Pakistan in India 2007 November 29, 2007

Cornered tigers face extinction

I hate to say this but Pakistan's best bet in Kolkata must be a draw
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Pakistan fans have been wondering for over a year about what happened to the legendary cornered tiger spirit? The Twenty20 World Cup offered a brief reminder of what it was meant to be like but ever since Shoaib Malik's team has been cornered and cowering. The captain has faced criticism for his unwillingness to bare his teeth and his fellow tigers have barely raised a growl.

Encouraging performances have been sporadic and insufficient to revitalise Pakistan's tigers, young of age but weary of soul. As if a loss of spirit wasn't enough, the physical health of Malik's shrinking violets means that they are barely able to field a team in Kolkata. A psychiatrist would be examining the likelihood of psychosomatic illness.

Unfortunately for Pakistan it is the bowlers who are afflicted. By some margin they have been the better half of Malik's team, and it is the batsmen, who failed so miserably in the second innings of the first test, who must now carry the battle to India.

I hate to say this but Pakistan's best bet in Kolkata must be a draw. With the bowling attack that they are rumoured to be able to muster, India's batsmen must sense a kill. The cornered tigers face extinction. This is a battle for survival. Pakistan fans will want to know their team has the stomach for it.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rext on December 16, 2007, 7:14 GMT

    What a strange headline "The "legendary cornered tiger spirit"! It's obviously a feel good term used within Pakistani circles as it surely has never been mentioned anywhere else in the World! One thing Pakistani cricketers are famous for though, is throwing in the towel, capitulating, not having a go, being prima donnas and so on and on! But fighting spirit? I don't think so!

  • salman on December 15, 2007, 13:20 GMT

    Cornered tigers tag suits a team which fights its way out of highly hopeless positions time and again because of its tenacity and resilience and never-say-die attitude. The last attribute, most of all - has to be nurtured through brilliant motivational and inspirational leadership skills. Imran was past master at that, but unfortunately under Inzamam's insipid and uninspired "leadership" Pakistan team has lost quite a bit of the edge which they had again re-discovered when Wasim was at the helm of affairs. You have to give the current skipper bit more time to settle down and cast away the baggage and legacy which Inzamam's tenure has lumbered the team with.

  • Ruaf lala on December 5, 2007, 7:27 GMT

    A great escape for pak team at kolkata. All depends now, how the picth playes in Bangluru test. I hope Indian administrators are brave enough to play a sporting pitch in Bangluru. I do not want to see another run feast and draw result.

  • Bored and Tired on December 5, 2007, 1:34 GMT

    Here we go again, Same ole same ole, we were manage to DRAW the game, what a glorious performance(tho I personally dont believe it was) I believe in " one cant achieve anything without an effort" it appears to me we Play Stats than cricket. 4 runs an over in a dull pitch could have been achieved if we would have tried. There was no TRY at all. its better to lose a match instead to going for a draw from the the begining. wherez the courage, if the top class batsman cant even think about scoring or chasing a acievable target than i dont blame any amateur players. pakistan team has made a great improvement, first they used to lose easily, now manage to draw the games,I wonder when they are going to WIN anything...I dont see it in coming future. This is the mentality and state of mind WE have in our team. "game bacha liyaah".

    4 runs an over was the target, 2-3 singles and one boundry here and there, cud have changed the whole Team mentality and spirit BUT to do that One need some courage and hunger for a WIN.

    this dheeli dhalii team ka Allah he Hafiz, there is something called Pychological war ,pressure etc etc, We lack that badly.

    whatever u want to call afridi....but this was the time and place for him..his presence would have a big impact on indian team especially in this situation......there is nothing wrong to USE someone as a FEAR factor in the team... but we are far away from that kind of thinking. time will tell our selectors and politicians have RUINED talents all the time due to thier old fashioned and illogical narcissistic way of thinking.

    it reminds me of gabbar singh's quote

    " Jo darrrr gayaa Samjhoo marr gayaa" :)

  • Dza Afridi Dza on December 4, 2007, 17:49 GMT

    Make Misbah the captain. End this stupid captaincy race. Misbah is the most deserving candidate. All others are politicians especially Malik is a cunning sly fox. Malik should stay away and not come into the picture, he has requested the selectors to send another of his friend ABDUR RAUF whereas Iftekhar Rao is more experienced and better but Malik has sent him back due to personal differences and he did same with Afridi and fuad alam and now he is sending back Sarfaraz also. The whole world is asking for Afridi's inclusion in team but both Malik and Younus Khan not in favour. Younus had problem with Afridi in the West Indies and he can never forget that. Like Asif cannot forget Shoaib's and he will not play if Shoaib akhtar play in the same team.

    The test match ended in a draw and the man of the match is Jaffar but the real HERO of the match is Misbah ul haq. Anil Kumble says he does not believe in moral victories. Cricket is a physical game but it requires a lot of mental strength Misbah, Akmal and Younus Khan proved that so there is a mental or moral victory but Kumble got frustrated and he doesnt like that. Irfan Khan you are right that you cannot teach or groom a PAYNDOO. So why are u defending Malik? The selectors must send that payndoo back to Sialkot secondary school to learn all those things u wrote in your comments about WHO, HOW, HAS anyone taught? etc. all these things are taught in school and not after one is selected as a captain at international level, since you admit he is a payndoo then no one can ever teach him. Besides he is arrogantly ignorantly over confident so no one needs to make him anymore confident then he already is. It is not the players who make the captain confident it is other way round. But Malik instead of supporting them he is creating friction and politics among the players.

    I repeat in the best interest of the team it is better to make Misbah the captain of the team. He is very cool, levelheaded and more educated than any of the players in the team, he can speak well and has good personality to represent the country. Shoaib Akhtar finally announced his interest in filming and acting his mind is in bollywood send him to Bombay and not to Bangalore and playing him in the third test will be a big mistake. Both Shoaibs need to be out of the team. One should go to the acting school and the other to secondary school to learn the basics.

    Dza Afrid Dza

  • Chaudary Imran Chandio - GUJJAR on December 4, 2007, 16:31 GMT

    Aslaam E Lekim all brothers & sisters First of all cornered tigers, I think not? Pakistan have almost thrown away this series likje the one beofre to South Africa, We have to take a good look at our team at present, with no natural leader apart from Younis Khan Misbah ul Haq has batted really well, and has loooed concrete, the good bowling of Shoaib Akthar and the newcomer Tanvir, Pakistans bowling has looked poor Danish Kaneria has also bowled with no killer instinct and has looked mecurial along with Sami, he has allegedly had a superb domestic season, maybe? but he has now played 2 tests bowled alomost 40 - 50 overs for nothing apart from getting a pasting, his batting has been better than bowling which defies his objective in the Pakistani team. I come back to Misbah without him this match 2nd test would have been over and he acted as the senior pro when he was at the crease with Akmal, which suprised me. We need players Abdul Razzaq & Shahid Afridi back in the team to help and also Asif to backup the goods players we have. We need a stronger battung lineup as if the 2 Y's fail then it seems like there is no one else who will make some runs out of Butt,Hammed,Misbah,Akmal, out of these 4 players who is certain and confident they will hang around and make runs, I am certain out of the four only Misbah should be there in the first 11. If the rest of the team looked goods and Yousuf and Younis were confident that even if they got out then others can hold the fort, which I am sure would hlp them bat better, but they are the only two then it makes them play more cautiously and not as aggressive, Shoaib who until recently people had said don't include him ban him for life, if that had happened then where would we be now, maybe we would beeen starring down the barrel of a huge defeat at the hands of our greatest rivals, even though stats show we have been better than India in recent years we have beaten them more times in Odis and in Tests we have never lost a test series in India, until now it seems certain we have lost the one days already and we are sure to go down in the 3rd test, inshallah we will win. Pakistan have so much talent and charismatic players but we need to have the team sorted, a solid opeing pair like Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail the kings to form strong opening stands to which the 3rd and 4th batsmen can halp to biuld on, please sort this OUT PCB, we have a great country and our life is cricket, please get the FAKERS out and restore some PRIDE for PAKISTAN.

  • Khuram Khan on December 4, 2007, 14:32 GMT

    First of all I would like to know the name of the person or persons who changed Pakistan batting order.It has be someone not from Pakistan.The only name that comes to mind is Anil Kumble.I know Kumble hates Misbah and Kamran Akmal and he wanted to get even with these two.Kumble nearly walked away.Younas and Yousaf did what they are paid for.PCB needs to hire these players on daily wages basis.Finally the two Indian commentators;poor guys will be victims of "premature senility"(PG Wodehouse)by the time series are over.They are an extension of local Umpires at least that is what they convey.Meanwhile Bruce and Ramiz keep our humour alive with your comments.You both have sense of humour that clicks without hurting anyone.

  • shazad - California on December 4, 2007, 13:55 GMT

    Once againa Younis has proved that Pakistan team needs a Captain have some mental toughness as compared to injured captain who does not have any training. Younis has been groomed in one of the Largest city of pakistan and he has gained that mental which needs in pressure situation. But if you have been groomed in DARMA WALA CHOCK then you can only make good decisions about Patang and Guddi.

  • mohidin gundroo on December 4, 2007, 11:25 GMT

    Has Faisal Iqbal ever played a match winning or saving innings.He has been given too many opportunities but has always been disappointing.Other than being a nephew of great Miadad there isnt lot in him.what is wrong with Asim kamal, why hasnt he been recalled.

  • I am agree(khansahab) on December 3, 2007, 23:57 GMT

    (Mr Abbasi, I know I am posting a lot lately but I think the following is important-apologies)

    Younis Khan recently featured in a newspaper column that caught plenty of media attention. He completely detached himself from the affairs of the team. In my opinion this is an example of the man’s general careless and unprofessional demeanour. Normally players, coaches and the team management support each other through thick and thin as they do not want to provide a negative image of their team to the media. However, by stating firstly that he has nothing to do with the present team selection, and secondly that if he were involved he would have decided differently, Younis has proven that he is not a team man and that he considers his self above the team. Lawson also made a comment recently and defended his players and the team management although his statements were somewhat outrageous. But Lawson still looked towards the positives knowingly how pathetic the team’s situation was (then), so that the team morale would not be affected by his statement. This shows how difficult it can be potentially for Younis to manage the team. In my view Younis is not an able man manager because he is not diplomatic. He is confrontational, irresponsible and too obstinate. This type of attitude can only create divisions within the PCB and put salt on the wounds of the touring squad. Shaharyar Khan was actually a good PCB Chairman. He was a true gentleman and knew the game very well. However owing to Younis’s indifferent and stinking attitude Shaharyar Khan had to resign and we were blessed with Nasim Ashraf, the first few months of whose damned tenure were amongst the worst experienced by Pakistan cricket fans.

  • rext on December 16, 2007, 7:14 GMT

    What a strange headline "The "legendary cornered tiger spirit"! It's obviously a feel good term used within Pakistani circles as it surely has never been mentioned anywhere else in the World! One thing Pakistani cricketers are famous for though, is throwing in the towel, capitulating, not having a go, being prima donnas and so on and on! But fighting spirit? I don't think so!

  • salman on December 15, 2007, 13:20 GMT

    Cornered tigers tag suits a team which fights its way out of highly hopeless positions time and again because of its tenacity and resilience and never-say-die attitude. The last attribute, most of all - has to be nurtured through brilliant motivational and inspirational leadership skills. Imran was past master at that, but unfortunately under Inzamam's insipid and uninspired "leadership" Pakistan team has lost quite a bit of the edge which they had again re-discovered when Wasim was at the helm of affairs. You have to give the current skipper bit more time to settle down and cast away the baggage and legacy which Inzamam's tenure has lumbered the team with.

  • Ruaf lala on December 5, 2007, 7:27 GMT

    A great escape for pak team at kolkata. All depends now, how the picth playes in Bangluru test. I hope Indian administrators are brave enough to play a sporting pitch in Bangluru. I do not want to see another run feast and draw result.

  • Bored and Tired on December 5, 2007, 1:34 GMT

    Here we go again, Same ole same ole, we were manage to DRAW the game, what a glorious performance(tho I personally dont believe it was) I believe in " one cant achieve anything without an effort" it appears to me we Play Stats than cricket. 4 runs an over in a dull pitch could have been achieved if we would have tried. There was no TRY at all. its better to lose a match instead to going for a draw from the the begining. wherez the courage, if the top class batsman cant even think about scoring or chasing a acievable target than i dont blame any amateur players. pakistan team has made a great improvement, first they used to lose easily, now manage to draw the games,I wonder when they are going to WIN anything...I dont see it in coming future. This is the mentality and state of mind WE have in our team. "game bacha liyaah".

    4 runs an over was the target, 2-3 singles and one boundry here and there, cud have changed the whole Team mentality and spirit BUT to do that One need some courage and hunger for a WIN.

    this dheeli dhalii team ka Allah he Hafiz, there is something called Pychological war ,pressure etc etc, We lack that badly.

    whatever u want to call afridi....but this was the time and place for him..his presence would have a big impact on indian team especially in this situation......there is nothing wrong to USE someone as a FEAR factor in the team... but we are far away from that kind of thinking. time will tell our selectors and politicians have RUINED talents all the time due to thier old fashioned and illogical narcissistic way of thinking.

    it reminds me of gabbar singh's quote

    " Jo darrrr gayaa Samjhoo marr gayaa" :)

  • Dza Afridi Dza on December 4, 2007, 17:49 GMT

    Make Misbah the captain. End this stupid captaincy race. Misbah is the most deserving candidate. All others are politicians especially Malik is a cunning sly fox. Malik should stay away and not come into the picture, he has requested the selectors to send another of his friend ABDUR RAUF whereas Iftekhar Rao is more experienced and better but Malik has sent him back due to personal differences and he did same with Afridi and fuad alam and now he is sending back Sarfaraz also. The whole world is asking for Afridi's inclusion in team but both Malik and Younus Khan not in favour. Younus had problem with Afridi in the West Indies and he can never forget that. Like Asif cannot forget Shoaib's and he will not play if Shoaib akhtar play in the same team.

    The test match ended in a draw and the man of the match is Jaffar but the real HERO of the match is Misbah ul haq. Anil Kumble says he does not believe in moral victories. Cricket is a physical game but it requires a lot of mental strength Misbah, Akmal and Younus Khan proved that so there is a mental or moral victory but Kumble got frustrated and he doesnt like that. Irfan Khan you are right that you cannot teach or groom a PAYNDOO. So why are u defending Malik? The selectors must send that payndoo back to Sialkot secondary school to learn all those things u wrote in your comments about WHO, HOW, HAS anyone taught? etc. all these things are taught in school and not after one is selected as a captain at international level, since you admit he is a payndoo then no one can ever teach him. Besides he is arrogantly ignorantly over confident so no one needs to make him anymore confident then he already is. It is not the players who make the captain confident it is other way round. But Malik instead of supporting them he is creating friction and politics among the players.

    I repeat in the best interest of the team it is better to make Misbah the captain of the team. He is very cool, levelheaded and more educated than any of the players in the team, he can speak well and has good personality to represent the country. Shoaib Akhtar finally announced his interest in filming and acting his mind is in bollywood send him to Bombay and not to Bangalore and playing him in the third test will be a big mistake. Both Shoaibs need to be out of the team. One should go to the acting school and the other to secondary school to learn the basics.

    Dza Afrid Dza

  • Chaudary Imran Chandio - GUJJAR on December 4, 2007, 16:31 GMT

    Aslaam E Lekim all brothers & sisters First of all cornered tigers, I think not? Pakistan have almost thrown away this series likje the one beofre to South Africa, We have to take a good look at our team at present, with no natural leader apart from Younis Khan Misbah ul Haq has batted really well, and has loooed concrete, the good bowling of Shoaib Akthar and the newcomer Tanvir, Pakistans bowling has looked poor Danish Kaneria has also bowled with no killer instinct and has looked mecurial along with Sami, he has allegedly had a superb domestic season, maybe? but he has now played 2 tests bowled alomost 40 - 50 overs for nothing apart from getting a pasting, his batting has been better than bowling which defies his objective in the Pakistani team. I come back to Misbah without him this match 2nd test would have been over and he acted as the senior pro when he was at the crease with Akmal, which suprised me. We need players Abdul Razzaq & Shahid Afridi back in the team to help and also Asif to backup the goods players we have. We need a stronger battung lineup as if the 2 Y's fail then it seems like there is no one else who will make some runs out of Butt,Hammed,Misbah,Akmal, out of these 4 players who is certain and confident they will hang around and make runs, I am certain out of the four only Misbah should be there in the first 11. If the rest of the team looked goods and Yousuf and Younis were confident that even if they got out then others can hold the fort, which I am sure would hlp them bat better, but they are the only two then it makes them play more cautiously and not as aggressive, Shoaib who until recently people had said don't include him ban him for life, if that had happened then where would we be now, maybe we would beeen starring down the barrel of a huge defeat at the hands of our greatest rivals, even though stats show we have been better than India in recent years we have beaten them more times in Odis and in Tests we have never lost a test series in India, until now it seems certain we have lost the one days already and we are sure to go down in the 3rd test, inshallah we will win. Pakistan have so much talent and charismatic players but we need to have the team sorted, a solid opeing pair like Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail the kings to form strong opening stands to which the 3rd and 4th batsmen can halp to biuld on, please sort this OUT PCB, we have a great country and our life is cricket, please get the FAKERS out and restore some PRIDE for PAKISTAN.

  • Khuram Khan on December 4, 2007, 14:32 GMT

    First of all I would like to know the name of the person or persons who changed Pakistan batting order.It has be someone not from Pakistan.The only name that comes to mind is Anil Kumble.I know Kumble hates Misbah and Kamran Akmal and he wanted to get even with these two.Kumble nearly walked away.Younas and Yousaf did what they are paid for.PCB needs to hire these players on daily wages basis.Finally the two Indian commentators;poor guys will be victims of "premature senility"(PG Wodehouse)by the time series are over.They are an extension of local Umpires at least that is what they convey.Meanwhile Bruce and Ramiz keep our humour alive with your comments.You both have sense of humour that clicks without hurting anyone.

  • shazad - California on December 4, 2007, 13:55 GMT

    Once againa Younis has proved that Pakistan team needs a Captain have some mental toughness as compared to injured captain who does not have any training. Younis has been groomed in one of the Largest city of pakistan and he has gained that mental which needs in pressure situation. But if you have been groomed in DARMA WALA CHOCK then you can only make good decisions about Patang and Guddi.

  • mohidin gundroo on December 4, 2007, 11:25 GMT

    Has Faisal Iqbal ever played a match winning or saving innings.He has been given too many opportunities but has always been disappointing.Other than being a nephew of great Miadad there isnt lot in him.what is wrong with Asim kamal, why hasnt he been recalled.

  • I am agree(khansahab) on December 3, 2007, 23:57 GMT

    (Mr Abbasi, I know I am posting a lot lately but I think the following is important-apologies)

    Younis Khan recently featured in a newspaper column that caught plenty of media attention. He completely detached himself from the affairs of the team. In my opinion this is an example of the man’s general careless and unprofessional demeanour. Normally players, coaches and the team management support each other through thick and thin as they do not want to provide a negative image of their team to the media. However, by stating firstly that he has nothing to do with the present team selection, and secondly that if he were involved he would have decided differently, Younis has proven that he is not a team man and that he considers his self above the team. Lawson also made a comment recently and defended his players and the team management although his statements were somewhat outrageous. But Lawson still looked towards the positives knowingly how pathetic the team’s situation was (then), so that the team morale would not be affected by his statement. This shows how difficult it can be potentially for Younis to manage the team. In my view Younis is not an able man manager because he is not diplomatic. He is confrontational, irresponsible and too obstinate. This type of attitude can only create divisions within the PCB and put salt on the wounds of the touring squad. Shaharyar Khan was actually a good PCB Chairman. He was a true gentleman and knew the game very well. However owing to Younis’s indifferent and stinking attitude Shaharyar Khan had to resign and we were blessed with Nasim Ashraf, the first few months of whose damned tenure were amongst the worst experienced by Pakistan cricket fans.

  • Razi on December 3, 2007, 23:31 GMT

    Shabbir Ahmed is serving Chennoy Team in Indian Cricket League and PCB spend million of dollors on his rehabilitation... what a planning. When we can forgive and forget Surrey Mahal, Ittefaq Foundary, 10 percent and they are our gurdian of democracy then we should also forgive our innocnet players. Because they are production of our system where we give jobs on the basis of domicile.

  • Omer Admani on December 3, 2007, 22:23 GMT

    Khansahab, I have been getting my deepest respect for sami these days, as he began his career as a bowler and now has turned things significantly around and can become a batsman. Pakistan has one great shoaib Malik, another one is coming about. He, too, has been averaging in the 30s these days and he might even take it upto in the 40s for a year. All he needs to do is, unlike Razzaq and others who pay till the end for the team (in South Africa for instance), he needs to bat for himself and give up on chasing the total. That way he won't get out, make a couple of 50s, have an aveage of 40 for 6 monhs, and perhaps become the next captain of Pakistan. ;) I just neve understood why Malik was hailed when he hit those 50s in SA. He didn't play for the team and never tried to chase the targets. He got his own 50s and gave up on the chase (Rana was even trying!!!). This is something that is unthinkable when we talk about Razzaq, but the people's sword was on him. I can't imagine even pollock gving up on a chase and playing for himself while he is on the crease. In the Australian team that would have been his last 50.

    Regardless, though, I dunno what to say on Akmal. All I can see is dropped catches of ponting and the likes for another 4,5 years. He is not a keeper, and however much raeez raja may support him, he is still not a keeper. He doesn't has the technique, it is not a problem with confidence. With confidence cannot come skill automatically. Lets see how long we have to bear with him. I have said before, if Malik feels that Akmal is that good a batsman, then he should be playing as a batsmen. 2,3 dropped chances every match apart from the fumbles and byes is just not good enough. And he drops at crucial stags as well, and of big players.

  • I am agree(khansahab) on December 3, 2007, 21:50 GMT

    So Mr Dripdrop scores a century and some posters want the team management and selectors to retain him. All of a sudden, the many times Pakistan has lost matches recently because of Akmal’s lack of concentration and commitment are forgotten. What we fail to take into account is, the opposition is India and many Pakistan players (Butt, Asif, Akmal, Afridi, Younis etc) perform to above their potential against this opposition. What we have also forgotten is that this is not the first time that Akmal’s place in the team is on the line, the opposition has been India and he has finally applied himself to retain his place for another year or two. Pakistan play India about once every two years and the pattern that has emerged since Akmal’s debut is that, he starts focusing and concentrating, loses the plot, his position in the team is criticised, he plays against India, scores a match saving or winning century and his place is confirmed until the next series against India.

    When will Pakspin posters stop being fickle? Some posters on Pakspin have criticised me for being fickle, but the truth is that I have always stood by my statements and justified them ably. Just like how I will predict now that Akmal will be pretty much useless in the upcoming series against Australia. The situation with players like Akmal, Butt and Younis reminds me of how politics works in Pakistan. The same tried and tested leaders, who openly loot the innocent/unsuspecting public, make false promises and the public thinks they should be given another chance! Don’t go about telling me that Akmal and Younis can’t control the way they have been performing. Whenever people start criticising them and their place in the team is on the line they do something spectacular, which means that usually they do not offer their 100% because they think it won’t affect their position in the team.

  • Irfan Khan on December 3, 2007, 21:16 GMT

    I can agree with Javed A Khan that international matches are not the place to learn but I very strongly disagree that Javed like some other people on this blog wants Malik to be a perfect captain in big series like this especially when they argue he is unfit in test side.

    How can you expect a PAYNDOO to be a perfect captain without grooming him properly? Since he has been given the captaincy job:

    • Has he been given any coaching on this highly responsible job? • Has he attended any mental toughness courses or any psychological courses to deal with tense situation? • Has any retired senior player tried to give him some tips (instead of sitting outside and criticizing). • Has he been given free hands or DOCDAR Nasim ACHOO is on his head always with his sword. • Have other senior player given him more than even 70%. • Does he feel confident in doing this job?

    I think answers to most of above questions are no but there is one thing which I have not doubt i.e. he is capable of doing so much but like Afridi and some other players, he has been given no training, coaching or advice (bearing in mind he is not a born leader like Imran).

    Javed A Khan – I wish you were playing in this eleven, I am sure you would have found eating NASWAAR most of the time with your buddy Younis Khan and laughing unnecessarily without a reason. Ha!

  • sakib on December 3, 2007, 17:51 GMT

    I totally agree with mr. Asif... Afridi was so instrumental for Pakistan in the last Indian tour that it was reflected in the team's performance. Selectors are destroying Afridi's career, there's something wrong. His Test performance is much much better than the current players like Salman, Yasir, Malik, Faisal Iqbal(!) and so on...and against INDIA Afridi is the best maaan!!!! Average wise, consistency wise, and on Flat pitches...& not for the passion he brings. His legspin is much much much better than Kaneria against India, look at last series...Team Managemant and Selectors are Dumb and Dumb, beacuase ODI performance cannot be judgement for the Test. Played badly in ODI doesnt mean the same in Tests, when he has such a record in India.

  • Khuram Khan on December 3, 2007, 16:27 GMT

    The match is possibly heading for a draw unless Kumble has the courage to declare in the first session to make it alluring somewhat.I am perturbed by aberrent behavior of Shoaib Akhtar on the field.It was totally unprofessional and inappropriate.Perhaps he is carried away by reported film offer which he is going to discuss while third test will be on.His focus is already a casualty.His batting leaves a lot to be desired as is his fielding.His bowling lacked concentration of mind.He needs help.

  • raza Karamat on December 3, 2007, 15:08 GMT

    Where is Anwar Ali, Khuram Monsoor, Monsoor Amjad, sarfraz Ahmad. Talented young pakis performing on the domestic circuit, and captaining under 19 world cup champions but PCB ignores them and select hasbeen, talentless players, failed players like, yasir arafat, sami, rehman, kaneria, younis khan, yasir hameed. When will pcb wake up. Only way youngsters play is through injury and then all of a sudden your shocked that such talent existed. Asif, Tanvir, Butt, Misbah, and Gul.

  • Awas on December 3, 2007, 14:04 GMT

    After A True Grit like partnership between Misbah and Sami the end came quick. I wonder why our tail-enders give in without any resistance. All three last wickets went for noughts. It was the same story in the last match as well. Even 10-15 runs from each tail-ender would have made a big difference. The last three could not muster even a single run. That’s terrible. I bet even Malang Ali, the team’s masseur could have done better than that or at least entertained us with his DammaDum Must Kallandhar rhythm. By the way is he the “alien like creature” that JAVED A KHAN mentioned?

  • Shankar on December 3, 2007, 11:36 GMT

    Like I said earlier in the blog Pakistan team has put up a solid fight. Congrats to Misbah and Akmal(only for batting) there is some interest in this encounter. My reading of the situation is that this test will go for a draw unless the pitch breaks down badly tomorrow and it becomes sort of unplayable. But seeing the rate at which Indians scored in the second innings I think the pitch does not hold any demons. The best thing to take from this spirited fight back is the approach to the Bangalore test. I agree with most of the bloggers that if a guy is not fit, just drop him. It may be worthwhile to field a lesser talented person but who can contribute 100% on the field. Good fight back guys,keep it up. But I think Pakistan sorely miss the services of Asif and Gul.

  • I am agree(khansahab) on December 3, 2007, 10:12 GMT

    Mohammad Sami should forget about bowling and apply for the honourable post of Batting Coach of the Pakistan team.

  • Qasim on December 3, 2007, 5:33 GMT

    pakistani. Your comments are anything but Pakistani or patriotic. Do not make distorted statements and spread hatred which your heart is obviously saturated with. Please give reference to when Shoaib Malik made his "statement" and state clearly what he said. If you are referring to the Nadia Khan show, suggest to watch it again and listen to what he says and try not to decipher it on an ISI level.

    If indeed Shoaib has made a discriminatory statement like you make it sound, PCB should not waste a second in showing him the door.

  • Omer Admani on December 2, 2007, 22:28 GMT

    Well, the worst thing that has happened has Akmal hit a centuy. Now we will have to see his keeping for another 4 years at least, in which he will let numerous batsmen make centuries. I bet he is the favortie player of a lot of batsmen over the world by now (especially Kallis and Pieterson). If Malik feels that this is the justification for Akmal, then he is simply wrong. He has to get a different keeper, even if Akmal plays as a batsman alone. If Malik feels Akmal is that good a batsman, then Akmal should be playing as a batsman. But if he is wicket keepering, that is like any other batsman keepering without any keeping skills.

  • Tay'yab-Ali on December 2, 2007, 21:15 GMT

    Akmal has done it again. First Mohali, then karach followed by Lahore & now kolkata. Four series against the Indians and scoring four match winning/saving hundreds. His critics will now move on to Iqbal & Malik for a while and then revert to Akmal. Hopefully Akmal can transfer his batting form into keeping.

    misbah has been a revelation; at 33 he is both physically & mentally fitter than anyone else in the team. I heard aamir sohail say on commentary that misbah is known as an Einstein of cricket in the dressing room. He is highly educated (MBA graduate)and his command of the English langauage is excellent-there is talk he may be the Captain in the near future. Misbah & hussey are good examples of how playing years of domestic cricket can really mature you as a player and when thrusted onto the big scene they hit the ground running. Other good players who debuted late were rana & kamal-maybe PCB should stop picking young players as it only destroys their confidence.

    Finally a word in Iqbal. I believe he is a very good player. I first saw him against Aus in sharja. He played warne very well and even warne praised him. He is young and needs a consistant run in the team. He usually plays one test to cover an injury or a ban and is expected to score big.

  • Pakistani on December 2, 2007, 21:11 GMT

    For Mr Ubaid.

    If you talk about 11 professional players than i think only younis khan, muhammad yousuf, Shoib Akhter, Shahid afridi,Muhammad Asif, Umer Gul can make in the team on merit and performance even though most people not include afridi but he is. Every country in world want afridi to be in his team. I am not from karachi i am from pakistan but i really disagree with all blogger here who talks about faisal iqbal. This guy should single handly won the match for pakisan at columbo against australia last man to out before pakistan loose the match.Most people only thinks he is nephew of miandad so he in team i dont think so. No one in current setup likes miandad how he should pressue anyone to make him to team. Faisal dont get chances like salman butt, muhammad hafeez, kamran akmal, abul razzak . but he just with the team as reserve and whenever he give chance he tried to give 100 percent. Saving the test along with Malik at columbo, Saving the test against England. He has good techique with most of the player in the team but those player hitting sixes and fours so they are in team. Anyways i am not saying he should be in team but there are alots like him who should be not in team. Salman Butt, Shoib Malik, Kamran Akmal, Muhamm Hafeez, Muhammad Sami, Danish kaneria. same class as faisal.

    have fun

  • MaQ on December 2, 2007, 21:10 GMT

    umm....i dunno why u guys are still criticizing akmal, he showed a lot of heart today and his wicket-keeping is improving(well at least he is catching something.....Malik is a fine choice for a captain but he needs to be encouraged...the media did the same to inzamam during last days of his captaincy...moin khan is correct in saying that malik needs to be groomed as a captain therefore he should be named captain of his sialkot team...misbah-ul-haq is one of a hell player who has silenced his critics, i mean i only watch the match when he is batting...i bet sallu and javed miandad are friends because i see no other reason y faisal was selected, all in all well played misbah and akmal....for showing heart and determination today...hopefully we will be able to save the follow-on.. good luck pakistan (i gotta feeling u are goin to need it)

  • pakistani on December 2, 2007, 21:00 GMT

    Hello bloggers.

    What i should say about the performance of team. Now the kamran akmal hit century he now use it for future matches that he perform when he needed. Although his first job Keeping still the same for last 2 years ' dropping catches, missing stumpps, missing balls ' . Now Malik captaincy ' I agree with Javed khan and Mr yaqoob that Pakistan national team is not the platform to learn things its for delivering. Than we use under 19 players to represt pakistan team and give them 5 years to make team success . who all supporting this are just giving excuses. Younis Khan also just to saving his friend and himself because he was groom to be captain and he denied. Every country make someone captain who perform not like pakistan. I dont think Malik place in test are automatic. Asim kamal is better batsman to be in test team rather than Malik ( if they want him to play as batsman). Secondly, Afridi should always be in team, he has more average than most batsman in team other than two senior younis and yousuf. One blogger saying Younis Khan said that he ask for NWFP players i dont he said that, but I know that Malik Openly Said that he will support the player from punjab. anyways pakistan team not based on regionlism it should be pakistan team. Pakistan team needs a coach who tell players how to defence the ball.

    Anyways dont play dirty politics. Thinks like professional. If a company hire a person in there office they always hire who knows the work not giving them time to learn there and if they hire like that than at junior level not give them direct managers or director position. Professional approach always make us do better. A Professional approach makes us Patriotic to our nation and people.

    have fun.

  • Awas on December 2, 2007, 20:02 GMT

    Pakistan should start looking for more talent in the fast bowling field. It looks like Shoaib Akhtar is going to Bollywood. He has just broken the news to the media. So, JAVED A KHAN’s hunch that he really is an actor was quite right. As he is getting on a bit, money is more of a consideration than huffing and puffing on the field. I don’t blame him though. I suspect we will see a new blog from Kamran Abbasi soon.

  • ubaid on December 2, 2007, 19:33 GMT

    There is no end to the frustration one feels at seeing someone like faisal iqbal walk out to the crease. I don't care if he scores a hundred. He does not deserve to wear the national colors. One of the most profound weakness in pakistani society and culture is rearing its ugly head time and again. Foundation is based on " sifarish". People wearing national colors have to be the best 11 people in the country. There just aren't any two ways about it. 11 best players who are physicaly able to give 100% effort, and do, would satisfy me and a lot of other people, even if we don't win much. At least then we will know that this is the best we can do and our best isn't good enough right now but there is a chance to get better. A team that is built on shaky foundation will forever continue to be as unpredictable as pakistan is. Furthermore, it erodes the confidence of people playing the game at the domestic level and the nation as a whole when they know that people who have failed all kinds of tests get to prosper simply becuase they are related to someone famous. Why is he in? I am just dumbfounded by the decision and the " chori or seena zori" of the powers behind this decision. Is there no one that will stand up and say " No sir, I will not let you do this. This is not your team. This is the nation's team. You can not carry out your filthy bussiness here". what kind of people are these. Is there no moral integrity. Once again, I don't care if he scores a hundred next time he plays. The foundation is weak just like the foundation of the personalities of people that keep putting him in.

  • Awas on December 2, 2007, 19:14 GMT

    All those who have been so impulsive in criticising Malik as captain and demanding for his ouster should read the article “Younis backs Malik after string of criticism” on Cricinfo. He is so right in saying that all those who are criticising him now were the ones who supported his appointment at first. As I have said before, captain should be supported and encouraged by all around him to get the best out of him. No one has come up with a viable option as there is none. All this criticism must be very discouraging for him.

    stephen.philips

    There have been some nice balanced comments from many of your countrymen. You must be an embarrassment to most of them to the likes of Indian_Tendlya. Are you saying before the neutral umpires came along, the Indian umpires were also favouring Pakistan instead of India? Lol. In those days Pakistan had a better record overseas than at home whereas for India it was the other way round, winning only at home with their own umpires.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on December 2, 2007, 18:06 GMT

    When I posed the question, 'shouldn't Malik go home now?' It is based purely on professional grounds and nothing personal against him. Because the latest report says: "Shoaib Malik's ankle has been put under a plaster for at least five more days and he will undergo a fitness test on the 6th to know about his chances for the third Test in Bangalore, starting on Dec 8." Its a matter of common sense which is lacking among the selectors when they decided to play Shoaib Akhtar after his fever and chest infection and expected him to perform miracles. Likewise, it would be a blunder to expect them from Malik to perform well and to be 100% fit, physically and mentally. This is a common phrase from Malik which he has "ruttoofied like a tota," or recites like a parrot and, he has said this after every defeat."Although we have lost the series, but, we have learnt a lot from it." Even though the present dummy captain Younis was defending the dumbest ex-captain by saying, "I am really upset at the criticism of some of our former players. Malik is a young captain and he will only learn from his mistakes," Once again the same template and once again labeling Malik as a "young captain." How long? Has he been drinking water from the fountain of youth? Anyways, I like the comment made by Mr. Mohammad Yaqoob of the daily Dawn in which he wrote a column: Malik needs to pull up socks & his pujjies for survival as skipper. And he said: "For Malik's kind information, one would like to point out that the international matches are definitely not a learning platform. In fact, they are all about delivering." In Malik's vocabulary perhaps delivery means Pizza delivery. The funny thing is both Malik and Mohammad Yousuf cannot speak a proper sentence in English YET they are writing newspaper columns in India! Obviously someone else is writing for them and they are getting paid for their name. Is it what they are supposed to do when they are touring? Are they cricket players or sports journalists? For them the avowed purpose is to play cricket and not write columns. For those who don't know Mohammad Yousuf's last five tests innings average against India it is only 22 runs. He made made 22 at Kolkata and 37 at Bangalore in 2004-05; and 27 and 18 at Delhi and 6 at Kolkata on December 2, 2007. So, don't expect much from him. His best year was last year. As regards, Malik's averages I am glad to see that a blogger (ASIF December 2, 2007 6:30 AM) has posted some valuable information which in the previous thread our bro Wasim Saqib twisted and turned them in favour of his puppoo. Finally about Faisal Iqbal, he can plan on opening a poultry farm after "delivering" his 4th duck in his 19 test match career innings and must seek his uncle's help in marketing & franchising them.

  • FAISAL IQBAL,OH NO NOT AGAIN on December 2, 2007, 16:57 GMT

    indias B.C.C.Is president and indias powerful politians sharad pawar is from maharashtra, india s cheif selector dilip vengsarkar is from mumbai,sachin too is from mumbai,such 3 powerful persons could not include their blue eyed man,agit agarkar even in one dayers,but who in pakistan keeps including faisal iqbal in the team,almost always???

  • senior player on December 2, 2007, 16:54 GMT

    Most unfortunate day for pakistan cricket. Batting is not what Akmal is in the team for. But as usual selectors will take credit for his selection because of his century. We are doomed to see him for another year. Most unfortunate indeed.

  • I am agree(khansahab) on December 2, 2007, 12:39 GMT

    Malik’s captaincy is being heavily criticised these days and the most recent addition to his critics has been none other than Imran Khan. We have all condemned some of the decisions Malik has taken since the commencement of his tenure. However, what happens from now on is the million dollar question. Although some people on this blog have stated that Malik asked for Asim Kamal and was awarded Faisal Iqbal instead, I have also heard that Faisal and Malik are friends, which is why he opted for his selection (like how I have seen Malik say himself on television that Abdur Rehman and Misbah are his “friends” and he enjoys playing with his friends). The dilemma now is that, after WC 2007 we spoke of the new era and how we would need to give the captain some time to adjust so that he is comfortable leading his team into WC 2011. If we go off that remark, Malik can be pardoned and we can hope he will learn and rectify his mistakes. However, we have to ask ourselves whether Malik is “captaincy material” or not. A lot of people agree that Yousuf is not captaincy material, but so far most of what Malik has done has demonstrated that he is not the ideal captain for the team. A good beginning is necessary to ensure that there is some consistency in the performance of the captain and the team, but the fact is that Malik’s beginning has been one of the worst in any Pakistani captain’s history, and has become more prominent in the light of the ODI series loss against India. The dilemma now faced by any astute Pakistan cricket observer is, has Malik proven to be the right choice, and how long should we continue with him? If the senior players are the problem, they will still go on to play for at least another 2-3 years. Can we afford such below average team performances for that long, keeping in mind that the preparation for WC 2011 will begin around 2009? If we forget about the WC 2011 and just concentrate about the immediate future, I don’t see any changes or improvements ahead. Akmal has played well today, once again when his inclusion in the team is on the line. Otherwise his batting has been mediocre. Younis may strike a century in the next Test, but for the long term betterment of the team, I hope that after this India series has come to an end, some hard decisions are made regarding the future of Akmal, Younis and Afridi. I had a lot of respect for Younis once upon a time but two factors have really saddened me about him. First is his unprofessional and reckless attitude and second is, when I read in his interview that if he becomes captain he will ask for more players from NWFP. Merit is what counts, not the domicile of the player!

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA. on December 2, 2007, 12:06 GMT

    The inevitable has been delayed, to a certain extent it appears like it has been avoided, but that is my optimism. The way Akmal and Misbah batted today, they frustrated and defied the Indians from total domination and must have sent a message to the openers and the top middle order that, patience and endurance eventually pays off. All one needs to do is stick there and make sure that they are playing a test match and not a twenty20 game. Last time when India visited Pakistan, Faisalabad and Lahore pitches were reportedly "glass top" and favoured the batsmen, both matches ended in a draw and there was a big hue and cry from all corners that Pakistan has prepared dead wickets. This Eden Garden pitch is not glass top, its rather dusty and crumbly but, it is definitely favouring the batsmen. This is also obvious from the way Indian batsmen piled up runs followed by Misbah and Akmal's tons. Already 5 hundreds (including one double) has been scored. No one knows how many more to follow? As long as a result is achieved no one will complain about dead wickets.

    There is nothing for the bowlers on this wicket, the batsmen got out playing loose shots. The only two balls in this entire match so far, that are worth mentioning came from Harbhajan's wrist. The first, when he clean bowled Yousuf and, the second when he got Akmal by exploiting the rough patch to his advantage and he spun the ball inside by bowling from around the wicket, that was definitely the ball of the day! If Pakistan can avoid the follow-on, then there is a possibility that Mr. Kamran Abbassi's dua for a draw has been accepted. I don't think those batsmen who failed to score in the first innings would be repeating the same mistakes again, unless the wicket starts breaking apart on the 5th day and becomes totally unplayable, then its a different story. Misbah has also proved a point, especially for the Actor that, after getting sick simply playing for your own sake i.e., only to avoid criticism is not important. The important thing is to play for the team and most important thing is to contribute. Misbah was also sick but, he played with a lot of grit and determination and scored a hundred. Whereas, the Actor played just for the heck of it, and he was seen only 33 1/8 of his 100% and his contribution is zilch. It would have been better to include Yasser Arafat since he had already arrived by then. Shouldn't Shoaib Malik go home now? Is he hanging out there only because Sania Mirza has given him some hope? I think right now his presence is a negative impact in the dressing room. I wonder why he did not give Akmal a "well played pat" on his shoulder whereas everyone did. Whereas Malik gave a pat to Misbah. Is there a tiff between the keeper and the skipper? I hope (NAAT) Mr. Kamran Abbassi will dump this thread and start a fresh one on Kamran Akmal like he did when Akmal was instrumental in a win against SA in Feb. 2007.

  • JamJar on December 2, 2007, 11:52 GMT

    Brothers,

    Another tense finale and it seems like the lack of concentration at the close gets the better of our bastemen time and time again. As I alluded to in a post some time ago, Pakistan have a worrying tendancy to lose wickets just before the close. It happened yesterday and it happened today.

    Credit to Kamran Akmal for at least contributing with the bat. I like Osman's comment in the bulletin where he said had Akmal not produced with the bat, he would have most certainly been dropped, and rightly so I'd say. However, I dont think that one performance with bat can and should save his place given his previous calamities with the gloves and meagre contributions with the bat.

    Misbah has been performing excellently and is working himself to be Pakistan's most dependable bastman. Whether he can maintain this or not is something to be seen, but his performances have pulled Pakistan out of many a dire situation. Hopefully, he'll extend his good run into the 4th day with some support from the tail.

    As for Faisal's duck, I never expected much from this joker but I'd love him to prove us fans wrong in the second innings.

    Pakistan's knock in the 3rd day has provided a glimmer of hope the more optimistic fans will latch onto, but its still a long way to go to save this test. The key is Misbah, please give us fans something to cheer about!

    Khansahab,

    Good to see you back on here, your temporary absence was noted :)

  • Adeel Hussain on December 2, 2007, 7:11 GMT

    This team and especially the current management is hell-bent on making sure that they level out to nill all our previous records. They seem to have the constituency similar to that of a bird feeding its young one rather than a cornered tiger. PCB is making sure that slowly but surely they field a side of have-beens. Kamran Akmal, how many times does he have to prove his worth before he gets the boot in favor of Sarfraz? Dont give me the he can bat better argument because his drop catches far out-weigh the measly 20 or 30 runs he makes. Unfortunately hes batting well for a lost cause this match. On the basis of this they’l pick him again. Then in some other match when it really really matters, when we have whiff of victory, when its right there… He’s going to F*up. He Will…. Its written all over him. Stop thinking short term, Look to th future. Danish Kaneria, they guy has had more centuries scored against him than Inzi, Yousuf and Miandad have each made. 26 times the opposistion has been able to score 100 or more against this gimp. And he’s still the great hope? I wonder what they put in the tea up there at the office. Why is Shoaib playing this match? Are we fielding a school team or a professional national team? Ok fine just a national team. The guy is sick and obviously cant really bowl that much… WTF??????????????? Pick someone else, Yasir Arafat, Rao Iftikhar are no heroes I agree, but atleast they can bowl more than 25 overs in a match. What happened to our batting? What happened to the old days when playing India brought out the best in the team? Why do they capitulate as soon as the opposition asks them to? Where is the spine? I think the PCB management is hitting the peace pipe in their backroom. They have to be, even my little niece is like WTF?

  • ASIF on December 2, 2007, 6:30 GMT

    I would like to remind MALIK,LAWSON,SALLU & OTHERS who are behind Afridi's axing from the test team that afridi's average in the last 12 tests is 48 runs.His scores against india are 13,141,37,47,29,59,0,58,102,1,156,13 & 60.Plus he has taken wickets & fielded brilliantly.It was afridi who won the bangalore test with his 20 odd ball fifty & 5 crucial wickets.He got rid of tendulkar 3 times out of four times he played in his last tour. Also he got 5 centuries & 8 fifties @ an average of 38 runs which is better than malik,salman,yaser,faisal,misbah & many other past greats like ramiz raja,etc. salman faisal,sami & yaser were picked just because their record is good against india according to the selectors. What a shame they forgot the brilliant performance of afridi against india.Even in the one day series they did not use afridi properly by constantly changing his batting order.Last time when pakistan visited afridi was sent up the order the whole series & u can see his performnce.Afridi's scores in that series in one days were 3,0,17,48,102 & 47 which resulted in pak winning the series.The fact of the matter is the pakistan team management never treat afridi properly & always drop him after one bad performance whereas malik,younus,salman,yaser & others are given ample time to get back their form.Malik failed miserably 1n the 1st four matches & hit that 80 odd in that not so important match & afridi was cleverly dropped from that match.Who knows he might have blasted a 30 ball century.If u carefully analyse afridi's last 12 tests any one can easily understand how bad they were with him.After playing magnificently in australia against mc grath & co they dropped him in the 1st test in his last tour to india.He played two tests & was instrumental in levelling the series.Then in windies he scored 16,124,37 & 47 & also got the man of the series in one dayers.Then again he was axed in the 1st test against england.He scored a majestic 90 in the 2nd test & then was banned for the 3rd test.When india toured he was at his best.He was dropped against sri lanka after failing in just one innings & also could not get a chance to play in the 2nd innings when the pitch eased out in which malik scored a century.He subsequently announced his retirement as he was dejected.He did play two tests against england in which he failed to score but he picked up some wickets. Finally I would like to request the pakistani team management to treat afridi fairly the most popular cricketer in pakistan & allow him to play tests also.

  • I am agree(khansahab) on December 1, 2007, 22:38 GMT

    There are lots of things I can say but owing to the recently reinforced rules about comment lengths I will say the most important points. What this team needs more than anything now is young players who have something to prove. They could also do with a coach whom they can understand. Also, something tells me maybe some folks on this blog are taking the situation too emotionally? I think it is bad luck more than anything else that Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami are not 100% fit which has obviously affected the bowling (although Sami would struggle even if 100% fit). Now why they are playing in this particular match is obviously another question. People have varying views regarding Kaneria but in my opinion, in this series he has been below average. More was expected from him- most of the balls he bowled were poor length which the likes of Laxman and Ganguly easily drove. I think he is seriously lacking confidence and he has really given up. Having the miserable Akmal behind the stumps obviously does not help. When Akmal chants something from behind I feel like punching him, since his “droppings” have dented the team’s confidence even more. I am not prepared to accede that Pakistan can only have an effective bowling attack if Gul, Asif and Akhtar are bowling in tandem. There are plenty of pacers in the domestic circuit who can take over now that all three bowlers are unfit. Why those domestic players are not being given chances is a mystery to me. Sohail Tanvir can’t take all 10 wickets and as I have mentioned earlier he is not quite a “fully developed” prospect as yet, despite his encouraging talent. Also, people are blaming the Punjab mafia- I am not taking sides and taking sides is something I don’t like doing anyway, but let us see how the inconsistent Pathan batsman (Younis) performs tomorrow. Yasir Hameed has already played recklessly and got out (you can’t play Kumble like that!). If Younis throws his wicket away in his trademark fashion as he frequently does, I think greater blame should be attributed to the Pathan mafia. At least the Butt is still standing there unbeaten.

  • Dza Afridi Dza on December 1, 2007, 22:29 GMT

    Yara Munir Sharjah wala

    U r so rite about Malik, he is a coward. Now you have talked about Punjab Mafia as killer of Pak cricket, they will be after you especially this guy Waseem Sakib he makes false comparisons and makes weird excuses to keep Malik in the side, he should be out of the team. Have you ever heard of a player playing soccer one day before the cricket test match? He is supposed to be the captain and he is making false excuses. His taqna is like Kamran Akmal's finger we don't know which one is hurt in doing what? But the truth is this is the weakest Pakistan team ever and the weakest and dumbest captain Pakistan ever had in Malik.

  • Flipper on December 1, 2007, 21:32 GMT

    First, please, please drop Kaneria. If he does get wickets, its after he's bowled about 40 overs. Can anybody remember the last time he produced a match winning bowling performance? His fielding is so poor it inflicts the rest of the team like a disease.

    Secondly, in order to win a test match, Pakistan will need to take 20 wickets. With only 4 bowlers (just about counting Kaneria as a bowler), Pakistan's options were limited. Any injury will leave you seriously struggling. You need an all-rounder in the side for balance. Afridi, batting average 37.50 and bowling average 35, is by far and away the best choice. Incidentally, his batting average is higher than Butt's, Malik's, Iqbal's and Akmal's. His bowling average is only a run or so behind Kaneria. When you factor in the fact that Afridi has never had the chance to bowl to the Bangladeshi's in tests, together with the fact that his fielding will on average save about 20 runs per test innings (in complete reversal of Kaneria), he must be flown on the next flight from Pakistan to India.

    Thirdly, Yasir Hameed is simply not good enough. The selectors should give Hasan Raza an extended run in the side, even as an opener. It's a disgrace the way he's been treated.

  • Mohammed Munir - Sharjah, UAE. on December 1, 2007, 21:27 GMT

    Guys forget this series and we are now ready for the 3/0, or at best 2/0, for the test resutls. Some thoughts below:

    - Shoaib Malik opted not to play, under false excuse of an injury, to save himself from further humiliation.

    - Kamran Akmal is 'dropping' everyone, why is the PCB not 'dropping' him ?

    - Punjab Maafia is killer of Pakistani Cricket.

    However, on the positive side, remember the great Team India is heading to Australia after third test, and their happy days are comming to an end. As they say, Bakray Ki Maan Kab Tak Khair Manaaigi? ----- Aik Din to Team India Australia Jaaigi.

    Cheers.

  • Asif Sarfraz on December 1, 2007, 19:46 GMT

    Hi there everybody!

    I just got a few points to make!

    Afridi should be playing both forms of the game and should be captain, but even he has to sort it out in the batting, bowling fine-ish.

    The only person in the team I rely on is Misbah-Ul-Haq.

    Dav Whatmore should of been our coach when we had the chance of signing him.

    Thats it!

  • razi on December 1, 2007, 19:10 GMT

    These cricketers and our politicians share the same character. They can do anything to get into power and they will do anything to remain in POWER. Our Media anlayze and assess them and Project them just to increase the circulation of their publications. Where is Objective journalism. As a nation we believe in foriegn aid, foriegn coaches, foreign culture, foreign clothes we are getting towrads cultural, technical, moral bankruptcy. We apprieciate our players based upon their place of birth rather their performance. I remember our young captian has stated that"None of the pakistani team chased 326 in Javed or Imran" in reponse to a reasonable question about quality of current players. First our Cricket management has been comprises of a group of opportunistic greedy people who believe in making money and doing foriegn trips without any purpose. We gave every official 25 lacs after 20/20... what exactly our officials contributed expect hefty shoppings and sightseeings None of the current cricketers has scored any double century in 2007. I am sure that If Israel opens an ICL kinda tournament and pay 1 millions dollors then whole pakistani team will gladly join it. One more thing about fitness level, In every professional environment PLAYERs are usually responsible to remain fit but in our current structure they get paid for not playing.

  • 'A Fan' on December 1, 2007, 18:55 GMT

    What can i say, that has not been said before?? I don't see Pakistan batting out the 3rd day. They seem lost, with no motivation, ideas, etc. I was looking forward to the series, but feel so let down and dejected... As a fan, i can see what the problems are within the Pakistan team. Question is WHY cant the PCB see them? My elders, friends, colleagues say one thing about the state of cricket in pakistan... ITS CORRUPT TO THE CORE! Can anything be done to rectify it? Out with the old , in with the new, perhaps? But what are the chances of that happening? You have more chances of winning the lottery !!! The current selectors, have made sure, have provisions in place, which will see them continue in their current roles, collecting their salaries. Passing on the books, when they get bored or retire on to close friends, relatives, hence no ONE ELSE WHO ACTUALLY CARES, IS PASSIONATE WILL GET A CHANCE TO BREAK INTO THE HIERARCHY TO MAKE THE NECESSARY CHANGES. WE ALL KNOW THIS IS THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER, WE NEED TO GET RID OF THE ROOTS AND THE HEAD BEFORE WE PAKISTAN CRICKET CAN ACTUALLY BE A FORCE IN CRICKET AGAIN!

    The current state of affairs , will get worse before it gets any better. The agony is, the PCB, selectors, players, will continue to be the only ones who benefit though the hefty contracts, sponsorships etc. We the fans will continue to suffer... as always....

    I hope and pray that day comes in my lifetime... but i wont hold my breath!

    I see pakistan losing 3-0

  • all abt cricket on December 1, 2007, 14:57 GMT

    pakistans performance was pathetic to say the least.and to top it off geoff lawson is trying to make excuses for their performance.i dont know where this is going to end.lets hope the team comes out of this hole

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA. on December 1, 2007, 14:57 GMT

    So one aspect of the 2nd test has come to an end and it is exactly as per expectations i.e., India will score 600 plus runs by the end of the 2nd day and they did. And, Yasir Hamid, by getting out cheaply has added more woes and donkey loads of work on the so-called limping tiger's fragile back. There is an old story about a "Dhobi ka gadha - Sher ki khaal may" or, a washerman's donkey in a tiger's skin. To cut the long story short, the donkey and the dhobi fooled everyone until one day when the donkey was in the field and suddenly another donkey brayed from some places near the field. The dhobi's donkey lifted up his head and brayed too, and revealed the secret. It wouldn't be nice to mention the fate of that donkey because, that would be like telling the ending of this Eden Garden's story which in any case is not going to reach its climax, hence I do not want to spoil the fun of others. Besides, right now the dhobi called Henry Lawson is very defensive about his so-called tigers and furious with the press, also for the first time he reacted very strongly. So, I will wait till the end of the 3rd day's play.

    I know that my criticism on Pakistani players may not be taken nicely by some of the so-called patriotic bloggers who instead of viewing it professionally, respond as mere patriots. It is good to be patriotic but, one must also be realistic. Whether people accept my views or not is not important for me as I am not running a popularity contest, I express my views and opinions without any bias or prejudice and sometimes for fun. I am not mentioning the names, but on this blog, there are some who react like women. "A woman does not like to hear a man's opinion, she only wants to hear her opinion, BUT in a deeper voice.

  • rashid tahir on December 1, 2007, 13:38 GMT

    i just want to say something about umpires. no ddoubt that the indian team did bat well, but i can't understand why a 3rd umpire make such a wrong decission to not give the indian batsman out who was clearly stumped by akmal. it was clearly visible that his foot was on the line, and on the line is out. but i think that is the reason why there is no indian umpire in the icc elite panel. it is surprising to make a such wrong decision even if you have the tv to decide

  • Face in the Crowd on December 1, 2007, 11:41 GMT

    Regarding the Punjab vs Karachi issue, the problem is alive and kicking in India as well. It is Mumbai vs the Rest issue. The President of the Board & the Chairman of the selectors (both from Mumbai) see to it that a certain highly 'talented' person like Ajit Agarkar is always around to render services to Indian cricket.

    Who can forget the way Rahul Dravid got the shaft with no one standing up for him. And the way the top bosses offered the Captaincy job to Sachin, who ultimately refused it fearing reputation risk. Read the latest 'Society' issue to know what really transpired between Pawar, Vengsarkar & Co.

    Let us go to Australia and see what happens. Having said that, even if we return with a 4-0 thumping, Mr. Pawar will never lose his job. (Over 2000 farmer suicides in his home state and he has not lost his Minister for Agriculture job !)

    So much for accountability.

  • Khuram Khan on December 1, 2007, 7:14 GMT

    Cornered yes Tigers no.While Naseem Ashraf is away in USA doing what he is not paid for,team management and players thought what the hell why not enjoy mild Indian winter.As did the selectors.This tour seems to be a part of CBMs and so far it has done commendable job in building confidence of the Indian team.Keep up the good work not forgetting the shopping spree with the families.

  • Abdul kader.k.a.from kadayanallur,TN,INDIA. on December 1, 2007, 4:39 GMT

    Hai,insha allah pakistan will win if they change some of their players. Who are they? May be entire team! Surprise? Yes i say they need to change entire team! You may think yousuf, akthar,younis are good player! Why should change entire team like that, yes they are good players, but recent days they lost some rthym and the attitude of winning sprit. If u see these above players particularly yousuf who is playing for his own records instead playing for his records,thay is why i say in this record pakistan must take care! The same ys'and akthar in the past played with sprit ,so they got their rthym and pak was winning. Now? Problems,lack of commitments, selection panel's vulnerability etc., these all are the cause of pakistan lose. Even now you may think y's and akthar need to play for pak! Yes, I agree with you, but they should come as sprited and new look y's who must be keen on to bring pak to win istead their own record and akthar to be aggressive when he is in field rather to be in off field. If they do that, the new y's and akthar may bring some victory to pak. So, this team who play against india y's and akthar should go out of team, the sprited y's and akthar must come!that's why i said above entire team should change to bring new y's and akthar(this same yousuf ,younis&akthar, in the new form with sprited and winning attitude)should come to team! And some of other changes the whole world will agree, yes, i say about akmal,hameed, sami, arafat, even malik in the tests, those all should go immediatly to bring back the talents like kamal,rana,raza&even saqlain mustaq. We must hope it will happen soon rather than later! At that time insha allah pak will turn to winning ways!

  • Omer Admani on December 1, 2007, 3:49 GMT

    Akmal has killed the team's passion (he killed the momentum before the worldcup and there has been no coming back after that). He has been doing that on crucial times. A few good bowlers will lose their careers because of him. And it will be a slow and dying death, as their confidence plumets lower and lower. They are trying different actions, bowling the lines of different bowlers in the same match. They have no confidence left. But this little son of Pakistan, the heart of the Pakistani team, won't be dropped.

    Lawson hasn't been able to impose himself on the team at all. He seems like an outsider. He needs a strong captain so that a few tough decisions are made. This matey culture needs to end.

  • Haseeb Ahmed on December 1, 2007, 3:25 GMT

    The solution is simple and not as outlandish as it first may appear: Bring Inzi Back! Kick out Chief Jester Nasim. Appoint Waqar bowling coach again. And most of all, get the damn players physically fit!!

  • nadeem shahzad on December 1, 2007, 3:16 GMT

    I'll agree with some of the writers here, blame the people responsible for the selection of the team. Sending in half fit guys to last 5 days of an important test match ? Continuity is important but not at the cost of extinction, everything in the world must be replaced for sustained developement. Give these guys a rest, give bowlers like Zia and Munir a chance. Sami is a disgrace, looked least threatening with his bowling and has got no wickets to show for his workhorse like spells. Watching the first day of the 2nd test was just embarassing to see a country like Pakistan not being able to produce a replacements for the playing 11. Just a Shame ..PCB management is pathetic.

  • Hamid on December 1, 2007, 1:46 GMT

    I think Pakistan's situation is grave. The chief Patron of PCB should issue an order requiring all players to play according to the script. Alternatively, publication of scores should only be allowed after approval by the PCB.

  • Partha Rajagopal on December 1, 2007, 1:32 GMT

    Pakistan has always produced world class cricketers. Do not write Pakistan off. Every team goes through a lean patch. England, Australia etc have been there before. Pakistan will come back in the future and will keep cricket alive. Try to hang in there. Do not lose heart because of one series. Pakistan should appoint Younis Khan as the captain and bring back Afridi. They lack inspiring leadership currently. Every match needs good cricket. One sided matches become dull and boring. Even if India piles up a big total at Kolkatta, I expect Younis Khan, Mohammed Younis and Misbah to play a good innings and stand up to the Indian total. Pakistan can escape with a draw in this match if they bat it out. With limited bowling resources, that should be the strategy. If they manage to do that, then Bangalore Test must be a very exciting one.

  • mohmmed on December 1, 2007, 0:57 GMT

    Some people above have written there are some talented players who can be blooded into this team. It is very wrong. May be they did knew about this: Australia A recently won test series against Pak A and 2nd grade Bombay (Mumbai) won against Karachi (white/blue or green) with huge first inning lead in Nissar tropy.

    Can Inzi be replaced with any other (Misbah and Faisal are half talented as Inzi)? Nobody can.

    Another thing which Pak management, team and selectors ignore are suggestions from Imran. Just follow what Imran says your team will be much more competitive than what they are doing. As he always said and Ian Chappel (both are of same school of tought) also says a team performs better if a captain leads from front. A well performing captain can demand more from his teammates and with his performance can contribute to his team. Take a look at Shoaib: his position in team is not well defined whether he is middle order, a floater or an opener. So how can he make strong decisions. (How poor was the decision to make Salman Butt vice captain. It seems he was vice captain because he could speak somewhat better English). Shoaib batting technique is not very good. He is only a good fielder a utility batter and bowler.

    It is very clear from the performance of Pak team against SA and India it is very clear that their management and selectors made very poor decision by asking Inzi to retire and making a weak captain Shoaib.

    Like hockey and squash, cricket is going the same way.

  • Teejay on December 1, 2007, 0:35 GMT

    I still can't understand why Kamran Akmal is still in the team. Whose backing does he have in PCB? whose blue eyed boy is he? Some general's or Nasim Ashraf's? I have never seen a more consistent bad performer for our team. I am longing for the day when he will be dropped FOREVER from our team. He is one of the most important causes of our team's failures in the recent past. He never performs with his bat, put him in any batting position and surely he is going to fail. He drops catches/misses stumping at the crucial moments in the game. Sad part is he never gets injured or even catches a flu. I was overjoyed when I heard that he hurt his finger and would be replaced by Sarfaraz Ahmed but alas his so called "finger injury" got healed in record time unlike other player's injuries. Would someone please remove him from our team or find out why that general is backing him so much!!

  • Faiz Hanif on November 30, 2007, 23:29 GMT

    We need to clean house here. Sure we will lose matches but it will be no different since we cannot seem to win any. Players like M Yousuf, great talent but have no stomach to fight. During Imran's time he would prefer players with agression over overtly talented players and it showed. Pakistan was an agressive fighting team. This team looks like they need to change their trousers if someone stares at them. Shoaib Malik a good cricketer does not possess the agression so how can he ask others to do so. Younis Khan needs to convinced to take the captaincy. Then from there a old players regardless of reputation needs to be purged. We need young blood who have skills and agression. We do not need worlds fastest bowler to win, we need passion and agression to win.

    One more comment I noticed Pakistani players laughing and joking with Indian players. They are not there for club game. This is international cricket with their greatest rivals. Be like Aussies. This is no tea party. Go for the kill and be friends off the field. What the heck Lawson is doing? I thought he was brought in to bring Aussie mentality to the team.

  • Zafar on November 30, 2007, 22:49 GMT

    As soon as I hear Afridi ommited from the test squad, I knew this team will lack the psychological advantage against India. Remember the last serie anyone? It was Akhtar and Afridi doing all the sledging to put India under pressure. Even if both of them don't click, their presense make a HUGE DIFFERENCE. This Pakistani team lacks aggression without their key players (Afridi, Asif, Akhtar (not 100% fit)). PERIOD!

  • Chozhen Thenpandian on November 30, 2007, 22:37 GMT

    Intresting Blog once again Kamran Sahab, I feel the PCB has blundered from the start. Whatever happened to the likes of Ashim Kamal,i thought he was a decent bat, and should be in the team considering the injuries et all, same with Hasan Raza. Regarding bowlers, pcb should have sent out naved hasan, rao who certainly would have done better than a 25%fit shoib akhtar-but who knows -maybe as the match progresses SA might get better and be back to full fitness. One thing that is lacking is lack of competitiveness on evidence of the first day's play-me as an indian supporter am certainly happy to see the score but would want to see a real match with all the usual indo-pak spice and Jasba-but we certainly would not want to see the likes of Saurav, Jaffer, Lakshman pile up runs and improve their averages off a toothless attack. This pak team i feel is in a transitional stage, will surely rebuild to be a better team. In the meantime, pak supporters would be better off not attacking the team but instead the administrators have a lot to answer for. Here's hoping for a better contested and fiercely fought series....

  • Saadi on November 30, 2007, 22:18 GMT

    Afridi does not deserve a place in the test team; he is a batsman who just cant adapt to the circumstances, and he might have the passion, but test cricket requires brains too. So lets please leave afridi aside. Just because this team has had a few poor days does not mean afridi is great. Or for that matter, it doesnt mean that asim kamal or fawad alam or yasir arafat would have made a huge difference.

    No doubt, it was a shameful bowling display! But lets also keep in mind that poor fielding and poor game plan is not the bowler's fault alone. The captaincy is a joke. Coaching is a joke. While it is understandable it was a dead wicket, what is inexcusable is not having a game plan. Pakistani team needs to learn lessons from days like these, and step up the game like professionals. It is not just the team selection that is going wrong in the team, it is the lack of overall game plan and homework. Given the nature of the pitch, they need to work even harder rather than lose all hope.

  • Sumant Bhalla on November 30, 2007, 21:23 GMT

    As an Indian fan I can't complainn about the direction in which this match is headed. But for the life of me I can't figure out what the Pakistani Team Management are thinking. Why send Afridi home? Why field Akhtar when he's unfit. Where are all the young speedsters who play on the domestic Pakistani circuit?

    Thye PCB needs to be run by ex Pakistani cricketers who have represented their nation, not by Generals or politicians.

  • SUNNY on November 30, 2007, 20:36 GMT

    yes, its true that this pak attack would be much better with dame luck smiling - the indian batters would have been sweating had they been facing shoaib, gul, tanvir & asif ! so, all is not lost - its only that pakistan didnt have the luck of a full strength side. as an indian, the only surprises among us is that sami & akmal are playing- we dont think they will qualify for mumbai team also as sami's 'brother in talent' agarkar is there already. maybe parthiv patel who is scoring like bradman & keeps well can move to karachi ! and we can also lend akash chopra & manoj tewari who are talented enuf to play for india but kya kare ! the big four oldies hatne ka naam hi nahin lete

  • Go_Afridi_Go on November 30, 2007, 20:19 GMT

    Indian Khopdee whether u've anything in it or not it doesn't matter. But u've spoken words of wisdom. Also, u've talked something about passion, which is missing in the Pakistan team, u r rite and that is the reason they are unable to beat the Indian team. Passion, if it surpasses the limits and boundaries of self-control is called illness or even insanity. And if it doesn't, then it is just bad acting.

    khe shola deera chi inkar de o kro zama da wara umar kar de o kro

    If they don't play Afridi then there will be no passion in cricket like there is no passion in boxing without Mohammad Ali.

    Dza Afridi Dza >>>> Go Afridi Go.

  • Aarif on November 30, 2007, 19:35 GMT

    How many more catches will KAMRAN AKMAL need to drop in this series until PCB and Co finally drop him? Series after series he is the biggest reason the pakistani's are in a loosing spree. What can we do to get rid of this guy from the pak team? I guess nothing.

  • Amer Latif on November 30, 2007, 19:21 GMT

    A lot of posts keep mentioning "We miss Inzi". The truth of the matter is, it is Inzi's attitude and lethargy that continues to linger on to this team. Mohmmed Yousuf, we have to put up with, since he is the only class batsman available to us. What's the excuse with the rest? Younis Khan can not be counted on when the pressure hits the roof, he finds ways to throw his wicket away. Shoaib Malik, was a poor selection to begin with, he does not even deserve a spot on the team based on performance alone. Afridi should be a lock on both Test and ODI's, because he provides Pakistan the title that everyone dreaded "Unpredictable". What we are now is Predictable, predictably impotent. The young keeper Sarfraz looked energetic and vibrant during his recent one day match sting, and he should be put in right away. What do we need Kamran for, his monotone screaching appeals, or his batting (or lack thereof). Shoaib is looking good again (when healthy), Sami should be out, Tanvir is a flash in the pan and will eventually get killed by everyone (Rao Iftikhar is the better option). We need to find a quality young spirited pace bowler from the juniour leagues (to reignite the spirit). Misbah looks promising, as do Butt and Hamid (but they always have been). Oh and the selection commitee must retire, but who do they replace them with....... they seem to come up with worse and worse options.

    Frustrated Fan!

  • Hamid on November 30, 2007, 19:06 GMT

    Interestingly we have been listening to the same mantra of the ineptitude of the Pakistan board, selectors, coach, etc. for over a year. And nothing has changed. Watching the pakistani bowlers on Day 1 was like watching a club team. Fielding was horrible, the bowling atrocious and of the batting...? Youth has been injected to the team, but not spirit. I think the PCB should hire a motivational speaker on a full-time basis if we are to achieve some semblance of the cornerned tiger of yesteryears. Going for the draw should be the best approach for this test.

  • Fouad Khan on November 30, 2007, 18:57 GMT

    Pakistan were lucky in the first test to get away with the Indian lineup failing to post a 500+ total. But it will happen later in the series, and it will happen with frequency. Even with a completely fit squad, Pakistan lacked the firepower to get India out in India twice. The rest of the series is going to be a face saving exercise for Pakistan; Yousuf and Younis must come through to avoid series loss with more than a 1-0 margin.

  • Abrar on November 30, 2007, 18:48 GMT

    crap captain crap selection panel donkey chairman... thick players shoaib akhtar the only geniuine player who has flare/ Know we appreciate his bat hitting tendencies I think shoaib out to dish some more hittin!

  • Ali Khan on November 30, 2007, 18:09 GMT

    Guys, you realize it is just a game, right? I am glad Pakistan is losing as this allows us Pakistanis to realize our respect as a nation is not based on the performance of our cricket team. Cricket is over rated in Pakistan anyway.

  • sachin on November 30, 2007, 17:50 GMT

    I regularly read that PCB selection panel shows partiality towards Punjab players and do not select players from Karachi. Well I'm an Indian do not know much about this. Can somebody tell me more about this. What I know is Karachi is a very big city and most developed in Pak with development from stock market to fashion market. Is this true? Is this partiality only in cricket or in very field? Even if it exists why is that they hate players from Karachi? Usually in every country players from big cities get selected easily like mumbai, delhi.

  • Abdul kader.k.a.frm kadayanallur,TAMILNADU,INDIA. on November 30, 2007, 17:29 GMT

    Hai,this pakistan team has tremondous talent with the players likes of yousuf,younis,akthar,misbah but they lost means their lack of commitments. And the politics which involves selecting the team, what kamran, yasir hameed,arafat, mainly sami are doing for pakistan,these all are using as a main weapons for pakistan by their selection panel&even by captain,if they continue that,God only save them!look at australia even a big player can't get his chance, when he fails. Eg.waugh brothers. That's why they are no.1.unless other teams in the world follow the aussies way they will be no.1 atleast till next 3 world cups.pakistan if you want to win really, no need australian coach for you, because he has done nothing after he taking coach,even without coach you can win if you follow australia's selection policy! Will pakistan try this to bring the talents like kamal,hasan raza,fawad,etc., or they going to continue this losing combination again even their next big challenge against none other than aussies? Time will tell answers! I hope pakistan will want to win, so some change we may see atleast hereafter. Best wishes for future pak! Don't worry you will win if you made some change! Let i remind u, changes are not change!

  • dil pe mat ley yaar on November 30, 2007, 17:22 GMT

    abe kahe ke tigers!! yeah to choohe hain choohe!!

  • S. Sen on November 30, 2007, 17:16 GMT

    How strange that Pakistan picked two obviously unfit bowlers. It was known for days that Shoaib and Sami were sick, and Gul became unavailable a full day before the match. It's a short flight from Lahore to Delhi, and there are umpteen connecting flights to Kolkata. Why couldn't the Pak board find a couple of decent replacement bowlers from the domestic circuit and fly them to Kolkata in time? As an India fan, I like seeing the Indians score runs, but it's much better to have a good contest.

  • Naeem ur Rehman on November 30, 2007, 17:08 GMT

    Allow me to say, this is the worst team in last 25 years of Pakistan cricket history and I’m sure many will agree with me. This team does not know how to bat and field and Kamran Akmal is the worst keeper of Pakistan's history? You drop Sachin and he will punish you like an old school master on such a 'good' wicket. Danish Kaneria frustrates many of Pakistani fans who have some cricket sense; he just can not bowl to a line and length consistently and has no plan how to use his mystery deliveries, Jeff Lawson please talk to him will you? Sohail Tanveer loves bowling on pads to right handed batsmen and leaks so many runs, he just did not test Jaffer outside the off stumps, with the one which goes across the right handed batsmen, which got so many wickets to his hero Wasim Akram. Can somebody explain to me why Yunus Khan did not bowl himself today but he bowled Yasir Hameed few overs, weird isn’t it? Sami has to learn how to bowl wicket to wicket on such slow and low pitches, he will get LBWs if does it with his skidding pace.

    It will be a miracle if Pakistan get a draw out of this match.

  • vicky on November 30, 2007, 16:44 GMT

    what tigers ..more like bhaloos!!

  • Vikram C on November 30, 2007, 16:27 GMT

    I think Indian team should bat out till day five. Then the third test win will be foregone conclusion.

  • fvxan on November 30, 2007, 16:25 GMT

    i wish shiv sainiks dig up the pitch and the match is abandoned... I can't see pakistan lose by an innings and 500 runs...

  • Javed Zaman on November 30, 2007, 16:24 GMT

    The Kolkata test has shown that the orthodox classical straight bat is alive and kicking! Wasim Jaffer's elegance and immaculate stance as a test opener was a delight to watch. Any youngster who wants a primer in how an opener should play should watch today's superb gramatically-correct knock by maestro Jaffer.

    I think India has two of the best classical batsmen in Wasim Jaffer and VVS Laxman. Their grasp over batting technique is amazing. It is a spectator's dream come true!

  • Rohit Shetye on November 30, 2007, 16:06 GMT

    India might very well go on to win this match and the series , but is this good preparation for the upcoming series of Australia?Batting on featherbeds like this first up you would be disappointed to not get a triple digit score.I hope in Bangalore they prepare a livelier track where theres something in it both for the seamers and spinners.In a way its good that Sree and RP have been injured , these kind of conditions would have killed their style of bowling.

  • Khopdee on November 30, 2007, 15:52 GMT

    Being an Indian, i really hate this contest without any hungama. Sami and Agarkar have to be brothers seperated by partition. Cant believe that both the teams have to revert back to thse talentless/pathetic bowlers.

    And yes, let us make no mistake, this Indian team is way too good than the pakistan team.As long as pakistan doent get that passion, they will not beat India. Thats the reason we need players like Afridi not only to play, but to lead the team from front.

    good luck to both the teams.

  • Furhad Yaqubian on November 30, 2007, 15:43 GMT

    Paper tigers! That would be a more appropriate word for this bunch of shameless characters, who represent Pakistan at cricket. Some drastic measures have to be taken after this tour of India, which after the first day's play in Calcutta - should best forgotton or written-off. It all started with the appointment of Geoff Lawson as a coach. Why was the job NOT give to Dav Whatmore - a tried and tested coach who had guided Sri Lanka to the a World Cup win and BD to a fantastic World Cup performance in 2007? My guess is the PCB think tank must be smoking something and it is NOT cigarettes! Appointing Shoaib Malik as a test captain now appears to have been a mistake as he is not worth his place in the team. What happened to the likes of Hasan Raza and Asim Kamal - two batsmen in the classical mould, or are they not in the team because they do not hail from the Punjab? To me, it appears you have to be good to play for Pakistan if you are from the Punjab - and brilliant if you are from Karachi or elsewhere?

    It is a sad, sad, state of affairs with cricket in Pakistan. The other day I read with some amusement that the Pakistan field hockey team had lost to the Canadian field hockey team in a friendly match. I shudder to think whether the cricket team is going along this route? Something has to be done and done quickly. If Shoaib and Sami were not fit why did they play in Calcutta? Kanaria, in my opinion, should NOT be picked against India as he does precious little - despite his rantings and ravings and is a lousy fielder to carry in the team. Abdul Rehman is a better option ( 8 wickets on his test debut ) with Kaneria sent back NEVER to play against India again. Kamran Akmal should also be warned and dropped. He keeps yelling and never shuts up and would be well advised to concentrate on his wicketkeeping with an occassional encouragement to the bowlers. He is now more of a cheer leader than a wicketkeeper! Fuad Alam and/or Yassir Arafat would have helped if they were around yesterday. If Shoaib Malik is not willing to bowl, is should not play - even in the one day matches. Where are those pundits who touted he was better than the great Saqlain Mushtaq when he first arrived on the scene! He has cost Pakistan Saqlain Mushtaq - who now wants to play for England and now Shoaib Malik does NOT even bother to bowl? Or, did the pundits sense of Panjabi provincial nationalism - got the better of them then - in their efforts to boost a Punjabi " boy " Shoaib Malik?

    Seriously, something is drasticly wrong with Pakistan cricket, the PCB, the selection criteria and if something is not done ASAP - things will get worse. Infact, a lot worse. What a shame it is and will be, for a talented cricketing nation!

    Furhad Yaqubian Toronto, Canada.

  • fvxan on November 30, 2007, 15:42 GMT

    For God sake, Give us (Makbooza Kashmiri's) something to cheer for..

  • Sriram on November 30, 2007, 15:27 GMT

    Salaam Aleikum. I am blogging on this site for the first time. Though Javed A Khan gets many peoples goat, he tries his best to prop up Pakistan cricket team's image. Though he writes long passages, he tries comes up with new angles/explanations/observations. He appears to be proud die-hard paki fan, however, he allows his views to be jaundiced because of his love for his country more than the game of cricket. I guess each to his own. I find Khansab more balanced.

  • Indian_Tendlya on November 30, 2007, 15:02 GMT

    I am an Indian, but I have always liked pakistani cricket. Please dont react with such extreme emotions because your team is not upto your expectations. Stephen.philips is indian alter ego of Javed A Khan. Lets as usual ignore them and keep the debate sane. Or this stephen guy might be an australian/ english who is as ussual trying to make us fight, once again. Please dont judge us with stephen.philips standard. I am personally ashamed and embarrassed by him.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA. on November 30, 2007, 14:36 GMT

    My bad, for saying massacred and butchered, at that time the lambs and sheep must be on my mind. But, what do you expect from three and a quarter bowlers? Jaffar is on the verge of scoring his second double hundred and Dada is playing at his home ground and hoping to distribute "Russ Gullas" to his grandchildren after scoring big. With players like Laxman and Dhoni still to come I think the plan of the Indian team is very obvious, they are very sympathetic towards Shoaib Akhtar and wants to give him a good rest by scoring 600 plus runs and by saying: We won't bother you to bowl in the second innings aur tum jao araam kero!

    The fate of the match would be decided by the end of the 3rd day, but the effects could be seen by the end of the 2nd day. So, there is not much cricket left in this test match. "I am agree" with JamJar about the abrupt ending of the threads. The kite called Pak Spin flies very high in the sky and one expects it to go further and all of a sudden Mr Abbassi cuts and releases the thread without a warning or even a slogan (naaraa) of "bow-kaataa." By the way its not just the Pak Spin bloggers losing interest, even the Indian supporters are not that interested either. Historically, any match between India and Pakistan in Kolkata used to be a sold out and a sardine packed event. But, the Eden Gardens stadium was not even half full yesterday. Officially the ticket sales are only 40%. Arun Lal and Ramiz were saying may be by Sunday it will be full ! I think this is "fishful" thinking because, the Pakistani batsmen are famous to convert a test match into a twenty20 match, then Sunday could be too little too late.

    What can anyone do if the Sullus & Mullu's are selecting the team? On top of that we see the poker faced, tight lipped old man called Talat Ali, the 'so-called' manager of Pakistan team and, next to him we see an unknown, canon nosed, buck teeth, alien like creature sitting on the bench along with a "maalishya pehalwan" and the coach is trying to hide somewhere in the crowd and behind him is our baby Malik, timidly peeping over Lawson's shoulder like a "Taam", they aren't doing any good to lift the morale of the team. Finally, those who are praying for a draw should remember this quote: "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." and, that is HOPE! Oscar Wilde.

  • Farooq on November 30, 2007, 14:19 GMT

    One shair for Sami: Kuchh to hum khud bhi nahi chahte shohrat apni Aur kuchh log bhi aisa nahi hone detay

    The guy bowls four or five good deliveries, then gives up boundaries on one or two. He also seems to be the one with the worst luck. It seems like every match he plays, there is atleast one dropped catch or a bad decision against him. Last game Dravid was plumb but not out, this game Akmal palms a catch. Previous India visit, England series, same issues. Some one in the stats should calculate this 'unlucky' factor based on dropped catches and bad decisions.

  • sakib on November 30, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    You dont have to go back to 1992 to find cornered tigers it was even just 2 years back, the last time Pak toured India under Inzy. Now u can see what Inzamam was, as a captain for Pakistan. Gelling and inspiring the weakest Pak team of all-time to bamboozle heavyweight India, in both test & ODI we came from behind, from 1-0 down. It is such an amazing contrast with this series to that series 2 years back. Discovery of Rana Naved? dont forget. Younis Khan's Bradmanesque average in test, Inzamam's crucial innings. But most importantly it was Shahid Afridi, his legspin proved masterspin in tests, when Indian batsmen including Sachin were insulted with googlies & all sorts varieties...now what's Kaneria doing? rather than proving useless? Such a shame that now Pak cant provide a fit 11. It isnt a easy job to put together a good team who are struggling physically and mentally and inexperience and pressure behind them. But Inzamam did that remarkable job. Many things have been said...but the we can the realise the truth now.

  • sohel on November 30, 2007, 13:13 GMT

    We can not expect committment,spirit,professionalism & patriotism from the presnt cricket team of Pakistan. When political leaders & even the President of that country has no committment no sincerity to the nation then how can we expect a lot from Pak cricket team? When Pak selectors calls Sami for replacement then it proved the depth & quality of domestic cricket in Pakistan.Although blind supporters of Pak team will not agree with me but it is true that, future of Pakistan cricket is like the future of Iraq. It is true wait & see.

  • Shaheer Shikrani on November 30, 2007, 12:36 GMT

    Sami has bowled his heart out and very well, but he has been the unluckiest bowler in the series, I've never seen any bowler so unlucky in their life.

  • Mahmudul Alam on November 30, 2007, 12:33 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi,

    I am a regualr reader of your blog, and I like your writings, and also Pakistan is my second favorite team after Bnagladesh.

    I have just one simple question, which I want to ask you humbly:

    Who is actually the Tiger in cricket? It is actually the Bangladeshi cricketers, who are known as Tigers. Then Ravi shastri, when he coached the Indian cricket team during 2007 Bangladesh tour, lebelled Indian cricketers as wounded tigers. And now the Pak cricketers are cornered tigers!

    Even if you do not publish my comment, kindly send me reply.

    Thanking You,

    Sincerely,

    Mahmud

  • ree on November 30, 2007, 12:16 GMT

    First of all I would like to thank God- ah I miss Inzi's words at the end of a match! Dare I say it I miss his captaincy!! Bring him back- no not as the captain but at least as a player- why do we insist on dumping our great players- look at India- nothing happens to Tendulkar no matter how poorly he or the team plays. And bring back Mushy - Kaneria isnt cutting it at the moment. He needs to bowl in tandem with a great spin bowler and learn. Going back to Inzi- he was a great captain compared to what we have now. The late Bob Woolmer was a much better coach than Lawson. I warned of series defeats, I just pray this is such an embarrasing one that Mr Ashraf's resignation will be forthcoming and accepted by the dictator, who is too blind to see the damage he has caused to Pak cricket. Note to leaders of Pak cricket- STAY OUT of it- its beyond your comprehension and you are ruining it. Sack Lawson, Malik and get a manager who really cares about Pak cricket.

  • srivathsan on November 30, 2007, 11:55 GMT

    Kamran,perhaps you have written this thread out of disgust looking at the performance of pakistan team.Pak. team was never a Tiger & this expression suits only one team in the world &ie AUSTRALIA.NO OTHER TEAM COMES OUT STRONGLY WHEN BEATEN LIKE THEM.Nevertheless ,the team needs encouragement & not ridicule.Yes they are down but not out.It happens in a game & they can always come back.Though my knowledge of young talents available is limited rather nil,I feel that fawd alam & asim kamal should have been in the team along with I.RAO.Rao is a very good bowler with least injury problem & shouldhave been in the team.Even afridi would have been a better replacement than F.IQBAL.Some of the players have recieved undue criticism which is borne out more out of frustration than reality.WHEN CHIPS ARE DOWN ONE SHOULD BACK THEM UP.I WONDER WHAT THE COACH IS DOING. MY REQUEST TO FELLOW BLOGGERS.PL.DESIST FROM BIASED OPINIONS & CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.OF LATE IT IS ON THE INCREASE & I FEEL SAD.LET US ENJOY CRICKET & RESTRICT OUR VIEWS TO THE GAME ALONE.WHILE WE NEED COURAGE TO CALL SPADE A SPADE WE NEED MORE COURAGE TO APPRECIATE THE INDIVIDUAL IRRESPECTIVE OF THE TEAM HE BELONGS.MODERATION IS THE KEY WORD & NEVER GIVE VIEWS BASED ON ASSUMPTION & IMAGINATION.

  • Ashaq on November 30, 2007, 11:27 GMT

    Well the really disturbing thing is that the PCb has Doctors in every post. Yet none of them seems to understand what the Influenza virus is. Sure the Doctors don't know jack about cricket but they don't have a clue about the Medical field either.

    They say there are no failures only learning experiences. So what have we learnt so far.

    Sharyar Khan was a better Chairman then Doctor Nasim.

    Wasim Bari was more competent then Sallahuddin.

    Inzamam was a better captain then Shoaib Malik.

    Geoff Lawson is too inexperienced a coach, to have an impact.

    Danish Kaneria and Kamran akmal, will remain in the Pakistan squad for the next 20 years. despite there mediocrity.

    The Management will keep trying out the tried and tested failures.

    Pakistan Cricket is as dead as a Parrot.

  • Riz on November 30, 2007, 11:21 GMT

    If all else fails we can always support the Hockey team!!!

  • Jaffar Lakdawalla on November 30, 2007, 11:13 GMT

    AKMAL - GATEWAY OF PAKISTAN now that was cool comment by Cricinfo commentator. UN motto SAVE THE TIGER. Javed khans motto "SAVE PAKISTAN CRICKER going the WI way" Mantreall ke mundey is mahina EI mila ya nahi.

  • afzaal Khan on November 30, 2007, 10:59 GMT

    Misbah Aunty Batting and fielding averages Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St Tests 7 12 0 207 41 17.25 621 33.33 0 0 31 0 6 0 ODIs 17 16 3 401 50* 30.84 591 67.85 0 2 30 7 6 0 T20Is 9 9 4 251 66* 50.20 197 127.41 0 2 20 10 2 0 First-class 121 194 18 8601 205 48.86 25 42 111 0 List A 103 94 19 3404 129* 45.38 6 20 45 0 Twenty20 22 19 7 596 107* 49.66 456 130.70 1 4 49 21 8 0

    Faisal Iqbal Batting and fielding averages Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St Tests 19 34 2 824 139 25.75 1848 44.58 1 5 105 4 13 0 ODIs 18 16 2 314 100* 22.42 519 60.50 1 0 24 4 3 0 First-class 116 184 18 6711 200 40.42 13 37 95 0 List A 103 95 18 2861 123 37.15 4 21 31 0 Twenty20 8 8 2 173 42 28.83 152 113.81 0 0 12 5 1 0

    Asim Kamal Batting and fielding averages Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St Tests 12 20 1 717 99 37.73 1518 47.23 0 8 104 6 10 0 First-class 87 137 14 4572 164 37.17 8 28 73 0 List A 31 28 4 797 63 33.20 0 6 11 1 Twenty20 8 7 1 151 49 25.16 111 136.03 0 0 18 3 4 0

    U decide

  • Anwar Husain on November 30, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    Dear Sir,

    If Pakistan wants to do better

    1 Remove Salman Butt (No technique, He can survive only bowling attacks like India bad Fielder) 2 Remove Rao Iftikar (On his good he cannot win match for you, bad fielder, Not capable to be called as all rounder.) 3 Remove Sami-The Great (He not done anything any time.) 4 Remove Faisal Iqbal (Bad fielder, Not good enough with the bat) 5 Remove Kamran Akmal (Dismal with bat and Gloves) 6 Remove Abdur Rehman (Bad fielder, less the average spinner) 7 Also its high time to remove Shoaib Akhtar, Mohd Yousuf, ) 9 Please don't replace then with tried and tested

    In the current Team only Younis Khan, Shoaib Malik, Misbah -Ul - Huk, Shahid Afridi(Only as a one day Specialist as a spinner), Mohd Asif, Umar Gul, Fawad Alam(Only as one day specialist), Sohail Tanvir should be retained

    Please make way for, Khurram Manzor, Anwar Ali, Adnan Raza, Umar Amin, Mohammad Rameez, Ahmed Shehzad, Rizwan Ahmed, Abdur Rauf, Naumanullah, Shahid Yousuf, Fawad Alam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Khalil, Adnan Raza, Khalid Latif, Humayun Farhat

    In the name of Allaah please mecry on pak Cricket

  • Ashutosh on November 30, 2007, 10:14 GMT

    This Pak team has no 'jhas' (Preity Z has jhas, Aish R-B doesn't, u-know-what-i-mean !. Like chaat without chutney. Like last year's leftover Diwali crackers !!!

  • charanjit on November 30, 2007, 10:00 GMT

    Pakistan can still hope to make a match of it but for that they have to be able to bat on day two pitch which it seems India is making sure they don't. Day 3 pitch will start taking turn and with two spinners in the Indian team Pakistan's chances will further recede.

  • umar on November 30, 2007, 9:54 GMT

    I am really surprise that they drop again Afridi,he has a good year,he can bowl bat and as well as he is a best fielder in paks team and he has good record in test matches,i am sure if he would have been in kotla test pak would have been chance to win match,i am not surprise that they will loose all three matches.They brought sami and fasil iqbal rather than afridi. Good luck paks

  • JamJar on November 30, 2007, 9:37 GMT

    Kamran,

    One of the biggest irk's I have with your blog is your refusal to post comments to threads which are 'live' but you suddenly decide to create a new thread and so you dont bother posting submitted comments. If a blogger has taken the time to draft some comments, you should have the courtesy to post them.

    In addition, reading your previous blog titles such as 'Malik masters his destiny' and immediately succeeded by 'Cornered tigers face extinction' is amusing given the praise you heaped on the Pakistan skipper and now have slated the spirit of the team.

    The current situation looks quite dire. In my failed response to your previous blog I suggested that the best Pakistan could really hope for here was a draw, given the team seem to be dropping like flies. The saving grace could be if Pakistan batted first giving the bowlers some additional rest but India put a stopper on that.

    Throughout the ODI series and first test, it just seems that Pak have lost their swagger, their aggression and the hunger for victory. If an India - Pak series can't lift the players to show some aggression, fight and self belief,what can??

    Wasim Saqib

    Some very good posts recently. Interesting that you mention Malik was overruled by Sallu and his chums when he requested Kamal to be called up. Instead we have Uncle Miandad pulling some strings and getting in the tried and tested Iqbal.

    I think we need to introduce some youngsters who have the stomach for a fight than stick with the tried and tested lethargic lot.

  • Zaki A on November 30, 2007, 9:17 GMT

    I totally agree with you Kamran. This Pakistan team is totally different from the team it was. That 'cornered tiger' approach, where Pakistan would want to win when they were losing, is lost. The passion and hunger for wickets and runs doesn't seem to be there and what Moin Khan said about there's no fun in the matches, I fully agree with him.

    The passion is not there and the PCB does not realise this and will persist with Shoaib Malik and wait for him to keep learning. Malik is like a new driver - he's on provisional right now.

  • Imran zia on November 30, 2007, 9:14 GMT

    The balance of the Pakistan team is not right. In the England series Kaneria was overshadowed by Panesar, Vs South Africa Paul Harris was the best spinner on show. Even the ordinary Abdul Rehman was better than Danish Kaneria. Still we are banking on our so called trump card to pull us through in india against the best players of spin. Missing Mohd Asif's seam and control we needed someone who could bowl seam up but the selectors have been foung wanting here. It is also astonishing that they were so slow to call for the replacement for the ill quickies. It is unfortunate but i thing tigers need a lion to lead the back instead of chasing goats.

  • adnan malik on November 30, 2007, 8:36 GMT

    adaab everyone...first to mr. stephen phillips....if u think pakistan only wins against india due to biased umpiring...ill suggest u to get some videos of indo pak matches and watch them.. kamran akmal.already half fit shoaib (who is out of field at the moment after 6 overs.great Sami with50+ average...on a batting track...i don know what results our selectors wish for the team..neglecting razzaq...sending fawad alam back as he performed in the sole match he played..faisal iqbal...a pathetic batsman with no technical strength..keeping asim kamal out of sight...i never heard of the two pacer heroes of u19 wc final again....i guess they do not have enough TALENT in eyes of our selectors....so yasir arafat is the best bowler left to add to the squad.....THIS IS TOTALLY PATHETIC MANAGEMENT if these criteria for selection hav to be maintained then even there is no use for hoping our team to win a series with exception to ZIM and BD... and for arch rivals we will need 2 imran khans at a time to lead such a herd of sheep....prays!!!!!!

  • Ashaq on November 30, 2007, 8:25 GMT

    Just when you think things cannnot get any Weirder, the Pak management, seems to throw a new rabbit out of the Hat.

    how on earth can you consider players fit, when they are suffering from chest infection and fever.

    Shoaib Akhtar, suffers from asthma, on top he has a chest infection. yet they put him on the field.Do they expect him to bowl with an oxygen mask.

    why did they not send for replacements, at the beginning of the week?

  • Hasan on November 30, 2007, 8:03 GMT

    It's a NO-Brainer that India always banks on Spinning tracks to win home series. I wonder why Pakistan Team is with out an extra spinner. For me we miss a quality spinner (off-spinner more than a leggie).

    Pak Pace attack still is OK & still better than Indian Pace. Gr8 W's are of course missed. 'If', Sami gets going, Still our pace attack Alone, can produce a Win.

    Unless Shoaib Malik starts to ball his off-spinners with good affect, I really don't see his place in side, He is never a genuine match winning batsman in Test, rather a good utility player in One day & 20-20 version .

    And Yes, we don't enjoy services of Match- Winners any more. Inzi being the last of the good lot & 2 Y's ummmm...are just above average utility players, not Match winners.Only One probable match winner in the squad is Misbah, who performs in pressure situation, his body language is more positive than Seteve Waugh, only that after doing 99% of the job Misbah says, "Ok Enough" & Enough of my Enlightening Comments As well... & CAUTION: BEWARE OF DANGER, Any Time WOUNDED TIGERS WILL ATTACK, 'ONCE AGAIN IT'S THE MATTER OF SURVIVAL'.

  • Syed Aziz Shah on November 30, 2007, 7:48 GMT

    I think Pakistan team seems to be going no where.Any one can suggest from their committment and composure from the body language they show on the field.there is no planning,no homework,no willpower to get india down.

    if you analyze last tour of pakistan to india,there were only two player Yousaf and Inzi by whom all the 11 players where relying on.The team was considered to be the weakest one to be sent to india,but their was leadership,enthusiasim and most important the killer instanct to kill down the opposition but today pakistan team has the fatest bowler in the history of the cricket,the runs getting machine muhammad yousaf,the upcoming wasim akram(sohail tanvir) the very promising and future captain salman butt and most talented shaoib malik,yet we lose every game with disgrace. where do we lack? the answer is very simply, we dont have the will power,confidence and committment to hunt the opposition down.

    Pakistan team should be left to their own fate.

    Regards, Aziz Shah

  • Face in the crowd on November 30, 2007, 6:42 GMT

    Kamran, your blogs are getting briefer by the day. Did anyone say you were boring ?

    While I am an Indian, I thoroughly enjoy your style of writing and the astute thinking that accompanies it. Your analysis of Pakistan cricket is a pleasure to read.

    Sub-continental teams always face a seige at times, especially on tours, it is nothing new.

    Hope to see some brilliant and absorbing cricket ahead.

  • stephen.philips on November 30, 2007, 6:40 GMT

    Not only the team is depressed and started to relaise that they have no chance against India even the bloggers here seem hopeless. No fun in pulling ur legs anymore. Leave you to your agony on own. Enjoy it;) And oh ya cornered tigers theory was in ur minds. Cornered tigers are ususally hunted down and shot eventually and thats whats happening.Pity you guys.Now before one of you guys starts showing old statistics,see statistics after 1990 for Indo-pak series when neutral umpires started officiating and you will kknow why statistics read so. Ample prroof is becasue there have always been neutral umpires in WC matches, the result shows what role your umpires worked hard for years to get those statistics for you.

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on November 30, 2007, 6:24 GMT

    To me, the biggest problem for Pakistan right now is not being able to field their three top pace bowlers i.e Akhtar,Gul and Asif, together in a plying XI. There was so much potential in this trio to create havoc when other teams bat. I dont expect any team to win if it cannot field at least two of their best bowlers. But Pakistan neds to find better replacements... SAmi should not be an option. I know that we have a lot options in our domestic cricket. The selectors and Malik need to place some faith in those options. Sami, Rao and other guys just dont look as if they can be a threat to other teams.

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 30, 2007, 6:13 GMT

    Malik's team...let's try saying that one more time...Malik's team... louderMALIK'S TEAM... Why is it that it doesn't sound right? When you picture the personality of the captain, why is it that it doesn't sound like Imran's team or Steve Waugh's team or, heck, even Inzamam's Booaayez?

    The problem is that Malik's mind is completely devoid of any philosophy to give the team a purpose. Interestingly enough, Geoff Lawson hasn't been able to come up with anything either. At the least, a rebuilding agenda would've given some sort of a purpose, some sort of motivation, to the players. But this time we don't even have that. No one is even saying that we're rebuilding for the next World Cup. Kamran Abbasi, even you sound quite pessimistic in this post - something quite uncharacterstic of you.

    Alarm bells should be ringing when motivation levels are diminishing playing against India. Malik has to come up with something, and fast, if he's to salvage whatever little is left there. He must know when to provide entertainment (T20 and ODIs) and when to play the real stuff (Test cricket). My opinion is that complete and thorough display of professionalism should be his guiding light. It would be a great service if he could instill that ONE value in the Pakistan cricket team. This is something that lacked even in Imran Khan's time. If only he could move away from this philosophy of "Winning" to the philosophy of "Fighting"! If only he could get his players to play the last ball as if they're going to win the match even if there's a thousand runs to get! If only he could show his players that it's the fight where the thrill is. Winning or losing is just a way to end the game.

  • JAVED A KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA. on November 30, 2007, 6:09 GMT

    WHAT?? The current Pakistani team, "cornered tigers?" "I am not agree." Those tigers are already extinct. Mr. Kamran Abbassi it would be better if you call this bunch a herd of black-sheep and "baby lambs" instead of cornered tigers! Because, they don't believe in fighting when cornered, they believe in submission (to God - Laxmi the Goddess of money) service to mankind (entertainment through TV ads) and commercial ad contracts for their pockets.

    Mr. Abbassi is also demanding for a psychosomatic analysis of the team by a psychiatrist. Before they go to the shrink perhaps they need the services of an etiologist to find out the origins and causation for this illness. It would be very useful to review this "short and sour" video clip, it will help in knowing "the cause and the origin" of the so-called disease, illness or disorder. So, lets first review this video clip once again: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6846012691398407951

    The last sentence of this video is: "who plays cricket ALL his life? If only I can keep my Allah happy for a short moment, that would be more than enough for me." From the religious point of view it sounds good to see a person having so much faith in his religion and his God. But, what about cricket? It was was a disgrace to the sport and now its nothing more than a Déjà vu of the past which he has brought into the future. Like I have said this before, this is the way "Retrofuturism" works on human brains. And, he who uttered those words in the video is now suffering from retrograde amnesia, because he was struck on his hypothalamus which is in his talus!

    Coming to the present i.e., the match at Eden Gardens which according to the Biblical book of Genesis is a place of ultimate happiness, unfortunately the Pakistani cricket team may not be enjoying the ultimate happiness, this time it would be exactly the opposite. With the kinda bowling attack they have, especially the 12 cylinder Rawalpindi Ferrari is reduced to a mere 2 stroke limping Kawasaki or a Honda 50. Sami will be as docile and as ineffective as a mule like he has always been. One cannot expect miracles from young Tanvir. What I don't understand is the reinforcement or replacement in the name of Yasser Arafat? What is wrong with Rao Ifti? Who on earth except for Javed Miandad can say that Faisal Iqbal is better than Shahid Afridi? The current team has only 3 1/2 bowlers, they will be massacred and butchered. They needed an extra bowler in the team. What kind of brains these selectors have? And the one who has got one in his ankle, is so meek that he cannot speak.

  • Asim-Reality bites on November 30, 2007, 5:51 GMT

    God bless a team that consistently keeps playing pathetic players like Sami, Kaneria and Kamran Akmal. Pakistan can never win a single match even against BD if these three consistent flops are played togther. Kaneria - He has done nothing significant except bragging about gettting a particular player out or having found a new delivery which no one sees. If we see his stats, except for the number of wickets, his strike rate and average do not merit his selection in any International Team. His fielding is crippled coupled with his worthless batting. If all we need is a chap to turn his arm over, then Afridi is a much much better bet. Sami- Well it is really intriguing how come Sami keeps on making a come back every now and then without even performing at the first class level. He can not move the ball in the air or off the wicket. He bowls either too short or too full or wide of the wickets if erringly the length is good. Even his much talked abour 140 k speed is not consistent.

    Kamran Akmal- His continuous presence in the team is an enigma. Well, I would like someone to give me just one good reason for his place in the team. Since the series in Englan in June 2006, he fumbles at least 3 chances in a test on average. His batting is not even quarter as good as Gilchrist, Boucher, Dhoni or Sangakara. God bless the pak team that has a keeper as great as Kamran Akmal!

    Well the same goes for Faisal Iqbal, he keeps popping in the team for no good reason. We throw out all the talented batters like Bazid Khan, Fawad Alam, Hasan Raza and Asim Kamal out of the team in no time. But Faisal is always recalled despite his worthless batting.

    This Pak team can never win or perform consistently, if we continue with selectors who lack cricketing sense like the other board officials and high ups.

  • haroon on November 30, 2007, 5:45 GMT

    i will keep it simple and brief

    as long as pakistan play sami and kaneria.. there is zero chance of pakistan winning any test match or a series...

    i sometimes wonder.. what happend with those bowlers who definded a target of around 125 or so and retain the U19 world cup for the pakistan..isn't it the time for them to be tried.. not to forget guys like asad ali, samiaullah naizi, najaf shah, abdul rauf..

  • Prakash Kalanjeri on November 30, 2007, 5:44 GMT

    Pakistan will come up with a good performance. Batting looks formidable with Hamid and the Ys. They will have to bat like school kids to prove me wrong.

    Akhtar will bowl his heart out as he did at Kotla with Sami who will try every bit to prove his credibility.

    It is certainly not as bad as it seems for Pakistan.

    May the better team win.

  • Arjun Chaudhuri on November 30, 2007, 5:42 GMT

    Current Pakistan cricket lacks the flare that characterized it earlier. The current bunch of players seems to be deficient in energy and enthusiasm, and the team is doing rounds like a rudderless ship. Shoaib Malik seems a good enough captain for Twenty20s, but not really so for the longer versions. Instead of leading from the front, he seems more keen to watch from the wings. His body language gives the impression, that he is too conscious of the fact had Younis Khan not turned down the captaincy offer, or had Mohammad Yousuf not shown inclinations of shifting his loyalty to the ‘rebel’ Indian Cricket League, he could not have been the captain at this stage.

    His batting form too has not been great. One wonders why he has almost given up his bowling. Prior to striking gold with the bat, he was a near-ideal bowler in One-dayers. He should take a cue from the likes of Abdur Razzaq and Azhar Mahmood, who continued bowling regularly, and effectively at that, in spite of moving up into the middle order. One wonders whether Shoaib Malik is a good enough Test batsman. It’ll be asking for too much to keep him in the Test team only for his inconsistent batting.

    The Pakistan Cricket Board in general and Coach Geoff Lawson, in particular should ask him to relax. Currently, Malik seems too self-conscious of the fact that he has taken up captaincy at a critical juncture, which appears to weigh him down. Captaincy should just be another aspect of his game, as are his attacking batting, fielding and bowling. Once he takes things in his stride, he seems to have the potential to lead Pakistani cricket out of troubled waters into greater glory. Instead of making him the captain and leaving him high and dry in difficult days, he needs co-operation from all those actively involved in Pakistan cricket, and support from cricket lovers. Somebody needs to give him a kickstart, and he’ll give Pakistan cricket the speed and mileage it so desperately requires.

  • Shankar on November 30, 2007, 5:40 GMT

    I think it is bit too early to say the Pakistani team is losing its spirit. Injury and Illness have taken a toll but I am sure they will find a way to bounce back. I remember Salim Malik masterly innings in a one day match at Eden Gardens. He simply turned the tide in a match which India was cruising. I think he hit 67 runs required in 3O odd balls. What a batting spectacle it was. Even in test matches Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Abdul Quadir exploits will be well remembered. The basic thing is to not to lose heart. Though I am an Indian I want Pakistan to fight back otherwise the intensity in the series will be lost.

  • Farhan on November 30, 2007, 5:27 GMT

    These upheavals which follow every administration change are the reason for these dismal performances. Good players are ditched because of a bad season - and they are ditched for good because of a 'falling-out with administration'.

    Sami never seems to get sick and neither does Akmal. I think I know the reason: they never give their 110%. They are not good enough even if they gave 200% - we need to ditch these players and bring up the newer talent or think of some creative ways to use the existing ones.

    And I wonder why Rana Naveed was not brought in instead of Sami - he is a much better performer, a thinking cricketer and match winner at times.

  • Rashid on November 30, 2007, 4:24 GMT

    I think it is good that Shoib Malik is not playing. Instead of Yasir Arafat, Afridi would have been a better replace. This year Afridi was a very good bowler and India makes pitches to suit spinners. This selection committee must go. I do not know how many times we said this is the last chance for Sami; if this time he does not do well we should get a new face.

  • Andrew Gray on November 30, 2007, 3:49 GMT

    I think the bowling will rely heavily on Shoaib and Kaneria. Kaneria is rated well outside of Pakistan. The other bowlers will need to be disciplined. Alas, I think that India have too strong a team for Pakistan, having said that I have thought for the last 5 or 6 years and Pakistan have done well.I fear a 3 nil white wash - but would not be surprised by a surprise one all draw!

  • RASHID KHAN on November 30, 2007, 3:28 GMT

    I cannot understand why Asim Kamal is not selected. He has done nothing wrong to be treated like this except scoring almost every time he is selected. He and Yasir Hameed should be persisted with like Sri Lanka did with Atapattu. I also feel that Sami has no future, he is finished, to be honest he never started. Younger players from A team and U-19 should be tried and we might find another couple of Sohail Tanvir's and Misbah's. Change in selection committee and criteria is essential. Salahuddin and co are tried, tested. People like Aaqib Javed should be tried, even Amir Sohail was better. i

  • Bored and tired with the team on November 30, 2007, 2:54 GMT

    The whole of Pakistan is depressed and desperate. The mentality is sinking, which is well portrayed in the team spirit. They all think they know the best - politicians/players/people/crowd -- you name it, they are all suffering from ego problems.

    It’s a shame that our politicians and players treat their fans like this. It’s the fans and the followers who matter the most. I am afraid our cricket is headed in the direction of hockey and squash. Once we used to rule the world.

    I personally think we need to groom our players, educate them, instill some self-confidence and pride. Its good to be nice and humble but it does not mean we act like a bunch of sissies.

    Players, selectors and higher-ups need to listen to the fans, as for the past few months we have been trying to help the team with some ideas and creativity. But it appears to me its going nowhere, same team with no new blood or desire to take action. There is inconsistency everywhere, all the time and there is lack of planning. The number one motto of the team is to save wickets. I wonder what they are gonna do with wickets if they ruin the spirit of the game and in the end lose all the wickets in 5-10 overs. Sometimes I feel a bunch of kids from Nizamabad may perform well, they have more cricket sense than these so-called professionals. In short, the whole country lacks the passion and desire to make changes.

  • IndianGuy37 on November 29, 2007, 23:25 GMT

    Hi Mr.Abbasi, You said it. This Pak team looks weakest ever to cross the border, and probably is in for a mauling. Given the bowling choices they are discussing in the cricinfo match preview and given the stats of some of the Indian batsmen at this ground, I have a feeling Pak bowlers are going to be manhandled. Then again you never know, Pakistan has always found a way to fight back against India. This time the chances look bleak though. Since I am an Indian fan I am not complaining, I just don't want a draw.

  • Wahid on November 29, 2007, 22:20 GMT

    Injuries are part of cricket but lately Pakistan have been an injury-hit team. When players are injured, you should have back up players and decents ones too. The thing with Pakistan is that there is too many politics involved. Players like Sami are finished even Razzaq was better. Pakistan have also become to friendly, there is no aggression, that used to come from Afridi but he is no longer in the test team. I think they need him, he is a better bowler than Kaneria. Afridi has better variations and is a better batsmen. This Pakistan team is lacking everything at the moment both in ODI's and test matches. I have been a fan for a long time, maybe its time to say enough is enough. The talent is there but the selections remain a mystery when you have decent players like Asim Kamal or Anwar Ali waiting for a chance.

  • I am agree(khansahab) on November 29, 2007, 20:54 GMT

    The cornered tigers have become cornered sheep. I don’t know what the Pakistani players have eaten in India which has caused them so many illnesses. Half the team is reportedly ill or injured. I wonder if Pakistani players have stopped believing in themselves and are petrified of India’s marathon batting line up. Mediocre players can provide commendable performances if they concentrate and apply themselves at the crease. There is an abundance of talent in Younis, Yousuf and Misbah and in no way are they mediocre players. They need to focus and stay at the crease. I know it is human nature to lose your concentration and do something untoward or disastrous, but at the same time there must be consistency in focus and mental application. Pakistan’s best bet at this stage does indeed look like a draw. Kaneria has lost the plot and I don’t know why he is so obsessed with remodelling his action. Rehman I don’t think stands a chance against the Indian batsmen. Tanvir is the only real hope for Pakistan now but he can’t take all 10 wickets. These three bowlers are the only certainties at present. If Yasir Arafat arrives in Kolkata on time he might play.

    If the middle order fails again in this Test there is a serious problem. Some people have recently criticised Lawson’s lack of contribution to the Pakistani team. I support that criticism since recently Moin Khan said in an interview that the players have more difficulty understanding Lawson than they did understanding Woolmer. How can Lawson instil the never-say-die attitude of the Aussies into the Pakistani team if the players don’t understand what he is saying? If Pakistan can’t handle India how will they handle Australia when they tour Pakistan in a few months?

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on November 29, 2007, 20:25 GMT

    Nay no stomach for a fight. These guys are there to make a living! Apart from Younis Khan the rest are in it for the money and fame. Bunch of cowards!

  • Roshan on November 29, 2007, 20:24 GMT

    Its too early to write pakistan off...I am confident that their batters will come good on eden gardens as it is a pitch that will be full of runs for first 2 days after that the spinners will come into play.....Danish kaneria will be under tremendous pressure to justify his role in the team...Shoaib akhtar need support from the other end.....I read an interesting article where Afridi advised malik to be a more aggressive captain....LOL...Is afridi with the team???? what he meant by aggression...I hope not the same as his batting style....Thats the last thing malik needed "an advice from Afridi".

  • fizzy on November 29, 2007, 20:14 GMT

    wow what a selection yasir arafat for the rescue of this team.I have seen yasir a couple of times and he seems to be less than avergae bowler.Evan Sami is a 100 times better than him now thats saying alot. All i can say is that all these PCB board officials and selectors are a disgrace to pakistan and Nasim Ashraf and the selectors should resign after this humiliation in India

  • Ashaq on November 29, 2007, 19:46 GMT

    Well if the apples in the Barrel are rotten. best go and pick some from the tree instead.

    Time to give a few guys from the domestic cricket a try . We might discover another Misbah-ul-Haq. There are guys like Saeed bin Nasir, Shahid Qambrani and numerous others in the circuit. They to be given an opportunity .

    Preferably they will bring the ferocity of a hungry tiger with them. Yeah we don't need no cornered tigers, we need hungry tigers who are hungry for success.

    Most of the guys in the current squad act like the cat who ate all the cream. And is content to rest by the fireside.

    These guys have the sponsorship deals, the advertising contracts they are rich wealthy and the desire and oassion is not there. This also proves how good a captain Inzi was for gelling this bunch of mediocre wannabes into a fighting unit.

    Out with old and in with the new. Even the dressing room bickering lacks passion and excitement.

    The Players have been suffering, injuries and fever for a week and no replacements sent. Instead we got Yasir Arafat arriving at the final hour. It transpires Malik requested Asim Kamal at the beginning instead the they sent Faisal Iqbal.

  • aftab on November 29, 2007, 19:03 GMT

    Even if there was no injury scare, India had a better balanced 11 and a more experienced player calling the shots onfield. However, extinction is not a word I ever agree about a team with century hitters with and bowlers who could move the ball on any pitch, including Sami. I believe Inzi had more cricket in him than Ganguly but faced greater upheaval. That's the major problem I see in current Pakistan squad. If the team has Sami, Arafat, Kaneria and one more bowler their chances of winning are better than dismal. Y and Y are more likely to click this time. Expect a win for Pakistan.

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  • aftab on November 29, 2007, 19:03 GMT

    Even if there was no injury scare, India had a better balanced 11 and a more experienced player calling the shots onfield. However, extinction is not a word I ever agree about a team with century hitters with and bowlers who could move the ball on any pitch, including Sami. I believe Inzi had more cricket in him than Ganguly but faced greater upheaval. That's the major problem I see in current Pakistan squad. If the team has Sami, Arafat, Kaneria and one more bowler their chances of winning are better than dismal. Y and Y are more likely to click this time. Expect a win for Pakistan.

  • Ashaq on November 29, 2007, 19:46 GMT

    Well if the apples in the Barrel are rotten. best go and pick some from the tree instead.

    Time to give a few guys from the domestic cricket a try . We might discover another Misbah-ul-Haq. There are guys like Saeed bin Nasir, Shahid Qambrani and numerous others in the circuit. They to be given an opportunity .

    Preferably they will bring the ferocity of a hungry tiger with them. Yeah we don't need no cornered tigers, we need hungry tigers who are hungry for success.

    Most of the guys in the current squad act like the cat who ate all the cream. And is content to rest by the fireside.

    These guys have the sponsorship deals, the advertising contracts they are rich wealthy and the desire and oassion is not there. This also proves how good a captain Inzi was for gelling this bunch of mediocre wannabes into a fighting unit.

    Out with old and in with the new. Even the dressing room bickering lacks passion and excitement.

    The Players have been suffering, injuries and fever for a week and no replacements sent. Instead we got Yasir Arafat arriving at the final hour. It transpires Malik requested Asim Kamal at the beginning instead the they sent Faisal Iqbal.

  • fizzy on November 29, 2007, 20:14 GMT

    wow what a selection yasir arafat for the rescue of this team.I have seen yasir a couple of times and he seems to be less than avergae bowler.Evan Sami is a 100 times better than him now thats saying alot. All i can say is that all these PCB board officials and selectors are a disgrace to pakistan and Nasim Ashraf and the selectors should resign after this humiliation in India

  • Roshan on November 29, 2007, 20:24 GMT

    Its too early to write pakistan off...I am confident that their batters will come good on eden gardens as it is a pitch that will be full of runs for first 2 days after that the spinners will come into play.....Danish kaneria will be under tremendous pressure to justify his role in the team...Shoaib akhtar need support from the other end.....I read an interesting article where Afridi advised malik to be a more aggressive captain....LOL...Is afridi with the team???? what he meant by aggression...I hope not the same as his batting style....Thats the last thing malik needed "an advice from Afridi".

  • Chacha Koora Kirkit on November 29, 2007, 20:25 GMT

    Nay no stomach for a fight. These guys are there to make a living! Apart from Younis Khan the rest are in it for the money and fame. Bunch of cowards!

  • I am agree(khansahab) on November 29, 2007, 20:54 GMT

    The cornered tigers have become cornered sheep. I don’t know what the Pakistani players have eaten in India which has caused them so many illnesses. Half the team is reportedly ill or injured. I wonder if Pakistani players have stopped believing in themselves and are petrified of India’s marathon batting line up. Mediocre players can provide commendable performances if they concentrate and apply themselves at the crease. There is an abundance of talent in Younis, Yousuf and Misbah and in no way are they mediocre players. They need to focus and stay at the crease. I know it is human nature to lose your concentration and do something untoward or disastrous, but at the same time there must be consistency in focus and mental application. Pakistan’s best bet at this stage does indeed look like a draw. Kaneria has lost the plot and I don’t know why he is so obsessed with remodelling his action. Rehman I don’t think stands a chance against the Indian batsmen. Tanvir is the only real hope for Pakistan now but he can’t take all 10 wickets. These three bowlers are the only certainties at present. If Yasir Arafat arrives in Kolkata on time he might play.

    If the middle order fails again in this Test there is a serious problem. Some people have recently criticised Lawson’s lack of contribution to the Pakistani team. I support that criticism since recently Moin Khan said in an interview that the players have more difficulty understanding Lawson than they did understanding Woolmer. How can Lawson instil the never-say-die attitude of the Aussies into the Pakistani team if the players don’t understand what he is saying? If Pakistan can’t handle India how will they handle Australia when they tour Pakistan in a few months?

  • Wahid on November 29, 2007, 22:20 GMT

    Injuries are part of cricket but lately Pakistan have been an injury-hit team. When players are injured, you should have back up players and decents ones too. The thing with Pakistan is that there is too many politics involved. Players like Sami are finished even Razzaq was better. Pakistan have also become to friendly, there is no aggression, that used to come from Afridi but he is no longer in the test team. I think they need him, he is a better bowler than Kaneria. Afridi has better variations and is a better batsmen. This Pakistan team is lacking everything at the moment both in ODI's and test matches. I have been a fan for a long time, maybe its time to say enough is enough. The talent is there but the selections remain a mystery when you have decent players like Asim Kamal or Anwar Ali waiting for a chance.

  • IndianGuy37 on November 29, 2007, 23:25 GMT

    Hi Mr.Abbasi, You said it. This Pak team looks weakest ever to cross the border, and probably is in for a mauling. Given the bowling choices they are discussing in the cricinfo match preview and given the stats of some of the Indian batsmen at this ground, I have a feeling Pak bowlers are going to be manhandled. Then again you never know, Pakistan has always found a way to fight back against India. This time the chances look bleak though. Since I am an Indian fan I am not complaining, I just don't want a draw.

  • Bored and tired with the team on November 30, 2007, 2:54 GMT

    The whole of Pakistan is depressed and desperate. The mentality is sinking, which is well portrayed in the team spirit. They all think they know the best - politicians/players/people/crowd -- you name it, they are all suffering from ego problems.

    It’s a shame that our politicians and players treat their fans like this. It’s the fans and the followers who matter the most. I am afraid our cricket is headed in the direction of hockey and squash. Once we used to rule the world.

    I personally think we need to groom our players, educate them, instill some self-confidence and pride. Its good to be nice and humble but it does not mean we act like a bunch of sissies.

    Players, selectors and higher-ups need to listen to the fans, as for the past few months we have been trying to help the team with some ideas and creativity. But it appears to me its going nowhere, same team with no new blood or desire to take action. There is inconsistency everywhere, all the time and there is lack of planning. The number one motto of the team is to save wickets. I wonder what they are gonna do with wickets if they ruin the spirit of the game and in the end lose all the wickets in 5-10 overs. Sometimes I feel a bunch of kids from Nizamabad may perform well, they have more cricket sense than these so-called professionals. In short, the whole country lacks the passion and desire to make changes.

  • RASHID KHAN on November 30, 2007, 3:28 GMT

    I cannot understand why Asim Kamal is not selected. He has done nothing wrong to be treated like this except scoring almost every time he is selected. He and Yasir Hameed should be persisted with like Sri Lanka did with Atapattu. I also feel that Sami has no future, he is finished, to be honest he never started. Younger players from A team and U-19 should be tried and we might find another couple of Sohail Tanvir's and Misbah's. Change in selection committee and criteria is essential. Salahuddin and co are tried, tested. People like Aaqib Javed should be tried, even Amir Sohail was better. i