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November 29, 2007

Pakistan in India 2007

Cornered tigers face extinction

Kamran Abbasi
Shoaib Malik and Shoaib Akhtar walk in for practice, Jaipur, November 17, 2007
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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

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Posted by 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!

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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" :)

Posted by 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

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

Posted by 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.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kamran Abbasi
Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi

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