Pakistan in India 2007 November 9, 2007

Chokers have their catharsis

One dramatic chase has revived Pakistan's optimism and begun the banishment of the chokers tag
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All is far from perfect in the Pakistan cricket team. The questions posed at the start of this series about the openers and wicketkeeper are some way from resolution. But Pakistan's successful chase of 321 under lights was a welcome and essential triumph.

"Chokers" is a demoralising title for any sports team, even when it is well earned. It hurts the soul and shrinks the spirit. When Shahid Afridi and Sohail Tanvir entered the final act of Mohali's memorable one-dayer, a further stumble might have caused mental damage that would have quickly handed the rest of the series to India. Instead, they held their nerve in confident fashion.

Now Pakistan face the next encounter with an unexpected optimism. Tanvir plays with refreshing gusto and positivity. Afridi has shown he can measure his aggression for a few overs when it matters. Younis Khan has an influential century to calm his one-day anxiety. And Shoaib Akhtar and Umar Gul are beginning to forge a rapid and penetrative partnership. Crucially, India have problems aplenty to offer some balance to Pakistan's weaknesses.

One dramatic chase has revived Pakistan's optimism and begun the banishment of the chokers tag. Cricket is an exhilarating sport when contested by flawed but flamboyant powers. Pakistan, you might argue, are a touch more flawed and a shade more flamboyant, which probably places the advantage with India. But Pakistan fans at least expect their team to fight, an attribute that mysteriously disappeared during South Africa's tour only to reemerge in Mohali. What inspired its return is unclear but now this team knows it can perform when it matters--and that should be a moment of catharsis.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Badar Siddiqi on November 11, 2007, 21:15 GMT

    The truth is that Pakistan team is just following the same path it's been on for the past few years; inconsistency. They're heroes one day, zero another day. It's tough to predict how they will play on any given day; no wonder it's called the most unpredictable team in the world. It's obvious that Pakistan is missing that one responsible player in the team who could rise to the occasion and finish off the game for them. Just scoring big runs is not enough; someone has to play till the end rather than leaving it for the tailenders. If finding that finisher is tough at the moment then they can assign that job on a game to game basis. If one falls then the other should raise his hand and say that he'd do the job. Also, they seem to have problems with their spinners failing on the Indian tracks while their Indian counterparts look potent. Malik, Abdul Rehman and Afridi all look non-threatening and failing to contain the Indian batsmen. I believe spinners are the main difference between the two teams. Pakistan can't restrict India to low totals with just three bowlers. I'm wondering why on earth Malik isn't calling up Younis when his main bowlers are thrashed all over the ground. Younis has improved on his bowling since joining the county cricket and he can be trusted for few overs when needed. Also, Misbah needs to raise his game. We need more than 20s and 30s from him. A big innings from him is long over due. I think one way of solving the opening problem in the ODIs will be to have Malik open with Butt. We need a slogger at the top who can thrash the bowlers and dent their confidence making good use of the field restrictions. In a run chase, that will also ease pressure on the middle order batsmen. It seems like PCB godfathers finally decided it was enough of Akmal's misery and arrange for a replacement although they're still calling that as a back up. A fresh and long over due addition of Sarfraz Ahmed to the team will definitely bring a sense of relief for the frustrated bowlers who were increasingly getting frustrated with Akmal's buttery gloves. Sarfraz is a talented batsman also and thoroughly deserves his place in the team based purely on merit rather than past performance. Hopefully the team will bounce back twice at Gwalior and Jaipur and enter the test series with their heads up.

  • Daaniyal on November 11, 2007, 21:01 GMT

    I swear I just cannot take this akmal torture anymore.... my kingdom for a 'keeper!!!

  • Owais on November 11, 2007, 21:00 GMT

    Could someone tell me what "Pawwaa" or "sifarish" or "parchee" Mr. Untouchable Akmal has got ? Today a "backup wicketkeeper" is sent "not as a replacement but as a back up" because Mr. Exhaulted Akmal is little injured. No replacement just an additional bench players like Fawwaad Alam. I wish I was even 100 times less lucky/fortunate then Kamran Akmal - I would surely have been president of USA.

  • noor on November 11, 2007, 20:48 GMT

    How pathetic can it get? PCB are condering Sarfraz Ahmed as replacement WK for the hapless Akmal. What I dont understand why was Akmal playing in the first if he was injured. A fit Akmal was below par and injured Akmal was totally useless for Pakistan. I ask who those nincompoops who running Pakistan's cricket these days?

  • Fouad Khan on November 11, 2007, 19:59 GMT

    Kamran Akmal has to go. He can't keep dropping MATCHES for pakistan the way he is... that's wat it is, when u drop a ganguly, u r dropping a match, not a catch.

  • Junaid on November 11, 2007, 19:52 GMT

    India deserved to win the 3rd one day as they played better all day. Pakistan played well in patches but there too many culprits. Umar Gul had a very bad opening spell, dropped 2 catches, Spinners Afridi/Rahman/Malik were unimpressive on a spinning track and some loose shots & running b/w the wickets. But than there are some postives with Sohail Tanvir's bowling and AWESOME batting from Salman. Salman is defintely the most talented batsman and I am happy that he is back in form for Pakistan.

  • khansahab on November 11, 2007, 19:49 GMT

    So how did Akmal "develop" the hand injury?

    Answer: Shoaib Akhtar broke his hand.

  • Shibili Ahamed USA on November 11, 2007, 17:01 GMT

    Yet another time, Kamran 'the criminal' Akmal has handed over a victory to the opponents. He must be tied to the war head of some missile and fired into the space.

    Shoaib Malik, wins the toss only once in a while, then he takes decision as good as he loses it. It was an horrendous mistake to field first.

    Then comes Kamran 'criminal;' Akmal's atrocities. Tanvir bowled superb. Shoaib Akther's bad luck will continue as long as Kamran 'Criminal' Akmal continues as the keeper. Umar Gul has to learn that once the pressure is applied properly, the opponents will force and will get out in a wicket like this. Both Sachin and Sourav is under tremendous pressure because of huge criticism they are facing. So just restrict them from scoring, then they will commit suicide.

    Pakistani fielding is pathetic. Forget about ground fielding, what I am saying is about catching.

    Shoaib Malik committed a huge mistake by choosing Afridi to open. Afridi was having a bad day with bowling and was in total disarray. In the second ODI Kamran 'criminal' akmal and Salman Butt gave a 'not so bad opening stand'. Younus Khan's and Misbah's assurance was that Shahid Afridi is coming after them to force the scoring. Here that was lost.

    Mohammed Yousuf is playing with indifference. He threw his wicket away yet another time. Yuvaraj is the best fielder in India and running to left of him is an ultimate mistake.

    I cannot understand for what reason Younus Khan took a stance at guard on offstump when he came down to the crease. Eventually that costed him the wicket.

    Misbah always forgets where his own stump lines are.

    I really missed Rao Ifthikar's yorkers and straight balls in this juicy wicket.

    First and foremost, Shoaib Malik has to believe that he is also a spinner. No need for three spinners on a juicy track like this. Four pacers would have been the best choice.

    Geoff Lawson needs to go back to the coaching school on decision making.

    Yet another loss, which is self inflicted. Now winning the series is totally out of question with such a atrocious wicket keeper and 'no brain' captain.

    Let me go and watch the 1993 World Cup DVD.

  • Awas on November 11, 2007, 16:55 GMT

    Today, the best news that has come out after this third ODI defeat is that Kamran Akmal has aggravated his finger injury and the team management has requested for a replacement. Didn’t even know he had an injury.

    I had often thought, the only way to get rid of Kamran Akmal was when he actually gets injured but he never does, until now. Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief ;-)

  • Underhousearrest on November 11, 2007, 16:08 GMT

    The Pakistan has lost the third ODI. Just one win led to unbelievable euphoria and we lost all sense of perspective. We need to know that we have lost the edge against India. India is getting stronger by the day while we have players like Akhtar and Akmal who are just not good enough.

  • Badar Siddiqi on November 11, 2007, 21:15 GMT

    The truth is that Pakistan team is just following the same path it's been on for the past few years; inconsistency. They're heroes one day, zero another day. It's tough to predict how they will play on any given day; no wonder it's called the most unpredictable team in the world. It's obvious that Pakistan is missing that one responsible player in the team who could rise to the occasion and finish off the game for them. Just scoring big runs is not enough; someone has to play till the end rather than leaving it for the tailenders. If finding that finisher is tough at the moment then they can assign that job on a game to game basis. If one falls then the other should raise his hand and say that he'd do the job. Also, they seem to have problems with their spinners failing on the Indian tracks while their Indian counterparts look potent. Malik, Abdul Rehman and Afridi all look non-threatening and failing to contain the Indian batsmen. I believe spinners are the main difference between the two teams. Pakistan can't restrict India to low totals with just three bowlers. I'm wondering why on earth Malik isn't calling up Younis when his main bowlers are thrashed all over the ground. Younis has improved on his bowling since joining the county cricket and he can be trusted for few overs when needed. Also, Misbah needs to raise his game. We need more than 20s and 30s from him. A big innings from him is long over due. I think one way of solving the opening problem in the ODIs will be to have Malik open with Butt. We need a slogger at the top who can thrash the bowlers and dent their confidence making good use of the field restrictions. In a run chase, that will also ease pressure on the middle order batsmen. It seems like PCB godfathers finally decided it was enough of Akmal's misery and arrange for a replacement although they're still calling that as a back up. A fresh and long over due addition of Sarfraz Ahmed to the team will definitely bring a sense of relief for the frustrated bowlers who were increasingly getting frustrated with Akmal's buttery gloves. Sarfraz is a talented batsman also and thoroughly deserves his place in the team based purely on merit rather than past performance. Hopefully the team will bounce back twice at Gwalior and Jaipur and enter the test series with their heads up.

  • Daaniyal on November 11, 2007, 21:01 GMT

    I swear I just cannot take this akmal torture anymore.... my kingdom for a 'keeper!!!

  • Owais on November 11, 2007, 21:00 GMT

    Could someone tell me what "Pawwaa" or "sifarish" or "parchee" Mr. Untouchable Akmal has got ? Today a "backup wicketkeeper" is sent "not as a replacement but as a back up" because Mr. Exhaulted Akmal is little injured. No replacement just an additional bench players like Fawwaad Alam. I wish I was even 100 times less lucky/fortunate then Kamran Akmal - I would surely have been president of USA.

  • noor on November 11, 2007, 20:48 GMT

    How pathetic can it get? PCB are condering Sarfraz Ahmed as replacement WK for the hapless Akmal. What I dont understand why was Akmal playing in the first if he was injured. A fit Akmal was below par and injured Akmal was totally useless for Pakistan. I ask who those nincompoops who running Pakistan's cricket these days?

  • Fouad Khan on November 11, 2007, 19:59 GMT

    Kamran Akmal has to go. He can't keep dropping MATCHES for pakistan the way he is... that's wat it is, when u drop a ganguly, u r dropping a match, not a catch.

  • Junaid on November 11, 2007, 19:52 GMT

    India deserved to win the 3rd one day as they played better all day. Pakistan played well in patches but there too many culprits. Umar Gul had a very bad opening spell, dropped 2 catches, Spinners Afridi/Rahman/Malik were unimpressive on a spinning track and some loose shots & running b/w the wickets. But than there are some postives with Sohail Tanvir's bowling and AWESOME batting from Salman. Salman is defintely the most talented batsman and I am happy that he is back in form for Pakistan.

  • khansahab on November 11, 2007, 19:49 GMT

    So how did Akmal "develop" the hand injury?

    Answer: Shoaib Akhtar broke his hand.

  • Shibili Ahamed USA on November 11, 2007, 17:01 GMT

    Yet another time, Kamran 'the criminal' Akmal has handed over a victory to the opponents. He must be tied to the war head of some missile and fired into the space.

    Shoaib Malik, wins the toss only once in a while, then he takes decision as good as he loses it. It was an horrendous mistake to field first.

    Then comes Kamran 'criminal;' Akmal's atrocities. Tanvir bowled superb. Shoaib Akther's bad luck will continue as long as Kamran 'Criminal' Akmal continues as the keeper. Umar Gul has to learn that once the pressure is applied properly, the opponents will force and will get out in a wicket like this. Both Sachin and Sourav is under tremendous pressure because of huge criticism they are facing. So just restrict them from scoring, then they will commit suicide.

    Pakistani fielding is pathetic. Forget about ground fielding, what I am saying is about catching.

    Shoaib Malik committed a huge mistake by choosing Afridi to open. Afridi was having a bad day with bowling and was in total disarray. In the second ODI Kamran 'criminal' akmal and Salman Butt gave a 'not so bad opening stand'. Younus Khan's and Misbah's assurance was that Shahid Afridi is coming after them to force the scoring. Here that was lost.

    Mohammed Yousuf is playing with indifference. He threw his wicket away yet another time. Yuvaraj is the best fielder in India and running to left of him is an ultimate mistake.

    I cannot understand for what reason Younus Khan took a stance at guard on offstump when he came down to the crease. Eventually that costed him the wicket.

    Misbah always forgets where his own stump lines are.

    I really missed Rao Ifthikar's yorkers and straight balls in this juicy wicket.

    First and foremost, Shoaib Malik has to believe that he is also a spinner. No need for three spinners on a juicy track like this. Four pacers would have been the best choice.

    Geoff Lawson needs to go back to the coaching school on decision making.

    Yet another loss, which is self inflicted. Now winning the series is totally out of question with such a atrocious wicket keeper and 'no brain' captain.

    Let me go and watch the 1993 World Cup DVD.

  • Awas on November 11, 2007, 16:55 GMT

    Today, the best news that has come out after this third ODI defeat is that Kamran Akmal has aggravated his finger injury and the team management has requested for a replacement. Didn’t even know he had an injury.

    I had often thought, the only way to get rid of Kamran Akmal was when he actually gets injured but he never does, until now. Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief ;-)

  • Underhousearrest on November 11, 2007, 16:08 GMT

    The Pakistan has lost the third ODI. Just one win led to unbelievable euphoria and we lost all sense of perspective. We need to know that we have lost the edge against India. India is getting stronger by the day while we have players like Akhtar and Akmal who are just not good enough.

  • Prakash Kalanjeri on November 11, 2007, 16:05 GMT

    A good win for Pakistan no doubt. However with the Kanpur win under their belt, India will come real hard at Pakistan in the remaining games.

    Good luck to both the hosts and the guests for the remaining matches.

    Someone indicated in an earlier post about the PCB erring in retaining Malik as the captain of both Tests and the ODI squads.

    I beg to differ. There can only be one leader at any point in time. The Y's are getting older and one of them has vocally indicated disinterest in leadership. Afridi hasnt proved his credibility as a leader yet. The others are new kids that have just arrived on the scene.

    It is imperative that for the team rebuilding to be successful, the nucleus of the team has to be identified along with the captain.

    An unassuming, quiet and a dignified Malik is hence an automatic choice as captain.

    He will learn with age/time and Pakistan cricket will surely stand to gain.

  • shoro on November 11, 2007, 15:35 GMT

    If you look at the Pakistan's performance as a whole it was not bad, only if you exclude the usual areas that led pakistan down almost everytime - some mediocre bowling performance by one of the specialist bowler, weird bowling changes by Shoaib Malik and Kamran Akmal's pathetic wicket-keeping and batting which has become a norm now. We wonder how many more matches will Pakistan lose thanks to Kamran Akmal's ridiculous keeping before eventually realising to redress the issue. For God sake is it that hard to find a half-way decent wicket-keeper in our country who could do justice to the job. The worst thing about his poor keeping is that it's damaging the whole team's performance. Everytime he drops a catch, you can immediately tell it's effect on bowlers performance - they start struggling and from usually from thereon Pakistan begin to lose momentum. It is hard to believe how can selectors and players have chosen to ignore his blunders behind the stumps for so long (as if he makes up for ridiculous keeping by batting exceptionally).

    At this point, it is quite evident that Pakistan's bowling department is pretty weak especially for tests. You don't find sting in the backup bowlers - most of the times, they seem nothing short of mediocre - be it Abdul Rehman, Rao Iftikhar Anjum or Sohail Tanvir. Expecting them to sustain pressure on opponents would be like a wishful thought. In spite of these huge weaknesses, Pakistan has managed to put up a decent show but it would be very difficult against India in Tests with this squad. We wonder where all the talent of Pakistan has gone which would come forth out of nowhere or is it merely matter of poor selection now. Whatever it is, it is sad to find Pakistan struggling.

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 11, 2007, 15:25 GMT

    Osman Ali Khairi...It seems to me that they just love to bring out the axe the minute they see my name. They chop my posts into pieces and all I get is two lines while Jaidee A. Khan aaff Maantriyaal, Can-da, is allowed to defecate all over the blog so much so that it often gets smelly :( :( :( But, for some odd reason, I keep coming back.

    So, were you searching for that "Bankrupt Relationship" article at the Daily Telegraph website that has irked our General Sahab so much? If not, then I've just given you the search words. Read and injvaaye and let others injvaaye too.

  • Hassan Abbas on November 11, 2007, 13:42 GMT

    Congrats to India, they played really well. Butt scored an exceptional century but I think he needs to learn to rotate the strike, if he does that more often he would certainly have a better strike rate and his batting would take a lot pressure off the other batsme(I just hope he performs like this against other teams also). Yusuf ran himself out again(Congratulations we have found another INZI :S). Kamran Akmal's problems continued, it would be interesting to see what the selectors do if he continues this dismal performance till the 5th ODI.

    It was a dreadful match for Afridi. Last time he came here he scored a century of 45 deliveries, as they say Everyday is not Sunday (Even though it was a Sunday today :P). If we need someone to click in the last to onedayers its none other than Afridi. If he makes a good comeback we still have a chance of winning this series.

    All in all it was a typical dismal performance by Pakistan, we dropped catches on crucial moments, we failed to rotate strike and build up partnerships and we lacked any kind of fire or enthusiasm.

  • Hassan Abbas on November 11, 2007, 12:54 GMT

    Worst performance by Afridi and Akmal in the third ODI. Shoaib Malik should also be blamed as he hasn't performed substantially now for atleast 7 one dayers. His captaincy was also below par as he was clearly scared of sending in tanvir for some quick runs after isbah got out. Everything looks bad right now, but the biggest worry is the dropping of catches which is being done on a regular basis now by the Pakistanis.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 11, 2007, 12:09 GMT

    "A tragedy should succeed in arousing pity and fear in such a way as to accomplish a catharsis of such emotions." Butt, tried his best to accomplish it but, the umpire called "Saheba" denied him from achieving that feat. Even if one calls it a poor umpiring decision or judgment it was too late for Butt to single handedly finish the game or to polish it off into a victory for Pakistan.

    It was Kamran Akmal who ruined the proceedings from the onset by dropping a sitter of Ganguly on the first ball and that changed the course of the game. Pakistan lost the match with the same margin of runs that Ganguly scored. Butt too, dropped a sitter of Yuvraj Singh when he was on 26 but, Butt compensated it through his excellent batting today yet that effort wasn't good enough to translate it into a victory. Yuvraj got the MoM award and Butt remained as a hero behind the scenes. A match that he won't forget, an innings that he will cherish forever and the catch that he dropped cost him so much that he won't forget it.

    Once again a mistake from Shoaib Malik to take a decision based on the stats by choosing to field after winning the toss. He should have opted to bat first and let the players score freely and build up a big total. Every time chasing a big total cannot be converted into a win. His field placements and bowling changes were once again not up to the mark. He can come under pressure too soon and very easily, this is something he needs to address. He needs someone to tell him, although Younus Khan tried to help him in field placements but, there must be a postmortem of this match and a professional should thrash out the details and tell Malik where he was lacking and what he should do next. Misbah, ever since he joined the team this year has been placed under 'pressure cooker' situations. I wonder how long and in how many more matches he has to play like this?

    If Pakistan's fielding was below par, India's fielding wasn't any better, both sides dropped too many catches but, the bottom line is the later have won and going to Gwalior with their tails up. The onus is now on Pakistan to fight back very strongly. My question has never been answered and I would like to repeat it again.... Can Abdul Rahman ever win a match for Pakistan? I don't know why he is even included in the team? Tanvir bowled superbly but what a way to get out without facing a single ball! We all need a break till the 15th., until then au revoir et bientôt.

  • Nadeem on November 11, 2007, 12:03 GMT

    Great inning by Younis Khan in second one day. We won match because of his inning. Kamran Akmal sucks again in all three one day's. We lost third one day. We know, Akmal will not drop from the team but ball will drop from his gloves again.

    Misba did not make match inning again. His catch was dropped once but still he was not able to play match winning inning. 38 runs was not enough. When he came to bat Pakistan needs 5.55 run per over to win match but when he out Pakistan needs 9.00 per over run rate. 34 years Misba should be out from the team. We all know he is a buddy of Shoaib Malik. He should be replaced by Asim Kamal.

    Young openers from karachi, Khaild Latif & Khurrum Manzoor scored centuries again in Quaid-e-Azam trophy. Unfortunately they are not PUNJABI, please applied quota system. Atleast two urdu speaking player should be in the team. Karachi is a winner of last Quaid-e-Azam trophy but single player is not from the winning team.

    STOP DISCRIMINATION AGAINST KARACHI PLAYERS. Salahuddin is like a (ex muslim general sec of UNO, Kofy Anon) DUMMY of UNO. In his time America attacks two muslim countries.

    Nadeem

  • Ali on November 11, 2007, 11:40 GMT

    For Pakistani GUY:

    Dude just focus on selling Paans in lalo khet, commenting on cricket is not your cup of tea, biggest parchi in Pak cricket is Faisal Iqbal,if Misbah had a Parchi he would have been a permanent member of the team since last five years when he was the #1 batsman in domestic cricket.We are sick and tired of your same crap posted several times in a thread using multiple names. You need to see a good Doctor, You can use Gulab Khan'S help in getting your catharsis per rectum done. You will feel a lot better,and hopefully you will stop mourning about Asim Kamal.

  • WASIM SAQIB on November 11, 2007, 9:49 GMT

    Khansahab:

    I was Ignoring your posts until you pleaded the Indian's to be soft on us Pakistani's after only one victory in a five match series, and then you went on to say that their victory is quite obvious. Again in your next Post you made a clear prediction, well to make a prediction and to express your pessimism about your team is your right, but on the other hand it's my right also to comment about something with which I don't agree.

    I felt as if you were insulting all of us when you were pleading the Indians not to post incensed comments "Like I wish India beat Pakistan" and then you further added "I know this is an international blog and but it is an international blog ABOUT Pakistan cricket which means that the vast majority of contributors are Pakistani. Please respect their sentiments and don’t state the obvious.

    "Don't state the obvious" what does that mean, weren't you sarcastically humiliating everybody here in a coveted manner. You can go in the archives and read your own posts each time we were discussing an India/ Pakistan issue, whether related to cricket or about something else, You always defended them, I cannot recollect a single instance when you stood for your own country as opposed to India. It earned you accolades from the Indian community frequently and you were regarded as the most secular and open minded member of this community.

    Now what is a "bias" it’s a form of personal liking or disliking. You have expressed your liking of the Indian Players and the Indian team as opposed to Pakistani players and team on so many occasions on this blog, you have also expressed your liking of their secular culture for which you have every right, but if you like something then why are you so offended if somebody points out your bias. I used the word bias in the context of your liking their team better than us and handing them the series over just after one match. I don't find any thing in my language which should have had offended you.

    Whenever you are defending yourself somehow you bring your age factor in the discussion, have you met everybody on this blog that you are so certain that everybody is older than you. For me you are just another member of this community like anybody else, I have no issue with your so called "Young" age.

    Now coming back to your prediction, it can be any bodies series everybody realizes this except you, even the Indian captain after one defeat has started admitting this fact. So my advice to you is this blog is not a popularity contest, we only come here to post our comments and occasionally we have difference of opinion, so please don't get emotional it. It's nothing personal.

  • WASIM SAQIB on November 11, 2007, 8:30 GMT

    Osman:

    I don't have to respond to the vulgarity which came out of "Mazhar". He seems to be one of those guys who change their opinion about a player after every match.IMO he needs to look at Younis's ODI performance since the last champions trophy he has been throwing away his wicket at crucial moments without any remorse, I don't think players of his experience and caliber can do that so often, If me and Khansahab have been criticizing him it's not because we have any personal grudge against him it's because his performance during the past two or three seasons in ODi's has been utterly disappointing. I have posted his ODI stats for the past two seasons in one of my earlier post he was averaging below 20 during the last two seasons now it could have improved a bit because of his last two innings.Does one match wining performance in two Odi seasons really matters, I would like to see more consistency and sense of responsibility displayed by him, Only then I will stop criticizing him.

  • Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on November 11, 2007, 7:15 GMT

    Kamran Akmal 'dropped' a sitter of Shoaib Akhtar on the first ball of the match.

    What do you say to this ?

  • Kazi Saab on November 11, 2007, 4:27 GMT

    Kamran Bhai.. this has nothing to do with the article you posted. Sir, if you have ANY kind of pull, if you know any one at the PCB, CAN YOU PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, HAVE SOME ONE REPLACE KAMRAN AKMAL as the WICKET KEEPER. He has dropped so many sitters, i have contemplated giving up watching cricket totally. Kamran Akmal should be dropped immediately!!!!!!

  • Muhammad Asif on November 11, 2007, 4:05 GMT

    These comments are enough for onez credibility....

    5.5 Umar Gul to Tendulkar, no run, in the zone outside off stump, Tendulkar leans across, covers the off stump and allows the ball to go through to Akmal. Perhaps he thought Akmal would let another bye!

  • noor on November 11, 2007, 3:55 GMT

    Malik's captaincy is remarkable. Watching the 3rd ODI Ind v Pak 3 boundardies over the indept Kamran and yet Malick doesnt post a fielder there.

    Kamran should be dropped until. I can understand how Pakistan are going to persist with him. The fact of the matter is Pakistan's feilding is criminal, Its a tough job to be a Pakistan bowler with so many useless in your team.

    I think it would be good idea to teach Pakistanis how to hold a catches before learning how to play cricket. Its pathetic. The second thing Pakistan should do hire a international captain to captain a Pakistan team in feilding placing.

  • Jayavelan on November 11, 2007, 2:59 GMT

    Shaoib is on learning process but Kamran Akmal place is seriously questioned by his poor keeping & lacklustre batting, it is now the right time to try alternative keeper otherwise Akthar, Guls efforts are in vain & frustrating because of repeated failiures of Keeper.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 11, 2007, 2:20 GMT

    Mr. Kamran Abbassi: Please do not delete this post. My retort is in response to: "Jack Murphy's post of November 10, 2007 7:10 PM" mainly for his foul language and derogatory comments (that you've missed) also for his Nostradamus akin prophecies and predictions against Pakistan. I will try to be as civil as possible. So, thanks in advance.

    I reckon a few weeks ago, this person called Jack in the Box, using Murphy's Law predicted a 2-0 defeat for Pakistan in the recent test series against SA. He also predicted a 5-0 defeat in ODI series. And now for this current India Pak series earlier he predicted, 5-0. When Pakistan drew the second test against SA, he wrote, never mind that but, I'll still stick to my ODI predictions. Everyone knows the result. I didn't bother to remind him of his garbage-in garbage-out drivel. Also on the basis of The Murphy's Law itself: "Don't get into a pissing contest with a skunk." And don't we all know that, "If you apply Murphy's Law, it will no longer be applicable"?

    I wouldn't have remembered his claptrap predictions, but as it happens, great ideas are never remembered BUT, dumb statements are never forgotten. So, "The" Jack Murphy of this blog, we can give you a diploma for your predictions, but we cannot give you a brain. Because, it will make you sad, and we want you to be happy in your own doltish paradise. When the Pakistan team wins some people like, Jack, Dave, stephen etc., cannot believe or rather cannot digest it and they question, how come this bunch of disorganized and whatever, whatever losers can win so convincingly? There you go another Murphy's Law for them: "Chaos always wins, because it's better organized." Happy? :-) LOL @ His Saint Murphy's flexibility when he says, "Prediction : INDIA 3-2 OR 4-1 " Like Wasim Saqib said, Pakistan are no minnows for India. In fact on their home ground Pakistan has won 23 times and India has won 7 times. And who was talking of simple maths here? Was it Jack in the Box or, Jack and the Beanstalk?

    If anything can go wrong it will, as we may think we have covered all the details for the benefit, but remember Murphy's law: "If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it." And that someone is called, Misbah ul Haq. Like I have said in my previous post that Misbah will keep on playing this paddle shot again and again till he succeeds and I am with him, because fortune favours the brave. Misbah don't be shy, play it again and do it right next time.

    And Dave get your facts straight buddy, that 148 against Pakistan was Dhoni's first ODI century at Jamshedpur and not in Pakistan. He never scored a single century outside India. He came closer to scoring his 4th ODI century (98) and that was again at home against England. And please don't give justifications in support of Tendulkar that, he played under pressure and blady blah and daady daa....Because, in test matches, especially in that one there was no time constraint and they both scored hundreds in second innings. Besides his hundred, Afridi also took 3 wickets and yet he was not considered for the MoM award. By getting out on 99 for the third time Tendulkar created a world record, also he got out umpteenth time in his 90's. Hence Tendulkar has proved that he plays for personal records and not for the team and that's why he was so nervous and shaky and got out. And that's why he refuses to captain the national side, to avoid direct criticism in case of a defeat.

    Wasim Saqib I quite agree with you on that comment that sometimes, some people use reverse psychology and they believe that if they say something, then the opposite will happen, this is also one of Murphy's laws and a desi "totka."

    Two more hours to start the Kanpur ODI and according to Sidharth Monga of cricinfo "Kanpur lacking the excitement ... and food," reportedly the city is empty after Diwali and restaurants are closed. I hope they turn out to see the exciting match or, are they scared of seeing a Shahid Afridi encore? Not according to Jack Murphy, but according to the law of averages he may not score big this time. And Mr. Khairi, curiosity killed the cat, but I won't kill your enthusiasm yes we do share the same middle name, happy?

  • ahmad on November 10, 2007, 23:41 GMT

    i advise u read what i write with open mind bearing its just an observation.for quite some time mohammad yousaf seems to play bulk of balls of the 300 avalible scoring at a meagre 60,70 strike rate,making one believe what a disastor it would be if he plays 200 or for an argument 300 balls.he would score 210 in 50 overs.my point is he seems to play for HIMSELF rather PAKISTAN and i truely beielve ALHAMDULILLAH he got out early otherwise we would hav never been able to make a match of it.for citation u can c his last 30 innings where his strike rate is around 60's.even during the first match he scored at the end of the innings and what amazes me most is his inability to rotate the strike even after he has played 60+ balls.if the no of balls he plays is spared for players like misbah,malik,afridi and younis pakistan would be able to post much bigger totals.on the other hand younis may not be as proficient a stroke player as some of the other players but he plays for PAKISTAN,unlike yousaf.

  • atos origin on November 10, 2007, 22:58 GMT

    well done pakistan. considering the situation in pakistan and the times the pakistani team had to go through, even we indians felt good when pakistan won! it seems our enmity is lost its sting.

  • khansahab on November 10, 2007, 22:17 GMT

    Wasim Saqib, I have read your post with attention now and I would like to advise you that life is not only about associating biases and prejudices with everything.

    The Pakistan team is generally inconsistent and becomes complacent on occasions. You yourself have spoken about this problem in the past. Don't confuse pessimism, cynicism and realism with "bias" or "prejudice". The team were considered as underdogs when the tour started and I don’t see how a last over victory (the result could have been the opposite) can change that assessment. I never said Pakistan will lose 5-0 and prior to the first match at Guwahati I was under the impression that the chances are 50-50. However when India comfortably reached home in that match my opinion changed that Pakistan will need to work much harder. The victory at Mohali was a marathon one, but it was a close match and Pakistan did not dominate India in totality. The way you have described the victory in your post seems to suggest that Pakistan thrashed India right left and centre which is untrue. In the first paragraph I have expressly asserted that the team has abundance in talent and ability. So I do not know, Mr Saqib, why you needed to be ever so confrontational? Why bring biases into everything? And you could have been clearer about precisely what type of bias you were talking about.

    You spoke about the current political turmoil in Pakistan recently in some depth, probably more than everyone else and your post was allowed although it was a bit too "political". You were probably being more pessimistic, cynical and realistic as opposed to biased or prejudiced. I could also have easily thought or written that the situation is not as you perceive it to be and that you are biased against the Heads of the State and Government.

    You took immense pride discovering that I was younger than you so you could censure my assertions whilst under the cover of “older age and maturity”. If you really are so mature kindly address me by name when you are surreptitiously directing comments at me and also please do not play this confrontational kids game where you need to negate everything I say to make a point.

  • Nuruddin Lakhani on November 10, 2007, 21:00 GMT

    Pakistan did well to come back strongly thanks to the sensible batting in the middle order aided by some loose bowling by India. Indeed it was a friendly Diwali gift for Pakistan! But . . . the issues remain at the original positions. Openers? Kamran Akmal has opened in an ODI against India on more than 7 occasions with a highest score of 25. He might have dropped more catches than this! If most of the readers remember, Shoaib Malik's ascendency to batting was his hundred while opening the batting for Pakistan. Throughout Inzi's remarkable career, he was criticised for not coming up the order being the best batter in the side. I think its high time that Shoaib Malik leads by example and takes up the opening slot with Salman Butt, and Younis can try to keep the wickets (I am sure he can not do any worse than Akmal) so that we can add a batting allrounder in the side.

  • Pakistani on November 10, 2007, 20:17 GMT

    Hi to all. Pakistan Won the match thats really good, but people always forget that pakistan only perform once in a bit. and this is happening since 1999 world cup. one day perform like a heros other day zeros. still i am beleiving that salman butt, misbah-ul haq, imran nazir, kamran akmal dont to be any pakistan team except 20/20, last 3 can be included in 20/20 but not salman butt. if we are playing with shahid afridi thatz the good thing as he bowls very good why we needed imran nazir in one day. People thinks misbah performing but only against india or bangladesh he can perform. i dont think he is best batsman at number 6 . Asim kamal comes first than shahid yousuf than if any chance faisal iqbal not misbah ul haq. If we can go with asim kamal records he is the man who perform against all big names in cricket even against australia in australia where lots of our pakistani fellow fails. Shahid yousuf a much deserving player he not in as not have much high profile power behind him like misbah. Even faisal is much better than misbah who in team purely on sifarish. I still believe PCB make wrong move to make shoib malik captain for till dec 2008. they should take lesson from indian board even though they make dhoni the captain of one day they not making him captain of test team even he won 20/20 for them and also have permanent place in test team. Test cricket is different ball game which not asking you go outside play your shots and wait batsman to make mistake here you have to think from your brain and i purely shoib dont have brain like that to be test captain. younis khan, muhammad yousuf, shahid afridi and even i say shoib akhter can in line of captain ahead of shoib malik. but in pakistan only sifarish makes a man successful even he dont deserve it.

    drop salman butt from all form of cricket. imran nazir,kamran akmal, misbah from one day and test. shoib malik from test.

    people who talk regionalsim nonsense should take there .... in mouth.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on November 10, 2007, 19:48 GMT

    Osman detects another Younis supporter in Mazhar:) Osman is waiting for Wasim bhai and Khan Sahab to tackle him;)

  • amna mir on November 10, 2007, 19:44 GMT

    we Pakistanis have the strange tendency to only observe the results, while ignoring perfomance. This win has already overshadowed the persistent problems of opening, Kamran's dismal wicketkeeping and knack of giving runs away in extras. This match once again showed Pakistan's irritating habit of not removing the tail-enders.

    Surely we are celebrating this victory but don't be surprised if Pakistan fails to put up a convincing display in tomorrow's match.

    However, one should not lose hope, so, Good luck Pakistan:)

  • Dave on November 10, 2007, 19:20 GMT

    Mr. Javed of Montreal, it was very amusing to read your comments in which you compared the centuries of afridi and tendulkar in the chennai test and came to the conslusion that tendulkar was unjustly given the MOM award and was "done and dusted" by afridi's century. To give you a perspective tendulkar scored a century after coming in at 6/2 with india needing 271 to win and later having slumped to 82/5. Unfortunately, the tail enders managed to mess the chase when tendulkar got out and the innings turned out to be for a loosing cause. On the other hand afridi was opening the innings for pakistan and had no pressure of chasing a target. Also, dhoni's 3 centuries are not "made in India', as one of them was "made in pakistan" when he smashed 148 runs off the hapless pakistani bowling attack. As, with regards to this series, it looks like it will go the way of the previous ODI series played in pakistan, which India won 4-1. Pakistan team has a brittle batting line up which may fire once or twice but lacks consistency. Also, in the remaining venues the wickets are going to be slower and helpful for the spinners, which will result in pak batsman struggling as they are more suited to playing on wickets where the bounce is true and even and the batsman can play on the up. Also, apart from akthar and gul, the other bowlers are mediocre at best, and if akthar and gul have a bad day, the pak team will end up chasing leather.

  • Jack Murphy on November 10, 2007, 19:10 GMT

    Kamran it would be naive to assume this is a turnaround for the Choker Pak. This was a fluke of a performance.This wicket was not seaming as such even Salman and Akmal seemed close to batsmen.

    Now , you are saying that Gul and Shoaib are forming a pair ..get real dude . That Shoaib will get injured long before the one day series is over. He has inherent physiological shortcomings.His physique is more suited for a part time wrestler.

    Now the facts of this PakiChokerPack is only TWO first class calibre batsmen. Two bowlers . The worst wicket keeper in cricketing history .

    This team ain't going nowhere ..get real ..stop hallucinating ..Paki Fans.

    Prediction : INDIA 3-2 OR 4-1 .

    Kind Regards

    Jack

  • Ash Zes - Saudi Arabia on November 10, 2007, 18:29 GMT

    I have alays said Pakistan has all positive chances in any match against any opponent at any venue under any circumstances as long as Afridi is delivering all the goods that he is capable of. Mohali ODI just proved that. During last ODI against SA and during T20 Final against India, Afridi falied and so did Pakistan.

    Well done Afridi !! Keep repeating Mohali performance. We know you can do it.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 10, 2007, 18:22 GMT

    This one is for Mazhar with ref. to his post below

    Posted by: Mazhar at November 10, 2007 12:03 PM

    Mazhar shame on you for spilling such filth through your mouth. And I wonder how this post escaped from the ever so vigilant HAWK-EYE?

    Au Contraire, my posts are being edited and censored in which there is any Urdu word, and my name which I always write in all caps is also altered in lower case. I am surprised at this censorship and yet Mazhar can write all that crap in all caps.

    I suggest, his post be removed from this thread. You ought to maintain some decency or better not write here. Profanity should not be tolerated. Period!

  • khansahab on November 10, 2007, 17:49 GMT

    I am not agree with Mazhar.

    I AM NOT AGREE

    P.s- Wasim Saqib, you have made a remark against me in your usual subtle style saying that my prediction for the next match reflects "individual biases". If Pakistan wins this Kanpur match I will praise you again as I have praised your predictions regarding Younis Khan. But what will you say to me if they lose??? :-)

  • Syed Hassaan Ahmed on November 10, 2007, 17:18 GMT

    No matter who wins the series, its fixed. Yeah!, all 3 series, since 2004, played between these so called arch-rivals, have been fixed by those top-level screwed-up politicians. If anybody disagree, he should see the match with open-eyes, and it will reveal the repeated, logical and periodic series of events that can only be handled through scripts. By the way, Misbah, Malik, Younis, Afridi, Yuvraj, Sehwag, Irfan, Shoaib and Sachin are damn too good actors on the field.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on November 10, 2007, 17:13 GMT

    I think Wasim bhai makes a very valid argument. I think we need to be a little patient with Misbah. Personally, I think he has what it takes to succeed at this level, particularly in the one day arena. I'm hoping tomorrow or whenever he gets to bat next, his scoop shot comes off. So the poor guy can atleast sleep well at night and put the demons in his mind, to rest:)

  • Nizar Dinani on November 10, 2007, 17:04 GMT

    Good job by Pakistani players and SOHAIL TANVIR bat very well, looks like he is the good replacement of RAZZAK.

  • harpreet singh bhinder ladi bulanda on November 10, 2007, 15:35 GMT

    why kamran why not afridi to open i can,t wait to watch his magic tooo long

  • Santosh Menon on November 10, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    Kudos to the Pakistani team for posting a superb victory in Mohali.It really brings the series alive.I think Younis Khan showed fantastic class, ability and intelligence. Its a lesson for Indian selectors and supporters who have abandoned Rahul Dravid, one of the best batsman in the World.Often class combined with intelligence are able to secure matches even when the required scoring rate is 7 r.p.o. Brute hitters have a role, but true class should never be undermined or underestimated.The best hitters in India could not get the 30/40 runs extra that were available when India batted, but A Truly class player like Younis khan got the required runs to ensure a well deserved pakistani victory.

  • Mubeen on November 10, 2007, 14:42 GMT

    Gr8 win for us b,coz now we feel lil bit bater in emergency.But a few things make us bater Malik on No3 Younis Play good 2day but i think malik is bater choice 4 us.On Akmal i say Any body Ho Can doing a job of wicket keeper for 54 overs can,t bat as an opner but the good thing is that we can,t lose erly wicket like before.38 is not good enough but if we lose wicket in 5 10 or 15 we lose match.If pakistan won toss Akmal must play as an opner.2day We win B,coz team work.A good spel of Gul agood Spel of Pindi Express a good spel of Wrong Footer what a Boy we found.Hats off 2 all team.Pakistan look good now.But in kanpur Rao must sit behind the line and Fawad or Rehman must join playing 11.And i must say That indianz dose,nt sat that Pakistan play batter they said if we score 20 to 30 more runs we win and indian crowed they does not suport us.I sing a song for them It,s not chukde India It,s Chup kar India.

  • Irshad on November 10, 2007, 13:37 GMT

    Kudos for the Pakistan's win against India. There wsa a lot of talk about Abdul Razzaq saying Can't Bat, Can't Bowl, Can't Field and finally he ws dropped. Why can't we do the same with Kamran. Zulqarnain should be picked instead of Kamran for the test series. Most of the comments tell to drop Rao Ifthikar. If we look at current years performance Rao has bowled better than Asif in One dayer. Do a Stats Guru or Check current year record in Cricinfo.

  • Abdul K Hussain on November 10, 2007, 12:56 GMT

    Good win but the obvious weak links are still there. Tendulkar must really be cursing his luck to have been caught at 99 by a keeper that on average muffs about 2 takes every over. Indeed he had dropped the ball before. There is no way back for Akmal without him taking a break the selectors have done this talented young player a true disservice by continuing with him despite him being so low on confidence. The other problem especially in India in the 5th bowler. Rao is a solid performer but I think the Indian batsmen fancy him. Every time he came on you could see them grow in confidence. Akthar, Gul, Tanvir and Afridi are your frontliners, but I think it would be foolish to think that they will never get collared in the this series so bascially you need 15 overs from two additional bowlers to give you cover. Rehman and Malik at the obvious choices but Malik is very low in confidence on his own bolwing and Rehman could make no impact in the first match. I am surprised Malik did not try Younis for a couple of over of his slow medium stuff, I saw the Delhi match and I would have atleast been tempted to try him especially when Malik himself and Rao were getting hammered. I would also think of throwing Fawad Alam in the mix ahead of Rehman. He is a weaker bowler but Rehman is not going to trouble this Indian side so you may as well try someone who can send down a few overs, is a sharp fielder and a much better batsmen then Rehman. Then you basically have to get 15 overs out of Malik/Alam/Younis. Otherwise it may make sense to send for Razzak or Arafat who both seem to be in decent form in the domestic scene.

  • Ali on November 10, 2007, 12:40 GMT

    i just want to say wel done pakistan,just keep on going.afridi please keep on like this,if u going like this ,u can become danger to any team.keep ur mind cool according the situation

  • Osman Ali Khairi on November 10, 2007, 12:22 GMT

    Really! what a day for Pakistan. Uthappa gets out for 0, we chase down a score of 321 and Arun Lal has something to think about. Brilliant:)

  • Mazhar on November 10, 2007, 12:03 GMT

    This is for khansahab I was reading your comments about Younis Khan khanshab and I must say that you either don't check your stats before speaking or you are plain blind to see that Younis is a Vital player for Pakistan. Along with Yousuf he has been our most cosnsistent performer for the past 3-4 years and that is no mean feat to preform regularly for that length of time. The man averages almost 50 in test matches his conversation rate is phenomenal, he has 19 test fiftes and 14 test centuries which is a great conversion rate. The guy would have had more runs for Pakistan had it not been for the way the selectors treated him in the early parts of his years. The guy is world class player so why the can fellow Pakistanis not accept that fact, the rest of the world does.

    Ok accepted that his onre record is not great he averages just over 32, but that is more to do with the teams management of where he bats then lack of ability by the great man, the man has been pushed about all over the batting order in the one side, I can personally reacall a matcg where he came in at number 7 now that is disgrace to man. It has only been for the year and a half that he has been coming in at HIS position (number 3, for thoes of you who blind to the mans talents) and you will find that his record in that time has been very good. The man is shining light in the dark and grey world of Paakistani cicket, he plays with a smile on his face he fights for the cause no matter what the situation is and that is both while batting and fielding. He is the one filder I not embarresed by in the Pakistan team.

    [Edited for use of abusive language, next time the whole post will be deleted -- KA]

  • Not Under House Arrest on November 10, 2007, 11:57 GMT

    Just a few observations:

    1. Shoiab Akhtar is vital to the Pakistani team. He is the only true world class fast bowler we have. While people may disagree and cite Mohammed Asif, Akhtar has performed at every level in every country against the best batsmen. There will be times when he will go for runs in ODI's, but the best way to stem the flow of runs has always been to take wickets, and Akhtar is one of the best wicket takers in the world.

    2. Shahid Afridi is near enough a world class leg spinner (although he did go for a few runs; don't offer so much width!). Pakistan should also utilise him more as a wicket taker than merely a bowler to keep down the runs. If the management put more faith in his bowling ability, I believe we would see the rewards. I was also glad to see him play a responsible innings. If Afridi was Australian, with their exceptional coaching system, he would be the premier all rounder in world cricket today. Afridi should also have a permanent test place at the expense of Danish "4 for 200" Kaniera. I've been informed that if you take away Kaniera's wickets against Bangladesh, he would be averaging around 40 per wicket. If you add in the fact that he can't bat for toffee and he is the worst fielder in the history of cricket, he is a no-brainer selection. Play Afridi at 7 or 8, put full faith in his leg-spinning, and Pakistan's tail will also wag more often.

    3. Misbah Ul-Haq is clearly a very good batsmen. I accept that he hasn't performed that well since the Twenty20 World Cup, but he has done okay. He may be 33, but he is effectively starting his international career afresh. Give him time, back his ability. For a 33 year old, he looks very trim, athletic and strong. I am sure that most of you will agree that some Pakistani cricketers are knackered at this age, but I can see Misbah hanging around for several years.

    4. Finally, doesn't Umar Gul look so much nicer with his locks cut off?

  • Rohit on November 10, 2007, 11:55 GMT

    Hats off to Pakistan for chasing down such a big total in tricky batting conditions. I must say I was disappointed with the Indian team's selection and the bowling effort in the last few overs.Zaheer has been superb in Tests , though he has been totally flat in the ODI's,not picking any wickets and bowling half volleys and full tosses and leaking more runs generally than even the parttime bowlers. Besides the attack is very one dimensional with three left arm seamers and the batsmen can easily get set. We need to play Sreesanth in place of Zaheer who has more passion , pace and generally has a good record against Pakistan.Also I dont see the point playing the seventh batsman when you already have a very strong batting lineup.Very poor bowling and if India continue to bowl this way , Pakistan might well repeat their performance the last time they toured and win the series comprehensively.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on November 10, 2007, 11:54 GMT

    I have to admit. After the Indians amassed a score close to 325, I just couldn’t envisage or imagine the team getting close let alone overhaul the target. So yes, Javed A. Khan, I did speak ‘prematurely’. I was exasperated but honestly, can you blame me? 41 extras? No gully for Ganguly (Even though, he nicked one onto his stumps very early on), inconceivable ‘length’ bowling by Rao in the final few overs, our inability to bowl out the Indians once we had them reeling at 260 for 8 (read: inability to bowl in-swinging yorkers) and last but not the least, a listless and jaw dropping fielding effort (even by our woeful standards). Yes, I thought it was a typical apathetic, let’s just go through the motions type of a performance from Pakistan. So even though, we ended up winning this game (For all the agnostics, if this doesn’t convince you about the existence of God, then I don’t know what will! ;) there are many aspects of our game that need to be reorganized and polished for the remainder of the series. I just hope in the midst of the euphoria, we don’t overlook these flaws that need to be ironed out. However, all in all, this was indeed a morale boosting win for Pakistan. And yes, I’m relieved that no matter what happens now, the possibility of a 5-0 whitewash is no longer on the cards! :D

    Coming back to Afridi, Javed A (just out of curiosity, is that short for Ali?) Khan, yes, he played well and credit should be given to him for holding his nerves and finishing the game! Nonetheless, I think after having smashed three consecutive boundaries of Zaheer, he didn’t need to slog another one: S. He was incredibly lucky that the ball evaded the hands of a diving Yuvraj at long on. I guess it was just his night! In hindsight, I think there is still room for improvement with Afridi particularly, with the ‘mental’ aspects of his game. With regards to Younis, in the first 20 overs of the innings when he was a ‘touch’ slow in the context of the match, I thought he would come under a severe barrage of criticism from the bloggers on Pak spin and elsewhere. However, I was fairly confident that he was following a time honored tradition/plan of keeping wickets in hand for the final onslaught. I knew then, that it was imperative for him not throw his wicket away as he had often done in the past and keep on ticking the score along. Fortunately for all of us, Younis while playing ‘sensibly’ smashed a very important century, and in the process overshadowed a brilliant knock by Sachin. Well played Younis. One question though for my fellow bloggers. If any of you can ‘decipher’ what he said at the post match ceremony with Rameez, please do let me know?

    Also, I’m not sure whether Mr. Euceph Ahmad is reading this but last night, I stumbled upon this article in the telegraph (that had been published a year and a half ago) regarding Darrel Hair and the post-Oval fiasco. And um, in it I had posted a fairly long comment refuting some of the comments that had been made from certain close-minded Australians, and I suddenly came across this response from another Pakistani who wouldn’t take the ‘Pakistanis are cheats because um they are’ argument. And lo and behold it came but Mr. Euceph! My friend Euceph was as vocal and patriotic as ever. It was just funny, knowing that some of the people that I would bump into on various cricket and political forums are now an integral part of Pak Spin. So thank you Kamran bhai for giving us the ‘channel’ and the much needed forum to voice our views on cricket in particular and many other issues in general. If only, this thread would be updated a little more regularly: P

    Also, Kamran bhai, why don’t you just email Ramiz Raja and ask him to do the man of the match ceremony in Urdu/Hindi? I mean our players are surrounded by desi commentators, catering to a desi audience, so why not just do it in Urdu? For all those that say ‘what about people elsewhere that don’t comprehend Urdu’, well, it’s not like they can understand our players when they’re speaking gibberish/English? So might as well do it in our local language and then translate it into English for the convenience of all non-Urdu speakers? What do you think?

  • sahil on November 10, 2007, 11:22 GMT

    Mr. Kamran, i have been reading your takes every now and then and i find some of your opinions right! there is certainly something that is making pakistan perform and i think there is a silent confidence in the team! Malik tries to bind them together and everyone in the team seems to apprecaite that! i think the whole team should put their weight behind malik and also akther as at the moment he looks lonely and he need to be cheered up, and it would be wonderful to see afridi and akhter walking side by side into the park! well i think pakistan has lot of resourses but unused! dont you think team should have read like this. salman butt,yasir hamid,yousuf,younis,malik,afridi akther,tanvir,gul,(sami or naved)and a WICKET KEEPER!!!!!!! That way we will have 5 geniune batsmen,two all rounders,three pacers and a spinner,(with malik and afridi doing their bit too) and a batsman wicket keeper would be a bonus! i still believe that someone like SAMI should always be in the team,irfan pathan came back in the indian team, why not sami, he has all the international experiance pakistan needs, and i am sure given another chance he would prove much much better than rao and then pakistan would have all out geniune pace attack with very few countries matching them particularly with the return of asif as well! i see pakistan winning the third match but losing the series 2-3!

  • Imran Zia on November 10, 2007, 11:08 GMT

    What we witnessed in the second ODI was not and ordinary win especially after the batting display in the first ODI. Pakistan still have worries with Kamran Akmal and Rao Iftikhar. Sohail Tanvir made sure Abdul Razzak does not cancel his ICL contract although he needs to work on his bowling. If Rao Iftikhar has to play he should be given the new ball. Pakistan desperately needed a win like this to boost their confidence and stop the Indians into believing that Dhoni had solved all their problem.

  • Aqif on November 10, 2007, 10:45 GMT

    Can some one please ask Aamir Sohail to take a flight back to Pakistan asap?! whats with the new whisper and over-enthusiasm for singles! anways, a great win for Pakistan indeed. However, is it only me? I actually felt relieved when Mohammad Yousuf got out. He is a world class batsman, but somehow his body language, his style just doesnt show that he is chasing or working on a plan. He is always on another frequency! On the other hand, younis, the lesser talented of the two, has more determination and his body language shows the intent. Its only now, after seeing this match, that i properly understood the wisdom behind dropping Yousuf for 20-20. I believe, Pakistan should benefit from younis khans positivity. it will be better for the team, if Kamran Akmal is dropped, razzaq recalled and younis made the keeper. The keepers play an essential role in keeping the morale high. How can kamran do so, if his own morale is so low? not to mention, his pathetic batting is letting the team down time and time again. welcome back shoaib, though it looks like you will faint after every ball, you are doing good!

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on November 10, 2007, 10:38 GMT

    A tremendous run-chase it was... Afridi finally showed some maturity, and it paid big time! Sohail Tanvir also batted well under pressure.

    It is nice to see that Salman Butt is getting runs in the top order. One or two more good inngins and he should solve half the opening problem. Younis Khan and Misbah really excelled. Pakistan needed over 200 runs in the last 25 over, a run rate of over 8... and they did it !!!

    Kamran Akmal was his usual self... dropping almost everything. Sachin must be considering himself very unlucky to get out caught by Akmal. I really liked Akmal when he started but his form has taken a nose-dive since the England tour.

    Seeing the current balance in the team, I would have to say that Pakistan need a wicketkeeper (one who takes catches) but one who can also open the innings. All the guys in the middle order are scoring right now. I wouldnt want to change their slots at all... and hence I dont think any of them should be sent into open.

    Pakistan did really well to restrict india to 321, considering the way Sachin and co played earlier. But 41 extra runs is just inexcusable.

  • Shaheer Shikrani on November 10, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    Pakistan have won most of their matches since 2006 by chasing. I would rate them, along with New Zealand, as the best chasers in the cricket world right now.
    I agree with AwA on bringing back Mohammad Sami, as I have witnessed him improving so much and he could be a spearhead for Pakistan. I also think Yasir Hameed or Fawad Alam should replace Rao Iftikhar in the next match. Rao can't field, bat, bowl; so what is he doing in this side?

  • Wasim Saqib on November 10, 2007, 10:09 GMT

    I am surprised the amount of criticism Misbah is getting, not only by some of the community members of this blog but also by leading journalists like Osman Samiuddin. In my humble opinion, the only time Misbah failed to finish was in the finals of World Twenty20 and the league match against India. Do two failures give him the title of a choker? I don't think so. What we fail to remember is that he was the one who brought us into the Twenty20 final through his brilliant batting performances and in the fina when their was no hope, he brought us so close to winning and because of a poor shot, failed to win the match. But can you guys name one player in international cricket who hasn't made this mistake and who has never failed in finishing a match, you will find none. Even Tendulkar and Lara have failed so many times in their careers to finish. Look at the last match; if Tendulkar had stayed for another 5 overs India would have scored 350 easily.
    All the teams are fearful Misbah after several ice cool performances in T20s. He did his job in the last match. Its not easy to come so low down the order and score consistently. In the first match, he scored 27 off 26 balls and he was rotating the strike as Yousuf at that time was scoring freely. In the second match, he scored 49 off 44 balls which was again not easy he laid the foundation for the victory as the partnership between him and Younis was the most critical one and he delivered. He didn't perform well in the last two ODIS against South Africa. Other than that, his performance were not so bad considering the number at which he came in to bat against South Africa and the amount of pressure he faced because of extremely slow batting by the top order. I think we expect him to do miracles in every single match and that is not possible for any player. I would rate him above any player in the world currently playing at No.6 or 7. He can hit sixes but he is no Afridi or Razzak. His style is different; he starts his innings slowly, mostly scoring by improvisation rather than going gung ho like Afridi or Razzak and that is why I feel he is more confident when at the crease.
    Misbah has played only 19 matches so far so and his average of 31.5 is not relevant at this point. He is the best batsman in Pakistan for the No. 6 position and there are no 'ifs and buts' about it.
    India scored 321 and failed to defend it on their home turf. I think if somebody has to mourn its them, and I am sure Dhoni must have lost his confidence in some of his bowlers. Pakistan can match India pound to pound; we are not a minnow playing a giant. After one match, the fate of a five match series can be predicted. Its not over until its really over and such predictions only reflect individual biases and nothing else.
    Javed, I agree with you. Shoaib after three overs is completely out of gas. One can easily see him hunching on his knees and panting. His run up is ridiculously long and he needs to cut it short. He can be much more effective for the team if he can bowl six overs straight instead of four, but I don’t think he will ever do that. But anyways he is performing well and should deserve the credit. Lets hope that he survives the whole series without getting injured.

  • Daaniyal Masum on November 10, 2007, 10:00 GMT

    Excellent win, and a much needed morale booster for the Pakistan team. I just hope they use this win to up the ante in the next games.

    And for the love of all that is holy, when will we get rid of Akmal. He is missing about 1 to 2 catches per game. Not trying out a new 'keeper is nonsense. How can any 'keeper be worse than him. His scratchy batting is no compensation. He refuses to improve or work hard for his team.

  • Abdullah on November 10, 2007, 9:51 GMT

    It was another thrilling game of cricket between Pakistan and India.This was a fighting team performance which puts Pakistan right back in the series and will motivate them to go and win the series.
    The batting strategy was perfect . Using Afridi at No.7 is ideal. Butt is back in form and has sorted out at least one of the opening spots. Pakistan must keep faith in the left hander. The wicketkeeping spot remains a question mark. I would go for Younis as 'keeper and play an extra batsmen like Nazir.

  • Hassan Abbas on November 10, 2007, 9:29 GMT

    Omar Admani, very good post buddy!

  • Wasay on November 10, 2007, 8:53 GMT

    So the team have proven that they can chase in one-dayers without Inzamam.

  • Saleem Akbar Ali on November 10, 2007, 8:06 GMT

    Indeed, the win by Pakistan, chasing a huge total of 321, was very refreshing for the entire nation. With all the political chaos and uncertainty we are going through, this win will certainly provide something to cheer about. The term 'chokers' tag, which until now is the sole property of the South Africans, was being endangered of being shifted to the Pakistani's in light of our failure to win a single match against the Indians in World Twenty20, including the finals and the home series against South Africa.
    Misbah should quit playing the horrendous stroke which led to our downfall in Twenty20 final. Maybe the coach needs to convince Misbah that there are many other shot selections in the cricket book.
    A note on Kamran Akmal, who is the probably the worst wicketkeeper in the top playing nations. PCB should try and experiment with Zulqarnain, who has an an excellent domestic record but the poor chap has yet to get a chance at the wicketkeepers spot. Remember the days of Rashid/Moin rivalry which brought out the best performances from both of them. There should be some pressure on Akmal to improve his catching and stumping abilities.

  • RJ on November 10, 2007, 7:39 GMT

    Go Pakistan! There was too much criticism and negativity before this win. C'mon peeps, we won! This is how is does down when we are at our best. Hats off to the whole team, and all the players played truly like a team. First Akhtar and Gul, then Butt, Younis, Misbah, Afridi and Tanvir. The series is on!

  • Javed A. Khan, Montreal on November 10, 2007, 7:38 GMT

    Akhtar bowled better than everyone in the second ODI. I want him to bowl even better, keep aside the Player of the Series, I don't want him to be declared even Man of the Match. Because, it has been noted in the past and its proved that the moment he gets those awards or recognition, it goes into his head and he thinks he is indispensable. To correct: "for once Tendulkar seemed overshadowed by another batsman (Younis)." As far as I remember Tendulkar was 'done and dusted' twice before at home once at Chennai Test which India lost to Pakistan in January 1999. In the second innings, Shahid Afridi scored 141 in 191 balls and in India's second innings Tendulkar scored 136 in 273 balls and because of bias Tendulkar was named Man of the Match. At least Younis is lucky that he was rightly adjudged as the Man of the Match. The second time, it was in April 2005 at Ahmedabad when Inzamam played a gritty innings to win that match on the last ball. That was also a high scoring match. There could be a few more matches in which he was definitely overshadowed by others.

    I like Matthew Bannister's 'Sneaky Feelings' but, not when it comes to predicting the result of a game. Predicting the future or/and the results of un-played matches/series differentiates between, "The Saints and The Gamblers." Thanks to the authorities to have eliminated the gamblers, but we still have a few sufis, sants, sadhus and saints in cricket.

  • Saleem on November 10, 2007, 7:34 GMT

    Malik is better at No. 3 than Younis. Malik can keep the momentum up and these changes can be made in the batting order. 1. Salman 2. Akmal 3. Malik 4. Younis 5. Yousuf 6. Misbah 7. Tanvir

  • Um Bajwa on November 10, 2007, 6:36 GMT

    Well done Pakistan team on winning this incredible nail biter of a match which I am sure will rest in the memories of many to cherish for years to come. By the way, home many teams have beaten India in India by chasing more then 320?

  • Naveed Abid, Tajikistan on November 10, 2007, 6:33 GMT

    Pakistan's batting was brilliant, especially Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi. In the bowling department, Shoaib and Gul bowled very well. One thing I wanted to mention here, is that have you seen the previous match, in which Malik did not use the full overs of Gul? Somebody should tell him to use Gul and Shoaib in three spells. I want to see Asif back in place of Rao and then Pakistan will have the best attack in the world, trust me. Shoiab is the fastest bowler in the world, Gul and Asif both can swing the ball, there is Sohail Tanvir, Afridi's legspin and Malik's offspin. No doubt India's batting is very good but it will not be easy for them to face this Pakistani attack. Malik has a lot to learn, he is a good captain, but the best choice was Younis.

  • AwA on November 10, 2007, 6:08 GMT

    When Misbah plays that shot [the scoop] and scores, no one criticises him but it is when he gets out every one point fingers at him. It is his shot, he will play it again and he should. At times he will score runs and if unlucky he will lose his wicket. Why are we criticizing Misbah when no one other than two Y's are dependable enough to win matches for Pakistan. We should be very happy to have Misbah, who holds a cool head, can play every ball on merit, can hit boundaries when needed and can bring Pakistan in a position to even be in contention of a victory. We all talk about the World Twenty20 where he was unable to finish. Please be realistic and note that Misbah is the reason that Pakistan came so close to winning both matches against India. Was he the only player against 11 Indians? Why didn't someone else bring Pakistan to a position where Indians felt threatened? Remember, he wasn't even part of regular Pakistani squad. We can pick someone else to criticize because Misbah is doing just fine. On another note, Khansahab you don't have to call Younis Khan "world class" because he is already one and he has proved it over and over again. Thank you! Here I must also give my 10 cents by saying that Yasir Hameed deserves a chance in the playing eleven and we shouldn't waste Mohammad Sami after what we have seen of him in World Cup and before, he has definitely improved. We should have a wicketkeeper to backup Akmal in Test Series, this way Akmal will know that it might be his replacement sitting on the sidelines, for the next match.

  • Agha Mahmood Ali Khan on November 10, 2007, 5:58 GMT

    Were we ever chokers? Come on, a couple of defeats and we underestimate our players. I think Pakistani nation should never, and will never forget that Pakistan has been smothering others in last two decades. A new young team that is going through a phase of rebuilding can not be tagged as chokers and these young johnnies responded well to the world's criticism.

  • Nabeel Adeel on November 10, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    It was a much needed and well deserved victory for the Pakistan team in the 2nd ODI. Afridi is a very important player, especially since Inzamam left and Pakistan do need a finisher at the end. If he can play with a little bit of controlled aggression, then Pakistan can give India a run for their money. It is the first time in years that I believe that India has overall a better team than Pakistan and especially since they just played the Australians, it would have certainly made them stronger as Dhoni pointed out the same thing after the first ODI. If Asif had been playing and if Akhtar could stay fit throughout, then it would have been closer, especially with Gul in such fine form.
    I want to mention one thing very seriously and that is Akmal needs to be shown the door right away. He is not performing either in front or behind the stumps. Even at this stage, Moin or Rashid would have been 100 times better than him. I know it is a crunch series but we have a lost a tougher series than this one due to him. In the Test series against South Africa, he missed crucial chances and thus Kallis and Prince made Pakistan pay for those lapses. He misses Kallis on 2 in the final ODI against South Africa and on top of that he is not doing anything with the bat. I think the selectors should drop him now and send in a replacement for the Test series. I think the young Under-19 wicketkeeper is under consideration. How can Pakistan win a Test series if Akmal gives chances to guys like Tendulkar and Dravid on Indian wickets. I hope the selectors think quickly or we could keep ending up on the losing side in crunch games.

  • K Mushtaq on November 10, 2007, 5:51 GMT

    Well, what Osman wrote is exactly what Pakistan need - a finisher, along the lines of Bevan/Hussey. A lot of people might put Afridi's name forward but we all know that he is not cut out for that mould, which requires mixing caution with aggression. Afridi, for all his bowling genius, just doesn't understand how to approach different situations and he only knows one way. I think the Pakistan team is finally realising that also. Misbah and Malik both seem to fit the bill for that position but Misbah's shot selection in some cases leaves a lot to be desired. Malik, for all his temperament, to me, it seems is still not decided on what his position in the team should be. I think Lawson needs to assert himself and explain to Malik what is expected of him.

  • Jamal Khan on November 10, 2007, 5:44 GMT

    Pakistan look good now. They needed confidence in themselves. Is the next game in Kanpur? Didn't Afridi get 102 off 45 there previously? I am looking forward to it. On another note, I think the hard choices must be made. and Nazir has to slot into the opening role. Maybe Misbah should be rested letting Kamran slot down lower in the order.

  • Ahmed Faran on November 10, 2007, 5:44 GMT

    Salam. I think it is too early to say anything about the coming matches but no doubt that was a fantastic win. I think Shoaib Malik should come come to bat at No. 3 because he is an aggressive player. Yousuf and Younis no doubt are the best batsman in the Pakistan team but they are more on defensive side these days so there should be someone like Malik at continue the run flow. I also want to appreciate Misbah on his another great effort but he he should also learn how to finish the game.Shoaib and Gul bowled really well and I think Inshallah Pakistan will play a lot better in coming days.

  • Md. Nazmul Islam on November 10, 2007, 5:43 GMT

    Yes, it is a great victory over India. Pakistan needs to continue such type of play consecutively. Even though Pakistan have played their best in their last game, the necessity of Abdul Razzaq in the team in still obvious.

  • Rameen on November 10, 2007, 5:18 GMT

    I believe Pakistan will continue to fight like they did for the years to come. They will win and they will lose, but after the exit of the two W's - Wasim and Waqar, there are no certain win-win situations for Pakistan anymore.

  • Tarique on November 10, 2007, 5:17 GMT

    It is fantastic win. But I think Pakistan should bring back Rana Navid in place of Rao Iftikhar and also bring back Yasir Arafat only for the ODIs. It will be blunder if Pakistan give a chance to Hafeez in the Test series. Furthermore, all team members should support Shoaib because he feels guilty and looks isolated in the team. Do not waste this fast bowler because he is an asset or gold.

  • fhs on November 10, 2007, 4:20 GMT

    I must say it was the best ever high run chase, 'clinical one' of Pakistan playing abroad. Pakistan team gave our nation a true happiness in the crisis which the nation is currently facing.

  • Saiful Ansari, Leesburg Virginia, USA on November 10, 2007, 4:07 GMT

    Kamran, I did not watch either of India-Pakistan ODI after our team choked in the last ODI against South Africa and lost a game which they had almost won. So the victory in Mohali is a welcome one and I hope it can rejuvenate the team to play consistently on this tour and after. Pakistan's main woe is the lack of a dependable pair of opening batsmen. It will be felt more in the Test Matches. Kudos to the team for getting one back: It is good for Pakistan and good for cricket.

  • Javed A. Khan, Montreal on November 10, 2007, 4:04 GMT

    The news about retaining Malik as captain of the Pakistan cricket team till the end of December 2008 is a good one. As regards the vice-captain, it is indeed a dummy post. I wonder how and why did he (Younis) accept the post of vice-captain, especially after rejecting the post of a captain. But he seems to be quite happy with it. There is a total contrast in the personality of Malik and Younis especially when they talk. Malik takes his time, tries to choose his words and talks very slowly. Younis on the other hand, talks like a locomotive needlessly shunting at the railway station, he tries to keep up the speed by uttering and muttering the same words again and again. Although when he speaks Urdu he talks slowly. There is a general misconception among the desi population that when you talk English you should try to speak very fast, so that people say; 'O yae tou bara furrr furrr Angrezi bolta hai' (he speaks English very fluently). Anyways, it is nice of Younis to say that he would like to dedicate his match-winning hundred to Bob Woolmer. There is no doubt that Woolmer supported him a lot. May the Caribbean authorities rest his case and his soul in peace.

  • Robust on November 10, 2007, 3:45 GMT

    It was a remarkable victory but still v need to get rid of Kamran Akmal

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 10, 2007, 2:42 GMT

    Doctors use this word catharsis quite often and from the medical point of view, catharsis is for cleaning or purifying the digestive system. I know that Dr. Kamran Abbasi didn't use it here in the medical context. It has more to do with the emotional aspect, the release of emotional tension, which usually results after an overwhelming experience that restores or refreshes the spirit and the soul. It was in the context of removing that "chokers tag."

    But, too soon and too much of praise and accolades for the team just after one win could possibly create an opposite and adverse effect in their performance, and instead of purification or purgation, it may end up in indigestion.The team played well and a dramatic chase against a big total resulting in a victory is a good positive thing to have happened, especially to lift the morale of the team that was recently tagged as new chokers of this game. And for cricket lovers and Pakistani cricket supporters it was a good extended moment to enjoy the game till the end and beyond and, for some to cherish it for a long time.

    Misbah wanted to make sure that he won't be "up the creek without a paddle," and before reaching the creek he even wanted to test his paddle shot once again. Pakistan's innings, (which is more like a canoe in the rapids) was progressing and flowing under controlled aggression in the turbulent "river of chase" and both Younis and Misbah were manoeuvring it (the partnership) very well on a placid and perfect Mohali pitch. Then, suddenly there was a rush of blood and Misbah got drifted once again and he played that infamous paddle shot and it wasn't Joginder Sharma but, it was RP Singh and this time Misbah didn't need Sreesanth, as his paddle shot crashed into the stumps, like a canoe crashing against a rock.

    A lot of people thought it is the End or and many questioned, why the hell did he play that shot again? I remember seeing on TV a young Indian supporter in the stands was displaying a play card which says: "Misbah don't ever think of playing that shot again."Perhaps Misbah must have read it too, perhaps he wanted to prove a point that he can do it again and do it successfully and, not only silence his critics but, also to clean his mind and get over with that fear and apprehension which was haunting him since the Twenty20 WC final.

    In psychology it is referred as a technique to relieve tension and anxiety by bringing repressed feelings and fears to consciousness by doing it again and again until you succeed. Its a shame that he couldn't succeed, for him its a personal tragedy. Its a tragedy that he couldn't succeed even the second time. To quote Aristotle: "A tragedy should succeed in arousing pity and fear in such a way as to accomplish a catharsis of such emotions."Reportedly it was Aristotle who invented this word, "catharsis," which is associated with audience watching tragic plays. In our case it is the tragic endings of exciting and thrilling cricket matches - especially that of India and Pakistan.

    Whatever it may be and whatever people might think of Misbah, I have a feeling that he will play this shot again to purge and prove that he is not a choker. And to prove a point that he can play this paddle shot successfully, and to restore and refresh his spirit, and also to cleanse his mind and, also to silence his critics.

    Mr. Khairi, perhaps you wrote that post in the previous thread a bit too early. It is quite obvious that it was written at the end of the Indian innings and before Pakistan's batting started and you saw the huge Indian total of 321 and got petrified. Thank you for your sarcasm at "Afridi's die hard fans." Playing and scoring freely is far more easier than playing second and chasing a huge total. Therefore, it is better not to express your frustration and predict the result even before the party is over.

    My previous post was written after the match was over, and the focal point of my post was not just about the win or how Younis, Misbah and Afridi played but, it was entirely devoted to Shoaib Akhtarwho always rejected the idea of a shorter run up. I thought Mr. Abbassi will write something about the Rawalpindi Express in his new thread. Instead of that, he too, being a die hard Afridi fan wrote something in his praise that; "Afridi has shown he can measure his aggression for a few overs when it matters." I have one last point for those who criticize Afridi that he scores only at home, perhaps they don't know that, all three centuries made by Dhoni in his ODI career are 'Made in India.' And didn't I say that before about, people who live in glass houses should not ... change when the lights are on? Cheers!

  • Sitarah Anjum-London on November 10, 2007, 1:27 GMT

    As usual we all knew that when Pakistan team gets thrashing they wake up in the next game. Although when India posted 321 I thought it’s over! I did not expect Pakistan to chase such a huge total simply because their batting has been pathetic recently; they have been throwing away wickets at times when they were required to use common sense. In this game for the first time I saw Pakistan had a game plan which they executed beautifully and held their nerves. The killer instinct that was missing was apparent in this game. It’s also a fact that games are won by team efforts. I think where our bowlers faltered in this game, we saw our batsmen shining and redeeming themselves and playing a knock that all the Pak fans have been missing for a very long time. Younis showed his cool head with mastery to play unique shots on this occasion after a painfully slow innings in the previous game. He should learn to repeat this kind of performance more often. Butt is also looking confident in this series so far but he still needs to score big to restore his shaken confidence fully.

    Misbah supported Younis well but the way both the pair got out showed that they finally lost their coolness when the victory was within sight. It was still risky to leave the task of finishing to mercurial player like Afridi. This is the trickiest part so far for team Pak, to finish the game. After the departure of Miandad and Inzamam, team is desperately missing a finisher. Players of Younis and Yousaf’s calibre should be able to take the game till end rather than leaving it for the tail enders to finish. And Tanvir supported him well. Tanvir can hopefully play Razzaq’s role in the team and become a genuine hard hitting allrounder. He certainly has the capability as it appears after few games. It was apparent that everybody remembered how they choked the last ODI against South Africa and the memory of that game brought the best out of our batsmen in this game. It looked as if they learnt some lessons at least for the moment. This was a very inspiring win and easily one of the best without any doubt.

    After this fantastic win Malik and all the senior players should learn to held their nerves in every game and follow the game plan. If they can repeat their batting performance ( not the bowling performance as they gave away too many extras and also had very slow over-rate for which both Dhoni and Malik were fined 10% of their match fees and players 5%) they can successfully chase huge totals like this.

    Our bowlers lost the plot in the beginning and middle of the game before the quick recovery in the end which certainly saved another 30-40 runs. I would rate the performance of bowlers below par in this game but it was compensated by great batting display by Butt, Younis, Misbah, Malik, Afridi and Tanvir. This time Afridi played very vital role to finish the game. He realised that he was very much responsible for the loss of last ODI against South Africa. I wish he plays every game with the same sense of responsibility and spirit when it matters the most. In the next game same squad should be kept except Rao being replaced by Fawad Alam. Kamran took some good catches of Tendulkar and Dhoni in this game. Gul’s second spell was a turning point and wickets of Tendulkar and Dhoni were the vital ones otherwise Ind was looking good to score 350 runs easily. Over all an excellent performance but in the end I’d say that after a long time Pak won match due to their good batting. Opening still remains a dilemma but let’s give this pair some more time. If they can provide 40+ first wicket stand in the first 5-6 overs then it‘s not too bad and if Butt can play a longer innings then even better. Hope to see more cracking games like this. First game made every one yawning. That was one sided match with no passion or fight from either side, very unlikely of India Pakistan game, even the crowd was yawning and were quiet despite the fact that their team was winning. This was mainly due to the slow wicket. Mohali provided good fire works for every one on Diwali.

  • Sitarah Anjum on November 10, 2007, 1:27 GMT

    As usual we all knew that when Pak team gets thrashing they wake up in the next game. Although when Ind posted 321 I thought it’s over! I did not expect Pak to chase such a huge total simply because their batting has been pathetic recently; they have been throwing away wickets at times when they were required to use common sense. In this game for the first time I saw Pak had a game plan which they executed beautifully and held their nerves. The killer instinct that was missing was apparent in this game. It’s also a fact that games are won by team efforts. I think where our bowlers faltered in this game, we saw our batsmen shining and redeeming themselves and playing a knock that all the Pak fans have been missing for a very long time. Younas showed his cool head with mastery to play unique shots on this occasion after a painfully slow inning in the previous game. He should learn to repeat this kind of performance more often. Butt is also looking confident in this series so far but he still needs to score big to restore his shaken confidence fully.

    Misbah supported Younas well but the way both the pair got out showed that they finally lost their coolness when the victory was within sight. It was still risky to leave the task of finishing to mercurial player like Afridi. This is the trickiest part so far for team Pak, to finish the game. After the departure of Miandad and Inzamam, team is desperately missing a finisher. Players of Younas and Yousaf’s calibre should be able to take the game till end rather than leaving it for the tail enders to finish. In this particular game Afridi used his ‘brain’ for the first time I guess! And Tanvir supported him well. Tanvir can hopefully play Razzaq’s role in the team and become a genuine hard hitting all-rounder. He certainly has the capability as it appears after few games. It was apparent that everybody remembered how they choked the last ODI against RSA and the memory of that game brought the best out of our batsmen in this game. It looked as if they learnt some lessons at least for the moment. This was a very inspiring win and easily one of the best without any doubt.

    After this fantastic win Malik and all the senior players should learn to held their nerves in every game and follow the game plan. If they can repeat their batting performance ( not the bowling performance as they gave away too many extras and also had very slow over-rate for which both Dhoni and Malik were fined 10% of their match fees and players 5%) they can successfully chase huge totals like this.

    Our bowlers lost the plot in the beginning and middle of the game before the quick recovery in the end which certainly saved another 30-40 runs. I would rate the performance of bowlers below par in this game but it was compensated by great batting display by Butt, Younas, Misbah, Malik, Afridi and Tanvir. This time Afridi played very vital role to finish the game. He realised that he was very much responsible for the loss of last ODI against RSA which he admitted openly. I wish he plays every game with the same sense of responsibility and spirit when it matters the most. In the next game same squad should be kept except Rao being replaced by Fawad Alam. Kamran took some good catches of Tendulkar and Dhoni in this game. Gul’s second spell was a turning point and wickets of Tendulkar and Dhoni were the vital ones otherwise Ind was looking good to score 350 runs easily. Over all an excellent performance but in the end I’d say that after a long time Pak won match due to their good batting. Opening still remains a dilemma but let’s give this pair some more time. If they can provide 40+ first wicket stand in the first 5-6 overs then it‘s not too bad and if Butt can play a longer inning then even better. Hope to see more cracking games like this. First game made every one yawning. That was one sided match with no passion or fight from either side, very unlikely of India Pakistan game, even the crowd was yawning and were quiet despite the fact that their team was winning. This was mainly due to the slow wicket. Mohali provided good fire works for every one on Diwali.

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 10, 2007, 1:21 GMT

    Why do I have a sneaky little feeling that it'll be 2-2 at Gwalior?. But, then again, I'd hate to burst Kamran's ever blowing bubble of optimism with my everlasting cynicism.

  • Omer Admani on November 10, 2007, 1:06 GMT

    Well, it is true that Pakistan won, and though 321 was a good chase, we have to reflect how that many runs were possible with a reasonably good Pakistani pace attack and the pitch having something to offer. Another question that should be raised, and quickly, is that of Akmal. We can say with certainty that he will keep on dropping catches. What can be the alternative? Younis Khan. We could play an extra batsman in either Fawad Alam or Yasser Hameed. Or, if Akmal is that good a batsman as some people think he is, then Younis Khan can keep and Akmal can play as a batsman (though I wouldn't think Akmal can play as a batsman alone). On the other hand, Pakistan must recall a specialist keeper for the forthcoming test series. Akmal will drop crucial catches and the likes of Dravid need only one chance to make a double hundred. The argument that questions the replacement of Akmal is that no-one is experienced enough to play in a crucial series. Well, then, Australia comes next to Pakistan, and the same argument can run again, as it did before the tour of India. Besides, no keeper in the world can be worse than Akmal, so any replacement can only be better, not worse. I was listening to Richie Benaud's commentary at the Aus/SriLanka series, and according to him (being an ex-leggie and while discussing Murali and the new Sri Lankan wicketkeeper), if a keeper misses a chance when a spinner bowls, then the confidence of the spinner is shattered. The spinner becomes afraid to flight the bowl and his bowling can fall apart. Obviously he is speaking with the experience of being a leggie. But in Kaneria's case, Akmal has dropped so many catches that, ironically, Kaneria's career is about to come to a premature end. Even when Murali was bowling against Australia, a couple of chances were dropped. What was Murali even able to do after that? If good batsmen such as Kallis, Dravid, and the top 6 Australians get a chance, then it becomes impossible to create another one after they get set. It would be a big blunder to let Akmal keep in the Test series.

  • hamza on November 10, 2007, 0:38 GMT

    No doubt the best explanation of Pakistan cricket, which has a history of its own. Unpredictable , emotional, superb talents, poor fielding, bundle of extra runs and destiny riders with no plan ahead just do what circumstances apply them to. Anyhow this win really uplifted every Pakistani's hope and a real happiness for the nation after loads and loads of bad news domestic peace and political environment. No one can beat green shirts when they are at their best mental level. So what Pakistan cricket need is a good psychiatrist and a great leader to lift their morals every time they derail from their winning track. As a Pakistani it was a great joy to see Pakistani team chasing a career best total in a stylish manner. Hope for such thrilling series ahead. Well done Younas Khan, Afridi, Misbah, Shoaib, and every one special the poor Kamran Akmal. He needs attention. Always been a pleasure to read your patriotic comments Kamran Abbasi. Allah may bless you.

  • Amyn Habib on November 9, 2007, 23:37 GMT

    This was a terrific victory and an occasion for celebration. The team performed beyond expectations in this game and deserves congratulation. Among the batsmen, Younis Khan, Misbah and Afridi played their parts (almost) to perfection. As an aside, I cannot understand and strongly disagree with the article by Osman Samiuddin regarding Misbah in Cricinfo. His performance in this game was really good.

  • khansahab on November 9, 2007, 23:28 GMT

    Also, the anomaly in this series is Shoaib Akhtar who has thus far performed admirably. I hope the Rawalpindi Express is fit in all matches and keeps contributing in the team's victories. I would like to see Shoaib being awarded Man of the Series.

  • khansahab on November 9, 2007, 23:25 GMT

    This team has always known it can perform and beat the best in the business. What catharsis and what moment of truth and realisation? The problem is not the inability but the inconsistency and the complacency. When Pakistan beat South Africa by 141 runs earlier this year (when Yousuf made a century and Afridi and Younis played valuable innings) the situation was akin to Australia thrashing any minnow side. The talent is in abundance and is unquestionable. Will India ever be able to beat the current South African side by such a considerable margin? No.

    Let us hold our horses and realise that it was a close contest which went to the final over. Yes, Pakistan won a brilliant victory that spoiled Diwali for many Indians. Yes, surprisingly Younis and Afridi both played match-winning innings, something that is not usually seen or expected from them. And yes, for once Tendulkar seemed overshadowed by another batsman (Younis). However, we must mourn the fact that we let Indians muster 320 odd when they could have been restricted to a lower total. Although the series has come alive, the regret is that I do not expect any more match winning innings from Younis or Afridi. Before I start calling Younis a “world class” or “superb” player I have to remind myself that the opposition is India and his bat only seems to work against India. Same goes for Salman Butt and hence I do not believe Butt should be an automatic selection for the series against Zimbabwe.

    Regrettably my prediction is that India will come back hard at Kanpur and that Pakistan needs to yet improve on all areas- bowling, batting and fielding if they are to be the victors of this ODI series. Being the genetically complacent side Pakistan is, I am of opinion that India will triumph over Pakistan in the Kanpur match. The final two matches will be massive crackers.

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  • khansahab on November 9, 2007, 23:25 GMT

    This team has always known it can perform and beat the best in the business. What catharsis and what moment of truth and realisation? The problem is not the inability but the inconsistency and the complacency. When Pakistan beat South Africa by 141 runs earlier this year (when Yousuf made a century and Afridi and Younis played valuable innings) the situation was akin to Australia thrashing any minnow side. The talent is in abundance and is unquestionable. Will India ever be able to beat the current South African side by such a considerable margin? No.

    Let us hold our horses and realise that it was a close contest which went to the final over. Yes, Pakistan won a brilliant victory that spoiled Diwali for many Indians. Yes, surprisingly Younis and Afridi both played match-winning innings, something that is not usually seen or expected from them. And yes, for once Tendulkar seemed overshadowed by another batsman (Younis). However, we must mourn the fact that we let Indians muster 320 odd when they could have been restricted to a lower total. Although the series has come alive, the regret is that I do not expect any more match winning innings from Younis or Afridi. Before I start calling Younis a “world class” or “superb” player I have to remind myself that the opposition is India and his bat only seems to work against India. Same goes for Salman Butt and hence I do not believe Butt should be an automatic selection for the series against Zimbabwe.

    Regrettably my prediction is that India will come back hard at Kanpur and that Pakistan needs to yet improve on all areas- bowling, batting and fielding if they are to be the victors of this ODI series. Being the genetically complacent side Pakistan is, I am of opinion that India will triumph over Pakistan in the Kanpur match. The final two matches will be massive crackers.

  • khansahab on November 9, 2007, 23:28 GMT

    Also, the anomaly in this series is Shoaib Akhtar who has thus far performed admirably. I hope the Rawalpindi Express is fit in all matches and keeps contributing in the team's victories. I would like to see Shoaib being awarded Man of the Series.

  • Amyn Habib on November 9, 2007, 23:37 GMT

    This was a terrific victory and an occasion for celebration. The team performed beyond expectations in this game and deserves congratulation. Among the batsmen, Younis Khan, Misbah and Afridi played their parts (almost) to perfection. As an aside, I cannot understand and strongly disagree with the article by Osman Samiuddin regarding Misbah in Cricinfo. His performance in this game was really good.

  • hamza on November 10, 2007, 0:38 GMT

    No doubt the best explanation of Pakistan cricket, which has a history of its own. Unpredictable , emotional, superb talents, poor fielding, bundle of extra runs and destiny riders with no plan ahead just do what circumstances apply them to. Anyhow this win really uplifted every Pakistani's hope and a real happiness for the nation after loads and loads of bad news domestic peace and political environment. No one can beat green shirts when they are at their best mental level. So what Pakistan cricket need is a good psychiatrist and a great leader to lift their morals every time they derail from their winning track. As a Pakistani it was a great joy to see Pakistani team chasing a career best total in a stylish manner. Hope for such thrilling series ahead. Well done Younas Khan, Afridi, Misbah, Shoaib, and every one special the poor Kamran Akmal. He needs attention. Always been a pleasure to read your patriotic comments Kamran Abbasi. Allah may bless you.

  • Omer Admani on November 10, 2007, 1:06 GMT

    Well, it is true that Pakistan won, and though 321 was a good chase, we have to reflect how that many runs were possible with a reasonably good Pakistani pace attack and the pitch having something to offer. Another question that should be raised, and quickly, is that of Akmal. We can say with certainty that he will keep on dropping catches. What can be the alternative? Younis Khan. We could play an extra batsman in either Fawad Alam or Yasser Hameed. Or, if Akmal is that good a batsman as some people think he is, then Younis Khan can keep and Akmal can play as a batsman (though I wouldn't think Akmal can play as a batsman alone). On the other hand, Pakistan must recall a specialist keeper for the forthcoming test series. Akmal will drop crucial catches and the likes of Dravid need only one chance to make a double hundred. The argument that questions the replacement of Akmal is that no-one is experienced enough to play in a crucial series. Well, then, Australia comes next to Pakistan, and the same argument can run again, as it did before the tour of India. Besides, no keeper in the world can be worse than Akmal, so any replacement can only be better, not worse. I was listening to Richie Benaud's commentary at the Aus/SriLanka series, and according to him (being an ex-leggie and while discussing Murali and the new Sri Lankan wicketkeeper), if a keeper misses a chance when a spinner bowls, then the confidence of the spinner is shattered. The spinner becomes afraid to flight the bowl and his bowling can fall apart. Obviously he is speaking with the experience of being a leggie. But in Kaneria's case, Akmal has dropped so many catches that, ironically, Kaneria's career is about to come to a premature end. Even when Murali was bowling against Australia, a couple of chances were dropped. What was Murali even able to do after that? If good batsmen such as Kallis, Dravid, and the top 6 Australians get a chance, then it becomes impossible to create another one after they get set. It would be a big blunder to let Akmal keep in the Test series.

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 10, 2007, 1:21 GMT

    Why do I have a sneaky little feeling that it'll be 2-2 at Gwalior?. But, then again, I'd hate to burst Kamran's ever blowing bubble of optimism with my everlasting cynicism.

  • Sitarah Anjum on November 10, 2007, 1:27 GMT

    As usual we all knew that when Pak team gets thrashing they wake up in the next game. Although when Ind posted 321 I thought it’s over! I did not expect Pak to chase such a huge total simply because their batting has been pathetic recently; they have been throwing away wickets at times when they were required to use common sense. In this game for the first time I saw Pak had a game plan which they executed beautifully and held their nerves. The killer instinct that was missing was apparent in this game. It’s also a fact that games are won by team efforts. I think where our bowlers faltered in this game, we saw our batsmen shining and redeeming themselves and playing a knock that all the Pak fans have been missing for a very long time. Younas showed his cool head with mastery to play unique shots on this occasion after a painfully slow inning in the previous game. He should learn to repeat this kind of performance more often. Butt is also looking confident in this series so far but he still needs to score big to restore his shaken confidence fully.

    Misbah supported Younas well but the way both the pair got out showed that they finally lost their coolness when the victory was within sight. It was still risky to leave the task of finishing to mercurial player like Afridi. This is the trickiest part so far for team Pak, to finish the game. After the departure of Miandad and Inzamam, team is desperately missing a finisher. Players of Younas and Yousaf’s calibre should be able to take the game till end rather than leaving it for the tail enders to finish. In this particular game Afridi used his ‘brain’ for the first time I guess! And Tanvir supported him well. Tanvir can hopefully play Razzaq’s role in the team and become a genuine hard hitting all-rounder. He certainly has the capability as it appears after few games. It was apparent that everybody remembered how they choked the last ODI against RSA and the memory of that game brought the best out of our batsmen in this game. It looked as if they learnt some lessons at least for the moment. This was a very inspiring win and easily one of the best without any doubt.

    After this fantastic win Malik and all the senior players should learn to held their nerves in every game and follow the game plan. If they can repeat their batting performance ( not the bowling performance as they gave away too many extras and also had very slow over-rate for which both Dhoni and Malik were fined 10% of their match fees and players 5%) they can successfully chase huge totals like this.

    Our bowlers lost the plot in the beginning and middle of the game before the quick recovery in the end which certainly saved another 30-40 runs. I would rate the performance of bowlers below par in this game but it was compensated by great batting display by Butt, Younas, Misbah, Malik, Afridi and Tanvir. This time Afridi played very vital role to finish the game. He realised that he was very much responsible for the loss of last ODI against RSA which he admitted openly. I wish he plays every game with the same sense of responsibility and spirit when it matters the most. In the next game same squad should be kept except Rao being replaced by Fawad Alam. Kamran took some good catches of Tendulkar and Dhoni in this game. Gul’s second spell was a turning point and wickets of Tendulkar and Dhoni were the vital ones otherwise Ind was looking good to score 350 runs easily. Over all an excellent performance but in the end I’d say that after a long time Pak won match due to their good batting. Opening still remains a dilemma but let’s give this pair some more time. If they can provide 40+ first wicket stand in the first 5-6 overs then it‘s not too bad and if Butt can play a longer inning then even better. Hope to see more cracking games like this. First game made every one yawning. That was one sided match with no passion or fight from either side, very unlikely of India Pakistan game, even the crowd was yawning and were quiet despite the fact that their team was winning. This was mainly due to the slow wicket. Mohali provided good fire works for every one on Diwali.

  • Sitarah Anjum-London on November 10, 2007, 1:27 GMT

    As usual we all knew that when Pakistan team gets thrashing they wake up in the next game. Although when India posted 321 I thought it’s over! I did not expect Pakistan to chase such a huge total simply because their batting has been pathetic recently; they have been throwing away wickets at times when they were required to use common sense. In this game for the first time I saw Pakistan had a game plan which they executed beautifully and held their nerves. The killer instinct that was missing was apparent in this game. It’s also a fact that games are won by team efforts. I think where our bowlers faltered in this game, we saw our batsmen shining and redeeming themselves and playing a knock that all the Pak fans have been missing for a very long time. Younis showed his cool head with mastery to play unique shots on this occasion after a painfully slow innings in the previous game. He should learn to repeat this kind of performance more often. Butt is also looking confident in this series so far but he still needs to score big to restore his shaken confidence fully.

    Misbah supported Younis well but the way both the pair got out showed that they finally lost their coolness when the victory was within sight. It was still risky to leave the task of finishing to mercurial player like Afridi. This is the trickiest part so far for team Pak, to finish the game. After the departure of Miandad and Inzamam, team is desperately missing a finisher. Players of Younis and Yousaf’s calibre should be able to take the game till end rather than leaving it for the tail enders to finish. And Tanvir supported him well. Tanvir can hopefully play Razzaq’s role in the team and become a genuine hard hitting allrounder. He certainly has the capability as it appears after few games. It was apparent that everybody remembered how they choked the last ODI against South Africa and the memory of that game brought the best out of our batsmen in this game. It looked as if they learnt some lessons at least for the moment. This was a very inspiring win and easily one of the best without any doubt.

    After this fantastic win Malik and all the senior players should learn to held their nerves in every game and follow the game plan. If they can repeat their batting performance ( not the bowling performance as they gave away too many extras and also had very slow over-rate for which both Dhoni and Malik were fined 10% of their match fees and players 5%) they can successfully chase huge totals like this.

    Our bowlers lost the plot in the beginning and middle of the game before the quick recovery in the end which certainly saved another 30-40 runs. I would rate the performance of bowlers below par in this game but it was compensated by great batting display by Butt, Younis, Misbah, Malik, Afridi and Tanvir. This time Afridi played very vital role to finish the game. He realised that he was very much responsible for the loss of last ODI against South Africa. I wish he plays every game with the same sense of responsibility and spirit when it matters the most. In the next game same squad should be kept except Rao being replaced by Fawad Alam. Kamran took some good catches of Tendulkar and Dhoni in this game. Gul’s second spell was a turning point and wickets of Tendulkar and Dhoni were the vital ones otherwise Ind was looking good to score 350 runs easily. Over all an excellent performance but in the end I’d say that after a long time Pak won match due to their good batting. Opening still remains a dilemma but let’s give this pair some more time. If they can provide 40+ first wicket stand in the first 5-6 overs then it‘s not too bad and if Butt can play a longer innings then even better. Hope to see more cracking games like this. First game made every one yawning. That was one sided match with no passion or fight from either side, very unlikely of India Pakistan game, even the crowd was yawning and were quiet despite the fact that their team was winning. This was mainly due to the slow wicket. Mohali provided good fire works for every one on Diwali.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 10, 2007, 2:42 GMT

    Doctors use this word catharsis quite often and from the medical point of view, catharsis is for cleaning or purifying the digestive system. I know that Dr. Kamran Abbasi didn't use it here in the medical context. It has more to do with the emotional aspect, the release of emotional tension, which usually results after an overwhelming experience that restores or refreshes the spirit and the soul. It was in the context of removing that "chokers tag."

    But, too soon and too much of praise and accolades for the team just after one win could possibly create an opposite and adverse effect in their performance, and instead of purification or purgation, it may end up in indigestion.The team played well and a dramatic chase against a big total resulting in a victory is a good positive thing to have happened, especially to lift the morale of the team that was recently tagged as new chokers of this game. And for cricket lovers and Pakistani cricket supporters it was a good extended moment to enjoy the game till the end and beyond and, for some to cherish it for a long time.

    Misbah wanted to make sure that he won't be "up the creek without a paddle," and before reaching the creek he even wanted to test his paddle shot once again. Pakistan's innings, (which is more like a canoe in the rapids) was progressing and flowing under controlled aggression in the turbulent "river of chase" and both Younis and Misbah were manoeuvring it (the partnership) very well on a placid and perfect Mohali pitch. Then, suddenly there was a rush of blood and Misbah got drifted once again and he played that infamous paddle shot and it wasn't Joginder Sharma but, it was RP Singh and this time Misbah didn't need Sreesanth, as his paddle shot crashed into the stumps, like a canoe crashing against a rock.

    A lot of people thought it is the End or and many questioned, why the hell did he play that shot again? I remember seeing on TV a young Indian supporter in the stands was displaying a play card which says: "Misbah don't ever think of playing that shot again."Perhaps Misbah must have read it too, perhaps he wanted to prove a point that he can do it again and do it successfully and, not only silence his critics but, also to clean his mind and get over with that fear and apprehension which was haunting him since the Twenty20 WC final.

    In psychology it is referred as a technique to relieve tension and anxiety by bringing repressed feelings and fears to consciousness by doing it again and again until you succeed. Its a shame that he couldn't succeed, for him its a personal tragedy. Its a tragedy that he couldn't succeed even the second time. To quote Aristotle: "A tragedy should succeed in arousing pity and fear in such a way as to accomplish a catharsis of such emotions."Reportedly it was Aristotle who invented this word, "catharsis," which is associated with audience watching tragic plays. In our case it is the tragic endings of exciting and thrilling cricket matches - especially that of India and Pakistan.

    Whatever it may be and whatever people might think of Misbah, I have a feeling that he will play this shot again to purge and prove that he is not a choker. And to prove a point that he can play this paddle shot successfully, and to restore and refresh his spirit, and also to cleanse his mind and, also to silence his critics.

    Mr. Khairi, perhaps you wrote that post in the previous thread a bit too early. It is quite obvious that it was written at the end of the Indian innings and before Pakistan's batting started and you saw the huge Indian total of 321 and got petrified. Thank you for your sarcasm at "Afridi's die hard fans." Playing and scoring freely is far more easier than playing second and chasing a huge total. Therefore, it is better not to express your frustration and predict the result even before the party is over.

    My previous post was written after the match was over, and the focal point of my post was not just about the win or how Younis, Misbah and Afridi played but, it was entirely devoted to Shoaib Akhtarwho always rejected the idea of a shorter run up. I thought Mr. Abbassi will write something about the Rawalpindi Express in his new thread. Instead of that, he too, being a die hard Afridi fan wrote something in his praise that; "Afridi has shown he can measure his aggression for a few overs when it matters." I have one last point for those who criticize Afridi that he scores only at home, perhaps they don't know that, all three centuries made by Dhoni in his ODI career are 'Made in India.' And didn't I say that before about, people who live in glass houses should not ... change when the lights are on? Cheers!

  • Robust on November 10, 2007, 3:45 GMT

    It was a remarkable victory but still v need to get rid of Kamran Akmal