the immediate future. But to continue with the same course is inviting disaster.

    There are big problems with team selection. The constant changing of the top order batting is really stupid. No one will be able to perform in this sort of pressure. Currently the policy seems to be--one or two failed games and you are out. On the other hand, once a player has failed consistently –an example that comes to mind is Nazir (and possibly Misbah) you need to throw them out permanently and find someone else. For someone to make a comeback to the team should require strong evidence of improvement in domestic cricket.

    Wake up Salahuddin Ahmad (And whoever else is selecting this team)! You are showing signs of being even worse than Wasim Bari at selection. And that is quite an accomplishment.

    Javed Mansoor, good post.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 30, 2007, 22:49 GMT

    Is that a reaction of the nappy Rash that you are kicking out everyone so often? If the bloggers are given the task of selecting the Pakistan team, then, no one from the current team would be playing for Pakistan. They will create a new under-17 team. Perhaps some of the kiddos here are used to selecting a team of their own choice when they play a 20 minute virtual game. A baby with Rash should know that there is a big difference between real professional cricket at International level and the one they play on that dubba called XBOX is virtual.

    Roshandan to brighten up the room, you have once again used a fused bulb. So, the forthcoming India / Pakistan series, which you have so proudly named it as the 'clash of the losers', the winner of that series would be the bigger loser, right? Before you reply to my retort, think twice before you open the roshandan ka dhakkan. And, please no more fused bulbs.

    And my dear Eucephool Ahmad, why so formal? Itnay din baad milay aur phir itna takkalluf? Must I quote Ahmad Faraz here? Tum takalluf ko bhi khuloos samajhtay ho Faraz, Dost hota nahin her haath milanay wala. Mr. Ahmad, if you think I am calling you a "useful flower" then you must be living in that Paradise which is so famous for dimwits and dolts. Eucephool means, istemaal shuda flower. :-) And why are you using the word, "they"? Just, be straightforward and speak like a man, name those, "they"!

    What is that interesting subject that you would like to discuss? I am quoting you here: "Most of all, let's talk about something really interesting brought up by ....." ? What? Brought up by who? The cat took your tongue? Or you too, flying above the clouds and riding over the Moon? Humkay thairay jaahil mutlaq so, let me make my "uneducated guess," you got censored, right? Ha, ha, told ya b4 not to be profane on the blog. Never mind, for your 'chaska' on swing bowling, I have already written a lot about inswingers and outswingers as a PDQ retort to the Moon and her dimwit star Chanda. Now, the only thing that is remaining for me to explain about fast bowling is, the reverse swing. But, Chanda Moon is afraid to tackle the deadly reverse swing yorkers and the Big Dipper. I am not talking about the seven brightest stars in the sky nor the roller coaster ride but, I am talking about the indipper in cricket terminology. And I leave it for "nay-kust" time.

  • Awas on October 30, 2007, 22:46 GMT

    The capitulation shown was reminiscent of the bygone days. I never imagined Pakistan would lose after the match was in the bag at 190 odd for 5. It would have been better to bring Afridi at this point when panic hadn’t set in. I don’t think they know the meaning of flexibility. Bringing Afridi at either number one or seven always is not flexibility; it should be judged according to the match situation. Like in the fourth ODI, promoting Pollock higher up the order did wonders for SA.

    Gulab Khan

    For once what you said was quite funny.

    Please do take Kamran Akmal to Peshawar by all means. Kidnap him, put him in a cave with Bin Laden, whatever, till he promises not to drop any catches again.

    Javed A Khan

    Thank you for your support.

  • noor on October 30, 2007, 22:43 GMT

    Afridi is just a useful one day bowler. Nothing more. He cant be seriously considered as a good batsman. I beleive he doesnt have the temperment for a batsman. He has the tendency to throw his wicket in crucial matches. I think the PCB should kick him out of the team. Any fool can throw his bat around and get lucky with a few fours and sixes. Thats what Afridi is about in a nutshell. To me a good player is when he comes good when the chips are down. He was good and consistant few years ago but for now he should only be consider for his bowling.

    Regarding Akmal, he is no wicketkeeper. Better for Pakistan to pick another WK and put Akmal as an opener, he cant do what the last 50 openers have done for Pakistan. Akmal drop catches must very demoralising for the bowler and the team. I am very dissapointed that Pakistan are not taking another WK for India.

  • Irfan Khan (UK) on October 30, 2007, 21:19 GMT

    I said in couple of times in some previous threads that Pakistani team needs to be referred to psychologist. PCB sent Shoaib Akhter for some advice but almost all of our team needs some lessons.

    If you analyze the performance of our team in matches they have lost (like 5th ODI against SA), it can be seen easily that the major cause of loosing a winning match is lack of mental toughness.

    I, including thousands of fans don’t understand why stupid PCB fools keep playing with Pakistani fans. Why don’t they spend some money in hiring an international psychologist who can teach the team their weakness and how to improve these things when required.

    As far Afridi is concerned he is not going to change, he is the best at one point and in the next match he is zero. I strongly agree that he should be made vice captain. This thing is seriously bothering him. The words like “ I AM SENIOR ” are in his head all the time. He is like a problem child, to make him a permanent start he should be given more respect (but mental toughness courses are a key).

    I also said this couple of times previously, what ever is the state of our country that is actually reflected in the performance of the team. I think being left like a directionless nation we are expecting too much from our team ..??

  • Asif Sarfraz on October 30, 2007, 20:56 GMT

    Hi fellow Pakistan fans!

    Yaaro I don't know whats happening with the team! Our batting line-up looked pretty strong in the last game!

    It's true Afridi could of come in and played a few responsible shots, especially with what happened in 20/20 final he should of learnt by now!

    I think we have relaxed after our 20/20 success if u want to call it that!

    I am just happy that Razzaq has reversed his decision he can come in, in place of Misbah! And also bowl a few overs!

  • Jawad Siddiqui on October 30, 2007, 19:34 GMT

    I am pretty sure if Razzak was sent out at number 5 or 6 he would have easily finished the game out. Does anyone else agree with me.

  • pp on October 30, 2007, 18:56 GMT

    I think Afridi's position in the batting order must be something similar to Symonds in an Australian batting line up. I think we can utilize Afridi similar to the way Australia have utilized Symonds. Give Afridi the confidence by shoving him in after MOYO.

    Look Symonds comes in after Ponting. This results in the following things: a) It gives time for Symonds to pace his innings well. He takes time initially to settle (which is not difficult, since the ball is not new). By the time he is settled (by taking singles, doubles or occasional fours), it is time for final slog overs. In this way, Australia have utilized the monsterous power of Symonds in the most effective way possible. b) By coming after Ponting, Symonds has a security cover in the form of Clarke, Hussey, Hodge, Haddin, etc. Symonds knows that he can now take his time, relax at crease and then hit as much as he wants. He is in total freedom to play as like he wants.

    Afridi is similar to Symonds in temperament. I think people have not understood Afridi's talent as yet, because he keeps on coming at wrong positions. Break the Moh. Yousuf and Younis Khan Partnership - because they have similar styles. Fling Afridi between Moh. Yousuf and Younis Khan. I would personally prefer Moh. Yousuf to come in at number three followed by Afridi a four and Younis Khan at five. Shoaib and Misbah should come in at numbers six and seven respectively. I don't have any opinion about openers or wicket-keeper. They can still be experimented according to me. But this middle to lower middle order of 3-4-5-6-7 batting order can form such a potent combination that they can win any match on their own ability. It is a perfect mix of youth-experience-agression-defence. Already we are strong in fast bowling department with 4-5 genuine match winners and Afridi to spin along with them.

    I believe that just this small adjustment in batting order or flinging Afridi between the two Y's can be exteremly successful. Other way at looking why Afridi should dominate and control the middle order is by simple looking at the postions Afridi has batted - he is either found trapped as an opener, where he not only has to handle the new ball (for which he does not have any technique whatsoever - look at Symonds - how will it be if Symonds opens innings??) or he is found in a precarious situation late down the order where he is unsure what he has to do! Have we ever tried him or given him a chance to build and develop his batting by making him come at that comfortable position of middle order? Also if in that middle order, if we loose Afridi, then it won't hurt that much, as much as t does if he is out at an opener or as a finisher.

    I think Afridi is a very extrovert person -- he needs attention -- he needs to be in the game. Give him the chance. Tell him to look at Symonds as ideal. Develop his "temperament" just like Symonds has. Ask Afridi to study Symonds and his innings in detail -- we want another Symonds in our team.

    Keep the faith PP

  • Tanveer on October 30, 2007, 17:29 GMT

    This is not the first time Pakistan team has choked and it is not the last time. You will see the same players choking again very soon, who knows in the next few ODI against India. It's going to be very hard for the Pakistani team to beat India on their soil. I'm a Pakistan and I earnestly want to see Pakistan win but I must admit Indian team is far more better than the Pakistani team on any given day. Pakistan lost the 5th ODI in a shameful manner. I still can not believe how did it all happen. Even Rao or Shoaib could've kept their head a bit cool and win the match for Pakistan. Look at what India did in the last ODI against Aussies. Their last three batsmen won them the match. Cricket is not just about hitting boundaries, it is a sport of mental toughness, planning, and skills. These Pakistani players have played 100s of ODIs and yet they don't have the basic skills of staying at the wicket and playing positive cricket.

    If proper actions are not taken, Cricket in Pakistan will just be like hockey. We'll be last in the ranking. We're not too good at the moment either.

    Now coming to the players. Like most of the people above has named young players, who are consistently performing but have not been given a chance. To name a few, Khalid Latif, Fawad Alam, Anwer Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed. And on the other hand, I have no clue as to why the likes of Butt, Nazir, Hafeez, Akmal are being kept in the team. Their records speak for them. Nazir is a mindless cricketer, he does not understand what is the role of an opener and how do you play aggressive cricket in ODI. The most he can be selected for a T20 format, or better yet T10 (if there one exists). Hafeez should be fined and banned for life for playing so poorly. Akmal, he is a proven match looser. He took only 3 catches in the ODI series, and dropped, many and all crucial. How could you win matches when you can not hold on to simple catches. His batting is not exceptional either. Scoring, once in a while 20 runs or so is no good. Look at other team's wicketkeepers, Dhoni, Sangakara, Gilchrist, Boucher all are doing great.

    Now Shahid Afridi is just a utility player, he can not win you matches. He would fail when it matters most. Recent examples, 5th ODI against SA, final of T20. But I still think he still has a place in Pakistani team because he can bowl and field well and can occasionally score runs (when not needed). Misbah Ulhuq was a tried horse, somehow he did well in the T20 but he has no class. Even in the T20s when he needed to finish off a match, he would just flunk. And in this series he showed his class again.

    On the final note, I'd say, the root of all these problems, is selection, personal favors but also education. I know eduction is not a must for a sportsman, but at least education makes you a thinker. You can analyze things and plan. This is a very reason that most the matches that Pakistan should've won have lost, just because they could not cope and play according to the situation. Playing reckless shots again and again puts a rubber stamp that how mentally feeble these Pakistani players are!

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 30, 2007, 16:32 GMT

    After the 5th ODI, Mr. Osman Samiuddin wrote an article on cricinfo titled "Passing on the chokers tag"it is similar to my comment in my last post that, 'the chokers didn't choke this time.' I think it is the Inzamam factor that is missing in the team. Sooner or later the team needs to develop a protégé of Inzi and Miandad, otherwise this chokers tag will be a permanent logo on their butts.

    For those who think that I support Akmal and want him to be in the team despite his continuous poor performance, as Zaheer Abbass says: "Akmal is vary poor wicket-keepering since England toor last summer." I must say, "I am agree" with him, also I want to make it clear by saying, "aNO" I don't support Akmal, provided ..... Pakistan has a better replacement. The wicket keeping problem is similar to the opening conundrum and that is due to the fact that the selectors have made too many experiments too soon with the openers and if they do the same with the wicket keeper - it would be a recipe for disaster.

    I said, at the moment there is no other established wicket keeper in the country and removing Akmal from the crucial match is not a good idea. Like it was for everyone else, me too, I was ruing at the painful sight when Akmal dropped a sitter of Jacques Kallis when he was on 2, that was the turning point of the game. Not only the extra 84 runs were made, the partnership that was built wouldn't have evolve and, SA would have choked then and there after losing his wicket.

    Akmal is not lacking in talent, he needs a mentor to help him and guide him about his technique which is so orthodox i.e., to collect the ball by keeping his body behind his gloves. Sometimes when the ball escapes from the gloves, the body when it is behind the gloves, helps in holding the ball. But, in case of fast bowling if the hands are too stiff then the ball bounces back and thats what happened yesterday. The more unorthodox technique is to collect the ball on the sides, like Gilchrist, Boucher etc., it gives more room for the hands to go back to absorb the force of express deliveries.

    The elbows have more space to bend backwards and upwards to continue or to keep up the catching momentum and the ball seldom bounces off. But, the drawback in this case is, if the ball slips out of the gloves there is no body behind it to hold the ball. Basically its a matter of training, temperament and the way a keeper feels comfortable in maintaining his stance. It is like a batsman's stance, and Shivnaraine Chanderpaul is an example with his awkward stance, and he is not only comfortable with that he is also very successful and, no one else should dare to play or copy that stance.

    I think there was no need to change the opening pair in the 5th ODI, just because Nazir was in doesn't mean Afridi must be demoted to number 7. That was a mistake. But, this is exactly what they do, they keep experimenting and changing batting order in every single match. This result was bound to happen. Like Afridi, Nazir too is a knucklehead. The only difference between the two is, Afridi prefers the aerial route which is more risky whereas, Nazir plays more ground shots but, once he starts hitting he never stops slashing and pays a price soon. His 160 against Zimbabwe is the only exception and the hallmark of his short career. That day he could have scored a double hundred because there were so many overs left to play when he was out, but he didn't use his head or the "grey matter."

    Finally this one is for Mr. Mahmood Malik's question about "who allowed Zaheer Abbas and Mushtaq Ahmed to do English Comentary?" In that short list please include Waqar Younus as well. I couldn't stop laughing out loudly at Waqar's comments when Imran Nazir was out. I am sure everyone must have noted that Nazir slammed Ntini for 3 consecutive fours and then in the next over he started with a first ball four to make it 4 in a row and, then 4 dot balls because, each time he was slashing and missing. Even the most popular of all the experts, "Geoffrey Boycott's mother," could have predicted that he is going to get out soon. And he did not disappoint anyone, he was out on the 6th ball. Waqar was also ruing before he was out by saying, 'look at him after hitting 4 fours to "Na-teeni" he is still slashing at every ball now.' As soon he was out, Robin Jackman screamed in joy with a, "GONE, he is OUT, he played....one too many" and Waqar, so proudly said: "you are saying, 'one too many?' I said, "five too many." Poor Waqqa!

  • Mufti Wajid on October 30, 2007, 16:05 GMT

    What a shame! A craft of snatching defeat from jaws of victory. A pathetic lack of common sense that has made me sick. The talk of Malik being a learning captain or an aggressive one for that matter is crap. He is as good as Inzi. Pakistan which where famous for their flair and style now play like cows. I might have been an Inzi (the batsman) fan but this is what he did as a captain. The aggression is gone. The style is gone. Common sense is as usual very uncommon. And Malik saying “we have learned how to finish a game” is absurd. Who does he think has learned – Afridi or Shoaib (lol!!). Agreed both are spectacular and supremely talented but you need to be a team player as well. Agreed you did your job with the ball and cemented [;)] your place in the squad for the next zillion games but what about your team. It needs some commitment and common sense at times. All you needed was singles here and there (after all run-rate of 3.6 for seven overs is not too tall a task in this 20-20 era) and you had a FIRST EVER SERIES VICTORY AGAINST SOUTH AFRICA. Instead you go for personal reputations and personal glory. And what do you get - a zilch and lots of shame. Remember how Harbhajan, Zaheer and Karthik won India a match against Australia. Remember how Broad and Bopara won for England against India and against Lanka also. I remember times not long ago when you believed Pakistan could win even from hopeless situations and now you fear defeat even when victory is at touching distances and you prove right as well. What a change in the attitude and what a change in the mindset and what lack of character and all credit to Inzi-era. This is how India used to play and this is so unlike Pakistan. This is not the team I loved. This is not the team I have grown up watching. Raw talent is nothing if it lacks the desire to win, the killer instinct (billi marna). I remember a commentator once saying that if all the appeals were held no team will ever score 20 against Pakistan. That was the aggression and the flair. Now what you have a team of eleven individuals who even don’t have a common goal. Some play for their places, some for their reputations, some just for the heck of it and some I don’t understand at all why and what for they play. Something about Malik. Is he scared or what. He seems overawed by his seniors. He can’t even say that his team batted poorly and his batsmen played poor shots even when Smith credits his victory to poor shots and great fielding.

    And guys please don’t defend Afridi this time. He is a fantastic talent and I agree with that. He deserves his place in the squad and I agree with that also but what about team commitment. He plays for his reputation I guess. He did the same in T20 final and same here. How Pakistan has wasted two golden opportunities. It really hurts to see them play like this.

    Finally, I have no hopes from India tour and please don’t tour India. I can’t bear the humiliation. I wish I were not telecasted at all.

  • Moon on October 30, 2007, 15:34 GMT

    For Pakistan team, is there a word beyond Chokers?

    Javed A(fridi) Khan, Greatness doesn't come by talking nonsense, it was extremely absurd act of you not to accept your mistake, instead you keep providing wrong explanations and trying to convince WHO? I would suggest you to read your abysmal posts about swing and after that read my previous post again, and yes i didn't copy/paste that from anywhere in fact i don't even know if it's available anywhere FYI, i might have played more cricket as compared to what you have watched. I told you so many times, criticizing others for the sake of cheap publicity isn't making you a great person, instead it is over shadowing your qualities(if any) Me, idolizing you, you must be kidding! come out of your dream world and face the reality .

  • Shibili Ahammed on October 30, 2007, 15:25 GMT

    Junaid,

    It is not LHR or KHI stuff. Just watch the play Kamran is playing. He dropped Jacques Kallis two times in the KHI test. That inning was the difference in the scores and the winning margin. And J.Kallis bats at number two position. After the first break through if another wicket goes down that would have sealed the fate of SA team.

    Just watch the reply of the catch Kamran akmal dropped in LHR (last ODI) and what that did to the series and game. Watch the way Kamran threw away his wicket when he was getting runs. Either he has to stop opposition batsmen from getting runs by guling the chances coming his way or get some runs to compensate it.

    I am not from LHR or KHI. In fact not from Pakistan at all. Still a Pakistani Cricket Fan from the age 6, well over 35 years. I can understand pakistani cricket better than Shoaib Malik and Geoff Lawson, my friend.

    So please do not bring the nasty politics. Think in terms of a winning team combination. Please...please...please

  • Muhammad Asif on October 30, 2007, 15:11 GMT

    I remember in past, India used to throw away matches in the same fashion as currently we are doing.

  • Roshan on October 30, 2007, 14:52 GMT

    Pakistan batsman couldnt bat properly against good bowling but I am confident that all these half baked batsmen will score heavily against our poor bowling in the upcoming series....Our bowlers are absolute duffers & even worse than these pakistan batsmen. So it will be a good series. My pick for the series is Afridi (down & out at this stage) & Younis khan...Both these guys have scored heavily against us. Indian selectors played politics with Dravid, They know they cant keep Tendulkar out so they kept greatest servent of Indian cricket out i.e. without doubt Rahul Dravid. Both India & pakistan has plenty in common including the fool selectors but I could never figure out why both countries fight with each other....Common man is suffering in both countries!

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 30, 2007, 14:14 GMT

    The way our team lost the final match even school boys don't lose matches like this 20 ODD runs in 6 overs and every batsman who was coming to the crease was playing a wild shot up in the air when they really should have been taking singles. It seemed that some players in the team were following instructions not to win the match. Shoaib Akhtar proved his class as a bowler once again, and Kamran Akmal proved once again how pathetic his wicket keeping is, I cant understand just because he can score 20 odd runs he has become so indispensable for the team management that they don't want to kick him out.

    Javed A khan

    Anything which is a little above your waist and is short can be played with a straight bat watch Matthew Hayden, you can hit the ball through its line on the up its much less riskier than a cross batted pull shot which if you don't time it well is certainly going to get you out.When the ball is above the shoulders obviously you have to hook it anything in the ribcage area its better if you run it down to fine leg area rather than playing a cross batted swat especially when the ball is angling in from outside the off stump.The ball on which Kamran Akmal got out was a clear example of what I am trying to explain he played a cross batted pull shot and got the bottom edge on to his stumps if he had played the same ball on the up with a straight bat coming down the wicket the result could have been different also when you commit to a cross batted shot there is no room to adjust your shot.You can easily adjust your shot if you are playing with a straight bat.

  • Salam on October 30, 2007, 13:31 GMT

    Afridi and Akmal need to get go! A dilemma with the same two culprits, costing us the T20 final and the final ODI against South Africa. I’m getting use to a sense of feeling that if we loose a major game, it always has something to do with these two clowns. Pakistan selectors need to wake up and smell the coffee; when are they even going to realise this? The most obvious weaknesses in Pakistan team today are these two individuals, who have been given countless opportunities to rise up to the moment when the country and its fans needs it most. Why do we die hard fans of Pakistan have to suffer setbacks because of these two individuals? I could put my money on it, that if in the future we loose a must win game, it will always have something to do with both of theses clowns.

  • Owais on October 30, 2007, 13:02 GMT

    Guys, Afridi is a good one day bowler. That is it. His batting is useless, if you want to win once in 15 matches because of batting by playing him as an opener maybe. But his batting is a shame. Similarly I am baffled at people prasing Kamran Akmal's batting, if he cannot make at least 50% of the runs he has given away by dropping easy catches than he should get a kick, you know where. But I am 10000% sure that Kamran Akmal has got someone backing him up. Shoaib Malik and Inzi are his fans, everyone konws that. I think Shoaib is a bad one day and test captain and seems that he is not learning as well. Still i will give him one more series though it means he will be learning at the cost of millions of fans.

  • Rash on October 30, 2007, 8:19 GMT

    Afridi is no more derserving to stay in ODI also, after watching him in last match we can imagin how irresponsible he is. He needs a break to learn how to play when team is in great dilemma. T20 hero Misblah also should be kicked out immeditely he couldn't even make single half century in whole series they should look for fresh blood in middler order. Anyways Afridi is not at all suitable in 7th or 8th position this position requires a responsible batsman due to heavy pressure so better either kick him out or make him a permenent opener.

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg Virginia, USA on October 30, 2007, 3:10 GMT

    From the Jaws of Victory to defeat..... that was the story of pakistan in the final ODI versus South Africa. After Yousuf was out, the last 5 wickets tumbled and seemed to be offered to South Africa on a golden platter. When all the Pakistan batsmen needed were singles, both Misbah and Afridi, went back to the pavillion playing irresponsible shots and the tail followed suit.

    Congratulations to Pakistan team for gifting the ODI Series to South Africa.

    It says a lot about the lack of mental toughness of Pakistan Team.

    I hope they learn their lessons soon.... as their young Captain mentioned.

    Welcome back Shoaib Akhtar.... he almost single handedly put Pakistan at the top and had Akmal not dropped Kallis, South Africa would be left defending a much smaller score.

  • Mahmood Malik on October 30, 2007, 2:47 GMT

    Could you please tell us who allowed Zaheer Abbas and Mushtaq Ahmed to do English Comentary??

  • Javed Mansoor on October 30, 2007, 0:54 GMT

    Mr. Abassi, Again yesterday Mr. Sher Khan Afridi played really well especially under pressure. This guy is genious to play in testing conditions. This Sher run away as soon as his team needs him. Anyway, this is not the first time, and all of us will match this Sher Khan to choke again & agian in many years to come. Mr. Sher Khan Afridi Zaindabad.

  • Sitarah Anjum (London) on October 29, 2007, 19:27 GMT

    Back to where Afridi and Pak team belonged!!! Chokers, losers, mindless and what a shameless display of batting in the final ODI in Lahore to give away a match that Pakistan was certain to win!!!!! What to say, I have no words to show my disgust. What I feel is shoot all of those chokers including the mindless bull Afridi. These chokers gave away the golden chance to win first bilateral series against SA. What the hell was wrong with them, did they take ‘RED BULL’ by mistake that gave them extra wings to fly in the cricket ground!!! I take my words back from my previous post where I praised so much and supported Afridi to be made a captain or vice-captain. As we say in Urdu "chulloo bhar pani", please some body get these be-shamar, consistant loosers “chullo bhar pani” and fine them with atleast RS 10 lakhs each as a punishment. Oh my oh my, I got no words..........

    They are not playing cricket for the 1st time that I let it go!!! I've no pardon for them in anyway whatsoever. Please please…. PCB , for God's sake punish these chokers and tell them if they can get hell lot of money for playing then they can also get punished to return the same money that they do not deserve after a joke like this!!!! I can not use any ‘bad language’ in this blog but they deserve more than that!!!!

  • Is there a man in Pakistan luckier than Kamran Akmal? on October 29, 2007, 16:29 GMT

    Is there a man in Pakistan luckier than Kamran Akmal? He dropped important catch again. And he is in the team.

  • Dawar, LA USA on October 29, 2007, 16:22 GMT

    Another bad performance from Kamran Akmal, Misba ul haq and Imran Nazir.

    But there are still in the team for an Indian Tour. Kamran Akmal drop once again the important and staright forward catch. The bastman scored 85 runs.

    Why Shahid Afridi came down for an opener only for two matches? Due to that PCB did not able to try new young opener Khalid Latif.

    Kahlid Latif is out from the team again with out palying.

    We need to rid off from Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal, Misba ul haq and Abdur Rehman. We need young blood.

    Dawar LA USA

  • Omer Admani on October 29, 2007, 15:12 GMT

    Well, Osman Samiuddin after his interview with coach Lawson holds the opinion that players have gelled well with Malik as the captain. It seems like the gel is distributed in an uneven proportion, as some have really stuck on Malik while others have repelled too farther away. One such sticker is Kamram Akmal and a commentator aptly suggested that the most unfortunate dismissal in cricket these days is 'caught Akmal'. The other friend that is a sticker is Misbah. A couple of innings in 20/20 shouldn't make this 'old' friend of Malik's an automatuic selection yet. The stickers on other occasions are in the opening slot. Why not Fawad Alam who hasn't had his part of the 'gel connection' with Malik? Why not try something new rather than stick to old failures? Regarding Malik's captaincy again: Unfortunately, Malik lets the game drift along from the very first ball. It was striking to see him push all the fielders back once the mandatory power plays were over. Kallis has a problem finding ways to score runs, so Malik pulled the field back such that Kallis could take all the singles he wanted. When Gibbs got out, again the new batsmen weren't attacked enough and the field was way back. Malik simply lets the game drift along and doesn't simply change. He is worse than Inzamam when it comes to defensiveness (Surely Inzamam wouldn't have lost both the series' in Pakistan). Can someone explicate the logic of producing spinner-friendly tracks, having a specialist spinner in Rehman, and not having a fielder saving one on the leg-side so that he can attack and take wickets? Was the whole plan behind the spinner-friendly tracks such that Malik could bowl defensively with his specialist spinner, having three men on the boundary rather than at least one or two saving singles on the on side? At this rate Pakistan will never run through a side no matter what bowling attack it gets, as Malik would never be keen on taking wickets. Malik has only to learn from Smith in that even after the 15 overs were over, he didn't pull the third fielder out and kept on attacking. Even with Younis and Yousof set, he kept on attacking. That was his best chance and it eventually worked and he grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat. It can easily be imagined that if Malik were the captain, by that time he would have lost interest in the game and conceded defeat. Moreover, Afridi is simply too late at 7. It has become rather obvious now that Afridi cannot play in a situation where he doesn't know whether to defend or attack. At 7 he will usually find himself with the tail on the other end and will always be unsure as to whether to curb his instinct or go with it. He won't be able to play at number 7, and if Alam and Latif ought to be tried as openers, Afridi should be coming after Mohammad Yousof. That is the perfect place for him to attack, whether with runs behind the board, or to take the attack on the opposition when Pakistan is in a weak position. It is certainly better than 7. The batting choked again once the frailties of the team became more apparent with the ball-change after 35 overs. The newer ball started swinging and no matter however many runs Malik can make, he will always remain a 35-average batsman on dead tracks while a nobody in the slightest of seaming/swinging/bouncy conditions. On the other hand, Misbah, too, was consistently beaten with the swinging ball before he got out. What ensued afterwards was a terrible flaw in the batting order which isn't simply corrected because the captain doesn't change his old opinion that Afridi should bat at 7. Malik might as well think about it this way: Even if Afridi gets out quickly at 5, then Malik and Misbah could could go back to attritional cricket. It is hard to know what Afridi will produce and the sooner we know the better.

    Lastly, bowling was much better to watch just because Akhter is back and it was a strong comback. I wouldn't say Akhter is back in full form yet and once he does, than Pakistan will have the best bowling attack in the world (seemingly). However, I feel that the defensiveness and the thoughtlessness of the captain will always inhibit an otherwise attacking team.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 29, 2007, 14:59 GMT

    As expected Pakistan lost this match and the ODI series. Whereas, the chokers didn't choke this time.

    The question is do humans have the killer instincts or is everything a result of our environment? The answer is, we sure do. And it is also true that it is a result of our environment. Our basic survival depends on the killer instincts. Although it is there in some form or the other, and in some cases it is subdued due to the modern means, availability and facilities. This made made us lethargic and non-combative. Ever notice someone getting upset because they are hungry? Ages ago, this would be the body telling the mind to go out and get something for dinner, you would have to hunt, or pull something like, vegetation from the ground to satisfy those cravings. Now, you either go to the supermarket, grocery store, restaurant or simply reach for the fridge. Although humans are not primitive anymore, as they used to be, but even today, one of the first instincts that humans show is the sucking instinct. This is shown almost immediately after birth. Without it, newborn babies would starve to death. But, when it comes to the killer instincts, the Pakistan team sucks.

    Shoaib Malik after the match said, today we have learned so many things about finishing the match. I wonder what he meant by that? And Mishab ul haq, as the expression goes, he still needs to "know the ropes," to take the proceedings to the end on a winning note. And, Shahid Afridi is such a knucklehead who makes the same mistake again and again, there was no need for big shots only 15 from 24 balls were needed. The whole team is lacking the spirit of killer instinct ..... le instinct qui pousse à tuer, ne pas combativité, ne pas gagneur.

    If they are not going to master this instinct, they won't be combative anymore and they won't be able to pull a win in such easy situations. Especially, in a situation like this when they were in a position to win the match comfortably they lost it so convincingly. At one stage they were 149 for 2 and then, lost 6 wickets for 20 runs, clearly shows that they are lacking the killer instincts. Do they need some kinda mental pabulum, a high protein diet or an extra dose of sildenafil to enhance their performance and hone their killer instincts? They definitely need the help of a shrink.

  • Roshan on October 29, 2007, 14:01 GMT

    Pakistan Just lost both the series to SA...I belive it will be perfect battle now between India & pak as both teams were hammered by two top teams in the world....I will name the series as "Clash of the losers"...

  • JamJar on October 29, 2007, 11:53 GMT

    Kamran,

    Another day, another match and another fluffed chance in Kamran Akmal's buttery world! Now I'm no wicketkeeper but what I can see of his fluffed catch off Shoaib is that it was a sitter for a keeper and he spilled Kallis when he was barely off the mark! Another quick wicket so soon after Smith could have forced some panic in the SA camp, making things a tad easier for Pak.

    But what happens, Kallis goes on to post 84! I truelly hope that this is not another series where we rue the fluffed catches of Akmal and ponder on what 'could have been'.

    Kamran Abassi, please, please post a thread on Akmal's performance and use any influence you may have to get the selectors to try out someone who can catch!

  • TTU on October 28, 2007, 16:22 GMT

    How about having malik open the innings or come in at 3, he has played in this position superbly in 2005 and 2006, but a typical paki cricket board they had to go and move him. As far as Afridi is concerned, he shoul open only when pakistan need to chase a big score,he can provide impetus and unlike nazir, once he gets settled in he usually makes it count. At all other times, Afridi should be left at 6 or 7. Forget Misbah, he was only a one ime phony in the twenty20 world cup, replace him with Fawad alam, a proven allrounder in the paki domestic cicuit. Also, another issue is the vice captaincyy, how about Afridi, perhaps responsibility can give him consistency. Another burning issue is Akmal, we are all quick to remember his dropped catches, but what about the excellent run of form he had of form with the bat in 2005, the Paki cricke board should perservere with him but if he continues to be a dripdrop behing the stumps, then we should drop him, in favour of a wicketkeepers who can BAT. Zulqarnain Haider, Mohammad Salman and even Akmals younger brother are all poor batsmen, how can they even be considered for international duty, my bet would be on Sarfaraz Ahmed, he showed promise in front of the stumps and behind them.

  • Tameem Nekzai on October 28, 2007, 12:48 GMT

    I'll only talk about Kamran; the problem PCB selecters are having that they dun wanna bring new WK in international level cause he might produce few fans and friends in that short term until kamran comes back. Now i m talking about same old moin/rashid problem. They(pcb) don't wanna have 2 international wk, otherwise they might cut a professional batsman and add 2WKeepers, that would be pretty stupid. dun u think??????

  • saaniya_s6@yahoo.com on October 28, 2007, 12:01 GMT

    hello osman sir thers a mistake in the preview for last odi between south africa and pakistan .in the list of the probables afridis name doesnt feature how can tht be possible .kamran akmal is written twice.do chk it

  • Manhal Ali on October 28, 2007, 9:15 GMT

    GET SALMAN BUTT BACK!

  • Shaheer Shikrani on October 28, 2007, 7:53 GMT

    Agree with "Hassan" completely about all his aspects.

    I reckon Hameed should open in One Days with Nazir. Nazir can quickly put opposition on back foot but he just needs to use his brain a bit more, he always throws his wicket away and has better hand-eye co-ordination than Afridi.

    In tests Hameed should open with Akmal. (he's a very good timer of the ball as well and good hand-eye coordination) Some might disagree because of his keeping, but he is the most consistent opener in Pakistan. He also scored two successive centuries as opener against England.

  • Raja on October 27, 2007, 15:13 GMT

    Why Kamran Akmal and Misba are included in the team for an indian tour?????

    Any performace criteria.....OR some thing else

    Shame on our system.

    Raja

  • Saima Khan on October 27, 2007, 15:07 GMT

    If you are PUNJABI it is a matter in Pakistan. Shoaib Malik also expressed his views in Nadia Khan talk show.

    After poor form and poor performance from Kamran Akmal, Salman Butt, Imran Nazir (only scored when some one drop his catches) and Misba ul Haq, they all are in the one day team for an Indian tour.

    After wonderful performance in domestic cricket Khalid Latif has been called for third one day international but Shahid Afridi step up himself as an Opener. He scored 32 runs in first match but again he was out for ZERO. Did he step up only because of Khalid Latif? Few weeks back Shahid Afridi gave statement that he is happy on number seven position and doing well with his bat also at number 7. Suddenly he put himself up to stop only one Karchi born player in the team. If merit is not working here, why not we put QUOTA System in cricket and at least two Karachi born players should be in the team. We applied QUOTA system in our jobs and educational institute of karachi, so why not in PCB at Lahore.

    Asim Kamal should be in the test team for an Indian tour. He averages more than 50 against India.

    Sarfraz Ahmed is a best available wicket keeper batsman from Karachi. But he will get never chance because of his background. Because of excellent performance from fast bowler Anwar ALi we won under 19 world cup. But he never called for Pakistan. But we called again Yasir Arfat from Rawalpindi for the world cup after his good performance in English county. But he failed again.

    Young talented openers Khalid Latif & Khurrum Manzoor are performing well in domestic, why we are brining back our failed openers? They could play one or two good ininnings but will not consistance in thier performace.

    I think Owais Shah did the right thing to move London from Karachi and now he representing England.

    Saima Khan Islamambad

  • ashraf on October 27, 2007, 7:57 GMT

    Shahid Afridi should continue to open in the one dayers. It is a gamble, gamble can only pay on some days, not all the time. There are no quality openers in this team, none is confident or rich in technique. Might very well stick with Afridi and Nazir.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 27, 2007, 7:53 GMT

    Spin means to keep moving or rotate swiftly, I wonder why "Pak Spin" gets stationary or stalled at times? In Physics spin is referred as, the intrinsic angular momentum of a particle. Reportedly, it is that momentum of a particle which exists even when the particle is at rest. I don't understand who is at rest here? The avatar of this "blog khana" or the bloggers? I am sure after the 4th ODI a lot of bloggers must have aired their views about the match. Lekin yae tou hona hee thaa! I was expecting that they will loose but, not this way! It was once again a "disgustipatingly" pathetic performance with the bat, ball and fielding too. Younus Khan scored and the team lost once again! Mr. Khairi will say thats not his fault. But, some people are unfortunate and he is one of them. But, he always cements his place for the next game.

    The cat called Smithy got nine lives already and must be very happy with his own performance also because of the win. The pinch hitter Pollock paddled up the run rate and frustrated the bowlers. Asif should not have played in this match and I wrote this prior to the match, not only about him but, also about Abdul Rahman. And, Asif which means sorry in Arabic, must have been "Mutasif Jiddan," avec himself after giving away 64 runs in 8 overs and 0 wickets! His body language was so languid and he was looking very tired, exhausted, drained-out and consumed. There was no speed, no run up, no guile, no zest, no energy in his bowling. Why the "hello" did he agree to play when he was not 100% fit?

    And the PCB jokers were not aware of the dew factor! What a shame, they are the organizers and they don't know nothing about the home conditions. If they had to accommodate the Friday prayers they should have started the match at 9 or 9:30 a.m. local time. What was the point of ruining the game by starting it so late? I don't think a 50 over ODI match has ever been successful when there is a delayed start like this during this time of the year. By successful I mean fair and not one sided. Yet, the jokers did not bother to think about the dew factor. Whereas, everyone else started talking about it the moment they saw the time or the delayed start of the game.... kay dew ki problem nahee hogi?

    Mr. Abbassi, please keep spinning the blog or create a new thread, before the 5th and final ODI also you have a lot to discuss about the team that has been announced for the India tour. And the first ODI at Gauhati is on Nov. 5th which is not too far! How is Shoaib Actor going to gel in the current team? Apparently the team looks quite harmonious and balanced without him.

  • Javed Mansoor on October 27, 2007, 6:39 GMT

    Dear Mr. Abassi,

    I submitted my humble opinion about your hero alrounder, Mr. Sher Khan Afridi. However, you did not have the courage to post it. I know it as you just want to keep writing to please readers and may be Cricinfo. Most of the readers here do not have any sense of true cricket. You and many others just look on stats and avaerage, but never bother about the match situation/conditions, and strength of opposite team. Mr. Afridi can hit many sixes and fours, and can make fastest 50's or 100's, but when his team need him to make even 10-runs he will be shaking. In my very humble opinion, if a guy make 100 rund or take 5-wickets, when his team absolute does not need it is useless as compare to a player he makes few crccila runs and takes few wickets under testing conditions.

    Mr Abassi, you may have seen lot of cricket or read a lot, but one lesson I need to teach you, i.e, genuinness of a player. This means you have to player genuine players, i.e, who are specialist batsmans at their respective position sepcilaist bowlers, and a specialist wicketkeepr. Many readers say that cricket has changes. No its not overall. You can still compete with the best by this simple team selection. How many Iman khan or Kapil Dev or Ian Botham, the world of cricket has produced. I don't see any now or in the last 10-years. The biggest problem with Pak team is their irrational selection and mindset. Pak team has somay alrounder, that uner testing ciircumtances/conditions, they can neither bat nor bowl. We saw this in the last Worldcup, we saw against south Africa, and if the same kind of team will tour India, I am afraid results will be the same.

    Furthermore, many readers say that captain or a player is inexperienced. THis is horrible excuse. If someone comes to represent a national team, then its mean he is capable to do justice to his job/duty. I am saying that players are robot, ofcourse they are human being, and can make mistakes. However, its not the why our team lost its the manner and gust by which Pak team should play.

    Finally, one thing is worth to mention, i.e., in the presence of Lawson as a coach, Pak's heave dependence on spin. In the series against SA, Pak does not have a bowler with a genuine speed. Sohaib Ahtar was not able to play for whatver reason, but what about Sami. I always rated him good, and definitely better than bowler like Ifthar Anjum and co. He played in the WC07, and performed better than all the bowlers. Pak need to select bowlers who can change the game quicly, not like Kaneria, who bowls around 30 overs, and get 5-wickets, and think he did a great job. This is not a bowling. Even if you and me bowls these overs, we will be able to get few wickets.

    Would like to close now, with once again request that please don't dewell too much into stats. These are important but not to that extent as many people think. Give you a last example. Sorry ita agian about Mr. Afridi. It was only due to his irresponsible batting that Pak lost in the final. If he just stay and played a bit with sense then match could have been diffrent. Afridi was Man of the tournamnet but his team lost.

    With very best wishes,

    Javed Mansoor

  • Awas on October 26, 2007, 20:52 GMT

    This is what I have been saying all along; slow turning pitches had been helping Pakistan. In the last one day we presented SA with a good batting track and the result, as I expected, went in their way. The most worrying aspect is we continuously fail to post good scores.

  • Waheed in USA on October 26, 2007, 19:49 GMT

    To Mr. : Aftab A. Qureshi

    By no means, it was meant to offend you or any other Afridi fan. I myself enjoy it immensely when it is an Afridi day in batting. The fact is, while batting, for the last 11 years he has been in the team, he has proved himself consistently Highly inconsistent. While he has become a very useful ODI and lately a Twenty20I Bowler the fact remains, that he learnt most of his bowling trade on the job. These are just plain facts. As I believe Afridi got this far in his career mainly because there has been a steady decline in the standards of first class cricket in Pakistan. Now, let’s talk about the frequency of good Batsmen being produced in Pakistan. During the last 15 odd years we have produced only 2 ½ Batsmen who we could really trust in all conditions as I do not consider Younis in the same class as Inzmam and Yousaf are in. Now remember, Yousaf has only proved himself in the class of greats in the last couple of years. It means, as far as Batting is concerned, from the early 1990’s till now, we have only produced Inzmam, Yousaf and Younus (1/2). Getting back to Afridi, I seriously doubt, he would have gotten this far in his career had he born in Australia, SA, England or India. As I mentioned in my previous post, it shows the state and the standards of First Class Cricket in Pakistan. Afridi was first selected as a Leg Spinner who can slog a bit. Fortunately for him, very early in his career he was able to score the fastest ODI Century as his bowling was not good enough and he would not have merit a place in any team. That is why in my previous post I said, Afridi honed and polished his ODI’s bowling capabilities only after he got into Pakistan team.

  • Done Done Afridi on October 26, 2007, 17:47 GMT

    I respect afridi alot.. i think he is right up there with Sachin, given a fair chance he can break sachins record,, but i think he is getting old and with that little slower.

    i think its time for him to call it quits while on top. just like inzi bhai.

  • Hassan Abbas on October 26, 2007, 17:38 GMT

    Pathetic performance by Younis Khan and Yasir Hameed, both of them played such a negative cricket, it was like they had given up completely after the Afridi dismissal. But obviously both of them were playing for themselves and not for the team. Younis (as I had expected and written and my earlier post) played a long innings today which basically triggered the loss for Pakistan. He played for himself all along and as a result we were atleast 30 runs short in the end. he also triggered Yousuf's runout.

    Mmalik was his negative best in the field. He is such a negative captain, sometimes it is hard to believe that we have produced a cricket leader who is even more negative than his predessesor Inzamam. Malik kept Rehman on, for the containing job, when he should have had Rao bowling from one end as Rao is in a wickt taking form. Umer Gul seems to have lost all his control and Asif is clearly not good enough in onedayers. It seems that the opening conundrum and keeping dilemma are not the only two problems we are facing. God save Pakistan cricket.

  • Rauf on October 26, 2007, 16:36 GMT

    Malik's post game interview after the clinical spanking in Multan.

    "Boys played well. Boys just could not bowl well. Me and the boys will try to grow a spine between now and the final ODI. Me and the boys hope that after we grow this much needed bone in our body... we will be able to stand up straight and play like men".

    Maybe they can borrow Andrew Symonds spine. It looks pretty stong.

  • Moon on October 26, 2007, 16:21 GMT

    There is a curse on Pakistan team, whenever Younis Khan scores runs, Pakistan loses! Why was Tanveer dropped? why not drop Abdur-Rehman if you surely have to play Asif(almost useless as an ODI bowler)!

  • Touseef on October 26, 2007, 14:28 GMT

    Off topic, would like Kamran to write on the selection of Shoaib Akhtar. Will his selection help Pakistan win or play as a team?

  • Rauf lala on October 26, 2007, 13:29 GMT

    Afridi again got out for duck today. I am not sure whether it is a good idea for Afridi to open. I believe he should concentrate on his bowling and come at no. 7 or 8. he might come for open if we are chasing 300+ total.

  • Saif on October 26, 2007, 12:42 GMT

    Ive recently made it a habit to read Mr Abbasi's posts throughout this South Africa tour... However, I was disgruntled yesterday by that fact that the he clearly pointed out that no matter how many times Akmal has kept Pakistan fighting for victory, he hasn't been performing and so he MUST be dropped immediately. Typical thinking.. Well I hope your bite on that comment after the Multan game - I see Akmal has just got Pakistan out of a terrible situation with the bat with his partner Abdul Rehman. Perhaps now he has played well, you're willing to say that he should stay in the Pakistan team for our tour of India?

    P.S -- Could Geoffery Boycotts mother hit 30-odd from 31 deliveries, Daaniyal M?.. I think not.

    -- Saif

  • test on October 26, 2007, 11:33 GMT

    In the way that ODI’s are often used to ’blood’ a test player or captain I feel we could move in Zulqarnain and/or Sarfraz Ahmed for ODI’s, if only just the last one assuming we win today and think more about India as it draws nearer. It does seem too risky, but do we really want Akmal spilling catches throughout that series too and letting India (god forbid) piling on 500’s in a day? We have been notorious for letting ‘returning’ players finding form against us when they should have been more rusty - Kallis’s 3 Centuries and 50 just now, Jayasuriya’s 253, McGrath’s 8-24 and Sehwag’s 309, 201, 254 and 173 come to mind. I hope the trend ends sharpish!

  • rizvi on October 26, 2007, 11:31 GMT

    Hasan Abbas (good name!) nice statistics on Akmal’s lapses and yes I agree with a lot of those figures from others on how many runs they cost. Australia can get bowled out for 215 batting first on a flat track made for 500 and win on the basis of their fielding (and till recently bowling) - when did Gilchrist drop anything? (Ashes 2005?)

  • Chanda on October 26, 2007, 11:19 GMT

    A Blog is blog and is great fun to read, but when you come across a 5,000 word essay from Canada, it gets a bit much! Try the Afridi method and blog in 60 seconds!!

  • Chori on October 26, 2007, 11:18 GMT

    I gotta mention Younis Khan. Weird year, runs, captaincy conundrums having been groomed since 2003, and STILL in ODI side! He is going to go down as one of our greats, Javed (no not Canada), Inzi, Yousuf will be joined by this tough Pathan who has had the severest family issues and is still standing - but only in the 5 day format pleeez! Younis Khan has never really been a ODI player, leave aside his 144 vs HONG KONG (!) which took over 100 appearances, with only 1 century (vs England) coming after about 140 matches, too high for a high middle order batsman. A fair comparison would be Collingwood - has nowhere as much class as Younis, but has four times as many in less matches AND bats lower down. I am as much of the Younis fan club as I am Afridi, Asif, Yousuf - and Razzak :-( but he has to go along with Akmal in the ODI side. Both are ESSENTIAL for the tests, though Akmal needs to spend time with a pecialist like Bari, Latif, Marsh, Taylor or French pronto. His downtime has been 18 months, which is a bit too much.

    This said - looks like he is gonna get a 100 today and prove me wrong!! (I wrote the main body last nite!)

  • BM on October 26, 2007, 7:25 GMT

    Kamran Akmal need one position to bat on...he losing concentration by up down position...he will play key role in upcoming Pak-India series..

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 26, 2007, 6:32 GMT

    Those who criticize Shahid Afridi must read this new "Friday Column" on cricinfo titled "Allrounder Afridi's stunning run" by S. Rajesh dated October 26, 2007.

    Here is the link:

    http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/columns/content/current/story/317029.html

    I am reproducing his last paragraph, which is worth mentioning here:

    quote:

    "In his 243-match ODI career, Afridi has won 18 Man-of-the-Match awards, which translates to one every 13.5 games; this year, though, he has already bagged two in nine: apart from the Faisalabad game, he also won the prize for his unbeaten 73 from 34 balls against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi. At this rate he has at least one more MoM performance coming up before the year is done."

    unquote.

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 26, 2007, 4:21 GMT

    The news are that Pakistan are going to play Asif instead of Sohail Tanvir I think it will be a disastrous move as Asif is just coming out of the injury his recent ODI form has been pretty ordinary he has been very expensive and his strike rate is also not good, Sohail Tanvir although he gave away too many extras but he has been bowling decently and also the fact that Shahid Afridi is going to open we need somebody down the order who can hit big shots in the last five overs especially when we already know that our middle order can't score at a high pace it will not be a good idea to replace Tanvir. It's very strange that since last couple of seasons whenever Pakistan team starts winning we make some strange changes and we ruin our winning combination,if it ain't broke there is no need to fix it. In this match Pakistan should not make any change and should try to close the series in Multan.

  • Khan KA wada PAKA wada on October 26, 2007, 4:13 GMT

    For PCB

    Send Kamran Akmal to the Peshawer. We will fixed him. He will never drop cathes again after visiting us.

    Khan KA wada PAKA wada

    Gulab Khan Peshawer

  • Euceph Ahmed on October 26, 2007, 3:16 GMT

    Osman Ali Khairi... they've made a shaggy dog out of this whole Shahid Afridi issue, haven't they? But, I bet you they're going to beat it to death. These are the people that are going to stick to their guns no matter what. The minute the guy scores they're going to jump all over you ... I said this, I said that. I say the hell with that. Let's talk about Nasim Ashraf getting a new three-year contract. Let's talk about the missing constitution at the PCB. Most of all, let's talk about something really interesting brought up by

    I always thought that swing would be classififed by how it behaved to the batsman rather than what the bowler bowled. That is to say that, a ball coming in to the batsman would be an in-swinger and a ball moving away from the batsman would be an out-swinger regardless of whether the batsman or the bowler is left-handed or right-handed. So, if a leftie bowler bowls a ball that moves away from a right handed batsman (goes towards the slips), the ball would be classified as an out-swinger even though the bowler has utilized an action that, for a right-handed bowler, would be called an in-swing action.

    Now, , I would like to say something about Younus Khan. I know has rebutted you on that. He wants to compare Younus with other one-down batsman. In my opinion, a correct comparison would take into consideration the opening partnerships. Other one-down batsmen usually have the luxury of a decent opening partnership. The whole world knows Pakistan team's opening problems. This is especially true in ODIs. I think someone(because I'll never do that!!!) would have to pull the stats for Younus's scores alongside opening partnerships that he's been given and then make a judgement whether he's scored well when he's been given a decent start. You can't always expect a one-down batsman to behave like an opener. I think it can easily be argued that the openers are destroying his game too. Inzamam, Miandad have all wanted to move down the order because Pakistan has rarely had a stable opening pair.

  • Junaid on October 26, 2007, 3:16 GMT

    Kamran Akmal has won matches under pressure in the past. He has batted so well in the test series against SA so there is no way he should be out of the team. May be it is getting difficult to for some of my friends to see a wicket keeper from LHR when they are so used to see wicket keepers from KHI only. Same Kamran Akmal has scored the most difficult hundreds against India in KHI and Mohali. If we will continue this culture of criticism based on ethinicity than there is no end. Whenever any Sarfraz will drop a catch other side will fill this blog with hated comments. Stop this stupidity now and start thinking as Pakistani. Kamran deserve to be given a chance to come out of a slightly bad patch.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 26, 2007, 2:41 GMT

    You must be over the Moon and above the clouds after copy pasting the XBOX cricket quotes from some kiddos website. But, you got it all mixed up and forgot the sequence and pasted them all wrong. What a shame, try next time. But, remember when a bowler bowls an outswinger to the right hand batsman it moves away from his bat "and NOT in" as you have stated. The way it is bowled is, by aligning the seam to the left towards the slips and pitching the ball on the left, the ball will swing to the left. For a right handed batsman it results in the ball moving away to the "off side" while in flight or after pitching, usually it goes outwards or away from his body. This is an outswinger.

    The fact is, Sohail Tanvir cannot swing the ball "in to" the right handers, but he can angle it across them very well at a good height and good pace, which leads to a nick or an edge in the slips cordon or to the keeper. But, being a lefty when he bowls the same ball with same action to a left hand batsman, for the left hand batsman its an inswinger. And Chanda Barbie, this is what Wasim Saqib and I were discussing. Whereas, you poked your nose once again in an adult discussion and got it all wrong and your great copy / paste efforts got muddled up and jumbled up and no wonder you are so "un-fused." Anyways, I am bemused by your idiosyncrasy and serendipities and by your idolizing me. If you stay here, I will "unfuse" you even more, may be with a reverse swing! So you better go to the pink room and play avec Saima Barbie, Cindy et Mulan.

    For the curious cat, the way an inswinger is bowled is, when the seam is aligned to the right and placing the ball on the right and towards leg slip, the ball will swing to the right. To a right-handed batsman this results in the ball moving into the leg side while in flight or after pitching, usually it comes "in" towards his body. This is an inswinger to the right hand batsman from a right hand bowler. It is the curvature, or the ratio of the change in the angle of a tangent that moves over a given arc to the length of the arc of swing bowling which makes it difficult for most batsmen to play a correct shot with perfect timing. Generally, most bowlers bowl outswingers, it is easier with the follow through action and they tend to move the ball away from the batsman, meaning if the batsman needs to play a shot, he has to "chase" the ball in order to hit it.

    In trying to hit the ball away from his body the batsman often make mistakes because it is a very risky shot as it leaves a gap between the bat and body through which the ball may travel to hit the wicket. Also, if the batsman misjudges the amount of the swing, it may result in a leading edge of the bat. An inside edge can bounce back on to the wicket, resulting a bowled out or, while an outside edge can fly to the wicket-keeper or towards the slip fielders for a catch.

    An inswinger is relatively less dangerous to the batsman if he protects his wicket well and plays it with a straight bat, but it can result in getting clean bowled when trying to hit a cross bat shot and misses it completely. Or, it may also result in leg before wicket dismissals if the batsman misjudges the swing or the speed of the ball and the ball hits the pads. Inzi had this weakness to misjudge the ball in the first few overs at the crease when he is unable to suss-out the bounce or pace of the wicket and he used to lean in front of the stumps and get out LBW. Kumble has trapped him LBW several times with his straight faster ones.

    Wasim Saqib

    Could you please enlighten us by telling us more as to how one can play a short pitched ball with a straight bat? (I mean, he can play it down with a straight bat and drop it down, but we are talking about scoring runs, a boundary or a six.) If the ball is above your waist level you have no choice but to play a hook or a pull shot and there is only one way i.e., a cross bat shot. You can only play a straight bat shot if it is a length ball or you jump down the track and get under it and loft it straight over the bowler's head for a four or a six. You can use a straight bat for a cover drive, or in the mid-wicket region but, you cannot use a straight bat for a cut shot, pull shot or a hook shot, can you?

    Awas

    The upper chamber which is not so bright despite the open roshandan dhakkan is due to the fact that in his case, the apple fell too far away from the tree, hence there aren't any bright ideas in the upper chamber. ;-) Oh, btw roshan do you consider me as a original leg spinner when I pull the leg stump out of the ground? :-)

  • khansahab on October 25, 2007, 23:19 GMT

    Javed Khan, I stated in my earlier post that the “character” Al Pacino played in the movie reminded me of you. I never said that Pacino’s looks or personality are akin to yours.

    I am surprised you are supporting Akmal. Akmal is a seriously under performing player and if PCB were ECB or any other board they would have got rid of Akmal ages ago. The point is to let Akmal rest for a considerable span of time. I don’t think the point is to show him the door in the middle of this series and include Zulqernain or Sarfraz. We are at a juncture where Akmal is dropping important catches and his first and foremost duty as a wicketkeeper is to hold onto catches. Forget his uninspiring batting; save for the exception of one or two lucky innings, he has batted like a tailender for most of this year. I agree that Zulqernain was unimpressive during his debut but he must have matured a bit now. Plus it is not prudent, as you have rightly admitted, to form an opinion about a youngster who has just played one or two matches and failed in them (as Eamiran and Wasim Saqib mysteriously did regarding Fawad Alam although most people would agree that Fawad succeeded in his second international match against New Zealand).

    Wasim Saqib, Lately you have been excellent in your posts. I have been very impressed by the detail and accuracy in your analyses. You have mentioned about Sreesanth and Nel. I want to distinguish here between the two figures. Sreesanth is deliberately irritating the opposition and he is putting on an act lately, whereas Nel by nature is a volatile, unpredictable and clownish figure. Andre Nel can be hostile but at the same time he also occasionally smiles at the opposition, pats them on the back or displays good sportsman spirit. Whereas Sreesanth is totally antagonistic towards the opposition- so much so that he ends up looking bizarre and stupid. If you are implying that there is a bias towards Sreesanth owing to his race, then yes that can be a point. A recent example of bias against Subcontinental teams is when in the Twenty20 Cup the cameras showed Gilchrist rubbing the ball against the ground, to get the grass off the ball. Now according to the laws of cricket, that is ball-tampering, because it is an unnatural change to the condition of the ball. Now in one of the recent Pakistan-South Africa ODI’s, Billy Bowden told Malik to ask his boundary fielders to throw the ball in the keeper’s gloves as opposed to the ground just before the keeper, because it was affecting the condition of the ball and may be classified as ball-tampering. Now the chances of the ball being tampered in the latter example are much more remote than the chances in the former example. However, Gilchrist faced no warning, fine or reprimand for his conduct (to my knowledge anyway).

    I agree with you that Shoaib Akhtar has won us more matches than Younis and Afridi and many posters on this blog have recognised that Akhtar is a genuine matchwinner. However, I have stated that Akhtar’s inclusion often brings more loss than benefit to the team. Firstly his overall behaviour gives the country a bad name. Secondly, his fitness level is absurd and he always gives the PCB a headache as to whether he will be fit for a forthcoming important match or not. Thirdly, he is always attracting controversy (this point is linked to my first point) whether he is specifically attending nightclubs, seeking the services of escorts, taking drugs, verbally abusing people, hitting his teammates or attacking his coach. Owing to these reasons I think it is best that even if Akhtar is match fit, decent bowlers like Gul, Asif, Rao and now Tanvir should be given chances ahead of Akhtar so he feels the heat and improves himself. Owing to discovery of Asif and the consistent performances of Gul and Rao in the recent past, I think Akhtar is dispensable for the moment until he seeks counselling and makes a positive change to his demeanour.

    Let us hope Yasir Hameed, who is a class above Butt, Hafeez, Nazir and Farhat, can put up a decent show at Multan. Otherwise, Malik may have to pay the “Karachi mourners” (Javed Khan’s quote) their due and include Khalid Latif in the final match in Lahore.

    Finally I don’t know why there is so much debate over Malik’s technique. People should leave him alone because currently he is the second best batsmen in the team. Not only has he shown that captaincy will not get in the way of his batting, he has also demonstrated excellent pressure handling skills. No one mentioned his very valuable 42 in the Faislabad match which was much more significant than Afridi’s 32. A minor flaw against the short ball is nothing compared to his generally imperious batting.

  • Awas on October 25, 2007, 23:17 GMT

    I wonder whether PCB devised the right programme for a home series straight after playing 20:20 competition. Having just played frantic 20:20 cricket, it would have been better to play one day series first and get slowly into the groove of playing normal test cricket. Our batsmen might have done better to post some decent scores especially in the first innings in both tests.

    What a shame Dr ERROR is still not admitting his error and keeps beating about the bush that he is right. Three eminent independent experts said Woolmer died of natural causes. I think there is a limit to one’s stubbornness but no never with this Dr No. He is making a fool out of himself by repeatedly towing the same line.

    Not so Bright Light…Roshan

    First you were bringing in democracy into your sneering comments now, on second thought, its dictatorship. Keep thinking hard, you might come up with a bright idea at some point and then post it when it actually makes some sense. Other than contemptuous criticism of some posters on non-cricketing matters when have you ever said anything about cricket?

  • Khaista Gul on October 25, 2007, 22:38 GMT

    It is surprising to see an individual with 2000+ runs at an average of 38+ was sitting out while, these others with an average which would have been bettered by a club level opener at the international level were given more chances. Good gracious Almighty God may help PCB in understanding the stats one day and not go with regional bias and prejudices.

  • Jawad Omar on October 25, 2007, 22:19 GMT

    No doubt the perfect pair in shape of " Yasir & Afridi " for the subcontinent specialy 4 indian tour. Else we can use Imran Nazir & Yasir as specialist openers. I think there is no soft corner in Abbasi's heart for poor Kamran Akmal. He is a good performer no doubt about it. What he need is a specified role as a finisher in batting and you will see him as a great keeper, nothing wrong in his keeping ability what goes wrong is his absentia of mind. some one need to talk to him :) Hi to all who read n love to write here :)

  • Misbah-Ul-Haq on October 25, 2007, 21:10 GMT

    Couldn't have agreed more with you kamran. He was also trilled when I took the catch of Kallis.

  • Wasiq on October 25, 2007, 20:17 GMT

    Pakistani fans are indeed very irrational when it comes to Pakistan cricket. We all seem to have a love & hate sort of an affair with our cricket team. We love them to death on one day and trash them on the other day. This is simply because Pakistan has been very inconsistent over the last decade or so due to the fact that we have NOT produced the great players that we once did in the past. PCB should be responsible for this problem for not developing the existing talent and for not uplifting the domestic structure including the infrastructure.

    I certainly believe that the general opinion about Pakistan having loads of talent is simply fallacy and a myth. As we stand we don’t have any promising cricketers in the pipe line and the ones we do have are mostly average or slightly above average by international standards with few exceptions. This holds true for both bowlers and the batsmen and let’s not talk about fielding at all.

    Now getting back to Afridi topic, which never seems to get old. I am also a big fan and have closely watched him play from day one. No matter how much I enjoy or hate his performances, one thing remains that he will never change his game for better or worse. It’s definitely a dilemma to have him bat on top vs. sending him down the order. When he fails on the top everybody jumps on the bandwagon to drop him and when he doesn’t get to bat much at the bottom then we think he is being wasted. In my opinion we should be rational and should look at the bigger picture and should analyze his strengths and weaknesses before deciding on how to utilize him. Over the years I have noticed that he enjoys playing medium pacers and the spinners because he has such great hand-eye coordination and finds enough time to whack them out of the park. Like his many Pakistani counterparts he struggles with swing and seam bowling and looks pretty ordinary against such bowling. Keeping this in mind I think he should be utilized based on the conditions that Pakistan is playing in on any given day. For this reason he should always open in the sub-continent and should bat at no. 6 or 7 spot when touring outside the sub-continent. By doing this Pakistan can maximize his strengths and eliminate his weaknesses, which will produce better and consistent performances from him.

    Afridi has really improved his bowling and he has been bowling with great intensity and with some purpose lately, which should be truly appreciated. He seems to know that his strength is now his bowling, which was the only reason he got selected in the first place. At the end of the day he has become a true utility player and should be utilized appropriately for the sake of Pakistan cricket.

  • Omair on October 25, 2007, 20:15 GMT

    AFRIDI .... you have PROVED to all of us that you are amongst the biggest hitters in the world.... BUT YOU STILL HAVEN'T PROVED THE CONSISTENCY IN YOUR PERFORMANCE FOR AT LEAST ONE LONG SERIES (ODIS or TESTS)!!!!!

  • Mike Rosario on October 25, 2007, 19:58 GMT

    Just a thought !!

    How come they are still playing cricket in Multan ..Inzamam is gone with grace. Why not play in some other province for a change huh ? So maybe non germans can also enjoy cricket.

    Regards

    Mike

  • Aftab A. Qureshi on October 25, 2007, 19:26 GMT

    To Mr. Wheed in USA,I dare say that dont be cruel to the likes of Inzamam, Yousaf and Younis Khan. They are all batsmen who developed after the Miandad era. To be blunt, even during that era, and before that, we had produced very very few great batsmen..Haneef Mohammad, Saeed Ahmead, Majid Khan, Mushtaq Mohammad and perhaps Asif Iqbal. I can hardly think of any one else. I will ask you not look for statistics when talking about Afridi. Look at the number of times he has won man-of-the-match award. He is pampered because of his match winning abilities as a three-dimensional ODI player.

  • M Mahboob Hossain (Dhaka) on October 25, 2007, 18:54 GMT

    Thanks Kamran, for raising another critical issue. For me, Afridi will always be an asset in the team, depending on how & when the captain uses him, according to the wicket & opposition. With his improved bowling, he is among very few in contemporary cricket, who can be MotM in an ODI individually for either batting or bowling. Besides, he always had been a better all round fielder. He’ll might be the main player in Indian ODI series (May be not as an opener, but @ 3, as now the fielding restriction is 20 overs & the white Kukkabura ball looses its shine after 7-8 overs. No way, India will be using 4 seamers, therefore someone will spin around from over 15 onwards & as an opener, he might not last that long). He did perform @ 8 against SA, only was pushed to open as the openers were horrible.

    Regarding Akmal, Pakistan is again making the same mistake of the 90’s when they had 2 quality keepers, one brilliant with late order batting, other being only second to Hilly with the gloves. Instead of playing Moin in ODIs & Latif in Tests & keep both of them on toes to improve their weaker half, PCB made both of them captain & once a certain time we had Moin playing as a specialist Bat in ODI’s. I think, the selection policy should be, “The best Keeper in the country, regardless of batting, should be keeping in Tests (May be Sarfaraz, he sounds to be very good, I am not that convinced with Julkarnine as in Dhaka, in U-19 WC, he looked to be very shaky & rusty, too tall against 2 brilliant spinners of that team) & among the List A keepers, the best one with the bat to play in ODI’s”. In that regard, I feel Kamran should play in ODI’s & he should open in India, as I felt him to be very good against fast bowlers with square of the wickets shots, & equally weaker against spinners. He hardly can expect fast balls hitting his bat in India, batting @ 7.

    Kamran should well serve as an ODI opener (He had few ODI tons as opener & I can’t remember the last Pak opener to do so, after But @ Peshwar) pushing Afridi @ 3 & keep wickets. More than 90% of balls in ODI don’t go to keeper & contribution with the bats is essential, specially now Pakistan don’t have Wasim, Razzaq, Mahmud, nor even Saqulain or Rana. I don’t think he is a worse keeper than Moin & certainly not than Rahul Dravid, whose keeping gave India the option for an extra all-rounder/Bowler & India was very good during his keeping days. Sangakara does the same for Lanka & a keeper-batsman as good as Hilly lost his ODI place to batsman-keeper Gilly, even at his batting prime.

    Or the other option could be keeping with Hamid (His cricinfo profile says that he is a keeper with Peshwar) in ODI’s & allow one specialist opener to play.

    Talking about new blood, I am disappointed with the just veteran youth team of Pakistan. How long this generation (Nazir, Hamid, Farhat, Hafiz, Raza, Iqbal, Umar, Butt) will be given opportunities & get away with that being youngster & learning. How long should they take to mature? Can’t talk much about Technique, but I hardly have seen any improvement in their approach, almost every time they are getting out in wrong time with common wrong shot. Nazir is probably the modern Bradman with 20 runs score innings (I haven’t seen anybody playing such exciting & quality shot just after coming on both feet against spin & pace recently & also haven’t seen loosing wicket so casually & obnoxiously).

    It’s high time to start approaching the next generation, Latif, Manzoor, Umar Amin, Shehzad, Adnan, Shahid Yousaf, Shan Masud & there must be some more youngsters. Unless they are given chances, as we don’t have good domestic structure with sound financial backups in sub-continent (I’ll not talk about the talent level, but I just wonder where some of my school level stunners are now, it’s almost the same in Pakistan & India as well), these boys will perish in few years (Where is Zahid Fazal, Basi Ali & Selim Elahi? Ambati Rayodu was rated better than Sachin at 16, & at 22, he is heading for ICL).

    I feel, to test a players’ merit, 3 years should be more than enough. Inzamam struggled in England 92, being dropped, came back with a match winning 70 @ Hamilton & never looked back. So was the case with Sayeed, after a nightmare against Bishop, came back 3 years later & ruled the world till his penultimate innings. Younas started with a bang, dipped off afterwards & never looked back since Auckland. I told my friends that Yousaf was much ordinary, as he made this debut @ Dhaka, but after Bridgetown, he is making to swallow my words since then. The 25/26 years age bracket of Pak batting youngsters are given more than their share of chances. This generation has just crossed the limit. It’s high time to give opportunities to some of these new boys soon. Remember, Inzamam is gone; Yousuf & Younas will not be there after 2011 WC. Nobody can question the talent of this generation, after the 3 boundary Nazir hit @ Lahore recently, but they might have the talent, just not committed enough to workout the hard times.

  • Hassan on October 25, 2007, 18:37 GMT

    In response to "Smiling", you have definitely good assessment of team. And of course I disagree on few of your selection, but still you seem to be more qualified than pathetic PCB selection committee. I disagree you on following:

    1. Muhammad Asif should only play tests, till he learns to bowl different lengths (specially yorkers) for ODI and 20/20. He has good Test temperament though, because he bowls consistently and then trap players in a spell. But for ODI you do not have enough time.

    2. Shoaib Malik. Before they make him captain, I was of the same opinion as you were that he should not be in test team even, and do not make him captain. But sometimes giving captaincy boosts your performance (while sometimes it brings down). Luckily for Shoaib Malik its getting better, he is batting with more responsibility.

    3. Faisal Iqbal. He can not be automatic choice at all. I would definitely have Asim Kamal in team, if he is injured, then Fawad Alam. Faisal Iqbal would be my last choice.

    4. Openers. Its hard to say anything about them. Pakistan should have 2 dedicated (atleast one) opener for tests only. Give him a year, regardless how he performs. And then judge. Its just too much pressure on them, and we keep changing them. Salman Butt should have his pakistani citizenship revoked, he sucks big time. I suggest Yasir Hameed should be dedicated test opener, and give him 1 year to play. Yasir hameed is good timer, but can not hit bowl hard (required in ODI and 20/20). I hope I can have another name for opener, but I think none is good enough.

  • Nadeem Muqueem on October 25, 2007, 17:21 GMT

    I think Afridi does consider his role mainly as a bowler. He has stated so previously and feels that if he can contribute with 30 some odd runs, he'd consider his job done. For this match, he is quoted as having requested Shoaib Malik to send him as an opener since the others weren't performing. If not as opener, he shouldn't be sent as number 7 either because the game, in most cases, is pretty much in the opposition's bag and it's quite difficult for him to rescue Pakistan. This is despite his best efforts. He should be strategically used when the run rate dips down too much and we need a shot in the arm.

    As for Kamran Akmal, his resting has been delayed for far too long. His keeping was very good at one time and was considered our answer to Gilchrist. As we rotate our batsmen and bowlers, we should also rotate our keepers. He has been under too much pressure for the past couple of years. On the past several tours, we have taken a keeper but never gave him a chance in a single match. Why not? When we have a dead rubber or a non crucial game, we should give the back up keeper a chance as it is crucial to provide some exposure to the new fellow. Unfortunately, the keeper's position is highly coveted one and once someone else get a chance, and they perform well and impress the selectors, chances are high that they will replace the incumbant. This is probably weighing heavily on Kamran's mind. Again, I think he's a great asset, but he needs to be given assurance of his place, yet taken in to the academy to allow him space to work on his basics. This has been voiced by both Waseem Bari and Rashid Latif.

    It's not easy for someone to fill in Inzimam's shoes. These kind of specially gifted players come in once in a while. It was definitely time for him to bow out of One Day Cricket, but I don't know the real story behind his farewell from Test Cricket.

    Pakistan is rich in talent, but we need to focus on developing our players mentally. Cricket, like many other sports has become high tech and education is and will continue to play a big role. I hope PCB is paying some attention to providing education to our players along with just playing Cricket.

    I think I've written quite enough for my first time.

    Nadeem Muqueem Michigan, USA

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 25, 2007, 16:46 GMT

    THE MULTAN match is very important for both teams, but definitely more important for Pakistan. In one of my previous posts I've mentioned about the "killer instincts" also, the Urdu expression "Billi Maarna." Well, it was the South Africans who 'shot the cat' by winning the test series and the first ODI, but, somehow the Pakistanis woke up and fought brilliantly in the third ODI, in the second they were simply lucky to have won that match. They need to keep the Faisalabad spirit alive in Multan.

    Pakistan needs to hone their killer instincts and win this series from Multan, they do not have to drag it to Lahore to make the series a thriller. If they slack or fail to capitalize this opportunity in Multan because of the previous two wins and by sinking into euphoria and complacency then, they might loose the series 3-2. During the last SA visit to Pakistan three years ago, Pak won the first two matches and lost the next three. It could happen very easily once again. Because, the South Africans are doing a lot of thinking about the team selection and bringing back the Nel factor in the team. He not only bowls better than Charl Langeveldt, but also gets into the nerves of the opposition batsmen. They are also thinking about leaving behind their experienced VC Kemp and bring in young JP Duminy to recreate the "Duminy theorem." I am referring to his career best 265 not out at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore, 2 years ago against the Pak Academy. Whereas, Pakistan are still contemplating on playing with injured Abdul Rahman who is suffering from a nagging groin problem.

    IMO, if a player is injured, he should be given enough rest till he has fully recovered. No player wants to miss an opportunity to play especially if he is wanted in the team by the selectors, captain and the coach. Even if he is not fully fit, he would still like to be in the team, by saying I am OK. Abdul Rahman is not just one of them, there are many, Shoaib Actor, Mohammad Asif, Tendulkar, Flintoff, Vaughn and so many others. They not only risk their career but also inflict a considerable damage to the team and the careers of the other players. Abdul Rahman's performance was simply mediocre in these two matches but just because Pakistan has won these two ODI's, he is getting the credit for tight bowling! His 45 runs in ten overs for one wicket is nothing to write home about.

    Especially since the wickets have been tailor made for the spinners, the selectors should have thought of a replacement or backup for Abdul Rahman. Kaneria is reportedly expensive in ODI, although in terms of economy rate between the two of them there isn't much difference. IMO, if they had to include a youngster in the squad who has no ODI experience, then instead of Khalid Latif, they should have included Fawad Alam (both are from Karachi, so the Karachi mourners should not lament here) because, Alam has a better domestic record in terms of bowling. He took 12 wickets in first class matches and his economy rate is only 2.74 whereas, Latif's rate is 4.78. Alam bowled well against NZ in the twenty20 and took 2 wickets, proved his temperament. So, he would have been a better replacement than Latif, i.e., in case Abdul Rahman is not playing.

    Finally, about Akmal, the poor chap is getting too much flak and extremely harsh criticism. Any new rookie if brought in at this stage would be even more under pressure to perform than Akmal, especially at this crucial juncture where a series win against the SA will lift up the team's morale since they are going to India very soon. Besides, Akmal has some good qualities and he has a proven record in all forms of the game. I agree with Mohammad Umer Tariq that: "We must learn to support the players who have the ability to perform under pressure."

    We keep forgetting Akmal's achievements and only remember a few dropped catches, yes they are turning points but, every keeper has gone through this phase may be a fewer times than Akmal has, but they should not drop Akmal in the Multan ODI. If Pakistan wins, then in the Lahore ODI they should try Sarfaraz or whoever. Zulqarnain Haider did not impress me when he played in SA. More than his performance, his body language was very weak, he was seen lacking in self-confidence. But, then its just one performance so I don't want to be judgmental here.

  • Aftab Qureshi on October 25, 2007, 16:41 GMT

    Kamran Akmal deserves a break, not because he is tired but because some time away may be good for him to reflect on his game, figure out a way to regain his confidence, perhaps by talking to seniors and assert his way back through performance in domestic cricket or A team. This formula worked for Ganguly and it can work for Akmal also. If I were the chief selector, and Pakistan managed a win in Multan, I would surely give some one else a chance in the 5th ODI.

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 25, 2007, 16:37 GMT

    Pakistan must not get complacent they should try and win the series in Multan, SA is going to play Nel , I am surprised that the International Media is quick to respond to the antics of Srisanth but are turning a blind eye towards Nel who in my opinion is not any different than Srisanth as far as his behavior is concerned.

    SA will play with all the aggression and they will come hard on the Pakistani team, they played defensively in the last two games for a reason only known to them, I have a feeling that they will be aggressive in Multan. The chances of our success will largely depend upon our batsmen. Pakistan will have to lift their batting if they want to win, other than Yousuf and Malik nobody is scoring consistently Pakistan should continue with Yasir Hameed and Afridi and if Younis performs well in this match we do have a chance.

    Osman Ali Khairi:

    I have no personal hatred or agenda against Younis Khan if you look at his ODI average for the last two seasons it’s less than 20 and if you compare it with all the other international batsman who bat at # 3 only then you will realize why I criticize him so much. He bats at the most important position and he fails the team consistently, from the last champions trophy till now just think how many matches we lost just because of his poor batting.We are quick to criticize the likes of Butt, Hafeez, Nazir and others but in fact his average for the past two seasons is not any better than these batsmen we should be just in making our comments and I don't remember that Younis ever scored 40 Odd runs in every other Odi match during the last two seasons, I am not saying that he should be axed from the team he just needs to be rested for Odi's if his performance continues to be like this, Your comments about Afridi and Shoaib were irrelevant as Afridi consistently performs well with the ball and Shoaib Akhtar has won us more matches than any other player in this team even with his behavioral and fitness problems I still rate him higher than Younis Khan.

    Javed A khan:

    For a moment I thought you have outsourced your post to somebody else or somebody is using your name in your absence but I can understand that when you are in a hurry you can make a few mistakes as I make the most of them on this blog as I hardly ever edit my posts.

    I read your comments on Malik he does not take his eyes off the short pitched ball, on one occasion he misjudged the height and speed of the ball bowled by Morkel that ball followed Shoaib down the leg side and when he tried to play it on the on side by rolling his wrist the ball because of its height took a leading edge and he got caught. On the other instance he was just trying to score a boundary and the shot was not there it was a fast short pitch delivery which kept straight he was expecting it to angle in, it was a predetermined shot and he also lost his balance trying to play that shot in the end he got caught on the boundary. Pakistani batsman have a tendency to play the short ball with a cross bat if it is out side off stump they try to slap it and if it is on the leg stump they try to play a cross batted pull or they try to roll their wrist and play it on the on side. They never play it with a straight bat through the line of the ball, or hook it when the height is above the shoulders.The foot work is the key problem and the other problem is that they play predetermined cross batted pulls and slaps which are high risk shots as most of the time they fail to time & middle the ball.Hayden is the best example to watch he comes down the wicket and hits the short ball through its line with a straight bat and he does it with a high rate of success.

  • Roshan on October 25, 2007, 16:12 GMT

    Awas...

    Please also note Whatever system China & Russia has they dont call it dictatorship!!!

  • Irfan on October 25, 2007, 15:58 GMT

    Here, let me play the devil's advocate! While every body is lauding the efforts of this team who is on a skid, because they actually played on a surface which finally suited the home team WOW! Three cheers to that. That's some team. As if up until now we have been playing away from home, on surfaces that suited the touring team. And finally struck gold with the discovery of one track in the whole of the country where cowboy Afridi could score (what a ridiculous reasoning for wining)

    Wake up and smell the coffee. Obviously Kamran you need these people to feed the blog and a reason to put your pen to the paper.

    For god sakes open your eyes and look around you. May sound like the Mennonite priest who rages on about the Armageddon. Fact remains that with the current set of players we are the bottom of the barrel and a win here and there doesn't change a darn thing. If any thing it exposes is our vulnerability to seaming tracks and world class bowling in ANY kind of PRESSURE situation. Apart from Yousuf we do not have a batsman who knows how to negotiate with evil kinevil moving ball.

    Go back to the basics, provide seaming tracks to the school or college level, leagues and the first class provide them with the right tools (grounds, pitches and coaches) and then we might have players who have this inherent ability to bat out against any kind of bowling.

  • Roshan on October 25, 2007, 15:56 GMT

    Awas....or Hawas whatever your name means!!!

    I can understand your concern over democracy...people tend to envy for things they dont have!!! We are discussing cricket arent we? so how come Olympic jumps in between...may be to divert the topic...unsuccessful attemp!!!

    May be you took me negatively...but I just wanted to prove that not all teams are suffered from Islamophobia that you are blaming them for....TOI quote is probably incorrect as I cant believe India lost fewer lives than pakistan to terror may be India has suffered maximum casualties...

    stop following your stupid Montral khan when critcising me....atleast be original in criticism.

  • Moon on October 25, 2007, 15:50 GMT

    Mr. Javed A(fridi) Khan, i have to correct you here, because you are spreading mis perception over the blog. Little bit command over the language and criticism on the cricket commentators doesn't make you a cricketing expert. Your definition of In-Swinger and out-Swinger is completely wrong, here is the correct description:

    Out-Swinger: this is a ball that swings away from batsmen, when right hand bowler bowls an out-swinger it swings away from right hand batsman and swings in to the left hand batsman. When a left hand bowler bowls an out-swinger it swings away from left hand batsman and swings in to the right hand batsman.

    In-Swinger: When a right hand bowler bowls an in-swinger it comes in to the right hand batsman and swings away from the left hand batsman. When a left hand bowler bowls an in-swinger, it comes in to the left hand batsman and goes away from the right hand batsman.

    I hope you will understand my point and so all other readers can also understand the in-swing and out-swing. Now coming to Sohail Tanveer, he is a left hand bowler and so far he mostly bowls in swingers which come in to the left hand batsmen and swing away from the right hand batsmen.

  • swinger on October 25, 2007, 15:26 GMT

    Shahid Bhai has one fine match after I dunno how long, and people here want to make him captain of our team ?Let him show some consistency first..As some one here already said with Afridi its either fast or feast... the only problem is the feast comes very rarely...

  • Usman Majeed RWP, Pakistan on October 25, 2007, 14:59 GMT

    I completely agree with you regarding the batting order of Shahid Afridi as opener but only in the sub-continent. The important indian tour is coming up and i want Afridi to bat as an opener becoz if we look at the last Indian tour, Afridi played brilliantly in that position. And we should take the advantage of the fact that the one dayers will be played first becoz that will help Afridi build momentum through the tour hopefully.I really feel Afridi will be a great force in this coming Indian tour, so its important for him to bat up the order becoz only there he can dent Indians most. So Afridi should be accustomed to his original position by batting as opener in these last 2 matches of the series. Regarding his feilding and bowling, these are going great guns. Well done Shahid Afridi and keep up the good work.

    Good to see Yasir back.Although he was flopped but to me out of the lot of available openers, Yasir has the best technique plus he also has the style and class.Hopefully Yasir will do justice to his talent this time around.

    Regarding Kamran Akmal, We need to get out the sense of complisency from his mind otherwise i think no other keeper is better than him looking at the domestic circle.

    Good Luck to Pakistan Cricket Team for first Bilateral Series win against SA.

    Thanks!

    Usman.

  • Saima khan on October 25, 2007, 14:53 GMT

    Kahlid latif should be given chance. He should be given chance like other players from PUNJAB i.e. Kamran Akmal, Imran Nazir, Mohd Hafeez, Salman Butt, Misba, Naeem-ur-Rehman. None of players performing well but PCB stilll trying them.

    Khalid Latid should not given chance like players from Karachi i.e. Fawad Alam (just for one 20/20 match) or like Aism Kamal (no chance at all), Hasan Raza, Faisal Iqbal (they tried in firsttest only, he scored as same as Misba but he is out but 34 years old Misba in both test and now in oneday matches.

    Remove kamran Akmal from the team ASAP. I do not want to see her face.

    Sarfraz Ahmed is a best choice.

    For Javed Uncle, I am not Dawar or Saima Siddiqui. My views are almost opposite to Saima Siddiqui above. Remember Wrong Presumption is a big SIN.

    Saima Khan Islamabad

  • Shibili Ahammed on October 25, 2007, 14:24 GMT

    Afridi did what is expected of him or more. All he has to do to find a 'good elevation for his huge hits', which are either too flat or too high. On Kamran Akmal, I will certainly say that we need to try others waiting on the wings. At least with a major India series round the corner. Zulqarnain Haider or Sarfraz Ahamed must be tried. Akmal has repeatedly flopped behind the stumps. His batting worries is nagging him and he is failing in his major role that as a keeper.

    Younus Khan needs to apply little more brain and must decide to play longer innings. So is Misbah. It was super luck that Devillers dropped him on first ball on which Misbah attempted a suicide. Salman Butt must be thrown out. He has proved several times that he is of no use in crucial matches. Khaid Latif must be tried out in this series as well.

    Pakistani batsmen MUST NOT ATTEMPT HOOK SHOTS. And all the batsmen must use their back foot to play shot wide of them or outside the off stump.

    Let us pray and hope for a series win against SA and in India.

  • JamJar on October 25, 2007, 13:23 GMT

    It was a strange innings by Pakistan. After the blazing start from Afridi, I was expecting the game to be over with quite a few overs to spare but it sounds like the pitch was difficult to negotiate which adds to the gravitas of Afridi's knock. Whats more is that Pakistan seemed to play a very cautious and controlled run-chase in which Mohammad Yousuf has to take full credit for, even though towards the end I thought they were perhaps a tad too cautious and could have pushed for the win without leaving it to the last couple of overs.

    Contrary to some of the remarks by fellow bloggers, I'm still not convinced that Afridi should consistently open and although Osman has stated in his article on the match that Afridi wanted to open the innings for some time, it also states that Afridi himself sees bowling as his primary function. A bit of a contradiction in terms there but there you have it.

    It was fantastic to see the Pathan firing in all cylinders though and I think it was a stellar all round performance. It is performances like these that will no doubt emphasise the PCB's short-sightedness and ill judgement to promote Salman Butt to the Vice Captaincy at the expense of Afridi. Perhaps having this additional responsibility will urge Afridi to produce consistently with bat and ball. And how do the PCB expect a Vice Captain to command the respect of his team mates when he cant even get into the playing XI! Surely they must see this themselves and act to promote Afridi in the near future. I can't see anyone else more suited to the role.

    Mohmmad Yousuf has been in fantastic form of late and has acted to soften the impact of Inzy's departure. Its intelligent cricket from him and long may it continue. Superb stuff.

    Nice of you to touch on topic of Kamran Akmal (a topic close to many a blogger's heart) Kamran Abbassi although it was slightly facetious of you to include it within a thread on Afridi. I think the topic of Akmal's form and inclusion in the team warrants a thread entirely on him as his fluffed catches have cost Pakistan dear in the past. Its about time Pakistan trialled a new wicket keeper in the form of Haider or perhaps Ahmed Shehzad, although this may be a tad hasty in for the latter despite his excellent performances for Pakistan Under 19s. With the tough series of India coming up, the time to experiement is now. If Pakistan wrap up the series in the next match, I'd like to see some new faces being trailed for the final match.

  • Englebert on October 25, 2007, 12:54 GMT

    Afridi's place in cricket history/folklore is secure

  • Mairaj Hoda on October 25, 2007, 12:15 GMT

    Although it is not related to Mr. Abbasi’s current topic, however, I would like to point out a lack of planning on the part of selectors for the 4th ODI.

    As we all have been hearing about Asif’s and Rahman’s injuries recently and considering the types of pitches we are playing on in this series, and also since it has already been decided that Asif will not be taking part in the remainder of the series, it is hard to understand that the selectors have not considered or announced any backup spinners or spinning all-rounder to cover for the loss of Rahman, in case if he could not pass the fitness test.

    In my opinion, Hafeez should have not been left out in the 1st place as he is THREE in ONE just like Afridi. He should be a permanent part of the ODI to give him confidence. Bringing Yasir as opener is a good move after giving so many opportunities to Salman and Imran. Now he should be given a good number of games, just like Salman and Imran, to really boost his confidence back.

    Mairaj Hoda Toronto, Canada

  • Muhammad Umer Tariq on October 25, 2007, 11:44 GMT

    After his performance in the Lahore Test, your comments about Kamran Akmal are extremely harsh and totally unwarranted. We must learn to support the players who have the ability to perform under pressure.

  • Tanweer Bukhari on October 25, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    It is good to see Afridi back in the furrow. He was exceptionally good on the day but still needs to bring consistency.

    However, I wouldn't buy the idea of assigning him role of captaincy. Thats not his area. For this slot you need a person who is consistent at performance and has the guts to make rational decisions. Unfortunately, Afridi lacks "rationality". I am not demeaning him, but he simply is not of that fibre. He should be given the role of vice captain and Malik should be retained as captain. Both all-rounders make a good combination in this order.

    Cut Mr Butt out please..!!! He appears to be someone's blue eyed. He has to mould himself into a proper batsman before he is considered for a place in the national team, leave alone the slot of VC.

    Kind Regards, Tanweer

  • srivathsan on October 25, 2007, 11:35 GMT

    I agree with you that kamranakmal needs to be dropped forth with.The bowlers ,in particular kanaria have suffered & their morale has taken a beating on account of his atrocious keeping.Pakistan would have beat england fair & square had some one else kept the wicket.It is surprising that he is still being pursued.Even his batting is not much to talk about.It is time that some one else is tried before the india series.I note with regret that final one dayer is shifted to lahore.I dont blame the PCB as they have to accomodate their request.Kamran,tell me what is the gurantee that terrorists will not strike at lahore if their intention is to attack the tourists ?SA has played a test & a game in karachi .Did they have any problem ?Why now they develop cold feet ?Had they played it would of been a morale boosting event for the innocent cricket loving people of karachi.IAM REALLY SAD .

  • Imran Zia on October 25, 2007, 11:26 GMT

    Afridi is playing the senior player role quite well and is responding well to the extra pressure. Yasir Hameed seems to play the last few games of every series but starts off warming the bench on the start of series despite having a few good scores and a healthy average of 38. The bowling needs an extra spice. If not Shoaib Akhtar, Mohd Sami should be a must in the line up.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on October 25, 2007, 11:18 GMT

    Though, I’ve read all the comments on this thread, and have felt a strong urge to reply to a few bloggers on the issue of Afridi’s performance, I have resisted the temptation to do so. Primarily, since commenting on Afridi is a futile exercise. At the risk of offending Kamran bhai, Afridi will always be an ‘underperforming enigma’ and a massive underachiever at that. Let’s just leave it there. Nevertheless, what I do wish to comment on is linked to the previous thread and is based on the presumption that Kamran bhai won’t be updating that anymore! I would just like to clarify my stand, for perhaps, the last time on Younis Khan for the benefit of Jamjar, Wasim Saqib, Khan Sahab and the rest those leave no stone unturned when it comes to criticizing Younis. Let me categorically state that I do not in any way condone that Younis needs to be a lot more consistent in the one day arena than he currently is. Younis needs to definitely improve his act and play responsibly ala Yousuf, more so since Inzi is no longer around. There is no doubt about that! I am also, for the record, not an immense fan of Younis and I certainly don’t think he is the best thing to have happened to Pakistan cricket! Furthermore, with regards to the captaincy issue, I concur with all those that say Younis should have accepted the captaincy hands down, especially since he was aware that he was being groomed for the role during Inzi’s tenure. The thing is I just get perturbed over our tendency to raise the likes of Afridi to the sky when he scores a quick fire 50 in one (which by the way, more often than not, happens to be an insignificant contest like some trivial match in Abu Dhabi) out of forty games (and that’s no exaggeration, I could pull out the stats to foster my opinion but I’m too lazy to do so right now!) and overlook a hard fought knock of 40 odd by Younis which occurs every other game. My point is, there are people here saying Younis shouldn’t even be in the team? I mean that is just preposterous. In a batting team as brittle as ours, I don’t even know how anyone can even suggest that? Honestly, I wouldn’t have any issues if there was a good substitute available. I wouldn’t have any qualms about replacing Younis but unfortunately, as things stand today, we can’t even find a guy who can last the first 5 overs on a flat batting deck!…..So much for swapping Younis. What bewilders me is, how can people go to that extreme without ever wondering (like I do) what Afridi could have achieved if he had only toned down his aggressive instincts a notch? Why are the other senior players barring Yousuf absolved of their responsibilities i.e. to play sensibly and be consistent? Why are the other senior cricketers like Shoaib Akhtar not expected to be dependable? I just think in hindsight, we are way too harsh in our criticism of Younis. Also, with reference to the captaincy issue, to say Younis did not want to be captain would be hogwash. It is every cricketer’s dream to lead his country on the international stage and I’m sure Younis was no exception. However, the fact is he did not want to be a mere puppet, whose strings would be pulled by Shafqat Naghmi, Sallu and my favorite Nasim Ashraf. Not many may agree with me but that is what Shoaib Malik is. As nice a bloke he is, fact remains he is defensive, gutless and unable to have his say when it comes to matters of team selection and other policies. That is precisely what Younis Khan wanted to avoid and in retrospect, successfully has. Let me say, that I was incredibly disappointed to see Younis not accept the captaincy as I thought the country needed him. But really, his hands would have been tied and to give up the chance to be captain of Pakistan, required some character and dignity, which in the context of the dirty politics in our cricket set up, is something to appreciate and respect.

  • sher khan on October 25, 2007, 11:18 GMT

    every body talking about Afridi's batting but my point of view is about his bowling abilities now a days which he is improving day by day strongly. in the test he already has lot of big batters wickets like (3 time Tendulkar times Ganguly and M Waugh, S Waugh, B Lara, N Hussain, A Stewart, A Flower, D Lehmann, Samaraveera, V Sehwag, G Hick, I Bell, Sarwan, VVS Laxman, and etc. in this list Kallis is missed bcoz Afridi never played against S.Africa, but in he bowld kallis 2 times recently early in the inning which was man of the series) he also take 5 times R Ponting"s Wicket. in the other hand if we see some statistics about Kaneria in Test matches so .. his last 22 innings he only picks up 1 time 5 wicket in an inning, and gave over 100 runs is 31 times in 40 odd tests. i think Kaneria should rested and replace Afridi as a leg spinner Special Addition. i hope if he get a chance to bowl 30 overs he will pick 6 to 8 wickets handsomely.

  • Qasim on October 25, 2007, 10:44 GMT

    I have been an advocate of Afridi’s inclusions in both forms of the game. To me, he has a buzz about him which is lacking in the rest of the team.

    A lot of people criticize him when he fails with the bat but forget to mention the rest of the “established” batsmen who don’t fare too well either in that very match. Can anyone recall his bowling, which is his primary function, ever being criticized throughout his career?

    Everyone, and I mean everyone, including his detractors (perhaps not the opposition), want him to clobber that next ball out of the park. But if he gets out trying just that, the consensus changes. “He should have been more sensible and played the ball on merit.” In my opinion, we should not bridle his talent and let him play the way he does.

    He is not the reason for Pakistan’s loss when he fails with the bat. It is the rest of the batting line-up who should have done their job. What are they there for? I agree with one of the bloggers that his should be a floating position in the order depending on the circumstances/conditions. He is not the solution to our opening problems. Hope better sense prevails and Khalid Latif is tried and he succeeds.

    The other opening slot should go to Yasser Hameed though I prefer him at one down. Younis Khan is blocking that spot and he should shape up or ship out. He looked good when captaining the side though.

    Misbah is coming too low in the order when the pressure is on. Don’t know how that can be changed. That ofcourse is because of Malik who is a better batsman than most people think. When he started out, I thought he was a nothing player but he has worked on his game and is one of the most sensible/reliable batsmen in the team. His captaincy has all the room for improvement and I hope he will work on it the way he did with his batting.

    Kamran Akmal, Ahh…. my heart goes out to him. People have been very harsh on him. Fans have such a short term memory. His talent is undoubted but has been out of sorts for an uncomfortably wrong stretch. Happens to the best of them. His extended run in the team should be blamed on the selectors and not on him. It was ok to persist with him initially but he should have been rested a year back and other options should have been looked at while keeping an eye on his progress in the domestic matches. The national team is not the place to sort out such problems. Hope he can work himself back into his previous form.

    The pace options are exciting with Umar, Asif, Tanvir, Rao and ofcourse Shoaib. We need to look for other alternatives in the spin department. Has anyone seen the guy (Rizwan?) who took seven wickets in the first SA tour match?

  • Nauman on October 25, 2007, 4:12 GMT

    Kamran, you seriously need to start a blog asking people their opinion about Kamran Akmal's place in the side as wicket-keeper. There is no doubt about his talent and abilities, its been on exhibition in 2005 both in his batting and glove work, but this guy seriously lacks confidence in himself, he needs to be rested, allowed to relax and regroup at domestic level. Yasir Hameed's inclusion and Afridi's promotion were both very wise decisions, I hope they stick to it. Afridi doesn't have the temperament to be playing at number 4-5, and playing him at number 7 is like expecting him to score as much as he can off last 5 overs, simply a waste. Afridi must bat up the order. Overall, very satisfactory performance from Pakistan in bowling, batting and fielding. Those who would criticize Yousuf for going slow must see it as a mature innings, an innings that suited the situation. Yousuf is sheer class, he 'll be at his most fluent the next time he walks out to bat, no one can deny that. I am hoping Pakistan continues to perform consistently through the rest of the series and wipes off the disappointment of the test series loss.

  • faisal on October 25, 2007, 3:40 GMT

    agree with kamran abbasi that akmal should be rested ,pakistan have lost most of test matches in last year or two due to his atrocious keeping. though i believe that imran nazir should be given another chance ,at least he does have technique and does not look at sea against high quality fast bowlers like ntini and pollock as yasir hameed does

  • Khurram on October 25, 2007, 3:31 GMT

    I have noticed for quite a few games the person who has been a major contributing factor in a lot of games but have been always overlooked. (Apart from PCB i.e.) and he is none other than Shoaib Malik, our captain.

    He does not score big often, but he has saved Pakistan on so many occasions with the bat. His regular consistent contributions in every batting position that he has been assigned to say a lot about the young captain.

    I wish him all the best and hopefully he will continue his form and improve as a captain as he has many years left in him.

  • Smiling on October 25, 2007, 0:39 GMT

    Hi guys

    I read a list of one blog reader about the automatic choice in the pakistan team i dont think apart from 4-5 players there are player in team have it.

    1) Salman Butt ( dont deserve to be in any team and they make him vice captain) 2) Imran Nazir ( only in 20/20 not even in one day how we can for test matches with him) 3) Younis Khan (can play all form of cricket auto choice, most people thinks otherway but he is good) 4) Muhammad Yousuf ( certainly auto selection in all form even 20/20. they do wrong while droping from 20/20. should be captain of team) 5) Shoib Malik ( only in 20/20 and one day dont deserve to be in test team and they make him captain.) 6) Shahid Afridi ( all form of cricket even he or younis khan or Muhammad Yousuf should be captain of the team not shoib malik) 7) Misbah ( only in 20/20 should not be in one day or test team) 8) Kamran Akmal ( only in 20/20 and one day and that too only his batting not keeping in test they should go better keeper a catch can cost whole matches and its right kaneria deprive of 30-35 wickets due to him. Sarfraz ahmed can be.) 9) Umer Gul ( all form auto selction) 10) Muhammad Asif ( all form auto selection) 11) Danish Kaneria ( test matches only) 12 Faisal Iqbal ( test matches only and he deserve it most people ask about his abilities but he has . his innings at columbo in wet condition and that too against warne, Magrath, gellispe attack go for warne comments on him. match savings innings against srilanka and england at there own ground. ) 13) Asim Kamal ( Test matches and they should include him 9 fifty score and around 38 average) 14)Fawad alam ( deserve to be in team for 20/20 and one day) 15) Abdur Rahman ( dont deserve in any team despite his 8 wickets in karachi test). 16) Rao Iftikar ( 20/20 and one day auto selction should be. 17) Muhammad Hafeez ( too many chance try another openers like yasir Hameed and Khalid Latif) 18) Yasir Hameed ( one day and test matches deserve it) 19) Khalid Latif ( one day and test matches deserv it right now ) other players they can try also like shahid yousuf, Bazid khan better than salman, hafeez, imran nazir and Misbah ul haq ( all parchi).

    thanks i know all people have different opinion.

    bye.

  • Amir Rahman Khan on October 25, 2007, 0:11 GMT

    He is a proverbial flat track bully!! Just look at his performances overseas.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 24, 2007, 23:56 GMT

    Wasim Saqib

    The point about Graeme Smith's grip on his bat and his batting stance. First of all thanks for placing my post under scrutiny but, before that I want to confirm to you, yes thats me and not anyone else. The bold letters are missing there, because I was in a hurry hence I did not even read my post the second time, which I normally do. OK, let me make an attempt to explain it to you once again.

    I wrote that a good bowler should be able to spot that weakness of Smith and exploit it and I emphasized that, "Only a left hand bowler (like Tanvir in Pakistan's case) can exploit it." The reason I mentioned Tanvir's name specifically is because he is a lefty and his out swingers are in-swingers for a left hand batsman and Smith is a lefty. I wouldn't have said that if I was not sure. So far, so good. It is when I wrote, "but Tanvir doesn't know how to bowl in swingers!" must have created the confusion. I thought it wasn't necessary to explain it further. But, it would have been more clear had I added:"to the right hand batsmen," And thats why I said, Lawson's input is needed here that is to teach him how to bowl in-swingers to the right hand batsmen. If Tanvir can bring the ball back into the right hand batsmen, in short if he can bowl in-swingers to the right hand batsmen, then he would be a far more dangerous customer than he is now. I hope it is clear to you now?

    The second point about Malik's technique in handling the rising ball or the short pitched delivery that comes to his chest level. There was a typo there, I wrote, "he keeps his bat far away from his bat" It should have been: "he keeps his bat far away from his body. And whatever else I wrote is correct and it is not just my observation, it was also Ian Bishop who was saying the same thing and Moulvy Mushy was agreeing with his "dayfeenately - dayfeenately........"

    Earlier, Malik had a problem in handling a wide rising ball on the "off-side," instead of leaving it alone, he used to chase it with a half hearted attempt only to give a simple catch in the gully or point region. Both, Akmal and Malik were getting out in the same fashion until a few months ago. Malik has rectified this weakness I am not sure about Akmal. But, Malik still has a problem in tackling a rising ball pitched between middle and leg stump and he wants to play it on the "on-side" but, he avoids eye contact with the ball and he is still dumbfounded and flat footed. And "Ankle" Waqar pointed out that, even "Na-teeni" (Ntini) who isn't a successful bowler in this series is able to spot Malik's weakness and I must say "I am agree." If you see the replay you'll understand what I am talking about.

    PS. Dawar, so Saima is also Siddiqui now? You know, girls seldom use slangs used by guys, such as "tullas" so next time please be careful in choosing the words.

  • Jaanasheenster on October 24, 2007, 22:14 GMT

    Kamran, you should remove your article "A triumph of good sense" as it seems the bad sense has prevailed over the boards of South Africa and Pakistan. If you really allow terrorist acts such as the one happened in Karachi to dictate what does and doesn't occurs in the city, you are playing right into the hands of these savages. Shame!

  • Awas on October 24, 2007, 21:50 GMT

    Kamran Abbasi

    What actually was wrong with my earlier comments below which didn’t get posted? I only responded, without using foul language, to the comments referred to me by the other posters. Kindly feel free to edit any way you like but please don’t disregard them.

    As I mentioned previously, again it was slowness of the pitch that worked in Pakistan’s favour as South Africans like the ball coming on to the bat nicely for them to do well. Pakistan on the other hand are more attuned to playing on such surfaces as admirably shown by especially Yousaf and Malik in the last two innings. Wow! Boy-o boy that catch by Afridi was a sheer beauty.

    JAVED A KHAN

    I note what you mentioned in the previous thread about Fawad Alam. I agree that home team does have the advantage of drafting in other players not already in the squad. But nevertheless it is still an unusual step once the squad has been announced.

    Your comments on Robin Jackman were spot on. He definitely falls into one of those categories of biased commentators that I have mentioned in the past, the Ian Botham types.

    That Roshan...daan by the way is definitely a bit dim as not enough light is coming out of it. I never mentioned that “death toll to terror in India is almost equal to Pakistan's”. I mentioned what Times of India stated: “that for the first time ever this year Pakistan has lost more lives”. Emphasis is on “first time ever”. Get it? As curiously, it was then in the past that the teams refused to tour or cancel trips to Pakistan. And not so Bright Light what does “still intact democracy” got to do with cricket? And anyway, how is a sham democracy somehow better than say a system such as that was and still is in say Russia or China? They still win more medals in Olympics.

  • Tom Dublin on October 24, 2007, 21:46 GMT

    If you're going to have Younis Khan in the team, what about having him as an opener with Afridi at 3?

    I think it's useful to have Afridi in early as he: (i) gets the run rate down so people like Yousuf can play the game at their own pace.

    (ii) in the power plays, there's less fielders in the deep so there's less people to catch him when he's going for a six. However not sure how good he is with the swining ball. But they say the white ball stops swinging after 5-10 overs so if Afridi can come in just after the start it seems a good time to have him.

    But thought A O put a good argument above for using Afridi lower down when batting first but at the start when chasing. But he shouldn't be so low down that he doesn't get a chance to see if it's "his day" - seems a waste ever him "not out" while others who score at a slower rate got out.

  • Farooq Ganatra on October 24, 2007, 21:11 GMT

    Kamran,

    I am agreeing with you. Actually most of us are agreeing with you.

    I like Dawar's note:

    Once again great performance by Shahid Afridi in every aspects of the match i.e. Batting (He scored 32 runs on 18 balls), Bowling (He got Three wickets) and Fielding (and 2 catches). He should be appointed Vice Captain.

    Kamran Akmal should be out. Sarfraz Ahmed Wicket Keeper batsman (He was under 19 captain of the winning team) or Salman Ahmed Wicket Keeper from Faisalabad (Rashid Latif brought Salman's name) are the best available choices in the country.

    Farooq G

  • Nadeem on October 24, 2007, 21:07 GMT

    Kamran Akmal has no place in cricket team. Some one should kick him out.

    Shahid Afridi is an excellent player.

    Nadeem Rajput

  • Raja Pakistani on October 24, 2007, 21:05 GMT

    Afrid should be a vice captain of Pakistan Cricket team.

    Again Kamran Akmal wicket keeping was unsatisfactory.

    PCB should take him out for ever and send him to Quaid-e-Azam trophy. I do not know who is behind him.

    Is his father working for an American or Birthish Embassy?

    Sarfraz Ahmed is a best replacement of kamran Akmal.

    For Saima Siddiqui (above), 16 months ago Sarfraz was in under 19 team, now he is over 19. Even he is available for marriage, why not for our natinal team? he is BALIGUE.

    Raja Pakistani Sialkot

  • Rayo (Kentucky) on October 24, 2007, 19:35 GMT

    A O has made a very astute tactical observation re. Afridi. When Pak bats first, Shahid should come lower in the order because there is no pressure to maintain a run-rate. With Pakistan batting second, he can really set the impetus for an advanced run rate to help with the middle overs when the guys get bogged down.

  • Obaid on October 24, 2007, 19:14 GMT

    Have you guys forgotten about Moin Khan, he used to drop easy catches all the time, still he is admired by many to this day. This is how Pakistan Cricket works. Ash Zed- with all the due respect Aridi a class in himself??? I haven't seen anything classy about his batting,sure he is effective but class well, he is a laparoo. I haven't seen anyth

  • Waheed in USA on October 24, 2007, 19:08 GMT

    Afridi: Back where he NEVER belonged:

    Mr. Abbasi,

    Respectfully disagreeing with you let me say the above should have been the heading of your Blog. Not now but, some ten years ago (When there were no Blogs). Why? Because the sheer support Afridi received from the top, luck, and because of the fact decline in Pakistan cricket resources. I will come back to this in a bit. First, let me say this, whenever, Afridi or any other member of Pakistan Cricket team excels, like any other Pakistan Cricket supporter I am thrilled. Whether, it is Afridi hitting sixes and batting at over 100 plus strike rate or Shoib Akhtar numbing and humbling the best of the batsmen with his 100 mile per hour bowling speed.

    I believe, no matter how great of a bowler Akhtar is, he should never have been pampered the way he has been by numerous Cricket Administrations. As, I believe he has done more damage than good to Cricket in Pakistan or at least to the senior team. Lets, get back to Afridi as, he is the topic in this Blog. Having grown and participated with the 20 and 10 overs per side tennis, tape ball and hard ball Ramzan Cricket tournament generation, I have witnessed like many others, there have been and are plenty of other Afridi’s on the streets of Karachi and else where in Pakistan. Why then just Afridi? The truth is we could never get over his fastest century. He was primarily selected in his first tournament as a Leg spinner who could bat a bit and who initially batted among the tale enders. If one role backs the years and ODI’s since Afridi got his first break, till now. Afridi has a set pattern while batting, one whirlwind innings followed by approximately 6 to 10 innings of sheer disappointments (I wonder having gotten so much used to the pattern does it still count a disappointment :?). As a bowler, for the major part of his initial few years, he could not be trusted for a full quota of 10 overs as, he simply was not good enough. He used to share 10 overs with others and if I am not mistaken he sometimes was not even called upon to bowl at all. The point I am trying to make is, in my eyes, Afridi has been very lucky that in all subsequent administrations he found strong supporters as he is a crowd and revenue puller ( Unfortunately, for this very reason I mean revenue, Bangladesh got the status of Test and ODI in a haste but, it is another topic). The other big factor for Afridi enjoying this lengthy career is the decline in the standards and frequency of World Class batsmen Pakistan has been producing since the era that ended with Miandad. Basically, Afridi has honed and polished his ODI’s bowling capabilities after he got into Pakistan team. His Batting has neither gone forward nor backwards. After having played 243 ODI’s he has a batting average of 23.44 and bowling average is 35.01 which was lurking around 40 not too long ago. Of course, over the years he has become invaluable to Pakistan team as far as ODI are concerned and looking at the sideline I do not see anyone who can do any better than him.

    In the end one can safely say due to the decline in the standards of Pakistan cricket we had to settle and support what we got.

    Still wishing well to Pakistan Cricket Cheers…….

  • Sharif Ahmad on October 24, 2007, 18:55 GMT

    Though Yasir Hameed fluffed, we should persist with him. He has the best ODI average among all opening choices we have. He should be given full opportunity. I would say, looking at his record, he is the only solid choice we have.

  • Muhammad Asif on October 24, 2007, 18:14 GMT

    The joke of the thread "If he(Afridi) continues to perform with bat and ball on a regular basis, I am sure......" One can only say "anokha laadla khailan ko mangey chand rey, anokha ladla..." If is the popular word used by our presidents. It reminds me the referendum of one of our presidents, if you obey God then I am your president. If I would be elected president then I would put off my uniform.

    And the list goes on.

    Beychara "if"

  • Faiz on October 24, 2007, 17:46 GMT

    I think the decision needs to be made on what should we designate Kamran Akmal as. A batsman who can keep or a keeper who can bat. The latter is only good in ODI and T20 but not in test matches. I have read lot of comments about Kamran being a good batsman etc. so they he should be selected as a batsman (if he is good enough). So IMO Kamran Akmal should be made limited overs keeper for Pakistani team and they should select a new keeper for the test team.

    As far as opening is concerned I think Yasir Hameed should be given few matches to prove his worth. I think Imran Nazir and Yasir Hameed will be a good opening combination for Pakistan. As far as Salman Butt is concerned, he should be released from the team so he can play first class cricket and rediscover his form. He is a good batsman and we need him in form for the India series.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 24, 2007, 17:24 GMT

    Mr. tabs Farooq

    What are you not so sure of? Me, I am stumped by the comparison of age and looks avec Al Pacino, who is an Italian American. I am a Pakistani Canadian and I do have a French accent but, not a French goatie beard like Colonel Frank Slade. Moreover, Al Pacino belongs to my father's era rather, my Godfather's era. Yeah, he is a good actor and that, "Scent of a woman" is a good movie that won many awards. I am not an actor for sure. In any case thats the viewer's or bloggers perception about me. The fact is, I am definitely better looking and more handsome than Al-Whoever! ;-)

  • Rauf on October 24, 2007, 17:22 GMT

    Kamran you were critical of Afridi in your "September 27, 2007 Afridi halts the shots" blog for not playing the test series but I am glad that you see the strong side of Afridi in the short format of the game. I think Afridi either finds the test format too boring or he knows his limitations. In either case, we should respect his decision to bow out of test series.

    I like Afridi because he always plays to win, or atleast he tries to, not to mention entertaining the crowd. He is wild at times but if the criteria is to select a player with two best skills out of (batting, bowling and fielding) then Afridi will give you atleast two on most days. To top it off, if he is hitting the ball into the orbit on a given day then he is unstoppable. This is the strength in Afridi which puts him above any Pakistani player in the 50 over squad.

  • Hassan Abbas on October 24, 2007, 17:15 GMT

    For all those who r backing Kamran Akmal up with their comments; Akmal missed 13 chances in the 4 tests in England, these 13 chances do not include the difficult ones, 9 of them were off Danish Kaneria's bowling. Akmal then went on to miss another 12 chances in the 3 tests in SA, again I m not including the difficult ones, 7 of them were off Danish Kaneria's bowling. Akmal missed Jaques Kallis on 32 in the first test here in Pakistan and we lost by nearly the same number of runs that Jaques Kallis went on to score after being dropped, and it wasn't a difficult chance either.

    Believe me the whole Indian tour depends on Akmal's performance with the glove. If he can keep well on the spinning tracks then we are certain to put on some fight otherwise we have no chance, just like against England and SA we would be ruing Akmal's performances. I think its better to give a chance to some talented youngster. I know its a risk but its one that we have to take b'cuz the stupid Pakistani selectors have wasted another home series by not trying out any new opener or wicket-keeper.

    Another weakling in the team is Misbah(in test matches that is), we should've tried someone else in his place against SA. Just like Misbah is not good enough in tests, Younis Khan is a burden in onedayers, he has failed miserably so far and I m sure he is going to play one big innings in the last two onedayers(if an idiotic decision of selecting him again is made by the management), so that he is retained in the oneday squad against india. I m not a great believeer in stats alone but younis is averaging only 22.36 in 2007 with a strike rate in mid 70's. His only innings of substance this year was against SA, when he scored 93 runs. His second highest score this year is 32 and remember that he is in the team as a specialist batsman. He doesn't bowl, he doesn't play with an outstanding strike rate either, he should be selected in the test matches only and it will be a relief to see a Pakistan oneday team without him.

  • Hassan Abbas on October 24, 2007, 17:12 GMT

    For all those who r backing Karan Akmal up with their coments, Akmal missed 13 chances in the 4 tests in England, these 13 chances do not include the difficult ones, 9 of them were off Danish Kaneria's bowling. Akmal then went on to miss another 12 chances in the 3 tests in SA, again I m not including the difficult ones, 7 of them were off Danish Kaneria's bowling. Akmal missed Jaques Kallis on 32 in the first test here in Pakistan and we lost by nearly the same number of runs that Jaques Kallis went on to score after being dropped, and it wasn't a difficult chance either.

    Believe me the whole Indian tour depends on Akmal's performance with the glove. If he can keep well on the spinning tracks the we are certain to put on some fight otherwise we have no chance, just like against England and SA we would be ruing Akmal's performances. I think its better to give a chance to some talented youngster. I know its a risk but its one that we have to take cuz the stupid Pakistani selectors have wasted another home series by not trying out any new opener or wicket-keeper.

    Another weakling in the team is Misbah(in test matches that is), we should've tried someone else in his place against SA. Just like Misbah is not good enough in tests, Younis Khan is a burden in onedayers, he has failed miserably so far and I m sure he is going to play one big innings in the last two onedayers(if an idiotic decision of selecting him again is made by the management), so that he is retained in the oneday squad against india. I m not a great believeer in stats alone but younis is averaging only 22.36 in 2007 with a strike rate in mid 70's. His only innings of substance this year was against SA, when he scored 93 runs. His second highest score this year is 32 and remember that he is in the team as a specialist batsman. He doesn't bowl, he doesn't play with an outstanding strike rate either, he sould be seleted in the test matches only and it will be a relief to see a Pakistan oneday team without him.

  • Usman on October 24, 2007, 17:08 GMT

    Well well well, once again Afrid and his position as an opner is being discussed. Guys did we forget that if does open and the bazooka does not fire then we have no one else in the lower order to hit sixes in the death overs, before we had razaq so at least some coverage was there. In my opinion, they should send Misbah to open with Nazir, because he has good bating skills and can hold one end, and Nazir can play his shots then come Younas Khan, Yoyo, Malik, Afridi, Akmal, Tanveer, Akhtar when he comes back in the team, and Asif, and for sure no place for Rao and company, instead, they should bring back Rana or Shabir, because they both are wicket taking bowlers. I have been watching the ODI series and let me say this, Pakistan barely won the matches, Malik looks week and not Aggrasive at all. I totally Agree that Afridi should be named as Vice Capt not Salman butt who does not have a place in playing 11 right now, Afridi right now is our biggest asset behind Yoyo, and he is been put under lot of pressure down the oder in batting and been asked to score 100 + runs in the last six or seven over because our openers and middel order is not able to score runs even after facing 50 + balls so it's a shame on all those players that they get so much time at the crease vs Afridi who has not time to adjust. Now come to Akmal, well if we have a good keeper in the A team then we should bring him to the national team and switch places with Akmal 50% of the matches, that way Akmal will get rest and can focus on the batting and keeping. Ok now let's talk about Rao and company type of bowlers, we need every one as a wicket taking bowlers not just to bowl 10 over and may be take 1 wicket , so far tis guy Rao stinks so should be let go right away and instead bring back Rana and Shabir, comon this guy shabir has spent more than a year fixing his action and he is such a good bowler he deserev a chance to be back, I gurantee you if we have Akhtar, Asif, Shabir, Tanveer and Afridi no team has a chance against Pakistan to score more than 250.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on October 24, 2007, 16:53 GMT

    Eamiran has actually made some valid and intelligent points regarding Afridi. I think Afridi’s supporters should read them over a few times. I fully agree with Wasim Saqib that it is because of Afridi’s batting style that he is loved as well as (ironically) hated. Let me clarify here that the problem is not with Afridi’s bowling and fielding, the problem is strictly with his batting. However where I will disagree with Eamiran is where he states we must confess that Pakistan lacks talent with as far as opening batsmen are concerned. I may feel resigned to acquiesce to that point if Khalid Latif or Khurram Manzoor fail after being tried for a reasonable amount of time, as Hafeez, Butt or Nazir have been. The point I am going to make now is a reasonable one without regional bias. I once saw Aamir Sohail’s interview where he stated that batsmen from Karachi are more mature than batsmen from Punjab or NWFP. He said part of that is due to genetic and regional characteristics in people. Aamir gave the example of Punjab, which has always produced the best fast bowlers in Pakistan, due to the physical stamina and fitness of Punjabis (I also saw an interview of Zaheer Abbas once where he was asked why Karachi is under represented in the international side although it has a wealth of batting talent. Zaheer replied that Karachiites suffer from poorer stamina and fitness levels as opposed to Punjabis or Pathans, hence their under representation in the international squads). Now that is what Aamir Sohail said and I will not offer any subjective opinions on his commentary. Aamir’s statement makes me wonder how Hanif Mohammad and Saeed Anwar are considered to be the best openers Pakistan has produced to date. Both hailed from Karachi. Saeed Anwar was not the most technically sound player but he had an unusual gift where he could find gaps in the field almost at will. I remember how batsmen like Basit Ali and Asif Mujtaba were hailed as being supremely talented although they could not maintain consistency and consequently were dropped. Both of these players have played some excellent innings under pressure which surprised everyone. Here the point is regarding openers though, and I do feel that now the need is greater than ever to employ the services of Khalid Latif and Khurram Manzoor (with Yasir Hameed and Taufeeq Umar being considered possible replacements). There is no harm in trying especially since every stock opener has failed recently. Let us exhaust all options we have got and then come to any conclusion regarding whether we have any opening talent in Pakistan or not.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 24, 2007, 16:51 GMT

    Everyone is an expert - in praising Afridi and also in criticizing him - those who praise him likes to see him open the innings or at least bat in the top order that is where he is better utilized. Throwing him down the batting order at number 8 is a sheer waste of his talent. Some people think that he is good for the last 5 overs to slog and assume thats an ideal place for him in a ideal condition. They are talking like this, because of a few instances where a player like Razzaq or Afridi came in and slogged boom boom in the death overs.

    Realistically speaking, how many times this so-called ideal condition has prevailed? Hardly a few, may be a couple odd ones in case of Razzaq and a few in case of Afridi. Instead of ruing or lamenting about the glorious past, they should think about how to hone the batting skills of Sohail Tanvir and he can take up that role of big hitting in the death overs. He is quite capable of doing that, Rao and Gul can swing their bats, but Tanvir has shots up his sleeve. He needs to be groomed for that late order blast.

    A cricketing brain needs to delve deeper into the statistics and see where these players have scored most runs in their career? While playing at the top order or in the end as sloggers in the death overs? I don't need to go back to dig out the stats to prove my point, because that has been done so many times and people keep forgetting about them. To rue over the fact that there aren't any stable openers in the team or lament about the past glories and talk about Saeed Anwar is not going to change the situation.

    The situation can only improve if the team management is not experimenting with new players (team selection) and by shuffling the batting order so often. Because, these players have already proved at the domestic level before entering the International arena and even in the ODI's they have proved their worth. They can do better if they are assured of their selection. Some people on this blog believe that none of these players are good and they need to be dropped or discarded immediately. Then why not ask for Pakistan under-19 to take over the national side?

    Thats not the way you build a team, the induction has to be slow and gradual, you don't appoint fresh graduates as managers and general managers, before holding a responsible post they go through a process, on job training etc., and then promotions, if they are thrown in the deep end without any experience then, the results are catastrophic. One doesn't need to quote an isolated case, but what I am talking about is the general rule which is the norm of the industry.

    When dealing with Shahid Afridi, people tend to forget that there are other players in the team too and what is their role? When he fails, shouldn't they score? When Afridi scores big, like Inzamam used to score, the team wins on most occasions and when Younis Khan scores big, do I need to mention what the results are?

    Pakistan needs to find a good opening partner with Shahid Afridi, one who has good sound technique and better temperament and who is likely to stay for a long time at the crease, while Afridi can make best use of the new ball and goes back in ten overs, the damage is done. In case he fails like, Hafeez, Nazir, Akmal, Butt, Farhat etc., what difference does it make? Among the whole bunch of tried and tested openers who can play the second fiddle role with Afridi?

    The only name that comes to my mind in the current bunch of players available is, Yasir Hameed. He has scored over 2000 runs in ODI matches and has an average of 38, three hundreds and twelve fifties a good sound batting prospect with good temperament. Unlike Afridi, he can stay for long at the crease and like Afridi he too was a victim and was treated in the same manner, in and out of the team on the basis of a couple of bad performances. But, the actual reason may be different than what is told to the general public.

    Give these openers a carte blanch that they will play the entire series as openers and give them assurances that they will not be removed or dropped in case of a failure. That kind of assurance gives boost to the confidence of any player when he is assured of his place in the team irrespective of a few poor performances. It is the confidence that plays the biggest role in a player's mind, (being over confident like Akmal is the result of complacency and the thought of becoming indispensable) which leads to his playing his natural game and performing par excellence.

    PS.

    In my previous post in the previous thread, I said: " the chances of SA playing in Karachi are very remote and they might trade off to play the 5th ODI in Lahore." That is exactly what they have done. Perhaps running away from a possible 4-1 defeat would be a real shame and will add another sticker on their backs (besides Chokers) chickened out!

  • Zaid from Sri Lanka on October 24, 2007, 16:39 GMT

    I agree another keeper should be tried.a keeper who can bat well would be good,also it would be worth trying misbah-tanvir as opening combination

  • khan on October 24, 2007, 16:01 GMT

    Shahid Afridi deserves a permanent spot in the test team. Pakistan team managment has wasted this talented cricketer during the last 10 years. His test record is not spectacular but far better than the player opted over him. He has a test average of 38 with 5 hundreds from 26 games. another thing is his bowling i beleive if we trust him as a bowler only he will brought a lot of wickets bcoz now he is a very improved his bowling ability and he already picked wickets in his cart of ( Tendulkar-3, Ganguly-2, GA Hick, IR Bell, V Sehwag, TT Samaraveera, Sarwan, DS Lehmann, VVS Laxman, ME Waugh, BC Lara, AJ Stewart, N Hussain, and SR Waugh) these are parmanent Test Batsmen bowled by Afridi, thats why i thing he will better than Kaneria also. Pls read some history of kaneria. his last 22 innings he only takes 1 time 5 wickets in an inning, and in his 40 odd test he give over 100 or 150 runs are 30 times. huh lots of runs i think. so there is a good time to give a parmnent chance to Afridi to play a full series in India i bet if he bowls equally overs with Kaneria he will take more wickets bcoz he has lots of variaties in his bowling.

  • Saima khan on October 24, 2007, 15:52 GMT

    Kamran Akmal should be out.

    Replace him by Sarfraz Ahmed (Ex Captin of winning under 19 team). He is a wicket keeper batsman. Sarfraz is young and good with both bat and gloves.

    We need new wicket keeper and new openers for both test & one day. Openers could be from the following list: Khalid Latif Khurrum Manzoor Yasir Hamid Asim Kamal Shadab Kabir Saeed bin Nasir Ahmed Shezad Malik

    Saima Khan Islamabad

  • Moon on October 24, 2007, 15:48 GMT

    I think we should stop talking about Kamran Akmal, everyone on this blog is roaring from last one year but its not taking any effect so lets stop talking about him. Shoaib Malik is an extremely defensive captain, simply doesn't know how to set the field, whenever a bowler is hit a boundary he simply places the fielder right at that place, LOL what kinda startegy is that? and please someone tell him what to say at the toss and the post match ceremony, otherwise demote him to a Vice Captain and make Afridi Captain so that Malik can be groomed for future if he persists and keeps his place in the team, for now Afridi is the best bet. I am certainly amazed with Javed A(fridi) Khan's U-Turn over praising Afridi, by the way Mr. we should give the credit where its due! Afridi, win us one more match in the upcoming two matches as anyone else in the team doesn't look like winning one.

  • Abdul K Hussain on October 24, 2007, 15:20 GMT

    The thought processes and strategies of this selection committee are no less dysfunctional than the one run by Wasim Bari. If you go back to comments made by salahuddin Ahmed when he was first appointed you will see that he clearly stated that Hafeez would be used as a utility cricketer in ODI's but not as an opener. So what did they do? They used him as an opener! We also heard that alternatives for Kamran Akmal would be used. So what to the selectors do? They ignore Zulqarnain for the 'A' team and choose Sarfaraz who does well. So how do they reward him? Instead of trying him out in this series they send him on a meaningless jaunt to Honk Kong for the 6's. Same thing with Yasser Arafat! He belongs in the ODI squad atleast in the 14. Lets just get one thing straight there is no logic to selection in Pakistan it is simply political call.

  • Fahad on October 24, 2007, 15:05 GMT

    guys i beleive us pakistanis love to scrutinize the mistakes moer than anything,. when we win, we love pakistan (and yes even kamran akmal) but when we lose, we need a scapegoat and unfortunately, it has to be akmal. id give him another 12 months at most. by the way, did anyone notice the "baba jee of cricket" was back on screen waving the flag in the crowd with his green throw and white beard? :)

  • Zeeshan Bhayani on October 24, 2007, 14:32 GMT

    While I agree with you, Kamran I still feel that Afridi needed to do a little more with the bat. He should have carried on in the same vein and scored atleast 50. Let's face it. Afridi won't be getting any younger. He needs to take responsibility as a senior player much the same as Sanath Jayasuriya. Jayasuriya was also a trailblazer but with time he settled down and although the aggressive batting streak remains, he can put his head down and concentrate. Look at his conversion rate. Whenever he gets a start, he capitalizes it. Afridi should do the same if he wants to continue playing till 38. Another point mentioned is of Kamran Akmal. He definetly is a let down. He is neither a good keeper nor a good batsman. He should be dispensed with and a new face brought in who is primarily an excellent keeper and a decent batsman. 2 points Pakistan need to focus on are that of Younis Khan and the all rounder's slot. with younis at 3, Pakistan is always at a disadvantage. maybe it would be worth an experiment to send misbah or even shoaib malik himself at 3. someone who is technically sound and a swift scorer as well. With Wasim Akram's retirement, Pakistan have never been able to find a good one day no. 7 or 8. Someone who is capable of scoring a run a ball consistently and a good bowler as well. razzaq has retired and never was a good bowler. pakistan need to fill in this gap quickly. a good fast bowler who can bat well is a must at 8 and rao, sohail or azhar mahmood do not fit the bill. experiments with the openers continue but i think Pakistan would be better off with yasir hameed or salman butt to partner afridi.

  • Lahar on October 24, 2007, 14:29 GMT

    Afridi is a vital cog especially if your team is against the wall and you need that all rounder. with discipline he could end up being like what Klusener was to South Africa in 1999. As far as Akmal goes, hey drop him. He had his chance and go to a new keeper. time is short. Taufeeq Umar may have to fill in the short while.

  • Hammad Siddiqi, Cincinnati Ohio on October 24, 2007, 14:00 GMT

    You can never keep a good man down and Lala proved that. Yeah he might fail a heck of a lot of times but can you imagine an Pakistan team without him?

    Afridi reminds me of a ticking time bomb, sometimes other teams defuse him but the dangerof him exploding with either bat or ball or in the field is ever present. His exuberence, tenacity and skill is the essence of Pakistani Cricket for me. May his bombast live on and on!

    Please put Akmal out of his misery. It's so pathetic to see him like this. Theres no doubt he's an exceptional athlete and his grit and gumption has served us well. However sometimes a man needs to just go out there and find himself. Maybe a stint in the domestic or county circuits would work so he can go sort himself out. If this crap continues, he might lose confidence permenantly and a great player could be lost forever. Give the youngbloods a chance. Zulqarnanin Haider, even his little brother...anyone!

  • Tipu on October 24, 2007, 13:48 GMT

    I'll keep it vrief & short

    Afridi is the best utility all-rounder we have at present. Yasir should still be retained (despite scoring 18). Akmal ?? It's time to ship out if you can't shape up. Salman Butt: Don't understand why he was appointed as vice captain, particularly when he wasn't in the team at the time of being elected as vice captain. Indeed a mystery

  • Intoxicated on October 24, 2007, 13:25 GMT

    Dear Mr kamran If u wanna c Pakistan cricket team as it is now....Unreliable, inconsistant, most of the time gets beaten by Australia and South Africa, ranks on average number 3,4 or 5 in the world, every now and then falls on a low score and not even certain to win at home soil, ...............only then u would want a tried and tested mediocre batsman like afridi to open all the time. All the successful teams in the world have got top four batsmen who are capable to score big. If Pakistan wants to compete against Autralia then they need their top four players capable of big innings. Right now we only have got one and a half which is Yousuf and younus. Shoaib malik is playing his part very well as a number 5, which is playing around someone who is already holding the innings. There is no doubt about afridi's alround capabilities but we shouldnt be expecting more from him. He has turned into a very reliable bowler and a batsman capable of anything between 15 to 30. he wil do it where ever he palys.

    Now after knowing this will u still wanna paly him at the top of the order or use him according to his capabilities as an allrounder. Khalid Lateef is good inclusion in the squad, i haven t seen him batting but still I know that he is capable of scoring big centuries and he has been doing it consistantly enough specially in the domestic fifty over format in the recent past, so why not give him a go. There is no reason not to replace Kamran Akmal right now after he's been performing so poorly for a long time now. The only reason I can think of is that there is "NO" one in Pakistan's domestic cricket scene right now who could take the role of a modern wicket keeper Batsman in Pakistan team. I used the word modern because we all know how important part the wicketkeepers are playing in today's cirket. I hope we find someone capable soon.

  • Shahzad on October 24, 2007, 13:13 GMT

    I completely agree, Akmal should also be replaced with some talented young wicketkeeper/batsman. We are in situation now to do some more postiive experiments that may be giving chance to Khalid Lataif in one of two matches. Another important thing is, place of Misbah, he is good for limited over and but from the aspect of technique he is not that talented player nor his age is in accord with future player which can fulfill the gap of Inzimam. We should also think about that position very quickly, especially for the test matches so that a young player can be groomed to fulfill the gap of Inzimam in terms of quality.

    Cheers

  • Ash Zed - Saudi Arabia on October 24, 2007, 12:47 GMT

    He is a class by himself. I rate him one of the best cricketer ever produced by Pakistan but due to his lack of discipline, his figures do not justice with him.

    Nevertheless, pak team without him is ....... well I dont want to imagine that.

  • Owais on October 24, 2007, 12:41 GMT

    Guys - I stand vindicated, I mean if I was ever observed on this blog in the past, people would know that I have been advocating a 1 to 2 year rest for Kamran Akmal. It was this "deafening silence" from Pak Spin stalwarts that always bewildered me. Kamran Akmal has played his due role in England test series thrashing (more than 10 missed chances), champion's trophy debacle (missed chances and extras), South Africa test series (around 10 missed chances) and one day series and latest is this South Africa home series (key opportunities missed). If he had been dropped in England, it would have done a world of good for both him and for Pakistan. Currently he is arguably the worst wicket keeper in all test playing nations. For Kaneria alone he has cost him at least 15 extra test wicket. Spare a thought for poor Kaneria. Its Akmal who's the culprit not Kaneria. Shoaib Malik, the outragreously-defensive captain of team Paksitan, please listen to us.

  • Obaid on October 24, 2007, 12:12 GMT

    Well Afridi is what he is, failing and performing on and off. I agree that Pakistan needs Yasir in the top order. I would rather have him one down. I would also like to have Nazir as opener with Afridi, the coach should just ask him to take it easy. What we currently need are atleast a couple of batsmen that have a raw talent comparable to Inzi, Saeed or Aamir Sohail. Yasir and both Imrans (Nazir and Farhat) have the necessary reflexes. They just needed to be groomed right, which they haven't been. Nazir tries to copy Afridi (which he is not), Farhat is too reckless and Yasir doesn't consistently gets a chance. Yasir will get better if he stays in the team. Look at how quickly he decides to play or leave the ball around the off stump, this is rare for Pakistani/Indian batsmen. Sure Hamid is slow bu remember Yusuf was very slow when he came in but he improved. As for Butt,Tofeeq Umar and Hafeez I am not very impressed. They can at times play cute shots and score big innings but their basic technique is faulty. One other batsman that should be given a chance in tests is Asim Kamal even if Misbah is to be dropped.

  • Gyronesa on October 24, 2007, 12:02 GMT

    Afridi is dangerous when he is on the roll, but he needs to be consistent, this goes for the whole team. Yesterday their fielding was of high quality and the game before it was disastruos. I also agree that Malik is too soft for the captaincy, Afridi is the right person, it will also lift his game even more

  • Shaheer Shikrani on October 24, 2007, 11:47 GMT

    Afridi's best spot is no6, 7 or 8 position. Go and check the cricinfo ODI statsguru filtering thing. I believe Younis should only be kept in Test matches, due to his inability to play according to the situation. This is my team for next ODI.

    1. Hameed (Imran Khan rates him best Pakistan opener right now and his technique is definitely the best, he needs to be given a longer run so he doesn't feel the pressure of being dropped) 2. Latif (New guy, great against AusA team, lets try him out) 3. Akmal (makes good use of powerplays) 4. Yousuf (Auto selection) 5. Malik (Auto selection) 6. Misbah (Should be permanent in Pakistan squads from now on) 7. Afridi (Best bowler in side, huge improvement, bats better when ball not swinging) 8. Tanvir (Handy batsman like Akram, hard to pick his action still, this guy should be trained) 9. Rehman (Should only play ODI's, economical) 10. Gul (hugely improved bowler, Pak's best PACE bowler in ODI, better than Asif, Asif better in Tests though) 11. Rao (Bowled very well in the series so far, hasn't done anything wrong...YET)

  • Muhammad Shafiq (Wah Cantt) on October 24, 2007, 11:44 GMT

    He is in his own league, incompareable, unmatched, scintillating, sensational, maddest of all mad maxes, he is the prince who sets the heartbeat of spectatles himself, his lovers heartbeat depends on his mood which ultimately dictated performance.---- What should we expect from him, he is one we (cricket fans)will remember with tears of happiness, with his flavour of true but stupid lover. He didn't perform in 1999 final, no one performed in 2003, his patriotism charged him to disqualify from any meaningful think of 2007. His energy took pakistan to T20 final, he restricted the opposition to 141, and he broke our heart with first ball stupidity. He still brings sensation in us, he makes us restless whether we expect from him or not. He hits McGrath, Pollack, Kumble and Murali as no one can dare to even think, but he is one to go out on their first ball. He was probably born to ride bike in death circus. Hmm , he again plays with us, working fantastically on his bowling which we never respected, he was always a fantastic energi in field, now he praises his team as the best captain Pakistan never had, his batting, he will always play with us, believe me---he is born to play with cricket fans, a Pathan born in Karachi, playing his best in Punjab, what a play! Can he ever make amends of the not the proper use of batting talent he could use to make us 3times (probably 4) World champion---------- Still we don't have answer because we fight between Mind & heart--- coz we love him----thats why he is the Prince of cricket, prince of hearts either own or opposition. The only question is whether Prince ever become the King? i think he should take a leaf from Yousuf's book, but we never know what he has in his box of tricks.

  • faizullah khawaja on October 24, 2007, 11:11 GMT

    I agree afridi should open in all forms of the game. he is wasted lower down and the openers are not doing anything. kamran akmal is a burden for the team. we lost in england because of imran farhat and kamran's missed chances. we must have an alternative.

  • tabs Farooq on October 24, 2007, 10:34 GMT

    I agree with Kamran, I think Afridi should open as we are always 2 down for not very many so there is no harm in letting him go in. If he comes off then we are off to a great start and if he does not then it is no different from being on not very many for 1 or 2 down. As for mr A.A.khan mentioning J.a.khan in the same sentance as Al Pacino....I am not so sure!!

  • nasir fareed on October 24, 2007, 10:27 GMT

    I agree with most people on this post that Kamran Akmal needs to be given a rest. He came into the pakistan team with a bang, with some brilliant batting performances, even though his wicketkeeping wasn't much to boast about. However his batting form has considerably dipped and his wicketkeeping is becoming abit of a joke, he seriously needs to take time out. Someone else should be given a chance, i'm not sure who is available but surely their glovework cant be as bad as kamran akmals. I'm not saying permanantely get rid of him, but give him a rest... and let him fight for his place back in the squad, only then will he improve. As for Afridi, well you either love him or you hate him... but in recent years Afridi's bowling has improved dramatically and he is consitantly taking wickets and being economical aswell. In the past we were using Afridi as a batting allrounder but now we've got it right, he should have a role in the team as a bowling allrouder...and should aim to improve his bowling even further.

  • AL on October 24, 2007, 9:47 GMT

    You guys need to wake up. Afridi has proved time and again that he is not an opener. However seeing as we are playing the next 5 months of cricket in the sub continent, that India is coming up next and the fact that we have no one else putting their hand up at the top of the innings, it is understandable why afridi may be persisted with at the top. But to think he solves the opening issue we have is pure delusional. Moving on to Kamrans name sake, Mr Akmal. Yes I agree that time is running out, but we can not offload him now with two BIG series coming up. He is vital to the balance of the side coming in at number 7 in the test matches, and he is a proven run scorer in the subcontinent. And seeing as Afridi may come in to the tests against India, we may well need the Kamran to open the innings. But imagine if we did drop akmal and got a wickie who couldn't bat at number 7 followed by akhtar,gul, kaneria and asif. We need Kamran guys and against India at least I back him to deliver.

  • EHU on October 24, 2007, 9:33 GMT

    It was Afridi's day, wonderful performance by afridi,it will be great if he can continue to perform like that on Indian tour, but IS it the long term solution?? Afridi is a sort of Player, when he performs well (specailly with the bat), one thinks that ah! what a talent , with him in the team, Pak can be world beaters , but on another day when he throws away his wicket, he puts his position under a question mark. No doubt, he has improved his bowling immensly. Worth trying Afridi as an opener in the indian series considering the conditions and the importance of the tour.

  • Faridoon on October 24, 2007, 8:26 GMT

    The opening conundrum continues to baffle pakistani selectors. Any pair they choose must be give a decent run of at least ten games before booting them. With the current revolving door policy, new opening pairs will be tried in every game and expected to score heavy in their first outing, failing which... exit old openers and enter new pair.

    The selectors need to be more responsible. They need to study the games of the potential candidates, shirtlist and then pick a final pair and stick to them for some time. Give them ten games, give them a definite target to achieve, say, an average of 40 after ten games. If the target is not achieved, then drop them justifiably.

  • Imran on October 24, 2007, 8:21 GMT

    You are right! Kamran Akmal needs to go. How many chances he need. We dont need his batting but we need his wicket keeping. We lost so many matches because of him dropping important catches of very solid players. Like what happened in Karachi test when he dropped Kallis. He dropped couple catches and let go couple of stumping and then make 40 - 50 runs and sometime he does not even make 30+ runs. But by dropping catches and fluffing the stumping he actually cost the team 100 of runs each time so what is the point of his 40 - 50 runs.

  • A O on October 24, 2007, 8:09 GMT

    Pakistan need to think outside the box with Afridi.

    He should be used as an opener while chasing, and as a lower order batsmen if PK bats first. That way, his true strength - slogging - will be utilized either way.

    The role of the lower order in the first innings in ODIs is to knock the ball around and accelerate - a perfect role for Afridi.

    But Afridi is not who you want batting down the order in second innings, where he would have to critically plan a chase with few wickets to spare.

    If he opens while chasing (like against SA in Faislabad), he can hit the ball around for a few overs and hopefully bring down the run rate for the rest of the lineup.

    Afridi is a wildcard. He should be used in a flexible way.

  • Umar Ashraf on October 24, 2007, 8:01 GMT

    I think Yasir Hameed shud open because he is very sensible opener and the way he got out was just a very good catch from Kallis but from my point of view Yasir should open

  • Saddique Ahmed on October 24, 2007, 8:01 GMT

    It was nice to see Pakistan do well against South Africa. Pakistan's record is poor and it seems that many good player become injured during or around SA tour or when we play the Aussies. I have tried to find what the problem is with Pakistan team and think is lack of aggresion. The Aussies do it well against us. Shoaib Akhtar is very good at this but his ego has let him and his followers like my self down.

    Come on Pakistan show us what you can really do.

  • Ahad on October 24, 2007, 7:32 GMT

    Well....Afridi should open with a guy in the U-19 team who is currently in place for Hafiz. I think his name is .... yes.....Khalid Latif and (gosh) his avg. for ODIs is 49-50.....WOW.....now dont you think this guy deserves a place in the team.....Afridis main target to open and score is about 30-40....not much but effective and yes for kamran akmal.....sarfraz ahmed or Zulqairnan Haider should do.....well....better than Akmal but Ubaid is right....we will need Akmal during the India tour and then maybe they could try after that....?

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on October 24, 2007, 6:26 GMT

    Shahid Afridi's symphonies are short and brief and when he is on song, he is a treat to watch, it is like a "simple harmonic motion." A motion that is neither driven nor damped it simply oscillates. The motion is periodic and repetitive without any standard intervals in a specific manner which goes on boom-boom with brute force and there is no damping. In physics and engineering, "damping" is mathematically modeled as a force with magnitude proportional to that of the velocity of the object but opposite in direction to it. Thus, for a simple mechanical damper, the force F is related to the velocity v by

    F = -cv where c is the damping coefficient. Similarly the letter F in Afridi, stands for Force.

    Most people on this blog know that I support Shahid Afridi, not blindly (jamais) but, righteously and forthrightly like a 'straight-shooter.'

    I endorse Dr. Abbassi's view on defending Afridi's batting in the opening slot. The caption of this thread if translated in Punjabi is, "Jithay dee whatever, utthay aan khloti." :-) I have been saying it since ages, that this is where he belongs in the ODI and twenty20 world, especially when playing on the subcontinent tracks, where he has a very good track record. Often his critics refer him as a flat track bully or a one time trick pony! But, time and again he has proved his critics wrong and some of them have to eat their words and "chew the cud" like a humble cow and admit that: "Afridi is one of the most talented cricketers in the world, today showed us his bowling and fielding class." ;-) Oh, yeah the catch - he can't believe that he held that catch of "A.B. Deliver" that is how our Pra Waqqa pronounced his name a couple of times.

    The only reason Afridi's prominence is obvious now is because, he is not under someone's shadow or at the mercy of the captain and the coach when they used to play yo-yo with his batting order and team selection. Very often he was rested or dropped without any justification and that hampers anyone's confidence. Now, in order to cement his place in the team he has not only focused on improving his bowling but, he has taken up this role of a senior member of the team in a very positive way and he keeps encouraging the juniors as if he is "The Leader", which in a way he is the back seat driver and he controls this 12 cylinder Ferrari Testarossa. If he continues to perform with bat and ball on a regular basis, I am sure a lot of his supporters would ask him to take over from Malik, which is not a good idea.

    I have said this before and I would reiterate my point again, that removing Malik from the captaincy post would be a very bad idea, its not in the interest of the team. Like a country elects a leader for a four year term and once he is elected, everyone should be behind him. And Malik is not a total pay&do, he is a fast learner, he needs to improve his English and his communication skills, which won't come in a day but, he has improved, he has rectified the errors he made earlier, in the third ODI his body language was very positive and he was seen leading from the front and thats what I like to see in him, his aggression.

    Wasim Saqib on your questioning the genuineness and authenticity, I want to ask you, have you heard Kabir Das?

    "Kabira, kuVaan aik hai Aur pani bharay anaik Bhaanday hee may bhaid hai Paani sab may aik"

    Baat "agham" keh dee nee - ray mo say Naina milayee kay! Konsi baat? Gambhir baat, yani Gehri baat. Vo baat jis ka saaray fasany may koi zikr na thaa......

  • Ine on October 24, 2007, 6:14 GMT

    Well I have read all the posts... I believe that Afridi has improved a lot and he is batting much consistently than before. As a bowler he has improved leaps and bounds... On current bowling form he is the best bowler in the side... I agree with a suggestion that we should view Afridi as a bowler and if he bats well that is a bonus… Though another school of thought may be that since he is the senior most team member he should take the responsibility of batting more sensibly… If he cuts out the percentage of some of the high risk shots then he will become better.

    Yousuf was able to play the way he was because Afridi had ensured that the run rate will never come in the picture.

    On Akmal what can we all say... it is true that we should give someone else a chance. It is like telling Akmal that he is not indispensable... Couple of years ago he was almost the best WK in the game and now he is in the league of Matt Prior only Prior is a better batsman. my suggestion would be to take two WK to India. Drop Kamran for the first two matches so that he knows he has competition… That may help him to improve.

    All the best to the team for the next two matches and the Indian tour

  • Waqar on October 24, 2007, 6:08 GMT

    Shahid Afridi should be used as an opener in ODIs since Pakistan anyway loses 2 to 3 wickets at the top anyway, so where is the risk? Other opener spot is a problem, it is suggested to try new faces instead of using same old recycled faces. As regards Kamran Akmal he needs proper coaching not being dropped. Don't forget what he did on the India tour last time. He is a gutsy player and will improve with coaching. I don't think a replacement better than him currently exists in Pakistan. However, 2 wicketkeepers should be in the squad. Younis Khan needs to grow up and play like a senior, experienced player.

  • Rameen Hashmi on October 24, 2007, 6:03 GMT

    I totally agree that Shahid Afridi must open the innings at all times, especially when all know that Pakistan have not got an established opening pair. I also think that Afridi should be made at least vice captain of the ODI team, in place of a NON PLAYING Salman Butt (who frankly....does not deserve to be in a ODI team). I was surprised to see that Yasir Hameed has over 2000 runs at an average of 38+, an average not maintained by many batsmen like younis khan in the same version of the game. I think Yasir is a better choice than Hafeez, Butt and Imran Farhat.

  • saladin on October 24, 2007, 5:50 GMT

    Today Pakistan wins matches not because of Akmal, but in spite of Akmal.

    Rana Naveed, Mohammed Hafeez and Kamran Akmal were the architects behind Pakistan's performance in the World Cup. The first two have mercifully be shown the door and now its high time someone else replace Akmal. Heck, in current form, even Misbah ul Haq or Yasir Hameed or Younis Khan can keep wickets equally good.

  • Ramzan on October 24, 2007, 5:42 GMT

    Kamran, I agree with your point of view about Afridi....he needs a bit of self-confidence....what Pakistani team did was to make him open in a game, then number 5, then 7...then dropped for couple of matches....then bringing him in.....these things make a batsman feel very bad and make him lose his faith in his capabilities...this is applicable to all in the team...in my opinion....Afridi (as well as other opening pairs) should have given at least 5-6 matches to open....by the time...i think they will acquire some self-confidence

    I wanna draw an example....s.lanka, australia, SA despite openers' failure sometime...they stick to their openers to give them a chance....that's what made Sanath, Hayden such great batsmen

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on October 24, 2007, 5:28 GMT

    I have always felt that Afridi is slightly under-rated as a bowler. Afridi opening the innings is not an ideal situation... but I guess that if you consider the 300 regular openers are performing, it is much better to go ahead with him.

    I think that. apart from performance, Afridi is always looking to contribute. You just cant keep him out of the game.

    His bowling has really matured over the past 2 months.

    It hurts to see Akmal's performance taking a nose-dive. There was a time when he was rated by Ian Chappel as the best keeper, in terms of pure keeping ability. His batting was also doing wonders.

    But now, he has become quite a burden. The number of catches he has dropped is shocking. You look at how other teams have keepers who are key players... Gilchrist, Sangakarra, Boucher, Dhoni. Pakistan must try out other keepers. I have heard there are some pretty impressive guys in the domestic circuit. Since the England tour last year, the PCB has been too kind to him.

  • UM BAJWA, Islamabad on October 24, 2007, 5:27 GMT

    Afridi, no doubt, has improved his bowling technique and variety which is well evident by looking at his bowling figures after most every match recently. And, he is a good fielder which is constantly emanating bundles of energy on field and bucking up his team. I wish he is successful in controlling his batting temperament too. If he manages to bat wisely, there is no stopping him being named the "BEST ALL ROUNDER" on scene these days.

    I don't see the need of too much back lash on Kamran Akmal. Even Vivian Richards had a few bad patches in his career. Look at how Hayden and Ganguly fought those black patches and are right up there at the top. We need to persevere a bit more with Kamran and actually encourage him to improve his wicketkeeping.

  • Sohail Bhatti on October 24, 2007, 5:25 GMT

    It's heartening to see Pakistan are leading the series so far but there are serious underlying problems that PCB still needs to address. You have just two world class bowlers in your team; Afridi and Umar Gul and One world class batsman in Mohamed Yousuf. 3 good players don't make a good cricket team. I am not a Pakistani but have supported this team since I was a boy. When they won the world cup I was still very young to fully understand what it meant. Will PCB grant us the joy of getting to see PAK lift another world cup in our lifetime?

  • Atif M Khan, Dubai on October 24, 2007, 5:17 GMT

    Well done Afridi, again you showed that you are the most inconsistent but the most valuable player of Pakistan team. No matter, how much experience you get and how many senior players give you tips, you only play your game with your own plans and strategies. I know that you always want to give 110% like your strike rate but please try to stay on the wicket for some more time. We all love you and pray for you that you do very best in the upcoming India tour as you did it last time. Selectors should consider you a permanent one day opener in the sub continent pitches. Good Luck for the rest of two matches and Next series.

  • Qazi Sufian Javed on October 24, 2007, 5:08 GMT

    Finally, some consistency; winning two matches consecutively seems quite impressive. I must say it was a typical Afridi performance with the bat and, as it has come to notice of late, his bowling performance was top notch. Since, there have been quite a few comments on yesterday's victory, I would want to comment on another 'issue' - racism. Alot of skirmishes were witnessed during Australia's tour to India - Symonds-Sreesanth-Harbajhan being in the spotlight - which forced the ICC to send letters to BCCI demanding a report on the allegation of racism. I was surprised to read in the article that Malcom Speed had written to PCB regarding racist comments as well. The over all ambience on the field is very amiable between South African and Pakistani players. The general body language and the sportsmen spirit has been impeccable through out the series. I hope the Pakistani players have the sense to keep their noses out of an issue as serious and potentially damaging as it is. Good luck to the team for the rest of the series.

  • Irfan Rahat Khan on October 24, 2007, 4:36 GMT

    Yes i agree that Kamran Akmal needs a break, improve batting and wicket keeping skills in which he isn't up to the task, dropping catches on crucial moments let team morale down. Pakistan coach and management needs to get a solid openers.

    Muhammad Hafeez and Imran Nazir responded badly in past two or three series, opening an innings with Afridi and Hameed is a good step. Afridi is keen to open the innings and he wants to play his natural strokes so he should be given a chance in first 15 overs.

  • Muhammad Tariq on October 24, 2007, 4:21 GMT

    A good win for Pakistan. In fact it was a great team work by them. Everyone contributed in it bowlers, fielders and batsmen. Now coming to Afridi, he is an ideal cricketer a complete cricketer have in the 11 men squad. He can bat, can bowl and can field better than anyone else in the team. He must open the innings especially in the Sub-continent. And i always believe that Yasir Hameed is the best opener available in Pakistan since he made his debut. He is so unlucky that he is not part of the Pakistan Team since long. But I am sure that the selectors will keep an eye on the averages of all openers of Pakistan since 2003 and will select the team then. Yasir Hameed is well above them all with round about average of 39 in ODIs.

  • Saima Siddiqui-Islamabad on October 24, 2007, 4:15 GMT

    Congrats to Malik and Pakistan team for taking lead in the one day series. Mohd Yousaf has again proved that he is the only world class player in the team. Afridi is in good bowling form and some of his "tullas" worked today so that was a bonus. Pakistan needs Shoaib Akhtar and Asif back for India as they are real match winners. PCB should try to bring back Razzaq in the team as we are missing his hard hitting abilities in the end overs. Salman should be given a chance in next match, we need to give him confidence for India series. There is no way Kamran Akmal should be out. He is a talented wicket keeper batsman. Today he missed 2 hard chances and same thing could have happened to any other keeper. Trying any under 19 kid against India in India would be a real disaster.

  • Humayun on October 24, 2007, 3:07 GMT

    I don't think any new wicketkeeper will perform any worse than Akmal's current performances. This makes it the ideal moment to shift gears and move on to a brand new 'keeper who can only improve from thereon. Oh, how ignorant people seem to be when they point out Akmal's (more than?) occassional batting performances and totally ignore the extravagantly high cost of his wicketkeeping lapses. A wicetkeeper's primary responsibility is just that. Anything beyond that is a bonus. Can anyone imagine persevering with Danish Kaneria as a leg spinner if he totally lost form but made an occasssional fifty down(or even up)the order. I have not seen Imtiaz Ahmad in action, but clearly Pakistan has only produced two worldclass wicketkeepers - Bari and Latif! All the others have been average(or below)wicketkeepers even if good batsmen.And even some of them (remember Ashraf Ali, Salim Yusuf, Taslim Arif, Anil Dalpat, Zulqarnain) would do better than Akmal as he currently stands. Pakistan simply cannot afford the high cost of Akmal's keeping- and the selectors have a responsibility to the nation to provide the best possible person on current form for the 'keeping slot. I hope they are able to take this difficult step.

  • WASIM SAQIB on October 24, 2007, 2:27 GMT

    Kamran Akmal has to go, not only that he drops catches but he can't stand up close to the wickets when medium fast bowlers are bowling. If we look at Gilchrist or Boucher they always come up close to the wickets whenever any batsman is in aggressive mode and is batting from outside the crease.During this current series I have observed that several SA batsman when they get set they start standing outside the crease and deny the bowler the desired length,many batsman in International cricket employ this technique but good keepers always come up and put pressure on the batsman for a stumping chance.He is not a good keeper at all its and its about time that PCB should show him the door. Pakistan Played extermely well today, I would have been more satisfied if they had scored the required runs in 40 overs.Shahid Afridi performed in every department of the game, and it was a good Idea to send him to open the innings as none of the other openers are performing so might as well send him to open,with his clean hitting he can deliver each time if he slows down a little bit and does not try to hit a boundary on every other ball.But I think it's a waste,to even float such an ideas as in past it has always landed on the deaf ears of Afridi he can't change his style.Its because of his batting style that people love him and for the same reason they hate him.

    The Younis Khan bubble got burst after just one match and he is back to his usual self.He is simply not good enough to play ODI cricket.

  • Wasim Alim on October 24, 2007, 1:08 GMT

    Shahid Afridi deserves a permanent spot in the test team. Pakistan team managment has wasted this talented cricketer during the last 10 years. His test record is not spectacular but far better than the player opted over him. He has a test average of 38 with 5 hundreds from 26 games which is not bad at all compared to the other openers selected during the last 4-5 years. he has an added ability of being a useful bowler and someone who can spark some energy in the field. I can see the point if he was benched in favour of players like Saeed Anwer or Aamir Sohail but the current bunch that has been opening is totally a waste of his talent.

    Lets look at the current group of openers who are playing musical chairs. Salman Butt probably is the most talented of the lot but he has not capitalized on his opportunities, from 16 test matches, he is averaging 28 with 2 centuries. Imran Farhat from 27 matches is scoring at 33 with 2 hundreds. Mohd. Hafeez is scoring at 33 with 2 centuries from 11 games. Imran Nazir has scored similarly at 33 with 2 centuries from his 8 test outings. Taufeeq Umar has scored 4 hundreds and is averaging 39 from his 25 test opportunities. Finally, Yasir Hameed who played 20 tests is averaging below 36 with 2 centuries which were both scored on his debut against the Mighty Bangla desh.

    From the above stats among the 8 supposed openers, Afridi has the most centuries and second highest test average behind Taufeeq Umar. with his added ability as a bowler and his leadership, he should clearly be in the test squad. Until there is a better player scouted, Afridi is a deserved test player for Pakistan. The team managment needs to think out of the box and experiment with the opening pair with different options like may be pairing Asim Kamal with Misbah Ul Haq. Both these players have displayed poise and calm during the opportunities that have been so far offered to them. This opening batsman void after the retirement of Anwer is not going to be filled any time soon if the same set of players are tried over and over and over again.

    Kamran Akmal with all his problems is the best available player for the position. Until we can find a Dhoni or Gilchrist, he is our best bet.

  • John on October 24, 2007, 1:05 GMT

    Inshallah we will win the next match, and then have the opportunity to pick an alternative keeper for the final ODI. Look how many England have gone through in months since Pakistan toured UK - 6 maybe? Hameed did not totally fail, 42 partnership was better than some, and he was not the first one out! 18 isn’t a huge score, but I got the impression he was trying to do a Yousuf, and bat through the innings - okay he did not manage this, but the intent was there. Today’s not a great example, but he is head and shoulders above, Taufeeq, Farhat & Hafeez in pure (international) class alone - he really needs a decent run, otherwise we’ll end up with another Asim Kamal / Bazid Khan. We really need to start nurturing our players - we have a chance to be the best with a 2nd successive great coach - I hope PCB lean towards some consistency in respect of selection. I personally have had Afridi and Hameed as my ODI openers for the last 3 years (Hafeez as cover) and possibly Hameed and Butt for the Tests with Taufeeq and Farhat - until recently, as cover. Bold? Well let’s see. Afridi was at his bombastic best. Speedy 20's, 30's with the odd manic 50 will do just nicely! His wickets, aggressive bowling & un-Pakistani fielding are just bolt-ons to the main reason why we all love him! How many players have destroyed McGrath & Pollock so wilfully as Afridi? Let him keep playing like the 16 year old we all cherish from 1996…

  • Amyn Habib on October 24, 2007, 0:41 GMT

    Having Afridi open the batting is a really bad idea. An opener needs to be a consistent and high quality batsman. Afridi is neither. Although he was able to score 32 runs today (after being dropped at 10), if his past performance is any indicator, he is likely to only embarrass himself as an opening batsman. Having him at the top of the order would continue the disastrous instability in Pakistan batting. It has been argued that Afridi could not be worse than Nazir or Hafeez or Butt. That is probably true. They are all pretty bad. But I fail to see the logic in replacing a bad batsman (say Nazir) with another equally bad or worse batsman (Afridi)? Find somebody else to open.

    It is much better to have him come in late, throw his bat around, and try to -once in about 10 occasions -score a fifty. Afridi did bowl well and deserves praise for his overall contribution today.

    The selectors should stick with Yasir Hameed. He has one of the best records among current Pakistani batsmen and—although he is unlikely to set the world on fire in one day cricket—given adequate opportunity could become a strong batsman.

  • EAMiran on October 23, 2007, 22:55 GMT

    Allowing Afridi to open the innings in any form of the game is to:

    1. Deny a worthy specialist youngster (if one exists) an opportunity - and I do not mean Butt, Nazir, Hameed, Hafeez, Taufiq Umar, or Akmal. These gentlemen must all be dropped - immediately. 2.Resign to the fact that Pakistan will be at least 1 down by the 2nd or 3rd over(about the length of an average Afridi innings). 3. A corrollary to point # 2: Resign to the fact that Pakistan will almost never have an opening partnership of a 100 or more. 4. Weaken the power hitting options in the last 5 overs of the game when, IMO, Afridi may be best utilized. His calling in life is to blast the ball - not to stay at the wicket, which is what is required of an opener. 5. Admit once and for all that there is little batting talent available in Pakistan. 6. Ensure that there will be frantic search, in the middle of an away tour, for another opener (which will ultimately be make-shift) when Afridi fails consistently on seaming tracks.

    In the long run this short-sighted approach is not good for Pakistan cricket. We need visionaries at the helm.

    Jack Murphy

    Maybe SA should try and win the next 2 games, because I wouldn't want Pakistan to embarrass them with 4-1 scoreline.

  • Asif Ahmed on October 23, 2007, 22:29 GMT

    Agreed. Afridi should be the vice captain. Butt doesn't deserve a place in the team, let along being a vice captain. Keeping a nonplaying vice captain only perpetuates the image that we are the laughing stock of the cricketing world.

    Another fact to support the above mentioned impression is our continued persistence with Akmal. A keeper is a keeper first, second, and third, and then a batsman. Akmal did not only drop 2 catches today--I challenge people to look back at all of our test defeats over the last 18 months, and you will find a huge letoff by Akmal as being a major contributing factor. We have other good candidates--it is time that we gave them a chance, and these ODIs are the perfect opportunity.

  • Adnan Khan on October 23, 2007, 22:20 GMT

    Imran Khan once said that AFRIDI IS A LOTTERY. He indeed is you can't win it everytime but if you win it then it is a very special one. And he showed it once again today.But people should not always expect highly from the player in every game not only Afridi but the others as well. Because its a game we Pakistanis should understand.

  • Asad Saeed on October 23, 2007, 21:54 GMT

    Too right, Akmal's confidence has hit an all time low and he needs to buck up his ideas.. a stint out of the side could do him the world of good.

  • Hasan on October 23, 2007, 21:28 GMT

    I agree on the Akmal issue with you. Most teams either have an exceptional wicketkeeper who can bat, or an exceptional batsman who can keep wickets. On Akmal's current form, we have neither. He needs to be rested and given a chance to work on his glovework.

  • sadiq on October 23, 2007, 20:57 GMT

    ABbasi bai i agree totally with you on shahid afridi shud open in asia Yasir is crap man bring bak BUTT? or Imran? Kamran Akmal shudnt be dropped! He has served pakistan sooo well in the past drops today were very hard chances plus he is a good batsmen and wicket keeping can surely improve

  • Suhail Shaukat on October 23, 2007, 20:32 GMT

    Without doubt, Afridi is a match winner on a given day and can sway the match decisively in Pakistan's favor with the bat. Even if he works in one out of five matches with the bat (20%), Pakistan is likely to be on the winning end. So the Pakistan management should take into account this probability and should give Afridi now an extended run at the opening slot in limited overs cricket atleast in the Subcontinent. Mohammad Yousaf is as reliable as ever. Younis Khan needs to stop failing in 4 matches and then working out in one and needs to be more consistent. Anywayz, well done boys for today and all the best with the remainder of the series.

  • ubaid on October 23, 2007, 20:08 GMT

    Oh the hypocrisy!!!. Granted Kami needs work on his keeping but he needs to be in the team for india where we will need his grit. So lay off it. You are the same kamran abbasi that advocated for moin khan to come back to the team a decade ago, after the later had cost pakistan numerous matches with his gloves. The most memmorable being the test series in WI right after the tied one day sereis in the mid nineties when wasim and waqar were in their prime. Moin was like a person with his hands made out of brick, and couldn't catch a cold and continued to do that throughout his carreer. A truly horrible WK and much worse than akmal in terms of technique ( for those of you , who know about wicket keeping). But you never asked for anyone else to be given a chance than. I had written to you than and I am writing to you now. Take off your glasses. I don't care if you put this post in or not. Just take care of your biases.

  • Gulab Khan on October 23, 2007, 20:03 GMT

    Afridi, The Pathan from Karachi. Once again you are brilliant.

    PCB should appoint Aafridi captain. He has more experince and expertise than Shoaib Malik.

    I do not see place of Kamran Akmal and Misba in the team for an Indian tour. We all know Shoaib is a good friend of Misba but its not mean that Shoaib give more chances to Misba than other players. He should replace by any good allrounder ro Asim Kamal.

    Gulab Khan Peshawer

  • Rashid Khan on October 23, 2007, 19:57 GMT

    I think Shahid Afridi has become a better cricketer since he started focusing on his bowling. To be fair to him he should be considered a bowling allrounder who can tear the other team apart with his batting if he gets going. However, he needs to make his place in the team based on his bowling which he is currently doing and hence has revitalised his position in the team. Other point that you raised in your article is absolutely critical. PCB needs to rest kamran right away and try couple of other keepers - we've already seen him dropping so many catches in this test and ODI series. Kamran seems to have a huge problem anticipating ball movement against the spin bolwers. He simply cannot keep against spinners - it feels like a miracle when he is actually able to hold on to fine edge (forget the thick edge). It takes a little while for the new keeper to make his place and hence, it is even more ciritical that we try a new keeper now if we want to build a winning momentum. A dropped catch has a snowball effect of demotivating the bowler and the whole team. On the other hand the surviving batsman learns a lesson and usually tries to capitalize on it.

  • Dawar on October 23, 2007, 19:57 GMT

    Once again great performance by Shahid Afridi in every aspects of the match i.e. Batting (He scored 32 runs on 18 balls), Bowling (He got Three wickets) and Fielding (and 2 catches). He should be appointed Vice Captain.

    Kamran Akmal should be out. Sarfraz Ahmed Wicket Keeper batsman (He was under 19 captain of the winning team) or Salman Ahmed Wicket Keeper from Faisalabad (Rashid Latif brought Salman's name) are the best available choices in the country.

    Dawar LA USA

  • faridoon on October 23, 2007, 19:55 GMT

    Yeah Afridi was a treat like he always is when he performs well. It is always either fasting or feasting with him and it was the latter earlier today. On a sidenote, how come we have a vice captain who cannot find a place in playing 11. Cant we find another man, perhaps afridi, to be the vice captain. Someone who deserve to be and is part of playing 11????

  • Abbas Reza on October 23, 2007, 19:53 GMT

    I feel vindicated about Afridi. If we have to go with unpredictability at the top of the order then no one but Afridi should be there. I think they should persist with this combination. Yasir Hameed may not have performed today but he deserves a longer run. Trust Pakistan's selectors to bungle up a promising career. Hopefully they haven't messed it up much.

  • sajid rabbani on October 23, 2007, 19:43 GMT

    afridi was spot on ,he is clearly supporting the youngsters and his performance is exemplary(on field). heres a simple little question which i never got a satisfactory answer or never will, i guess. JUST AS A REAL BAD EXPERIMENT CAN WE TRY ANOTHER WICKET KEEPER PLEASE????

  • Daaniyal M on October 23, 2007, 19:36 GMT

    For the love of God Akmal must be banished without delay.. its torture alright...chinese water torture rather than the drip drop kind that Kamran is mentioning.. If I have to sit and watch Akmal flff another catch im going to jump my fourth story window....

    How about giving Zulqarnain a chance...id be willing to give Geoff Boycotts Grand mum a go at keeping wickets for us now...

  • senior player on October 23, 2007, 19:19 GMT

    Pragmatic people do not like to play lottery. Afridi is no different. Despite being the senior most player, he has not improved his game a wee bit. He is as unreliable as any other youngster with talent. Three players in our current team are most over-rated younus khan, afridi and akmal. For fresh approach team needs to move on without them.

  • Ahmad Hanif on October 23, 2007, 19:15 GMT

    It is really very saddening to see the standard of wicketkeeping of Pakistan. For Pakistan, the wicketkeeper has been probably the worst fielder on the field. The bowlers have to be praised that they can still win a match despite such poor performances behind the stumps and all over the field. Looking at Kamran Akmal, I think that his mind is just not there in the game, probably the fear of being dropped is on his mind. It would be very fair to give him some rest even if he is better than other options available.

  • Hassan Abbas on October 23, 2007, 19:13 GMT

    Very good performance by the whole team in general and Afridi in particular. He is our best bowler at the moment and his batting is a bonus for us.

  • Sitarah Anjum (London) on October 23, 2007, 19:10 GMT

    I agree with you Kamran Sahib, PCB and selectors must end this torture named ‘Kamran Akmal’ The chances that he has been given are plentiful but he is still not learning. Pakistan has lost so many games due to his poor keeping. I would say 1st Test was lost due to his drop catches and lost chance of stumping. Kaneria must hate him by now because he is the one whose bowling was not well rewarded due to Akmal’s drop chances.

    Selectors should try Zulqernain Hyder or anybody else who’s in the queue.

    About Afridi, I still believe he should be made captain and Shoaib Malik vice captain. Malik looks defensive in his approach so far. He can not even ask anybody to open unless they want to! (in this case Afridi) I expect a captain to show strong command with friendly disposition over his team and place field according to the situation. I think he is too soft to be a commanding and clever captain. I believe Afridi will perform even better if made captain. His recent performance alone is enough to convince selectors and PCB.

    Salman Butt is unlucky to gel his place within the playing 11. He has to qualify in the playing squad first. He does not deserve an automatic permanent place in the team, making him vice captain with his pathetic performance is unfair with players like Afridi who rightly deserves to be a captain or at least a vice captain. But if PCB makes someone vice captain with the aim to groom him as a future captain then Malik should be vice captain and Afridi a captain so that in the next 2-3 years time Malik is fully prepared and mature to take the charge. It would be a U-turn for PCB though but it is not a new thing for them or us, is it? Malik was made captain until December 2007 anyway. It was not a permanent appointment so why can’t we expect more changes? Imran Nazir, Hafiz need to sit out now fir ever because they did not take advantage of several opportunities presented to them. I think selectors should include Yasir Hamid and Fawad Alam in the team now and Akmal must go. I do not want to see his miserable face every time he misses a chance to catch or stump. He is only in the team to lower the morale of Pak team on a given day! Enough is enough. Please get rid of Akmal and give chance to others who are eager and passionate to perform.

  • Waqas on October 23, 2007, 18:23 GMT

    Agreed that Yasir Hameed fluffed it today. However, kamran akmal has performed very well with the bat numerous times before. Therefore, we shouldn't commit the stupidity of dropping him from the team.

  • Omer Admani on October 23, 2007, 17:52 GMT

    Mr. Kamran Abassi, For the first time I completely agree with you!

    Afridi should be opening (at least in the subcontinent), the vice captain needs a rest (and so does Hafeez), and Akmal needs to go back to school cricket. It is not like it is a mere blip, he drops balls that don't deflect at all. So, naturally, he will consistently drop when there is an edge, and a good spin bowler is a very average one with Akmal behind the wickets.

    Also, it is a good thing you wrote a very small article, it makes the call for changes much more powerful and the matter concerning Akmal is not lost in the melee.

  • Muhammad Asif on October 23, 2007, 17:38 GMT

    Its good to see him opening the innings but one thing should be clear in his role that hes a specialist bowler, Do your best in batting but not at the expense of bowling. Make it clear to him that you are accountable for bowling not batting. Whatever you will do in batting would be considered as a bonus not an excuse to poor bowling. By doing so we have already spoiled the career of Kamran Akmal. In past he was a very good wicketkeeper & a handy batsman. We overburdened Akmal to take a lead for one special batsman & what happened is history now. Today we are talking to get rid of him because of poor wicketkeeping not the batting. If its not funny! Yes its funny for us but not for the poor chap.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on October 23, 2007, 17:16 GMT

    Afridi, one of the most talented cricketers in the world, today showed us his bowling and fielding class. I feel tempted to criticise the shot which led to his dismissal, but today, for the sake of Pakistan’s victory and his contribution behind it, I will dismiss it as “the typical Afridi batting performance, the norm”. Afridi and Inzamam are Mr Abbasi’s favourite players probably as a considerable number of his posts are directly dedicated to them. Afridi should open in Twenty20 cricket but he is already a proven failure as an ODI opener. I completely disagree with Mr Abbasi that Afridi should open in ODI’s. Once again Younis Khan threw his wicket away at a crucial juncture. The reason why I attack Younis so much is because he is a very talented player who has a huge responsibility on his shoulders, but I don’t think he respects that. No matter what everyone says Younis has been a major disappointment in ODI’s and a thoroughly inconsistent batsman. I never thought he was suited to the no 3 position and I think Misbah and Younis should switch batting positions. Whenever Younis and Akmal are pushed to the limit they start focusing and perform well for one series, but then their consistency drops again. Yasir Hameed lacks batting practice and confidence and I guess if someone like Imran Nazir or Salman Butt is preferred over someone of Yasir’s calibre, it can hit him hard on the heart. Although I would prefer if Khalid Latif is used as opener in the next match, just for the sake of trying out someone other than the disappointing stock openers we have seen for the past 4 years, I think Yasir will get another chance to redeem himself. My last two or three posts have not been accepted by Mr Abbasi although I don’t think I stated anything perverse in them- most of them consisted of reasonable, inoffensive replies to Omer Admani and Osman Ali Khairi. Since Mr Abbasi does not want to allow them I will not waste his and my time pasting them again. I am of the view that Yousuf should have been Man of the Match because he held the Pakistani innings together and Pakistan would not have won had it not been for his patient innings under pressure. Afridi’s enthralling catch and bowling performance were huge factors why he was considered over Yousuf. On a lighter note may I suggest that AB DeVilliers should have been Pakistan’s Man of the Match, because if he had taken Misbah’s easy catch on the first delivery Misbah faced, Pakistan would have had to depend heavily on the inconsistent/unreliable Akmal and the rookie Tanvir and may well have faced defeat!

    Finally, I saw the movie “Scent of a Woman” for the first time yesterday, which is considered to be one of the finest ever made. The character of Colonel Frank Slade, played by the inimitable Al Pacino, kept reminding me of Javed A Khan from Montreal, Canada :-)

  • Ijaz on October 23, 2007, 17:10 GMT

    Good win by Pakistan today but still we are lacking a match winning player like Inzimam. Still the players having a load of experience in their pocket but they are far behind to become a match finisher. Still the concerns have to work hard to find talents across the country and also to build a institute who crafts these talents as a match winning players not in cricket but in every sports where in past we rule the world and now we are far behind to hold a title. Players are asset for a country and has to be treated as an asset for a win win situation.

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  • Ijaz on October 23, 2007, 17:10 GMT

    Good win by Pakistan today but still we are lacking a match winning player like Inzimam. Still the players having a load of experience in their pocket but they are far behind to become a match finisher. Still the concerns have to work hard to find talents across the country and also to build a institute who crafts these talents as a match winning players not in cricket but in every sports where in past we rule the world and now we are far behind to hold a title. Players are asset for a country and has to be treated as an asset for a win win situation.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on October 23, 2007, 17:16 GMT

    Afridi, one of the most talented cricketers in the world, today showed us his bowling and fielding class. I feel tempted to criticise the shot which led to his dismissal, but today, for the sake of Pakistan’s victory and his contribution behind it, I will dismiss it as “the typical Afridi batting performance, the norm”. Afridi and Inzamam are Mr Abbasi’s favourite players probably as a considerable number of his posts are directly dedicated to them. Afridi should open in Twenty20 cricket but he is already a proven failure as an ODI opener. I completely disagree with Mr Abbasi that Afridi should open in ODI’s. Once again Younis Khan threw his wicket away at a crucial juncture. The reason why I attack Younis so much is because he is a very talented player who has a huge responsibility on his shoulders, but I don’t think he respects that. No matter what everyone says Younis has been a major disappointment in ODI’s and a thoroughly inconsistent batsman. I never thought he was suited to the no 3 position and I think Misbah and Younis should switch batting positions. Whenever Younis and Akmal are pushed to the limit they start focusing and perform well for one series, but then their consistency drops again. Yasir Hameed lacks batting practice and confidence and I guess if someone like Imran Nazir or Salman Butt is preferred over someone of Yasir’s calibre, it can hit him hard on the heart. Although I would prefer if Khalid Latif is used as opener in the next match, just for the sake of trying out someone other than the disappointing stock openers we have seen for the past 4 years, I think Yasir will get another chance to redeem himself. My last two or three posts have not been accepted by Mr Abbasi although I don’t think I stated anything perverse in them- most of them consisted of reasonable, inoffensive replies to Omer Admani and Osman Ali Khairi. Since Mr Abbasi does not want to allow them I will not waste his and my time pasting them again. I am of the view that Yousuf should have been Man of the Match because he held the Pakistani innings together and Pakistan would not have won had it not been for his patient innings under pressure. Afridi’s enthralling catch and bowling performance were huge factors why he was considered over Yousuf. On a lighter note may I suggest that AB DeVilliers should have been Pakistan’s Man of the Match, because if he had taken Misbah’s easy catch on the first delivery Misbah faced, Pakistan would have had to depend heavily on the inconsistent/unreliable Akmal and the rookie Tanvir and may well have faced defeat!

    Finally, I saw the movie “Scent of a Woman” for the first time yesterday, which is considered to be one of the finest ever made. The character of Colonel Frank Slade, played by the inimitable Al Pacino, kept reminding me of Javed A Khan from Montreal, Canada :-)

  • Muhammad Asif on October 23, 2007, 17:38 GMT

    Its good to see him opening the innings but one thing should be clear in his role that hes a specialist bowler, Do your best in batting but not at the expense of bowling. Make it clear to him that you are accountable for bowling not batting. Whatever you will do in batting would be considered as a bonus not an excuse to poor bowling. By doing so we have already spoiled the career of Kamran Akmal. In past he was a very good wicketkeeper & a handy batsman. We overburdened Akmal to take a lead for one special batsman & what happened is history now. Today we are talking to get rid of him because of poor wicketkeeping not the batting. If its not funny! Yes its funny for us but not for the poor chap.

  • Omer Admani on October 23, 2007, 17:52 GMT

    Mr. Kamran Abassi, For the first time I completely agree with you!

    Afridi should be opening (at least in the subcontinent), the vice captain needs a rest (and so does Hafeez), and Akmal needs to go back to school cricket. It is not like it is a mere blip, he drops balls that don't deflect at all. So, naturally, he will consistently drop when there is an edge, and a good spin bowler is a very average one with Akmal behind the wickets.

    Also, it is a good thing you wrote a very small article, it makes the call for changes much more powerful and the matter concerning Akmal is not lost in the melee.

  • Waqas on October 23, 2007, 18:23 GMT

    Agreed that Yasir Hameed fluffed it today. However, kamran akmal has performed very well with the bat numerous times before. Therefore, we shouldn't commit the stupidity of dropping him from the team.

  • Sitarah Anjum (London) on October 23, 2007, 19:10 GMT

    I agree with you Kamran Sahib, PCB and selectors must end this torture named ‘Kamran Akmal’ The chances that he has been given are plentiful but he is still not learning. Pakistan has lost so many games due to his poor keeping. I would say 1st Test was lost due to his drop catches and lost chance of stumping. Kaneria must hate him by now because he is the one whose bowling was not well rewarded due to Akmal’s drop chances.

    Selectors should try Zulqernain Hyder or anybody else who’s in the queue.

    About Afridi, I still believe he should be made captain and Shoaib Malik vice captain. Malik looks defensive in his approach so far. He can not even ask anybody to open unless they want to! (in this case Afridi) I expect a captain to show strong command with friendly disposition over his team and place field according to the situation. I think he is too soft to be a commanding and clever captain. I believe Afridi will perform even better if made captain. His recent performance alone is enough to convince selectors and PCB.

    Salman Butt is unlucky to gel his place within the playing 11. He has to qualify in the playing squad first. He does not deserve an automatic permanent place in the team, making him vice captain with his pathetic performance is unfair with players like Afridi who rightly deserves to be a captain or at least a vice captain. But if PCB makes someone vice captain with the aim to groom him as a future captain then Malik should be vice captain and Afridi a captain so that in the next 2-3 years time Malik is fully prepared and mature to take the charge. It would be a U-turn for PCB though but it is not a new thing for them or us, is it? Malik was made captain until December 2007 anyway. It was not a permanent appointment so why can’t we expect more changes? Imran Nazir, Hafiz need to sit out now fir ever because they did not take advantage of several opportunities presented to them. I think selectors should include Yasir Hamid and Fawad Alam in the team now and Akmal must go. I do not want to see his miserable face every time he misses a chance to catch or stump. He is only in the team to lower the morale of Pak team on a given day! Enough is enough. Please get rid of Akmal and give chance to others who are eager and passionate to perform.

  • Hassan Abbas on October 23, 2007, 19:13 GMT

    Very good performance by the whole team in general and Afridi in particular. He is our best bowler at the moment and his batting is a bonus for us.

  • Ahmad Hanif on October 23, 2007, 19:15 GMT

    It is really very saddening to see the standard of wicketkeeping of Pakistan. For Pakistan, the wicketkeeper has been probably the worst fielder on the field. The bowlers have to be praised that they can still win a match despite such poor performances behind the stumps and all over the field. Looking at Kamran Akmal, I think that his mind is just not there in the game, probably the fear of being dropped is on his mind. It would be very fair to give him some rest even if he is better than other options available.

  • senior player on October 23, 2007, 19:19 GMT

    Pragmatic people do not like to play lottery. Afridi is no different. Despite being the senior most player, he has not improved his game a wee bit. He is as unreliable as any other youngster with talent. Three players in our current team are most over-rated younus khan, afridi and akmal. For fresh approach team needs to move on without them.

  • Daaniyal M on October 23, 2007, 19:36 GMT

    For the love of God Akmal must be banished without delay.. its torture alright...chinese water torture rather than the drip drop kind that Kamran is mentioning.. If I have to sit and watch Akmal flff another catch im going to jump my fourth story window....

    How about giving Zulqarnain a chance...id be willing to give Geoff Boycotts Grand mum a go at keeping wickets for us now...