Captaincy November 18, 2007

Malik masters his destiny

Since Malik cannot hope to demand the intellectual authority of a Brearley, or even an Imran Khan, his form will be the route to his success as a captain
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The last one-day international mattered little in the grand scheme of cricket but it had become a genuine challenge to Shoaib Malik's authority. Pakistan's young captain revelled in the glow of a Twenty20 near triumph but his time since has been wretched.

On the field, Malik has at various times looked confused, clueless, and catatonic. His soundbites have underestimated the intelligence of his supporters. The whole of the South Africa series was excused by a Twenty20 hangover and the India one-day series has been more competitive in Malik's head than in the eyes of anybody who has witnessed it.

Malik's own form has been a disappointment, as has Pakistan's evidently timid approach under his captaincy. In many ways, the debate boils down to the manner of defeat--and the manner of defeat suffered by Malik's Pakistan has been soulless, an intolerable circumstance for Pakistan fans and ex-players.

Today's Man-of-the-Match award is a relief for Malik and helps him begin to establish his authority. Only rare captains, take Mike Brearley for example, are able to lead an international side without any semblance of form. Since Malik cannot hope to demand the intellectual authority of a Brearley, or even an Imran Khan, his form will be the route to his success as a captain.

That is lesson number one for Malik. Lesson number two is that Pakistan cricket is an aggressive beast, a captain must ride it with attitude to achieve success and satisfy the faithful. Pakistan played with something of a swagger today and it helped bring out the best in its young talents.

These have been tough and slow lessons to learn but let's hope they have sunk in. Furthermore, this series defeat has produced some positive outcomes. Sohail Tanvir has confirmed his status as Pakistan's most exciting young fast bowler and possible allrounder. Salman Butt may have solved one half of Pakistan's opening conundrum, at least in conditions where the ball doesn't move too much or for too long. Sarfraz Ahmed has shown that there is life behind the stumps without Kamran Akmal--and about time too. And Fawad Alam's frenetic energy hinted at why he has become a domestic hero and should find a regular place in Pakistan's one-day team.

Yet one win doesn't eliminate the weaknesses in this Pakistan team. They will have to play with this level of belief, commitment, and aggression to stand a chance against India in the Test series. Malik's best chance lies in the fact that though India might be the stronger team they are flawed too. Whatever happens, Shoaib Malik must realise that the only way to lead Pakistan is from the front and in the face of the opposition.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • abdullah shamim on November 24, 2007, 11:09 GMT

    shoib malik is not a senior player. he is a terific batesman. pakistan had a very good t20 cup because of him.actaullly muhammad yousuf should me the captain.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREA, CANADA on November 23, 2007, 14:47 GMT

    This is ridiculous and so unprofessional of Lawson to say at the end of the first day test match. He said, "the reason for Pakistan's batting collapse was due to successive limited-overs tournaments played by his team in the recent months. The boys have been in the one-day cricket mode for a while now. And when you play Test matches, it's pretty difficult to shift the tempo." Ref. daily DAWN of Nov. 23, 2007

    First, there was an excuse after losing against SA, that they are coming back from the Twenty20 WC where they played too much of the shorter version of the game hence, they are unable to adjust for the 50 over ODI's. How can one accept such lame excuses coming from professionals? Lawson should have thought twice before saying nothing. Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan are reportedly world class test batsmen and how come they make such lame excuses? Whereas, Misbah ul Haq who is relatively new in this arena was also with them in all forms of the game and since his inclusion in the T20i's he is a totally different player now. He applies himself so well under pressure and maintains a near to over 100% strike rate in the shorter version of the game and the other day when the situation demanded he played a very gritty innings with a strike rate of 34%. How come it is possible for him to switch or shift into different modes of the game so easily? And how come he is so successful in all forms of the game and it is not the same for the big 2Y's? And what a shame that Misbah got run-out in such a bizarre fashion.

    I have said this before and I am reiterating my point once again about the run out rule in cricket. In all other sports such as athletics from 100 meter race to 10,000 meters race and be it Olympics or any world class event, or even at international horse racing events, the winner is adjudged at the line through a photo finish and the judgment is based upon seeing the athlete's nose or his chest and not their feet at the finishing line. Same is the case with horses that their heads are taken into account and not their feet crossing the line. So, in cricket too, no matter if the bat or the player's body is in the air but, it is inside the line or the crease, then he should not be given out irrespective of the fact that his bat or his feet are not touching the ground. Mishab must have been at least a meter inside the crease but, a foot above the ground, an evasive action had cost him his wicket for which he must be mad at himself after playing so well, he sure deserved a hundred. But, the way he is playing so far he will make one soon.

  • WASIM SAQIB on November 23, 2007, 5:40 GMT

    Pakistan team is again in a precarious position in the first test.The top order failed again, none of the top order batsmen showed any mental toughness and a commitment to their job, they all got out playing casual shots, I guess these batsmen should take a leaf out of Sami's book and they should learn from it, Sami showed the mental toughness and application and a strong commitment to his job and along with Misbah he did his best so that his team doesn't get humiliated although the final score 231 is still not enough considering the strength of Indian batting line up but it might give our bowlers a chance, the ball is keeping low and the fast bowlers have been able to move the ball so far, it all depends on Pakistani pace attack now if they can move the ball off the seam and do some early damage to the Indian line up. Pakistan will surely miss Omar gul or Rao here as both of them are the best seam bowlers Pakistan have besides Asif.

    Misbah played a long and determined win but somehow he still couldn't overcome the bizarreness which has surrounded him since he made his comeback, ever since he made his comeback he always find himself in a situation where he is confronted with a huge uphill task, he shows a lot of determination and skill to complete the task but stops just short of it, even today when it seemed that he was going to take Pakistan into safe waters he got dismissed because of a bizarre run out,is it a lapse of concentration? or a lack of presence of mind? or just plain nervousness, but whatever it is, it's continuously haunting him.

    Shoaib Malik made a terrible mistake to bat first with the overcast conditions on the first day he should have put India into bat,he must learn to play to his strength, the move he made was a defensive one because they evidently didn't wanted to face Indian spinners batting last on this pitch.Anyways Pakistan should bowl with extreme discipline the choice of Sohail Tanvir over Gul and Rao might become a very costly mistake as he leaks too many runs in shape of loose balls and extras and in my opinion was still not ready for test cricket.

  • dr aamir imtiaz on November 22, 2007, 16:29 GMT

    India won the first two sessions; picking of 3 for 74 in the morning and 5 for 68 in the afternoon. Zaheer and Kumble led the bowling effort, taking two and three wickets apiece, and were well supported by Munaf and Ganguly.

    However, their hopes of wrapping up Pakistan for cheap after tea were dashed by a dogged partnership between Misbah and Sami. Misbah began his innings extremely slowly but settled down and played a sensible innings. He farmed the strike efficiently as Sami took his time to settle down and looked for singles only towards the end of an over.

    Kumble didn't look to attack Misbah and was happy to concede the single to him. Once Sami gre in confidence, Misbah was happy to give him more of the strike. They've taken Pakistan to 210 and if they can push towards 250 tomorrow, it will be a competitive first-innings total.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 22, 2007, 14:58 GMT

    Delhi Test started and at the end of the day-1 nothing significant happened except for Misbah fighting patiently and Sami giving him the much needed support both added some respectability to the total. Otherwise, starting from Butt, who passed the baton to Malik to ensure that they are comrades in misery and can easily add more miseries to the team by contributing the binary numeral system 0 and 1 to reel the team down and under and give Kumble the advantage. Kumble is already the leading wicket taker in this match so far and that I guess it is an advantage for Malik?

    The pitch is reportedly flat and already breaking and it may not help much to the fast bowlers on the second and third day. Although Zaheer Khan and Munna Bhai Patel bowled well within themselves and got a few wickets in the typical misty, foggy and smoggy morning of New Delhi. Even Ganguly got lateral movement and troubled the batsmen and got the prized wicket of Mohammad Yousuf, that is perhaps due to him being a medium pacer and his slower one can deceive the batsman especially if you are caught napping and Yousuf was trapped in front of the wickets in the same fashion.

    It is really a shame to see that the Indian bowlers and players in general were appealing for LBW on every single ball that was hitting the pads. Never mind there is an inside edge, or if it is outside the line or, if it is pitched on the leg side or, if it is moving further away from the off-stump, it doesn't matter to them, they kept appealing and they were appealing vociferously and blatantly vo bhee dhatai kay sath. Its good to see Simon Taufel umpiring otherwise, if it was Amish Saheba or Suresh Shastri umpiring this match, we would have seen India batting before the tea interval and Pakistan may have been bundled out under hundred - Advantage Malik - Kumble 6 wickets?

    If the Rawalpindi Express or the Karachi trooper tries to bowl express deliveries of over 145 kph also, giving width to the batsmen then, they would only be dissipating their energies and will fall flat without achieving any success. Because, players like Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid can leave the wider deliveries to frustrate the bowlers by not offering any shots. Besides, Akhtar can hardly bowl four overs in a row. So, there is a dilemma, like Asif was consumed and exhausted in South Africa early this year, I am afraid the same might happen to Tanvir or even to Sami. Because, the Rawalpindi Express is expected to be derailed despite his own assurances and also from his coach and the trainer that he is in "shipshape." But for sure we shall be seeing him sitting on the sidelines huffing and puffing inhalers or someone massaging his back or pulling his legs!

    Right now Pak Spin appears to be derailed or is it Mr. Abbassi who doesn't seem to be inclined in updating the blog. Mr. Abbassi, I thought you are immune from the virus that has plagued the other blogs on cricinfo and the reason Pak Spin is better than them is because of the fact that you update it faster also, choose better subjects and create new threads faster than them. So, please don't join that bandwagon - stay unique and stay awake.

  • Irfan khan on November 22, 2007, 12:35 GMT

    Hiiiiiiiiiiiii This comments are specialy for -------" JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA------ "

    I just feel that, you dont have any any idea about cricket. You just go with one match and write you idea down..

    Let me ask you one thing, how can you criticize malik???

    I guess , u r just a fool... and just a question to you, when did u start watching cricket? or have u anytime played cricket?

    Hey, plss my advice to u is, not to comment in site like pak spin, whih is a place for good cricketing brain people..

  • Karan on November 22, 2007, 10:35 GMT

    This is in response to Mr.Osman Ali Khairi 's comments. I think the problem with your comments are that they are in the past, you seem to love to live in the past. But still you may have mentioned India's record overseas in the 80's & 90's, which is true that they did not win any series however at the same time you have to see their record in India and they have not lost Home series either (baring a match here or there). It was impossible to beat us in a home series and thats why even Steve waugh had called it his Final frontier but Alas he never won a series in India. I am sorry but the same cannot be said about your team and they have not only lost series outside however they have been loosing home series also. To England, Srilanka, Australia, South Africa and now even to India. You are quick to call us 'Lambs abroad' however even if that was true but it is also true that we are unbeatable at home. Something which I cannot say about your team. The may not be lambs abroad but certainly are no tigers abroad or at home. Even the current series will be won by us.

  • stephen.philips on November 22, 2007, 9:41 GMT

    Pakistan is performing upto their potential. They are 150-7 in first innings.

  • noor on November 22, 2007, 7:26 GMT

    Another pathetic batting display by our so called test players. These spineless players who represent Pakistan are nothing more than club cricketers. Malik is not fit run a dog's home. The trouble with Pakistan team is that their heads are over blown by the smart Indian ploy of treating the Pakis as heroes. I saw Malik and co at an Indian Fashion house. The adolation the Indian gave to these bunch of losers was incredible.

    They send back one fool (Afridi) home now it would be wise to send the whole team "Paking" home and spare us the misery and mockery from our national team. It seems under Malik the team are more interested in their personal gains than for the country's honour. The team should spent more time on training than late night at discos and Indian restaurants. Malik should be sacked.

  • Omer Admani on November 22, 2007, 3:56 GMT

    I just saw the team selected. I am surprised that Malik has selected Kamran Akmal Again. The PCB has given the captain too much power and the final 11 should be selected by selectors. Or blunders like Kamran Akmal need to be kept beyond Malik's reach, he should have been back in Pakistan.

  • abdullah shamim on November 24, 2007, 11:09 GMT

    shoib malik is not a senior player. he is a terific batesman. pakistan had a very good t20 cup because of him.actaullly muhammad yousuf should me the captain.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREA, CANADA on November 23, 2007, 14:47 GMT

    This is ridiculous and so unprofessional of Lawson to say at the end of the first day test match. He said, "the reason for Pakistan's batting collapse was due to successive limited-overs tournaments played by his team in the recent months. The boys have been in the one-day cricket mode for a while now. And when you play Test matches, it's pretty difficult to shift the tempo." Ref. daily DAWN of Nov. 23, 2007

    First, there was an excuse after losing against SA, that they are coming back from the Twenty20 WC where they played too much of the shorter version of the game hence, they are unable to adjust for the 50 over ODI's. How can one accept such lame excuses coming from professionals? Lawson should have thought twice before saying nothing. Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan are reportedly world class test batsmen and how come they make such lame excuses? Whereas, Misbah ul Haq who is relatively new in this arena was also with them in all forms of the game and since his inclusion in the T20i's he is a totally different player now. He applies himself so well under pressure and maintains a near to over 100% strike rate in the shorter version of the game and the other day when the situation demanded he played a very gritty innings with a strike rate of 34%. How come it is possible for him to switch or shift into different modes of the game so easily? And how come he is so successful in all forms of the game and it is not the same for the big 2Y's? And what a shame that Misbah got run-out in such a bizarre fashion.

    I have said this before and I am reiterating my point once again about the run out rule in cricket. In all other sports such as athletics from 100 meter race to 10,000 meters race and be it Olympics or any world class event, or even at international horse racing events, the winner is adjudged at the line through a photo finish and the judgment is based upon seeing the athlete's nose or his chest and not their feet at the finishing line. Same is the case with horses that their heads are taken into account and not their feet crossing the line. So, in cricket too, no matter if the bat or the player's body is in the air but, it is inside the line or the crease, then he should not be given out irrespective of the fact that his bat or his feet are not touching the ground. Mishab must have been at least a meter inside the crease but, a foot above the ground, an evasive action had cost him his wicket for which he must be mad at himself after playing so well, he sure deserved a hundred. But, the way he is playing so far he will make one soon.

  • WASIM SAQIB on November 23, 2007, 5:40 GMT

    Pakistan team is again in a precarious position in the first test.The top order failed again, none of the top order batsmen showed any mental toughness and a commitment to their job, they all got out playing casual shots, I guess these batsmen should take a leaf out of Sami's book and they should learn from it, Sami showed the mental toughness and application and a strong commitment to his job and along with Misbah he did his best so that his team doesn't get humiliated although the final score 231 is still not enough considering the strength of Indian batting line up but it might give our bowlers a chance, the ball is keeping low and the fast bowlers have been able to move the ball so far, it all depends on Pakistani pace attack now if they can move the ball off the seam and do some early damage to the Indian line up. Pakistan will surely miss Omar gul or Rao here as both of them are the best seam bowlers Pakistan have besides Asif.

    Misbah played a long and determined win but somehow he still couldn't overcome the bizarreness which has surrounded him since he made his comeback, ever since he made his comeback he always find himself in a situation where he is confronted with a huge uphill task, he shows a lot of determination and skill to complete the task but stops just short of it, even today when it seemed that he was going to take Pakistan into safe waters he got dismissed because of a bizarre run out,is it a lapse of concentration? or a lack of presence of mind? or just plain nervousness, but whatever it is, it's continuously haunting him.

    Shoaib Malik made a terrible mistake to bat first with the overcast conditions on the first day he should have put India into bat,he must learn to play to his strength, the move he made was a defensive one because they evidently didn't wanted to face Indian spinners batting last on this pitch.Anyways Pakistan should bowl with extreme discipline the choice of Sohail Tanvir over Gul and Rao might become a very costly mistake as he leaks too many runs in shape of loose balls and extras and in my opinion was still not ready for test cricket.

  • dr aamir imtiaz on November 22, 2007, 16:29 GMT

    India won the first two sessions; picking of 3 for 74 in the morning and 5 for 68 in the afternoon. Zaheer and Kumble led the bowling effort, taking two and three wickets apiece, and were well supported by Munaf and Ganguly.

    However, their hopes of wrapping up Pakistan for cheap after tea were dashed by a dogged partnership between Misbah and Sami. Misbah began his innings extremely slowly but settled down and played a sensible innings. He farmed the strike efficiently as Sami took his time to settle down and looked for singles only towards the end of an over.

    Kumble didn't look to attack Misbah and was happy to concede the single to him. Once Sami gre in confidence, Misbah was happy to give him more of the strike. They've taken Pakistan to 210 and if they can push towards 250 tomorrow, it will be a competitive first-innings total.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 22, 2007, 14:58 GMT

    Delhi Test started and at the end of the day-1 nothing significant happened except for Misbah fighting patiently and Sami giving him the much needed support both added some respectability to the total. Otherwise, starting from Butt, who passed the baton to Malik to ensure that they are comrades in misery and can easily add more miseries to the team by contributing the binary numeral system 0 and 1 to reel the team down and under and give Kumble the advantage. Kumble is already the leading wicket taker in this match so far and that I guess it is an advantage for Malik?

    The pitch is reportedly flat and already breaking and it may not help much to the fast bowlers on the second and third day. Although Zaheer Khan and Munna Bhai Patel bowled well within themselves and got a few wickets in the typical misty, foggy and smoggy morning of New Delhi. Even Ganguly got lateral movement and troubled the batsmen and got the prized wicket of Mohammad Yousuf, that is perhaps due to him being a medium pacer and his slower one can deceive the batsman especially if you are caught napping and Yousuf was trapped in front of the wickets in the same fashion.

    It is really a shame to see that the Indian bowlers and players in general were appealing for LBW on every single ball that was hitting the pads. Never mind there is an inside edge, or if it is outside the line or, if it is pitched on the leg side or, if it is moving further away from the off-stump, it doesn't matter to them, they kept appealing and they were appealing vociferously and blatantly vo bhee dhatai kay sath. Its good to see Simon Taufel umpiring otherwise, if it was Amish Saheba or Suresh Shastri umpiring this match, we would have seen India batting before the tea interval and Pakistan may have been bundled out under hundred - Advantage Malik - Kumble 6 wickets?

    If the Rawalpindi Express or the Karachi trooper tries to bowl express deliveries of over 145 kph also, giving width to the batsmen then, they would only be dissipating their energies and will fall flat without achieving any success. Because, players like Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid can leave the wider deliveries to frustrate the bowlers by not offering any shots. Besides, Akhtar can hardly bowl four overs in a row. So, there is a dilemma, like Asif was consumed and exhausted in South Africa early this year, I am afraid the same might happen to Tanvir or even to Sami. Because, the Rawalpindi Express is expected to be derailed despite his own assurances and also from his coach and the trainer that he is in "shipshape." But for sure we shall be seeing him sitting on the sidelines huffing and puffing inhalers or someone massaging his back or pulling his legs!

    Right now Pak Spin appears to be derailed or is it Mr. Abbassi who doesn't seem to be inclined in updating the blog. Mr. Abbassi, I thought you are immune from the virus that has plagued the other blogs on cricinfo and the reason Pak Spin is better than them is because of the fact that you update it faster also, choose better subjects and create new threads faster than them. So, please don't join that bandwagon - stay unique and stay awake.

  • Irfan khan on November 22, 2007, 12:35 GMT

    Hiiiiiiiiiiiii This comments are specialy for -------" JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA------ "

    I just feel that, you dont have any any idea about cricket. You just go with one match and write you idea down..

    Let me ask you one thing, how can you criticize malik???

    I guess , u r just a fool... and just a question to you, when did u start watching cricket? or have u anytime played cricket?

    Hey, plss my advice to u is, not to comment in site like pak spin, whih is a place for good cricketing brain people..

  • Karan on November 22, 2007, 10:35 GMT

    This is in response to Mr.Osman Ali Khairi 's comments. I think the problem with your comments are that they are in the past, you seem to love to live in the past. But still you may have mentioned India's record overseas in the 80's & 90's, which is true that they did not win any series however at the same time you have to see their record in India and they have not lost Home series either (baring a match here or there). It was impossible to beat us in a home series and thats why even Steve waugh had called it his Final frontier but Alas he never won a series in India. I am sorry but the same cannot be said about your team and they have not only lost series outside however they have been loosing home series also. To England, Srilanka, Australia, South Africa and now even to India. You are quick to call us 'Lambs abroad' however even if that was true but it is also true that we are unbeatable at home. Something which I cannot say about your team. The may not be lambs abroad but certainly are no tigers abroad or at home. Even the current series will be won by us.

  • stephen.philips on November 22, 2007, 9:41 GMT

    Pakistan is performing upto their potential. They are 150-7 in first innings.

  • noor on November 22, 2007, 7:26 GMT

    Another pathetic batting display by our so called test players. These spineless players who represent Pakistan are nothing more than club cricketers. Malik is not fit run a dog's home. The trouble with Pakistan team is that their heads are over blown by the smart Indian ploy of treating the Pakis as heroes. I saw Malik and co at an Indian Fashion house. The adolation the Indian gave to these bunch of losers was incredible.

    They send back one fool (Afridi) home now it would be wise to send the whole team "Paking" home and spare us the misery and mockery from our national team. It seems under Malik the team are more interested in their personal gains than for the country's honour. The team should spent more time on training than late night at discos and Indian restaurants. Malik should be sacked.

  • Omer Admani on November 22, 2007, 3:56 GMT

    I just saw the team selected. I am surprised that Malik has selected Kamran Akmal Again. The PCB has given the captain too much power and the final 11 should be selected by selectors. Or blunders like Kamran Akmal need to be kept beyond Malik's reach, he should have been back in Pakistan.

  • adam on November 22, 2007, 1:07 GMT

    nice win in the last game...well done malik...but fawad alam needs to brush his teeth....it looks sick...

  • ruchit on November 21, 2007, 19:12 GMT

    Hi Kamran,

    Was reading the replies to your blogs. A lot of people were complaining why Afridi was not picked up for the test squad.Did he not announce retirement from test cricket last year. I don't remember him renouncing it. He did not even play against South Africa if my memory serves me right.

    Regards. Ruchit Khushu.

  • SAM on November 21, 2007, 18:47 GMT

    Some of my fellow bloggers have severe grudge against Afridi, i am unable to understand why, if we look at the last few ODI's that Pakistan has won, Afridi specially has played clinical part in those wins. The dilemma behind Afridi's exclusion is that fact that most captains don't like his presence at the ground simply because he is a crowd puller, he has a huge fan club and on top of that he is center of contention throughout the match no matter its batting, fielding or bowling, so the captain's role and his presence is over shadowed because of his presence, so they don't even a slighter chance to get him out of the squad, I saw Younis Khan saying that when Afridi is not playing the match , it becomes boring for us (players) as well. Wasim Saqib, isn't your approach a little biased, Afridi and Younis both are most energetic players while on the field, and i never saw any of those smiling after getting out. {please feel free to quote the incidence, if you have any }.

  • fhs on November 21, 2007, 16:51 GMT

    Good luck Pakistan in the 1st Test as Sami and Akmal are in. Their inclusion is not only "unfair" but also will "help" opposition. how? to make runs freely and no to worry about catches going behind the wickets.

  • Irfan on November 21, 2007, 16:41 GMT

    What a farce! Pakistan wins the last match after loosing the series and the whole national media seems to have stood up clapping and cheering. Yeah a nice article Mr. Abbasi only if Pakistan had lost the series after leveling it first probably would've been nicer.

    So Malik finds his groove! Hooray! And, guess what! It is because he found the key to unlock the secret compartment and read the scroll which contained the ancient scroll on which was written in the ancient runes "Fight hard if you want to win" with his face lit, his back ramrod straight, his chest jutting out and with fire in his eyes he went forth into the battle swinging his sword......

    Sad to see Fawad going back, Good to see and I mean reaaaaally good to see Afridi return home, reaaaaally sad to see Akmal stay, who as expected would play in the first test also further weakening the bowling. Like different teams for ODI and tests we need to consider different set of openers for Indo Pak pitches and foreign pitches. Now one can argue that we can argue however that we do not even have 2 proper openers let alone 4 because Salman can only play on sub continent pitches and not on fast and bouncy tracks.

    India clearly was the better of the two teams.Pakistan's win came about because Indians rested their four main players thereby providing a chance for Pakistanis to shine. The only bright spot in the game was the shedding of the dead bark and the inclusion of the new blood. That is the only positive that you can take away from this win. Do not read too much into it. I still have my believe in Malik, his was a workman like innings and nothing much. Let's just all step back and see how the test series go. Here is for all those morons advising Malik what to do "He knows what to do! He has paid advisers who do this job on the ground. He needs dig into his soul to find a way to do it"

  • Mubeen on November 21, 2007, 13:36 GMT

    My brother Javeed a Khan U don,t know about cricket 1st go and get some knowlege about cricket and then comments on This site.All i say that Malik is a good Captian And for ur kind information If malik dancing down da pitch and hit a six He become a hero if he miss u guy critisize on him.Shame on u.In real life If u play Cricket u can,t score more than 10 or 15{Beta jo ground mein hota hai pata us ko hota hai Bahir baith k batian karna asan hota hai}In 5th match Malik Bang on If malik get support frm voice captian wich he not It make esy for him Malik at this time get Support From on senior Yousaf and Akhter If Younas And Both 10 Guns support Malik no doubt Pakistan Become a good team both format of era.So stop Joking It,s a real life we all know malik is a good leader In bad day,s malik help Pakistan When Younas refuse to be a captian{Dum daba k bhag gya tha county k liye}Malik is da 1 Ho Came out.Player like Afridi Dose,nt have cricket brian naswar khor.So malik deserve captian and Yousaf as voice captian.Malik is pefect man for da job.Hats of 2 all team. KEEP THE FAITH ALIVE.

  • nangaswaami on November 21, 2007, 12:58 GMT

    well bad news for india guys as i hear our fast bowlers are injured..that was the only thing we had against PAKISTAN s forces as they can now dominate with ease...i fear the l;ikes of shaoib akhtar n sami n gul will hurt us bad even though our batting lineup is strong this time of the season...mr kamran plz dont ignore my comments jus becoz im hindu..plz print thme i shall be honoured and thnkful 2 u tooo..

  • Rahim Khan from Hyderabad/montreal on November 21, 2007, 10:48 GMT

    Ya the 2 Ys are supposed to be anchor for the paki batting. True when they drop anchor they really drop anchor:PLOL The run rate just anchors there and does not go ahead hehehehehe

  • Rash on November 21, 2007, 7:04 GMT

    Great analysis by Wasim Saqib, I appreciate his views he tried to disclose the true fact of pakis players. He is absolutely right about yousuf batting analysis whats the use of being consistent for himself rather than match winning knocks, infact Yousuf became same like tendulkar playing for own records but tendulkar became different in this series rather he played some winning knocks.

    Boom boom always like every series just play for one match and sleep whole series. Match ka Murim of 3rd ODI goes to Mohammed Yousuf for his selfish batting display.

  • rehman on November 21, 2007, 6:39 GMT

    Well, We hope that shoaib malik would make pakistan a consistent team. now-a-dayz pakistan is famous/ for impredictable performance. sometimes they give away an easy win and vice versa. Rehman Jan Afghanistan

  • Rauf lala on November 21, 2007, 6:02 GMT

    To think that after one good innings malik becomes a good captain does not make sense. He is not a good leader and motivator. After the 4th ODI his comments were 'out fast bowlers gave too many runs early on'. reality is Akhtar bowled his best in that particular match. It was only brilliance of sachin on that particular day which sealed the series. now malik's statement shows -> 1. He does not have sportsman spirit to admit Sachin's greatness. 2. He is not a good observer of the game otherwise he would have said we did not bowl that badly but Sachin was too good on that partucular day. 3. He demotivated Akhter big time by such statement.

  • Jaffar Lakdawalla on November 21, 2007, 5:34 GMT

    To Osman Ali Khairi at November 20, 2007 3:45 PM Stop living in the past and look into the present and future buddy. You will relaise emregency in your country, loss in series is having a toll on your common sense(or lack of it). Look into the future and you will see India all the way to the top. And hey I am a proud Indian Muslim who is part of the boooming economy and cheering Indians to a series win. Defeat hurts buddy and i can understand people like u get hurt even more but take it in your stride, will do you really good in long run if you get used to it cos more losses will come ur way soon.

  • sohail malik on November 21, 2007, 5:17 GMT

    I fed up of this javed khan from montreal criticsing shoaib malik. Malik is from sialkot and sialkot player r good, Even i am from sialkot. Javed has problem not with malik but becios shoaib malik is not from his region. If he was from his region he would ignore all mistake and think he is best captain. People like javed from montreal in PCB that is why players from our region dont get fair chance and useless player from other region get not deserving chance. Allah hafiz

  • Mustafa Sheriff on November 21, 2007, 4:10 GMT

    We can't blame Shoaib Malik for the series lost in india. He is a new captain and needs time to settle. In a few more series he will get more settled and by that time the momentum of Pakistan will come back. Pakistan have not been in there best form because of the lost of Inzamam-Ul-Haq and Bob Woolmer. Shoaib Malik as the new captain has a lot of responsibility but it will take him some time to get settled as captain. Once the side is settled with there full line up including Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Akhtar balling together Pakistan will slowly gain there momentum back and continue to perform.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 21, 2007, 3:37 GMT

    I am impressed by the "knolege" of the twins "valeem & saleem." This goes to prove how many more twins and clones we have on this blog and they are simply drabbing, defecating and making a nonsensical point only to get noticed.

    I am also impressed by the "Sialkhotian" and his jolly good Punjabi satire. I must say, "I am agree" avec lui.

    But, "I am agree" NAT with Wasim Saqib and his analysis and comparisons. Wasim, I hope you are not saleem & valeem's cousin? :-) Anyways, with no malice and no pun intended, I think you are comparing apples with oranges or, should I say 'akhroats with duddoos' (frogs). You are highlighting Afridi's batting and bowling analysis for the last 4 ODIs and hiding Malik's skeleton in the closet. If Afridi's career average does not match with the series statistics and thats the reason you think he is not selected for the test matches, then you must be a genius like one of the PCB selectors. Because, Malik's series statistics as a batsman and as a bowler does not qualify him for a place in the team. You better compare the test averages of both these players and also their averages in test matches against India, I don't need to tell you more because, you are capable enough to dig out the required stats and see it for yourself.

    And as a Captain, Malik has proved that he is so far the worst captain Pakistan has ever produced. Please don't say he is a "young captain" or even think or talk about the stats of twenty20 because, not only thats a different ball game and in that Malik has not played any significant role in winning a single match, he only happened to be there as a mere captain. Against SA, he lost the test at Karachi (barring the one played in bad light against England) and breaking the traditions and, then also losing the ODI series and test series against SA. Now in India after 24 years Pak lost the ODI series is a proof of that. On this basis alone he doesn't deserve to be in the team leave aside captaining the side. But, I have been supporting him and I will still support his "Butt" for the over all interest of the team. If Pakistan lose this test series also, then he will be in real trouble. Because, neither the people, nor the selectors look back, they only see what is in front of them and there might be a big demand from the public for his scalp.

    And you are wrong here, we are not talking about killer looks or handsome guys but, we are talking about the expression a captain carries on his face when he is on the field and leading his team. When we talk about body language, I don't mean to say how muscular a person is, or how tall and handsome he looks or whether he has a philosopher's nose. It is the way he demonstrates his gestures, the way he stands up, his posture and the facial expressions by which he manifests various physical, mental, or emotional states and communicates nonverbally with his players that is what we are talking about.

    In general, body language expresses a person's emotions, feelings, and attitudes and I am NOT sorry to say that Malik looks like a baby. If one word could sum up his personality, I can say that in Urdu i.e., he is an extremely "dheela" captain and, off the field he is a pukka "meesna." Don't support him blindly. I don't support Afridi blindly, I give him the stick where he deserves. Younus Khan and Yasir Hameed are also Akhroats and I don't support them blindly either. But you and some other guys back up the sweet Butts even when his form is rotting, decaying and smelling you guys wanted him to play. Come on be fair and dig out Afridi's test stats and write them here i.e., if you are not supporting your girayeen. ;-) I still hope and sincerely wish Pakistan wins the test series.

  • Tamour Sheikh on November 20, 2007, 22:21 GMT

    Salam, why doesnt shoiab malik take advice from som senior players such as mummmaed yusuf or yunus khan or even shaid sfridi he taking this responbiltiy in his own hands, in my opinon i dont think he desereves the captincy because there are ten times smarter players in the pakistani squad that are capale of leading this team to sucess as the best team in the world i think mummaed yusuf should be captain because of his outstanding consisten form at the creas.

    Allah haviz

  • WASIM SAQIB on November 20, 2007, 20:40 GMT

    For some regular members every thing is about looks and statements, they continue to dissect and twist statements made by Malik and declare him the sole person responsible for losing the series. The shameless smirks and smiles on the face of Younis and Afridi after they throw their wicket cheaply and let their team down are considered as their energetic behavior. I would suggest these learned members that they should dissect the performances of key players as to whether their performances helped the Pakistan team or the Indian team? Did they fulfilled their roles in all the games? Did they played responsibly as senior players? Did they played for themselves or for the team? I think if they do so then they will not disagree with the statement made by me in my last post.

    Having said that I want to make it clear that Malik deserves all the criticism for the tactical mistakes he committed during the series, his biggest mistake was to stubbornly persist with Kamran Akmal and Rehman after their repeated failures but was this mistake the sole reason to lose the series? Absolutely not. The extremely slow and selfish batting display by our middle order in some of the matches and the failure of the so called pinch hitters time and again was the main reason for our loss.

    Younis Khan in the first ODI stayed on the wicket for 18.4 overs and scored just 25 runs and lost his wicket cheaply, during these 18.4 overs he had only one significant partnership of 35 from 12 overs @ 2.91, this is our ace batsman is this the best he can do? By eating up 18.4 overs and scoring at a snails pace during the power plays who do you think he was really helping? I guess he forgot to use his charm or perhaps the opposition bowlers were looking the other way or may be he forgot to bend over. Younis got out in the 30th over when the score was a mere 104 it created immense pressure on the batsmen to follow and the match completely slipped away.

    In the second ODI he scored 117 of 110 but his innings was going on snails pace until Shoaib Malik came and started hitting from the first ball and clearly demonstrated to his partner that there were no demons in the pitch and there was no reason for him not to score, the point to note here is that before Malik came on the pitch Younis only scored 25 runs in 17.2 overs. In the third ODI he scored 21 of 21 balls and was eventually cleaned by RP Singh on an inswinger apparently he offered no stroke on an in coming ball. He threw away his wicket when he was looking good and the team needed him to stay on the wicket. In the fourth match he scored 68 of 89 balls, he came in on the third ball of the match and got out in the 30th over and scored 68 in comparison Tendulkar scored 97 in the same amount of overs. I am not saying that these guys have not been scoring runs, considering that the matches were being played on flat tracks they have scored these runs at snails pace as if they are playing a test match and always left a huge and improbable task for the batsmen to follow.

    Afridi scored 73 runs in 4 matches at an average of 24.33, except the second match he failed miserably with the bat in almost all the games and failed to fulfill his role and became a liability, but his batting statistics for the series do match his recent career statistics so no body is surprised, he failed the team and his captain with his bowling, in recent past his place in ODI’s was justified because of his bowling and he has been playing as a bowling allrounder, his bowling stats for the series are as follows :

    37 overs no maidens 223 runs @ 6.02/per over 2 wkts and a SR of 111.5

    Considering the fact that the matches were being played on slow and turning pitches suitable for spin bowlers his performance was pathetic, he has been in good bowling form of late and was expected to bowl well in conditions suitable for spin bowling, the Indian spin bowlers bowled well on the same tracks, his bowling was erratic, he bowled to many bad balls, and failed to bowl according to the field. I am glad that he has been sent back to Pakistan and is not picked up for the test series. I am surprised at the supporters of Afridi even after these pathetic performances they would still like to see him as a captain of Pakistan team and about Younis Khan his supporters are saying that he is a great tactician and since he is always smiling “even though on occasions “shamelessly” after losing his wicket” it reflects the aggression in him., I would buy this if he displays a little bit of his tactics in his batting like Miandad and plays according to situation and for the team.

    Since the WC in all the key matches these two have failed us consistently and especially Younis Khan on very few occasions his batting performance has been helpful for the team in achieving a victory. The final of the T20, the last ODI between SA and Pakistan where Younis lost his wicket when he was all set to score big, and Afridi as usual threw away his wicket while attempting a crowd pleasing shot without even giving a second thought about the situation of the match. I blame Malik for being too soft on these players he should show them the stick for their non serious and poor performances if he wants to survive as a captain.

    PS: I have never felt shy of criticizing my so called “girayeens” at least I have the guts to do that unlike some others who regard their “girayeens” even better than Sachin even if their average is in 20's consistently. And if the team won without our favorite players then it should be deemed as “Noora Kushti” how ridiculous, The fact is that India played as hard as they could, Sachin started his innings the same way, Dhoni and Yuvraj played their normal game even the tail fought till end.

    If looks could kill then I guess Afridi would have a record more impressive than Bradman and Sami would have more wickets than Mcgrath.lol.

  • Aslam on November 20, 2007, 19:38 GMT

    Salaam, Namastae and Hello to all the readers, It is interesting reading all the different opinions and comments on the matters we have no control over. The ODI series is over between two good teams and the TEST series starts. I wish we could set aside the political and national differences and enjoy the game itself and applaud the GOOD plays of either side and critique as to how the bad plays could be avoided. (Note to self: WAKE UP!!!) I have been following the series closely and have enjoyed the good plays and really gotten frustrated at the bad plays lack of effort. These are professionals playing at the top level and we expect them to make the plays that we think should be made. Kamran and Younis watched and admired the ball go by them off Saruv's bat, not once but twice as Shoaib looked on in disgust as did I. Kamran was not the only player behind the wicket who did not fare well, OUR newest HERO Sarfaraz missed a stumping opportunity on Yuvi, which in my opinion should have been made even ba a club player. So at the moment I am not jumping on the band-wagon to bench Kamran and get Sarfaraz in on the team for good. Misbah almost had a carbon copy of Kamran and Yonis as he dropped a catch and made good on the next attempt. Hats off to Salman Butt for the series he has played, I really think he could be the future "go to" batsman for Pakistan. Another oneof the up and coming players (the next go to fast bowler) when Mr. Akhtar is gone is Sohail Tanvir. What a match he had Afridi needs to be reminded that he needs to carry his weight and he needs to think for the betterment of the team first, but at the same time he should not be put in a spot where he has to carry the whole load, his energy is needed on the team and the omission from the test side in my opinion is a mistake. The two Y's for Pakistan need to play more like the "ANCHORS" they are supposed to be and for the most part they have done so with a few lapses in judgment. When chasing a big total they needed to be reminded of the importance of the run-rate. But with all the criticism and pressure we are putting on the Pakistan’s side we need to realize that the team is still young and needs another year and some practice to play with each other to be of some threat to the Indian side. The experimentation with the top order needs to be given time and a combination needs to be given a chance to work together as a team rather than replacing the non-successful of the tandem. The seniors need to set examples by hard work and good work ethics. Let us give credit to where it is due: India. They have played well and deserve what they have. Good luck to both the teams and may the best team win, I hope it is Pakistan. On paper they look very formidable but it is a different story on the FIeLD. Missed catches, bad shot selection and NO-BALLS will not win any matches.

  • Adeel on November 20, 2007, 18:32 GMT

    This is in response to JAVED A KHAN's comment on the blog. I seriously doubt this guys cricketing knowledge. I hate it when people start criticizing senior players even if they had only one bad series. Our team needs the fire of Shahid Afridi. Did you even see his economy rate during 20 20 cup? just to remind you that this format of the game is bowlers graveyard. Moreover, his batting average in 2007 has been around 40. Please dont insult our senior players on public forums. They are called 'senior' because they have managed to perform time and time again and secure a place in the team for a long time.

    I still think that Malik is the best choice for Pakistan for he has the aggression in his batting and he has done really good at domestic level. The killer pressure of Indo-Pak series is hard to manage, especially for a young captain like Malik. It's only a matter of time, before you'll see him steering Pakistan towards consistant fighting attitude. And he is not a willow speaker....and how authenthic you think is the news that Pakistani players are partying in India and signing contracts and not focusing on cricket? How can you even say this on a public forum when you don't have the source of the news? I seriously hate those Pakistanis who sit abroad and keep saying these bullshit about our heros. Shame on you.

    And Ramiz Raja is the best commentator Pakistan ever had. At least he is intelligent and witty enough to quickly reply to Indian commentator's taunts and stupid comments. And he was making a joke about the ticket. I guess you're not mature enough to understand that.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 20, 2007, 18:28 GMT

    Shoaib Malik's reinforcement rookies namely, Mohammad Sami, Faisal Iqbal and Danish Kaneria were stranded at the Delhi airport upon arrival and none of the BCCI officials showed up at the airport or to arrange for their immigration requirements etc. Check out this link from the daily DAWN of today.

    http://www.dawn.com/2007/11/20/spt4.htm

    I don't understand why the PCB bends over backwards in extending their extra courteous hospitality and VIP treatment towards any foreign team visiting Pakistan or even to their "lulloo punjooz" when they come to Pakistan.

    I think once you give them a tit for tat treatment and ignore them, then they will learn from the taste of their own medicine and then they will give the Pakistanis the respect they deserve.

    Its a shame and a disgrace for Nasim Ashraf and the rest of the PCB jokers and even the commentators like Ramiz Raja and Amir Sohail who are out there partying in India and teeceeing them for petty reasons. Shame on them.

  • SialKhotian on November 20, 2007, 16:41 GMT

    Muhammad Ramzan at November 20, 2007 4:44 AM above wrote, "like Shoaib Malik I am also a "Sialkhotian" and I am proud to be one."

    For those who don't know "Sial" in Hindi is for Fox or Jackal. And "Khotian" in Pubjabi is plural for donkeys. What a combination! I am impressed.

    There is also a village in Punjab which is called just "Khotian." They have farms and they specialize in breeding animals. So who else is from there? Please raise your hands up and join Malak Band Wagon called Khota-Gaari.

  • saleem on November 20, 2007, 16:30 GMT

    JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA --- u r just a nonsence knolege of cricket..please see some more matches and get a good knolege.. and then comment on this site.. plssssssssss plssssssssss

  • valeem on November 20, 2007, 16:15 GMT

    hiii everybody,,,, I had thought that, JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA has a very good knolege of cricket. But the way he has criticises malik shows that, he is a layman .... sorry.. but u are.... The way he said --------Once again slowing the run rate between 25 - 35 overs and again throwing away his wicket by playing a shot by running down the pitch, swinging the bat like a fly-swat, that was a very ugly sight to see both the well settled players got out in similar fashion within a span of 10 balls. Once again they left the polishing and cleaning job for Misbah ul Haq. How can they expect him to play a match winning innings every time? Although, Misbah has not yet won a match, but he came very close to winning. Had Malik and Yousuf played sensibly they both would have scored centuries and the total would have been in the range of 330 - 340. ------------------ shows that..he has very less knolege of cricket.....

    please get good knowlege of criket. and have a talk in pak spin... Malik is one of the best batsmen pakistan has...As he scores very easly... take care bye

  • Osman Ali Khairi on November 20, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    For all the Karthiks, Ifrans, Jahangirs, Santas and Sammys that keep on unremittingly crawling into our side, yes, it’s a sublime feeling. This is ‘exactly’ what it feels like to win :) Since most of you are understandably, unaware of the ‘sensation’ that emanates from winning a home series against the arch-rivals, I don’t censure you for not knowing how to deal with it. As a corollary, I had till this point abstained from spoiling your fun by retorting to your numerous comments. Yes, it’s called tolerance and sportsman spirit. But ummm then again, since most of you aren’t exposed to these stipulations either, let’s not go into that. Trouble is, there are just SO many of you. Perhaps, it’s your idea of world domination? I don’t know. But since all of you keep posting outlandish and incongruous comments, I’m compelled to respond.

    So first of all, Mr. Raja Nandi, if we’re the ‘BOYS’ of cricket, then you’re the ‘TODDLERS’. Cause from what I recall, India’s first ‘overseas’ victory was against New Zealand in the year 1968. Yes, it took you almost 20 years to register your first test match win against a ‘decent’ opponent. We on the other hand won on our very first tour of England, beating one of the best teams at that point in time. Unfortunately for you though, it only gets worse. You see, after your victory in England in 1986, your brilliant team failed to win a test match series (abroad) for another 19 years. Forget about winning an entire series, your first test match victory in 14 years came against a Zimbabwe outfit. I sometimes still giggle over it. Yes, the men in blue have been a sensational outfit. Till 2003, your MEN in blue had notched up a phenomenal number of 3 test wins on foreign soil in the preceding fifteen years. Perhaps, the phrase ‘lambs abroad’ which was aptly coined for the Indian teams of the 80s and the 90s has slipped your attention? Or wait a minute, maybe it’s been conveniently shelved out of the picture Either way, I couldn’t care less. Your reluctance to accept the truth doesn’t alter reality. As for your record against US, the statistics speak for themselves. My brother from Ohio, Hammad Siddiqui, has already posted the relevant data for your use. Please feel free to verify it from cricinfo. Good day sir.

    As for Mr. Santa Singh and his fellow supporters, India indeed, dropped three key players. But Sachin, Dhoni and Yuvraj were the players in form and were importantly, still in the team. We on the other hand, dropped Shoaib and Younis (two of our three world class performers) in addition to Afridi. So if you were playing with an ‘A’ team, we were playing with a ‘B’ one. It’s a joke really, considering that you still managed to lose. We admit that our team isn’t as good as it used to be. But what’s amusing to me at least, is that your team still couldn’t beat us convincingly. Tsk Tsk.

  • amit on November 20, 2007, 15:22 GMT

    Very sad news for team India .... Srisanth and RP ruled out from first test due to injury. And making this news more saddening Munaf is included in the squad for replacement. First he is as fragile as a "glass-man" and can't bowl with intensity more than 4 5 overs. Second he is wanna be Mcgrath ... line length bowler trying to hit the deck most of the time. Its pity that more and more young bowlers just try to do that .. even academies are promoting that kind of bowling specially in sub-continent. But look at Brett lee now ... he is slowly perfecting the art of swing bowling. He is the (probably)only bowler who swings the bowl at 150+ speed. Recent held Ind-Aus series witnessed that. But in sub-continent people still go ga-ga over Mcgrath line and length kinda tight bowling. Com'n guys sub-continent have more to offer than just following a successful fast bowler. Its high time for all the batsmen to take an oath to destroy these wannabe Mcgrath (ala Munaf, Gul , Clark and many more). Let the fast bowling be an art rather than some boring mechanical run and hit the deck kinda thing. Peace! ;)

  • Nimra on November 20, 2007, 15:12 GMT

    I really like Sarfaraz...he is a good active keeper...he keeps shouting and motivating the team.He has good technique too unlike Kamran Akmal..and he is also quick!!! I also love Fawad Alam...he is surely our domestic hero..!!He is so humpy-jumpy and energetic...quite comical too!!!This gives a good effect on the other players of the team as well.He batted really well and bowled well too.Although he couldn't get a wicket but he he bowled very well and didnt give away too many runs unlike Abdur Rehman.Personally, I like Fawad more than Rehman! The future is bright for Pakistan cricket...they just need to groon these young players!!

  • Jahangir Murtuza from Hyderabad/Bristol on November 20, 2007, 12:12 GMT

    India won the series 3-2 (probably did not play seriously in last match becasue there was no coach to motivate or to be accountable ). Its an interesting fact isnt it. India has no coach still it has won T-20, England series won test and stretched ODI to last match, gave a tough fight to Aussies and clinically cleaned off Pakistan in ODI by the 4th ODI. On other hand pakistan has a coach who helped loose the T20, Lost the series to SA and finally to India. Guess Woolmer is happy he died rather than coach this pakistani team. Or is it the Indians are intelligent and Pakistan is...........;) allbrawn no brain....Would shudder to think if both had war going on.

  • Yas on November 20, 2007, 12:10 GMT

    Still one win..wow and everyone is going crazy with happiness. Makes me laugh that does, the Pak cricket team are a joke simple as that. They lost the 20/20WC final and then proceeded to lose both the Test and ODI series to SA on home soil and now losing the ODI series against India, what next?? losing the test series which seems to be a pretty good bet at the moment. Its embarrassing to watch these Pak cricketers, yeh so what they won the last game..well done but i would have been more happier and satisfied if they had beaten India on their home soil.

    Anyways im hoping that Pakistan beat India in the Test series but i highly doubt it. They are a team in shambles and disarray...other than a few good performances i wouldnt hold much hope for them.

  • Roshan on November 20, 2007, 11:34 GMT

    A Fair post by Zahid Irfan & I would like to congratulate him for the botherly language that he used for all our players...same from us my dear zahid & let me assure you that we all do support pakistan team when they are playing against other teams.

    Unfortunately some so called regulars of this blog are still spitting venom & trying to spoil the good air of relations which has just started to blow. For god sake whats wrong if pakistani players met our superstar shahrukh khan & enjoyed his company....I think some of the comments were straight out of the jealousy books.

    Some non sense, racial, & Hard coded blogger is quoting a illogical stat by saying India never defeated pakistan by big margins, I think he has forgotten a 4-1 odi series win by india in pakistan in 2005 & also a 4-1 series win in Toronto....No markes for guessing who this non sense is....none other than Javed A(nnoying) khan.

    By the way Mr.Javed Khan have you completed the big heavy book of Afridi for your test team selectors as I advised you to make last time?

  • stephen.philips on November 20, 2007, 11:12 GMT

    What rankings are you guys talking of when you claim pakistan is placed higher above India. Please check the cricinfo rankings . India is placed ahead of Pakistan in both ODI as well as tests. Oh if you guys are referring some pakistani internal make-us-feel-good-type-ignore-reality type of rankings then even if you guys are placed no 1 in the world it wont come as surprise because in dreams anyone can be best and in fantasy one is always thinking one is best. After all in Javed Khan of Montreals dream worls Afridi is better then Tendulkar, and thinks India did not win T20 but rather pakistan lost it just cos they felt bored to win that day. Dream world one can dream what one wishes. Sahi hai bidduuuu

  • Oshan Thapur on November 20, 2007, 10:58 GMT

    This is not fair to judge a captain after winning the last match of the series as series was already decided, though I would like to tell this thing to those people who doesn’t even understand bit of cricket and start criticizing a captain who had never been a captain and that’s his second or third major series . Once you start any kind of project in you life a good entrepreneur always thinking that he/she going to fail in it so do not be scared of losing. Taj Mahal wasn’t build in a day give him some time he will win some he will lose some let him experiment and get some experience he will be back with a bang. He is young he is energetic and he loves his cricket that’s the good sign for Pakistan cricket team. He was the right choice as a captain for Pakistan team and we should support him whether he win or lose.

  • Shabhir Murtuza from Dhaka on November 20, 2007, 10:03 GMT

    We Pakistanis are very emotional and not practical and we tend to ignore facts when it comes to judging the reality of

    a game.We seem to try to read so much positives in a game where we actually did not have a stiff opposition. The series was lost,so we played under no pressure of loosing and sometimes that helps cos the fear of loss was no

    longer on the mind enabling Shoaib Malik to take some aggresive decsions,which he normally is not known to take.

    The dead match at Jaipur meant that the Indians were not really motivated. It is one thing to talk about being charged

    but none of it was evident.Murali Kartik seemed more interested in just completing his quota of overs and saving his

    better spiining balls for tests since his place was confirmed.Even while chasing the Indians seemed to just want to

    hit 4s only and avoid running,and paid little heed to the field placements.Rohit sharma was the only one in indian

    team who wanted to make a mark for himself and so he applied himself seriously. Yuvraj was the other one who applied

    himself seriously but thats probably because he wanted to make a strong claim for test position. Dont think others

    really cared about the match.Tendulkar seemed to play more for classical strokes rather than a plan to chase which he

    normally does.

    The slice of good luck was with pakistan.Umpire shastri also gave Yuvraj out when he was clearly not out.Dhoni injured

    himself and seemed not so keen on staying in field,probably wanting to not aggravate the injury and risk not playing

    in the tests and so he tried to heave out the ball or normally from his past innigs we see that he leaves the

    fireworks till last and is usually calculative and cool in run chase.If the series had been at stake I am sure he would have played more seriously like we have seen him in past.Dont blame him becasue why would put in an extra effort in a match of no consequence and risk injury for test series.

    The match may possibly evoke false confidence in our team and Kumble might be just happy about it.What use is the

    confidence becasue when the actual bowlers come back, the confidence of having scored of part-time bowlers might eventually be more damaging.Do we really think that scoring a lot of runs of Yuvraj,Sehwag(basis of the 168 partnership) and co help in tackling Kumble,Harbhajan,RP.Will the Indian fielders be as casual?.Wont bowling to Dravid(hungry to prove himself to BCCI and likely to make Pakistan pay for BCCI mistake of dropping him from ODI),Laxman,Tendulkar be same as bowling to Gambhir,Uthhapa ,the kid Rohit sharma be the same. Wont the pressure of a test series loom on our team pysche ??Will they have the luxury of no pressure on them as in a dead rubber?Will they manage to take same risks in a game which has first test match at stake. I fear a loss may have done more good rather then the false confidence that is likely to creep in our team now.Last time a master innings from Inzi just manged us to level series. This time no one of Inzi class is in team.

    My only worry as Pakistani fan is we dont loose test series with 2-0 or 2-1 scoreline. Dravid is probably gonna take out his frustration and hopefully not against Pakistan.Tendulkar might just get fed of his 90 scores and may target thise series for bigger scores is my worry.Yuvraj might grab this opportunity to cement his place in test team and We may have to pay price for it. Laxman has been in sidelines and he must be eyeing big scores.That Jaffer fellow is known to be a sticky guy who scores big once he sets in.We dont have the 2 Ws quality bowlers to bother them.Asif is not present. Tanvir passed comments on Tendulkar after he took his wicket and Tendulkar is a guy who is known not to respond back verbally but with the bat and usually keeps such insults in his mind for revenge. Alas things look bleak.

  • Imran Ali on November 20, 2007, 9:59 GMT

    To: Shuja - Dubai. I agree with your comments. Referees/Umpires were always biased. Had it been Akmal instead of Dhoni Indian media would have made hue & cry of the issue. Even ICC officals are afraid of the power of the Indian media.

    Unfortunately Pakistan media is not so strong or we can say united like indian media. Even Pakistan commentators are biased against their own players (read: Rameez Raja).

    Another instance where Afridi & Gambhir were penalized. Whereas, there were more serious sledging happened during India/Aus series but none were penalized. Because both Indian & Australian boards are powerful.

    I think people like Kamran Abbasi & Osman Samiuddin should take up such issues with media & ICC.

  • a on November 20, 2007, 9:47 GMT

    malik is not a good captain.i think younus should accept captainship. atleast he'd be better than malik!

  • Karan on November 20, 2007, 9:39 GMT

    How excited everyone here is because of the last ODI win, it is good for Pakistan but I feel that they won only because India rested its top 4 players. If Zaheer, RP & Bhajji were playing then there was no way the score would have crossed 250-260. I feel even India changed their batting order to give everyone a chance and so we saw Uthappa and Rohit coming before Dhoni & Yuvi or else again it would be a diff result. Lastly they needed 130 runs in 100 balls with Yuvi-Dhoni at the crease which they would have done easily (with 2 overs to spare) had Yuvi not been given out wrongly and had DHoni not got injured. But since the series was won by us it did not matter. Now the tests will be exciting however it will be difficult to contain the Indian batsmen - Sachin, Rahul, Saurav, Laxman, Dhoni, Yuvi and Jaffer. They just beat England in England (no 2 ranked side) while Pakistan lost at home. So it is surely advantage India but I am sure the contest will be great like any India Pakistan match. As far as the pakistan team goes, they have talent and will need some time to start performing. They seem a bit short on confidence and with that they will play well. I feel that under Dhoni the team has done well with wins in England (with Rahul), win the T20 cup, had a close series with mighty Aussie, won the current series. Hence they are having confidence which is needed in cricket for players to perform and take risks. Delhi is always a turning track and so with a powerful batting and Kumble-Bhajji to bowl most of the overs, it looks unlikely that we will loose, if Pakistan bowl well and have good performances with the bat then it will be really interesting and good for the game. But frankly speaking - that is not likely to happen. Our batting is just too strong and so is the spin bowling.

  • MUHAMMAD NOUMAN on November 20, 2007, 9:18 GMT

    The last ODI of Pakistan against india was good but I dont understand that why malik show his captiancy in last ODI because he want to wind up the series with 3-2.but one thing is good that young players have prove them Fawad Alam & Sarfraz Ahmed

  • Hammad Siddiqi, Cincinnati Ohio on November 20, 2007, 8:52 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi, I respectfully apologize and request that you indulge me in another rebuttal/ response.

    Arif, you obvioussly missed the point here buddy. If you had been more inclined towards reading and comprehending what I had written, maybe you would have saved yourself the time you spent copying and pasting my words.

    I'm actually flattered that my opinion evoked enough sentiment in you (however misguided!) that you felt the need to regurgitate stats!

    The point I was making, and which you obviously missed due to your cerebral shortcomings was that the Pakistan team, in the last few years been susceptible to defeat against India.

    Since you like stats so much, try these on for size;

    Tests ODIs Matches played 56 113 Won by India 8 43 Won by Pakistan 12 66 Drawn/No result 36 4

    These stats my ignorant friend, are current as of November 18, 2007. From your own nonsensical diatribe, it can be gauged that of the 43 ODI's won by India to date, 12 have come from 2003 onwards. That means you mental midget, that more than a quarter of India's ODI victories over Pakistan have occured in the last four years!

    To spell it out for you Arif, as you are obviously a 'special' person, of the 92 ODI's played between the two teams from 1978/79 through 2003, India only managed to win 33 with the Greenshirts taking the lion's share. However, of the 21 played since 2003, India have managed to win 12.

    This brings me back to my original point; between 1978/79 and 2003, India was the proverbial naughty child that Pakistan regularly put across it's knee and spanked. However from 2003 onwards, the Indians to their credit, have succeeded in somewhat reversing the trend.

    My original comment was a lament, a nostalgic walk through yesteryear when Pakistan brought it's "A" game against India and our players were inspired and herculean. Much to the dismay of every Pakistan supporter, those days seem to have been swallowed in the mists of the past given our abysmal display over the last few years against "The Boys in Baby Blue".

    So let me reiterate, I fervently hope we beat India like a dhol in the upcoming Tests.

    Hopefully Arif, I've cleared the matter up for you. My primary aim is to educate you sufficiently,so you become a better person and don't jump the gun by criticizing that which you do not understand. I hope this was a lesson well-learnt which will avoid your being embarassed in educated company in the future.

  • Taimur Kamal on November 20, 2007, 8:13 GMT

    Just for those people who believe Shoaib Malik doesnt have a place in the team: Are you guys kidding me? Shoaib Malik doesnt have a place in the team? There is absolutely noone better than him in Pakistan apart from Mohd.Yousuf and Younis Khan. He is definitely one of our best batsman. He is capable to make big scores and not just 20's and 30's like most of our team. Thats all Imran Nazir ever does. We need another opener with Salman Butt who can actually go on to bat 50 Overs. Thats what openers should look to do in the first place. Openers are meant to be century makers. Salman Butt proved that he is much better than Imran Nazir, Mohd Hafeez and Kamran Akmal. He has 4 centuries now which is a big deal!. Unlike Imran Nazir who only has 2. One coming against zimbabwe in the dead rubber in the world cup. Pakistan doesnt need just 20's up the order and thats clearly what the selectors seem to be looking for. Coming back to Shoaib Malik his average of 34 is way better than anyone else our team can get.

  • srivathsan on November 20, 2007, 8:04 GMT

    While congratulating pakistan for the consolation victory ,which is good for the team morale,I fully agree with JAVED A KHAN'S views .I rather give more credit to tanveer for his fantastic bowling & HE IS MY MAN OF THE MATCH.Just imagine had one of the first 3 survived even for ten overs ,the match would have been india's favour not withstanding the dubious decision of yuvraj.Iam not taking away any credit from malik but fawd bowled really well though he might not have got wickets.The fact that he got respect from indians proves this point.HIs batting was really exhilarating & i wonder why he is not a regular in the oneday team.I bet one day he will be a very good test bowler also as he is not afraid to flight the ball .PCB SHOULD INVEST IN HIM NOW TO REAP BENIFIT FOR THE COUNTRY.As regards india ,they fielded very badly besides batting & lost to a better side on the day. Coming to test series,the comment of malik about kumble is not in good taste.I do not approve either of the captain commenting(negative) on the other.It is not our culture .Let us leave it to aussies,SA alone who believe in intimidating the opponents.If you have a praise ,then do it openly & not othrwise. ONE WHIPER FOR MALIK . KUMBLE IS SIMPLE , UNASSUMING &HAS HUMILITY TO THE CORE LIKE DRAVID WHICH IS SYNONYMOUS WITH THE REGION(KARNATAKA)HE BELONGS BUT HE IS VERY SHREWED & INTELLIGENT.PCB should have retained afridi for the test series in the place of abdul rehman.Though he may not be consitent with the bat ,but always good with the ball & can break the partnership.Added to this his batting is a bonus & he always plays well against india.I was really surprised at his ommission. At last akmal is rested & it is good both for pakistan & akmal himself.

  • j.amrith on November 20, 2007, 7:42 GMT

    Mr. Abdullah Faiz, the tone of your response was uncalled for. I fully agree that Sreesanth's goings-on when he takes a wicket are childish and boorish and he should be censured. I don't think Sohail Tanvir is in the same mould; as I said, his exuberance at getting Tendulkar is to be expected and generally Sohail seems a balanced and decent guy. Contrary to what you may think, we don't worship Tendulkar, that's all media and kiddie hype. And I am sure you don't worship the people who are now running your country and quashing all opposition including that magnificent cricketer, IMRAN KHAN !!

  • Rajiv Ramanujam on November 20, 2007, 7:01 GMT

    India took their foot off the pedal after winning the series..not to forget the backbreaking non stop and tough cricket they have played...after the world cup-south Africa,England,Oz ,t-20 now Pak.

    Please dont get carried away.India still remains the superior team.Pakistan is badly handicapped by Mohammed Asif's abscence,he is twice the bowler that shoaib is. It will still be a truggle, with Dravid back in the Test side,tendulkar in regal form... all the best Pakistan, but i am afraid India is winning this one too.the test series,i.e.

    One swallow does not make a summer.Malik is a calm ,composed guy, but nowhere near a natural leader like Younis Khan, whom I would make Captain any day over Malik.

  • Hussain Khan on November 20, 2007, 6:54 GMT

    Mr Abbasi, you have a habit of jumping to conclusions regarding a lot of Pakistani players. You were wrong about Afridi when he had just one good day at opening the batting a few games back. I hope you are right about Malik. I think its going to be a long and difficult process to master the skills and the work ethics to be successful and to compete with the likes of Australia or South Africa. Good luck Pakistan as I don't think there is going to be a big improvement any time soon.

  • abdullahshamim on November 20, 2007, 6:38 GMT

    malil is not an intellegent captain

  • J. Ahmad on November 20, 2007, 6:32 GMT

    I think Malik has to realize a few basics. It was his doing that Asif got injured, going into a test match with two fast bowlers and then not bowling your spinner the whole day, it is a wonder that Umer Gul didn't suffer more. That was against South Africa, and I hope it goes better against India but he has to realize there are other, more positive, ways of playing cricket. He has been on the negative side of things and thats something that really makes you want to have him go off the field so Younis Khan can take over. That guy is a cool captain!

  • Rauf lala on November 20, 2007, 6:29 GMT

    For the past 5 years i am listening to same old cliché that this is a young team and we are building team for future. in last 5 years we have not produced a single good player.

  • J. Ahmad on November 20, 2007, 6:25 GMT

    I think Malik has to realize a few basics. It was his doing that Asif got injured, going into a test match with two fast bowlers and then not bowling your spinner the whole day, it is a wonder that Umer Gul didn't suffer more. That was against South Africa, and I hope it goes better against India but he has to realize there are other, more positive, ways of playing cricket. He has been on the negative side of things and thats something that really makes you want to have him go off the field so Younis Khan can take over. That guy is a cool captain!

  • sunny on November 20, 2007, 5:55 GMT

    wow what sweet praises of 'good enuff to win a match under no pressure' team. KUDOS. The brave new face of Pakistan cricket, give me a break. Hey ever noticed Mr. Kamran only posts a new blog when Pakistan wins and he never mentioned Pakistan's loss in the series (the real big picture, perhaps). But then again if u Pakistan fans want to live in the wonderland of false hopes, Mr. Kamran is here to help

  • Hashar Muhmood on November 20, 2007, 5:53 GMT

    malik nshould listen all past super star.He should also discuss with yousaf and younis. in test sarfraz should give chance in 3 tests. if the pitch is slow then give both spinner good chance.you should not forget abdul Rehman.he got 12 wickets in 2 tests.he is better than kaneria. he can use rough in the pitch better than kaneria. fast bowler umer,shoaib.india would play with 2 spinners too.so according to pitch .in this pitch kumble out 10 pakistani players. good luck pakistan

    Hashar Muhmood Toronto

  • EAMiran on November 20, 2007, 5:26 GMT

    The problem with Malik, the rest of the team, and generally, many people in Pakistan is the "it's-in God's-hand", "not-our-kismet (destiny)" attitude. Hence the lack of remorse, and general apathy when the team loses. While this thought process may have some philosophical merit for the helplessly poor, and wretched that comprise a significant portion of our population, it is self-defeating in sports. As a result Pakistan, throughout it's history have remained underacheivers. Were it not for a few highly talented, hard-working and intelligent individual cricketers Pakistan would be wallowing with New Zealand and the West-Indies somewhere at the bottom of cricket's rankings. This, ofcourse, can still happen given the fact that our domestic cricket continues to churn out below par cricketers. Although I have mentioned this before, it is worth repeating that the highest scorers and wicket-takers in our domestic cricket are Pakistan's ex-test/odi rejects. This is how they keep coming back in to the side.

    Although Malik appears to have some common sense, he desperately needs to adopt a more aggressive attitude. There were glimpses of it in the 5th ODI - the question is can he continue to do so?

    Good to see Sarfaraz in place of Akmal and more importantly - see him do well. Now, this is a kid with the right attitude. Akmal at the best of time looks and acts like a deer caught in head-lights. Also good to see young Fawad play an aggressive little cameo with the bat, although I feel he is a defensive bowler who would much rather fire the ball into the pads and choke runs, rather than flight the ball in order to get more spin and deceive batsmen. Good utility player for ODI's at this time - would like to see him bat a bit more to see if he has the potential to get into the test side as a specialist batsman (who can bowl left-arm darts like Jayasuriya).

    Faisal Iqbal and Mohammed Sami in the test team? Discards and domestic cricket - I rest my case.

    "Motor-mouth" Kaneria has piped up again and now wants to target Tendulkar. Amongst his other targets were Lara, Pieterson, Kallis, Ponting and God knows who else. He should really shut up and try and get wickets for under a 120 runs.

    Finally those who feel that Pakistan's bowling attack is more potent without Akhtar are obviously on crack. Tanvir still has some way to go as he cannot bring the ball back in (a lefties out-swinger) to a right hander yet (at least I have never seen him do so). This is not to say that he cannot bowl an outswinger, because he can - only to a left-handed batsman where the ball starts outside a lefties off-stump and moves away i.e; down the leg-side for a right-hander. This is somewhat limiting in test cricket as a good right-hand batsmen can leave the ball moving away, knowing that an LBW is virtually eliminated. Having said that I would still play him ahead of a bowler who averages 50 runs per wicket in test cricket!

  • Ahmed Faran from China on November 20, 2007, 5:16 GMT

    hi!first of all i want to congratulate malik on his excellent allround performane in the last ODI.I think he is getting in to his groove.but there ar lote of weak aspects in pakistani teams.i think u people also noticed that there were only 3 genuine bowlers playing in the last match nd there was no any other bowler who can attack the indian batting line up!i think selectors should include Abdul Razzaq in pakistan ODI side.he is a class act.the other problem is of the opening batsman.i dont know why they are trying alot?they should give atleast a chance of whole series to a btasman as an opener nd lets see. this idea will never work of changing the openers after every single match.i think u have correctly described earlier that pakistan players should be aggressive in their approach. I pray for the success of pa team in upcoming teast series.inshallh they will play alot better in the coming matches

  • Jahangi r Khan on November 20, 2007, 5:13 GMT

    Pakistan is falling in a trap. The Indians probably let Pakwin the last match so their confidence will be high that the younger players performed and too them to victory.As already seen in the blog,we the Pakistanis will start beleiving that older players are not putting effort and might put in new people and then Kumble,RP and that spinner Kartik will have a gala of time.

  • Muhammad Ramzan on November 20, 2007, 4:44 GMT

    I got through most of comments,suggessions mentioned and got a conclusion the it is that all we Pakistani just love Cricket, Crickters and always want to see our Team on Top, yes it is nothing but great love with Pakistan thats why we explains our feelings and suggesstion i must appriciate Mr. Abasy for providing such fantastic Plat form for express our feelings and wishes, Now come to the Point I am Sialkotian and proud on Malik, such a telented Man always puts Hundred Percent in Matches no doubt he is Briliant but for leading a team he must have to wait and improve his English Language, handle the media( i realy very dispointed when a Pakistani can not properly reply to English Media plz get involve to improve for the respect of Pak), quality of Handle the Hard time on Fiel, you would agreed with me that if the Commandar of Army Group would Narvous before his fellows how the rethem of others can go ahead with Positives, So Come on i would request the Selecters and Board just have a Brief meeting with all the Guys and explain them that when you eleven are in the ground we Eighteen Crore People just sit ahead of T.V, Makes Prayers and just get hurted badly when you dont do better, lose and win is the Part of game but you people must look like together like a family where every member must look like deseving win and at the very end i would like to ask Cricket Board You Sirs learn to respect and support the Players done and doing very Well for for Country, like Sachin is doing well but variable with his form but they supported him because they want to see a Name of his country in highest Run getters and other records and why not we? is Sachin is the better Player than our Inzi? Never get the voting from all over the world i am sure Inzi will get double vote you can see the team struggling in this tour against India and test is just onword plz ask Inzi to come back and serve the country for atleast coming World Cup plz plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz this is the request of maximum Pakistanis, plz leave own benifits and just do it for the respect of our Country i hope this will be very good sign and every Pakistani give you the credit thanks Muhammad Ramzan Heal Jattan, Chaprar Sialkot

  • Imran Shahzad on November 20, 2007, 4:28 GMT

    G. for Gillmore Girls of Montreal, are u Gill Duceppe or Andre Boisclair the gay leader of a major political party? I dont understand why you are ashamed of Javed khan's writing. I am also from Montreal but I dont feel ashamed or see anything wrong about Javed khan's writing or his tarnishing the image of Montreal. Actually being a foreign student here I miss the game of cricket in this francophone region and I am so pleased to be on this blog and happy to see that someone from Montreal is also so much interested in cricket like I am and he writes with so much passion and enthusiasm makes me laugh feel happy and proud. I think your fear is in your mind and by the way who is Shahrukh Khan? You Indian guys you live your lives in the movie world, come out of the den there is a whole world outside the cinema house or the TV lounge of your basements.

  • fhs on November 20, 2007, 4:15 GMT

    1) Malik: Dislikes: What I don’t like about Malik is that he looks for excuses upon defeats in the post match interviews as opposed to admitting mistakes and pledge for improvements. I don’t think it is good sign for the team leader. Likes: Irrespective of Pakistan win in the final ODI, Malik was seen dynamic in the field throughout. It was impressive. In order for him to be effective as a leader, he needs to keep this attitude from now and on.

    2) Wicketkeeper: I wish NOT to see Akmal in the 1st Test. It is not only good for the team but also good for Akmal. It is time for him to regain his confidence rather than keep playing and jeopardize his career. Sarfraz, seems a great prospect, should be given the chance. It is a right time for Sarfraz!

    3) Wrong selection: No idea what made selectors to pull Alam and Rao and bring Faisal and Sami in for the Tests. I strongly believe Alam and Rao are way better than Faisal and Sami in any format.

    Go Pakistan!

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 20, 2007, 4:04 GMT

    Destiny is often referred as: "A tyrant's authority for crime and a fool's excuse for failure." But, brave Malak Sahab responded like a twit and a stooge, he stood there emotionless and said: "we are professionals and we have to live with that." And, more bravery was displayed in these comments, "Kumble's captaincy would be an advantage for Pakistan." Once again there was no effort in thinking, he simply blabbed it like a simpleton.

    A lot of folks, including Malik himself, confuses bad management with destiny that is why he believes in whatever happened - we have to live with that! The general belief is, destiny is written, destiny is preordained and we are destined for whatever happens, it is like the Yiddish proverb: "If a man is destined to drown, he will drown even in a spoonful of water." Yeah, sure but, first he will disintegrate into thin air and reincarnate himself like an amoeba and then dive into that spoon full of water. The fact is all great men believe they can control their own destiny, and they can be what they want to be. For them, destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is not a thing to be achieved by waiting for things to happen your way, for that you need the willpower and determination and some common sense to achieve it. But dimwits believe in kismet, fate and they are content with failures by saying: 'we are professionals we have to live with that.'

    Anyways, it is good to see that some regular bloggers have aired similar views as mine about Shoaib Malik and his so-called "destiny." According to Robert Burton, "Marriage and hanging go by destiny." Had Shoaib Malik lost this 5th ODI, the Pakistani supporters back home would have hanged him by his (ooops) horns and that would have been his destiny. But, "marry-kill" happened in Jaipur and Malik managed to change the course of his so-called destiny. Lo and behold !Shoaib Akhtar wants to master his destiny by becoming a Master. He has announced his marriage plans, but why the "hello" did he do that while he is in India and that too, in the middle of the series? For him it would be better to get hanged rather than getting married, because someone on this blog thinks that he looks like a gay! I would say to that person: "it takes one to know one." LOL at pulling your strings. But, jokes aside, I am glad that we have similar views about the team (except for the one that I've mentioned above).

    Exactly, that is my point too. I have noticed the players were appearing to be extremely friendly in the 5th ODI as if this is some kinda "noora-kushti." The possible reason could be, India had already won the series in Gwalior and it wasn't a do or die situation for them at Jaipur. So, it was like giving the Pakistani team a slap and then a lolly pop. An age old therapy for kids to stop them from crying by giving them a lolly pop. As for the Pakistani players they were feeling morally obliged to give a "Colgate Smile" for the camera. Because, they have won a few advertising contracts. So, this trip to India is not about cricket but, mainly about friendship and business. Rather business first and friendship later and no game. The Pakistani Awaam or the masses are really stupid to get emotional about their players and their game!

    I am surprised to read the underhand comments by someone who is often very sensible in making his comments, but he made some real trivial comments this time. First he said; the team won because of, "the exclusion of selfish, non co-operative and under performing players." And then he spilled the beans later, by saying it openly that, "Afridi, and Younis Khan the only two players who have not been co-operating with him (Malik) and are not under his (Malik's) control." Hence, without them, Malik was able to lead the team aggressively! This was also because of the exclusion of the other two players, Shoaib Akhtar and Kamran Akmal! Wow, what a masterly reasoning I must say! I am sorry to read these comments coming from someone I had a lot of respect. But, as the expression goes, "blood is thicker than water," so is regionalism and jingoism dearer than unity and one nation theory. After all, "a girayeen, is a girayeen is a girayeen."

    And, Younus Khan, is one of those players who wouldn't get a nod from me in the playing XI for a 50 over or a twenty20 game. He is a very good player for test matches. But calling Younus Khan as un-cooperative is not just a joke but, it is shockingly slanderous and it will create unnecessary ripples and animosity from his supporters. Because, he is one person who is always seen smiling, laughing most of the time and helping Malik in setting up field placements. There was a general belief that Malik and Afridi are comrades and they enjoy great camaraderie, which was so obvious from the way Malik used to come running up to hug Afridi on his taking a wicket or a catch! But, the corporate jungle rule applies everywhere and sports arena is not different. You turn your back, I stab you. As regards performance in the first 4 ODI's, like I have mentioned in my previous post, someone on this blog also pointed out Malik's average as 17.4. So, on what basis he can drop Afridi and prove that he is better than him? Who knows how much he would have scored if he had played? But, now Malik can brag and so also his supporters, because Malik has reportedly mastered his so-called destiny? What a load of cow manure. Sorry Mr. Abbassi this is not just for you because of your writing this thread, but it is a fact that how people can change perception about players or the team with just one score or one win.

    Finally, I am happy that someone else also noted Ramiz Raja's antics and pinpointed where his loyalties are placed and he wrote here in detail about how Arun Lal and Raja both talked about the LBW decision that went against Afridi, whereas, in the same match when Tendulkar was plumb in front of the wicket Arun Lal was quick to point out that the hawk-eye is mere guidelines but umpire is the best judge I guess, and it was a good decision in the end! This is what we say in Urdu, "Chit bhee meri, putt bhee meri." Heads I win, tails you lose.

    For some reason while quoting and responding to the opinions and views of others, I did not mention the names of any of the bloggers this time. But, I am sure they are old enough and, clever enough to make out about whom I am talking about. And I have also deliberately ignored those mickey mouse jeepers and their comments that are usually directed towards me personally, because if I do respond to them then, they get airy, pompous and flatus-reliving creatures. All I can tell them is grow up and write something about cricket instead of worshiping me all the time.

    PS.

    GROW UP .... reminds me of the comment that some people are objecting in calling Malik "a young captain". Its not the age, the fact is he has such a baby face that he will always look like a baby! And not just his looks, but his expressions, actions and gestures are also baby like. And someone mentioned that this time Malik was seen, "yelling at the fielders for slight fumbles." Yeah, he was seen yelling like "Apaas & Bajees," there wasn't any manly gesture or expression in it. Using this notion, one may assume that Malik was unable to yell at Younus Khan and Shahid Afridi, because they are seniors? Mind you they both are as good in fact better fielders than Malik himself. Yes, he was seen "gently yelling" at Rao Ifti for his repeated mis-fielding, instead of one run Rao gave away four runs and not once but twice. Rao cannot bend his back while fielding in the deep and Malik was yelling at Rao by telling him, "can't you bend your back like I do? If you don't, then you won't be where I am today." I think Malik was leading hereby example. Bravo!

  • Fasahat on November 20, 2007, 3:59 GMT

    Shoaib Malik needs more time to grow as a captain.He is really confused once on the field.He can,t make the right decisions,can,t make the right bowling changes.His decision for selecting the playing eleven is poor.He played Kamran Akmal knowing that Kamran Akmal is a night mare behind stumps.Well i think Pakistan should think of persuing with Shoaib Malik as a Captain.Younis khan is the right choice to lead Pakistan.He is really agressive.Mailik lacks the agression that today,s captians should have to lead the side.

  • shazad - California on November 20, 2007, 3:49 GMT

    I salute malik for including finally two deserving players from the heart of Pakistan- Karachi. It is now quite evident and it has been proved that you cant succeed without merit. Everyone have been seeing the poor performance of Akmal but nobody was willing to give a chance to another wicket keeper. We should give Sarfaz Ahmed another chance in test matches so that he can gain more experience behind the stumps and Kamran Akmal will learn from a junior wicket keeper. Afridi should also learn lesson from not only from MS Dhoni but also from Fawad Aalam about playing according to situation and delivering good results.

  • Arshad Khawaja - USA on November 20, 2007, 3:26 GMT

    It was nice to see Pakistan winning the last game but was useless. Malik needs to learn how to talk during an interview, there is no body language present, he is good handy cricketer but not as a leader. Faisal Iqbal oh my!oh my ! I am not sure when we can dump that guy. There is much more talent awaiting for a chance but this PURCHEE guy has not done any thing in his career. Fawad Alam should be given a chance in place of Misbah. Roa Iftekhar he is Ok but not a match winner, Sami is a better choice than him. Karam Bhai app bus kar doo, time pora ho gya yaar, plz let Sarfraz take over man !!!! plz. Mr. Yunus Khan yaar agar ek Khudday player koo bhe 250 One day 100 test main chance do tu chul hee parray ga akhir.

  • Arif on November 20, 2007, 3:24 GMT

    To Mr Hammad Siddiqi, Cincinati Ohio who said "I can't believe we can't beat India! this is INDIA! the old foe, our erstwhile bunnies for chrissake! World Cup Jinx apart, we usually struck the fear of Bhagvan in our neighbours from across the LOC. What the heck happened? Have they gotten better or have we just gotten worse? Have they finally forgotten the memories of Sharjah '86? and have we? If we don't beat the Indians like 'dhols'in the Tests, my faith will be irreperably shaken."

    I dont know in which world you are living. This is the record for past 3 tests and 4 ODI series between Pakistan and India

    Tests ----- 2005(in Pakistan) Series won by Pakistan 1-0 2004(in India) Series Draw 1-1 2003(in Pakistan) Series won by India 2-1

    ODI --- 2007(in India) India 3-2 Pakistan 2005(in Pakistan) India 4-1 Pakistan 2004(in India) India 2-4 Pakistan 2003(in Pakistan) India 3-2 Pakistan

    It has been even in tests for the last three series, while India has been beating the dhols out of Pakistan in the last 3 out of four ODI series. So stop making stupid statements just for the sake of the column.

  • Haroon on November 20, 2007, 2:03 GMT

    I have noticed both positive and negative remarks from different people in this thread. What everyone needs to realize is that media plays an important role in any given society. If writers say positive things about players than that will boost their morale, not only will this be good for our cricket team, but it will also knock some sense in our community too. Once things are slowly and gradually put into one's mind, they start thinking like that and at the end having such an attitude will lead to prosperity.

    It is true that Malik definitely has some flaws and even people with a common sense of cricket can notice his mistakes. However we must keep in mind that he's fairly new at this stage and was given the responsibility to lead a team which came out of a disaster. I have discovered by living overseas that our community cannot tolerate losing, which is good, however we should also have the courage to be on the other side as well because winning is not the only part of the game. Let the guy fasten up his seat belt and know the pro's and con's of being a captain. He won't know everything in one day.

  • Awas on November 20, 2007, 0:43 GMT

    The last thread closed prematurely so my comments didn’t get posted so here again.

    JAVED A KHAN

    Statistics may show a different picture to what reality is but the fact is that the names such as Bari and Rashid Latif were never associated with dropping sitters. Alan Knott who was considered to be the best keeper in his time, also once said Bari is the best keeper when asked who he considers is currently the best. I did however agree that Kamran Akmal’s talent is in batting.

    khansahab

    I guess we all have suffered a degree of censorship and likewise I never thought I would continue writing after my initial couple of postings. Here, agreeing with JAVED A KHAN , I would also say that we should write without inhibitions and shouldn’t get disheartened. By the way, I am too of a conciliatory type by nature, which is why I suggested truce once when there was a war of words between you and JAVED A KHAN.

    Roshan

    Whether I am “following” someone or not is your own little perspective arising from somewhere in not so bright corner of your head, but it’s a shame that you are getting all jealous. By the way, I don’t do idol worshiping. Instead of focussing on the Indian fast bowlers that we were discussing when I thought you were being modest, you are beginning to show your true colours again. So I better not waste my time.

  • najib zaman on November 19, 2007, 23:40 GMT

    i have said before and i will say it again, our future openers are no other than salman butt and imran nazir, thats it, why trying some other stupid openers when they fail comprehensively? fawad alam is a talent and he needs to be in the international environment alot more than once in a while games, please this guy is our future and pcb are nothing but trying out some stupid people who have done good in the past. akmal is a history and its time to move forward and bring in sarfaraz ahmad and let him show his ability. and what are bowlers like iftikhar anjum and umar gul doing in international level i dont understand, they are not wicket takers like sohail tanvir, so please start the future with better bowlers like anwar ali, jamshed ahmad and akhtar ayub, start bringing them in and let them groom around shoaib akhtar and mohammad asif and they will prove too hot to handle, just because alot of players dont do well in domestic level doesnt mean they will do bad in international level. look at india, they have ganguly and tendulkar to destroy the opening bowlers, then comes gambhir, sehwag, uthappa and sharma....and if we get lucky and get through them, which hardly happens, yuvraj and dhoni are a combination that needs to be stopped and go through them or else we have achieved nothing. i would want to have butt and nazir to open in all forms of game, with shoaib malik to come one down and then yousuf, younis and misbah. and they all need to be there till 35 overs and then bring in afridi, sarfaraz ahmad, fawad alam, sohail tanvir and then shoaib akhtar or mohammad asif.... if the pitch plays a role in spin then keep afridi, otherwise let him get rest or let fawad alam rest and bring in extra bowlers like jamshed ahmad, anwar ali and/or akhtar ayub because they will do their job unlike anjum and gul, they are okay bowlers who will do some wow once in a while but they are not hard to hit all over the park and i believe tendulkar is enjoying and so are others. i never believed from the Wasim and waqar era we would get to see this. think pcb for once please just think and u know wat to do, keep nazir and butt as openers and they will provide the best opening partnership since saeed anwar and aamir sohail. shoaib malik needs to stay at one down and play hard and stick to the wicket and he will be our best choice, Mr. Geoff Lawson, i am just a pakistani fan who have simply been disappointed by team pakistan since 1999 and few highs and mostly lows are not what i crave for, so please try what i ask for and u wont be disappointed. and try to keep them in odi and test and assure players that they are not fighting for their places so they can play comfortably and confidently then u will see all the positive. i hop pcb look at this and do something good about it.

  • G. Gill on November 19, 2007, 23:29 GMT

    Kamran, I am confident that most of your readers would love you to impose a word limit on submissions. I guess if it is longer than 1 screen it is too long. I too live in Montreal in the perennial fear of my city’s reputation being wrecked by unceremoniously long submissions.

    The test series will provide some interesting performances. By the way Mr. Javed Khan of la belle ville – ‘that Indian actor’ is called Shah Rukh Khan – it is always a good idea to take some time off cricket and relax with a movie.

  • Khizer Ifran on November 19, 2007, 23:04 GMT

    hahaha! Terrific comments by Osman Ali Khaire. I think Kamran Abbasi should give Osman, Javed and Irfan(UK) their own blog space. Shoaib Malik should be persisted with. Younis is unpredictable ......so I really don't thinl we have anotha choice. The kid will learn. And what is wrong with Rameez bhai? Excellent observations by once again, both, Osman and Javed. I'm happy that other fannns have also felt this way n ave noticed this. LEt's hope Pakistan wins the test series so we have something to rejoice abt!!! All the way Pakistan!

  • Sheriff - Toronto on November 19, 2007, 23:01 GMT

    After Inzy's retirement, Abdur Razzak's departure, Sohaib Akhtar's long absence & bad health, shameless ouster from world cup completely destroyed the strength / confidence and image of our cricket team. To rebuild a strong team once again will take its time as Rome wasn’t built in one day

    New team is still in building process; new talents like Fawad, Sarfaraz and Tanvir who impressed the cricket world are being tried and hopefully they will be given chances quite regularly (optimistically thinking), and many more such talents are in queue. Shoaib Malik still being very young as captain trying hard to walk in captain’s shoes which also will take some time to show the kind of wisdom and talent he has, but again all this will take time and we will soon be comparing his talents with other legends

    There is always light at the end of the tunnel – at the moment patience is the wisdom.

  • Razi on November 19, 2007, 22:41 GMT

    You missed very important point about grouping, Malik needs to be above his personal likes and dislikes. We have seen that despite poor performance given by Kamran but he has been a part of the team.That is contradictory to corporaorate governess and professionalism. We have lot of talented players and they are ready to perform if they gets a chance. We dont need poor performer and it is time to get rid of - Imran Nazir - kamran Akmal - Afridi

  • faruk Khan on November 19, 2007, 22:20 GMT

    Haseeb Ahmed, I think you're comments are devoid of any logic and do not seem to be informed by facts either. What options do you think PAK has? Yousef only has a few years left and has otehr problems anyway. And Younis has delcined the captaincy not once but twice! We simply have no otehr option except to go with Shoaib--who defnitely does command a place in this team.

  • Ehtasham Ahmad - UK on November 19, 2007, 22:14 GMT

    Oh come on guys .... its Cricket, you can get one good one and thats it your innings end, yes we should critical with the performances of our cricket team, as thats what make them better ... but on the other hand we should be partial, yes it HURTS when Pakistan losses ... i read so many of you saying we won because of BIG 4 were not playing .... dont you think we lost the matches because of Yousuf playing slower in 20-35 overs ... Youth is not the only answer if it was bangladesh would have been worlds number one team, with youth you need some one with a steady head to guide them, hence Younus and Yousuf are important, there is no one in Pakistan cricket team who give more then 100% then these two .... I see people are critical of Afridi, yes he is been around for 11 years but how many cricketer you have in the world who have played over 200 ODI's and still have a strike rate of over 100 not many .... in fact SHAHID KHAN AFRIDI is on top of the list ... TOP ... all the ricky pontings, KP's and what nots are under him ... his role is to go out and slog if it connects good for the team, if not you got 10 other players to prove why they are in the team, Afridi not only bring that to the team, hise leg breaks, his fielding and to all of you's surprise his support for the captain is added plus.

    Try youngster, Fawad is great i saw his energy first hand when i went to see 20-20 in South africa, he was first to enter the ground and was the last one out even thou he only played few matches ..... Kamran must go not because i am saying so but i think international cricket has taken its toll on him give him a break for few months and he will be back to his usuall best.

    Please be patient, these senior 4 were the reason we were world number 2 (ODI) and 3 (Tests) rakings, and we will be there just be patient and keep on supporting our team in a postive way.

    PS: Just because murali has taken 4 wickets for 400 runs @ average of 100 each doesnt mean he is no godd any more ....

  • pakistanizindabadi on November 19, 2007, 21:56 GMT

    MALIK IZ DOING fine. he needs a chance and plays the games really serioulsy. he deselected Fawad Alam only because he was brand new, and didnt wana take risks. he needs time. inzamam took alot of time to become a good captain, so did ponting, i think Shoaib Malik is doing fine. pakistan and india are the same, only that people think about it in a different perspective. pakistan are equal. no difference. Allah (s) has created everybody the same. so stop fighting about who's better. " We loose as a team, we win as a team." take it easy...

  • Hammad Siddiqi, Cincinnati Ohio on November 19, 2007, 21:08 GMT

    For the record, I don't usually like to comment on another reader's comments since everyone is entitled to their two cents.

    However I feel it would be remiss of me not to take exception to some comments by Mr. Euceph Ahmed. He says "is it just me or is it true that Shoaib Akhtar looks more and more gay with each passing day?"

    Since when has a cricket player's sexual orientation or dress sense become an issue? If Shoaib likes to flex his sartorial muscles, wear pink panties, listen to show tunes and follows Broadway musicals, why should we care as long as his cricket skills do not suffer. Cheap shot Mr. Ahmed.

    Also, as to your comment regarding Shoaib Mailik's silence regarding the arrest of Imran Khan; don't you think Pakistani Cricket is politicised enough as it is? Why should a cricketer, who's only job is to play sport, comment on something beyond his control? You can argue that our cricketers are our ambassadors and have a responsibility and all that jazz, however theres a branch of government called the Foreign Office who are better equipped and informed towards commenting on Pakistan's domestic policies. Don't get me wrong, I have an immense amount of respect and admiration for Imran Khan. I would go as far as to say that after Abdul Sattar Edhi, he's probably the greatest Pakistani alive. Having said that, when he descended into the murky swamp that is Pakistani politics, it was an educated decision and jail time was a sure fire eventuality. Why should Malik or others wear arm bands in protest? They are not politicians or official spokemen for Pakistan except on matters pertaining to cricket and cricket alone.

    I would like to add that I respect Mr. Euceph's opinion and hope that he reciprocates the same courtesy, however focus on sexual orientation and politics are better left out of this great sport.

  • Under_House_Arrest on November 19, 2007, 21:06 GMT

    I love discussions at this blog because of passion displayed by pakistanis for cricket. the only sour note is when someone from montral starts boring us from irrelevant commentory and non-sensical comments (like moYo is great because he hits sixes when near centuries and tendulkar is selfish becayse he has reached 90's six times this year and his avg is around 44 and strike rate around 85-90 after good 400 games.) This javed khan dude, the proud canadian, is suffering from something that might require colonoscopy soon!! It is good to support our great contry but to lie like this gives us all a bad name. moreover, this guy changes his predictions and opinions with every blog.

  • atif on November 19, 2007, 20:52 GMT

    well there we go again.a silver lining amongst the dard clouds.just when we think it's over,it sucks,these guys do not want to win they lack winning attitude,poise and deciplin that leads a group of 11 poeple to the promise land we see a mighty mouse attitude of aftab alam we see serfaraz showing us how wickets should be kept we see imran nazeer actually trying to play with a plan(even though it failed but still shows that if you really put your head to it you might be able to stay on the wicket for more then 5 overs)and then we have yousuf,wow.thats all i can say 10 of us were sitting in my friends livingroom in sugarland Tx witnessing yet another landslide of a disappointment from our TOP batting oder after loosing three top oder batsman for 15 runs,and then came Yousuf and and we saw a meastro starting conducting a simphoney.There is nothing wrong with our talant,In my openion what we are missing is a real coach and a real captain.Shoaib is a hell of a player,a gem of a allrounder and an adiquate fielder but he is not a captain,he is trying his best but still he has a lot to learn before he should be given a role of a leader.I think we have a great captin in yousuf who is not only seasoned but also has shown that he is a integral part of the team weather it is 5 dayer or a one day.Just becasue indias experiment went well with dhoni doesnot mean that we should follow them bliend folded.In the end i think pakistan still has a pretty good chance of levelling the series if we play our cards right.We have salman butt who always performs well against india,Younus and yousuf are both in form and pakistan has an addiquete seemer squad in shoaib,tanweer and gul.I say hit'em hard and hit'em were it hurts atif

  • Hassan Shah on November 19, 2007, 20:39 GMT

    Shoaib Malik has been playing International cricket for the past 6-7 years so please stop calling him a young captain. Graeme Smith became a captain when he was only 22! Also, Afridi and Shoaib both add verstility to the team and we wouldn't have won the second match without the two of them in the playing eleven. Does Fawad Alam deserve a place in the Pakistan team? Yes no question about it and why not try him as an opener as he bats well up the order for Karachi. This is the only way Pakistan can strengthen both their batting and the bowling attack.

  • Abdullah Faiz on November 19, 2007, 20:21 GMT

    TO MR AMRITH

    Mr Amrith, looks like Tanvir's revenge was too sour for u to bear. Repeated fist pumping?? Tell me one bowler who hasnt done that in his career. Remember what Pathan did in the T20 WC after getting Afridi and I hope u dont suffer from amesia and do remember what sreesanth does after getting wickets. What did u expect from Tanvir after he got the wicket? To bow down in front of Sachin? to touch his feet and worship him as the rest of the indians do? Fortunately we in Pakistan dont worship ppl

  • Avneesh Prashar on November 19, 2007, 20:15 GMT

    Man, yuo guys have got so excited after winning a DEAD RUBBER.. and allowing India to score 275 after being 60/4.Goodness, I'm scared to think what would happen if you guys won a series... I fear the Cricinfo server may crash!!

  • Usman Karim on November 19, 2007, 20:07 GMT

    hello and salaam everyone. first of all i would like to say that this is my first post and i am really glad to do it today. i have watched all the matches under maliks captaincy (VS India and VS SA), what i have noticed is that he looks blank sometimes. i mean if the bowlers are being smacked all over the park, he does not know what to do next ir how to set the field. now, i think its not his fault, he is knew and still learning. i think this is when, shahid afridi, younis khan and yousaf should come in and give him a hand with this. i dont know if any one has ever noticed it or not but graeme smith is always being supported by his team like pollock, kallis and boucher. similarly in the case of dhoni, if u see, sachin ganguly are always around him. this is what we need. supporting players...sometimes our players become very selfish when making runs..not acceptable. he is young and i am sure he will beomce a fine captain. my wife tells me off everytime i am watching paki match, but i am like hey, its our country playing, inshallah they will win....even with these loses, i am still confident our captain, who is my own age :), will come through these tough times, he needs our support. please give him time and leave the poor soul alone...he will make it eventually.salaam to everyone.

  • Karthik on November 19, 2007, 19:54 GMT

    So Shoaib Malik thinks Kumble being captain will benefit his side and ease the pressure? Well im sure Kumble's just licking his lips in anticipation at leading his side to battle against the very same side he took a perfect ten against? Bring it on

  • shak on November 19, 2007, 19:41 GMT

    In this game they played well but flopped in all 3. Does it really matter if you lose 3-2 or 4-1 PAK still lost the series!!! The humiliation factor was there at the end of it. The Indian team held the trophy with there heads held high, they deserved it they played the better cricket.

    Pakistan did have positives to come from this last ODI which was meaningless. From this the outcome is that sarfraz should replace kamran and Tanvir needs a permanent place in test and odi. Shoaib Akhtar is like the beckham of football all bout styl this and that he looks like a gay and dresses like one. He is nothing but pace no accuracy, Tanvir on the other side could b groomed into a very good line and length bowler and a great left handed batsman, he has the potential. Fawad alam has also played well but i dont think he is ready for test yet maybe a few more ODIS and then go into the test arena, but he definately needs to be a permanent figure in ODIS.

    One thing i dont get is what the peeeep is faisal iqbal doing in the test squad hes a flop nothing else. He cant bat or anything. The selectors are a bunch of headless chickens that pick on merit only because he has a good cricketing background. These selectors need to be sacked and then stoned !!!

    Why dont they pick asim kamal or someone else instead of faisal.

    Lastly i think shoaib will gradually grow into his role and prove his critics rong. But was there really a point of picking a less experienced player ahead of more experienced seniors like yousuf and younis? They are like the cream of pakistan batting without them in the team and we are a worse team than zimbabwe. Shoaib can captain youngsters but fears seniors this wouldn't have occured with yousuf or younis.

    KAMRAN TO GOOO HES NOT NEEDED WE HAVE A NEW KEEPER WHO CAN HOPEFULLI CATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Zafar A Qureshi on November 19, 2007, 19:37 GMT

    I have been watching pak cricket for decade.I am not being negative about our national team.but I do have a comment ta make about selection board. Every cricket playing country have EX cricketers in the selection panel.Why BLOODY pakistan have the CHIEF selecter have to be a doctor.What is the matter HE can not make any money in his own profession !!!!!!! Majid Khan,Asif Iqbal,Javed minadad,Mushtaq mohammed,They have seen more then enough Cricket cmpare to Retared Ashraf concern GET HIM OUT THE SELECTION as a Head chief. We are keep getting kick back cricketers into our national team What is the matter PEOPLE can't make a LIVING without working as a cricketer I am sure there are more carreer in the field of making a living.You have all the Illetrate punjab coming to play cricket.Please send them to school,College and then bring them back to cricket world As thyey are coming from sources NO WONDER THERE IS NO GOOD FITNESS THE DO NOT KNOW ANY BETTER !!!! CHANGE THE BOARD WITH EX CRICKETERS !!!!! DO IT DO IT DO IT !!!! NOW NOW NOW NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

  • Rohit on November 19, 2007, 19:18 GMT

    Looking forward to a good test series. Just received the news that the pitch in Delhi could be flat and spinner friendly.I hope that is not the case because it would make for boring cricket.Pakistan fast bowlers bowling to quality Indian batsmen on fast bouncy wickets would be a treat to watch,instead of Kaneria battling away on a slow turner.Besides India need all the practice they can get before the series to Australia. I am hoping to see something similar to the recently concluded India England series instead of the South Africa Pakistan series.Gul and Tanvir should make it to the playing eleven.Also wish Shoaib Akhtar is fit enough to play , adds fire to the proceedings and probably the only genuine fast bowler in both sides.Also hope Yuvraj is given one more chance,maybe even dropping Dhoni and playing Karthik as the keeper cum opener in the process.Pakistani batting seems unsettled. Butt,Yousuf,Younis,Malik are sure starters , not sure about the other two.Maybe the posters here would like to fill in?

  • Haseeb Ahmed on November 19, 2007, 19:10 GMT

    I realize this is hard to accept, but it's fairly obvious that Malik has neither the talent nor the determination to consistently command a place in the playing XI. Hence, asking him for anything more than holding desperately on to his place on the basis of the captaincy is, well, asking for the moon. I have said many times before and will say it again: Pakistan crciket can be salvaged from the current depths only by handing over the captaincy to Muhammad Yousef, one of only two true champions in the current team (Younis obviously being the other one).

  • Wasim Ahmed on November 19, 2007, 18:41 GMT

    Why Shahid Afridi not included in Test side? im suprise to hear that because he can hamar indian in test as he did previous tour. Strange decision i think.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on November 19, 2007, 18:28 GMT

    The rationale behind some of the comments from the ‘intransigent’ Afridi supporters is hilarious. Consider: “Afridi is not playing well. Which is why he should be given the captaincy.”

    Hmm. Fantastic! I love the logic. I’m going to try it at work. “Sorry boss. Forget about applying what I’ve learnt, I won’t even submit my work from now onwards. Umm when do I get promoted?”

    Do people even read the stuff they write?

    I forgot to mention this in my previous post but why on earth are A L L the high-ranking PCB officials (read: free-riders) touring India with the team? Nasim Ashraf is a lost cause and I’m personally, sick and tired of his permanent attachment with the team. What’s vexing though is that Shafqat Naghmi and the other hoodlums have now also followed suit. Why aren’t these board officials accountable to anyone? Is their presence in India necessary? Since we don’t need a genius to answer that question, how are these idiots funding their visit? Who’s running the board in their absence? Argh. Why are we as a nation, powerless to stop the rot? =(

    Here’s an observation. The Pakistan cricket team is the only sporting team I’ve come across that doesn’t show any remorse or compunction after a bad day.. No shedding of tears. No visible signs of disappointment. Nothing. All I see are smiles and oh what the hell, it happens attitude. Is this what playing for Pakistan means to these people? No heart, no passion? Frankly, I don’t care whether the team loses but I want to see some bloody spirit. From what I last saw, their shirts still said ‘Pakistan’ and that should mean something to them. Otherwise, what are we all doing here?

  • Tanveer, Dallas on November 19, 2007, 18:26 GMT

    We Pakistani Cricket fan are very emotional. On a day when we loose, we are criticizing from Captain to the entire team and on a winning day, we are happy and praising the team. Just like our team, our emotions and remarks are so inconsistent.

    Let's forget the win/loose business and concentrate on the plus and minus of our team.

    1) The first and most alarming thing - which most of the people agree - is replace Akmal. Just because of him we have lost not matches but series.

    2) Afridi is so inconsistent and even after years of experience and 250+ matches, he is the one you can not depend upon. There are other aggressive players like him in other teams but they have matured with time and now playing in a winning cause. Example, Symonds, Jayasuriya. If you remember, great Saeed Anwer was also the same, he was fiery but inconsistent but as he matured, we all know that he came out to be a one fine batsman.

    I think, it's about time that Fawad Alam be made a regular member of the ODI squad. If we think Abdul Razzaq days are over (since he has also joined the ICL), we should find his replacement in the domestic circuit. Someone who can bowl fast-medium and bat well. We have somewhat found Sohail Tanvir but he needs a little more polish before he can be considered as a true all rounder. I think Wasim Akram - great left arm fast bowler - should teach him some tricks.

    I hope Sami - after a long layoff - gathers his rhythm and performs well. Shoaib Akhter, is not at his prime anymore. He tries to bowl to hard, and he is no longer a young man, so this puts too much toil on his body. You could see him huffing and puffing between bowling. I don't think he could last an entire test match. Let see....

    Misbah, is not improving as well. I think, this test series should be his last chance to stay with the team. If he doesn't score big, he should be replaced with young dynamic middle order batsman. Misbah, is 33, and I don't think we should stick with his mediocre batting prowess, even if he improves he'll be retiring in two years or so.

    Shoaib Malik should improve his bowling skills because he was an all rounder to begin with. His batting has certainly improved over the years - still not very good - but his bowling abilities have taken a nose dive.

    Oh well, let's watch and see the test series. Pakistan must play with a plan and avoid reckless shots. And a few drop catches and minor mistake can cost them easy defeat as we already know the class of Tendulkar and Dravid. If they get a chance, they can score big tons.

    :-)

  • paki boy on November 19, 2007, 18:18 GMT

    i think shoaib malik didn't do anything wrong he need some time n i think senior players is not listening him thtz y in the absence of younis n shoaib akhtar he led from the front u see in this match malik had a plan and very important thing he has to bat on number 4 n yes kamran akmal need to go sarfaraz ahmed was far better.. n fawad alam was very impressive i was his couple of match for karachi he was impressive n he is far better than abdul rehman coz... he can bat

  • Raja Nandi on November 19, 2007, 18:09 GMT

    Well done India - but before we go overboard with our celebrations, please remember that this was only Pakistan after all. The real test comes after this. Having beaten the boys, its now crunch time against the men, namely SL and the Aussies. All the best nonetheless, all I can hope is that the Indian team do not get carried away by the all-so-easy win against the Pakistanis.

  • Shahd Faruqui on November 19, 2007, 17:56 GMT

    Malick is another Inzamam...a younger Inzamam.....watch my words....ver defensive in approach.......Afridi 1-day captain and Mohd Yousaf Test Captain.......not Maick....He is gentleman all right.....Inzy was short fused, and short headed, Maick is cool......but an inept capatin.....he may have won the last ODI vs arch rival, but I suggest we get rid of him.....He ai'nt gonna learn......He is mostly responsible for all out defeats so far......We lost 20/20 final before it started becoz I read some place that Malick said we rather play Australia and not India in the final....with this attitude,he was bound to loose.....in cricket captain is very important, and he ain't no captaincy stuff

  • Muhammad on November 19, 2007, 17:54 GMT

    Just like to say that Good luck to Pakistani team and Malik just started the captain thing so I think people should give him time instead criticizing him.

  • Raja Zulfiqar Akhtar on November 19, 2007, 17:43 GMT

    Problem with Malik is that he is learning te art of captaincy in the hardest way. As we see in 4th and even in 5th one day that he seems to be ib great stress and start shouting at the fielders. For my thinking problem for Malik is that he lacks an agressive player in Middle Order. For instance Australia hava Symmonds, South Africe have Boucher and India have Yuvraj Singh. But if we see Pakistni team they have same style Batsman Younis, Yousaf and even Misbah. There style is same. They require time on the bitch before going to start hitting the ball hard.

    So malik requires a dasher in the middle order. Afridi is an option but it is impossible to expect anything from it.

  • Riz Maskey on November 19, 2007, 17:34 GMT

    I totally support Malik as a captian of pakistan team, but as far as my understanding of cricket goes pakistan have to wait at least a year or two to win a test series with this team unless they play Bangladesh. Our young batsmens are too impatient to play ODIs, I don't know what the hell they gonna do in a test.

  • monis on November 19, 2007, 17:19 GMT

    It was really a welcome relief to finally go through a cricket match without having kamran akmal drop/miss a sitter and the lucky batsman going on to score the runs that matter in the end. As for Fawad Alam, he still has some way to go as his bowling lacks the control necessary to stem the flow of runs as needed in those middle overs but his energy levels were brilliant. Afridi seriously needs to figure out (and quickly) how he wants his career to end - either as a bowler or a dependable all-rounder. He doesn't warrant a place in the side as a specialist bowler and less said about his batting the better. As for the test squad - for the umpteenth time - where is ASIM KAMAL? At almost 30 and with eight 50s in 12 matches I believe he could have added more support to our middle order than Faisal Iqbal does. I hope I am proven wrong on this point : )

  • dani on November 19, 2007, 17:01 GMT

    well jack murphy wus right after all!its a gud thing that shoaib mailik finally made a big score though he gave away his wicket. In my opinion the rason why he wasn't very successful was because he gave away his wicket jus when he was getting settled. I am suprised that pak actually won this match because judging by the toss, malik's body language wssn't very convincing! I think pakistan deserved to have some luck come there way when yuvraj was given out incorrectly. in the last match, afridi was also given the wrong decision. I hate the fact that afrdi is being sent back nd not playing in the test series, he is much more attacking as a leg spinner than abdur rehman and has a decent average with the bat. the management are crazy. The test series will be very difficult to win. the pakistani batsmen lack the patience and experience to survive against this phenomenal indian team. Last time they has inzi to save them not to mention akmal was in good form..I just hope the team plays in a professional manner nd of course, wins

  • Khurram Abbasi on November 19, 2007, 16:59 GMT

    I think, Malik should really face the fact that India currently is a better side, and as Kamran mentioned, they have to find a weakness and exploit it to the fullest. Another thing to consider here is: the WIN in the last match after losing the series. Was it cuz India were not playin wid full potential? Was it cuz v had NEW players who played well: juzz cuz they had to perform and prove a mark? Was it cuz with the new guys in, it was easier to captain the side, taking pressure off of Malik and that showed in his performance as well.. ? I am sure the team management and Shoaib would be considering these facts..

  • g r raja on November 19, 2007, 16:58 GMT

    In my opinion shoaib malik is the right choice but is not reciving the support from the players and supporters alike, give the guy a chance, i think kamran akmal has to go but the rest of the team looks like the best we got first class is not test cricket your facing the best of the best in a test. malik in my opinion should open along side salman butt, younis khan, m yousaf,misbah ul haq, faisal iqbal,Sarfaraz Ahmed, danish kenaeria , shohaib akhtar, umar gul, sohail tanvir this is the best team we can play, this is all we have got ( if we cant win with this team then we are not as good as we think we are and need to work hard and get to the top. people i know how you all feel when we loose but everyone looses except australia.

  • amit on November 19, 2007, 16:57 GMT

    Good for pak and shoiab malik to win the last match .. otherwise test matched wud be more boring. I still believe those r going to be sub-standard considering the pitches and the form of subcontinental spinners in recent time (kumble, harbhajan, kaneria). All three guys seem to be out of touch and and some r out of place. Specially i dont have ne hope from bhajji. I haven't seen kaneria in last series against SA but his stats shows how he bowled. If India cud dare to play 3 medium pacers (srisanth, zaheer, RP) with one spinner kumble himself then i wud see result coming otherwise tame draw. As far pak bowling is concerned without Asif they all are one-day (or 20-20) bowlers ... Nobody from pak camp this time bowl to take wickets or come in the field with planning (except last match where tanvir was bowling with some one-day plan) and same for indian camp. Lets hope in the coming series we witness some good bowling from the both camp. And plz someone start putting gallons of chilled water on srisanth head for early precautions otherwise india will loose this talent.

  • farooq aahmed aziz on November 19, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    i think that we should always play two or three raw talents ,because they are more energatic

  • Qasim Hussain on November 19, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    LOL @ Mr. Javed A. Khan's theory on the law's of average!

    Some people just critisise for the sake of critisising, just like some people like to disagree for the sake of disagreeing but most people like Mr. Javed A. Khan like to stand and seek attention because no one in the real world notices them! I just have one thing to say Mr. Javed and that is "get a life, do some work and make urself useful and enough with the rubbish!" ... I got nothing personal against you but just am fed up with your complaining and whinning like a little girl. Oh and don't bother pointing out my spelling or grammer mistakes as am a busy guy who has a life and don't spend reading over what I write on a blog as that doesn't proove anything or potray anything at all as you might think!

    Mr. Kamran won't probably even post these comments but I just had to let it out :P

    As for the loss of series, it was not just one persons fault, the whole team is to be blamed because Yousuf, But and at times Younis were the only consistant players!

  • SAM on November 19, 2007, 16:25 GMT

    Although Malik has scored some runs in the last ODI, but the first four ODIs that really mattered the most, Malik's performance was pathetic, 70 Runs at an average of 17 and Strike Rate of 56. I don't know why people call him a young captain, he has played 150 ODI's and 20 Tests and still he is so much lazy and confused, on the other hand, his counterpart MS Dhoni has only played 96 ODIs and 20 Tests, but still he manages to lead the team with aggression and passion, and somehow he has brought glory to the Indian Team by winning the T20 world cup and now series against Pakistan. How many LOST series does our 'so called' young captain need to become an experienced or aggressive captain? As fas as test team selection is concerned, why is Abdul Rehman selected for test team, Just because he is a friend of Malik? Butt played in the ODI series just because he had good record against India, if this is the selection policy regardless of current form as his form was pathetic before India series, then i wonder why Afridi is dropped from test squad? His performance against India in 8 tests is exceptional, average of 47 with three 100s and 3 50s and 14 wickets. Although Afridi disappoints on some occasions but i am afraid the little spark that we had in the Pakistan team wont be anymore because of the exclusion of Afridi from test squad. I hope Pakistan at least gets to draw a couple of tests, winning a test doesn't look so easy in the current scenario.

  • abdullah on November 19, 2007, 16:19 GMT

    Then victory on sunday was in vain. Pakistan's batting order is to blame. The opening crisis cotinues. we've got a wide range of openers. some specialists such and some makeshifts. Pakistan need to give the openrs a long run of around 10. i think the two best are Salman butt and nazir. Butt is a palyer with good technique to see of the new ball . He as shown in the series and can occupy the wicket and play the anchor. While Imran Nazir can dominate and utilise the powerplays. Pakitan must give them a run of 10 matches minimum for the to be more consistent. If that doesn't wok then maybe try younis or shoiab malik.

    The test series is coming up. Pakistan must attack with pace and mysterious leg spin of Kaneria . The format should be 3 fast bowlers and Danish Kaneria. This is more of a balanced attack which is capable of taking 20 wickets which was Pakistan's problemb against Southafrcia.

  • Abdul Abbasi on November 19, 2007, 16:16 GMT

    Shoaib Malik did perform well in the last match and Shoaib and yousuf's inning gave platform for others. Shoaib Malik being a new appoint is appealing more attention towards him, whereas if we look closely there are other's who require a bit of tuning. Lets talk about Yousuf for a while. He is playing stable and consistent "TEST" cricket in ODI's as far as Pakistan is concerned. Aggression has always been the winning factor in Pakistani team, take bowling for instance or batting even. Mohmamad Yousuf test innings and Younis's moderate single taking instincts are pushing youngsters on the back foot. If i am a youngster in Pakistani team i would look at the senior's for how they are holding there spot in the team. If i see Yousuf and Younis, i can pretty much go with a conclusion that if i stay out there, without keeping the (slow) runrate in mind. I might be able to hold postion in the Pakistan team. This effect was visible in Imran Nazir's inning's, even Misbah has slowed down alot. If one is playing against there natural innning there is always a dozen less chance of there success. Seeing the first 4 odi's I saw pakistan lacking that energy and got the feeling that every batsmen who walks in, comes in with the head down and seem like having all the burden of world on there shoulders. On several instances even shoaib malik was seen under load of pressure. Iqbal the Poet said that if you aim for moon you might end up surfacing earth. If the time has come where Pakistani team is aiming for 250 or 260 to be a good total this approach will keep droping them down over time.Know you can get 350 a match and work on it, if not atleast you will end 50 -60 short. and getting to 300 is 6 runs per over, same old Miandad strategy still holds for 300, not for 300 +. The two great Y's should sit down and think on how they can give the youngsters boost of spirit and a taste of aggression, rather then showing a more defensive and confused approach. For the batting line up what i believe is that Younis and Yousuf should have one right arm aggressive player coming in between them, Misbah is a good contender for this position. He has the ability to work singles and go after the bowling too when required. Him playing between two seniors would give him good job shadowing, on how to work under pressure. Out of the matches he has played one can easily judge that Misbah shatters under pressure ( for hitting). And his hitting ability should be polished then ignored. Shoaib Malik should sit down and stop thinking about senior and junior players. He should put all on one board and determine what is best for test cricket and what is best for ODI. He got a green light from cricket board, he should try moving things around and experiment as much as he can before the year ends. Probably put the two Y's to open the batting for Pakistan. Get a solid start from Top. It would have been great if Younis stepped up as a partner to Salman Butt then shoaib himself. This shows that senior's are willing to go with Malik as there captain provided they continue to hold there positions and do what they have been doing for a long time now. Things have changed, so the seniors should take more things in hand, rather then taking the back seat and do what comes in there plate. Aggression is the second name of Pakistan Cricket team, let it be.

    On other hand if you look at india's play they cam off aggresive, thrashed every single bowler. Not looking for opportunity to hit, just go after the bowlers with technique. The biggest flaw rite now with Pakistan Batting lineup is that they are still amatuers against left arm bowlers and this has hurt pakistan badly. Being Geoff Lawson i would call for a major turnover of left arm medium pacer/ fast bowlers and in practise nets make players play left armers and get comfortable with that left arm over / leg line.

    Abdul

  • sammy on November 19, 2007, 16:13 GMT

    Yuvraj was unfortunate to get out due to poor umpiring decision! He was clearly NOT OUT. He and DHoni were well set to take India to victory. Pakistan got lucky. Enjoy the win of an inconsequential match after losing the series!!

  • Raghuvir on November 19, 2007, 16:12 GMT

    i think people with access to public forums which can mould opinion need to be careful before passing such judgements. One perofrmance does not make a player good/bad over night. it is something we need to understand in the subcontient where we can adore our heros like gods and then smear their faces with mud the next moment. Journalists, officials, ex -cricketers need to be cognizant of the fact and try and stick to report what has happened and give their valued opinions but not sit on a pedestal and pass judgements. it is funny to hear rameez raja criticze yousuf on all indian channels as "selfish" player. the only point which seems to help rameez make that statement is that he yousuf has a poor strike rate. i guess Rameez has forgotten his own batting style. its a team game and each batsman has a role to play ans yousuf is a gem for pakistan( apart from hsi running). Similarly i cannot agree with Mr abbasi that one fifty has suddenlty made shoib malik god's gift to pakistani cricket. as Steve waugh always said first you pick your best 11 and then the captain frm that 11. Shoib does make it to the one day team but i dont see what role he would fit in to the test team. He is not good enough to bat in the top 5 of any test side and hasnot been consistent to be called a batting all rounder at 6 or 7 in a test team. Nor does he look like a 2nd spinner .

  • Santa Singh on November 19, 2007, 16:09 GMT

    You guys are ridiculous, Pakistan won the game because India did not take the match seriously... It was a fluke.

  • Zahid Irfan on November 19, 2007, 16:07 GMT

    Kamran? One performance and you praise Malik. One bad performance and you start calling for rolling heads. What is wrong with you? I believe the series was played with a lot of energy and emotion. The Indians happened to an excellent team *yeah believe it they were brilliant*. Therefore the Pakistani Team lost to a better team. Moreover if you look at today's match. India were missing a RP Singh and Zaheer Khan (hence the score 306) because they were not there to harness Pakistani batsmen even if they did not miss the services of Ganguly (since Sharma gave us a scare). Again if Dhoni had managed to take the team to yet another chase some people would have said Oh yeah Malik's score was good 89 off 82 balls but his strike rate left much to be desired :). Yousuf did not accelerate and Misbah faltered half-way and Pakistani Bowling was listless and Malik went out of 61 runs even though he got one or two wickets but it was not much. It might be altogether wrong to say that we lost to one man machine (Yuvraj Singh). He was possibly the difference between both sides. Hail the King Yuvi.

  • Jim on November 19, 2007, 16:01 GMT

    Tendulkar absolutely Hammered, Plundered destroyed Pakistan attack in the innings of 97.

    Yet all Malik had to say was we didn't bowl well. Wrong answer the bowlers got butchered by Tendulkar, what Sachin did to the bowlers was a criminal offence dispatching the good balls and bad balls.

    Malik has no sportsmanship, whearas Yosef (Mohammad) Youhanna, he wrote a fine article on the eve of the fifth ODI, 'Sachin's innings was fantastic, make no mistake the pitch was not easy to bat on, I would know, I just made 99*'

  • Zain on November 19, 2007, 15:58 GMT

    Pakistan must beat India in the upcoming Test series. This is the only way, the team will be justified on the Indian tour. A win of 2-0 or 2-1 will do the job as Pakistan will have something to take home when they return in December.

  • Mian Waheed on November 19, 2007, 15:57 GMT

    Let us give Shoaim Malik some time and not criticise him all the time.What other optionsd do we have-Yunis Khan was given the chance to be the captain but he refused.shahid Afridi is no choice since his inclusion in the team as a player even is not certain due to his erratic performance.So letus persist with Malik and support him to give him encouragement.

  • Tahir Rashid on November 19, 2007, 15:45 GMT

    ODI series lost 3-2 which was expected as Indian batting line-up is better and shows greater application when batting. While on the other hand Pak batsmen lose wickets to reckless shots prime culprit being Shahid Afridi. He has played 250 odd onedays and still does not know his role as a batsman, a cardinal sin! Why was he making rubbish excuses for his abysmal performances in an interview given to Indian channel Starplus? This was gutless as he should take responsibility for his batting failures. Younis Khan and Mohammad Yusuf need to practice running between the wickets or ugly runouts will continue to feature in Pak scorecard.

    Pak bowling attack is better than India well at least on paper! So they can bundle out India cheaply provided catches are taken then our batsmen have to put up a 350+ score on the board to have a winning chance. We must contain Sachin or this run machine can upset Pak further. Sachin probably wants to avenge the loss of 1999 when he scored a hundred and still India lost chasing by a whisker. As an ardent Pak fan I want us to maintain the winning streak in India.

  • Kishor on November 19, 2007, 15:40 GMT

    I think the first lesson for Malik would be that he should have bowled more in other games also because he was the only second line bowler with the potential to take wickets and also has troubled the Indian Batsman in the past. I was surprised to see that he underbowled himself. Mr Malik you seem to forget that there must be wickets of opponents (for allrounder) to win the match. Second i feel that he should have had confident in Imran Nazir in subcontinent pitches for opening. Make-Shift openers will only widen the problems rather than closing on it. For me the best opening combination would have been Butt and Nazir, cause he could induce the agression needed in the top order.

  • M. Irfanullah on November 19, 2007, 15:40 GMT

    To be a successful captain Malik has to improve his bating and to be bold in desicion making. The decision of not playing regular openers will never help the cause of Pakistan cricket. Instead of pseudo allrounders like rehman, it would have been wise to include danish kaneria in the ODI team. Better learn from the mistakes than to look back. I agree with Kamran that Sohail Tanveer is a great prospect for pakistan cricket especially on the Seaming pitches where the ball moves through the assistance from the pitch itself. Good Luck Shoaib and Pakistan Team for rest of the tour and future cricket. Irfanullah New Delhi

  • Anum on November 19, 2007, 15:39 GMT

    Shoaib Malik needs to show more energy on the field, bowl regularly and listen to what the senior players say to him. He needs to come with a proper strategy in every match, which is a thing lacking in the series.

  • Ibrahim on November 19, 2007, 15:36 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi I basically agree with you that Malik needs to lead from the front, but give him a break, he's new. I think his relative success in the Twenty20 has led to everybody expecting a lot of him in a little time. Tests and ODIs are much more demanding, challenging and pressuring than T20s. By the way, can you please stop going on about Malik's intellect? Agreed Brearley and Imran were geniuses but the way you put it is just snobbish. And all because of one nervy interview on Nadia Khan's show.

  • Justice on November 19, 2007, 15:34 GMT

    Real route to the team success is a merit.

    In last one day Captain gave chance to Fawad Alam Sohail Tanveer and Sarfraz Ahmed on merit. And we saw the result and their performance.

    If Malik wanted to see his team to win test series he should include Asim Kamal in the team. Justice is a pillar of leadership.

    Jusctice USA

  • Mubeen Mughal on November 19, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    thanks for good comments Mr Abbasi.because Mlik from Sialkot and I also FROM Sialkot.he is my favorite player, thanks again.

  • abid Syed on November 19, 2007, 15:28 GMT

    The appointment of Shoaib Malik as Captain is a thoughtless and stupid decision. He is not a specialist batsman nor or a bowling allrounder to begin with. He does not deserve his place in the team on merit. His betting is technically flawed and I don't think he has the character to perform under pressure. Performance in a dead rubber does not count for much. The earlier PCB sees it's blunder and appoints Yousaf or Younis as Captain the better it will be for everyone.Just compare him to the Captains of other Test playing Nations and it will be evident that we are always one batsmen short and he simply is not a leader of men.

  • Jilani on November 19, 2007, 15:28 GMT

    We should stay behind the new team and the new captain. The issues list is getting addressed slowly but it will take a year or so for this team to really come together.

    Fawad, Sarfaraz and Sohail are the highlights of this match and while I think Imran is very tempramental, he (and others) should be coached and developed by a batting coach such as Aamir Sohail, Z. Abbas or Javed.

    I am not for demoting anyone, but perhaps Younus as captain and Malik as vice captain is not such a bad idea. Not sure how Malik will take it though after leading the team through most of its reformation.

    There is talent abound and Pakistan at times certainly on the verge of turning the corner, patience will be a right call for now. Let us see how the indian series unfolds.

    -Jilani

  • Dawar on November 19, 2007, 15:28 GMT

    It’s good to see that Malik performed well with both bat and ball. Captain performance is very important for the team. Other very important duty for the captain is to bring justice or merit in the system. Malik has to stop giving favor to Kamran Akmal and Misba ul haq. Sarfarz Ahmed looks much better than Kamran Akmal in his first one day international. Actually does not look like this was his first one day, very confident. Another right move was to include deserving Fawad Alam in the team. And we saw frenetic energy in this youngster. Kamran you are right he should be a part of team on permanent basis. Sohail Tanvir has confirmed his status as Pakistan's most exciting young fast bowler and possible all-rounder. He should be a permanent member of the team.

    I would like to see Malik to raise his voice for another deserving player Asim Kamal. He is far better than Misba or Faisal Iqbal in his batting technique and records. Some critics think that his batting technique is even better than Yousuf and Yonius.

    He should be in the team on permanent basis.

    Dawar LA USA

  • Furhad Yaqubian on November 19, 2007, 15:02 GMT

    Agree. Shoaib Malik has to be innovative and aggressive in the Test matches against the Indians. He should open with Salman Butt and slot Faisal Iqbal in the # 6 batting position. Sarfaraz Ahmed on the basis of the 5th ODI deserves a chance in the first Test. I would slso find room for Sohail Tanvir as the third fast bowling option, after Shoaib Akhtar and Md. Sami or Umar Gul. His show of naked exuberance after dismissing Tendulkar yesterday was a sight for sore eyes and goes to show he will give his very best. This was youthful demeanor at its very finest and goes to show what fresh faces can do for you? In my mind, Pakistan can beat India if they put their heart and soul into the cause.

    It is time to put certain players like Afridi and Kamran Akmal on notice that sub-standard performances will NOT be tolerated. Afridi, in my opinion, has regressed and his batting has become a liability. Fuad Alam was a revalation and should be persisted with in place of Afridi. I still think there is a bright future ahead and if Malik does not cut the mustard - then Pakistan should look forward to another option for its cricket captaincy!

    Furhad Yaqubian Toronto, Canada

  • salman ali on November 19, 2007, 15:01 GMT

    malik should lead the team by bated at onedown or as an opner with salman but because he is a good player at these position and m.yusaf should be wise captan.pakistan should play attaking cricket like australia and shoib akhtar

  • Hasan Ali on November 19, 2007, 14:59 GMT

    Yup.u r right

  • Under_House_Arrest on November 19, 2007, 14:57 GMT

    Now the suspense begins. When Javed Khan from Montreal would find out that there is a new post and drown us in his verbal downpour. Everytime Kamran posts a thread, I live in dread !!

  • Hammad Siddiqi, Cincinati Ohio on November 19, 2007, 14:52 GMT

    The reason I like reading your opinions Mr Abbasi, is that you are an eternal optimist and a fellow die-hard Pakistan supporter. I really appreciate that, I really do. Your faith in our cricket must be commended.

    However I feel even you, like myself are getting a little tired of making excuses for these guys. This win was a classical example of too little, too late. The fact is, we have lost three consecutive one day series and a Test series. That, in my opinion is criminal. I feel we must face facts; this Pakistan line-up is at best mediocre. You don't know how much it hurts for me to admit this. I grew up in the glorious era of Wasim, Waqar, Inzy, Aqib, Mushtaq, Saqlain, Aamir Sohail (you want swagger?)and ofcourse the incomparable duo of Imran Khan and Javed Miandad. THAT was a team, world beaters and matchwinners one and all. But that alas, is a bygone era and getting vcarious thrills from the past is a fool's pastime.

    I can't believe we can't beat India! this is INDIA! the old foe, our erstwhile bunnies for chrissake! World Cup Jinx apart, we usually struck the fear of Bhagvan in our neighbours from across the LOC. What the heck happened? Have they gotten better or have we just gotten worse? Have they finally forgotten the memories of Sharjah '86? and have we?

    When Malik was appointed, I was excited at the prospect of having a young guy taking the helm, putting the house in order so to speak. The fact is, barring beating Sri Lanka in the desert and a pretty solid Twenty/20 (apart from the two games against guess who?) he has been pretty mediocre. Mediocrity seems to be contagious and the rest of the guys have caught the bug.

    I'm not blaming the current team, just lamenting in general here, but even Karachi, that Citadel of rear gaurd action has been repeatedly stormed by visiting teams over the last few years.

    If we don't beat the Indians like 'dhols'in the Tests, my faith will be irreperably shaken.

  • ubaid on November 19, 2007, 14:42 GMT

    I didn't want to say this but it seems like the less the pressure the better we do which is a disturbing trend. I know that your article is about captaincy but I would like to digress a little bit if you allow me to. How in the whole wide world does a batsman as inept for test cricket as Faisal Iqbal make it back into the test team. I have two hunches 1- Selectors wanted to get on Miandad's good side who is known to be a vocal critic. 2- Malik played under faisal iqbal's captaincy in the under 14 world cup in 1994 and they are good buddies so he wanted to return the favor. But seriously. 3- Lawson wanted someone other than slaman butt who could understand his language. 4- Indians sabotaged the selection process to include the least dependable, mediocre and inept batsman they could find in the pakistan team.

    Can we please move on from Faisal Iqbal!!!. Chief selector said that he was include because he made 44 in the last innings. Yeah but he has failed time and again prior to that in situation when we needed him to perform dearly. He has basic flaws in his technique and gets into a mess on the crease , ends up playing around his pad and although he will score a 44 evert 6 or 7 innings on flat tracks, but when there is seam or bounce, forget about it. And how is 44 a good innings in a test match on a batting wicket. I have lost cofidence in this selector after this statement. He is getting paid to do a job and yet does not want to be accountable. This is part of a pattern.

    Recycled selectors that don't have a shred of intelligence and wouldn't be able to get a job cleaning toilets if it wasn't for cricket are picking recycled players for motives other than there cricketing ability. Where is the integrity.

  • M.A. Alamgir on November 19, 2007, 14:36 GMT

    Pakistan cricket team should play every game with a plan keeping in mind opposition weaknesses and strengths. Their bowlers should learn to bowl straight and for that train themselves bowling at the nets on only 1 wicket as did Mcgrath. Their batsman must show patience at the crease by staying longer, taking time to adapt and then runs will comeby. Learn from Javed Miandad, Mudassar Nazar and the likes. Finally do their homework after each day's play well. Today's cricket is skill and intelligence combined. That's all.

  • naseer on November 19, 2007, 14:35 GMT

    No doubt they will be thrashed in tests by india, we need inzamam

  • Mudassar Rana on November 19, 2007, 14:25 GMT

    i think it was poor thing on pcb part to attend a show by bollywood stars before the critical 4th odi. clearly the next day they were still thinking about diya mirza!!Secondly why did people think that malik would make a more dynamic and aggressive captain. the only thing he's done is shaved his beard since he's become captain! Afridi is a true aggressive player and deserves the captaincy with yousuf as his vice captain offering the calmness to his aggression. It is only what yousuf deserves after carrying pakistans batting line up last year.

  • Harshal on November 19, 2007, 14:24 GMT

    I think too much blame or credit is being given to Shoaib at the moment. A captain is only as good as his team and till other players don't play to their potential, captain cannot do much

  • Akbar Rizvi on November 19, 2007, 14:23 GMT

    Pakistan's recent cricket woes can squarely be blamed on the system. Take the example of opening pair problems. How is it that a country with abundant talent has been unable to produce a stable opening pair since Aamir Sohail and Saeed Anwar departed from the scene? Selection procedures - if any even exist - are laughable. Batting (dis)orders have been played around with incessantly. Plenty of quality players have been shown the door for no apparent reason while inconsistency has been rewarded. And the list goes on and on.

  • Shehroze on November 19, 2007, 14:11 GMT

    hey kamran bhai u were again BANG ON!!!!! u said it quite ritely tht Shoaib Malik should realise his responsibility....i beleive he is da best candidate for the captaincy so now he shud realise tht he needs 2 lead frm da front....

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on November 19, 2007, 14:10 GMT

    Have to agree with your comments about Malik's captaincy. He needs to step up to the plate more and this last match may finally make him realize that. But the stupidity of the selectors conitues. Afridi (traditionally one of our best performers in tests in India) is sent home. Sami is brought back (ostensibly on the back of good performance in the domestic season.) Well Salahuddin Ahmed has obviously been watching a different domestic season then I have. 8 of Sami's 19 wickets have come in one innings against a weak Sialkot team. Sami is not even the highest wicket taker for his own team! Leave alone the tournament. Compare this to the performances of Mohd. Khalil and Yasir Arafat both of whom have international experience and have better averages and strike rates than Sami in the current season, not to mention they have been more consistent. The we have Fawad Alam pigeon holed as a 20/20 and ODI player (here even you too, Kamran, are at fault) Yet this kid averages over 46 in first class cricket. Surely he would have been a better investment then bringing back Faisal Iqbal who's technical weaknesses are well documented.

    So you see in the end, the more things change the more they remain the same....

  • KJ on November 19, 2007, 14:09 GMT

    Agree with all you say. I just want to add that 2 permanent changes need to be made to the Pakistan Team as of now; as a matter of urgency. Sarfraz instead of Akmal and Alam instead of Afridi. Time to say goodbye to Akmal and Afridi whose undoubted talents they have themselves wasted.

  • Zafar Khattak on November 19, 2007, 13:59 GMT

    I comply with your analysis as far as your optimism is linked with the performance of the youngsters, yet I don't think that Malik's form would allow him to ride the aggressive beast any longer until and unless he does the overhauling of his mind's engine. I mean there lies no hope for Malik's test captaincy for he to me is least composed and tough to bear the pressure both on and off the field.

  • muhammad gondal on November 19, 2007, 13:54 GMT

    best f luck to our team. in ma opinion board shoud forget all lazy n unfit players. n let yuongster show demselves a ftuture f pak

  • Babar Zia on November 19, 2007, 13:47 GMT

    Well I will keep it short and sweet. Younis Khan should be cajoled into accepting the captaincy somehow. You actually get paid to write opinions like Kamran abbasi does, simply priceless!

  • Muzammil Shah on November 19, 2007, 13:30 GMT

    Malik is good captain but please give him some time. almost every Pakistani ex cricketer is criticising his captaincy but they should realize that they are not helping him or Pakistan team but the are just presurizing him and he can not concentrate on his original game. Let him play his natural game and give him some chance to prove that he is best avaiable choice. In last ODI he hase proved some and will do better in coming test series INSHALLAH.

  • Ahmed on November 19, 2007, 13:18 GMT

    Damn straight!Its about time we saw some backbone! and some roar from our tigers..we have been playing second fiddle for too long, I remember the Pakistan of Imran Khan and even Wasim Akram, that refused to say die and kept on attacking until they won.Sure India may have more bite than before, but Pakistan has always had the edge on them, doesn't matter who is fit or unfit..or about to be unfit!as long as we have enough team spirit and fire in the belly..not much can stand before us...except the AUstralians..thats a whole new ball game..but a bridge to cross when we get to it!

  • kmushtaq on November 19, 2007, 13:16 GMT

    i think Pakistan can take lot of positives from this match especially sarfraz ahmed, fawad alam & malik's own form. fast bowling resources appear to be looking to be good with Shoaib, Gul, Tanveer, Rao and Asif when he comes back. I think we need one more genuine quick for the rotation to work.

    ODI batting seems to still have some woes especially opening ... dont understand why Younis Khan hasnt been tried as an opener ??? he has been coming to the wicket by 2nd or 3rd over and has been doing a good job so why cant he open ? this would allow malik to come one down instead of later down the order. With tests coming around the corner dont understand what happened to Asim Kamal ... he seemed to have the temperament to stay at the wicket and make runs ... he gave excellent performance against RSA the last time they were here but seems to have fallen out of favor from the selectors ... Yasir hameed shud be tried as an opener along with salman, followed by younis, yousuf, malik, asim kamal/misbah, keeper, 4 bowlers (3 Fast + 1 Spinner) ...

    Lot of people have said Kaneria didnt do so well against RSA but it is hard to do that when after a long spell you finally break through and your keeper lets u you down ? does anyone think warne would have been that successful if akmal was keeping to him ? dont think so ... players of the calibre of kallis, gibbs, smith give only one chance and then the rest is history ... i hope sarfraz is tried in the 1st test and not akmal !!!

  • Sufyan Khan on November 19, 2007, 12:50 GMT

    I do find it amazing that Pakistanis as a whole find it diffcult to accept defeat. I am 26 years old and have been watching Pakistan since I was a toddler. Never have I seen Pakistani population be gracious in defeat. I remember the days of when our side would return home from a series loss and people would gather at the airports to throw slippers at them etc.

    It is one thing to criticise but to go all out attack on a young side with a new ish captain is very unfortunate. GIVE HIM SOME TIME! Show a little faith for God's sake it is just a game. And maybe when our cricketers realise we will support them regardless, they will not freeze on the pitch and produce the goods consistently.

    We played well in the last ODI and thats why we won. I shook my head in disappointment when heard my dad say "series to haar gaye, ab kya faida"

  • sushil KC on November 19, 2007, 12:41 GMT

    Well, Shoaib mailk is quie young to be a test captain as well as oneday... he don't have that confident to be the caption in both the fom of games... Abdul Razzak or Yunis Khan could handle the team better.but let us see the test match and we will further decide.....anyway, dog luck for malik and pakistan... although they have wached up our hope in the ODI...

  • faisal on November 19, 2007, 12:41 GMT

    none other than younis can lead us,dis guy shoaib is a failure.....infact i m damn sure that v ve better batsmen than shoaib malik sitting in da reserves...i dont think he even deserves a plave in the playing 11 forget abt captaincy

  • DASHRATH on November 19, 2007, 12:37 GMT

    In the whole series Malik never lookd confident except in the fifth match. That means he is carrying a lot of presure on him. He is very good player but good players cannot be good captains and we can see that. Acording to me Younis Khan should be the captain as he is more relaxed, experienced and more confident player than the malik.

  • Ashaq on November 19, 2007, 12:35 GMT

    It could be that Malik and the other young players are hampered and feel stifled by this culture of seniority in Pakistan.

    Young players come into the Team full of Confidence and enthusiasm. But are then made to feel inferior by the seniors in the Squad. This Seniority culture was dispensed with long ago in the Corporate World in the West but it seems to remain in Pakistan. Without a few of the Seniors in the Team, Malik in the last match gave a brilliant all round performance and his captaincy had an air of confidence about it.

    so I hope they give him a Younger and Youthful Squad for the Zimbabwe series, to see how he performs as Captain. If he still fails to make an impact then its esta La Vista Baby.

    There has also been alot of rhetoric about copying the Australian model. Well that is not going to work In Pak.

    What we need is a Soviet model, put all therse perennial underachievers and Youngsters with Potential and Shove them into a military Style Bootcamp for cricket For 2 Years. Where every aspect of there game can be corrected, and they can learn the arts of Discipline Dedication and devotion to the game.

    Or More appropiately start with a completely Fresh eleven. Afterall all the Players who have been playing for a few years have made the Corn and are extremely wealthy. So lets give an opportunity to others to get rich. A man who is Motivated by Hunger and the need to put food on the Table is gonna an awesome opponent.

    “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”

    Calvin Coolidge

  • Rizwan Rehmat on November 19, 2007, 12:32 GMT

    Greetings, folks!

    Yes, Pakistan team's win in the last one-day international came at the right time and in the manner that had the fans had wished for.

    Pakistan took some bold decisions before the match, one being the axing of shahid Afridi, who gives the feeling that he is greater than the game.

    Afridi, a man with plenty of talent, needed that kind of rebuke from the management to remind him of his role in team play. His dismissal in the third one-dayer was atrocious, to say the least. That is what happens when players have their own scores to settle with members of the opposite team. Shoaib Akhtar is another who has committed similar crimes and has led the team down.

    Last but not least, I hope Shoaib Malik gets over his 'Shoaib Bhai and Shahid Bhai' mannerisms. He is the captain, for cryin' out loud. He should look like a leader and not like a worry bead, not knowing what to do on the field. He should be able to command respect.

    We saw a positive change in his body language in the final game. Hope, it contines.

  • S. M. Manzoor Raza on November 19, 2007, 12:29 GMT

    Well, I think there are other corners to be blamed than Malik. Although Malik has its own strengths and weaknesses but Malik showed that he can lead and lead it quite well. Seeing somebody confused cannot be a benchmark for incompetense. We have seen Ponting clueless when the other side is performing well. Yes I am talking about Ponting who has just to pick the eleven, all experts at their positions, from a set of may be 25 well trained and polished professionals. The professionals who are just waiting, and when given chance are able to score a ton on their debut. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Malik. I don't think that finding a pair of settled openers or a groomed wicketkeeper is the job expected to be performed by Malik. This is where other relevant corners must contribute. Malik, given the available players to him, is I suppose above par as the team, by now requires such a teamman who, apart from being able to remain in the team till atleast next worldcup, should be competent enough to avoid taking decisions based on rush of blood. I think its high time that the musical chair game is stopped and we should focus right persons for right positions rather than searching a right captain like always.

  • Awas on November 19, 2007, 12:19 GMT

    Losing the ODI series 3-2 against the strong arch rivals is not such a disgrace really. Many on earlier threads had written Pakistan off completely and some posters were boasting 5-0 annihilation. Even the last ODI, considered irrelevant, was quite important in the context of things to come. For the coming test series, India were hoping to inflict another wound on Pakistan’s psyche by winning 4-1 and Pakistan were hoping to gain a psychological advantage by winning the last match as well. It’s good to see Pakistan won this little contest at the end.

    So, the last ODI was not completely irrelevant not only for the above reasons but also for gaining a couple of points in the ICC rankings which Pakistan did at the end and denied India extending their lead further.

    Malik needs to be encouraged as he is still new at the helm and young. Mistakes, such as those mentioned by Kamran Abbasi, will be made but he would be better for it so long as he learns from them. As they say you learn from your mistakes. Graham Smith now seems to be doing so well by winning every series but his record was not so great either in his early days as captain. Those gunning for Malik’s removal have no realistic alternative. Other than Younus Khan, who refused captaincy, there is no one really.

    I hope Pakistan don’t make a mistake by going with two fast bowlers only for the testes even though the pitches are expected to be spinning tracks. Kaneria alone should be enough as a spinning option and there should be three fast bowlers, preferably, Shoaib Akhtar, Sami and Gul. Two fast bowlers only and two spinners would be a big mistake for two reasons. Firstly, India play spinners really well as even the likes of Shane Warne get hammered in India and secondly, Shoaib and one other seamer only would be very ineffective as Shoaib goes out of steam soon after bowling 3-4 overs. Winning the toss would really be crucial here as the likes of Kaneria will only revel by bowling in the fourth innings.

  • Waheed - USA on November 19, 2007, 12:14 GMT

    Kamran,

    You have brought some good points. I agree with you that a Captain like Malik needs to lead from front. He needs to shine and most importantly like Inzmam, shine, when it matters the most. He needs to show his decisiveness instead looking confused clueless as the Leader is a person whom others look up to. When it comes to aggression yes, here too, he needs to lead from but, he has to be careful. In the 5th one day where he gave an all-round performance, for the first time I saw expressions on his face that resembled with Wasim Akram when he was appointed the captain of Pakistan team for the first time. Akram was appointed captain of Pakistan team not too long after Imran’s era, and as a prodigy of Imran, Akram naturally tried to emulate the style of his mentor. Here, a Captain needs to be very careful as his aggression, shouting and making faces could easily be interpreted by his mates as a sign of arrogance. This is what I believe happened with Wasim Akram when he was made captain of Pakistan team for the first time. Even though his own performance had not diminished still, as he wanted to be like Imran which was interpreted by his players as a sign of arrogance thus, whole team rebelled against him while Akram was clueless. As you mentioned, every captain can not have the luxury to secure his place like Brearly, I believe, to be like Imran and lead like him, is not everyone’s cup of tea either. What is the solution then? Be like Inzmam. While I never thought that Inzmam was a natural leader as he was too laid back. Yet, he came up with his own style. While he was still laid back, Inzmam, kept scoring runs when the team needed him the most. I believe Malik needs to learn from Inzmam. Be and stay who you are. Malik needs to be Malik as he can not afford to be like Brearly neither he can be like Imran. I believe he has leadership qualities but, he needs to score runs when it matters the most and take crucial wickets as he is a good enough spinner , stay agile on the field as he already is. The rest of the herd will follow him. Most importantly he has to learn and remember that there is a fine line between aggression and arrogance.

  • abdul on November 19, 2007, 12:00 GMT

    salam must disagree with you on this occasion sir, yes whilst fielding, he has made a few bad decisions. But that is excusable in the cauldron that is a series in India. You must remember he is a fresh captain, and has never had command over the first eleven of the pakistan cricket team. I will start my defence with odis With the bat, I believe that Malik is more than capable of leading from the front. He has been along with yousuf Pakistans most consistent batsman in odi. He averages 40 in the last 70 matches. He is the only player in the team that can consistently score at over a 100 strike rate between overs 20-40. He came to open the batting himself in a recent odi, proving he can lead from the front.(only for butt to rip up the script.) So I believe it is an absolute disgrace that ex cricketers question his position in the team. When you do try to attack, there are going to be times when you don't succeed and how you can start questioning his form after 2 innings???!!! He played well against SA and the times and situations he came to bat against India (games where he didn't score much) required he put his foot down. His batting in Tests was very good also against SA. 73 in first innings of 1st test was good, and he was 8th man out. The way he batted in the second innings of that match was very good. He was last man out and threw his bat when he knew game was over, but otherwise looked like he could hold up an end. In the 2nd test he made 1 and was victim of an amazing catch by amla which happens. In the second innings he remained not out and saved the game. So the guy is not out of form!!! Also more generally about his captaincy. He started with an odi win over SL before the successful 20:20 cup. The test series against SA was tough but you must remember akmals performances in those games, the fact that we didn't win a toss, and that Yousuf didn't play the first game. AND YOU CANNOT BLAME MALIK FOR THE RESULT IN THE ODI SERIES AGAINST SA. Barring 15 minutes we matched and bettered the number 2 odi side in the world. Give the guy a break. He will learn quickly. And get behind the Team!

  • gohar on November 19, 2007, 11:57 GMT

    Hi Kamran, I am regular reader of your BLogs!! isn't that true that u seems to be inspired by a single performence of Pakistani player? and forget all his flows, like your Blog GUL YORKS PAKISTAN! and some related to afridi. there is no doubt in potential of all Pakistani players but there is a lack of professionlism in all players. This seems to be a consistent or contingent disease. What i think, all players of Pakistan are selfish they seems to play for there own self whether its our skipper or seniors. what game is demanding from them they never able to deliver. If you review all those Wins which pakistan acheive after Malik's captaincy u find that all those win were dependent of a single invincible performance but not by a team effort So final wordings for Malik is that If a captain is not able to develop a TEAM so he shouldn't deserve to Lead 11 persons.

  • nasir on November 19, 2007, 11:33 GMT

    u r right but the problem is openers slot we hv not found any good opener since last 8yrs n our bating depends on yousuf n younus ,

  • Praveen on November 19, 2007, 11:28 GMT

    i would have liked it if the caption is "Malik get a glimpse of his destiny" rather than "Malik masters his destiny" as the author himself points out that one win doesn't eliminate the weaknesses.

  • Imran Zia on November 19, 2007, 11:13 GMT

    At last Shoaib Malik has learnt from his mistakes at last but a match too late. At least he reminded us that he had potential. He is following the footsteps of Inzimam and is too reactive. He has to think one step ahead of the opposition. All his ploys in the previous matches were really expected. As an opposing captain you can predict easily what he would do. The field placing he took for Tendulkar was a good example of how he should manage him self. It was a typical 20\20 field but it worked as Sachin had to change his shots and think differently. Rao Iftikhar came after a good series against the Proteas and he should have been given the new ball from match 1. Fawad Alam should have been played in place of Abdul Rehaman. And Shoaib Malik should realize that he started his career as a bowler. Sarfaraz Ahmed showed that keeping wickets is not a difficult thing after all. I am not sure that this consolation win would help Pakistan in the Test series as three players who played vital roles in yesterday’s victory will be leaving the squad. Blaming your bowlers, batsmen and fielders is alright but it is your responsibility to play the right people in accordance to the situation. in a cricket side and especially in ODI the key word is BALANCE even if you have to drop big names.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on November 19, 2007, 11:10 GMT

    Firstly, I would like to offer my commiserations to the Indians for not being able to whitewash the most listless Pakistani team ever. Secondly, I would like to congratulate the Indians on winning a home-series against us for the first time in 24 years!

    Fourthly or um thirdly, for those still keeping track, Ramiz Raja has really managed to get under my skin. Ramiz is in a nutshell, a paradox, an individual full of contradictions. It seems to me that in order to appease his Nimbus BCCI employers, not to mention the Indian audience, he is forever criticizing the Pakistanis and refusing to say anything that would go against the Indians, even if it were true. For instance, during the fourth ODI, when Shahid Afridi was given out, it was clear to everyone that the impact was outside the off stump. However, Ramiz at that point in time uttered and I quote, “It’s a good decision by the umpire” to which Arun Lal responded with his “I agree Ramiz”.. Frankly, I was flabbergasted. And if anyone here thinks I’m full of crap, here’s what the cricinfo commentators had to say:

    Ganguly to Shahid Afridi, OUT, Ganguly takes out Afridi. It struck him outside off stump, though. Afridi tried to paddle-sweep a length delivery coming in from just outside off, missed, and was hit on the pad. He was playing a shot and the point of impact was marginally outside off and was definitely unlucky to be given out lbw. That's Ganguly's 100th ODI wicket.

    As a neutral commentator, I don’t expect Ramiz to blast the standard of umpiring but this is insane. I am no Afridi fan but as a follower of cricket, I know that a batsman can’t be given out if he is hit outside the line of the off stump, which is precisely what happened in Afridi’s case. Period. Either Ramiz has forgotten the rules of cricket or is another Arun Lal in disguise. I would just like to remind all the regulars here that when India was playing against England and Aleem Dar incorrectly raised his finger to a caught behind appeal against Sachin, the Indian commentators which included Ravi Shastri, Harsha Bhogle and Alan Wilkins, moaned, whined and grumbled throughout the rest of the match. Infact, they even argued that Rahul Dravid wasn’t out even though he had inside-edged the delivery. My point is, I don’t want Ramiz to stoop to this level but I do expect him to be a straight shooter and say it as it is. If it’s a dubious decision, say it’s unfortunate but its cricket and it happens. But geez, don’t say it’s a good decision when every Tom, Dick and Harry knows it isn’t.

    In addition, he is forever castigating Yousuf for playing cautiously and selfishly, even though at the end of all his innings, he had a strike rate of more than 88. Ramiz also, inexplicably, during his audio message on cricinfo kept urging Shoaib Malik to open the batting. I mean, yes, I do believe that a captain should lead from the front but when you already have four specialist openers, what’s the point of having a make-shift opener? Malik had been playing really well (down the order) against the South Africans and just needed one innings to get back into the groove, but due to the unnecessary pressure put on him by the Ramiz led Pakistani media, decided to open the innings: S I mean this is preposterous. If a captain is a middle order batsman, it doesn’t mean he HAS to open the innings to lead from the front. Hypothetically, if Symonds was the Australian captain, Ramiz would want him to open the side!???? I mean whose side is Ramiz on ?

  • Shuja-Dubai on November 19, 2007, 11:09 GMT

    I know this has nothing to do with the subject but I really like to know one thing which maybe one of the regulars of this forum can answer. I remember rather well that Rashid Latif (during his tenure as the captain of Pakistan team) was banned for 5 odd matches because he had appealed for a catch in which the ball had touched the ground. I saw the recent match between Pakistan and India and Dhoni appealed taking a similar catch in which the ball clearly touched the ground.. actually very clearly. No action was or has been taken against him?? any comments !!!

  • Adnan Zulfiqar on November 19, 2007, 11:05 GMT

    I really wanted malik to succesful and I long with rameez raja am realising he lacks the tacticul skills at this level. He quickly loses focus.LOOKS Engulfed by emotional stress and most times is clueless. I still feel shahid afridi is undermining him . I have more love for M.yousuf who I think is supporting him. Younis khan is just self obesesed. So good luck malik !!

  • Raman VikramAdith on November 19, 2007, 10:57 GMT

    It may have been a dead rubber, but it was good to see Pakistan fight for it.

    Fawad Alam looks to be a very exciting player. Let's hope he comes good for them.

  • Abdul on November 19, 2007, 10:50 GMT

    I think it is unfair to say that Malik is goin through a bad patch. We saw his performance against SA and it was pretty decent with Malik goin into 40 regularly. Dun forget that series was decided in the last 6 overs of the final ODI. B4 that we were sure of Pakistan's Victory. In those circumstances he codnt do much. His captaincy Vs Ind was pretty BORING i wod say. The body language of all the players wasnt good. Specially Akhtar n Afridi. And I personally feel that Malik out of respect for the seniors doesnt point out their faults. We saw in the last ODI how Malik got angry on some of the younger players. Even this thing goes in his favour and he would learn with time, how to handle the great and keeping em in a positive mindset.

  • shahzad ahmad on November 19, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    salaam oalikum, how are u, i watch the last match of pakistan team against india, this match not seen as a serious match, because the players of both teams are not serious although shoib malik also, during the batting of malik and yousaf we saw most scenes that both are not serious including indian players, this victory i actually not a true victory. i m disisatisfied by the planning of pakistani team and management, i appreciate the lasson that who take interest in pak team coching but the players of pak not interested, im also glad by the performance of new wicketkeeper sarafraz ahmad, i think he is the younger one wicketkeeper now a days cricket ok ALLAH HAFFIZ best wishes for pakistan team

  • Qasim Hussain on November 19, 2007, 10:44 GMT

    The series lost can not be all blamed on Malik alone. There are a number of reasons for the lose, some below:-

    1. Lack of a genuin pace bowling allrounder in the name of A.Razzak! Believe it or not but Pakistan lacked Razzaks finishing in all the ODI matches. He normally came in at the end and scored the odd 20-30 runs at a quick pace. Pakistan also has to play an extra fast bowler because there is no genuin pace bowling allrounder at the moment.

    2. Opening combination has been useless. Imran Nazir and Butt should be given a run for a period of time in ODI. Butt and Yasir Hameed or even Taufeeq Umar should be given a run in the test matches if the selectors do not want to try out new younger players.

    3. Abdur Rehman should not be wasted time with when we have Fawad Alam, who can bowl just as well if not better. He can also bat and field pretty well too. I watched the second ODI in Lahore between SA and Pak and I must say, Rehman had to be the worst fielder on field and that match included M. Yousuf!

    All in all, could come back by Pakistan team, no matter what the media, fans or ex-players say about the test contest ahead. I think both teams match each other pretty well. Pakistan has a better pace attack, while India has a better spin attack.

    Batting wise, India has Sachin, Dravid and perhaps Ganguly while we have Younis and the one man test team in Yousuf. Malik and Misbah should be also provide good support as will Dhoni to the Indian team.

    Expect some fireworks from Akhtar and Gul. Am delighted to see Gul bowl with pace and control and lets hope Sami can do the same.

    A draw is the most likely outcome but lets hope Pakistan can pull out a win :D

  • Chohdry Amir Ali Sandhu on November 19, 2007, 10:43 GMT

    One of the many things that contributed towards Pakistan’s success in the last ODI against India was the absence of the senior players. Malik looked more at home having to direct and motivate the younger and lesser experienced team mates. One could feel the energy on the field when Pakistan was fielding.

    Even looking at Mahendra Singh Dhoni, a captain Malik will always be compared with, it is evident that he is more inclined to play with exuberant youth rather than the heavy load of super stars.

    May be its time Pakistan also has two different captains for Tests and ODIs with complete autonomy to choose their diggers. Younis for Tests and Malik for ODIs. Just a thought!

  • Omair Khan on November 19, 2007, 10:34 GMT

    Yes totally agreed. One thing i and all other noticed that during fielding Shoiab Malik set-up very good plans to Sachin who has been in graet form as usual. And the wya he was dismissed showed that if you work according to plans you can achieve success. Pakistan tema and Captain Shoib Malik have still lot of work to do .. and on their day at office tbey seem to have done rightly so atleast. Best of Luck.

  • yoman on November 19, 2007, 10:26 GMT

    dude that is like so true man.Go for it dude!Write a book!Rycheouss!

  • S Alam on November 19, 2007, 10:22 GMT

    Kamran,it is high time Shahid Afridi is dropped from the team permnantly.He plays one good innings every 10 innings or so. He is just in the team on the basis of his reputation. He is not good enough to play just as a spinner. Instead of Afridi, someone like Fawad Alam brings depth to the batting and also can bowl pretty good. No other player would be kept in the team if he performs in one out of 10 innings. He is our version of Sehwag & India did the right thing by dropping him. Sehwag has no footwork & Afridi has no brain & since he is 27 yrs old & in international cricket for over 11 yrs. he wont change. ITS TIME TO GET RID OF AFRIDI PERMENANTLY.

  • Mohammad Yasin on November 19, 2007, 9:41 GMT

    Malik is a brilliant captain, a very good player indeed. However, I feel pakistan need to bring misbah-ul-haq up the order so that you have a very strong top order which will build a foundation for players like Shahid to come and slog it out in the last 15 overs or so.

    but a job well done Shoaib!

  • Kaiser Mukhtar from Hongkong on November 19, 2007, 9:31 GMT

    I think Pak should play with more young players than the tried and failed. some consider themselves to be indispensable and under perform hence produce the image of Pak as most brittle batting line up of the world. And no other team gives so many chances to a failed wicket keeper as Pakistan has provided to Kamran Akmal. New Keeper Sarfraz Ahmed is a breath of fresh air in the face of hopelessness. Bowllers do all the hard work to make some batsman commit a mistake and a little fumble ruins the hope of millions watching the game all around the world. Other teams make a catch of adifficult or improbable chance and our team makes a routine and easy chance into an elusive one hence spreading hpoelessness and despair. Pakistan should thionk about it serously.

  • Ali on November 19, 2007, 9:26 GMT

    I think Shoaib is young and energetic cricketer and captain, he should be given more time to prove and improve himself. Its not an easy task to captain Pakistan side with all the emotions associated with the game. well done Shoaib!

  • Nasser Siddiqui on November 19, 2007, 9:05 GMT

    The reason why pakistan went backwards after their 20 20 tournament was because of Shoiab Akhtar. They dont need him, its time for others to perform. I think Pakistan cricket team can be compared to Arsenal FC. When Thierry Henry left, the young players of Arsenal have really made their mark, similiarly I think there are young players ready to make their mark.... with Shoiab gone then only can they make their mark, players like Fawad Alam, Tanvir, Gul(who has potential to be worlds best) and others. As long as Shoaib is in the team they will always lose series and maybe win 1 match out of 15 due to his brilliant bowling, but is that enough?

  • J.Amrith on November 19, 2007, 8:58 GMT

    Swagger and aggression are fine as long as they are not lionized as you seem to be doing. Sohail Tanvir's repeated fist-pumping after bagging Tendulkar's wicket in the 5th ODI can be indulgently excused as the exuberance of youth but it provoked comments by several of the other Pakistani players to a retreating Tendulkar who of-course did not deign to look back. I am sure that the comments were not complimentary even if preceded by the usual invocation to the Lord.

  • shibu mathew on November 19, 2007, 8:54 GMT

    s. malik will be the best captain in the world of cricket. provided p.c.b.should not dump him mid way . look at his body language a real fighter and a fine usefull all rounder. he has all the quality for a stuborn leader. i wish him all the best.

  • rahim ahmed on November 19, 2007, 8:47 GMT

    y isnt mohhamed yousaf vice captin? now hes muslim as well and y dosent fawad alam play cricket mre for pakistan we need some one to grow up with the team and put abdul razzq bck in the side and imran farhat go pakistan

  • Rahim ahmed on November 19, 2007, 8:44 GMT

    i think wat kamran said was right pakistan is an aggressive team and they play better when there agressive and especially when there captin is aggressive i thought shoib malik batted well but he has to do it mre often go pakistan

  • ikram on November 19, 2007, 8:41 GMT

    Nothing succeeds like success. Shoaib was successful(b4 he was captain) because he played with a plan and controlled aggression and with no worries. He should play his natural game. Controlled aggression. Form gives you confidence. Right now he looks too worried. Shoaib needs to be more positive and aggressive in the field. No need to play nice.

    The win was a welcome relief for Pakistan and its fan. I wish they had played like this the whole series. The game showed one thing, youth's enthusiasm is a wonderful thing and we need some infusion of youth. It was wonderful to see Sarfaraz and Fawad playing with energy. I wish they would keep fawad for the test series.

    Good luck to pakistan in the test series.

  • Sayed Jaffer on November 19, 2007, 8:35 GMT

    Pakistan should grab hold of the opportunity provided by india with both hands and yesterdays match should rejuvenate them to play aggressively in the upcoming series. India should have not taken yesterday,s match lightly because you dont allow teams like Pakistan to rise again from the Ashes.

  • Abbas on November 19, 2007, 8:25 GMT

    Malik is very good captan of Pakistan lose or win is part of life

  • Iqbal on November 19, 2007, 8:22 GMT

    I strongly agree to the fact that Pakistan cricket is an aggressive beast and you can succeed only if you ride it with aggression. Shoaib Malik appears to be a person whose goal is to keep every body happy, which is not an ideal approach in Pakistan cricket. Also, he does not like to put opposition under pressure by attacking or by doing things out of the box. He looks pretty content following his preplanned script and if any thing goes wrong, he gets confused and perplexed. Many believe that half of Imran Khan's success is due to the presence of Javed Miandad. Pakistan do not have the presence of a genius like Miandad in the field these days. Shoaib Malik is by no means a tactical genius. The only person that appears to any tactical sense is Younus Khan and I do not see Shoaib Malik consulting him in the field as well. So I guess the only approach left for Malik is to adapt the "in your face" approach. And for that matter he needs to come out firing all guns with his bat. So very rightly put my Mr. Kamran that Malik own form is him only weapon to lead this side.

    And for God sake, we need get over Kamran Akmal. He is one of the most pathetic wicket keeper that ever got to play for Pakistan. I think, Pakistan cricket has never given more chances to any one than Kamran Akmal. The only other name comes to mind is Mohammad Sami.

  • Owais on November 19, 2007, 8:22 GMT

    We should not jump to conclusion too quickly. I am glad that bench players got their opportunity but I dont see a future for Yasir Hameed. He just lacks temperament. It was a relief to see Sarfraz behind the stumps. It would be nice to have Sami back in the side in Asif's absence. Shoaib Malik has got to learn many things if he wants to improve the results.

  • raza Karamat on November 19, 2007, 7:51 GMT

    Abbasi saab, The only way we will discover these young dynamic players like Alam, Tanvir and Ahmad are through injury or very very very poor form. Tanvir brought in twenty/20 to replace Akthar, Alam used in pointless match to show what he can give and Ahmad used after 3 terrible series from akmal just to fly him in as a backup and then a pointless game to get him in. We have other guys who can make a great impact on the national team like mansoor Amjad, Khuram Mansoor, and Anwar Ali but sadly the only was we will see them is if players are injured or the series is meaningless. I like khan, afridi, Yousef but we needed to try these young lads and now we have australia coming up. I want to see these youngsters play and they should be introduced against australia. I don;t mean to give up already on the australian series but do we have to see players like Y. Khan, yousef, Afridi, and Abdur Rehman play and produce the same results. We need to rest these guys and give the youngsters a shot.

  • Faisal on November 19, 2007, 7:33 GMT

    I wouldn't make too much of this last match seeing that both sides rested some of their regulars. A key notes: 1. Fawad Alam looked very composed and hopefully the selectors will give him a chance. You can't tell much from one performance but I think he at least deserves to be in the overall squad for the upcoming tests. Basically he is being sent back for Faisal Iqbal who really hasn't done much. 2. Shahid Afridi is a bowler. He has played close to 250 ODI's and to expect him to change his batting style now is defying reality. He is what he is and we should look at him as a bowler who can bat like Agarkar or Adrew Hall. Pakistan have been playing five bowlers for most of the series (Afridi, Akhthar, Gul, Tanvir, Anjum/Rehman) and it shows in their repeated batting failures. We need to go in with a more balanced attack. 3. Shoaib Malik should open the innings in both forms. It makes more sense than giving a chance to Nazir or Hameed who have proven they cannot provide consistency. 4. I really like Kamran Akmal and hopes he can regain his form. Right now he needs to go back and play domestic cricket and work on his technique and confidence. Give Sarfraz the nod in the upcoming tests. This might light a competitive fire under Akmal.

  • AAMIR JADOON on November 19, 2007, 7:33 GMT

    Yes Kamran you are absolutly right that Mailik must have the influence as a player and he must perform by himself inlikes of Inzimam. But I think that Malik needs some time to built himself because he is young and also Pakistani team is in rehebilitation process so, but one thing I want to discuss is that what Geof Lawson is doing over there because during the series we need a player like Fawad Alam and why they did not given him a chance earlier. And also kamran Akmal is a huge weight on Pakistan team now he must be rested for a while and then must perform in the domestic and then prepere himself for international cricket. If we analize the last one and half year pakistan major defeats came just because of drop catches exapt the world cup Kamran Akmal have droped the catches on crusial stages on many many times, and in the 90% cases Pakistan lost the match and lost the series just because of those drop catches. For example just look at the last series of South Africa and Pakistan in the last one day Kamran Akmal have droped kallis on Zero and that was simply a lolly pop, and because of that drop catch Kallis scored a 80 plus and because of that score we lost the match, coz if that catch was held by the kamran akmal then on that slow and also spinning track it was very difficult for South Africa to play, and they may not be able to score over 200. So in My openion if Pakistan want to win the series they have to play with new wicket keeper and also with shohaib umar gul and muhammad sami as well. and also they have to try Yasir hameed consistantly as an opener with Salman But. I think that it is now up to shohaib malik that what should he do now.

  • adnan on November 19, 2007, 7:32 GMT

    All rounder means who can do little bit of bowling and also bit of batting. But he must have to possess a strong side, such as a good batsman then bowler (like Kallis) or good bowler then batsman (Imran Khan). Now consider the present pakistani all-rounder, Shahid Afridi. Shahid Afridi is good leg spinner with lots of variations and a good hard hitting batsman. But his consistency is awesome particularly in batting. He did well in 20-20 cricket, because it suits his level of playing. Still pakistan has given him the chance to play more than 200 matches. His batting has not improved at all though bowling has improved a bit. In the fifth match, Pakistan played Fawad Alam, a little kid but his batting was compact and according to team's need. I dont know why Pakistani selectors always give chance to show players like Afridi, Shoaib Akhter, Imran Nazir. Build a team with young performers, they will lose initially but in the future they will not hurt you.

  • Anonymous Malik on November 19, 2007, 7:25 GMT

    Typical pakistani article. Criticizing the captain for the lack of skills in the team. Give shoaib malik a chance to do something without useless 2 cent comments about his batting and captaincy. What was the state of Pakistan cricket before?. What did Pakistan do in the world cup. Nothing. We lost to Ireland forgodsake. I bet under Shoaib Malik that wouldnt have happened. The series against South Africa was a good one even though we lost. It could have gone either way. For once stop criticizing the captain for everything wrong in the team. Every Hasbeen in Pakistan cricket is always talking about how poorly he is captaining. Times were different then and they are now. What Pakistan is lacking is a wicket keeper. That is one of the reasons why pakistan lost this series. A catch here and there can change everything. CATCHES WIN MATCHES. Kamran Akmal cannot even bat properly. Look at the top one day international teams. They all have keepers who could qualify to play as specialist batsman. THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE. Adam Gilchrist , Mahendra Dhoni & Dinesh Kartik, and Mark Boucher are example of this new era of One Day Cricket. Kamran Akmal is from the same Rashid Latif average of 19.42 era but atleast Rashid Latif could keep. Its time for a change. Its time to stop criticizing someone clearly trying to make a difference.

  • bulbul on November 19, 2007, 7:17 GMT

    well nice comments dearly and a wonderful article this time around/..........

  • sahil on November 19, 2007, 7:15 GMT

    Right!! Mr. Kamran All well said! but i still believe Akhter shoud have played the last game as he lacks match practice at an international level and this match was an oppurtunity lost! and i think kamran akmal should be given a chance in the first test ,no because i like him or he is the best wicket keeper but because he must feel the heat now particularly having seen sarfaraz's confidence and most of the times compitition brings best out of the people and we might see kamran back with some improvement! and Malik need to be innovative, think out of the box, like if a bowler doesnt perform,do something new, like change ends or ask him to do something different! I FEEL AFRIDI SHOULD BE IN THE TEAM AS HE HAS ALWAYS PERFORMED IN TESTS AND ALSO HE IS A VERY GOOD SPINNING OPTION AND ALSO IF HE CANT MATCH THE LIKES OF KUMBLE BUT HE CAN STILL BE EFFECTIVE!

    GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN!

  • nabin thapa on November 19, 2007, 7:14 GMT

    Good win for pak from the winning from no any legend or so called senior player thats it, pls remove 3 or four so called senior from the team that will be the extra ordinary performance would definately shown and one more pls captain malik you should lead the from the of batting order otherwise panic will be always in your front as this series.

  • WASIM SAQIB on November 19, 2007, 7:10 GMT

    The Induction of youth and the exclusion of selfish, non co-operative and under performing players changed the outlook of the whole team. This was the second time in the series that Pakistan team played aggressively and the result was in their favor, the combination was perfect, Malik led from the front and his partnership with Yousuf was instrumental in posting a big total, this was the second time in the series that our middle order paced the innings desirably and we didn't saw an agonizingly slow and selfish partnership between Younis and Yousuf, almost all the matches lost in this series can be attributed to the slow batting by our middle order, for the first time in the series Pakistan played two specialist openers and we got the highest opening stand of the series, I fail to understand why Pakistan persisted with one make shift opener in the first four matches as we selected four regular openers for this ODI series.

    The exclusion of Kamran Akmal was a good omen not only that he was a liability as an opener but his keeping was pathetic, his exclusion resulted in changes which restored the balance of the team. Hats off to the young Sarfraz Ahmed he played the match as if he had no pressure his keeping was flawless he displayed a lot of confidence and energy, and IMO he has cemented his place in the team, if there were any doubts in the minds of team management about his ability they must have been dispelled, he should be selected for the tests in place of Akmal.

    Fawad Alam also got a chance to showcase his talent and I must say that he was not able to impress me much in his first appearance in Sharjah but today he was determined to impress everybody with his performance and cement his place in the team. He will be a good addition to the Odi team but I don’t think he is ready for test cricket as of yet.

    Malik was aggressive today may be he didn't had to speculate and worry about the performance of Afridi, and Younis Khan the only two players who have not been co-operating with him and are not under his control. He looked more focused and in control, his field setting and bowling changes were good, he was also behaving like a leader, he was yelling at the fielders for slight fumbles, and was also constantly talking to the bowlers and he made sure that they bowl according to the plan, something which was surprisingly missing in the first four matches. If he has to become a successful leader he will have to grab the bull by its horns which means (no more bhais) he should not be lenient with any player just because he is senior, in this respect he should learn from Imran who was not even afraid to leave Miandad and Malik out of the playing eleven if he believed that they were not in form. Upholding of merit and discipline will be the key to his success.

  • Idrese on November 19, 2007, 7:08 GMT

    Pakistan must avoid the 'old hogs' if they like to conquer the world. Look how Indian tean has become a demon. How come time and agian Shoaib Akhtar is brought in and never he plays a winning role specially against India - a far cry!!! Better give chance to young guys or their talent might die on the boundary lines

  • Dr Faizullah Khawaja on November 19, 2007, 6:47 GMT

    I think we should now try to stick with some kind of combination for say ten games in a row specially the batting order and forget about flexibility. we don't even know what is our regular ODI squad so how do we justify chop and change. let a regular side develop for some time before any change. we need to fix openers say Butt and Malik himself or Afridi then stick to it for ten games and then review. 3, 4 , 5 ,6 are relatively fixed with younus yusuf malik/afridi and misbah 7 could be fawad 8 keeper sarfaraz(please not kamran)9,10,11 bowlers Umar, rao/asif ,and tanvir .tanvir gives a left handed okward variety so is usefull.Shoaib akhtar for tests.

  • Farhan on November 19, 2007, 6:45 GMT

    I hope due to a defect in this series, there are no talks about sacking Shoaib Malik. I wish there was a way we can teach him aggresion like Wasim and Imran. If you have any say in Pak Cricket, can you ask why cant we have wasim akram as our bowling caoch? also I didnt see any Article from you on Shoaib Akhtar's good performance, surely when he creates a mess people tend to jump all over him. A little praise would be nice

  • Z33 on November 19, 2007, 6:34 GMT

    Malik will grow up surely.....Will be a succesful Cap. Inshallah !

  • Imran Ali on November 19, 2007, 6:30 GMT

    I think Pakistan would do well without the old horses - Shahid Afridi & Shoaib Akhter-. Whenever these two players are not there the team performance improves mysteriously. PCB should groom new players like Fawad Alam & Sarfaraz Ahmed.

  • dr aamir imtiaz on November 19, 2007, 6:27 GMT

    well ur right about that ..a real factful column with really nice bit of tips but malik also needs to bring back the SPARK that once rode the pakistan innings and still the slogan for pakistan that "Pakistan can beat any team given that they are in the mood to do it" . Inshallah im quite hopeful that Malik will ripe with time.so guys plz dont criticize him more than he can bear..just give him sometime to prove himself.

  • Usman Riaz Qazi on November 19, 2007, 6:10 GMT

    Finally an aggression comes from the Pakistan end and that shows the talent we have. The good thing was they gave a chance to Sarfraz and he proved his skills well, now Management should take the brave decision and go in test series with Sarfraz rather than Akmal that will be a strong and confident move which will show that our team is confident enough to play with fresh legs behind and in front of stumps.

    Younis and Yousaf is in prime form and both has a very good batting record against India specially Younis, now the Malik has also joined the gang and if openers provides us a good start there is no reason that we lack in test series. Good thing is Sami is in good form and has been recalled for test series this will boost up our balling strength as well. But to fight or give Indian batting line up a hard time a good batting required from both Y’s along with a good support from Malik and Butt as well. Misbah will be a surprise package, let’s hope this surprise will have a positive impact on our batting. On papers our team seems to be a strong one and no doubt if they played to their skills there is no reason that they will not reach to the victory stand as a winner.

    Sohail Tanveer is a nice find and Lawson should work on his batting side as well to polish him as a good all-rounder. He showz some class in the final of Twenty-20. The only thing is he must be given enough chances to prove him self at International Level as well as he has scored two hundredz in the first class, which again indicates his class as a good batsman. His batting average in First class is 35.44 with two tons followed by 5 half tons with the career best 124* not out. In his 7 innings at International level he only faced 44 balls and scored 53 runs with a strike rate of 120.45.

    If he continues the same form no doubt he will be one of the best all-rounder of Pakistan cricket.

    Usman Riaz Qazi

  • Muhammad Tariq on November 19, 2007, 5:56 GMT

    I think Shoaib Malik has all the talent and capable to lead the Pakistan cricket team. As we all know India Pakistan series are always tough ones and there are more pressure here than anywher else. 3-2 lose is although loss of a series but it is acceptable and we must not become harsh at the new young captain. I think we must give some time to Shoaib Malik because he is still very young and he is captaining a rebuilding side with a new coach. I believe that he will definitly prove himself as a captain during his tenure of One year. Now comming to Salman Butt, Sohail Tanveer, Sarfaraz and Fawad Alam yes they are great finds for Pakistan and they must perform at higher level because they are well capable of it. Talking about the Test series, India has a little edge with their recent form but who knows Pakistan is always unpredictable and they can defeat even World XI on their day. Good luck Pakistan with hope that you will fight hard till the end.

  • Danish on November 19, 2007, 5:51 GMT

    Well said Kamran. One thing that is noticeable is that there was a much needed energy in the Pakistan squad on the field. Malik seemed a lot more authoritative in a good way. Could this be because he didn't have the overbearing presence of the senior players like Akhter, Afridi and Younus?

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 19, 2007, 5:44 GMT

    Now that Shoaib Malik has earned the dubious distinction of losing a bona fide test at National Stadium Karachi (the only other loss at that venue being in the dark of the night aided with some suspect umpiring), and losing an ODI series in India after 24 years, we should be able to extrapolate which direction his captaincy is going. And to top it all, he's taking it all quite nicely... "we're professionals, we have to live with that". No remorse, non-apologetic, what-me-care? With the real test of leadership, the test series, ahead of him, I have to say that getting runs alone is not going to cut it for him. His own form will have to be accompanied with a lot more if he truly wants to establish his leadership credentials.

    For one, Malik has to come up with some sort of a philosophy to knit the team together. Even someone as placid and docile as Inzamam was able to conjure up religion to pull the team together. But it's an alarming signal when the team starts to lose its purpose against India of all the sides in the world. It's real trouble when the Indians start to complain that this Pakistan side is too friendly. They have to struggle to fake their frowns and nasty attitudes. This Pakistan team is creating the tradition of visiting Bollywood actors in jail with flower bouquets. By the way, is it just me or is it true that Shoaib Akhtar looks more and more gay with each passing day? Is he trying to make a statement in reality or someone just hasn't been able to tell him how to dress up?

    I have my reservations about Asif's injury as well. I think that Asif has pulled back because Shoaib Akhtar was included in the team. If that is really the case then it would be another failure on Shoaib Malik's part. Malik hasn't really made his position clear about Shahid Afridi's reluctance to parttake in the test series also. It seems kind of strange to me Afridi returning home with the test series still to be played. Most of all, Malik hasn't taken a stance on Imran Khan's arrest. At the least, the team should've played with black arm bands to protest the insulting arrest of one of their own and a great national hero. Will he be a stooge or will he show us that he has the grit? The former, I'm sorry to say.

  • sharma sheema on November 19, 2007, 5:39 GMT

    its not only the captain but the selector,what can only captain do if u dont have your best 11 in your side and one thing if you are not supported by your other 10 guns,Ricky and Gream always suppored by their guns so they seem in best form.

  • Omer Admani on November 19, 2007, 5:39 GMT

    Well, I agree with most of what you say. I don't personally think, though, that India is a stronger team on paper. I don't think their medium pacers should prove to be genuine wicket takers, and their sole reliance will be on Kumble. However, batting is their strength and Malik's captaincy will be tested on the field. However, Pakistan doesn't have a bad bowling attack either: Akhter seems to be getting form again, Sami has come back in form locally (though he will remain unreliable as ever), Kaneria should find form with a new keeper now, and Tanvir gives variety as a left-armer. Apart from that, though Pakistan's batting doesn't seem dominating, we still have the two y's and a butt in form. All in all both the teams look even on paper. However, it will also depend a lot on the form of cricket they play, whether they are timid as against SA or aggressive and proactive.

  • Mohamed Hanas on November 19, 2007, 5:37 GMT

    As I said Pakistan won the game. But Malik took too many chances with going three front line bowlers. Shoaib Akthar opting out also did not help. Yasir Hameed should not be in the team. But opportunity was given and not taken.

    Pakistan will do well in test. We will keep the faith on them. I think Shoaib Malik should open and Safraz to keep.

    Lets pray for Pakistan. Shoaib Malik have the confidence to do well. Only Mr. Lawson support is needed.

    Hanas

  • sahil on November 19, 2007, 5:22 GMT

    Right!! Mr. Kamran All well said! but i still believe Akhter shoud have played the last game as he lacks match practice at an international level and this match was an oppurtunity lost! and i think kamran akmal should be given a chance in the first test ,no because i like him or he is the best wicket keeper but because he must feel the heat now particularly having seen sarfaraz's confidence and most of the times compitition brings best out of the people and we might see kamran back with some improvement! and Malik need to be innovative, think out of the box, like if a bowler doesnt perform,do something new, like change ends or ask him to do something different! I FEEL AFRIDI SHOULD BE IN THE TEAM AS HE HAS ALWAYS PERFORMED IN TESTS AND ALSO HE IS A VERY GOOD SPINNING OPTION AND ALSO IF HE CANT MATCH THE LIKES OF KUMBLE BUT HE CAN STILL BE EFFECTIVE!

    GOOD LUCK PAKISTAN!

  • shiraz on November 19, 2007, 5:12 GMT

    I agree with you 100% , Akmal needs to go, i think he had more than enough chances for this life time. Another point i like to make is agression is good if you have performance to back it up...i donno why Shahid Afridi has this attitude cuz i dont even remember when he made his last 50 and he has sucked big time in bowling even in this series. He is too inconsistent and its about time that we replace him with guys like fawad alam who can bowl and bat.

  • zahid from Dera Ismail Khan on November 19, 2007, 5:10 GMT

    its was nice

  • Javed Iqbal on November 19, 2007, 5:03 GMT

    Well I wish against hope that the learnings sunk in from the last ODI and are translated into a fighting test series. However there are many areas that need a closer exmination; Foremost is the issue of an authentic opening pair. Its about time to give Yasir Hameed his fair share. Misbah should be given a greater responsibility as he has shown a cool head and should be a constant feature in the late middle order unless we have Razzaq come in to fill in the number 6-7 slot. He will fit in the scheme of things really well providing the side with an extra bowler and handy batsman. He has good stats against India as well. shoiab malik is a utility cricketer and he has to concentrate more on his bowling in addition to shouldering the middle order batting with younis and yousaf. Sohail tanvir, to me, is find of the year and a little more polishing can turn him into a very good cricketer. The most welcome change is that of the wicket-keeper. I guess time is up for the butter-fingered Akmal and we should try one or two more options. By the same token, its about time to say goodbye to shoaib. History tell us that human memory is too short, but this man has been a progressive dissapointment each year since his arrival on the scene. looking forward to a competitive and learning series for Pakistan against a very formidable Indian side.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 19, 2007, 3:26 GMT

    Talking of Shoaib Malik mastering his destiny. Had he batted well and scored more runs at Gwalior and made it 2-2, I would have said yeah, he tried to control his destiny. I am quoting from cricinfo what the simpleton had said after the Gwalior ODI defeat. Malik said, "I had asked for scorecards of the last three matches played here. The teams batting first had won so I decided to bat first." He confirms that he had done his homework before the fourth ODI against India at Gwalior and after winning the toss he opted to bat first. He is such a duh that a night before the Gwalior match, when both teams were practicing at night time, everyone could see the amount of dew on the ground and everyone said, the team winning the toss must field first, because the dew factor makes bowling and fielding very difficult and it is for this reason he did not bowl in that match at all, and he asked Salman Butt to bowl the last couple of overs. Which is a bad example from a leader.

    Today, he lost the toss and was forced to bat. But, the team won due to the following reasons:

    1. Malik's pressure was off, the team lost the series after 24 years and whatever happened, happened and people have said, what they had to say. So, he played with an open mind and played better, but in the end threw away his wicket needlessly. He bowled like a mediocre, but he is lucky that he got wickets. More than destiny the luck was on his side. The destiny of the ODI series was sealed and stamped in Gwalior.

    2. According to the law of averages, Malik was ought to score after 4 consecutive failures, and Tendulkar was destined to get out early. He still gave some jitters to Malik before Tanvir got him and Misbah took a good catch. Misbah's encore after dropping a sitter of Uthappa must have made him a very relieved person. Hence he did not fail when the little master-batter offered him an edge.

    3. According to the past stats India has never won a series against Pakistan with big margins like Pakistan has won in the past with 5-1, and 6-1 in Nehru Cup & 4-2 in the last series they came from behind and bounced back and won four on a trot. Therefore, it was expected that when Pakistani players will play with a free mind they will win.

    4. According to the law of averages Yuvraj & Dhoni's middle order partnership was not going to come along nicely as it happened in the past few matches. And Yuvraj was unlucky today to be given out, bad umpiring. Where are the neutral umpires anyways?

    The dew factor cannot be ignored, it does help the side batting second, Irfan Pathan and Kartik managed to pull off some good shots in the death overs. So, the secret is not in containing the side batting second with tight bowling, but the secret is in putting up a BIG score by the team batting first. Although 306 proved to be enough in the end but, it would have been better had the team scored 330 plus. Because, India has a better record of winning when batting second. The mistakes that Malik made in the 3 matches he lost, he should sit down, watch the videos, discuss with his coach and team mates and learn from those mistakes.

    As regards test series, Malik says that Kumble's captaincy would be an advantage for Pakistan. I don't see how Malik can find it as an advantage for Pakistan? Because India has a more balanced test side with Dravid, Laxman and Jaffar in the team along with Tendulkar and Dhoni. The pitches for the test have reportedly been made to suit the spinners. And Pakistan has only one specialist spinner in Danish Kaneria, whereas, India has more experienced spinners in Kumble and Harbhajan.

    Pakistan is heavily relying on Yousuf and Younus and that is a big mistake. The opening conundrum will continue and openers will fail, the solid middle order of YY is without Inzamam now, so it is not so solid anymore. And they do not have any exploding batsmen in the team like Afridi, Razzaq or Nazir, for late order assault. It may sound weird to some but, even in the test matches you need big hitters in the team to accelerate the run rate in the second innings. The one and only Bangalore test Pakistan won last time and drew the series was because of timely declaration and then getting the Indian batsmen out in the second innings with enough time on hands and plenty of runs on board. The match could have ended in a draw but, timely declaration helped the captain to place attacking field when their spinners were bowling and thats the reason Pakistan won that match.

    I don't think that Pakistan has any advantage over India in the test series, in fact it is the other way round. I have no hopes from Shoaib Akhtar who is unfit and out of shape and may not be able to bowl even 12 overs in any innings. With Sami coming in, will they be playing with 4 seamers and Danish Kaneria? In any case it will be Kaneria's marathon once again. But, neither Kaneria, nor Abdul Rahman are match winning bowlers. In fact, Abdul Rahman is absolutely redundant in the team and should have been sent home. As regards the new wicket keeper Sarfaraz, I am not aware of his batting abilities but if he plays all I can say is: " Tislam Yadaik Ya Sarfaraz."

  • Hassan on November 19, 2007, 3:19 GMT

    But unfortunately good future talent like Fawad Alam is being sent home, and safarshi Faisal Iqbal is being flown in. There is not justification for sending Fawad Alam back, and not giving him chance in test match.

  • Tariq Hafiz--USA on November 19, 2007, 3:14 GMT

    I feel that Shoaib Malik deserves our strong support and not a critical evaluation . Words like clueless and catatonic do not appropriately describe a genuine person who is trying his best under the present situation. I was definitely impressed by the performance and tremendous confidence demonstrated by young Sarfraz and feel that he will be the deserving keeper in near future.

  • Muhammad Asif on November 19, 2007, 1:08 GMT

    A big question mark? How we won in the absence of not one or two but four star cricketers, namely Afridi, Akhter, Akmal & Khan. And lost comprehensively in their presence. Any thoughts........

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 19, 2007, 1:00 GMT

    Come on Mr. Kamran Abbassi, just one win, et tu showering praises and accolades on Malik's batting performance, captaincy and leadership qualities? I think Malik doesn't need to be recompensed by you with such honours for a single performance. Prior to this match, in the 4 ODI innings his average was a paltry 17.4 and he took zero wickets. Today, he had no option but, to bowl his full ten overs quota as there was no other bowler and I was wondering how he will fare? But, today the colourful lady luck of Jaipur was smiling at him. And some commentators especially Bruce Yardley was drooling all over... thats a real shame.

    In my opinion Fawad Alam bowled better than Malik, but he is unlucky not to get a wicket, whereas, everything went Malik's way. Losing the toss and batting first didn't harm him. Once again slowing the run rate between 25 - 35 overs and again throwing away his wicket by playing a shot by running down the pitch, swinging the bat like a fly-swat, that was a very ugly sight to see both the well settled players got out in similar fashion within a span of 10 balls. Once again they left the polishing and cleaning job for Misbah ul Haq. How can they expect him to play a match winning innings every time? Although, Misbah has not yet won a match, but he came very close to winning. Had Malik and Yousuf played sensibly they both would have scored centuries and the total would have been in the range of 330 - 340.

    Although 306 runs was the highest total posted by any team at Jaipur, but India had won their previous match on the same ground by scoring 302 in 46.1 overs. Therefore, the score wasn't good enough to protect especially with limited bowling options, dew factor and the X factor of Yuvraj and Dhoni, but lucky for Malik everything went his way, Yuvraj's decision was definitely dubious and Dhoni got injured and this time their partnership failed. So, everything went Malik's way.

    All three fast bowlers bowled well, especially Tanvir got 4 for 53. Alam in my opinion bowled better than Malik but, without any luck. Malik's all three wickets could have easily ended up in sixes and his three for ten in sixty three would have been close to eighty for none. He can now brag about his MoM award or on regaining his so-called short form. Which is not really a guarantee or an authority stamp to say that he will be scoring big from now onwards! Form is temporary but, class is permanent. And he has to demonstrate that class in leadership terms. Of course, there is no better way than leading from the front and by letting the willow speak. We all know he is a pathetic speaker so he should let the willow talk.

    I would say that Fawad Alam not only bowled better, he even batted better than Malik. Remember he came in to bat in the 45th over and for the last 4 matches he was sitting on the bench. One can imagine what a horrendous feeling it must be for a 22 year old playing his second ODI, after a disastrous duck on his debut. But, today when he came, he demonstrated youth combined with exuberance and plenty of energy.

    His first four against Pathan, when he charged at him wasn't all that graceful but, his flat straight six against the accurate bowling of Praveen Kumar was superb and all his other shots were full of confidence. And mind you, playing in the death overs is not easy especially for a player who is being sent back home only to wait for a next call, that may or many not come and he might end up being another Asim Kamal? Malik on the other hand had nothing to loose, his captaincy tenure has been confirmed by the PCB Godfather, for him it was not the same pressure as Fawad Alam, Yasir Hameed or Imran Nazir.

    Tanvir removed the top order i.e., Gambhir & co. But, Tendulkar's prized wicket followed by Sehwag's wicket halted the Indian progress and he deserves the praise for his superb bowling efforts. Shoaib Akhtar was looking better in the dressing room balcony, at least he wasn't sweating and toiling like a workhorse! I am sure his mind must have been elsewhere, because he has recently announced his interest in acting in movies also, in getting married. "Tera dil tou hai sanam aashnaa, tujhay kya milay ga maidaan may?" There is a news that, a majority of the Pakistani players are busy signing contracts with Indian firms and TV corporations. While the PCB officials are having a ball in India at company's expense. No wonder there is less focus on cricket and more elsewhere!

    Finally, something for Rameez Raja: Rameez you must have heard about self-respect, self-esteem, dignity, vanity, pride, ego etc., etc., and being a Pakistani Canadian I was a tad embarrassed at your plea for movie tickets when you interviewed that Indian actor and asked him, rather begged him for the tickets for a movie! Come on Rameez, how can you do that? If you don't have the money to buy movie tickets for your family and for yourself, borrow it from a fellow Pakistani, even I could have given you that much money to buy a movie ticket. How come you can stoop so low and ask him for movie tickets in public, on TV where hundreds of millions of people are watching you? You could have even asked him privately but, I would never ever do that. Sheesh, it was such a disgrace to see that. But, I am not sure if you have ever thought the same way as I am seeing it?

  • Zaid on November 19, 2007, 0:50 GMT

    Its time that PCB does something before Pakistan loose a series even against Bangladesh,so I think these few things would help the Pakistan Cricket if not atleast show the curiosity of fans like me;

    As far as Im concerned Malik's captaincy isnt a a problem to worry about,for a captai to be innovative and proactive there should be support from his team mates,which is lacking in the pakistanis,when given a job to a player he is not delivering itmduring crunch situations seniors arent prepared to go over to the captain and have a few words.The last ODI is a good example to show how good a captain malik is when given a good support by the players like Dhoni gets from his players. Also I dont know how successfull Jeff Lawson can be. Finally Pakistan should stop playing players becouse of thier names and play them according to the situation and environment,for example its sad to see with such good reputation still Afridi havent matured,like a shcool boy he looks for a six every single ball,instead of him if Fawad Alam was givena chance,Fawad would have hepled Pakistan alot.Somone like Misbah,if he was introdused alot ealier when he was younger and persisted with,today he would have won more matches for pakistan than a Younis Khan would have done. Players like Asim Kamal should be given more chances,specially in the ODIs. Im writing this from Sri Lanka,I have written so many comments in Pakspin,none of them

  • pakistani on November 19, 2007, 0:23 GMT

    Kamran why you didnt allow my last thread comments ? anything wrong with those comments ?

    Any ways , i still says shoib malik doesnt have callibre to lead a side. you talk about mike bearly ' that guy has good instint and leadeship qualities in him thats why without any good perforance he leads the england side but even if he is playing nowadays he doesn;t allow to lead. Dont talk about imran khan the man since he become captain showed everything to make a team good fighter. Malik is not even 1 % of imran khan even javed miandad, wasim akram, even he is worse than inzamam ul haq. Yes he can play as a player in one day and 20 20 not in test as he good player for those formats of play. Sarfraz ahmed, Sohail Tanvir, Fawad Alam , I m missing Shahid yousuf here again he is definitely deserved his place in team now. Play Fawad Alam instead of Rehman . Play Shahid yousuf or Asim kamal instead of misbah. Kamran akmal should now give a long rest to have self-believe in himself.

    MALIK DONT DESERVE TO BE A CAPTAIN OF TEAM, I AM AGREE WITH ALL OLD CRICKETERS THAT MUHAMMAD YOUSUF OR YOUNIS KHAN SHOULD BE CAPTAIN OF TEAM IF THEY DENY THAN SHAHID AFRIDI.

    KAMRAN TELL ME IN HERE WHY YOU DELETED MY COMMENTS . I DONT THINK I SAID ANYTHING WRONG IN THOSE .

    ALLAH HAFIZ ALLAH HAFIZ

  • www.pakcric786.blogspot.com on November 18, 2007, 23:55 GMT

    Spot on Mr Abbasi, I can't disagree with anything you have said there. Malik is a terrific batsman and today he lead from the front and showed he is capable of handling pressure and pacing his innings. Today we saw a different Pakistani side, a team that displayed purpose that was somehow absent in the presence of Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Akhtar.

    My gut feeling is that Malik is more confident captaining without senior players like the 4 mentioned above. Today Malik seemed assertive, involved and looked like he had a gameplan. He was making things happen, like his involvement in engineering Tendulkar’s dismissal. I think today’s game showed us that what Pakistan has been lacking for a few years now is youth that wants to prove something. I spoke recently about the complacency of senior players and how they don’t want to go the extra mile to perform for their country. That is exactly what these youngsters did. Even Sohail Tanvir, Butt and Rao looked more at ease on the field without the presence of Younis, Afridi and Akmal. Before this game I thought of writing that Malik has proven to be a bad choice and the mantle of captaincy should shift to Younis, but now I am left wondering whether a raw and young Pakistani team under the captaincy of their young captain is the way ahead? The most important thing at the end of the day is winning and if the youngsters can give energetic and consistent performances, why depend on the international cricket-hardened seniors?

    I also mentioned a few days ago that if Malik does not try Fawad Alam soon enough, people will start asking questions and that is exactly that happened, as former greats like Miandad and Wasim Akram questioned Malik’s reluctance. Although Fawad did not pick up wickets (strangely the Indian batsmen treated him with respect and did not take many chances on his bowling as they did with Malik) he was reasonably economical keeping in mind it was a dew-infested, pro batting track. His 32 of only 23 balls was one of the highlights of the match and he seemed to overshadow Misbah in their brief partnership. He usually bats higher up the order for Karachi and his natural playing style is not slogging, but he did very well considering the circumstances. If he is used higher up the batting order Pakistan can really benefit from his talent. Sarfraz was a welcome surprise but I guess anyone can keep better than Akmal at the moment!

    I was a tad disappointed with Yasir Hameed. I have always supported Yasir ahead of Butt, Nazir and Farhat, but Yasir has been given chances recently and he has spoiled them. His dismissal today was a dismal sight- the bat was miles away from his body, there was minimal footwork and his position was erroneous. He looked so underconfident and miserable that I was almost hoping for Farhat to make a comeback. If Yasir lacks batting practice what is he doing in the playing XI?

    Finally, I hope Malik has realised a thing or two about aggression and leading from the front. You are right Mr Abbasi (and for that reason let me hereby confirm that I am agree with you) that even though India is strong on paper, it is inconsistent and has the potential to collapse. But if Malik is to help facilitate that, his team must believe in themselves, develop a robust attitude and fight till the last moment. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Khansahab Owner of cricket blog “Pakcric” (www.pakcric786.blogspot.com)

  • Aqif on November 18, 2007, 23:53 GMT

    I believe we have all grown up watching our cricket team, as if they are our own brothers, having shed tears of happiness and sorrow with them alike, having felt their pain, their humiliation, the elation, all ups and downs - I think this young team has won my heart. We all may criticize as much as we want but i still think these youngsters have given us more exciting, nail bitting, sensational cricket than any of the teams before. 20-20, they held Pakistan's flag high, chasing 320+ they held their nerves, and today, led by their timid but talented captain, they outclassed India. I saw hope, real hope, when I saw Malik calling everyone for a huddle, when yuvraj and dhoni were sinking in their heels, for a discussion - before he brought on gul and co. A scene, hardly ever witnessed before. Its going good, and I am happy with our cricket team. In these troubled times back home, these youngsters are the best soldiers Pakistan has ever had. One place, where we grind it out with the worlds best, eye to eye. What a lovely feeling!

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  • Aqif on November 18, 2007, 23:53 GMT

    I believe we have all grown up watching our cricket team, as if they are our own brothers, having shed tears of happiness and sorrow with them alike, having felt their pain, their humiliation, the elation, all ups and downs - I think this young team has won my heart. We all may criticize as much as we want but i still think these youngsters have given us more exciting, nail bitting, sensational cricket than any of the teams before. 20-20, they held Pakistan's flag high, chasing 320+ they held their nerves, and today, led by their timid but talented captain, they outclassed India. I saw hope, real hope, when I saw Malik calling everyone for a huddle, when yuvraj and dhoni were sinking in their heels, for a discussion - before he brought on gul and co. A scene, hardly ever witnessed before. Its going good, and I am happy with our cricket team. In these troubled times back home, these youngsters are the best soldiers Pakistan has ever had. One place, where we grind it out with the worlds best, eye to eye. What a lovely feeling!

  • www.pakcric786.blogspot.com on November 18, 2007, 23:55 GMT

    Spot on Mr Abbasi, I can't disagree with anything you have said there. Malik is a terrific batsman and today he lead from the front and showed he is capable of handling pressure and pacing his innings. Today we saw a different Pakistani side, a team that displayed purpose that was somehow absent in the presence of Younis Khan, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Akhtar.

    My gut feeling is that Malik is more confident captaining without senior players like the 4 mentioned above. Today Malik seemed assertive, involved and looked like he had a gameplan. He was making things happen, like his involvement in engineering Tendulkar’s dismissal. I think today’s game showed us that what Pakistan has been lacking for a few years now is youth that wants to prove something. I spoke recently about the complacency of senior players and how they don’t want to go the extra mile to perform for their country. That is exactly what these youngsters did. Even Sohail Tanvir, Butt and Rao looked more at ease on the field without the presence of Younis, Afridi and Akmal. Before this game I thought of writing that Malik has proven to be a bad choice and the mantle of captaincy should shift to Younis, but now I am left wondering whether a raw and young Pakistani team under the captaincy of their young captain is the way ahead? The most important thing at the end of the day is winning and if the youngsters can give energetic and consistent performances, why depend on the international cricket-hardened seniors?

    I also mentioned a few days ago that if Malik does not try Fawad Alam soon enough, people will start asking questions and that is exactly that happened, as former greats like Miandad and Wasim Akram questioned Malik’s reluctance. Although Fawad did not pick up wickets (strangely the Indian batsmen treated him with respect and did not take many chances on his bowling as they did with Malik) he was reasonably economical keeping in mind it was a dew-infested, pro batting track. His 32 of only 23 balls was one of the highlights of the match and he seemed to overshadow Misbah in their brief partnership. He usually bats higher up the order for Karachi and his natural playing style is not slogging, but he did very well considering the circumstances. If he is used higher up the batting order Pakistan can really benefit from his talent. Sarfraz was a welcome surprise but I guess anyone can keep better than Akmal at the moment!

    I was a tad disappointed with Yasir Hameed. I have always supported Yasir ahead of Butt, Nazir and Farhat, but Yasir has been given chances recently and he has spoiled them. His dismissal today was a dismal sight- the bat was miles away from his body, there was minimal footwork and his position was erroneous. He looked so underconfident and miserable that I was almost hoping for Farhat to make a comeback. If Yasir lacks batting practice what is he doing in the playing XI?

    Finally, I hope Malik has realised a thing or two about aggression and leading from the front. You are right Mr Abbasi (and for that reason let me hereby confirm that I am agree with you) that even though India is strong on paper, it is inconsistent and has the potential to collapse. But if Malik is to help facilitate that, his team must believe in themselves, develop a robust attitude and fight till the last moment. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Khansahab Owner of cricket blog “Pakcric” (www.pakcric786.blogspot.com)

  • pakistani on November 19, 2007, 0:23 GMT

    Kamran why you didnt allow my last thread comments ? anything wrong with those comments ?

    Any ways , i still says shoib malik doesnt have callibre to lead a side. you talk about mike bearly ' that guy has good instint and leadeship qualities in him thats why without any good perforance he leads the england side but even if he is playing nowadays he doesn;t allow to lead. Dont talk about imran khan the man since he become captain showed everything to make a team good fighter. Malik is not even 1 % of imran khan even javed miandad, wasim akram, even he is worse than inzamam ul haq. Yes he can play as a player in one day and 20 20 not in test as he good player for those formats of play. Sarfraz ahmed, Sohail Tanvir, Fawad Alam , I m missing Shahid yousuf here again he is definitely deserved his place in team now. Play Fawad Alam instead of Rehman . Play Shahid yousuf or Asim kamal instead of misbah. Kamran akmal should now give a long rest to have self-believe in himself.

    MALIK DONT DESERVE TO BE A CAPTAIN OF TEAM, I AM AGREE WITH ALL OLD CRICKETERS THAT MUHAMMAD YOUSUF OR YOUNIS KHAN SHOULD BE CAPTAIN OF TEAM IF THEY DENY THAN SHAHID AFRIDI.

    KAMRAN TELL ME IN HERE WHY YOU DELETED MY COMMENTS . I DONT THINK I SAID ANYTHING WRONG IN THOSE .

    ALLAH HAFIZ ALLAH HAFIZ

  • Zaid on November 19, 2007, 0:50 GMT

    Its time that PCB does something before Pakistan loose a series even against Bangladesh,so I think these few things would help the Pakistan Cricket if not atleast show the curiosity of fans like me;

    As far as Im concerned Malik's captaincy isnt a a problem to worry about,for a captai to be innovative and proactive there should be support from his team mates,which is lacking in the pakistanis,when given a job to a player he is not delivering itmduring crunch situations seniors arent prepared to go over to the captain and have a few words.The last ODI is a good example to show how good a captain malik is when given a good support by the players like Dhoni gets from his players. Also I dont know how successfull Jeff Lawson can be. Finally Pakistan should stop playing players becouse of thier names and play them according to the situation and environment,for example its sad to see with such good reputation still Afridi havent matured,like a shcool boy he looks for a six every single ball,instead of him if Fawad Alam was givena chance,Fawad would have hepled Pakistan alot.Somone like Misbah,if he was introdused alot ealier when he was younger and persisted with,today he would have won more matches for pakistan than a Younis Khan would have done. Players like Asim Kamal should be given more chances,specially in the ODIs. Im writing this from Sri Lanka,I have written so many comments in Pakspin,none of them

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 19, 2007, 1:00 GMT

    Come on Mr. Kamran Abbassi, just one win, et tu showering praises and accolades on Malik's batting performance, captaincy and leadership qualities? I think Malik doesn't need to be recompensed by you with such honours for a single performance. Prior to this match, in the 4 ODI innings his average was a paltry 17.4 and he took zero wickets. Today, he had no option but, to bowl his full ten overs quota as there was no other bowler and I was wondering how he will fare? But, today the colourful lady luck of Jaipur was smiling at him. And some commentators especially Bruce Yardley was drooling all over... thats a real shame.

    In my opinion Fawad Alam bowled better than Malik, but he is unlucky not to get a wicket, whereas, everything went Malik's way. Losing the toss and batting first didn't harm him. Once again slowing the run rate between 25 - 35 overs and again throwing away his wicket by playing a shot by running down the pitch, swinging the bat like a fly-swat, that was a very ugly sight to see both the well settled players got out in similar fashion within a span of 10 balls. Once again they left the polishing and cleaning job for Misbah ul Haq. How can they expect him to play a match winning innings every time? Although, Misbah has not yet won a match, but he came very close to winning. Had Malik and Yousuf played sensibly they both would have scored centuries and the total would have been in the range of 330 - 340.

    Although 306 runs was the highest total posted by any team at Jaipur, but India had won their previous match on the same ground by scoring 302 in 46.1 overs. Therefore, the score wasn't good enough to protect especially with limited bowling options, dew factor and the X factor of Yuvraj and Dhoni, but lucky for Malik everything went his way, Yuvraj's decision was definitely dubious and Dhoni got injured and this time their partnership failed. So, everything went Malik's way.

    All three fast bowlers bowled well, especially Tanvir got 4 for 53. Alam in my opinion bowled better than Malik but, without any luck. Malik's all three wickets could have easily ended up in sixes and his three for ten in sixty three would have been close to eighty for none. He can now brag about his MoM award or on regaining his so-called short form. Which is not really a guarantee or an authority stamp to say that he will be scoring big from now onwards! Form is temporary but, class is permanent. And he has to demonstrate that class in leadership terms. Of course, there is no better way than leading from the front and by letting the willow speak. We all know he is a pathetic speaker so he should let the willow talk.

    I would say that Fawad Alam not only bowled better, he even batted better than Malik. Remember he came in to bat in the 45th over and for the last 4 matches he was sitting on the bench. One can imagine what a horrendous feeling it must be for a 22 year old playing his second ODI, after a disastrous duck on his debut. But, today when he came, he demonstrated youth combined with exuberance and plenty of energy.

    His first four against Pathan, when he charged at him wasn't all that graceful but, his flat straight six against the accurate bowling of Praveen Kumar was superb and all his other shots were full of confidence. And mind you, playing in the death overs is not easy especially for a player who is being sent back home only to wait for a next call, that may or many not come and he might end up being another Asim Kamal? Malik on the other hand had nothing to loose, his captaincy tenure has been confirmed by the PCB Godfather, for him it was not the same pressure as Fawad Alam, Yasir Hameed or Imran Nazir.

    Tanvir removed the top order i.e., Gambhir & co. But, Tendulkar's prized wicket followed by Sehwag's wicket halted the Indian progress and he deserves the praise for his superb bowling efforts. Shoaib Akhtar was looking better in the dressing room balcony, at least he wasn't sweating and toiling like a workhorse! I am sure his mind must have been elsewhere, because he has recently announced his interest in acting in movies also, in getting married. "Tera dil tou hai sanam aashnaa, tujhay kya milay ga maidaan may?" There is a news that, a majority of the Pakistani players are busy signing contracts with Indian firms and TV corporations. While the PCB officials are having a ball in India at company's expense. No wonder there is less focus on cricket and more elsewhere!

    Finally, something for Rameez Raja: Rameez you must have heard about self-respect, self-esteem, dignity, vanity, pride, ego etc., etc., and being a Pakistani Canadian I was a tad embarrassed at your plea for movie tickets when you interviewed that Indian actor and asked him, rather begged him for the tickets for a movie! Come on Rameez, how can you do that? If you don't have the money to buy movie tickets for your family and for yourself, borrow it from a fellow Pakistani, even I could have given you that much money to buy a movie ticket. How come you can stoop so low and ask him for movie tickets in public, on TV where hundreds of millions of people are watching you? You could have even asked him privately but, I would never ever do that. Sheesh, it was such a disgrace to see that. But, I am not sure if you have ever thought the same way as I am seeing it?

  • Muhammad Asif on November 19, 2007, 1:08 GMT

    A big question mark? How we won in the absence of not one or two but four star cricketers, namely Afridi, Akhter, Akmal & Khan. And lost comprehensively in their presence. Any thoughts........

  • Tariq Hafiz--USA on November 19, 2007, 3:14 GMT

    I feel that Shoaib Malik deserves our strong support and not a critical evaluation . Words like clueless and catatonic do not appropriately describe a genuine person who is trying his best under the present situation. I was definitely impressed by the performance and tremendous confidence demonstrated by young Sarfraz and feel that he will be the deserving keeper in near future.

  • Hassan on November 19, 2007, 3:19 GMT

    But unfortunately good future talent like Fawad Alam is being sent home, and safarshi Faisal Iqbal is being flown in. There is not justification for sending Fawad Alam back, and not giving him chance in test match.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 19, 2007, 3:26 GMT

    Talking of Shoaib Malik mastering his destiny. Had he batted well and scored more runs at Gwalior and made it 2-2, I would have said yeah, he tried to control his destiny. I am quoting from cricinfo what the simpleton had said after the Gwalior ODI defeat. Malik said, "I had asked for scorecards of the last three matches played here. The teams batting first had won so I decided to bat first." He confirms that he had done his homework before the fourth ODI against India at Gwalior and after winning the toss he opted to bat first. He is such a duh that a night before the Gwalior match, when both teams were practicing at night time, everyone could see the amount of dew on the ground and everyone said, the team winning the toss must field first, because the dew factor makes bowling and fielding very difficult and it is for this reason he did not bowl in that match at all, and he asked Salman Butt to bowl the last couple of overs. Which is a bad example from a leader.

    Today, he lost the toss and was forced to bat. But, the team won due to the following reasons:

    1. Malik's pressure was off, the team lost the series after 24 years and whatever happened, happened and people have said, what they had to say. So, he played with an open mind and played better, but in the end threw away his wicket needlessly. He bowled like a mediocre, but he is lucky that he got wickets. More than destiny the luck was on his side. The destiny of the ODI series was sealed and stamped in Gwalior.

    2. According to the law of averages, Malik was ought to score after 4 consecutive failures, and Tendulkar was destined to get out early. He still gave some jitters to Malik before Tanvir got him and Misbah took a good catch. Misbah's encore after dropping a sitter of Uthappa must have made him a very relieved person. Hence he did not fail when the little master-batter offered him an edge.

    3. According to the past stats India has never won a series against Pakistan with big margins like Pakistan has won in the past with 5-1, and 6-1 in Nehru Cup & 4-2 in the last series they came from behind and bounced back and won four on a trot. Therefore, it was expected that when Pakistani players will play with a free mind they will win.

    4. According to the law of averages Yuvraj & Dhoni's middle order partnership was not going to come along nicely as it happened in the past few matches. And Yuvraj was unlucky today to be given out, bad umpiring. Where are the neutral umpires anyways?

    The dew factor cannot be ignored, it does help the side batting second, Irfan Pathan and Kartik managed to pull off some good shots in the death overs. So, the secret is not in containing the side batting second with tight bowling, but the secret is in putting up a BIG score by the team batting first. Although 306 proved to be enough in the end but, it would have been better had the team scored 330 plus. Because, India has a better record of winning when batting second. The mistakes that Malik made in the 3 matches he lost, he should sit down, watch the videos, discuss with his coach and team mates and learn from those mistakes.

    As regards test series, Malik says that Kumble's captaincy would be an advantage for Pakistan. I don't see how Malik can find it as an advantage for Pakistan? Because India has a more balanced test side with Dravid, Laxman and Jaffar in the team along with Tendulkar and Dhoni. The pitches for the test have reportedly been made to suit the spinners. And Pakistan has only one specialist spinner in Danish Kaneria, whereas, India has more experienced spinners in Kumble and Harbhajan.

    Pakistan is heavily relying on Yousuf and Younus and that is a big mistake. The opening conundrum will continue and openers will fail, the solid middle order of YY is without Inzamam now, so it is not so solid anymore. And they do not have any exploding batsmen in the team like Afridi, Razzaq or Nazir, for late order assault. It may sound weird to some but, even in the test matches you need big hitters in the team to accelerate the run rate in the second innings. The one and only Bangalore test Pakistan won last time and drew the series was because of timely declaration and then getting the Indian batsmen out in the second innings with enough time on hands and plenty of runs on board. The match could have ended in a draw but, timely declaration helped the captain to place attacking field when their spinners were bowling and thats the reason Pakistan won that match.

    I don't think that Pakistan has any advantage over India in the test series, in fact it is the other way round. I have no hopes from Shoaib Akhtar who is unfit and out of shape and may not be able to bowl even 12 overs in any innings. With Sami coming in, will they be playing with 4 seamers and Danish Kaneria? In any case it will be Kaneria's marathon once again. But, neither Kaneria, nor Abdul Rahman are match winning bowlers. In fact, Abdul Rahman is absolutely redundant in the team and should have been sent home. As regards the new wicket keeper Sarfaraz, I am not aware of his batting abilities but if he plays all I can say is: " Tislam Yadaik Ya Sarfaraz."

  • Javed Iqbal on November 19, 2007, 5:03 GMT

    Well I wish against hope that the learnings sunk in from the last ODI and are translated into a fighting test series. However there are many areas that need a closer exmination; Foremost is the issue of an authentic opening pair. Its about time to give Yasir Hameed his fair share. Misbah should be given a greater responsibility as he has shown a cool head and should be a constant feature in the late middle order unless we have Razzaq come in to fill in the number 6-7 slot. He will fit in the scheme of things really well providing the side with an extra bowler and handy batsman. He has good stats against India as well. shoiab malik is a utility cricketer and he has to concentrate more on his bowling in addition to shouldering the middle order batting with younis and yousaf. Sohail tanvir, to me, is find of the year and a little more polishing can turn him into a very good cricketer. The most welcome change is that of the wicket-keeper. I guess time is up for the butter-fingered Akmal and we should try one or two more options. By the same token, its about time to say goodbye to shoaib. History tell us that human memory is too short, but this man has been a progressive dissapointment each year since his arrival on the scene. looking forward to a competitive and learning series for Pakistan against a very formidable Indian side.